Monday, February 25, 2008

Preventing World War III

The probability of WMD being deployed successfully by an Islamic terrorist organization is almost a certainty. For only the 2nd time in all of recorded history, we are witnessing repeated suicide attack as a weapon of war. The previous check that held back others who were able to use nuclear weapons was the ability of the other side to utterly destroy them in retaliation. (MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction)

This check is not present when dealing with Islamic terrorist organizations. If they ever obtain WMD, it is almost a certainty that they will deploy them, probably immediately. With the endurance of Islamic terrorist organizations and their ability to adapt and mutate, this can only be a matter of time. When this event occurs, the response will probably depend upon how many WMD were deployed. If this were to be a singular event, the response can probably be restrained to conventional warfare methodology. If many were deployed, a nuclear response becomes much more likely, closely followed by massive conventional warfare. The trick is how the hell do we prevent this from happening?

Some points to keep in mind:

1) Time is limited. We may have years, but probably not decades. We probably do not have the time to pursue each terrorist organization individually. We need to study the ideology that is behind their actions. This will allow us to address the ideology that is present within the population that supports them.

2) This is a classic guerrilla war. The war is basically pitting irregular troops against multiple enemies: a) civilian police b) military of various governments. We need to recognize that in guerrilla war, conventional forces have the advantages of: a) number of troops b) better training c) much better resources, both in quality and quantity. This is in reference to the military, not the civilian police.

3) Greater amount of combat is to the advantage of the conventional side. Better weapons and firepower along with greater numbers and resources are used to the best effect if combat is more frequent than the guerrilla side can maintain. In this case, they will be limited in their ability to initiate additional combat that would be more to their advantage. This can be accomplished in several ways: a) strategic initiative. Part 1 is by placing the conventional forces into a position where the irregular forces MUST attack them; frequency of combat will then be increased. Part 2 is by engaging the guerrilla forces in an uneven match to draw their forces away from where the ideology is established and supportive of the guerrilla forces. The ideology can then be effectively changed. In other words, the guerrilla side can’t be everywhere. They are outnumbered, so the base of support can be attacked. Militarily and culturally. b) Operational initiative. Changing the governments that are active supporters of the ideology that supports the guerrilla side. In this process, the educational and economic systems of that area are also changed. c) Tactically. This means killing and capturing them, both in defense whenever they attack and by intelligence that leads to our ability to launch attacks of our own.

4) The worst enemy of the occupied is not the occupier. It is the population of the occupied that is working with the occupier. In Iraq, this is the population that is working with us. They are Apostates and will be killed when the ‘enemy’ gets their hands upon them. We must help them be effective. We must enable them to both defend themselves and attack the ‘enemy’ within.

Historically, warfare tends to speed up change. This is particularly true of modern warfare. The ebb and flow of armies tends to speed up the interchange of cultures. The stress on the economies tends to force change within means of production. This applies to all aspects of production, not just weapons and munitions. Food, communication and transportation are all are impacted. Occupation tends to force the different cultures to interact, even if not on favorable terms. Changing the economic and educational systems will enable the changes to become much more long term.

Many people will disagree, but we are winning the war. The cultural changes going on in Gaza and the Palestinian territories are nothing short of huge. The Arabs themselves will tell us that if you can resolve the Palestinian-Israeli problem, Islamic global terrorism will end. We are seeing an erosion of the classic Islamic electoral policy of ‘One man (Men only) One vote, once’. We are also seeing self-criticism growing, and the individuals are not being killed. The Arab world has great difficulty with this concept. Overcoming this is a major cultural step. We are seeing the beginnings of responsible self-government. ‘Authentic’ Islam is losing its hold. True, we have and will be creating new enemies. This is common to all wars. The point is that the civil war IS deciding which ‘authentic’ Islamic laws must be ignored. Western influence is helping to point the way. Unfortunately, much remains.

It is imperative that conventional warfare continues in Iraq and Afghanistan. The match up favors the conventional side in an environment that is idea for conventional forces. (Desert in Iraq) The ‘occupation’ must continue until all Islam accepts that other factors are more important in triggering the killing of ‘occupiers’ than the fact that the ‘occupier’ is non-Muslim. The people who are willing to kill our soldiers must continue to be drawn into an environment of our choosing and our advantage. It is unlikely that just continuing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be enough. Eventually, the governments of Syria and Iran must go. This will trigger new wars and create new ‘enemies’. The nukes in Pakistan must be watched. If the Musharraf government is toppled and an Islamic government takes over, a full-scale attack on the nuclear facilities will likely become a necessity. In any case, state-sponsored terrorism must end. And it must end sooner than later. We don’t have time on our side.

It is unlikely that the U.S. has enough political will to obtain regime change in Iran and Syria. The problem of Pakistan will most likely get worse before it gets better. Two Red flags to watch for:
1) The fall of the Musharraf government followed by installation of an Islamic government.
2) The fall of Baghdad. Change of Iraqi government to Islamic ‘authentic’ governance.

If these two events come to pass (It may only take event #1) then WATCH OUT. The war will most likely take a major step up in the level of violence. This may not occur immediately. More time than we might otherwise expect may pass before the violence of the war goes up. (The calm before the storm)

In any case, it is most likely that this war will increase in violence before it ends. This is common in warfare and I don’t see any reasons why this one may be any different. In the case of eventual U.S. success, it will increase because of U.S. actions. Taking out additional governments and/or the nukes in Pakistan will necessitate additional conventional ‘fronts’ or theaters in this war. This will mean additional combat, above the current rate. How the U.S. will be able to sustain this remains a question. This is unlikely.

More likely is the case of U.S. failure to change enough of the culture in time. In this case, the enemy will up the ante with the successful deployment of WMD. It will then become impossible to contain the war at its current level. The overall point is that we had better get used to the idea that this war is going to become larger. We can choose to do so on our terms, or we can have the terms dictated to us by our enemy. This is a feature that is common in warfare.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Size of the war

It continues to amaze me how small the war is. By ‘the’ war, I am referring to the civil war that is taking place within Islam. This includes far more than the warfare that is taking place within Iraq and Afghanistan. I have repeatedly written about some of the ‘authentic’ laws of Islam and how they are contributing to the Civil war and the constant violence wherever Islam is making intimate contact with other cultures. The war is irregular and widespread. However, considering the size of the populations involved, remarkably small.

Not all Muslims are strict followers of the Islamic legal system. Like other religions and cultures, Islam has its share of ‘moderates’. However, Islam discourages moderation. Moderation is very difficult because of the precise nature of the ‘laws’. It is hard to moderate ‘the penalty for leaving Islam is death’. You either enforce the law, or you do not. As a result, the percentage of so-called ‘moderates‘ within the population can be expected to be smaller than in other cultures than encourage moderation. The ‘extremists’ that we hear so much about are people who want to enforce most, if not all of the ‘authentic’ laws. The term ‘extremist’ implies that only a small percentage desires this. Due to the general inflexibility of these ‘authentic’ Islamic laws, this percentage can be expected to be higher in this culture than what we would see in other, more moderate environments. Top this off with the fact that Islam numbers 1.1 BILLION people. Even a very small percentage, say 1% would number 11 million ‘extremists’. By itself, this is a large pool for an army. Evidence indicates a much higher percentage of Muslims favor efforts to implement more ‘authentic’ Islam. This is evident throughout the world, even in places where Islam is a very small minority. In places where Islam is making contact with other cultures, riots and violence are commonplace. Generally, some ‘insult’ of Mohammed or some ruling where Islamic law is ignored triggers the riots. These tend to be in areas where Islam is not an overwhelming percentage of the population. The problems are not so much the ‘religion’ as the legal systems each are based upon.

The authentic Islamic laws that I have pointed out (And many more that I have not) are in direct conflict with our own legal system. Many are hostile to all infidels, which is to say the rest of the world. In a way that is similar to slavery, these conflicting laws have no political solution. History has shown time and again that in order to resolve these types of issues, warfare is inevitable. An additional problem today is that we don’t have a great deal of time.
Sooner or later, a terrorist organization will obtain and deploy an effective weapon of mass destruction.

This potential makes the war today look puny by comparison. Is it not worth waging conventional war to prevent? What if multiple WMD were deployed? The war could conceivably become World War III. If half a dozen of our cities were destroyed, would we not retaliate? The public outcry for retaliation would be unstoppable. Even if we did not know who or what to hit, we would have to find something. Weapons of mass destruction are the ultimate punitive weapon. They kill everyone and everything without discrimination. Massive conventional warfare is desirable over this type of warfare. Granted, the possibility of this event is slender. Most likely, the initial WMD will be a singular event. Escalation in the use of WMD is possible, although most likely, a conventional war would be the following event. Where that would lead is anyone’s guess. Unless significant progress is made within the next few years, this is an almost certain event.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Last week, an ‘extremist’ killed a number of people at NIU, then killed himself. In an article published in the Chicago Tribune (Metro Section) 2/18/08, the author implied that ‘extremist’ ideology that is present in many parts of the Middle East is similar to the NIU incident. The article implied that ‘home grown’ terrorism is more important and more of a threat. I found this concept difficult to believe.

It is most unlikely that Kazmierczak could ever have obtained a 15+ megaton nuclear warhead with the missile to deliver it from a range of 1000+ miles. On the other hand, it is only a matter of time before an Islamic terrorist organization is able to obtain this far more devastating weapon. (Or weapons) Not that we want to forget about the threat that people like Kazmierczak represent, but can Al Qaeda really be compared with him?

Many issues (Like slavery in the U.S.) have no political solution. History has shown time and again that warfare will result every time you challenge them. Many issues present within the Middle East are of this type. The people and the issues are not irrational. Robert E. Lee was not an irrational man. Can you think of a worse cause to fight for than the evil of slavery? How about the millions of good Germans and good Japanese who fought for evil during World War II? Were they all irrational? Japan produced hundreds of thousands of suicide attackers. It could arguably have become millions before it was over. Few if any of them were mentally ill. All of them were not in need of medication.

In ‘Japanese Destroyer Captain’ (Tameichi Hara) pointed out how he had to order his men to save themselves, so that they could go on to fight another day if the ship was sunk. Many disobeyed. This was not uncommon. In fact, his views were uncommon. Most preferred to die. Few Japanese soldiers were taken prisoner during the war. Many who were taken prisoner had been knocked unconscious. Some did surrender, braving the dishonor that befell them. These were a very small minority. Much documentation is available to anyone who wishes to study this subject. In any case, the majority of those soldiers did decide to take their own lives rather than be captured. They were not irrational. They were not in need of medication. They were in need of alternative ways of looking at things. As many in the Islamic world are in need of today.

Japanese culture places a very high priority upon consensus. The more people you add to the equation, the more difficult to obtain consensus. Hence, the need for a ‘take charge’ person. In addition, an ideology of superiority grew from a number of successes and the knowledge that they possessed a weapon of incredible strength in that they knew their men would and could take more discomfort than any other armed force. Their willingness to die would overcome all obstacles. This willingness to die ended up being somewhat counterproductive in that many Japanese just died not having gained anything for Japan in doing so. This is medieval thinking that showed up in other ways as well. All of this combined with a rigidity of thinking that made for disaster.

During the war, it is evident that Japanese soldiers and generals were very rigid in their thinking. They tended to divide their forces and learned only slowly from their mistakes. Captains like Hara were present, but they were a minority. Don’t get me wrong. The Japanese were very capable. The Zero was one of the best fighters in the world at the time, and in 1941-42 the best pilots in the world flew them. The Imperial Navy was one of the best in the world. The ‘long lance’ torpedo was the best in the world throughout the war. We did not discover its secrets until after the war. These were only some of their strengths. The overall point however, is that Japanese thinking was not very flexible. The code of Bushido was very inflexible. We are seeing some of this today.

The number 1 rule of warfare is: Know thy enemy. If you listen to Osama and other terrorist leaders, you will note that they constantly refer to Islamic laws and the Koran. Much of the education that is available in that part of the world is rote learning. Not flexible, but rigid adherence to the Koran’s teachings. We are also seeing some of the same attitudes of superiority. After all, they are much more willing to die. This will overcome all before it. The enemy (The U.S. and the ‘West’) is decadent and greedy. An important Japanese described the U.S. in 1941 as being ‘A gangster ridden country lead by gangsters’. They also thought of the U.S. as being weak morally and in weak in spirit. This sounds familiar. They also underestimated us, badly.

Organized warfare on the scale that we are witnessing throughout the Islamic world is a far more dangerous threat than ‘home grown’ terrorism. Mental illness and ‘copycat’ mentality cannot be compared with the rational, organized groups present throughout the Islamic world. Medication will not help them deal with these issues. Medication would not have helped to prevent the Kamikazes. I wish it were the case.

The overall point of this discussion is to point out that Islamic terrorists are not ‘extremists’ any more than Japanese soldiers were ‘extremists’ during World War II. They were extremists from our point of view, but not from where they originated. It was a common view from where they came from. "Today the popular belief is that the Japanese who took part in BANZAI charges, flew kamikaze missions, piloted KAITENS and SHINYO ‘Bang boats’, or served as human mines, were all fanatics. Because many of the BANZAI charges were ordered on the spur-of-the-moment no doubt there was an element of fanaticism in the army’s operations. But the kamikaze, KAITEN and KAIRYU men were dedicated individuals whose calm acceptance of death illustrates the impact of ideological persuasion. Fanatical or not, their actions can only be understood when seen in relation to deep-rooted Japanese traditions and a tyrannical governmental structure." (A.J. Barker, Suicide Weapon, C1971, Page 157)

Today’s Islamic terrorists and suicide attackers are not irrational. The ideology they believe in is not uncommon. They also are products of their culture. The very words ‘extremist’ and ‘fanatic’ imply that they are a very small minority of the population. This is incorrect. In many places, the ideology they believe in is held by a majority of the population. This is why they are so popular. This contributes as to why they are so difficult to find and destroy. This also contributes as to why they are able to rebound and create new organizations from scratch. Islamic terrorist organizations have plenty of replacements available. The only known way to end this amount of ‘extremism’ is to change the culture that nourishes them. If that culture became more moderate and less rigid, extremism would become more ‘extreme’ and less desirable. As has occurred in Japan over the past 60 years. Unfortunately, this type of change is responsible for more wars than any other. The vast majority of soldiers chose to risk their lives to protect their way of life. This is why so many good Germans and Japanese fought for evil during World War II. This is why so many good Southerners also fought for evil (slavery) during the U.S. Civil War. It would be against human nature to expect the population of the Middle East to be any different in this regard.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Violence in Pakistan is at an all-time high.

The amount of violence, suicide attacks and other ‘conventional’ attacks are at an all-time high in Pakistan. As with many human problems, a single reason is probably over-simplification. Some potential reasons as to why warfare is becoming more ‘popular’ in Pakistan:

1) The Pakistani people are overwhelmingly Muslim. The civil war taking place in Iraq and Afghanistan (And arguably, throughout the Islamic world) is spreading into Pakistan.

2) The elections. Although divided, the Pakistani government is generally seen as being more and more anti-Islamic. President Musharraf is increasingly seen as being an ‘enemy’ of Islam.

3) Although many people in the ‘West’ do not like him, Musharraf and his army are fighting a losing battle against ‘fundamental’ Muslims. They want him dead. They see an opportunity. Pakistan falling into their hands if Musharraf is eliminated.

4) As Musharrafs’ government weakens, violence is stepped up to increase the pressure. Rising violence as the perceived end comes into sight is typical in warfare. The end of the Musharraf government is seen as being close. This observation is a common view in Pakistan as well as throughout the world.

5) One of two outside factors may be at play here: Please note that even though these factors are opposite, the impact can actually be similar, if not the same.
a) Because the war in Iraq and Afghanistan are creating so many new terrorists, the extra forces can be deployed into new areas. Pakistan fits well for a number of reasons. Some listed above and others listed below.
b) Because of the mismatch of forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorist forces are seeking newer, safer areas of operation. Places where the attacks they launch are more effective, and terrorist forces lose fewer men. Once again, Pakistan fits well for a number of reasons.

6) Pakistan is important. For many reasons. Some have been stated above. In war, the most important objectives are the most fought over. If an important objective is within reach of both sides, this is where typically, the most fighting occurs.

7) The terrain in Pakistan is some of the worst in the world for conventional forces. A good place for irregular forces to initiate battle.

8) Osama is probably in Pakistan, or nearby. It is easier for him (and other leaders who agree with him) to help control the pace of battle as well as give direction.

9) Pakistan has nuclear weapons AND the delivery systems for them to be effectively deployed. This makes Pakistan even more important, for both sides.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Political solution in Iraq

Some issues have no political solution. Hitler is an obvious example. Another example is slavery in the United States. No negotiation was possible that would free the slaves. It took the bloodiest war in our history to get rid of it. Yet slavery’s best general, Robert E. Lee did not like owning slaves. He found them ‘difficult to motivate and manage’. He did not fight for slavery. He fought for his home state of Virginia. He was more loyal to a lower level of government than the Federal government. In Iraq, the people are more loyal to their clan. This is a common problem throughout the Middle East. (In many other parts of the world as well) This is not irrational. Nor are many of the other causes of civil conflict throughout Islam.

Islamic law has been around for more than 1400 years. Many legal rulings have been made over this time and Islamic scholars have established many laws that are considered ‘authentic’. These were spoken by Mohammed and are considered law. Many other laws are still being argued about (Such as beating your wife) but I will limit discussion on these. They will be noted. I will focus on the laws that are considered ‘authentic’ and have been enforced as such. Please note that these issues are non-negotiable.

Traditional Islam views the world as belonging to one of two houses: The house of Islam and the house of war. The world is made up of Muslims and infidels. The penalty for leaving Islam is death. (An Apostate) This law has been enforced within Islamic lands for 1400 years. Exceptions are rare. One BIG problem with this is that if you are Muslim and disagree with any of the ‘authentic’ laws, then you may be considered an Apostate. This law is a major contribution to the Civil war that is taking place today. For example: The penalty for a married woman convicted of adultery is that she is to be stoned to death. This law has also been enforced for 1400 years. Riots occurred in Nigeria back in 2006 because the court refused to administer this punishment. The court was guilty of Apostasy.

In addition, once land becomes Muslim controlled; it can never revert back to being non-Muslim. The penalty for leaving Islam is death applies to land as well. (True, you can’t kill land, but the idea is that conversion of land to Muslim control is a one-way street.) This is an additional complication because another law is that if any Muslim land is every controlled by infidels, it triggers a worldwide obligation to kill the ‘occupiers’. These problems can be seen as being influencing factors in the constant Arab-Israeli wars. Let’s take a fictional example:
An U.S. task force enters what is considered to be international waters. Egypt does not see it that way. Egyptian forces wipe out the U.S. ships. The U.S. invades Egypt and removes it’s government. A worldwide obligation to kill Americans now takes effect. The cause of the war is immaterial. All that matters is that an infidel organization cannot EVER control what was once Muslim governed land. This issue is also tied in with Jihad.

Islam has four legal enemies that war may be waged against at any time. (Truces must be observed)
Infidels, Apostates, Rebels and Bandits

Fighting in a war against the first two qualify as Jihad. In Jihad you qualify for booty in this world, paradise in the next. "The idea is that Jihad will continue (Interrupted only by truces) until the entire world adopts Islam or is subjected to Muslim rule". "Throughout 1400 years of Islamic history, Jihad has been most commonly interpreted to mean armed struggle for the defense or advancement of Muslim power". (Bernard Lewis) Muslims are not supposed to use the booty clause to seize property for their own gain. However, you know people. Muslims may say that they don’t do this, but they are just as human as you and I. Throughout history, seizure of property for personal gain has been a staple of human behavior.

These are only some of the issues. Now let’s talk briefly about politics: Traditional Islamic electoral policy has been classically summarized as being "One man, (Men only) one vote, once." In other words, once Islam is selected, there is no going back. No more voting. This is in line with the penalty for leaving Islam is death. This also is in line with once land becomes Muslim controlled, it can never revert back.

Any one of these issues will cause people to take up arms. Combine them together and you have multiple issues similar to slavery. People will not negotiate these issues. They will wage war every time you challenge any of them. Look at all of the places in the world where Islam is in close proximity to other cultures. To name some: Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, India-Pakistan, Lebanon, Israel and the ‘occupied’ terrorties, Nigeria and the rest of Africa, Indonesia. Violence is commonplace. These are not irrational issues nor are the people behaving irrationally.

The ‘Great Satan’ is the United States. Why? Because we are the leaders of the infidel world. Our culture is impacting them more than any other. Osama declared war on us long before Iraq came into the picture. All of Israel is sitting on what was once Muslim land. Jihad must continue until Muslim control is re-established over that land again. And Israel owes payment.

Any infidel living in Muslim land must pay tribute. It is for their ‘protection’. Remember the Barbary pirates? The U.S. had ships passing through Muslim waters. We owed them payment. This was an extension of the Tribute law. Payment of Tribute by all infidels was being discussed in Iraq last summer, but I have not found out if they passed the law. If they did not, it is another example of how the Iraqi government is an Apostate government.

The phrase "Violent extremism" implies that only a small minority is involved. The ‘authentic’ laws of Islam (I have mentioned only a VERY small number of them) are the basis of 1400 years of Muslim history. These laws are like the Ten Commandments. (Only many more of them) They are the basis of this ‘religion’. They are embedded into the culture. The people who are Muslim who agree with us (The so-called Moderates) are Apostates. The law is very clear. The penalty is death. This issue, among so many others, is non-negotiable. Throughout history, these types of issues (Like slavery) trigger warfare every time.

These issues are what the Islamic Civil war is all about. No political solution is available for these issues. Either you enforce or you do not. War will result if you fail to enforce, as it has. The United States, indeed the entire world is at risk depending upon who is the winner.
OK, don’t take my word. The number 1 rule of warfare: Know thy enemy. Take a look at Islam. Read three books that are pro-Islam. (They will discuss what a great guy Mohammed was.) Read three books that are critical of Islam. They will discuss Islamic law. This should help anyone who looks into this subject see just who the ‘enemy’ is.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Terrorist leader killed.

The killing of Imad Mughniyeh, who was an important figure in Hezbollah, has brought to light the divide in Lebanon. Lebanon is part Muslim, and part Christian. Lebanon is a good example of a place where Islam is bumping into non-Muslim culture. Hezbollah is very popular with Muslims in Lebanon. Many groups with similar ideology are popular throughout the Muslim world. This is because these groups favor many of the laws that scholars have agreed are ‘authentic’ laws of Islam. As a direct result, violence is a common feature of many places where Islam is making intimate contact with other cultures. Some of the more obvious places are India, Indonesia, Turkey, many places in Africa, Israel and the Palestinian areas, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan. The basic problem is ‘authentic’ Islamic law.

‘Authentic’ Islamic law is inherently hostile to the rest of the world. It is about as opposite of U.S. law as can be imagined. Please, don’t take my word. Study Islam. Pick out 3 books at a library that are complementary of Islam. Pick out 3 books that are critical of Islam. Many books are available that are not large texts, make easy reads and are very informative. What I have found is the views that are complementary of Islam talk about Mohammed. The examples of how he lead his life. We should all follow these examples. The critical views talk about Islamic law and how it has been enforced. Studying Islam is well worth the effort. I was surprised, I’ll bet you will be also.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


It should come as no surprise that news reporting is still indicating that the war that was fought in August of 2006 between Hezbollah and Israel was a success for Hezbollah. The news reporting continues to focus on the fact that the two Israeli soldiers were not rescued and the missile attacks were not stopped. This issue has been brought up again because an incident occurred last week on the Lebanese border involving Hezbollah and Israeli forces.

Once again I will point out that many well trained combat units have broken and fled the field in disorder after suffering losses of far less percentage of the force engaged than Hezbollah lost in August of 2006. The figures of losses vary widely, but even in the most conservative (Least number of losses) Hezbollah lost enough of a percentage to get hurt. Once the fighting ended, the missile attacks did stop. They have not resumed. In fact, it has been extraordinarily quiet on the Israeli-Hezbollah front for the past 18 months. It makes sense that Hezbollah is tentatively beginning active operations again.

Combat units that have been mauled in combat generally take some months to be re-built. This is with plenty of resources available. Rebuilding moral takes longer. This is referring to well-trained units and well-trained replacements. Hezbollah is far from being well trained. It can be expected for irregular units to take longer to rebuild than well-trained ones. 18 months is not an unrealistic amount of time. Israel has not had anything like this type of negative impact. Israel had to deal with the negative political impact. Its military was not hurt in any measurable way. And they lost the battle?

In general, I would not mind losing battles like that one. I certainly would not like to win any battles that maul our forces that much either. I know that our soldiers agree.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Soldier court-martialed

BAGHDAD – US Army Sgt. Evan Vela was sentenced by a court-martial jury to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting in Iraq. The shooting occurred on May 11, 2007.

If you recall, the war in Iraq had spiked sharply upward in Iraq during the spring of 2007. Atrocities occur in ALL wars, on both sides. A direct correlation exists between the amount of training a unit and/or soldiers receive and the number of atrocities committed by that unit/soldier. The greater the amount of training, the fewer atrocities committed. Training does not eliminate atrocities. Training reduces the occurrence of them. This is why atrocities are committed by irregular troops far more frequently.

Atrocities tend to be committed more frequently when the units/soldiers are under the greatest pressure. Greater amounts of combat will result in a larger number of atrocities. The longer the period of intense combat lasts, the greater the chances of atrocities. After all, everyone has a limit. Stress and fatigue impact decision making in a negative way. The greater amount of stress and fatigue, the more likely mistakes in judgement will be made. Toss in the fact that war tends to bring out the best and worst in people. Stress and fatigue will exaggerate any flaws that everyone has, and these are many times impossible to see beforehand.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Women in Iraq

Attacks upon women in Basra are up since the withdrawal of British forces. They are killed in brutal fashion, all bearing signs of torture. When I came to Basra a year ago," Basra's police chief, Gen. Abdul Jalil Khalaf says, "two women were killed in front of their kids. Their blood was flowing in front of their kids, they were crying. Another woman was killed in front of her 6-year-old son, another in front of her 11-year-old child, and yet another who was pregnant."

The reasons for the killing vary. Some are ‘Honor killings’. Many are violations of Islamic teachings. No headscarf, or the wrong color of headscarf. Some were killed because they wore makeup. Some were "Politically active women, those who did not follow a strict dress code and women [who are] human rights defenders were increasingly at risk of abuses, including by armed groups and religious extremists," Amnesty said in a 2007 report.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Islamic law in UK

The Archbishop of Canterbury called Thursday for Britain to adopt aspects of Islamic shariah law alongside the existing legal system. He said that introduction of shariah in family law was "unavoidable". That such "constructive accommodation" should not deprive Muslims of their right to take their cases to their own court system. This is similar to how Orthodox Jews refer religious disputes to rabbinical courts. This is a discussion that will not last very long.

The Islamic legal system is inherently hostile to that of Britain. So many of the ‘authentic’ laws have to be ignored in order to be compatible with the English (And the U.S) legal system as to make it a sure thing that violence will result from any attempt like the experiment in Iraq. A political solution is not available for those who follow the ‘authentic’ law that a married, convicted adulteress is to be stoned to death. You either enforce it, or you do not. No gray area to work with. Islamic law has this problem as a general rule. If you decide not to enforce, you are an Apostate. Islamic law is so precise that it requires a great deal of ignoring laws in order to be compatible with the rest of the world. This places anyone who agrees with this, extreme liberal ‘version’ of Islam in the category of Apostate. No wonder a civil war is going on in Iraq and the rest of the Islamic world. Here are some examples of 'authentic' shariah law:

1) Illegal to charge or be charged interest on a loan. (A new, liberal idea is to allow an exception for first time homebuyers.) Modern economic theory demands this concept. No wonder the economies are so bad in the areas where this ‘religion’ is strong.

2) 2 Women testimony equals one man. No way will Britain allow this. To ignore this law (As with many others) is to become an Apostate. See problem # 6.

3) Beat your wife. OK, this is being debated because the phrase can be read multiple ways. The fact that this argument is so widespread indicates that millions of men do believe that this is the correct way to interpret this law. This must be ignored.

4) Tribute. Payment of infidels living in (Or passing through?) Muslim land. So anyone who is not Muslim must make payments. This requirement is being discussed in today’s Iraq. This must be ignored.

5) Moral obligation to kill occupiers of Muslim lands. That no other requirements seem to exist is a BIG problem. In other words, even if a Muslim government launches what we would consider a war of aggression, the occupation of the country triggers the obligation to kill occupiers. Assuming that this would occur outside of Britain, it would not matter. By the way, this is a contributing reason for the constant Arab-Israeli wars.

6) Penalty for leaving Islam is death. (An Apostate) This dooms anyone who is Muslim to death if they don’t interpret the law in the same way. No wonder they kill each other as well as fighting the rest of the world. This is a major contributing factor in the Civil War going on throughout the Islamic world. Want to start it up in Britain?

7) Marry for 1 hour and divorce as long as payment is made. I do not know how strong this law is. However, it is sanctioned prostitution. It must be ignored by Britain.

8) Multiple wives. OK! Now we are talking! (Just kidding, I can’t handle the one I have.)

9) All references to women and infidels as property. (Slaves) Must be ignored.

10) Mecca and Medina being illegal for anyone besides a Muslim. Britain will not be impacted.

11) Married woman convicted of adultry is to be stoned to death. 'Authentic' law that must also be ignored.

12) The four ‘legal’ enemies to wage war against:
a) Infidels
b) Apostates
c) Rebels
d) Bandits
(The first two qualify for ‘Jihad’.) "The presumption is that the duty of Jihad will continue (Interrupted only by truces) until the world adopts Islam or submits to Muslim rule." "Those who fight in the Jihad qualify for rewards in both worlds. Booty in this one, paradise in the next." (Bernard Lewis, The Crisis of Islam, Page 31, copyright 2003.) So you can wage war against infidels, Apostates, Rebels and Bandits. This means to kill. The entire concept of Jihad must become internal. History has demonstrated that this is not the case throughout the Muslim world. This must be ignored. This is an additional reason for the constant Arab-Israeli wars.

Many of the items in this list are worth dying to protect or to obtain. No wonder the United States and Britain are involved in a war. I am surprised that the war itself is this small. No wonder a Civil war is going on in Iraq and throughout the Islamic world. If Britain ever attempts to accommodate this 'legal' system, it would not be surprising if a Civil War resulted.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Terrorists in Jail

One area of argument in the ‘war on terror’ is that terrorists should be prosecuted as common criminals. To do otherwise is to give them a status that they do not deserve. (POW) Not to mention the risk incurred by placing them in facilities outside of the law. Theoretically, this precedent could be expanded to include U.S. citizens, or the citizens of other countries. A valid, long term concern.

The other side of the argument is that prison is a breeding ground for rebellion in all cultures. To place terrorists into the prison population is to run the risk of spreading the ‘religion’ that they believe so strongly in. Terrorists don’t carry their arms openly and do not wear uniforms. Yet terrorists use military weapons and tactics to prey upon civilians. They enjoy no official government support. This line of thinking goes on in that terrorists are similar to pirates. The difference of political objective as opposed to obtaining loot is not important because it is what you do as what defines you more than the justification of your actions. For thousands of years, it was accepted that pirates who were captured were then hung. Today, this is not really accepted, so interrogation and separation from society for the rest of their lives seems a more humane way of dealing with them. Useful information may be obtained through means that would not be available to use on ‘terrorist’ prisoners who are outside of legal boundaries. This idea can be seen as being potentially VERY dangerous.

During World War II, Japanese soldiers gave no quarter. To surrender or be captured was the height of dishonor. They expected to fight to the death, and expected the enemy to do likewise. This is why they tended to mistreat prisoners. By being captured alive, they forfeited any and all consideration. In general, Japanese soldiers would kill themselves before being captured. As a result, the United States captured few Japanese soldiers. Usually, they were captured because they had been knocked unconscious. Because they were not expected to survive, Japanese soldiers received no training in prisoner’s rights. They did not know that all they had to say was name, rank and serial number. So it was not uncommon to obtain all sorts of information. Sometimes, this information saved some of our men’s lives. Today’s terrorists probably have better education in this regard. However, have you noticed that the terrorist organizations are not screaming about their prisoners’ treatment? I suspect that at least part of the reason is that it is so dishonorable. Like the Japanese soldiers, many terrorists prefer to die fighting. Because they do not have any government support, their legal rights and position are unknown. Giving them civil protections would change this equation drastically.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Best and worst for U.S. Military

Best surface on Earth for U.S. Military to fight.

1) Over water: It requires warships to control the surface. It requires submarines and torpedoes to fight under the surface. It requires aircraft and missiles to fight above. All aspects are high tech and heavy on mechanization and equipment.

2) Desert: It requires heavy mechanization to supply and support any sizable force in the desert. Thermal imaging and other ‘High Tech’ devices are at their best in this type of environment. Mobile forces are free to maneuver at will.

3) Open land: The Great Plains in the United States and the steppes in Russia. The only natural obstacles are rivers.

The worst:

1) Mountains: Aircraft can’t maneuver well. Uneven ground makes heavy weapons unstable and blocks line of sight. Low-tech men and weapons are easy to hide and move.

2) Swamps: Marginally better than mountains because of ability of aircraft to maneuver.

3) Cities and forests: Line of sight is basic problem. Trees and buildings provide protection for the defense.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

War on terrorism

So far, the war on terror is a classic guerrilla war. Irregular troops are pitted against civil authorities and the military of various countries. If you listen to what the terrorist organizations are saying, it becomes apparent that the motivations for terrorist actions are based upon Islamic doctrine and culture. The wild card here is the repeated suicide attacks. This is only the 2nd time in all of recorded history that this phenomenon has been seen. The 1st occurrence had its basis in the culture of Bushido. This prior occurrence was eventually defeated through massive violence. The entire political, educational and economic systems of the area that produced these attackers were changed completely. It is unlikely that this type of change will occur in the areas that are producing the current crop of suicide attackers.

The widespread occurrence of this phenomenon indicates that the population that is supplying these attackers is so large that it is most likely to continue into the indefinite future unless some cataclysmic event occurs. The population that is supplying these attackers is so large that it would take World War III for this event to take place. The eventual spread of weapons of mass destruction makes the likelihood of another world war almost inevitable. Warfare is a basic part of human nature. As technology increases, our ability to kill each other is enhanced. As a result, our wars are becoming more and more destructive. How do we prevent the next BIG war?

I like to use the analogy of earthquakes. If you keep having small ones, you are probably OK. Once you notice that it has been some time since the last one, WATCH OUT. This is because the pressure is not being released, and a build up occurs. Human nature is not so precise, however it does not change. It has been more than 4 generations since the last world war. People forget what it is like. They forget how it happened, and how it could have been prevented. Although history can never repeat itself exactly, patterns do emerge. Warfare is a part of us, despite the fact that most people do not want it to occur. The issues that trigger war many times cannot be resolved except through warfare. Slavery in the United States is one obvious example. No political solution was available to end slavery. This is a common feature with most wars. The issues that are underlying the current war on terror today likewise will not be resolved without violence. Attempting to stall the resolution or preventing the violence that it triggers just may end up making the overall effect much larger than it already is. The fact that so many people are involved in these issues already can be an indicator of just how large this war can eventually become.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Reasons to be against war in Iraq

With your help, I have identified 17 reasons to be against war in Iraq.
(Note – I placed an asterisk in front of item #12 – it is a little far-fetched)

1) Breeds new terrorists.
2) Undermines the U.N.
3) Undermines moderate Arabs.
4) Gives POW status to criminals. Civil authorities should handle.
5) Diverts resources away from civil authorities and puts these resources into the military. This is counterproductive.
6) No WMD. War is unjustified.
7) Undermines Civil liberties.
8) This is a Civil War. Not our fight.
9) We are creating new enemies in addition to new terrorists.
10) We took a good leader out and replaced it with anarchy. I am defining anarchy in this case as being constant warfare, chaos and civil strife.
11) Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11/01.
*12) President Bush is a warmonger. He started the war to get back at Saddam. After all, Saddam took a shot at killing his father.
13) Destabilizing the region.
14) Undermining the security of NATO Turkey.
15) Emboldening Iran.
16) Weakening reform movement in Iraq.
17) Strengthening Islamist militants in Pakistan.