Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Deals with terrorists

In my last post, I made it clear that no deals should be struck with Islamic terrorist organizations. (Or any terrorist organization) This is a general rule that I would follow under no exceptions that I can think of. Exceptions may exist, I just don’t see any at this time.

Generally, I admire the way that Israel deals with terrorism. A couple of weeks ago, Israel made a deal with Hezbollah to exchange five prisoners that were in Israeli jails for two dead Israeli soldiers. I do not understand the deal. However, I do not live there. I don’t know many of the facets of the Arab-Israeli relationship. I still disagree with the idea. Because I favor the general Israeli handling of terrorist issues, I am willing to accept it. Pakistan is a different situation entirely.

I am NOT willing to accept the government of Pakistan making deals with the Taliban because Pakistan has a history of overt support of the Taliban and it’s ideology. Not only is a large portion of the population of Pakistan in favor of many of the Talibans ideas, many people within the government of Pakistan are also in favor of much of what the Taliban stand for. This is why I feel it is so important to keep such a close eye on Pakistan.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pakistani hostages

This past Friday, the Taliban released 8 out of more than 3 dozen Pakistani officials that were being held hostage. The Taliban has been successful in making deals with the Pakistani government since the new government took office in February of this year. Seeing as the Taliban was threatening to kill them all, this looks like the Taliban is interested in another deal.

As a general rule, I am not contraire. I like to come up with my own ideas. Regarding Islamic terrorism however, whatever they want, or I see as good for them, I want the opposite. NO DEALS. This is why I have been critical of the Pakistani government. This is why I see this situation as a good indicator as to how serious the Pakistani government is in fighting organized terrorism.

As a historical note, President Lincoln ended trading prisoners during the U.S. Civil War. Up until that point, a one to one trade between Union prisoners and Confederate prisoners was common. President Lincoln realized that with a numerical superiority of 3 to 1 over the Confederacy, it was not in the Union’s interest for a 1 to 1 trade. In fact, it was not in the Union’s interest to trade prisoners at all. This policy of no deals held from that point on until the end of the war.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Neutron bomb

I have always favored building Nuetron bombs. I don't know if the U.S. has any of these weapons today. In the war against terrorism today, time is NOT on our side. Sooner or later, one of these organizations will obtain and deploy an effective WMD. We may be forced to respond with nukes. If this is the case, Nuetron bombs just may be a good choice. At least in some areas.

The Neutron bomb is a tactical nuclear weapon. The blast area is small for nuclear weapons. The weapon has such a design as to produce intensive radiation that decays rapidly. This produces a high fatality rate for those who are inside its blast area. Those who are outside of its range can safely enter the area within a short period of time. One argument against this weapon is that it is more likely to be used than the other weapons that are available. This would make the use of WMD more likely. The area impacted by these weapons is relatively small. The use of these weapons would require more of them to obtain the same overall damage. An argument for the use of this weapon is that if you do need to use weapons of mass destruction, then this has the most limited ecological impact in both the short term and long term. In addition, relatively small targets may not require ‘larger’ nuclear weapons.

We will more than likely see another world war. Human nature almost demands it. The next world war will most likely see the deployment of weapons of mass destruction. Should Neutron bombs be available? The risk of the war becoming more likely is offset by the advantages in potential limits of long term ecological damage that exclusive use of neutron bombs could realize.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Palestinian collaborators sentenced as spies

Two Palestinian collaborators were convicted last week. They were convicted of helping Israel in identifying the locations of two Palestinians who were later killed by Israeli forces. The sentence is death by firing squad. The President of the PA must approve death sentences. HAMAS has said that they will ‘seek other alternatives’ if President Abbas does not approve of the court action.

During wartime, it is not uncommon to shoot spies. HAMAS is and has acted as if they are at war with Israel. This fits the pattern that Islam in general and Islamic terrorist organizations specifically are at war with the world. Not all Muslims are involved, by any stretch. However, Islam was designed to rule everything and everyone. Unless those features of Islam are eliminated, the war will continue through proxies like HAMAS, Hezbollah, AQ and all of the other Islamic terror groups and governments who live and support Islamic ideology. This is not extreme Islamic ideology. The worst part is that this applies to much of the common interpretation of the Koran.

Monday, July 21, 2008


I am hearing from some ‘westerners’ who are Muslim that Jihad is an internal struggle. That the terrorists are being incorrectly labeled jihadists. In the long run, for Islam to become agreeable with the rest of the world, this view will need to be adopted by ALL Muslims. The problem today is that this is only one of two ways of viewing jihad. This is actually a watered down version of Islam and is viewed as being incorrect by much of the Islamic world. To suggest this version of Jihad will place you in danger of being accused of being an Apostate. The term Apostate and the penalty for conviction are NOT an overlooked Islamic legal term. The death penalty for this offense has been enforced strictly throughout the Middle East for the entire Islamic history of 1400 years.

Jihad has two meanings. The first is the version mentioned above: It is the internal struggle to improve yourself. The second is armed force. The problem is that the second is and has been far more accepted.

Bernard Lewis is a well-known and respected historian on the Middle East. "For the majority of the fourteen hundred years of Islamic history, jihad has been most commonly interpreted as being ARMED struggle for the advancement or defense of Muslim power."
"The implication is that Jihad will continue (Interrupted only by truces) until either the entire world adopts Islam, or is subjected to Muslim rule."

If you look at the Islamic legal system and its laws, you will notice the organized effort to expand the ‘religion’ at the expense of everything and everyone else that is not Muslim. The overall effect can only be discrimination against anything that does not agree with Islam. This is quite deliberate. Taken in context with all of the Koran and Islamic law, it is obvious that it was designed this way.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pakistani standoff

Pakistan has a real problem right now. Some Taliban fighters were captured last week, so they responded by capturing about 30 local government officials. The threat is that unless the captured Taliban members are not released, they would be executed.

This is a good test of exactly where the newly elected government of Pakistan stands and how strong they are willing to be in fighting Islamic extremism. I have been critical of the Pakistani government for making those deals back in February and March. I believe that those same deals are one of the reasons that the violence in Afghanistan has gone up this spring. Today’s standoff between the Pakistani government and the Taliban will help us see how determined the Pakistani government really is in fighting Islamic terrorism.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stopping an enemy attack

During wartime, it is easier to encourage an enemy to attack you in a given place than it is to prevent an attack in a given place. Both can be difficult, but the first is much easier to accomplish and has been done countless times throughout history. The 2nd has been done many times as well. However, it usually was because an offensive was launched that forced the enemy to defend themselves in a different area. The problem with this strategy is that it requires having adequate resources to launch an effective attack. Counterattacks have been attempted many times without enough resources. The final result ended up being worse than allowing the opponent to attack in the first place.

Concerning the war in Iraq today, the U.S. is fighting the war with a peacetime army. Our enemy has nowhere near the resources that we posses, even with the U.S. on a peacetime footing. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan is preventing our enemy from attacking us effectively elsewhere.

The bad news is that our enemy has an ideology that is engrained in a huge population spread out over many countries. The war has the potential to become much larger even without the use of WMD. Or more likely, the war will last so long that the U.S. and its allies become tired of war and give up.

The good news is that the enemy ‘army’ would have to obtain much more overt help in order to force the U.S. to decide to mobilize. WMD is the most likely way that this would occur. Also, the U.S. can increase the size of it’s armed forces considerably, it if needed to. The use of WMD by our enemy would make this mandatory.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Parkistan article

The Chicago Tribune dated 7/14/08, section 1, page 8 has an article titled "Jihadist groups bond on battle over Afghanistan." The article details how Pakistan is becoming a major base from which our enemy is attacking our units in Afghanistan. After the elections in Pakistan during February of this year, and the deals that the Pakistani government struck with the Tailban shortly afterward, this was not unexpected. I found two interesting concepts within this article that I wanted to discuss.

Paragraph 6 begins with the sentence "Despite growing pressure on Pakistan to quell Islamic militancy, jihadist groups within its borders are in fact increasing their cooperation to attack U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan". I am not the best-informed source on this, but I am unaware of much, if any pressure being placed upon the Pakistani government. I suppose this pressure may be political. Maybe this is referring to the window dressing news coming out of Pakistan about cracking down upon the Tailban for the past month or so. In any case, it is obvious that the pressure is not working. The elected government of Pakistan is more for the Tailban than they are for us. Their actions with making treaties with the Tailban (Hence treating the Taliban like a government) speaks much more loudly than what it is saying about cracking down upon the enemy ideology. They are just being more covert about it.

The very last sentence in the article is "Today the Taliban not only settles disputes in its consolidated domain, but it also levies taxes, smuggles drugs and imposes its own brand of justice, complete with courts and prisons." This sentence makes the Islamic legal system sound like some type of outlaw setup. Certain aspects of what has been set up are not commonplace in the Muslim world. (Although they have some support throughout) However, most of what has been set up is a basic version of Islamic jurisprudence that has been accepted for something like 1400 years. This misunderstanding of the Islamic legal system is a major problem in our fighting the war against Islamic terrorism. Either the author of this article does not understand it, or the article was watered down deliberately. Not understanding something can be dealt with if the person wants to keep an open mind. If it was deliberate, then we have a much more serious problem at home than I thought.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

U.S. children in Madrassa in Pakistan

Last Thursday, two U.S. citizens were flown from Pakistan back to Atlanta. They were two boys who had spent the past 4 years studying in a Madrassa in Pakistan. The claim is that they had wanted to go home, but have changed to believe that all Americans are terrorists. The mullah claims to have 80 U.S. children at his Madrassa. This is a sound move for them. Educate our children and have them sent back to spread the word. If they are lucky, some will end up in jail and will then have the opportunity to convert more of our prison population to this worldwide religion. Prison is an ideal place to establish extreme ideology.

Friday, July 11, 2008


As a general rule, I try to avoid politics. Seeing that this is an election year, I feel it is important to retain some balance in the viewpoints that are being made.

It appears to me that the rhetoric within our country is becoming more extreme. I keep hearing about how President Bush lied and he deliberately led us into a war for political gain, how it is to Republican advantage for the U.S. to get hit, (Which has some truth) implying that 9/11 could have been prevented but was not for this reason. If we get hit again, it is because Republicans wanted us to and deliberately did nothing to prevent it.

Pearl Harbor could have been prevented, but it was not deliberate. FDR maneuvered the U.S. into World War II, but I am convinced that he did NOT want the U.S. Pacific fleet wiped out. The U.S. needed to be involved in that war. I disagree with Senator Obama on many issues, but I am convinced that he is NOT attempting to convert the U.S. into an Islamic state. He does not want our military defeated on the field of battle. He just looks at the world differently than I.

I have a number of close friends (Including my wife) who are on the opposite side of the political scale. Yet I am convinced that they are NOT evil, nor do they seek to overthrow our present way of life. They just differ in how they see things and what they believe will work. We are Americans first. The greatest enemies our country faces are NOT our internal political opponents.

The rhetoric I am seeing today has me worried. We are attacking our President as if he were the enemy. We are attacking our President as if he is a lying, evil bastard. I am speaking of past Presidents as well as our current President. This looks to me like a trend that is becoming worse. We are so busy insulting each other that we can be losing focus. In the not too distant past, politicians could argue politics without the personal attacks. Then they could take the families out to dinner together. Even though they disagreed on important political issues, they could find many personal grounds for agreement, even friendship. This is becoming rare these days. Many times throughout history, armies have been wiped out, wars lost for political reasons. Many times, this was not deliberate. The greater enemy was seen as the political opponent as opposed to the hostile army or government. The United States is a great country. Please keep this in mind. Just because you disagree with some politician on an important issue does NOT mean that person wants to make the U.S. into a dictatorship or some other ‘evil’ entity. If you disagree, it may be because you see things differently. This is one of our countries greatest strengths. We will throw that away if we allow ourselves to believe that our political opponents are a greater threat than the external threats. This thinking can eventually lead to gridlock. It will eliminate the ability to compromise. One general cause for open warfare is change that occurs to rapidly, or to slowly. (Not at all) Gridlock will eventually lead to civil war. I think every American will agree that civil war would NOT be in OUR country’s best interest.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

General warfare observations

Warfare in Afghanistan is heating up. Allied combat deaths in Afghanistan have exceeded those in Iraq for two months in a row. (May and June 2008)
Most of the combat is occurring on the Afghanistan – Pakistan border. As could and was expected. In addition, 10 U.S. soldiers have died in Farah province in Afghanistan since May 25th. Farah province borders on Iran. Incidents are on the rise along the Afghan – Iran border as well.

So we have an unusual situation. Pakistan (Not necessarily with the full support of the government) is supporting attacks in Kashmir and Afghanistan. For Pakistan, this is a two front war. We have attackers coming at us in Afghanistan from both Iran and Pakistan, also a two front war. Iran is supporting attackers into Afghanistan and Iraq, another two front war. And in Iraq, we have attackers coming at us from Iran and Syria, another two front war. Even Syria has two fronts, Iraq and Lebanon. (And Israel, although that front is quiet)

So we have on one end of this ‘line’, Israel and Lebanon who borders Syria, who borders Iraq, who borders Iran, who borders Afghanistan, who borders Pakistan who borders India. Open warfare has been a constant along this ‘line’ for years now. (Exception: Iran/Afghanistan is rather new) The U.S. has two overt military positions within this ‘line’ of countries. Both of our overt military positions are being attacked from two sides. In both cases, our attackers are being supported from adjacent countries, with and without overt help from the government.

The supply of ‘insurgents’ and weapons are passing through the countries of Pakistan, Iran and Syria. Sooner or later, in order for our cause to prevail, we will have to have success in ‘converting’ the governments of Pakistan, Iran and Syria to become more active in pursuit of the enemy. It is most likely that this type of change will not occur internally. It will need to be forced from the outside.

In warfare, it is generally better to outflank your enemy than attack frontally, in the center. In this case, the ‘flanks’ are the countries of Pakistan and Syria.

Syria has the advantage of being the weakest link. Also, Syria has two fronts as well. Syria does not have nuclear weapons, so the overall risk is much lower.

Pakistan could be chosen because:
Pakistan has nuclear weapons and the delivery systems. Taking these out would be the highest priority once a regional war began. Iran is close, but does not posses nuclear weapons, YET. This does not mean to ignore Iran.
Pakistan also has a two front war going on between them and India.
Pakistan has a much greater risk factor because of nuclear weapons and the missile systems for delivery.

Please note that these are only general observations. Many more factors can influence the situation. I am speaking strictly from a military vantagepoint. I do not count Turkey as a strong ally. They backed out of the agreement to help us attack Iraq. If the war became a regional war, (Including a shooting war between us and Syria) I believe that at best, Turkey would remain neutral. Otherwise, they would most likely become an active enemy.
At the other end of this line, I believe that in a regional, shooting war, India would more likely be an active ally than a neutral, or an overt enemy. This applies to Israel as well. Israel would be a help for us on the other end because they share borders with Lebanon and Syria.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Some reasons the U.S. has not been hit since 9/11

1) Toppling of the Taliban. Getting rid of the government of Afghanistan and installing troops has hit the enemy at one of its largest bases of operation.

2) War in Iraq. This is draining men; weapons and money like a dark hole. It is very expensive to wage war for both sides, and the U.S. has far more resources to work with. Not to mention the poor match-up for them, attacking the best equipped army in the world in the worst battlefield environment that they could ask for.

3) Allowing greater transparency between agencies of the U.S. government. Allowing them to talk to each other has foiled several potential attacks. Possibly ‘home grown’, but the ideology is very similar to that of our enemy.

4) Greater cooperation between allied nation-states. I am referring to our ability to launch both ground and air attacks within Pakistan. The ground attack portion has been stopped fairly early in the process. (2003) However, the air attacks are still being made, 6 and ½ years later. We have also launched air attacks into other countries notably, inside Yemen, with good results.

5) The Israeli war against Hezbollah. That 30-day war killed an estimated 2000 and burned up a lot of resources that had to be replaced. This can easily be expanded into the overall effect that Israel has upon terrorism in general. Our enemies hate them as well as us. To kill or eliminate any of the resources that are targeted upon Israel is as good for Israel as it is for us.

Many people will disagree with numbers 2 and 5.

Referring to number 2, I believe that the war in Iraq has placed the enemy on the strategic defensive. The enemy must react to our presence in Iraq. They MUST attack our army. The mismatch is good for us. And most importantly, the war is forcing all of those ‘new’ terrorists into the open. This is vital, as one of the greatest problems in fighting terrorism is identifying who they are and who supports them.

Referring to number 5, I believe this to be the case because this is an ideological war. Israel and the U.S. have ideologies that have far more in common than the ideology of our enemy. Our open societies are one of the ideas that are hated by our enemy, above most others. One key indicator is the repeated suicide attack. Only one prior occurrence of this has happened in all of recorded history. As demonstrated in both cases, ideological persuasion is necessary to overcome this most basic instinct. This is the common denominator.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Terrorists don't want to hit U.S.

I have heard about the idea that the enemy has not hit the U.S. since 9/11 because they don’t want to yet. The history of warfare does not lend much support to this idea. Prior to 9/11, many Islamic terrorist groups had thought of Israel as being the main target. It is accepted that today, many have changed to think of the U.S. as the main target. Throughout history, it has been desirable to strike at the enemy base as soon as possible. If anything, to place them on the defensive. One example is the Dolittle raid of April 1942. It was an almost suicide attack. It was only by good fortune that most of the aircrews survived. And the damage possibly inflicted was expected to be not only minimal, but also short term at best. No repeat of the attack was planned. The real reasons for the attack was to prove that it could be done, make an attack upon the enemy’s homeland. We had been getting our butts kicked, and we needed something. It was a morale booster for us, and morale damaging to the enemy, pure and simple. The point is, we could only barely hit them. A one way mission at that. And even us, the people who love life and liberty, did it. You will find it difficult to convince me that our current enemies would not hit us again if they had the capability.

I do believe that the enemy made a mistake on 9/11. They really should have waited until they had nuclear weapons. If they are ever able to obtain nuclear weapons, they may want to wait a limited period of time to hit us with more than one or two. However, time would be limited. The longer they wait, the more the risk of exposure goes up. It is very unlikely that they would be able to wait more than a period of a few months after they have attained the capability AND the resources to deliver them. I doubt they would be able to wait a full year. The history of warfare has shown time and again that once the capability to deploy and/or use a new weapon system has been attained, the time period of actual use of the weapon is almost immediate. I am speaking of involvement in an actual shooting war. Peacetime development is another issue altogether. But after all, our enemies and us are engaged in an actual shooting war.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Mismanaged war

A very close friend has sent me an article that described how any new attacks upon U.S. soil would work for the political advantage of the Republican party and Presidential hopeful, John McCain. This is quite correct. Republicans in general and John McCain specifically are usually seen as being stronger on foreign policy regarding military concepts and warfare in general. An attack upon the U.S. would play to their political strength. However, to infer that either would actually work to have an attack hit us again is pretty far-fetched. The political implication is that it would be bad judgement to have a person and/or a political party in power that has this as an incentive.

This incentive has been with us for many years, at least. If this incentive was and is being acted upon, I guess the criticisms of President Bush are correct: He must be a lousy President who can’t get it done, as he has had almost 7 years to arrange for an additional attack and has failed miserably. It appears to me that it would be far easier to allow an enemy to attack you than to prevent or stop any and/or all enemy attacks. The more skillful the opponent, the more difficult it is to stop the assault.