One of my favourite military affairs writers talks about terrorism, Islamists and why the West’s response to them is going to fail.
I was looking over some fascinating math and how it is represented as an image. On the radio was yet another breathless report on the nascent deal with Iran. Then a story about our Ambassador getting attacked in South Korea. Next I read Randalls Page about a message of approval about the knife attack from the North Koreans. Not exactly statesmanlike discourse. As usual NK wins the race to the bottom.
The “Strange attractors” by analogy here are our allies in the two regions, our policies on nuclear and ICBM non proliferation and our foreign troop deployments in the two regions, Asia and the M.E. I have joked in the past that if North Korea was in the middle east we would have invaded them twice already. That’s the strange part. Maybe that’s just me and this analogy matters little. Maybe it’s an effective way to seat aside certain highly charged partisan and religious statements and concerns for just a moment.
So if you will trust me, please try a thought experiment in this admittedly oversimplified perspective. Please forgive any unintended insult to legitimate concerns.
In two particular locations we have two powerful nations that are considered to be an existential threat by immediate neighbors. Neighbors who are key strategic allies to us, enjoy special economic and immigration terms etc. Many families are extended into two or more countries involved. Consider that our long term policy is to not allow nuclear weapons proliferation.
North Korea is legally at war with us. They sometimes act like it. Sinking South Korean Naval vessels, kidnapping citizens. Then they added nuclear technology. No one stopped them. Then NK developed nuclear weapons material. No one stopped them. Then they tested nuclear warheads. Nobody stopped them. They repeat the test. They continue to develop long range missile tech.
Long patient Japan, one of the most nuclear powered nations in the world makes no threats. They have not (yet) applied the engineering they possess to create strategic weapons. They are as under the gun as Israel is or more. But no one threatens to preemptively attack North Korea.
I’ll not repeat the whole middle east side of the scenario described here. That has been very well covered. And I admit some doubts about exactly how close Iran or North Korea are to a working ICBM or medium range nuke. The cross currents here are enormous. Political and partisan. Religious and cultural. The genocide looms large for all of us. The South Koreans have not suffered a genocide, but surely have suffered enormous deaths at the hands of North Koreans and Chinese forces in war.
But all this brought me to a rather disturbing conclusion. In US policy, containment trumps non proliferation. The worst NK regime can and has gained nuclear weapons and faced zero military consequences. They do endure sanctions, but they just do whatever they have to do to cope with the sanctions. And bluster and bully. Fortunately Iran has a far more sensible government than NK. What does that mean on the ground in the middle east? This map shows us Irans missile ranges.
What conclusion would Israels people or military or government legitimately draw from the Korean example? The conclusion that “boil a frog slowly” actually has worked to manipulate US policy against non proliferation. The message becomes that yes in fact if Iran takes it’s time with the US it will in fact suffer at worst economic consequences for the development and testing of nuclear warheads. That makes Israel the nuclear deterrent factor instead of the US.
What conclusion has the bifurcated government of Iran drawn for the lessons of recent history? Are they just playing for time? I’d like to think not, I can hope they see the advantages of a non nuclear military that’s still quite powerful and a nation electrified with nuclear as well as other energy sources.
Lastly what might the people and government of South Korea think of all this attention locked onto the middle east while North Korea makes more warheads and gives it’s blessing to attacks on Ambassadors?
Just “Lovely.” David Neiwert has more,
While most American-born activists who become involved in defending Palestinian rights avoid becoming overt anti-Semites even while steadfastly criticizing Israel, Kenneth O’Keefe is not one of them.
O’Keefe, a former Marine-turned-antiwar and anti-environmental activist who specializes in what he calls “direct action,” has morphed in recent years into a raving, David Duke-endorsing anti-Semite, particularly in the speeches he gives to well-known white-supremacist groups.
The most noteworthy of these was O’Keefe’s speech to the IONA London Forum, a gathering of academically oriented white supremacists and anti-Semites held last August. The speech was noteworthy for its crude ugliness: the 50-plus-minute-talk by O’Keefe revolved around the repeated phrase “fucking Jews.”
Here’s the Audio clip Rightwing Watch found where she mouths off. She’s angry that Fox News, dared to apologize for spreading anti Muslim hate.
Yeah Muslim no go zones are “real.” I wonder if that’s why people not just in the United States, but also Europe, see Fox News as a joke now. Those people now include British Prime Minister, David Cameron who couldn’t believe how stupid Fox was. Also the entire idea, that that Sharia law will take over Europe or the United States anytime soon is ridiculous. Last I checked Muslims only made up about zero point six percent of our population, and its hardly accurate to say all, or even most of them are extremists, who would support turning America into a theocracy.
I wonder if this is why Fox News could get sued in France for their claims about “no go zones” in Paris. I guess its all fear of the Muslims, and the non existent “no go zones” that they live in.
As for her bizarre claim that for liberals Islam trumps gay rights. Its not like liberals never condemn homophobia in the name of Islam, just like they condemn homophobia in the name of Christianity. Its not like mainstream news organizations who reject the nonsensical idea of “stealth Jihad” or “Muslim no go Zones” haven’t reported on homophobia in Muslim majority countries. Pamela Geller on the other hand, Is only pro gay rights when Muslims are persecuting homosexuals. She doesn’t seem to care when Christians do it, especially if they’re anti Muslim like her.
Update 1/24/15 at 4:50pm.
Note: I originally stated that Muslims made up only point six percent of the US population, but it confused some LGF regulars so I changed it to read “zero point six percent” instead just to make it clearer as to what I meant.
More than a dozen civilians were attacked this morning in Tel Aviv, Israel on a local bus by a knife-wielding Palestinian. 13 have been reported as suffering from stab-related injuries, and four are presently hospitalized in serious condition. The assailant was stopped by Israeli police forces following a short pursuit.
Latest update courtesy of Ynet News:
A Palestinian terrorist armed with a knife stabbed 13 people during rush hour on Wednesday morning in a terror attack on a bus in central Tel Aviv. Four of the victims were badly hurt in the attack.
At roughly 7:15 am, the terrorist, a 22-year-old from the West Bank town of Tul Karem, boarded Dan bus number 40 on Begin Road in Tel Aviv, close to Beit Maariv Bridge, and stabbed the driver and more than a dozen passengers before fleeing the scene. He was quickly tracked down by Israel Prison Service officers present in the area, shot and apprehended.
Of the wounded, four are in serious condition, three sustained moderate wounds and the rest were lightly hurt. People were also being treated for shock after the attack.
Hamas has welcomed the attack as an “heroic and courageous act.”
Yeah because nothing says “heroic and courageous” like attempting to murder defenseless children on their way to school:
Liel Suissa, an 8th grader from Bat Yam, was on his way to his new high school Wendesday morning, when a Palestinian terrorist armed with a knife began to attack people on the number 40 bus in central Tel Aviv.
“The terrorist suddenly began stabbing,” the 13-year-old recalled. “We all ran back. Most people came flying towards me.
“I was sitting on the bus and I heard people shouting. The terrorist had suddenly gone to the driver and stabbed him. He was shouting things, but I couldn’t hear clearly. I saw him stab the driver, and I ran to the back with the others to get away from him. He approached us, I broke the window and got out.”
What else really needs to be said at this point? And yes, this is the very same group that several European countries recently decided to stop classifying as a ‘terrorist organization’..
I’d never heard of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) until about an hour ago when a book on Amazon with an unusual title (Islam Is a Foreign Country) piqued my interest. It just so happened that its author, Zareena Grewal, turned out to be the (former) director of the Center, so I went looking to see who they were. Here’s what I found:
ISPU is an independent, nonpartisan think tank and research organization committed to conducting objective, empirical research and offering expert policy analysis on some of the most pressing issues facing the United States. These issues include U.S. foreign policy, national security, the economy, and public health. In addition, ISPU has assembled leading experts across multiple disciplines and built a solid reputation as a trusted source for information about American Muslims and Muslim communities around the world. […]
More: ISPU - Who We Are
I also checked out the site to see who was on their Board of Directors, Board of Advisors, staff, and scholars (under Experts). Yes, I’m very cautious these days because there are too many so-called “scholars” and “specialists” who are little more than paid hacks of the Islamophobia industry. Then there are the Muslim concern trolls who only ever show up on Fox News & CNN (especially after terrorist attacks or when they’re hawking one of their books) or who are hired by right-wing outfits like the Gatestone Institute, where they rub shoulders with some of the worst, most hateful anti-Muslim mouthpieces.
There are also some rather extreme Muslims out there, so there’s the concern about anyone known for their antisemitic views. I didn’t see any names that set off alarms, and the article “Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia Surge in Europe” put my mind at rest on that particular matter.
I found their Islamophobia: A Threat to All page especially interesting as it offers three research publications for download. Towards the bottom of the page, under the heading “Existing ISPU Research on Islamophobia”, it also provides PDFs of some (slightly) older, but still very relevant topics.
The Issues section covers such topics as American Muslims, European Muslims. the Middle East, South Asia, US Politics, National Security, the Economy, Public Health, and of course there’s a 9/11 Series.
Last but not least, is the Publications section. There, in addition to the first volume of ISPU Insights (a biannual publication that highlights things they’ve been working on throughout the year), you’ll find sections for Reports. Policy Briefs, Articles and Books.
It was under Policy Briefs that I found the PDF below, which this Page takes its title from and which I thought might be of particular interest to quite a few of you here. The author, Asifa Quraishi-Landes, does a great job of articulating what Sharia is (and isn’t) as well as explaining what’s required in terms of scholarship for reform to happen that will be accepted by most Muslims (i.e. the mainstream, not the far-left progressives who are much smaller in number and tend to lack the gravitas and credibility—in an Islamic context—required for them to be considered a serious catalyst for change).
I think most of you will find the ISPU website to be a very useful resource when struggling to understand certain aspects of Islam and the Muslim worldview. Sure, there is a shared foundation, but there are many other factors that influence that worldview: where one was raised/lives, whether one was born into a Muslim family or is a convert (most of whose immediate family members are probably not Muslim), why and at what point in life one converted, not to mention one’s socioeconomic background, education level, individual personality, etc.
Alright, I’ll stop yakking now and let you move on to reading the PDF and/or exploring the website (I’ve only barely scratched the surface myself—there’s a LOT of info there). Hope this helps a little.
Here’s the original tweet I saw that alerted me to this story, The picture was not included in the article.
I’m glad Adam Everett Livix was caught. who knows how many innocent lives had been saved. Certainly this terrorist attack had it been successful would have been another sad addition to the Palestinian Israeli conflict.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel says it has indicted a 30-year-old American Christian for plotting to blow up Muslim holy places in Jerusalem.
The Ministry of Justice said Tuesday that a court had indicted Adam Everett Livix in connection with the plot.
It said that Livix had cooperated with his roommate, a serving soldier in the Israeli military, to obtain 1.4 kilograms (3 pounds) of explosive material to use to blow up the unidentified Jerusalem holy places. The ministry said the plot was discovered by a police agent in October.
It said that Livix was indicted on Monday and is currently undergoing psychiatric evaluation.
Livix’s indictment comes at a time of rising tensions in Jerusalem, mostly over a disputed holy site that is holy both to Muslims and Jews.
This is disgusting. The people in charge of “The Lancet” ought to be ashamed of themselves for even considering allowing this to be published in their journal. Evelyn Schlatter reports on this shocking development.
For nearly 200 years, the British medical journal The Lancet has been internationally well respected in the medical profession. But lately, the journal has come under fire for allegedly being “hijacked” by an “anti-Israel campaign.”
In July, according to The Telegraph, the journal published a controversial “open letter to the people of Gaza” that strongly condemned Israel without mention of Hamas actions. The letter’s five primary authors claimed they had “no competing interests,” but The Telegraph notes that all five have campaigned vigorously in pro-Palestinian causes over the years, something the journal failed to make clear.
Particularly controversial was the fact that two of the letter’s authors, Dr. Paola Manduca and Dr. Swee Ang, also promoted a video by David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. That information was revealed in a cache of emails openly available in Google groups, according to The Telegraph. Ang is an orthopedic surgeon in the UK while Manduca is a professor of genetics at the University of Genoa in Italy.