Friday, July 31, 2009

Homegrown terrorism

The recent arrest of 7 men in North Carolina is good news in that our police forces are doing their jobs well. The bad news is that this event is a portent of things to come.

As can be expected, these men were planning to wage jihad. Many ‘homegrown’ terrorists (such as Timothy McViegh) have taken violent action in the past. However, in general these ‘homegrown’ terrorists act individually or in very small groups with no coordination with others and no ideological links with any larger groups. The arrest this week in North Carolina demonstrates that violent jihad is alive and well within the United States.

Worldwide, the most obvious violent terrorist threats are from those groups that have Islam as its base ideology. Islam is the fastest growing ‘religion’. This combination can only lead to increased terrorist activity. With increased activity with come improving effectiveness. What is of concern to me is the solid base that Islam already has established within the United States.

This war has yet to really begin. For many of the reasons that I have stated in the past, plus a few that I have yet to identify, the war will continue to grow. The way that wars are won is by escalation of violence to a level that the enemy either cannot or will not match. The government of the United States has adopted a defensive posture with a much lower tolerance for open warfare and the casualties that all larger armed conflicts inflict. (On both sides) This combination can only result in a growth of our enemies’ strength. As our enemy’s capabilities grows, we can only expect to see more frequent and effective attacks.

The very fact that so many in this group are U.S. citizens is of even greater concern. The 9/11 attackers were not citizens of this country. It would be much more difficult to repeat this attack today for this reason. With this arrest however, we can expect to see Islamic terrorist attacks within our own country by citizens of the United States. This can be considered to be treason and treason is a capital offense. This alone is a major concern, and this is on top of everything else.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

President Obama worries me

I am somewhat naive. I attempt to believe the best in people. Particularly when regarding our Presidents. I am a Republican and I still believe that President Carter was a good man with his heart in the right place. I disagreed with him across the board, but I still think that he wanted what was best for our country. The same applies with President Clinton, although I was worried that he was out for himself more than what I would have liked.

President Obama scares me. If he really believes what he says (I like to think that Presidents believe what they say) we are in BIG trouble. He wants change. But the change he wants is not anything like what our country has stood for since our inception.

In a speech at Arizona State University, he stated that new graduates should work for non-profit organizations. This in and of itself is an admirable statement, but taken in context with other things that he has said, it is apparent to me that he believes that profit is evil. That profit is taking advantage of people. The path he is taking is one of someone who believes that our system of economics is and has caused us to be greedy and corrupt. He wants to change this.

He has begun by attempting to nationalize our financial system and our automotive industry. The health care system is on the front burner today. Will the energy industry be next? I think that he believes that by taking profit out of these systems, we will become more passionate, fair and efficient. This concept is the opposite from the economic ideas that our country was founded upon. And this is nowhere near a complete picture.

President Obama has traveled over the world telling the world how bad we have been in the past. Not that we have not made mistakes, or even been bad (Evil) at times, but our country has been a beacon of freedom and progress in the world since our inception. His focus upon our weaknesses and negative parts of our past is not doing our country any service. I don’t know what his view about our past concerning slavery is, but I consider us to have paid in full for that evil part of our past. The Civil War was the price we paid and that should be enough for anyone. I am not certain that he believes this. Yet our system of justice was set up so that we should NOT be held accountable for the sins of our fathers or grandfathers. From what he has said and is saying, he does not believe this. President Obama also wants to change how we defend ourselves.

"Millions for defense, not a cent for Tribute!" was a battle cry. He must not believe this. In addition, President Obama does not believe in talking softly and carrying a big stick either. The cuts to our military that he is proposing are not just a ‘peace dividend’. The halting of ALL new weapons procurement including missile defense is a fundamental change from our past of having at least a slowly modernizing military. I agree that military spending is wasteful and inefficient. The equipment is useless except for destroying and killing. The only problem is that it is priceless when war is upon us. Wars will not go away, and big wars will occur despite our best efforts. Being ill prepared for war is one of the most irresponsible things any President can allow. Doing it intentionally makes me VERY worried. Particularly when we are in an active, shooting war already.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Islamic issues that trigger warfare

I have no doubt that most Muslims are good people. However, the problem that I have with Islam is that it IS political. Many of the issues present are of the type that war is waged over. For example, Islam specifies a foreign policy of when to wage war and when to make or break cease-fires. (Jihad is only part of this issue.) Economic policy is specified as well as exemptions from military service. These are only some examples of where Islam has the power of a modern nation-state. This is causing problems of loyalty within the Islamic world as loyalty to Islam can be in direct conflict with loyalty to the government where you live. Throughout history, resolution of these types of issues has triggered countless wars. For example:

One of the two major issues decided by the U.S. Civil War was loyalty to the state is NOT above the federal government. Most southerners were and are good people. (I was born in New Orleans) Resolution of the two issues of slavery and loyalty made the U.S. Civil War worth fighting and all of the loss of life that war causes. Islam has many more than just two of these types of issues. These issues are a major part of the reason why so much violence and warfare is present where Islam comes into contact with the world and within the Islamic world itself.

I consider these issues to be cultural in nature, much in the same way as southern loyalty to the state over the federal government. And like the South, the best future for mankind is that Islam does not win regarding these issues.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Iran executions

Iran has announced that it will execute 7 ‘rebels’. These rebels were involved in the recent unrest that had occurred within Iran after the presidential election. I am certain they were interrogated. Most likely the methods used were not nearly as ‘nice’ as we would use. I would expect the number of public executions to rise, but only by a small number. I am just as certain that for every announced execution, many others have been enforced. While I favor the death penalty in this country, I do have a problem with Iran in that Iran’s government follows Islam.

The U.S. Constitution gives the defendant so many defenses that only the worst offenses will be prosecuted with the death penalty. Some offenders that come to my mind are Timothy McViegh and John Gacy. As far as I am concerned, they had it coming. However, one of the problems that I have with Islam is that death is prescribed so often within the Koran. For example:
Islam has 4 enemies:

1) Bandits
2) Rebels
3) Infidels
4) Apostates

This means that Islam allows execution and open warfare against these enemies. This includes the entire world outside of Islam, plus many Muslims within the Islamic world. And we are speaking of 6th century warfare when genocide, enslavement and pillage were considered common payment for the armies of the day. This is in marked contrast to the professional armies with the corresponding training and discipline of today’s soldiers. A current example of this is the match-up of the Israeli defense force against HAMAS and Hezbollah. This alone is a good reason to wage war, as has been demonstrated time and again.

I find it interesting that Islam has so many restrictions upon what a Muslim can and can’t do, but is so lax when it comes to killing what it considers to be enemies. The Koran shows how life was considered to be much cheaper in the 6th century than it is today. (Getting rid of this is another good reason to wage war.)

In summary, these executions are no surprise. Iran will crush opposition within its control and Islam will be the tool that is used, as it is in this case. Iran will continue its path of organized, irregular warfare against the United States and all of the ‘Western’ world. It can only be a matter of time before WMD enters the picture.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Al Qaeda re-deploying?

NY Times:

By Eric Schmitt and Souad Mekhennet
updated 2:59 a.m. CT, Fri., July 10, 2009
WASHINGTON - Al Qaeda’s affiliate in North Africa has carried out a string of killings, bombings and other lethal attacks against Westerners and African security forces in recent weeks that have raised fears that the terrorist group may be taking a deadlier turn.
American and European security and counterterrorism officials say the attacks may signal the return of foreign fighters from the Iraq war, where they honed their bomb-making skills.

If this indeed is the correct analysis, we can expect increasingly effective attacks to begin occurring in Europe and other areas.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Afghanistan is NOT Iraq.

U.S. commander: More troops are needed. Surprise. Throughout history, just about ALL commanders say that they need more troops. In this case, I believe that he is referring to more Afghan units, although I am certain that he would accept more U.S. soldiers. (Note - General Grant was one of the few exceptions to this general rule as he cut back on the artillery the army of the Potomac brought with it when it engaged the Army of Northern Virginia in 1864. He believed that too much would hinder his movements, as was subsequently shown.)

Even if everything else were the same, just the terrain alone would require far more troops per capita in Afghanistan than Iraq. Everything else is not the same and in many cases aggravates the need for more units, both combat and support. I doubt that we will obtain anywhere near the same level of support from the Afghan population that we obtained in Iraq, although this is yet to be determined.

The ‘surge’ required the better part of a full year before it became obvious that we were making positive progress. I expect Afghanistan to take longer, although I am not so certain that the outcome will be as decisive as the result was in Iraq.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Iran plans to place British embassy personnel on trial.

Once again, Iran flouts international norms. The embassy of all countries is considered property of that country, not the country where the embassy is physically located. The taking of the U.S. embassy staff as hostages in 1979 was an act of war, much like an actual invasion. Embassy staff is considered off limits, as are the diplomats stationed there. Even when diplomatic ties are broken, or a war breaks out, embassy staff is escorted out of the country. Without this protection, many people would not become diplomats in the first place and communication between governments would be compromised. Iran once again demonstrates that they are outside of international rules and norms. The leadership of Iran is expert in Islamic law. I guess that Islam allows for such things. After all, Islamic law does not recognize any other legal system or rules.