Archive for the 'War' Category

Microaggressions in a macro world

Friday, March 27th, 2015

To the pathetic millennials and those who cheer them on, if you ever think about microaggressions, you’re the problem. You have no sense of humor. You might qualify as a future college professor, however, which shows how low we’ve fallen.

All this while WWIII is beginning.

IAEA report

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Excepted from a WaPo story:

Iran isn’t providing needed access or information, nuclear watchdog says…Yukiya Amano, director general of the IAEA, said in an interview that Iran has replied to just one of a dozen queries about “possible military dimensions” of past nuclear activities. Amano said that Iran has provided only “very limited” information about two other issues, while the rest have not been addressed at all.

Amano said that the six global powers negotiating with Iran should insist that the country implement the additional protocol that would allow IAEA inspectors to go anywhere at any time to examine sites suspected of harboring secret nuclear weapons development. That additional protocol, Amano said, will be “very much needed. It will give us more powerful tools to look at activities not declared to us.” Iran signed the protocol in December 2003 and initially implemented it, Amano said, but the country ended its compliance in 2006.

Amano said that near the top of his list of unanswered questions about possible military dimensions of Iranian nuclear activities was the Parchin military complex. He said that the IAEA has information that Iran conducted experiments in a high-explosive chamber there…the agency said in its report that it “is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”

Even the UN is tougher than the US. What times we live in! Eli Lake has an interesting report too.

Everything new is old again

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Totten:

the Houthis have virtually no chance of ruling the entire country. Their “territory,” so to speak, is restricted to the northwestern region surrounding the capital. Previous governments had a rough go of it too. South Yemen was a communist state—the so-called People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen—until the Soviet Union finally ruptured, and four years after unification with North Yemen, the armed forces of each former half declared war on each other.

Far more likely than a comprehensive Houthi takeover is a new and more dangerous phase of Yemen’s endless self-cannibalization—more dangerous because this otherwise parochial and irrelevant conflict has been internationalized, with ISIS, the Saudis, and Iran squaring off against each other in yet another regional proxy war.

The Houthi movement is named after Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, an insurrection leader killed by the former government in 2004. They are Shias, but unlike the “Twelver” Shia Muslims of Iran—who revere eleven imams and await the birth of the occluded twelfth—most of Yemen’s Shias are “Fivers.” Iran doesn’t mind. From its point of view, better the odd “Fiver” Shias than Sunnis, but all that really matters is that the Houthis are willing to say yes to Tehran, its weapon shipments, and its top-notch military advisors and trainers.

The next-door Saudis, of course, are backing what’s left of Hadi’s former government down in Aden. They’ve been Yemen’s primary patron since the 1930s and won’t sit back and idly watch as Iran’s Islamic Revolution is exported to their back yard any more than the United States would have allowed the Moscow to conquer Canada during the Cold War.

Yemen’s conflict is tribal, sectarian, and political at the same time, and it’s becoming increasingly internationalized even as the US is leaving. It’s also a little bizarre. Last month, President Hadi declared Aden the new capital, though no one in the world, not even his allies, recognize it as such. A few days ago a Houthi-commanded military jet flew over the city from Sanaa and fired missiles at his residence…

Osama bin Laden’s family is of Yemeni origin, as was Anwar Al-Awlaki, one of Al Qaeda’s chief propagandists before the Pentagon vaporized him with a Hellfire missile in 2011. The deadliest bomb-maker in the world plies his trade with Yemen’s branch of Al Qaeda and has planned at least three attacks against commercial airliners. And now that Iran is involved in the Saudi family’s sphere of influence and the Sunni majority is backsliding, ISIS and Al Qaeda are gaining even more traction.

Talk about the need for a two state solution. The factions above have been going at it since a little after 632. No end in sight however.

Some French policies, now and then

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Now, via WSJ:

“Making the end of March an absolute deadline is counterproductive and dangerous,” France’s ambassador to the U.S., Gérard Araud, said via Twitter after the latest round of negotiations in Switzerland concluded Friday. “No agreement without concrete decisions on issues beyond the enrichment capability question,” he said a day earlier, specifically mentioning the need for extensive monitoring and clarity on Iran’s past research work. Western officials believe they included the pursuit of nuclear-weapon capabilities. In a sign of France’s determination, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called his negotiating team in Lausanne on Thursday to insist no deal could be forged that allowed for the rapid easing of U.N. Security Council measures, according to European officials. France worries the quick repeal of the U.N. penalties could lead to a broader collapse of the West’s financial leverage over Tehran

Sounds like they’re hanging tough, but that’s nothing compared to their policy a decade ago.

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin…

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

But not necessarily of little minds. A dangerous consistency is perhaps the hobgoblin of certain ideologues. Cases in point: (a) Paul Mirengoff discusses this fellow Malley; and (b) what’s going on in Egypt. Never in recent memory has the world been so inverted, when common sense is denounced as extremism, and a certain kind of extremism has become conventional wisdom among the chattering classes. Help!

Bonus fun if you can find it: Tim Blair goes all un-PC.

15 years that went by pretty fast

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

NYT:

entire industries have emerged and seized the dominant positions in the Nasdaq index even as their predecessors faltered. Apple, now the world’s largest company by market capitalization, barely registered in 2000, and the first iPhone was not announced until 2007. Over a billion smartphones were shipped in 2014.

Google, which now ranks third and dominates the market for Internet search advertising, went public in 2004 at $85 a share, giving the company a market value then of $23 billion. Today, its market capitalization is over $360 billion, and its shares were trading this week above $570.

Facebook, now No. 5 in Nasdaq’s ranking, dominates social networking, another industry that did not exist in 2000. It went public less than three years ago, and is already valued at over $180 billion.

Had the Nasdaq index itself not been transformed by innovation and competition, it would be nowhere near its previous peak. The stocks of many of the surviving companies, like Microsoft and Intel, have not come close to the levels they reached before 2000. That means investors who bought and held the stocks of individual companies in 2000, as opposed to broad mutual funds tied to the Nasdaq or index funds like the QQQs, are still underwater

Some things are going really well and some are going really badly. Hard to know where we’ll be in another 15 years.

They sow not, neither do they reap

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Wretchard: “It’s almost as if there were two parallel universes. The real one in which the rest of the world lives and the fantasy land bounded by the Beltway and the media capitals.” Don’t forget the universities too. The closer you get to these tenured or semi-tenured worlds the further from reality you get. After all, you’re living off the productivity of others, in a world where income and performance often bear no relation to each other. WRM: the government needs “to make foreign policy for the country they’ve got, rather than making foreign policy for a hypothetical country that exists only in their hopes.” They sow not, neither do they reap; but ah, how they dream.

Quote of the day

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

A smart fellow who knows a little history: “the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.” Gosh, that fellow is so smart we were shocked to learn that he hadn’t published his first autobiography by the age of 35.

Sigh

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

RIP, again and again and again and all the same story.

Idiocy of the day

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Way beyond parody at this point.

Compare and contrast

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

This and This. Ha.

It’s getting hard to overstate just how weird things have gotten. Weird. A parallel universe where 98% of bad things are either secular or the fault of some guy Kony. Of course the most interesting thing is that the crazy narrative of the administration carries no weight with most Americans, including for the first time the MSM, who now put serious people like Graeme Wood on the air.

Did we say weird? How about not backing Egypt’s play against ISIS? How about guys like Rudy Giuliani now saying openly and in public what a lot of people only thought or whispered a couple of years ago? (Final bonus fun from AT.) Weird.

More progress

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Graeme Wood, who teaches at Yale and speaks Arabic, in The Atlantic:

the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam. Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail…

ISIS follows a distinctive variety of Islam…The most-articulate spokesmen for that position are the Islamic State’s officials and supporters themselves. They refer derisively to “moderns.” In conversation, they insist that they will not — cannot — waver from governing precepts that were embedded in Islam by the Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers. They often speak in codes and allusions that sound odd or old-fashioned to non-Muslims, but refer to specific traditions and texts of early Islam…

Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the Islamic State’s chief spokesman, called on Muslims in Western countries such as France and Canada to find an infidel and “smash his head with a rock,” poison him, run him over with a car, or “destroy his crops.” To Western ears, the biblical-sounding punishments — the stoning and crop destruction — juxtaposed strangely with his more modern-sounding call to vehicular homicide…But Adnani was not merely talking trash. His speech was laced with theological and legal discussion, and his exhortation to attack crops directly echoed orders from Muhammad to leave well water and crops alone — unless the armies of Islam were in a defensive position, in which case Muslims in the lands of kuffar, or infidels, should be unmerciful, and poison away.

Progress at the WaPo was a tentative thing, but this is really straight talk in an establishment publication.

Life in the age of blather

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Somebody at Daily Beast:

the violence perpetrated by Christian terrorists in America. For starters, since 1977 there have been ”8 murders, 17 attempted murders, 42 bombings, 181 arsons, and thousands of incidences of other criminal activities” targeting reproductive health care facilities here at home. With few exceptions, there were perpetrated by Christians

We wonder if the percent of Americans who agree and disagree with this has changed since the GZM controversy.

Final point: let’s count, hmmm, 1 murder every 5 years in the example above, versus, say, 21 a day in some other places.

Again, what is wrong with these people?

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

You understand, don’t you, that they had a big meeting in order to coordinate across government departments saying the weird and grotesque things they said the other day. So it was a plan, not an aberration. Here’s Roger Simon and Mark Steyn. What do you suppose that meeting was like?

What is wrong with these people?

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Exhibit A.

Progress

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

You can read Ruth Marcus’s column in a negative way if you like. We don’t. (For perspective, here’s Jonah Goldberg on the other side.) Marcus’s column means that comparative religion and comparative violence are now legitimate subjects in places like the WaPo newsroom and editorial offices. Fine. It means we’re all finally past the time of George Bush’s inanity of 9/17/01. That’s progress.

The point is that he believed it

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Peace for our time:

I want to thank the British people for what they have done and next I want to say that the settlement of the Czechoslovakian problem which has now been achieved, is in my view only the prelude to a larger settlement in which all Europe may find peace. This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it, as well as mine. Some of you perhaps have already heard what it contains, but I would just like to read it to you. We the German Fuehrer and Chancellor and the British Prime Minister have had a further meeting today, and I agree in recognising that the question of Anglo-German relations is of the first importance for the two countries and for Europe. We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German naval agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two countries never to go to war with one another again. We are resolved that the method of consultation shall be the method adopted to deal with any other questions that may concern our two countries and we are determined to continue out efforts to remove possible sources of difference and thus to contribute to assure the peace of Europe…My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Go home and get a nice quiet sleep

VDH

The appeasing party is not always the weaker one. In 1938, Combined British and French military power was greater than that of the Third Reich. President Jimmy Carter had far more military options than did the Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran during the 1979-80 hostage crisis. Instead, stronger democratic nations feel that they can continue to enjoy short-term calm and peace of mind — and let others worry about any long-term likelihood of aggression. Maybe by treating jihad, terrorism and radical Islam as taboo words, radical Muslim terrorists will respond and become less threatening. In truth, appeasement, not deterrence, is the more reckless path. With serial concessions, democratic leaders convince aggressors that they must be stronger than they actually are.

It was only 11 months after Chamberlain spoke those words that WWII began. 11 months! He clearly believed what he was saying and less than a year later WWII began. Remind you of anyone or anything?

Very unusual, and so forth

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Strong words from the Gallup CEO on the ridicuoulsly low labor force participation rate. Guy’s not with the program. What’s up with that? And the UN reports more horror from ISIS. Finally, China cut reserve requirements. That’s it. Things along the line of the UN report are so awful that words fail.

Mumps, measles, chicken pox, polio, and other diseases

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

LAT:

Gunmen shot and killed four health workers carrying out a polio vaccination drive Wednesday in the capital of Pakistan’s restive Baluchistan province, police officials said. The deadly shooting was the latest to target polio workers — whom Islamist militants accuse of conducting espionage in the guise of vaccination campaigns — in Pakistan, one of three countries where the disease has not been eradicated…Workers administering oral polio drops to the children are frequently attacked across Pakistan, particularly in Baluchistan, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the port city of Karachi and the northeastern tribal areas. Gunmen shot at a polio worker outside Peshawar on Monday when he was visiting houses to administer the vaccine. Jamaat ul Ahrar, a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack. The group later released a “policy statement” on polio saying that the vaccine is “dangerous to health and against Islam.”

AS:

it is absolutely true that I reject a notion that somehow that creates a religious war because the overwhelming majority of Muslims reject that interpretation of Islam. They don’t even recognize it as being Islam, and I think that for us to be successful in fighting this scourge, it’s very important for us to align ourselves with the 99.9 percent of Muslims who are looking for the same thing we’re looking for — order, peace, prosperity.

So vaccines are now controversial in the US as well as Pakistan? People are freaking out over 100 cases of measles? What a world! As a veteran of mumps, measles, chicken pox, German measles and similar things, our recollection is that they were no big deal, a few days off from school. We understand that there are rare acute problems, but those are the exception. Contrast that with polio, a devastating disease all of the time. The quality of a society can be measured by how well it deals with deadly or debilitating diseases. So far the US is not doing well.

Bonus fun: the cheap (and highly profitable) correlation between CO2 increases and a couple of degrees F is having significant problems. We need more witch doctors for more new things to frighten the great unwashed.

Another series of impressively depressing writings

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

WRM. VDH. Spectator. Had enough?