How Can People Be So Stupid? Rotating Header Image

On Obama and the Nature of Failed Presidencies

By George Friedman

We do not normally comment on domestic political affairs unless they affect international affairs. However, it is necessary to consider American political affairs because they are likely to have a particular effect on international relations. We have now entered the final phase of Barack Obama’s presidency, and like those of several other presidents since World War II, it is ending in what we call a state of failure. This is not a judgment on his presidency so much as on the political configuration within it and surrounding it.

The midterm elections are over, and Congress and the president are in gridlock. This in itself is not significant; presidents as popular as Dwight Eisenhower found themselves in this condition. The problem occurs when there is not only an institutional split but also a shift in underlying public opinion against the president. There are many more sophisticated analyses of public opinion on politics, but I have found it useful to use this predictive model.

Analyzing a President’s Strength

I assume that underneath all of the churning, about 40 percent of the electorate is committed to each party. Twenty percent is uncommitted, with half of those being indifferent to the outcome of politics and the other half being genuinely interested and undecided. In most normal conditions, the real battle between the parties — and by presidents — is to hold their own bases and take as much of the center as possible.

So long as a president is fighting for the center, his ability to govern remains intact. Thus, it is normal for a president to have a popularity rating that is less than 60 percent but more than 40 percent. When a president’s popularity rating falls substantially below 40 percent and remains there for an extended period of time, the dynamics of politics shift. The president is no longer battling for the center but is fighting to hold on to his own supporters — and he is failing to do so.

When the president’s support has fragmented to the point that he is fighting to recover his base, I considered that a failed presidency — particularly when Congress is in the hands of the opposition. His energy cannot be directed toward new initiatives. It is directed toward recovering his base. And presidents who have fallen into this condition near the end of their presidencies have not been likely to recover and regain the center.

Historically, when the president’s popularity rating has dipped to about 37 percent, his position has been unrecoverable. This is what happened to George W. Bush in 2006. It happened to Richard Nixon in 1974 when the Watergate crisis resulted in his resignation, and to Lyndon Johnson in 1967 during the Vietnam War. It also happened to Harry Truman in 1951, primarily because of the Korean War, and to Herbert Hoover before World War II because of the Great Depression.

However, this is not the final historical note on a presidency. Truman, enormously unpopular and unable to run for another term, is now widely regarded as one of the finest presidents the United States has had. Nixon, on the other hand, has never recovered. This is not therefore a judgment on Obama’s place in history, but simply on his current political condition. Nor does it take failure to lose the presidency; Jimmy Carter was defeated even though his popularity remained well in the 40s.

Obama’s Presidency

Of the five failed presidencies I’ve cited, one failed over scandal, one over the economy and three over wars — Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. Obama’s case is less clear than any. The 40 percent who gravitated to the opposition opposed him for a host of reasons. He lost the center for complex reasons as well. However, looking at the timing of his decline, the only intruding event that might have had that impact was the rise of the Islamic State and a sense, even in his own party, that he did not have an effective response to it. Historically, extended wars that the president did not appear to have a strategy for fighting have been devastating to the presidency. Woodrow Wilson’s war (World War I) was short and successful. Franklin Roosevelt’s war (World War II) was longer, and although it began in failure it became clear that a successful end was conceivable. The Korean, Vietnam and two Iraq wars suffered not from the length, but from the sense that the presidency did not have a war-ending strategy. Obama appears to me to have fallen into the political abyss because after six years he owned the war and appeared to have no grip on it.

Failure extends to domestic policy as well. The Republican-controlled legislature can pass whatever legislation it likes, but the president retains veto power, and two-thirds of both houses must vote to override. The problem is that given the president’s lack of popularity — and the fact that the presidency, all of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate will be up for re-election in two years — the president’s allies in Congress are not as willing to be held responsible for upholding his vetoes. Just as few Democrats wanted Obama campaigning for them, so too do few want to join the president in vetoing majority legislation. What broke Truman, Johnson and Nixon was the moment it became clear that their party’s leaders in Congress wanted them gone.

Acting Within Constraints

This does not mean that the president can’t act. It simply means that it is enormously more difficult to act than before. Gerald Ford, replacing Nixon but weakened by the pardoning of his predecessor, could not stop Congress from cutting off aid to South Vietnam during the final Communist assault. George W. Bush was able to launch the surge, but the surge was limited in size, not only because of strategic conditions but also because he had lost the ability to force Congress to fund alternative expansions of the war. In each of the failed presidencies, the president retained the ability to act but was constrained by the twin threats of an opposition-controlled Congress and his own party’s unwillingness to align with him.

At the same time, certain foreign diplomatic initiatives can continue. Nixon initiated negotiations between Egypt and Israel that culminated, under Carter’s administration, in the Camp David Accords. Truman tried to open negotiations with China, and the initiative’s failure had little to do with opposition to a negotiated settlement in Korea.

The president has few domestic options. Whatever Obama does with his power domestically, Congress can vote to cut funding, and if the act is vetoed, the president puts Congressional Democrats in mortal danger. The place where he can act — and this is likely the place Obama is least comfortable acting — is in foreign policy. There, the limited deployment of troops and diplomatic initiatives are possible.

Obama’s general strategy is to withdraw from existing conflicts in the Middle East and contain and limit Russian actions in Ukraine. The president has the ability to bring military and other pressure to bear. But the United States’ opponent is aware that the sitting president is no longer in control of Washington, that he has a specific date of termination and that the more unpopular things he does, the more likely his successor is to repudiate them. Therefore, in the China-North Korea model, the assumption is that that continuing the conflict and negotiating with the successor president is rational. In the same sense, Iran chose to wait for the election of Ronald Reagan rather than deal with Jimmy Carter (who was not a failed president).

This model depends on the opponent’s having the resources and the political will to continue the conflict in order to bargain with the president’s successor, and assumes that the successor will be more malleable. This is frequently the result, since the successor can make concessions more readily than his predecessor. In fact, he can make those concessions and gain points by blaming the need to concede on his predecessor. Ironically, Obama used this strategy after replacing George W. Bush. The failed president frequently tries to entice negotiation by increasing the military pressure on the enemy. Truman, Johnson and George W. Bush all took this path while seeking to end their wars. In no case did it work, but they had little to lose politically by trying.

Therefore, if we follow historical patterns, Obama will now proceed slowly and ineffectively to increase military operations in Syria and Iraq, while raising non-military pressure on Russia, or potentially initiating some low-level military activities in Ukraine. The actions will be designed to achieve a rapid negotiating process that will not happen. The presidency will shift to the other party, as it did with Truman, Johnson and George W. Bush. Thus, if patterns hold true, the Republicans will retake the presidency. This is not a pattern unknown to Congress, which means that the Democrats in the legislature will focus on running their own campaigns as far away from Obama and the next Democratic presidential candidate as possible.

The period of a failed presidency is therefore not a quiet time. The president is actively trying to save his legacy in the face of enormous domestic weakness. Other countries, particularly adversaries, see little reason to make concessions to failed presidents, preferring to deal with the next president instead. These adversaries then use military and political oppositions abroad to help shape the next U.S. presidential campaign in directions that are in their interests.

It is against this backdrop that all domestic activities take place. The president retains the veto, and if the president is careful he will be able to sustain it. Obama will engage in limited domestic politics, under heavy pressure from Congressional Democrats, confining himself to one or two things. His major activity will be coping with Syria, Iraq and Russia, both because of crises and the desire for a legacy. The last two years of a failed presidency are mostly about foreign policy and are not very pleasant to watch.

On Obama and the Nature of Failed Presidencies is republished with permission of Stratfor.

Where is the Muslim Outcry about ISIS and al Qaeda?

Of course, it is nowhere to be seen, because most Muslims are either in agreement with ISIS and al Qaeda, or afraid to admit that they object to their barbarity. Well, its time for them to be counted. Or, if they won’t be counted, it is time for us to eliminate Islam. Islam has always been a barbaric ideology based on the supposed sayings of an insane, epileptic, barbarian, misogynist, megalomanic, pedophile named Mohammed and his sock puppet Allah. It is time that the lame stream media admits that, and it is time that we stand up, as a civilized populace, against Islam. It was never a “religion of peace”, and it never will be. Maybe a religion of pieces, as in heads, hands, and other body parts, but not a “religion of peace”. Why is this so hard for people to understand?

Back in the 1980’s, we were told the lamestream media position that AIDS was an equal opportunity disease. But, the clear evidence was that it was almost exclusively a disease of gay men. Today, I hope, most people realize that AIDS is a disease of, primarily, gay men. (At least in the Western world.)

But, lets get back to ISIS. We hear virtually no objections to them by Muslims. We hear virtually nothing in the way of Western Imams speaking out against them. Of course, you would not expect that, since ISIS follows the teachings of Islam to the letter. Any “good” “Muslim” will want to support them, since their ideology insists on following the teachings of the Koran. And, they insist on the formation of the “Caliphate”, which is fundamental to Islam. We should not be surprised that Turkey does not support our goals; after all, it was Attiturk that gave up the Caliphate in the early 1900’s. Why would Turkey want to dismisss the Calibphate that is essential to the spread of Islam and Islam’s hope to rule the world. While Turkey should never have been allowed to join NATO, it must be kicked out of NATO today since its core values are diametrically opposed to those of NATO nations.

Oh, and in case you don’t know, Islam demands that it controls the world. All people must be either Muslims, or bow to Muslims and pay the jizya, (the poll tax that is imposed on all non-Muslim inhabitants of Muslim lands).

If Muslims are not willing to violently oppose ISIS, al Qadea, and the teachings of the Muslim Brotherhood, HAMAS, Hezbollah, and other Muslim associations, Islam must be outlawed and destroyed in the modern world.

 

Evaluating Ebola as a Biological Weapon

By Scott Stewart

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had people at speaking engagements ask me if I thought the Islamic State or some other militant group is using Ebola as a biological weapon, or if such a group could do so in the future. Such questions and concerns are not surprising given the intense media hype that surrounds the disease, even though only one person has died from Ebola out of the three confirmed cases in the United States. The media hype about the threat posed by the Islamic State to the United States and the West is almost as bad. Both subjects of all this hype were combined into a tidy package on Oct. 20, when the Washington Post published an editorial by columnist Mark Thiessen in which he claimed it would be easy for a group such as the Islamic State to use Ebola in a terrorist attack. Despite Thiessen’s claims, using Ebola as a biological warfare agent is much more difficult than it might appear at first blush.

The 2014 Outbreak

In the past, there have been several outbreaks of Ebola in Africa. Countries included Sudan, Uganda, the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and several comparatively small outbreaks occurred in Gabon as well. In most cases, people who handled or ate animals infected with the disease started the outbreaks. “Bushmeat,” or portions of roasted meat from a variety of wild animals, is considered by many to be a delicacy in Africa, and in a continent where hunger is widespread, it is also a necessity for many hungry people. After several months of medical investigations, epidemiologists believe the current outbreak most likely began when a two-year-old child in Guinea touched or perhaps ate part of an infected animal such as a bat or monkey.

The source of the disease means it is highly unlikely that some malevolent actor intentionally caused the latest outbreak. Besides the fact that the current outbreak’s cause has been identified as a natural one, even if a transnational militant group such as the Islamic State was able to somehow develop an Ebola weapon, it would have chosen to deploy the weapon against a far more desirable target than a small village in Guinea. We would have seen the militants use their weapon in a location such as New York, Paris or London, or against their local enemies in Syria and Iraq.

As far as intent goes, there is very little doubt that such a group would employ a biological weapon. As we noted last month when there was increased talk about the Islamic State possibly weaponizing plague for a biological attack, terrorist attacks are intended to have a psychological impact that outweighs the physical damage they cause. The Islamic State itself has a long history of conducting brutal actions to foster panic.

In 2006 and 2007, the Islamic State’s predecessor, al Qaeda in Iraq, included large quantities of chlorine in vehicle bombs deployed against U.S. and Iraqi troops in an attempt to produce mass casualties. The explosives in the vehicle bombs killed more people than the chlorine did, and after several unsuccessful attempts, al Qaeda in Iraq gave up on its chlorine bombings because the results were not worth the effort. Al Qaeda in Iraq also included chemical artillery rounds in improvised explosive devices used in attacks against American troops in Iraq on several occasions. Again, these attacks failed to produce mass casualties. Finally, according to human rights organizations, the Islamic State appears to have recently used some artillery rounds containing mustard gas against its enemies in Syria; the group presumably recovered the rounds from a former Saddam-era chemical weapons facility in Iraq or from Syrian stockpiles.

The problem, then, lies not with the Islamic State’s intent but instead with its capability to obtain and weaponize the Ebola virus. Creating a biological weapon is far more difficult than using a chemical such as chlorine or manufactured chemical munitions. Contrary to how the media frequently portrays them, biological weapons are not easy to obtain, they are not easy to deploy effectively and they do not always cause mass casualties.

The Difficulty of Weaponization

Ebola and terrorism are not new. Nor is the possibility of terrorist groups using the Ebola virus in an attack. As we have previously noted, the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo attempted to obtain the Ebola virus as part of its biological warfare program. The group sent a medical team to Africa under the pretext of being aid workers with the intent of obtaining samples of the virus. It failed in that mission, but even if it had succeeded, the group would have faced the challenge of getting the sample back to its biological warfare laboratory in Japan. The Ebola virus is relatively fragile. Its lifetime on dry surfaces outside of a host is only a couple of hours, and while some studies have shown that the virus can survive on surfaces for days when still in bodily fluids, this requires ideal conditions that would be difficult to replicate during transport.

If the group had been able to get the virus back to its laboratory, it would have then faced the challenge of reproducing the Ebola virus with enough volume to be used in a large-scale biological warfare attack, similar to its failed attacks on Tokyo and other Japanese cities in which the group sprayed thousands of gallons of botulinum toxin and Anthrax spores. Reproducing the Ebola virus would present additional challenges because it is an extremely dangerous virus to work with. It has infected researchers, even when they were working in laboratories with advanced biosafety measures in place. Although Aum Shinrikyo had a large staff of trained scientists and a state-of-the-art biological weapons laboratory, it was still unable to effectively weaponize the virus.

The challenges Aum Shinrikyo’s biological weapons program faced would be multiplied for the Islamic State. Aum Shinrikyo operatives were given a great deal of operational freedom until their plans were discovered after the 1995 sarin attacks on the Tokyo subway. (The group’s previous biological weapons attacks were so unsuccessful that nobody knew they had been carried out until after its members were arrested and its chemical and biological weapons factories were raided.) Unlike the Japanese cult, the Islamic State’s every move is under heavy scrutiny by most of the world’s intelligence and security agencies. This means jihadist operatives would have far more difficulty assembling the personnel and equipment needed to construct a biological weapons laboratory. Since randomly encountering an infected Ebola patient would be unreliable, the group would have to travel to a country impacted by the outbreak. This would be a difficult task for the group to complete without drawing attention to itself. Furthermore, once group members reached the infected countries, they would have to enter quarantined areas of medical facilities, retrieve the samples and then escape the country unnoticed, since they could not count on randomly encountering an infected Ebola patient.

Even if Islamic State operatives were somehow able to accomplish all of this — without killing themselves in the process — Ebola is not an ideal biological warfare vector. The virus is hard to pass from person to person. In fact, on average, its basic reproductive rate (the average amount of people that are infected by an Ebola patient) is only between one and two people. There are far more infectious diseases such as measles, which has a basic reproductive rate of 12-18, or smallpox, which has a basic reproductive rate of five to seven. Even HIV, which is only passed via sexual contact or intravenous blood transmission, has a basic reproductive rate of two to five.

Ebola’s Weakness as a Weapon

The Ebola disease is also somewhat slow to take effect, and infected individuals do not become symptomatic and contagious for an average of 8-10 days. The disease’s full incubation period can last anywhere from two to 21 days. As a comparison, influenza, which can be transmitted as quickly as three days after being contracted, can be spread before symptoms begin showing. This means that an Ebola attack would take longer to spread and would be easier to contain because infected people would be easier to identify.

Besides the fact that Ebola can only be passed through the bodily fluids of a person showing symptoms at the time, the virus in those bodily fluids must also somehow bypass the protection of a person’s skin. The infectious fluid must enter the body through a cut or abrasion, or come into contact with the mucus membranes in the eyes, nose or mouth. This is different from more contagious viruses like measles and smallpox, which are airborne viruses and do not require any direct contact or transfer of bodily fluids. Additionally, the Ebola virus is quite fragile and sensitive to light, heat and low-humidity environments, and bleach and other common disinfectants can kill it. This means it is difficult to spread the virus by contaminating surfaces with it. The only way to infect a large amount of people with Ebola would be to spray them with a fluid containing the virus, something that would be difficult to do and easily detectable.

Thiessen’s piece suggested that the Islamic State might implement an attack strategy of infecting suicide operatives with Ebola and then having them blow themselves up in a crowded place, spraying people with infected bodily fluids. One problem with this scenario is that it would be extremely difficult to get an infected operative from the group’s laboratory to the United States without being detected. As we have discussed elsewhere, jihadist groups have struggled to get operatives to the West to conduct conventional terrorist attacks using guns and bombs, a constraint that would also affect their ability to deploy a biological weapon.

Even if a hostile group did mange to get an operative in place, it would still face several important obstacles. By the time Ebola patients are highly contagious, they are normally very ill and bedridden with high fever, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea, meaning they are not strong enough to walk into a crowded area. The heat and shock of the suicide device’s explosion would likely kill most of the virus. Anyone close enough to be exposed to the virus would also likely be injured by the blast and taken to a hospital, where they would then be quarantined and treated for the virus.

Biological weapons look great in the movies, but they are difficult and expensive to develop in real life. That is why we have rarely seen them used in terrorist attacks. As we have noted for a decade now, jihadists can kill far more people with far less expense and effort by utilizing traditional terrorist tactics, which makes the threat of a successful attack using the Ebola virus extremely unlikely.

Evaluating Ebola as a Biological Weapon is republished with permission of Stratfor.

A Week of Stunning Government Incompetence

OK, so do you moronic socialists and communists still think that your precious government and Obama will save you and protect you? Unless you have been stoned and unconscious (not unlikely) for the last week, it turns out that even the secret service has given up on doing their job of protecting the President. The week opened by allowing a “disabled” war veteran to jump over the fence, sprint across the lawn, and deck a member of the secret service. After that, he frolicked around the White House until he was subdued by an off duty secret service agent or two. Of course, when he jumped the fence and ran toward the White House, he should have been stopped, at least, by the dogs. But, they were not released. Why? One report was that they had attacked Obama’s dog. Another said that they could not be released because they might have attacked secret service officers. Excuse me, but this sounds like a problem for Cesar Milan, not an excuse for not stopping a potential Presidential murderer. To add insult to incompetence, the front door of the White House was unlocked. Why was the front door of the home of the most important person in the world unlocked? Don’t you lock your front door? Especially if you live in Washington D.C.? Stunning incompetence.

Then, we find out that the secret service allowed an armed man who was not cleared to be armed onto an elevator at the CDC with President Obama. WHAT?? Of course, the head of the secret service resigned and we are told that there is a deep political problem within the secret service. People who point out problems are censured. Sound familiar?? We hear this about virtually all federal agencies. But, when whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden take the story into their own hands, we are told that they are wrong and that they should have talked to their superiors about their issues. R-I-G-H-T.

Next, we hear that a person with Ebola was allowed to enter the country. Of course, the fact that this happened was inevitable and any person with even half a brain knew that it would happen. To highlight the total incompetence of the government in the case of Ebola, lets recall Obama’s statement at the CDC 2 weeks ago, on September 16, 2014:

First and foremost, I want the American people to know that our experts, here at the CDC and across our government, agree that the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low. We’ve been taking the necessary precautions, including working with countries in West Africa to increase screening at airports so that someone with the virus doesn’t get on a plane for the United States. In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach our shores, we’ve taken new measures so that we’re prepared here at home. We’re working to help flight crews identify people who are sick, and more labs across our country now have the capacity to quickly test for the virus. We’re working with hospitals to make sure that they are prepared, and to ensure that our doctors, our nurses and our medical staff are trained, are ready, and are able to deal with a possible case safely.

Wow. How did that work out?!? Incompetence!!! (I hope. Some would say it is intentional; I’m not quite that cynical, yet.)

When this clown arrived, he was given antibiotics by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and sent home! Here is a guy from West Africa who reports with clear symptoms of Ebola. Here is a guy who handled a woman that died of Ebola a few days earlier. Here is the very poster boy for Ebola. Sent home. With an antibiotic. (Never mind the fact that antibiotics are worthless against a virus.) Then, two days later he shows up in an ambulance and is finally admitted. The result, as it stands at the moment, is that upward of 100 people may have been exposed to Ebola. While I don’t believe all of them will come down with Ebola, I am sure that at least 6 to 12 people will come down with Ebola. Some of them will die and some will probably infect others.

To further demonstrate the total incompetence of the government, as of 8:30 PM EDT, October 2, 2014, the bedsheets that the infected person slept on over 4 days ago are still in the apartment where he slept! Today, CNN showed someone in street clothes “disinfecting” the sidewalk where Thomas Eric Duncan vomited. We were told that the government was ready. Guess what? Just like with hurricane Katrina, tropical storm Sandy, and numerous other events, the government was not, and is not, ready to protect the citizens.

I hope all of you morons who believe in socialism and communism take note. I hope you really believe the government and Obama will protect and shield you. I know they won’t. But, as the shit hits the fan, I won’t be joining you in hoping for salvation by government. Good luck. I’m glad you won’t be my problems.

 

Did Liberian Ebola Patient Deliberately Come to America for Treatment?

We now know that Thomas Eric Duncan came to the United States with Ebola and he may have caused a major epidemic in the United States. Were we, as Americans, just unlucky, or was this a deliberate plot by Duncan to get treatment, no matter what the cost to other people? We now know that he lied at the airport in Liberia when he filled out a health questionnaire. It asked if he had had contact with anyone who had Ebola. He answered NO. But, we know that he helped a pregnant woman who had Ebola a few days before he left Liberia. She died. So, he lied on the document. Did he do that because he knew that he would probably get Ebola and that he would not get adequate (or any) treatment in Liberia and therefore went to the United States where he knew that he would get world class treatment? (Of course, the total incompetency of the CDC and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas were things that he could not have envisioned.)

I suspect this is a highly likely scenario. And, now he may have infected as many as 100 other people, although my personal opinion is that he will only have infected about 8 to 10 people. How many of them will die? How many of them will infect others? And, perhaps more importantly, how many other people from West Africa who can afford a plane ticket to a first world nation will lie to get on a plane and subject thousands, or even millions, of innocents to death by Ebola?

Oklahoma City is the Nexus of Muslims Behaving Badly

Who would have thought that a city in the center of America would become the poster child for Muslims behaving badly? But, it has. One recent example is the Muslim who claimed to represent ISIS and who told a co-worker that he was going to behead her. Why? Because that is what Muslims do to Christians. And, we also have the Muslim who did behead a worker and tried to behead another worker. Why did he do it? He stated that he hated white people and that he deserved a raise at work and felt oppressed. While he did not specifically mention terrorism or Islam as his motivation, we all know that it is Muslims, almost exclusively, who behead people in the 21st century. Also, his Facebook page had images of Osama bin Laden and a video of a beheading on it. So, while the authorities may only claim that this was workplace violence and not terrorism, it should be considered as inspired by Islam. I guess authorities would say he “went postal.” I have written before that we should add a new term to the lexicon, “going Muslim”, that could cover some of the bad behavior committed by Muslims whenever they get upset or are offended.

Islam is filled with barbaric 7th century punishments like beheading, stoning, lashing, and chopping off opposite hands and feet. And, in case you think this is just a technicality of sharia law and that it is not really applied in today’s world, Saudi Arabia beheaded at least 8 people in August alone for such heinous crimes as drug smuggling, sorcery, adultery, and apostasy  according to the United Nations.  Iran sentenced 6 young people to 6 months in jail and 91 lashes each for recording a video in which they danced to “Happy”, the Pharrell Williams song. The person who recorded the video, which went viral on YouTube, was sentenced to 1 year and 91 lashes. The sentences were suspended after world-wide outrage against the Mullacracy. Adulterers are regularly stoned to death in Pakistan.

So, we know that beheading is not limited to the Islamic State; it is well established as a preferred way for a Muslim to kill someone. Other modern examples of Muslims beheading people include the 2009 case of the “moderate” Muslim in New York who beheaded his wife a week after she filed for divorce. According to an article on CNN.com, Muzzammil Hassan

“…launched network — billed as the first English-language cable channel targeting Muslims inside the United States — in 2004. At the time, Hassan said he hoped the network would balance negative portrayals of Muslims following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.”

Oops! I guess that did not work out too well.

Now, if we go back to 2005, we have the case where a Muslim convert named Joel Hinrichs III blew himself up outside of an Oklahoma State football game in Norman Oklahoma with a bomb he made with TATP, known to any good Muslim bomb maker as “mother of Satan”. It was while training to make a bomb with TATP (triacetone triperoxide) that Abu Hamza al-Masri  blew off both hands and one eye. (Al-Masri maintains that he was injured by a landmine in Afghanistan, but Omar Nasiri’s book “Inside the Jihad: My Life with Al Qaeda” states that he got injured in a TATP bomb-making training accident.) Hinrichs attended the same mosque that Zacharias Moussaoui attended. (Moussaoui was supposed to be on one of the 911 planes but did not make the flight.) Of course, this was officially ruled a “suicide” by a misguided 21 year old youth. But, he had tried to get into the stadium with his backpack bomb and was refused entry. According to the above article, he also had tried to buy fertilizer, which is a common ingredient for large improvised explosives, but was refused by the feed store clerk. Clearly, if he had gotten into the stadium, which held over 80,000 people for that game, more people would remember this bombing.

Finally, we have the Oklahoma City bombing. Of course, the Clinton government did not want any Muslims associated with that bombing, so when they had two useful idiot white guys who proudly claimed that they did the job by themselves, that was the official story that the Clinton administration and law enforcement gave the world. But, Jayna Davis, an investigative reporter for KFOR-TV of Oklahoma City, documented the connection of Muslims from Iraq and the Philippines to the bomb plot. Most people remember that law enforcement was searching for “John Doe #2″, “the third terrorist”, who was described as being of “Middle Eastern decent”. He turned out to be Hussain Al-Hussaini according to Jayna Davis in her book “The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing.” In this excellently documented and researched book, she presents voluminous evidence that clearly show a Muslim connection to the bombing. In fact, when she named Al-Hussaini, he sued her for defamation of character. That lawsuit allowed Davis to obtain depositions and documentation for the law suit. When the judge saw all of the evidence against Al-Hussaini, he dismissed the case.

Al-Hussaini was, supposedly, a refugee from Iraq. According to the book, he had a tatoo indicating that he was a member of Sadam Hussein’s Republican Guard. I personally believe that one of the unreported reasons for the 2003 war in Iraq against Saddam Hussein was payback for this attack. (Incidently, and interestingly, Al-Hussaini was also working at Boston’s Logan airport on 9/11/2001 according to the book.)

Further indications of a Muslim connection to the Oklahoma City bombing is the fact that Terry Nichols went to the Philippines at least 5 times in the early to mid 1990’s. (1) He came home early and unexpectedly from one trip in January 1995  stating: “Somebody could get killed down there.” (2)  According to Davis, he was visiting with Ramzi Yousef to learn how to make bombs and there was an explosion and fire in Yousef’s apartment. (Ramzi Yousef was the bomb maker for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and he is the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 911 plot.)

So, perhaps the government should be watching the mosques and Muslims in Oklahoma much more closely than they are.

 

 

1. The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing, p 243

2. The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing, p 247

The West Needs More Brutal Dictators in the Muslim World–Why We Now Bomb for Assad

Lets face it, we need more brutal dictators to rule the Muslim world. While I supported getting rid of Saddam Hussein because he did support al Qaeda, almost certainly had chemical weapons, and was probably involved in the Oklahoma City bombing, I did not support war efforts once he was gone. When George Bush infamously announced “Mission Accomplished” on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, that is where we should have left the Middle East. The mission was accomplished; Saddam Hussein was out of office and his military machine was dismantled.

But, we then got into the absolute insanity of trying to bring liberal democracy to a majority Muslim nation. That is insane! Islam and liberal democracy are completely incompatible. Islam is based on the Koran and Sharia law. The Koran was written over 1300 years ago by ignorant barbarians. Mohammad, if he ever existed,  was an insane, epileptic, barbarian, misogynist, megalomaniac, pedophile and Allah was his sock-puppet. The “teachings” of the Koran and Sharia law have no place in the modern, civilized (relatively, at least) world. The fact of the matter is that the only thing Muslims understand is strength. Without strength, their “society” breaks down to war between various factions; the Sunni hate the Shia, the Shia hate the Kurds, and everybody hates the Suffis. (To paraphrase Tom Lehrer’s “National Brotherhood Week” song.)

Thus, before our ill-fated overthrow of Saddam Hussein, Iraq was a fairly quiet country. Sure, Saddam imprisoned a lot of people and gassed some more, but I think that the majority of today’s Iraqi citizens would say that life was better before 2003. The same is true of life in Libya. While Gadaffi was a weird and wacky dictator, at least he kept a reign on the various factions of Islam in Libya. (In fact, he was trying to unite Africa, financially, against the West in an economic sense and this may have been why we decided to kill him off. We must remember that he gave up his weapons of mass destruction after he saw what we did to Hussein. Also, he was actually using his vast wealth to try to make the lives of many Libyans better, although this story has not been widely reported in the West and I have not had enough time to research it, so I don’t know how true it is. But, I do know that Libya was a far more peaceful place while Gadaffi was alive.)

Now, lets look at Egypt. Egypt was ruled sith an iron fist by Mubarak. He was widely hated, and one of his enemies was Barack Obama. Obama wanted him out and the Muslim Brotherhood brought into power in his place. Anyone who has even a passing familiarity with the Muslim Brotherhood realizes that it is a terrorist organization, just like the organizations affiliated with it such as Hamas, al Qaeda, CAIR, AL-Nusra, and others. As soon as Egyptians threw out Mubarak and the Muslim Brotherhood took over, Christians were persecuted and killed and Christian churches were burned down. Egypt became an Islamic hell-hole. Fortunately, the military leader, Al-Sissi, took over. Since then, Egypt has been somewhat pacified, although it is certainly not a place where I would ever consider going.

So, now we see the situation in Syria. Over a year ago, Obama said that Al-Assad “must go”. But, he wisely did nothing to displace him. (Note I said wisely; that may be the only time you hear me praise Obama.) Now, we are acting as his air force to bomb the Islamic State. Of course, bombing will not do much without boots on the ground. And, because the Islamic State represents a fairly true implementation of Islam and Sharia law, and there are obviously tens of millions of Muslims that are behind ISIS, at least in spirit, we will not be getting anything more than tepid support from majority Muslim nations.

The only lasting solution to the problem of Islam will require a complete re-education of Muslims. Given that hundreds of millions of Muslims are indoctrinated with Islam from birth, that is highly unlikely to happen in the next hundred years. True, we were able to force the “re-education” of Japanese after WWII so that they no longer believed that the emperor was a god, but we had to use 2 atomic bombs to accomplish that re-education, and we only had a few tens of millions of people that had to be re-educated. Today, the most popular Muslim cleric, Mohammad Al-Areefi  (1), has almost 10 million twitter followers and his speeches are totally supportive of the Islamic State. That is more than twice as many followers as the Pope. So, we have a problem. And, until the government and the media admits that the problem IS Islam, we cannot hope to win this war. So, why did we waste over $3,000,000,000,000 in Iraq and Afghanistan, and why are we continuing to waste our national treasure, both in terms of money and lives, fighting wars in Muslim countries?

1. Thanks to Sam Harris for that factoid call out.

CNN Nightmare: Black Convert to Islam Beheads Woman and is Shot by Armed Citizen

This story must be about the worst nightmare that CNN could imagine. They constantly harp on situations where black (and to their mind innocent) people are shot. They constantly harp on how ISIS may stage attacks on the homeland. They constantly dwell on gun control. (In fact, I suspect Piers Morgan’s fixation on gun possession in America is what finally got him fired.) Finally, we have an atrocious crime that involves all three of their pet causes. If you tune to CNN, it must be wall to wall coverage, right? Wrong. Crickets! In fact, even though I tweeted @CNNbrk a story that covered the incident Friday morning (and they obviously already knew about it), I did not hear them mention it until some time in the late afternoon. (I may have missed an earlier mention, but it certainly was not the main story of the day.) There has been virtually no coverage since then on CNN, at least not that I have seen, even though this is a major story. It could well be the tip of the spear as we see more and more atrocities committed by Muslims in the civilized world.

Why is CNN not covering this? Well, for one thing, I am sure they were hoping that the first atrocity committed by a Muslim after we expanded our stupid war into Syria would be performed by a jihadist returning from the battle field in Iraq and Syria. And, hopefully, a white jihadist. (I suspect they would consider it best if the jihadist was a blue-eyed blonde convert from Sweden, or something like that.) But, no, it was a black man. And, to add insult to that injury, the barbarian was brought down by an armed citizen before he could behead others. (Unfortunately, he did stab another woman, but at least he was shot before he beheaded her and could kill others.) It is well established that armed citizens stop many crimes, and when the right of citizens to arm themselves is restricted by the government, crime goes up. Of course, I don’t think I have ever heard that on CNN.

Wow, just as I am finishing this article, CNN is mentioning the crime. We’ll see if they go to wall to wall coverage. I am not holding my breath.

Think the Islamic State is Un-Islamic? Think Again

Here is a simple chart from Jihad Watch that clearly shows that the Islamic State follows Islam closely. In fact, perhaps this is why we don’t hear terrorist organizations like CAIR, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood and hundreds of millions of Muslims speaking out against them. Sure, the media managed to find a few marginalized imams and other Muslims that claim that the Islamic State is not following Islam, but the silence from hundreds of millions of Muslims is deafening. (CAIR was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land terrorism financing conviction. Additionally, their executive director of the Dallas-Fort Worth branch of CAIR recently stated: “If we are practicing Muslims, we are above the law of the land.” Perhaps that sentiment is why Muslims refuse to integrate into civilized society wherever they immigrate. These facts, and many other like them, make CAIR a terrorist organization in my mind, and our government should ban it and stop coddling them and seeking their advice. )

We also see that many Muslim countries are really only giving half-hearted support to our new war on Islam. I wonder why? Could it be Islam? Could it be Sharia law? Could it be the fact that hundreds of millions of Muslims want the Caliphate restored and to live in it under Sharia law?

Right now, Great Britain is debating whether they will even lend support to the air war against the Islamic State. It is interesting to note that Mohammad has been the most popular baby name in each of the last few years in London, and that twice as many British Muslims fight for ISIS than in the British armed forces!  (Of course, no western military should allow Muslims to join for obvious reasons. We’ve already seen the results of having Muslims in the military in Fort Hood and other locations.)

 

 

We Can’t Defeat ISIS Until We Admit That We Must Defeat The Ideology That Is The Basis Of ISIS: Islam

I have said many times that I am sick and tired of hearing the old, and obviously false, platitude that Islam is a religion of peace. It may be a religion of pieces, but it never was, and never will be, a religion of peace. Islam divides the world into two houses; Dar al Islam and Dar al Harb. Those phrases roughly translate into the house of peace and the house of war. That may be where the bit about peace came from, but that is, obviously, only half of the story. Sure, if all of the world is conquered by Islam (and only one particular variant), then there will be peace. Of course, that can never happen.

Most people that know anything about Islam realize that there are two basic versions; Shi’a, and Sunni. But, there are actually many other smaller subdivisions of Islam including Wahabi (popular in Saudi Arabia), Alawism (popular in Syria), Sufism, and many others. And, in general, these groups do not agree on what Islam is and they often consider the other sects to not even be Muslims. For example, according to a 2012 Pew poll, in Egypt, the largest Muslim nation in the Arab world, 53% of Muslims say that Shi’a Muslims are not really Muslims. Most Arabs are Sunni Muslims. Thus, if Egypt was to develop a caliphate, many of the residents of Iraq, Syria, and most of the people in Iran would have the choice of converting to Sunni Islam or being put to death; usually by having their heads cut off, since that is the preferred method for getting rid of apostates in the Koran. For example, Koran 8:12 states:

[Remember] when your Lord inspired to the angels, “I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip.”

Thus, we clearly see that the Koran instructs Muslims to behead unbelievers. So, why the fuss about members of the Islamic State beheading unbelievers? This is part of the ideology of Islam, and you cannot separate the ideology from the “religion”. They are one and the same.

And, if you want to insist that ISIS is just taking things to the extreme and beheading is not a part of modern, mainstream Islam, I would point out that Saudi Arabia, our supposed “friend” beheaded at least 8 people in August 2014 according to the United Nations. Moderate Saudi Arabia beheads people, including those under 18, for such heinous crimes as drug smuggling, sorcery, adultery, and apostasy. (For those who don’t know, apostasy means leaving Islam.) And, as the prime minister of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan stated, “There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it” (1)

Indeed, a recent Pew poll found that a majority of most Muslims surveyed believe that there is only one interpretation of Islam, as shown in the following graphic.

gsi-ch5-1

The obvious problem is that while most Muslims believe that there is only one true Islam, each sect needs to kill members of the other sects because they are obviously apostates since there is only one true Islam, and their “true” Islam is wrong!

I also heard people complaining about members of the Islamic State raping women, selling them into slavery, or taking them as wives after they conquered an area. Why the fuss? The Koran and Hadith are very clear on this point in many verses. Take the following example.

Koran 4:24

And [also prohibited to you are all] married women except those your right hands possess. [This is] the decree of Allah upon you. And lawful to you are [all others] beyond these, [provided] that you seek them [in marriage] with [gifts from] your property, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse. So for whatever you enjoy [of marriage] from them, give them their due compensation as an obligation. And there is no blame upon you for what you mutually agree to beyond the obligation. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.

When the Koran frequently refers to “those your right hand posses” it is referring to slave women. Slaves are perfectly acceptable in Islam. In fact, Mohammad himself had a slave girl named Mariyam who was a Christian.

Another interesting fact is that it was Muslim traders who brought many of the black slaves to the United States in the 17th, 18th, and 19th century. Given this fact, you really have to wonder why so many African Americans are drawn to Islam.

If you still think that Islam does not condone making slaves of captured women and raping them at will, then read the following from one of the Hadith. (The Hadith is a collection of stories and sayings that go along with the Koran in defining the ideology and even law (Sharia) that is the very basis of Islam.) This is from Abu Dawud, Volume 2, #2150.

 The apostle of Allah sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the apostle of Allah were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Quranic verse, “And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess”

So, again I ask, why are we being told that ISIS is not Islamic and that their behavior violates the tenets of Islam? They seem to be following it to the letter.

Another thing that I often hear is that most Muslims , like most Christians, don’t really take their religion seriously and don’t believe the barbaric garbage that fills the Koran and Hadith. But, there are some pesky facts that would tend to indicate that is just not true. While I don’t think most Christians really believe that someone was born of a virgin or arose from the dead (although they will say they do “to get along”), in many Muslim majority nations, the Muslims do take their religion seriously. In a recent Pew poll, a startling percentage of the Muslims polled stated that religion is very important in their lives.

gsi-es-2

And, most Muslims in the same survey said that they believed that the Koran was the exact word of God.

gsi-appa-1

The biggest problem with Islam is that it is not just a religion like Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, or other mainstream religions. It is also a system of laws and government called Sharia that is based on the ideology of Islam. And, in a huge percentage of Muslim nations, the Muslim citizens favor making Sharia the law of the land. (In many cases even believing that non-Muslims should also be subject to Sharia law.) This is, after all, what the Taliban and ISIS have done. It is what we see in other Islamic Hell-holes like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. Now, ISIS simply wants to re-establish the caliphate which is central to Islam. The following graph from a recent Pew poll shows the percentage of Muslims that favor making Sharia law the law of the land.

gsi2-chp1-3

And, what happens when Sharia law becomes the law of the land? Well, of course, you end up with a nation ruled by barbaric 7th century rules and procedures. For example, Sharia calls for stoning to death as a penalty for adultery, and, not surprisingly, you see that atrocity supported by a huge number of Muslims as the following graph from a recent Pew poll shows.

gsi2-chp1-8

So, Obama tells us that we need to attack the ideology of ISIS. In truth, that means that we need to attack Islam. We need to admit that ISLAM IS THE PROBLEM. We need to realize that we are not going to destroy Islam with airstrikes. We are not even going to destroy the worldwide plague known as Islam with “boots on the ground.” And, we should not be surprised when most Muslim nations don’t show much real enthusiasm for destroying the Islamic State. After all, it represents the true Islam that many want to see.

We can’t even begin to destroy the enemy until we tie the ideology that our “leaders” keep insisting is barbaric to Islam. The two are inseparable. Most Muslims are Muslims because of the accident of their birth, just like most Christians are Christians by the accident of their birth. Children are indoctrinated (brainwashed) with a particular religious ideology almost from birth. By the time they are old enough to think for themselves, the damage has already been done in most cases. They believe the myths, lies, and legends they have been taught by their parents and their society and it is rare, indeed, when someone uses some critical thinking and realizes that their religion is false and what they have been indoctrinated to believe is not true.

The following graphic from that recent Pew poll clearly shows the strength of religious indoctrination in Muslims.

gsi-ch1-4

If Hitler had declared himself a god and claimed that Nazism was a religion, today, I’m not sure if our insane political correctness would not allow us to defeat this evil. I’m afraid that it may be many hundreds of years before we can defeat Islam. We may not have that much time.

(1) http://my.telegraph.co.uk/abdulmuhd/amuhd/1476/moderate-islam-is-an-insult-to-islam-the-cultural-muslim/ – See more at: http://howcanpeoplebesostupid.com/#sthash.lzM9vsd0.dpuf

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Maher Correctly Explains the Relationship Between ISIS and Islam

I have said many times that we need to stop calling ISIS, al Qaeda, al Shabab, and other similar groups Islamic extremists. As the Prime Minister of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, correctly stated: “There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it” (1) And, unfortunately, Islam is not, never was, and almost certainly never will be peaceful. It is based on the supposed sayings of an insane, epileptic, barbarian, misogynist, megalomaniac, pedophile named Mohammad and his sock puppet Allah. Islam’s ideology is spelled out in brutal, horrific detail in the Koran. Yes, the taking of women as sex slaves, the beheading, the forcing of people to convert to Islam or die, and the fact that if you leave the religion, you must be killed, are all in the Koran and believed and accepted by hundreds of millions of Muslims.

In this video where Bill Maher is discussing ISIS and Islam with Charlie Rose, Maher spells out the facts very well. All non-Muslims need to recognize these facts and adjust their thinking accordingly. Also, notice some of the statistical facts that he mentions about Egyptians. One of the reasons that we don’t see much enthusiasm from the Arab countries for fighting ISIS is because a huge percentage of Muslims want the Koran and Sharia law and the Caliphate. ISIS, like the Taliban, represents true Islam and is thus not abhorrent to a huge number of Muslims around the world.

(1) http://my.telegraph.co.uk/abdulmuhd/amuhd/1476/moderate-islam-is-an-insult-to-islam-the-cultural-muslim/

The Virtue of Subtlety: A U.S. Strategy Against the Islamic State

By George Friedman

U.S. President Barack Obama said recently that he had no strategy as yet toward the Islamic State but that he would present a plan on Wednesday. It is important for a president to know when he has no strategy. It is not necessarily wise to announce it, as friends will be frightened and enemies delighted. A president must know what it is he does not know, and he should remain calm in pursuit of it, but there is no obligation to be honest about it.

This is particularly true because, in a certain sense, Obama has a strategy, though it is not necessarily one he likes. Strategy is something that emerges from reality, while tactics might be chosen. Given the situation, the United States has an unavoidable strategy. There are options and uncertainties for employing it. Let us consider some of the things that Obama does know.

The Formation of National Strategy

There are serious crises on the northern and southern edges of the Black Sea Basin. There is no crisis in the Black Sea itself, but it is surrounded by crises. The United States has been concerned about the status of Russia ever since U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt negotiated the end of the Russo-Japanese war in 1905. The United States has been concerned about the Middle East since U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower forced the British to retreat from Suez in 1956. As a result, the United States inherited — or seized — the British position.

A national strategy emerges over the decades and centuries. It becomes a set of national interests into which a great deal has been invested, upon which a great deal depends and upon which many are counting. Presidents inherit national strategies, and they can modify them to some extent. But the idea that a president has the power to craft a new national strategy both overstates his power and understates the power of realities crafted by all those who came before him. We are all trapped in circumstances into which we were born and choices that were made for us. The United States has an inherent interest in Ukraine and in Syria-Iraq. Whether we should have that interest is an interesting philosophical question for a late-night discussion, followed by a sunrise when we return to reality. These places reflexively matter to the United States.

The American strategy is fixed: Allow powers in the region to compete and balance against each other. When that fails, intervene with as little force and risk as possible. For example, the conflict between Iran and Iraq canceled out two rising powers until the war ended. Then Iraq invaded Kuwait and threatened to overturn the balance of power in the region. The result was Desert Storm.

This strategy provides a model. In the Syria-Iraq region, the initial strategy is to allow the regional powers to balance each other, while providing as little support as possible to maintain the balance of power. It is crucial to understand the balance of power in detail, and to understand what might undermine it, so that any force can be applied effectively. This is the tactical part, and it is the tactical part that can go wrong. The strategy has a logic of its own. Understanding what that strategy demands is the hard part. Some nations have lost their sovereignty by not understanding what strategy demands. France in 1940 comes to mind. For the United States, there is no threat to sovereignty, but that makes the process harder: Great powers can tend to be casual because the situation is not existential. This increases the cost of doing what is necessary.

The ground where we are talking about applying this model is Syria and Iraq. Both of these central governments have lost control of the country as a whole, but each remains a force. Both countries are divided by religion, and the religions are divided internally as well. In a sense the nations have ceased to exist, and the fragments they consisted of are now smaller but more complex entities.

The issue is whether the United States can live with this situation or whether it must reshape it. The immediate question is whether the United States has the power to reshape it and to what extent. The American interest turns on its ability to balance local forces. If that exists, the question is whether there is any other shape that can be achieved through American power that would be superior. From my point of view, there are many different shapes that can be imagined, but few that can be achieved. The American experience in Iraq highlighted the problems with counterinsurgency or being caught in a local civil war. The idea of major intervention assumes that this time it will be different. This fits one famous definition of insanity.

The Islamic State’s Role

There is then the special case of the Islamic State. It is special because its emergence triggered the current crisis. It is special because the brutal murder of two prisoners on video showed a particular cruelty. And it is different because its ideology is similar to that of al Qaeda, which attacked the United States. It has excited particular American passions.

To counter this, I would argue that the uprising by Iraq’s Sunni community was inevitable, with its marginalization by Nouri al-Maliki’s Shiite regime in Baghdad. That it took this particularly virulent form is because the more conservative elements of the Sunni community were unable or unwilling to challenge al-Maliki. But the fragmentation of Iraq into Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish regions was well underway before the Islamic State, and jihadism was deeply embedded in the Sunni community a long time ago.

Moreover, although the Islamic State is brutal, its cruelty is not unique in the region. Syrian President Bashar al Assad and others may not have killed Americans or uploaded killings to YouTube, but their history of ghastly acts is comparable. Finally, the Islamic State — engaged in war with everyone around it — is much less dangerous to the United States than a small group with time on its hands, planning an attack. In any event, if the Islamic State did not exist, the threat to the United States from jihadist groups in Yemen or Libya or somewhere inside the United States would remain.

Because the Islamic State operates to some extent as a conventional military force, it is vulnerable to U.S. air power. The use of air power against conventional forces that lack anti-aircraft missiles is a useful gambit. It shows that the United States is doing something, while taking little risk, assuming that the Islamic State really does not have anti-aircraft missiles. But it accomplishes little. The Islamic State will disperse its forces, denying conventional aircraft a target. Attempting to defeat the Islamic State by distinguishing its supporters from other Sunni groups and killing them will founder at the first step. The problem of counterinsurgency is identifying the insurgent.

There is no reason not to bomb the Islamic State’s forces and leaders. They certainly deserve it. But there should be no illusion that bombing them will force them to capitulate or mend their ways. They are now part of the fabric of the Sunni community, and only the Sunni community can root them out. Identifying Sunnis who are anti-Islamic State and supplying them with weapons is a much better idea. It is the balance-of-power strategy that the United States follows, but this approach doesn’t have the dramatic satisfaction of blowing up the enemy. That satisfaction is not trivial, and the United States can certainly blow something up and call it the enemy, but it does not address the strategic problem.

In the first place, is it really a problem for the United States? The American interest is not stability but the existence of a dynamic balance of power in which all players are effectively paralyzed so that no one who would threaten the United States emerges. The Islamic State had real successes at first, but the balance of power with the Kurds and Shia has limited its expansion, and tensions within the Sunni community diverted its attention. Certainly there is the danger of intercontinental terrorism, and U.S. intelligence should be active in identifying and destroying these threats. But the re-occupation of Iraq, or Iraq plus Syria, makes no sense. The United States does not have the force needed to occupy Iraq and Syria at the same time. The demographic imbalance between available forces and the local population makes that impossible.

The danger is that other Islamic State franchises might emerge in other countries. But the United States would not be able to block these threats as well as the other countries in the region. Saudi Arabia must cope with any internal threat it faces not because the United States is indifferent, but because the Saudis are much better at dealing with such threats. In the end, the same can be said for the Iranians.

Most important, it can also be said for the Turks. The Turks are emerging as a regional power. Their economy has grown dramatically in the past decade, their military is the largest in the region, and they are part of the Islamic world. Their government is Islamist but in no way similar to the Islamic State, which concerns Ankara. This is partly because of Ankara’s fear that the jihadist group might spread to Turkey, but more so because its impact on Iraqi Kurdistan could affect Turkey’s long-term energy plans.

Forming a New Balance in the Region

The United States cannot win the game of small mosaic tiles that is emerging in Syria and Iraq. An American intervention at this microscopic level can only fail. But the principle of balance of power does not mean that balance must be maintained directly. Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia have far more at stake in this than the United States. So long as they believe that the United States will attempt to control the situation, it is perfectly rational for them to back off and watch, or act in the margins, or even hinder the Americans.

The United States must turn this from a balance of power between Syria and Iraq to a balance of power among this trio of regional powers. They have far more at stake and, absent the United States, they have no choice but to involve themselves. They cannot stand by and watch a chaos that could spread to them.

It is impossible to forecast how the game is played out. What is important is that the game begins. The Turks do not trust the Iranians, and neither is comfortable with the Saudis. They will cooperate, compete, manipulate and betray, just as the United States or any country might do in such a circumstance. The point is that there is a tactic that will fail: American re-involvement. There is a tactic that will succeed: the United States making it clear that while it might aid the pacification in some way, the responsibility is on regional powers. The inevitable outcome will be a regional competition that the United States can manage far better than the current chaos.

Obama has sought volunteers from NATO for a coalition to fight the Islamic State. It is not clear why he thinks those NATO countries — with the exception of Turkey — will spend their national treasures and lives to contain the Islamic State, or why the Islamic State alone is the issue. The coalition that must form is not a coalition of the symbolic, but a coalition of the urgently involved. That coalition does not have to be recruited. In a real coalition, its members have no choice but to join. And whether they act together or in competition, they will have to act. And not acting will simply increase the risk to them.

U.S. strategy is sound. It is to allow the balance of power to play out, to come in only when it absolutely must — with overwhelming force, as in Kuwait — and to avoid intervention where it cannot succeed. The tactical application of strategy is the problem. In this case the tactic is not direct intervention by the United States, save as a satisfying gesture to avenge murdered Americans. But the solution rests in doing as little as possible and forcing regional powers into the fray, then in maintaining the balance of power in this coalition.

Such an American strategy is not an avoidance of responsibility. It is the use of U.S. power to force a regional solution. Sometimes the best use of American power is to go to war. Far more often, the best use of U.S. power is to withhold it. The United States cannot evade responsibility in the region. But it is enormously unimaginative to assume that carrying out that responsibility is best achieved by direct intervention. Indirect intervention is frequently more efficient and more effective.
 

The Virtue of Subtlety: A U.S. Strategy Against the Islamic State is republished with permission of Stratfor.

Terrorism as Theater

By Robert D. Kaplan

The beheading of American journalist James Foley by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq was much more than an altogether gruesome and tragic affair: rather, it was a very sophisticated and professional film production deliberately punctuated with powerful symbols. Foley was dressed in an orange jumpsuit reminiscent of the Muslim prisoners held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay. He made his confession forcefully, as if well rehearsed. His executioner, masked and clad in black, made an equally long statement in a calm, British accent, again, as if rehearsed. It was as if the killing was secondary to the message being sent.

The killing, in other words, became merely the requirement to send the message. As experts have told me, there are more painful ways to dispatch someone if you really hate the victim and want him to suffer. You can burn him alive. You can torture him. But beheading, on the other hand, causes the victim to lose consciousness within seconds once a major artery is cut in the neck, experts say. Beheading, though, is the best method for the sake of a visually dramatic video, because you can show the severed head atop the chest at the conclusion. Using a short knife, as in this case, rather than a sword, also makes the event both more chilling and intimate. Truly, I do not mean to be cruel, indifferent, or vulgar. I am only saying that without the possibility of videotaping the event, there would be no motive in the first place to execute someone in such a manner.

In producing a docu-drama in its own twisted way, the Islamic State was sending the following messages:

We don’t play by your rules. There are no limits to what we are willing to do.
America’s mistreatment of Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay comes with a “price tag,” to quote a recently adopted phrase for retribution killings. After all, we are a state. We have our own enemy combatants as you can see from the video, and our own way of dealing with them.
Just because we observe no limits does not mean we lack sophistication. We can be just as sophisticated as you in the West. Just listen to the British accent of our executioner. And we can produce a very short film up to Hollywood standards.
We’re not like the drug lords in Mexico who regularly behead people and subsequently post the videos on the Internet. The drug lords deliver only a communal message, designed to intimidate only those people within their area of control. That is why the world at large pays little attention to them; in fact, the world is barely aware of them. By contrast, we of the Islamic State are delivering a global, meta-message. And the message is this: We want to destroy all of you in America, all of you in the West, and everyone in the Muslim world who does not accept our version of Islam.
We will triumph because we observe absolutely no constraints. It is because only we have access to the truth that anything we do is sanctified by God.

Welcome to the mass media age. You thought mass media was just insipid network anchormen and rude prime-time hosts interrupting talking heads on cable. It is that, of course. But just as World War I was different from the Franco-Prussian War, because in between came the culmination of the Industrial Age and thus the possibility of killing on an industrial scale, the wars of the 21st century will be different from those of the 20th because of the culmination of the first stage of the Information Age, with all of its visual ramifications.

Passion, deep belief, political protests and so forth have little meaning nowadays if they cannot be broadcast. Likewise, torture and gruesome death must be communicated to large numbers of people if they are to be effective. Technology, which the geeky billionaires of Silicon Valley and the Pacific Northwest claim has liberated us with new forms of self-expression, has also brought us back to the worst sorts of barbarism. Communications technology is value neutral, it has no intrinsic moral worth, even as it can at times encourage the most hideous forms of exhibitionism: to wit, the Foley execution.

We are back to a medieval world of theater, in which the audience is global. Theater, when the actors are well-trained, can be among the most powerful and revelatory art forms. And nothing works in theater as much as symbols which the playwright manipulates. A short knife, a Guantanamo jumpsuit, a black-clad executioner with a British accent in the heart of the Middle East, are, taken together, symbols of power, sophistication, and retribution. We mean business. Are you in America capable of taking us on?

It has been said that the murder of Czar Nicholas II and his family in 1918 in Ekaterinburg by Lenin’s new government was a seminal crime: because if the Bolsheviks were willing to execute not only the Czar but his wife and children, too, they were also capable of murdering en masse. Indeed, that crime presaged the horrors to come of Bolshevik rule. The same might be said of the 1958 murder of Iraqi King Faisal II and his family and servants by military coup plotters, and the subsequent mutilation of the body of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Said by a Baghdad mob — events that presaged decades of increasingly totalitarian rule, culminating in Saddam Hussein. The theatrical murder of James Foley may appear as singular to some; more likely, it presages something truly terrible unfolding in the postmodern Middle East.

To be sure, the worse the chaos, the more extreme the ideology that emerges from it. Something has already emerged from the chaos of Syria and Iraq, even as Libya and Yemen — also in chaos — may be awaiting their own versions of the Islamic State. And remember, above all, what the video communicated was the fact that these people are literally capable of anything.

Terrorism as Theater is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Hypocrisy over Gaza

Pat Condell gets it right again.

Legalize Drugs, Not Illegal Immigrants

As anyone who watches the news knows, our borders are totally open and our nation is being invaded by a horde of illegal immigrants. Of course, that is not all that is coming across the border. Korans, Urdu-to-English dictionaries, and other things have been found that demonstrate that our nation is also being invaded by Muslims, many of whom are undoubtedly terrorists. Also, just like our totally porous border allows drugs to come across, there is no reason to think that tools of terror like radioactive materials, surface-to-air missiles, and perhaps even nuclear weapons are being imported. There is no reason to allow this to continue. Of course, we know that the reason the Obama administration is not defending the border and blocking the passing of tens of thousands of illegal immigrants is because they know that most of these illegal immigrants will become undocumented democratic voters.

This is treason, and Obama should be impeached for this action, alone. But, given that neither party seems inclined to defend the Constitution and enforce our border, something else must be done. Why are these people coming here? Of course, we all hear the story that we need illegal Mexicans because they will do the work that Americans won’t do. Of course, the only reason Americans won’t do the work is because we give them welfare, food stamps, and almost unlimited unemployment so that they can stay home, eat Bon-Bons, and watch Oprah. If we stopped these ludicrous policies, then Americans would do the jobs that are currently done by illegal Mexicans. They would have no choice. Of course, many would get other jobs, but there would be no shortage of farm workers, etc. And, lets not forget, if we make these illegal immigrants citizens, then they, too, can stay home and collect welfare, food stamps, and other benefits. Why wouldn’t they?

But there are other issues. We are now hearing that many of the illegal immigrants are coming from Costa Rica, Honduras, and other Hell-holes in Central America. Why are they coming here? Well, many are undoubtedly coming here for the same reasons that Mexicans are coming here. But, many claim that they live in fear of their lives in their country of origin because of drug gangs. If that is so, then the solution is simple; get rid of the drug gangs and the whole illegal drug trade. Of course, it is the responsibility of the host countries to control the drug trade and gangs within their borders, but, just like in Mexico, that is not going to happen because the governments are too corrupt and the payoffs from the illegal drug trade are too attractive. So, we must legalize drugs in the United States. This would end most of these problems. And, it would also slash the number of people in jail in the United States. The United States has a higher percentage of its population in jail than any other supposedly civilized nation in the world. This statistic is second, only, in shame to the fact that we spend more money on education (a lot more) than any other nation and produce some of the stupidest students in the world.

Will legalizing drugs ruin some lives by turning some people into addicts who would not have become addicts if drugs remained illegal? Yes. But I suspect the number is far lower than the number of lives that are currently being ruined by dealing drugs and being arrested and thrown into jail where they can learn to be even more hardened criminals. Plus, once a person has been in jail as a felon, it is very difficult for them to get a decent job once they have done their time. Thus, they stay in the business of crime. And, most of the people who are in jail in the United States are there because of drug related crimes. Legalizing drugs will put the brakes on the gang situation in many countries and allow our country to seal its border. And, it will also have the benefit of preventing hundreds of thousands of citizens from having their lives ruined by stupid drug laws.

Gaza Situation Report

By George Friedman

The current confrontation in Gaza began July 12 after three Israeli teenagers disappeared in the West Bank the month before. Israel announced the disappearance June 13, shortly thereafter placing blame on Hamas for the kidnappings. On June 14, Hamas fired three rockets into the Hof Ashkelon region. This was followed by Israeli attacks on Palestinians in the Jerusalem region. On July 8, the Israelis announced Operation Protective Edge and began calling up reservists. Hamas launched a longer-range rocket at Tel Aviv. Israel then increased its airstrikes against targets in Gaza.

At this point, it would appear that Israel has deployed sufficient force to be ready to conduct an incursion into Gaza. However, Israel has not done so yet. The conflict has consisted of airstrikes and some special operations forces raids by Israel and rocket launches by Hamas against targets in Israel.

From a purely military standpoint, the issue has been Hamas’s search for a deterrent to Israeli operations against Gaza. Operation Cast Lead in late 2008 and early 2009 disrupted Gaza deeply, and Hamas found itself without any options beyond attempts to impose high casualties on Israeli forces. But the size of the casualties in Cast Lead did not prove a deterrent.

Hamas augmented its short-range rocket arsenal with much longer-range rockets. The latest generation of rockets it has acquired can reach the population center of Israel: the triangle of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. However, these are rockets, not missiles. That means they have no guidance system, and their point of impact once launched is a matter of chance. Given these limits, Hamas hoped having a large number of rockets of different ranges would create the risk of substantial Israeli civilian casualties, and that that risk would deter Israel from action against Gaza.

The threat posed by the rockets was in fact substantial. According to senior Israeli Air Force officers quoted on the subject, Israel lacked intelligence on precisely where the rockets were stored and all the sites from which they might be launched. Gaza is honeycombed with a complex of tunnels, many quite deep. This limits intelligence. It also limits the ability of Israeli airborne munitions from penetrating to their storage area and destroying them.

The Israeli objective is to destroy Hamas’ rocket capacity. Israel ideally would like to do this from the air, but while some can be destroyed from the air, and from special operations, it appears the Israelis lack the ability to eliminate the threat. The only solution would be a large-scale assault on Gaza designed to occupy it such that a full-scale search for the weapons and their destruction on the ground would be possible.

Hamas has been firing rockets to convince the Israelis that they have enough to increase casualties in the triangle if they choose to. The Israelis must in fact assume that an assault on Gaza would in its earliest stages result in a massive barrage, especially since Hamas would be in a “use-it-or-lose-it” position. Hamas hopes this will deter an Israeli attack.

Thus far, Israel has restrained its attack beyond airstrikes. The extent to which the fear of massed rocketry was the constraining factor is not clear. Certainly, the Israelis are concerned that Hamas is better prepared for an attack than it was during Cast Lead, and that its ability to use anti-tank missiles against Israel’s Merkava tanks and improvised explosive devices against infantry has evolved. Moreover, the occupation of Gaza would be costly and complex. It would take perhaps weeks to search for rockets and in that time, Israeli casualties would mount. When the political consequences, particularly in Europe, of such an attack were added to this calculus, the ground component of Protective Edge was put off.

As mentioned, a major issue for the Israelis is the intelligence factor. It is said that Iran provided Hamas with these rockets via smuggling routes through Sudan. It is hard to imagine the route these weapons would take such that Israeli (and American) intelligence would not detect them on their thousand-plus mile transit, and that they would move into Gaza in spite of Israeli and Egyptian hostile watchfulness. Even if Iran didn’t provide the weapons, and someone else did, the same question would arise.

The failure of the Israelis to detect and interdict the movement of rockets or rocket parts has an immediate effect on the confidence with which senior Israeli commanders and political leaders calculate their course. Therefore, to this point, there has been a stalemate, with what we assume is a small fraction of Hamas’ rockets being fired, and limited operations against Gaza. The ground operation is being held in check for now.

While there have been a few public attempts to mediate between Hamas and Israel, most of these efforts have been lackluster, and the condemnations of violence and calls for peace have been more perfunctory than usual. Rather than leaving Egypt as the principle mediator, Turkey and Qatar have also weighed into the cease-fire discussion.  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also reportedly contacted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, offering assistance in mediating a truce. Meanwhile, high-ranking diplomats from the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany discussed truce efforts on the sidelines of talks on Iran, and Israel’s government has began mulling a plan to offer development aid in exchange for a demilitarization of Gaza.

There is good reason for the slow pace of these cease-fire efforts, however. As evidenced by Hamas’ ability to replenish its rocket supply through routes traversing Sinai, Israel cannot rely exclusively on Egypt to uphold a cease-fire agreement — nor does it trust Qatar and Turkey to do so. Instead, Israel is attempting to place responsibility for cease-fire enforcement on its main external patron, the United States. Of equal importance, Hamas shares a deep distrust of the current regime in Egypt, given Hamas’ past links to the Muslim Brotherhood, whose brief reign in Egypt ended with a military coup. As these negotiations move slowly forward, Israel’s focus is on trying to degrade Hamas’ military capabilities enough to compensate for the weaknesses implicit in any cease-fire agreement. But tackling the problem primarily through the air has limits, and Israel’s questionable confidence in its own intelligence is what has prevented a ground incursion so far.

The problem for Israel in any cease-fire is that it would keep the current status quo in place. Hamas would retain its rockets, and might be able to attain more advanced models. Israel was not able to stop the influx of this load, so Israel can’t be confident that it can stop the next. A cease-fire is a victory for Hamas because they have retained their rocket force and have the potential to increase it. But for Israel, if it assumes that it cannot absorb the cost of rooting out all of the rockets (assuming that is possible) then a cease-fire brings it some political benefits without having to take too many risks.

At this moment, we know for certain that Israel is bombing Gaza and has amassed a force sufficient to initiate ground operations but has not done so. Hamas has not fired a saturation attack, assuming it could, but has forced Israel to assume that such an attack is possible, and that its Iron Dome defensive system would be overwhelmed by the numbers. The next move is Israel’s. We can assume there are those in the Israeli command authority arguing that the Gaza rockets will be fired at some point, and must be eliminated now, and others arguing that without better intelligence the likelihood of casualties and of triggering a saturation launch is too high.

We have no idea who will win the argument, if there is one, but right now, Israel is holding.
Gaza Situation Report is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Afghanistan – What Are We Fighting For?

I wish someone from the United States government would come out and tell us why we are fighting in Afghanistan. I know, they keep telling us that they are trying to bring democracy to Afghanistan and rout out the Taliban. But, if they actually believe that, then they should be removed from office for incompetence and put on medication and locked in a padded room for their own protection. In Afghanistan, as in most Muslim countries, you are dealing with uneducated people who are living, essentially, in the 7th century and who revere an insane, epileptic,  barbarian, misogynist, megalomaniac, pedophile named Mohammad and his sock puppet Allah. They are brain washed with Islam from the moment of birth and it is so ingrained in them that it is not going to go away in our lifetime, or for many generations to come. Thus, democracy is impossible, because it goes against the teachings of Islam. Look at how well our stay in Iraq turned out; it is now a Sharia state that is anything but democratic, and it is basically a client state of Iran. For the well over $1 trillion we wasted fighting there, not to mention the sacrifice of tens of thousands of killed and severely wounded soldiers, we don’t even get a discount on the oil!

I believe the real reason that we are in Afghanistan is geopolitical. We want control of that part of the world and the oil that may pass through it. But, if that is the real reason, why don’t the politicians just come out and say so? Of course, we know the answer. If it is all for oil, just like our presence in Iraq after taking out Sadam Hussein was, really, the American people will almost certainly object; perhaps violently. But, we know it is so that we can control that part of the world, rather than have it controlled by China or Russia. But, this is so stupid and unnecessary.

We don’t need their oil. We have plenty of energy in our own country between coal, nuclear, oil shale, natural gas, regular oil, hydro-electricity, wind, and solar. The problem is, we have allowed self-serving, ignorant blowhards like Al Gore and totally corrupt organizations like the United Nations to take over “science” and politicize it with the imaginary boogie man called man made global warming. The simple fact of the matter is that CO2 does not control the climate as we have been brainwashed to believe. Virtually all of the science that shows that is suppressed. We can see that by reading what little does manage to get published and by reading the Climategate e-mails that describe a very systematic suppression of all papers and scientific evidence that goes against the part line that AGW (anthropogenic global warming) is a clear and present danger to the world.

The world has not warmed in the last 14 or so years. In fact, there is strong evidence that we may be entering another “little ice age” like we saw back in the 18th and early 19th century. (We may wish that CO2 did cause major warming if that prediction is true.) We have been told of a catastrophic rise of sea level,  but it is not occurring.  We are told that there were more hurricanes in 2012 than any previous year, but we are not told that every little disturbance in the Atlantic Ocean is now being given a name and thus artificially inflating the number of hurricanes compared to the thousands of years before we had satellites. In most of those thousands of years, we would not have known about little disturbances in the Atlantic Ocean that did not make land fall, and thus would not have been considered as hurricanes.

It is time to bring the troops home and to stop lying to the American people, and indeed the world, about AGW. It does not exist. It is not a problem. We should not be pissing away 10’s of billions of dollars a year on it.

We have much more important things to worry about.

Are You Ready To Submit To Cavity Searches?

Well, I said it was coming a long time ago. The rulers of the world have been subjecting us to more and more humiliation and have been intruding more and more into our privacy in the name of “safety”. “We have a responsibility to save you from terrorists!!” Never mind the simple fact that government employees can’t even refer to the terrorists as “Muslims” or even “Islamists”. No, they just say that terrorists come in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds. In fact, the rulers keep saying that they are mostly worried about ‘domestic terrorists’ like gun owners, returning military personnel, people that believe in the constitution, libertarians, and people that want to be free from government intrusion in their lives! (Just like the founders of this once great nation were termed terrorists by the British government, people that believe in the freedom and greatness that once characterized America, and Americans in general, are now considered terrorists by the current rulers. And, Americans have been so dumbed-down by the failed socialist, one world government indoctrination     education system that they actually believe this propaganda.) In fact, many Americans have even swallowed the myth of man-made global warming, which is nothing more than another creation of the world rulers to destroy the middle class in the Western world and turn everyone in the world (but them) to vassals; serfs subservient to the world ruling elite. After all, the masses were told that man-made global warming was true. It must be!  Their children were indoctrinated to believe that it is true. And anyone that does not agree with the state-sponsored lie is labeled a “resister” and must be shunned. (Some have even suggested executed, after getting Nuremberg-like trials, for man-made global warming deniers!)

Ben Franklin summarized the situation very well when he wrote “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” That was in the Pennsylvania Assembly: Reply to the Governor on November 11, 1755.  (1) http://franklinpapers.org/franklin/framedVolumes.jsp?vol=6&page=238a

The atrocity of 9-11 was too convenient. It provided the global rulers with the perfect excuse to institute a complete police state with everyone a criminal under constant, and illegal, surveillance until proven innocent. I am not suggesting that the rulers staged 9-11 as a false-flag event, but they were warned many times and ignored the warnings. Why? (For example, Able Danger warned of the threat, but those people were told to stand down. The US Embassy in Azerbaijan was told that al Qaeda was planning 9-11 in Iran, but that warning was deemed “not credible”. (2) We will probably never know just how involved, or uninvolved Iran was in the 9-11 attack, but it has been admitted by United States intelligence agencies, since 9-11, that Iran and al Qaeda did cooperate and co-exist in some operations and relationships.)

Many Americans have been deemed criminals, or suspected terrorists, with no way to know why or to correct the situation. Just look at all of the Americans, including some high government officials, that were put on “no-fly” lists. They were not only not terrorists, but they could not find out why they were on the list and could not be told how to get off the list! Whatever you may think about Edward Snowden, everyone in the previously civilized world owes him a debt of gratitude for exposing the extent and severity of the illegal surveillance being conducted by the United States government. Actually, I find it amusing that politicians like Angela Merkel pretend to be shocked that the NSA monitored her telephone calls! Hello?!? What did she think the NSA was doing?? The only reason for the existence of the NSA is to spy on foreigners; but not US citizens. (And, I’m sure the German equivalent of the NSA is at least trying to do the same to Obama’s communications; although probably not successfully.) But, the fact that the NSA is collecting information on all Americans should be a complete wake-up call to Americans.

But now, the security alarm has been raised again. Now, we are told, security must be stepped up at airports because “terrorists” may use bombs in laptops or even body cavities to blow up airplanes. Well, guess what, the only way to detect a bomb in the body is to perform an x-ray, or at least a digital cavity search! Forget about the “naked body scanners”; they will not detect explosives hidden up the anus, in the vagina, or surgically implanted in the body. And, trust me, I know since I helped to develop one of the “naked body scanners”, although not for the aviation security industry. And, the system that I helped to develop uses harmless microwaves; not potentially harmful x-rays as was the case for some airport “naked body scanners.” Furthermore, our system did not actually create an image; just data. (Anyone that claims that “naked body scanners” that use microwaves, as currently used at airports in the United States, are a health risk should be banned from owning a cellular phone because the exposure from the non-ionizing microwave energy from a cell phone over the course of a few hours, or a few seconds when in an actual call, is far more than the “exposure” from a microwave “naked body scanner” that uses the same non-ionizing microwave energy.)

So, we have the new terror threat. So, we are told that we must submit even more to moronic TSA screeners and put up with more and more security theatre. Never mind the point that far more people are killed every year in the United States from swimming pool accidents or bee stings than are killed by Muslims. And, the solution to Muslim terrorists is easy. Stop them from entering the country; stop them from flying. Problem solved. We know that while most Muslims are not terrorists, almost all terrorists are Muslims. So, just block them from travel into the United States. And, if you say that we cannot discriminate on the basis of religion; fine. Just stop people from predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States or flying on its airlines. That will accomplish the goal since once Islam becomes even a major minority in a country, the country rapidly becomes predominantly Muslim since non-Muslims can no longer bear living there under severe Muslim repression and intimidation. (I feel really sorry for the 1 Jew that supposedly still lived in Pakistan a few years ago. And, we see the wholesale slaughter of Christians that is happening today in many Muslim countries including Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. It is not paid attention to by the politically correct media, but it is happening.)

But also, lets not forget about the 2500 or more surface-to-air missiles that we gave al Qaeda and other Muslim groups in Libya when we helped them overthrow and kill Gaddafi in Libya. While Gaddafi was obviously not a good guy, he had eliminated his nuclear program after he saw what we had done to Saddam Hussein. (In fact, he, like Mubarak in Egypt and Hussein in Iraq, was helping to keep a lid on al Qaeda and other “extremist” Muslims. Gadaffi’s biggest mistake was probably that he was trying to develop an African Union that would have challenged the dominance of the United States in its hegemony in the area, and especially the monopoly of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Challenging the dollar was, I think, the reason for his downfall.) But, with these thousands of  SAMs, Muslims can bring down airlines whenever and wherever they want. They don’t need butt-bombs. Of course, since there is nothing the governments can do about SAMs (except to equip airlines with the same defenses that are used to equip Air Force 1 and most military airplanes), they use the boogie man of “terrorists” to force citizens into further humiliation when they want to travel), that threat is ignored.

And, as I write this, ISIS is about to attack and take over the al-Muthanna air base located just outside Baghdad. If they succeed in doing this, they will not only have the hundreds of modern, US made Humvees and APCs that they captured earlier, but 10 or 12 modern war planes. (As I’ve said other times, just how stupid are we to be arming Muslim nations like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and later Iraq?) So, my earlier predictions that weapons that we arm Muslims with will eventually be turned against us is actually happening in Iraq once we stupidly re-enter the fight. (What is not to like about the situation in Iraq and Syria where we have Muslims killing Muslims on a massive scale?)

So, when will civilized people say enough is enough? Will you allow TSA Cretans to perform a cavity examination on you? How about on your wife, girlfriend, or daughter. It is coming. If you object, I guess you are just a resister – an outlier that must be re-educated.

I, for one, am glad that I have a pilot’s license and don’t have to travel much. If I do have to start traveling, I will buy another plane and fly myself.

1) http://franklinpapers.org/franklin/framedVolumes.jsp?vol=6&page=238a

2) “Countdown To Crisis” by Kenneth Timmerman

$10K Challenge Further Shows That Man-Made Global Warming Is A Religion or Hoax

It has just come to my attention that a professor at Princeton has issued a $10,000 challenge to anyone who can prove that man-made global warming is a hoax. Wow! This is exactly like the many challenges that have been issue by Christian Apologists to prove that Christianity is not true. Of course, you can’t prove a negative. You can’t prove that there was no Jesus or that there is no God, anymore than you can prove that there is no flying reindeer named Rudolph or that there was no founder of Islam named Mohammed and his sock puppet named Allah!

So sad. As time goes on, and more and more people come to the realization that man-made global warming is a total, and extremely expensive, fraud, you still have Al Gore acolytes that try to propagate the dreams of the religious. And, the most disturbing aspect of it is that these people are costing us hundreds of billions of dollars a year; dollars that could be used in much better ways.

The Intrigue Lying Behind Iraq’s Jihadist Uprising

By Reva Bhalla

Events in Iraq over the past week were perhaps best crystallized in a series of photos produced by the jihadist group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Sensationally called The Destruction of Sykes-Picot, the pictures confirmed the group’s intent to upend nearly a century of history in the Middle East.

In a series of pictures set to a purring jihadist chant, the mouth of a bulldozer is shown bursting through an earthen berm forming Iraq’s northern border with Syria. Keffiyeh-wrapped rebels, drained by the hot sun, peer around the edges of the barrier to observe the results of their work. The breach they carved was just wide enough for the U.S.-made, Iraqi army-owned and now jihadist-purloined Humvees to pass through in single file. While a charter outlining an antiquated interpretation of Sharia was being disseminated in Mosul, #SykesPicotOver trended on jihadist Twitter feeds. From the point of view of Iraq’s jihadist celebrities, the 1916 borders drawn in secret by British and French imperialists represented by Sir Mark Sykes and Francois Georges-Picot to divide up Mesopotamia are not only irrelevant, they are destructible.

Today, the most ardent defenders of those colonial borders sit in Baghdad, Damascus, Ankara, Tehran and Riyadh while the Europeans and Americans, already fatigued by a decade of war in this part of the world, are desperately trying to sit this crisis out. The burden is on the regional players to prevent a jihadist mini-emirate from forming, and beneath that common purpose lies ample room for intrigue.
Turkey Searches for a Strategy

With the jihadist threat fanning out from Syria to Iraq, Turkey is struggling to insulate itself from the violence and to follow a strategic agenda in Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkey has forged an alliance with the Iraqi Kurdish leadership in a direct challenge to Baghdad’s authority. With the consent of Turkey’s energy minister and to the outrage of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, two tankers carrying a few million barrels of Kurdish crude left the Turkish port of Ceyhan in search of a buyer just as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant was ratcheting up its offensive. Upping the ante, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz announced June 16 that a third tanker would be loaded within the week. With al-Maliki now relying on Kurdish peshmerga support to fend off jihadists in the north, Ankara and Arbil have gained some leverage in their ongoing dispute with Baghdad over the distribution of energy revenue. But Turkey’s support for Iraqi Kurds also has limits.

Ankara had planned to use a tighter relationship with the Kurdistan Regional Government to exploit northern Iraq’s energy reserves and to manage Kurdish unrest within its own boundaries. However, Turkey never intended to underwrite Kurdish independence. And with Kirkuk now in Kurdish hands as a result of the jihadist surge, the largest oil field in northern Iraq stands ready to fuel Kurdish secessionist tendencies. Much to Turkey’s dismay, Kurdish militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the People’s Protection Units are already reinforcing peshmerga positions in northern Iraq. At the same time, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and its jihadist affiliates are holding 80 Turkish citizens hostage.

Turkey will thus enlarge its footprint in Mesopotamia, but not necessarily on its own terms. Some 1,500 to 2,000 Turkish forces have maintained a quiet presence in Iraqi Kurdistan. That force will likely expand now that Turkey has an array of threats to justify such a presence and a growing need to temper Kurdish ambitions. Iraq’s Kurdish leadership will be reminded of their deep distrust for Turkey but will also be overwhelmed by its own challenges, not least of which is Turkey’s main regional competitor, Iran.
Iran on the Defensive

Unnerved by Turkey’s increasingly assertive Kurdish policy and possibly in anticipation of the expanding jihadist threat sweeping Iraq’s Sunni belt, Iran over the past several months has been expanding its military presence along its northern border with Iraq. Tehran now finds itself in the uncomfortable position of having to reinforce its Shiite allies in Iraq militarily. Though Iran has perhaps the most sophisticated and extensive militant proxy network in the region to do the job, this strategy carries enormous risks.

Iran has spent recent years painstakingly trying to consolidate Shiite influence in Iraq under a central authority in Baghdad. Tehran was never wedded to al-Maliki in particular, but it did need to maintain a strong enough foothold in Baghdad to manage Iraq’s naturally fractious Shiite landscape. Employing Shiite militias enables Iran to reinforce the Iraqi army in a time of urgent need but risks undermining Iran’s long-term strategy to manage Iraq through a firm hand in Baghdad. The more empowered the militias and the weaker Baghdad becomes, the harder Iran will have to work to keep a lid on separatist moves in Iraq’s Shiite south.

The militants rampaging through Iraq’s core Sunni territories will embrace deeper Iranian involvement in the conflict. There is no better motivation for Arab Sunni fighters of various ideological stripes than a call to arms against their historical Persian foes and their Arab Shiite allies. An outpouring of sectarian blood feuds will also make it all the more difficult for Iraq’s Shiite government to recruit enough allies among Iraq’s Sunni population to fight against the jihadists. Indeed, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant would not have been able to mount its lightning surge across Iraq had it not been for the substantial support it has received from local Sunni tribes who in turn receive substantial support and guidance from sponsors in the Persian Gulf. Our attention thus turns to the Saudi royals sitting quietly in Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia Stirs the Pot

This has not been a good year for the Saudis. A Persian-American rapprochement is a living nightmare for the Sunni kingdom, as is the prospect of the United States becoming more self-sufficient in energy production. Saudi Arabia has little means to directly sabotage U.S.-Iranian negotiations. In fact, as we anticipated, the Saudis have had to swallow a bitter pill and open up their own dialogue with Iran. But the Saudis are also not without options to make life more difficult for Iran, and if Riyadh is going to be forced into a negotiation with Tehran, it will try to enter talks on its own terms.

Syria and Lebanon always make for useful proxy battlegrounds, though a Sunni rebellion has little chance of actually toppling the Iranian-backed regime in Damascus, and Lebanon is too fragmented for any one regional player to claim a decisive advantage. The contest has thus shifted back to Mesopotamia, where Iran cannot afford to see its Shiite gains slip and where Saudi Arabia — both the government and private citizens — has maintained strong ties with many of the Sunni tribes in Anbar and Mosul provinces that have facilitated the Sunni uprising. There is no love lost between the Saudis and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. In fact, the Saudis have branded it a terrorist organization and have even uncovered cells of the group on Saudi soil plotting against the kingdom.

But the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is also not the only group participating in the current offensive. Former Baathist fighters from the Naqshabandiyya Way along with Jaish al-Mujahideen and Jaish Ansar al-Sunnah are also playing a substantial role in the fighting. Most of the Sunni militias and the growing number of Awakening Council (Sunni fighters recruited by the United States to battle al Qaeda in Iraq) defectors joining these militias coordinate directly with the Majlis Thuwar al Anbar (Anbar insurgents’ council), which in turn coordinates with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant on a selective basis. Saudi Arabia’s acting intelligence chief, Yousef bin Ali al Idrisis, is believed to be in direct communication with the Majlis Thuwar al Anbar, affording Riyadh the opportunity to influence the shape of the battlefield — and thereby to aggravate Iran in a highly sensitive spot.

As a bonus for Saudi Arabia, even as the Sunni uprising is largely confined to Iraq’s Sunni belt and thus unlikely to seriously upset Iraq’s production and exports from the Shiite south, the price of Brent crude has climbed to $113 a barrel for the first time this year. Saudi Arabia is not the only one that welcomes this bump in the price of oil; Russia is quite pleased with the outcome in Iraq as well.
Revisiting a Mysterious Meeting in Sochi

Just days before the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-led offensive in Iraq, a quiet meeting took place at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vacation spot in Sochi on June 3. Putin invited Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal to see him and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who cut short an engagement in Moscow to get there on time. Details on the meeting are scarce. Our attempt to obtain information about the gathering from Russian and Saudi contacts resulted in scripted and strangely identical responses that claimed that Saudi Arabia and Russia were discussing a power-sharing resolution for Syria. The state-owned Saudi Press Agency then reported June 10 that Lavrov and al-Faisal had a follow-up phone conversation to discuss a Syrian settlement. Syria may well have been on the agenda, and Russia has an interest in protecting its influence in Damascus through a deal that keeps Syrian President Bashar al Assad in power, but we suspect there was more to these engagements.

Both Saudi Arabia and Russia share two key interests: undermining the U.S.-Iranian negotiating track and ensuring oil prices remain at a comfortable level, i.e., above $100 a barrel. There is little either can do to keep Iran and the United States from negotiating a settlement. In fact, the jihadist threat in Iraq creates another layer of cooperation between Iran and the United States. That said, Washington is now facing another major Middle Eastern maelstrom at the same time it has been anxiously trying to prove to itself and everyone else that the United States has bigger issues to deal with in other parts of the world, namely, in Russia’s backyard. Moreover, the United States and Turkey are not of one mind on how to manage Iraq at a time when Washington needs Ankara’s cooperation against Russia. If an Iraq-sized distraction buys Moscow time to manage its own periphery with limited U.S. interference, all the better for Putin. Meanwhile, if Saudi Arabia can weaken Iran and test U.S.-Iranian cooperation, it might well be worth the risk for Riyadh to try — at least for the time being.
A Lesson from History

Whether by mere coincidence, strategic design or a blend of the two, there are as many winners as there are losers in the Iraq game. Russia knows this game well. The United States, the heir to the Sykes-Picot map, will be forced to learn it fast.

When the French and British were colluding over the post-Ottoman map in 1916, czarist Russia quietly acquiesced as Paris and London divided up the territories. Just a year later, in 1917, the Soviets threw a strategic spanner into the Western agenda by publishing the Sykes-Picot agreement, planting the seeds for Arab insurrection and thus ensuring that Europe’s imperialist rule over the Middle East would be anything but easy. The U.S. administration recognizes the trap that has been laid. But more mindful of the region’s history this time around, Washington will likely leave it to the regional players to absorb most of the risk.

The Intrigue Lying Behind Iraq's Jihadist Uprising is republished with permission of Stratfor.”