ltmurnau: (CX)
Okay, I can't seem to place two lists of things next to each other in an LJ entry, but here's a comparison of the deeds and official treatments of cop-killer Bourque and soldier-killer Zehaf-Bibeau.

Read more... )

Links to the two newspaper stories, in the same paper on the same day, that prompted this post:

What do these incidents share?
How are they different?
Which one is/was the greater threat to Canada?

Anyway, just putting this here for now, no answers or rhetorical flourishes....

Meanwhile, we've started arresting mouthy senile angry old men:

The arrest of a 70-year-old man who made threats against the B.C. legislature while on a ferry underscores the challenge police face, in the wake of the Ottawa and Quebec attacks on soldiers, to determine if such statements pose real dangers or are merely empty threats.

...a man on the 7 a.m. ferry from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay was heard making reference to the Ottawa attacks, followed by threats against the B.C. legislature. The man was not physically violent and did not have any weapons.

B.C. Ferries staff called Sidney/North Saanich RCMP at 8:19 a.m. Thursday and kept the man in a secluded area of the vessel, said Island district RCMP spokesman Cpl. Darren Lagan. Mounties boarded the ferry at 8:35 a.m. and arrested the man. “Throughout the day, investigators undertook a full investigation and assessment of the man’s actions, and determined he posed no threat to public safety,” Lagan said, citing existing mental-health issues as a significant factor.

Lagan said the man was released from police custody later in the day, after mental-health professionals became involved. He will not face any charges.

A second man who was set to meet the older man was also detained and questioned. He co-operated and was released without charge.
ltmurnau: (Default)
From the NY Times Magazine. Yes, America's possible RepubliTeaLibertarian future is probably more like Pakistan then Somalia, but never mind, there'll be enough misery for lots more people:

Read more... )

And this, from the Washington Post, in continuation of another article I posted several years ago... ( Shouldn't the Department of Homeland Security focus on what's going on IN the Homeland, as well as what's trying to get into it?

Read more... )

Yeah, it's always The Other... but what kind of Other? And why on earth would a government department worry about civil liberty issues, when practically all such are surrendered on a daily basis by millions of Americans, to no particular purpose?
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This signed editorial from today's T-C says what I was thinking, only better. It's not exactly news, to people who have been reading the news, and IMIO Canada has slightly retreated in recent years from being "this most civilized of nations", but it needs to be said once in a while, to remind us of where we came from.

Editorial: Torture, WikiLeaks and our lost sanity

By Dan Gardner, Times Colonist December 7, 2010 6:48 AM

Last week, in response to a question from the opposition, a minister of the Crown stood in the House of Commons and assured the honourable members that neither he nor the prime minister of Canada advocates the murder of Julian Assange.

How is it possible that in this most civilized of nations, in 2010, a member of Parliament felt the need to raise the matter?

And while we're asking rhetorical questions that would not need to be asked in a sane world, how is it possible that the Republican party has so completely embraced aggression and brutality that almost all its leading figures feel the near-drowning of suspects is a valid interrogation technique and imprisonment without charge or trial is a legitimate practice that should be expanded?

Why is it that most people in the United States and elsewhere are not disturbed in the slightest that, despite abundant evidence, American officials who apparently committed heinous crimes in the war on terror will not be investigated and held to account, while WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who apparently did nothing illegal, is hunted to the ends of the Earth?

And how in hell is it possible that when a former U.S. president admits he authorized torture -- which is to say, he admits he committed a major crime -- the international media and political classes express not a fraction of the anger they are now directing at the man who leaked the secrets of that president's administration?

I marvel at that paragraph. It would have been inconceivable even 10 years ago. Murder treated as a legitimate option in political discourse? Torture as acceptable government policy? No, impossible. A decade ago, it would have been satire too crude to be funny.

And yet, here we are. The question in the Commons was prompted by the televised comments of Tom Flanagan, political scientist and former chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. "I think Assange should be assassinated, actually," Flanagan said last Tuesday.

This was the hard-right laid bare. The day before, Sarah Palin said much the same. Explicitly or implicitly, so did many others.

Happily for the cause of decency, sanity and civilization, Flanagan apologized for his comments. Less happily, the others did not.

It started on Sept. 11, 2001. We were frightened. We were prepared to think the unthinkable, to accept what had been rejected, in the name of security. What was it Ben Franklin said about those who would trade liberty for security? We couldn't remember.

It was small stuff at first. There was talk of "stress-and-duress" interrogation techniques. It's only sleep deprivation and a little pain, we were told. It's not torture.

Incarceration without charge or trial. Kidnapping. "Enhanced interrogation." Detainee deaths. We learned more and more but cared less and less.

A 2009 Pew poll found half of Americans think torture is "often" or "sometimes" justified when interrogating terrorists. Another 22 per cent say it's "rarely" the right thing to do. Only one-quarter say it's always wrong.

Critics now call the Republicans the "party of torture" for good reason. Dick Cheney's bizarre and legally absurd claim that the near-drowning of prisoners -- "waterboarding" -- is acceptable because it isn't torture is now dogma among leading Republicans who either don't know or don't care that this and other policies they advocate would be deemed major crimes by any court in the civilized world.

Then along comes George W. Bush with a memoir and the boast that "damn right" he had authorized waterboarding. Waterboarding is torture. Torture is a major crime. Bush freely admitted it.

And the Convention Against Torture requires authorities everywhere to investigate and prosecute "wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed."

Which they refuse to do. And most people are just fine with that. Stuff the law.

Now, contrast this with Assange. One can argue -- as I would -- that Assange is an irresponsible zealot. One can also argue that there should be a law forbidding what he did. But there isn't. Legal analysts have looked hard but it seems that what Assange did wasn't a crime.

And a lot of people want the U.S. government to murder him.

I suppose, if I were considerably more cynical, and liked crude satire, it would be funny. But all it makes me feel is a vague sadness for something that has been lost.

© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist


And something from Julian Assange himself, writing to The Australian, a national paper Down Under. Nice swipe at Rupert Murdoch, too:

Don't shoot messenger for revealing uncomfortable truths
Julian Assange
From: The Australian December 08, 2010

WIKILEAKS deserves protection, not threats and attacks.

IN 1958 a young Rupert Murdoch, then owner and editor of Adelaide's The News, wrote: "In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win."

His observation perhaps reflected his father Keith Murdoch's expose that Australian troops were being needlessly sacrificed by incompetent British commanders on the shores of Gallipoli. The British tried to shut him up but Keith Murdoch would not be silenced and his efforts led to the termination of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign.

Nearly a century later, WikiLeaks is also fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public.

I grew up in a Queensland country town where people spoke their minds bluntly. They distrusted big government as something that could be corrupted if not watched carefully. The dark days of corruption in the Queensland government before the Fitzgerald inquiry are testimony to what happens when the politicians gag the media from reporting the truth.

These things have stayed with me. WikiLeaks was created around these core values. The idea, conceived in Australia, was to use internet technologies in new ways to report the truth.

WikiLeaks coined a new type of journalism: scientific journalism. We work with other media outlets to bring people the news, but also to prove it is true. Scientific journalism allows you to read a news story, then to click online to see the original document it is based on. That way you can judge for yourself: Is the story true? Did the journalist report it accurately?

Democratic societies need a strong media and WikiLeaks is part of that media. The media helps keep government honest. WikiLeaks has revealed some hard truths about the Iraq and Afghan wars, and broken stories about corporate corruption.

People have said I am anti-war: for the record, I am not. Sometimes nations need to go to war, and there are just wars. But there is nothing more wrong than a government lying to its people about those wars, then asking these same citizens to put their lives and their taxes on the line for those lies. If a war is justified, then tell the truth and the people will decide whether to support it.

If you have read any of the Afghan or Iraq war logs, any of the US embassy cables or any of the stories about the things WikiLeaks has reported, consider how important it is for all media to be able to report these things freely.

WikiLeaks is not the only publisher of the US embassy cables. Other media outlets, including Britain's The Guardian, The New York Times, El Pais in Spain and Der Spiegel in Germany have published the same redacted cables.

Yet it is WikiLeaks, as the co-ordinator of these other groups, that has copped the most vicious attacks and accusations from the US government and its acolytes. I have been accused of treason, even though I am an Australian, not a US, citizen. There have been dozens of serious calls in the US for me to be "taken out" by US special forces. Sarah Palin says I should be "hunted down like Osama bin Laden", a Republican bill sits before the US Senate seeking to have me declared a "transnational threat" and disposed of accordingly. An adviser to the Canadian Prime Minister's office has called on national television for me to be assassinated. An American blogger has called for my 20-year-old son, here in Australia, to be kidnapped and harmed for no other reason than to get at me.

And Australians should observe with no pride the disgraceful pandering to these sentiments by Julia Gillard and her government. The powers of the Australian government appear to be fully at the disposal of the US as to whether to cancel my Australian passport, or to spy on or harass WikiLeaks supporters. The Australian Attorney-General is doing everything he can to help a US investigation clearly directed at framing Australian citizens and shipping them to the US.

Prime Minister Gillard and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have not had a word of criticism for the other media organisations. That is because The Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel are old and large, while WikiLeaks is as yet young and small.

We are the underdogs. The Gillard government is trying to shoot the messenger because it doesn't want the truth revealed, including information about its own diplomatic and political dealings.

Has there been any response from the Australian government to the numerous public threats of violence against me and other WikiLeaks personnel? One might have thought an Australian prime minister would be defending her citizens against such things, but there have only been wholly unsubstantiated claims of illegality. The Prime Minister and especially the Attorney-General are meant to carry out their duties with dignity and above the fray. Rest assured, these two mean to save their own skins. They will not.

Every time WikiLeaks publishes the truth about abuses committed by US agencies, Australian politicians chant a provably false chorus with the State Department: "You'll risk lives! National security! You'll endanger troops!" Then they say there is nothing of importance in what WikiLeaks publishes. It can't be both. Which is it?

It is neither. WikiLeaks has a four-year publishing history. During that time we have changed whole governments, but not a single person, as far as anyone is aware, has been harmed. But the US, with Australian government connivance, has killed thousands in the past few months alone.

US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates admitted in a letter to the US congress that no sensitive intelligence sources or methods had been compromised by the Afghan war logs disclosure. The Pentagon stated there was no evidence the WikiLeaks reports had led to anyone being harmed in Afghanistan. NATO in Kabul told CNN it couldn't find a single person who needed protecting. The Australian Department of Defence said the same. No Australian troops or sources have been hurt by anything we have published.

But our publications have been far from unimportant. The US diplomatic cables reveal some startling facts:

► The US asked its diplomats to steal personal human material and information from UN officials and human rights groups, including DNA, fingerprints, iris scans, credit card numbers, internet passwords and ID photos, in violation of international treaties. Presumably Australian UN diplomats may be targeted, too.

► King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia asked the US to attack Iran.

► Officials in Jordan and Bahrain want Iran's nuclear program stopped by any means available.

► Britain's Iraq inquiry was fixed to protect "US interests".

► Sweden is a covert member of NATO and US intelligence sharing is kept from parliament.

► The US is playing hardball to get other countries to take freed detainees from Guantanamo Bay. Barack Obama agreed to meet the Slovenian President only if Slovenia took a prisoner. Our Pacific neighbour Kiribati was offered millions of dollars to accept detainees.

In its landmark ruling in the Pentagon Papers case, the US Supreme Court said "only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government". The swirling storm around WikiLeaks today reinforces the need to defend the right of all media to reveal the truth.

Julian Assange is the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks.

ltmurnau: (Default)
And I'm not talking about that stupid "teabag party" thing either (honestly, did no one know about the associations of that word? This is as bad as the time the Conservative Party wanted to call itself the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance Party, of CCRAP).

From the Department of Homeland Security, a new report on the growth of rightwing extremist organisations and a threat assessment:
or here

Associated Press News (April 16/09) says that "in September 08, the agency highlighted how right-wing extremists over the past five years have used the immigration debate as a recruiting tool. Between September 2008 and Feb. 5/09, the DHS issued at least four reports, obtained by The Associated Press, on individual extremist groups such as the Moors, Vinlanders Social Club, Volksfront and Hammerskin Nation."

There are also hundreds of instances documented by the FBI of veterans joining extremist groups - not in large numbers overall, but in leadership positions ( : this is from July 08). The Department of Defense also did an internal investigation in 2006 of penetration of the military by racist gangs and skinheads. Though I would think actually one good way to get those stupid ideas about "mud races" knocked out of your head is to train, take orders from, and go on patrol with a few of them - which is how the US Army became, by the early 1960s, one of the most integrated organizations in American society.
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Certainly it is now common knowledge that Glenn Beck is Losing It Big-Time, but I missed this segment of his show that aired in February 09 where they more or less fantasize about insurrection against their own duly elected government.

Didn't you ever wonder what had happened to the militia movement, who used to supply all the stock bad guys and wackos for the crime shows back in the Clinton Years?

Sunday Feb. 22, 2009 07:36 EST
Fox News "war games" the coming civil war

Read more... )
Link with other links and references:

More on Glenn Beck, Fox News and conspiracies:
ltmurnau: (Default)
The US military came out with FM 3-24, "Counterinsurgency", late last year. It is a different manual in that it is not written in the usual style, it incorporated input from social scientists, and it has an annotated bibliography - this last is a first.

Here is the reading list, starting with the canonical works. My comments are offered in [italics]

The Classics

Calwell, Charles E. Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1996. (Reprint of Small Wars: A Tactical Textbook for Imperial Soldiers [London: Greenhill Books, 1890]. A British major general who fought in small wars in Afghanistan and the Boer War provides lessons learned that remain applicable today.)

Galula, David. Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice. London: Praeger, 1964. (Lessons derived from the author's observation of insurgency and counterinsurgency in Greece, China, and Algeria.) [Galula's work is very au courant right now, after sitting on the shelf for almost 40 years.]

Gurr, Ted Robert. Why Men Rebel. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1971. (Describes the relative deprivation theory, which states that unmet expectations motivate those who join rebel movements.)

Hoffer, Eric. The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2002. (This book, originally published in 1951, explains why people become members of cults and similar groups.)

Horne, Alistair. A Savage War of Peace. New York: Viking, 1977. (One of the best analyses of the approaches and problems on both sides during the war in Algeria. For more on this conflict, see The Battle of Algiers, a troubling and instructive 1966 movie.) [Excellent history, excellent movie.]

Jeapes, Tony. SAS Secret War. London: Greenhill Books, 2005. (How the British Special Air Ser­vice raised and employed irregular tribal forces to counter a communist insurgency in Oman during the 1960s and 1970s.)

Kitson, Frank. Low Intensity Operations: Subversion, Insurgency and Peacekeeping. London: Faber and Faber, 1971. (Explanation of the British school of counterinsurgency from one of its best practitioners.)

Komer, Robert. Bureaucracy Does Its Thing: Institutional Constraints on U.S.-GVN Performance in Vietnam. Washington, D.C.: RAND, 1972. Rand Corporation Web site < > (Bureaucracies do what they do—even if they lose the war.)

Larteguy, Jean. The Centurions. New York: Dutton, 1962. (A fact-based novel about the French experience in Vietnam and Algeria that depicts the leadership and ethical dilemmas involved in counterinsurgency. The sequel The Praetorians is also a classic depiction of the impact of ethical erosion on a military organization.) [Good novel, they made a not-great moview out of it with Anthony Quinn called Lost Command. I do not think The Praetorians is available in English.]

Lawrence, T.E. Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph. New York: Anchor, 1991. (Reprint of 1917 book published in London by George Doran. Autobiographical account of Lawrence of Arabia's attempts to organize Arab nationalism during World War I.)

———. "The 27 Articles of T.E. Lawrence." The Arab Bulletin (20 Aug 1917). Defense and the National Interest Web site < > (Much of the best of Seven Pillars of Wisdom in easily digestible bullet points.)

Linn, Brian McAllister. The Philippine War, 1899–1902. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2002. (The definitive treatment of successful U.S. counterinsurgency operations in the Philippines.)

Mao Zedong. On Guerrilla Warfare. London: Cassell, 1965. (Mao describes the principles which he used so well in seizing power in China and which have inspired many imitators.)

McCuen, John J. The Art of Counter-Revolutionary War. St. Petersburg, FL: Hailer Publishing, 2005. (Originally published by Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1966. Discusses theory, practice, and historical keys to victory.) [This is an interesting interpretation of CRW experiences to the date of its writing.]

Race, Jeffrey. War Comes to Long An: Revolutionary Conflict in a Vietnamese Province. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1972. (Counterinsurgency is scalable. Depicts the evolution of insurgency in one province in Vietnam.)

Thompson, Robert. Defeating Communist Insurgency. St. Petersburg, FL: Hailer Publishing, 2005. (Written in 1966. Provides lessons from the author's counterinsurgency experience in Malaya and Vietnam.)

Trinquier, Roger. Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency. New York: Praeger, 1964. (The French school of counterinsurgency with a focus on "whatever means necessary.")

United States Marine Corps. Small Wars Manual. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1987. Air War College Gateway to the Internet Web site < > (This book, originally published in 1940, covers lessons learned from the Corps' experience in the interwar years.)

West, Bing. The Village. New York: Pocket Books, 1972. (A first-person account of military advisors embedded with Vietnamese units.)

Overviews and Special Subjects in Counterinsurgency

Asprey, Robert. War in the Shadows: The Guerrilla in History. 2 vols. New York: William Morrow, 1994. (First published in 1975. Presents the history of guerrilla war from ancient Persia to modern Afghanistan.) [Very thick and very detailed.]

Baker, Ralph O. "The Decisive Weapon: A Brigade Combat Team Commander's Perspective on Information Operations." Military Review 86, 3 (May-Jun 2006), 13–32. (A brigade combat team commander in Iraq in 2003–2004 gives his perspective on information operations.)

Corum, James and Wray Johnson. Airpower in Small Wars: Fighting Insurgents and Terrorists. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2003. (Depicts uses and limits of airpower and technology in counterinsurgency.)

Davidson, Phillip. Secrets of the Vietnam War. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1990. (MACV commander General Westmoreland's intelligence officer provides an insightful analysis of the intricacies of the North Vietnamese strategy of dau tranh ["the struggle"].)

Ellis, John. From the Barrel of a Gun: A History of Guerrilla, Revolutionary, and Counter-insurgency Warfare from the Romans to the Present. London: Greenhill, 1995. (A comprehensive short overview of counterinsurgency.)

Hammes, T.X. The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century. Osceola, WI: Zenith Press, 2004. (The future of warfare for the West is insurgency and terror according to a Marine with Operation Iraqi Freedom experience.) [Recommended.]

Krepinevich, Andrew Jr. The Army and Vietnam. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986. (Argues that the Army never adapted to the insurgency in Vietnam, preferring to fight the war as a conventional conflict with an emphasis on firepower.)

Merom, Gil. How Democracies Lose Small Wars: State, Society, and the Failures of France in Algeria, Israel in Lebanon, and the United States in Vietnam. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. (Examines the cases of Algeria, Lebanon, and Vietnam. Determines that great powers lose small wars when they lose public support at home.)

Nagl, John A. Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005. (How to learn to defeat an insurgency. Foreword by Peter J. Schoomaker.) [Another recommended work, by one of the authors of FM 3-24.]

O'Neill, Bard E. Insurgency and Terrorism: From Revolution to Apocalypse. Dulles, VA: Potomac Books, 2005. (A framework for analyzing insurgency operations and a good first book in insurgency studies.) [Recommended.]

Sepp, Kalev I. "Best Practices in Counterinsurgency." Military Review 85, 3 (May-Jun 2005), 8–12. (Historical best practices for success in counterinsurgency.)

Shy, John and Thomas W. Collier. "Revolutionary War" in Peter Paret, ed. Makers of Modern Strategy: From Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 1986. (One of the best overview of the various counterinsurgency schools, discussing both the writings and the contexts in which they were developed.)

Sorley, Lewis. A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam. New York: Harvest/HBJ, 2000. (Describes the impact of General Creighton Abrams on the conduct of the war in South Vietnam. While he improved unity of effort in counterinsurgency, the North Vietnamese were successfully focusing on facilitating American withdrawal by targeting will in the United States.)

Taber, Robert. War of the Flea: The Classic Study of Guerrilla Warfare. Dulles, VA: Potomac Books, 2002. (Explains the advantages of the insurgent and how to overcome them.)

Contemporary Experiences and the War on Terrorism

Alwin-Foster, Nigel R.F. "Changing the Army for Counterinsurgency Operations." Military Review 85, 6 (Nov-Dec 2005), 2–15. (A provocative look at U.S. counterinsurgency operations in Iraq in 2003-2004 from a British practitioner.)

Barno, David W. "Challenges in Fighting a Global Insurgency." Parameters 36, 2 (Summer 2006), 15–29. (Observations from a three-star commander in Afghanistan.)

Chiarelli, Peter W. and Patrick R. Michaelis. "Winning the Peace: The Requirement for Full-Spectrum Operations," Military Review 85, 4 (Jul-Aug 2005), 4–17. (The commander of Task Force Baghdad in 2004 describes his lessons learned.)

Collins, Joseph J. "Afghanistan: Winning a Three Block War." The Journal of Conflict Studies 24, 2 (Winter 2004), 61–77. (The former deputy assistant secretary of defense for stability operations provides his views on achieving success in Afghanistan.)

Crane, Conrad and W. Andrew Terrill. Reconstructing Iraq: Insights, Challenges, and Missions for Military Forces in a Post-conflict Scenario. Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College, 2003. < > (Prescient look at the demands of rebuilding a state after changing a regime.) [Conrad Cran presented on FM 3-24 at the December MORS meeting I went to, and he was pretty impressive.]

Filkins, Dexter. "What the War Did to Colonel Sassaman." The New York Times Magazine (23 Oct 2005), 92. (Case study of a talented 4th Infantry Division battalion commander in Iraq in 2003-2004 who made some questionable ethical decisions that ended his career.)

Gunaratna, Rohan. Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror. Berkeley, CA: University of Berkeley Press, 2003. (The story behind the rise of the transnational insurgency.)

Hoffman, Bruce. Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Iraq. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2004. Rand Corporation Web site < > (Analysis of America's efforts in Iraq in 2003 informed by good history and theory.)

Kepel, Gilles. The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2004. (A French explanation for the rise of Islamic extremism with suggestions for defeating it.)

Kilcullen, David. "Countering Global Insurgency: A Strategy for the War on Terrorism." Journal of Strategic Studies 28, 4 (Aug 2005), 597–617. (Describes the war on terrorism as a counterinsurgency campaign.) [Kilcullen was a LCOL in the Australian Army and now advises the American military. I've read all these articles and they are excellent.]

———. "'Twenty-Eight Articles': Fundamentals of Company-level Counterinsurgency." Military Review 86, 3 (May-Jun 2006), 103–108. (Australian counterinsurgent prescribes actions for captains in counterinsurgency campaigns.)

———. "Counterinsurgency Redux," Survival 48, 4 (Winter 2006-2007), 111–130. (Discusses insurgency's evolution from the classic Maoist form to the modern transnational, shifting coalitions that challenge the United States today.)

Lewis, Bernard. The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror. New York: Modern Library, 2003. (A controversial but important analysis of the philosophical origins of transnational insurgency.)

McFate, Montgomery. "Iraq: The Social Context of IEDs." Military Review 85, 3 (May-Jun 2005), 37–40. (The insurgents' best weapon doesn't grow next to roads—it's constructed and planted there. Understanding who does that, and why, helps defeat improvised explosive devices.)

Metz, Steven and Raymond Millen, Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in the 21st Century: Reconceptualizing Threat and Response. Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College, 2004. (Longtime scholars of counterinsurgency put the war on terrorism in historical context.)

Multi-national Force–Iraq. "Counterinsurgency Handbook," 1st ed. Camp Taji, Iraq: Counterinsurgency Center for Excellence, May, 2006. (Designed to help leaders at all levels conduct counterinsurgency operations but focused at the company, platoon, and squad levels. Contains a variety of principles, considerations, and checklists.)

Packer, George. The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005. (A journalist for The New Yorker talks to Iraqis and Americans about Operation Iraqi Freedom.)

———. "The Lesson of Tal Afar: Is It Too Late for the Administration to Correct Its Course in Iraq?" The New Yorker (10 Apr 2006), 48–65. (The 2005 success of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment with the clear-hold-build tactic in Tal Afar.)

Petraeus, David. "Learning Counterinsurgency: Observations from Soldiering in Iraq." Military Review 86, 1 (Jan-Feb 2006), 2–12. (Commander of the 101st and Multinational Security Transition Command–Iraq passes on his personal lessons learned from two years in Iraq.)

Sageman, Marc. Understanding Terror Networks. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004. (A former foreign service with Afghanistan experience explains the motivation of terrorists—not deprivation, but the need to belong.)
ltmurnau: (Default)
Blip back to

It appears I'm perhaps not so loopy after all...or at least that I'm in better-researched company than I thought.

Will the 2004 Election Be Called Off? Why Three Out of Four Experts Predict a Terrorist Attack by November

Don't say I didn't warn you! ('cause I didn't)
ltmurnau: (Default)
A moderately interesting weekend, though not enough sleep.

Friday night Betty and I went to the Village. I found a black jacket and three neat videos:

The Bat with Vincent Price, coolest guy in the world, and Agnes Moorehead
The Fall of the House of Usher, even more Vincent Price (coolest guy in the world) and
The Satanic Rites of Dracula Christopher Lee as the head bloodsucker trying to work out a strain of bubonic plague that will off everyone in 1972 swinging London, Peter Cushing is trying to stop him.

After a slice we went to see The Fog of War, I highly recommend it. Good history. McNamara is allowed to say his piece, and while Errol Morris does his best to counter what he's saying with carefully selected images of horror and suffering and his occasional strident questions, (uttered off-camera in this something-pinched-inside voice that reminded me of an upset Preston Manning) I still came away thinking it was pretty balanced.

Saturday my Mom came over and we went out to get some topsoil and doughnuts. Fixed up the side bed where I've planted the strawberries and the front bed where I planted this year's first batch of poppies. It was a sunny windy day so Aki and I went to the school yard to fly a kite. First time he'd ever flown a kite - I hadn't flown one since I was his age! It was lots of fun and he was delighted with it.

Saturday night was movie night - I got a bunch of videos from Pic-a-Flic and we saw:

Tales of Terror with Vincent Price, (did I mention hw was the coolest guy in the world?). A-and Peter Lorre as a drunk!
The Omega Man with Charlton Heston, it wasn't as good as I remembered it, too early-70s by half. Could have been some great satire there, but no.
Island of Lost Souls Not bad! "Are we not men?"
Suspiria Icky-violent, not nearly as scary as I'd been led to believe. But I was quite tired and kept dozing off. Sent Aki to bed after the first murder.
Lair of the White Worm Ditto for this, found Hugh Grant kind of distracting. But Amanda Donohue was all right, esp. with her hirsute axillae.
A Walk in the Sun Not a bad war film, marred by the infrequent "ballads" wedged into the film by a voiceover baritone, like turds poked into the top of an otherwise agreeable cheesecake.
The Red Badge of Courage with Audie Murphy - a good adaptation of the book; Aki had really enjoyed the book when we read it and liked the film.

Sunday I mowed the lawns and as much of the garden as I could reach. I like mowing the garden, the spinach and garlic that's overwintered makes that corner of the yard smell like an enormous Caesar salad when I cut it. Sunday night we played Vinci, not a bad game that takes a bit of planning and is over before it goes on too long. Also taught Aki to play Attila, haven't quite figured that one out yet.

Warning: Vote call raises terror risk )
What a pity this excuse can't be trotted out as one to cancel the American elections "for the duration of the present emergency", thus installing Shrub as Maximum Leader for Life. But I'm sure they've looked into it....


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