Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ Category
Posted by Greg on March 23, 2009
Posted by Greg on January 30, 2009
Bruce Schneider responds to criticisms of technology like Google Earth.
Criminals have used telephones and mobile phones since they were invented. Drug smugglers use airplanes and boats, radios and satellite phones. Bank robbers have long used cars and motorcycles as getaway vehicles, and horses before then. I haven’t seen it talked about yet, but the Mumbai terrorists used boats as well. They also wore boots. They ate lunch at restaurants, drank bottled water, and breathed the air. Society survives all of this because the good uses of infrastructure far outweigh the bad uses, even though the good uses are – by and large – small and pedestrian and the bad uses are rare and spectacular. And while terrorism turns society’s very infrastructure against itself, we only harm ourselves by dismantling that infrastructure in response – just as we would if we banned cars because bank robbers used them too.
Precisely. You don’t go banning things because some morons put them to good use.
Posted by Greg on March 26, 2008
This post explains in a nutshell everything wrong with the Bush Administration approach to anti terrorism and monitoring.
Posted by Greg on January 24, 2008
Dan Savage covers this story so brilliantly. Read it in full.
La la la. Islam means peace.
Posted by Greg on November 5, 2007
Good, muyst-read analysis of why things aren’t as they seem, at least as reported by the media. Don’t believe the GOP talking points that the “Surge” is working.
Unfortunately, no one seems to be calling our elected officials or the traditional media on this nonsensical idea that the “Petraeus strategy” should be credited with stanching the flow of blood. No one seems to notice that, as with everything else in Iraq, the Iraqis are going to do what they want, when they want. When al-Sadr lays down his arms, there will be relative peace. When he takes them up, Americans will die in dozens.
Regardless, the fortunes of Iraq will turn on Iraqi decisions made in Baghdad and Najaf, not in Washington, D.C. and the halls of Congress. As this situation shows, peace in Iraq lies in the hands of Iraqis. It cannot—and will not—be forced by Americans at the point of a gun.
Posted by Greg on May 16, 2007
It was quite interesting watching the Republicans debate down in South Carolina tonight. I think it’s clear that this group has come to fully understand that winning the GOP nomination is all about the codpiece. These guys have just spent the last fifteen minutes of the debate trying to top each other on just how much torture they are willing to inflict. They sound like a bunch of psychotic 12 year olds, although considering the puerile nature of the “24” question it’s not entirely their fault. This debate is a very clear insight into what really drives the GOP id
Sad and true.
Posted by Greg on March 8, 2007
They’re coming. Majorly cool.
Posted by Greg on March 8, 2007
Great stuff from Obsidian Wings. Many viewpoints and observations from those on the inside.
Posted by Greg on February 19, 2007
Posted by Greg on January 31, 2007
Why does this right wingnut radio host hate America?
Seeing Jane Fonda Saturday was enough to make me wish the unthinkable: it will take another terror attack on American soil in order to render these left-leaning crazies irrelevant again. Remember how quiet they were after 9/11? No one dared take them seriously. It was the United States against the terrorist world, just like it should be.
Hat tip: Atrios
Posted by Greg on January 30, 2007
The Telegraph reports on increasing Islamist tendencies among the younger generation of Muslims in Britain.
Forty per cent of Muslims between the ages of 16 and 24 said they would prefer to live under sharia law in Britain, a legal system based on the teachings of the Koran. The figure among over-55s, in contrast, was only 17 per cent.
In some countries, people found guilty under sharia law face penalties such as beheading, stoning, the severing of a hand or being lashed.
My friend Michael van den Galien observes:
It has to be noted that the organization which conducted this study is a right-wing think-tank called Policy Exchange. For those who have a hard time believing this high percentage and / or who automatically want to dismiss everything published by a ‘right-wing think-tank’ there is this: months ago I reported for what was then my blog, Liberty and Justice, that the Dutch secret service conducted a similar study. The result? 40% of Moroccon-Dutch youth believes that democracy is incompatible with Islam.
Europe has bent over backwards to be accomodating, but at some point lines must be drawn. Is there no responsibility for assimilation among those who immigrate? If you don’t want to be British, why the hell do you move to Britain?
How to fight this (development)? For one thing ‘we’ in Europe (it’s not ‘just’ a British problem, it is a European problem) have to keep up the debate about the way Muslim immigrants and their children integrate and participate in our societies. We cannot allow the debate to be silenced by the political correct crowd. They have made themselves, regarding immigration and integration at least, irrelevant. They’ve had their way for decades, and today we can witness the disastrous results of those ways.
He has some good ideas – including some things that from a civil liberties standpoint would make Americans cringe, but the situation in Europe is, by some measures, dire. I can appreciate their situation if not always the methodology.
The Spanish defeated Islam in their country by forcibly evicting the Moriscos, creating the Inquisition to locate conversos who feigned the abandonment of their previous loyalties and maintaining a strong barrier against Muslim entry. They did not invade the Iraq or Morocco and attempt to turn the culture into a neo-Spanish one. The historical strategy worked and kept Islam in check for centuries. The democratization strategy already shows signs of massive failure after less than four years.
His call to end overt displays of other cultures goes too far, in my opinion, but otherwise he hits the mark with his essay.
This idea of holding onto one’s roots and values is obviously not unique to Muslims, many third/fourth generation immigrants go through similar experiences. With all eyes on you, its hard to fade into the background, go unnoticed – you’re different and you know it, so why not embrace the only thing you really identify with?
The main issue taken up by a lot of papers was the clear difference between opinions of the older and younger generations. Anyone who knows must realise that the effort put into ‘fitting in’ and ‘not making a fuss’ was astonishing amongst the first generation of Muslims in this country. As times have changed, so have attitudes. Perhaps the new generation have taken a certain British attitude and taken a stand for what they believe in and are willing to shout it off rooftops.
My reaction to this data, in addition to still greater alarm than is my wont, is to wonder what these youth have in mind? There’s no way they’ll be happy in a Sharia state, and if they want to try one out, they can always move to Saudi Arabia or maybe parts of Sudan or Nigeria to get a sense of it. But I strongly suspect they don’t want that. For them Sharia is women wearing veils (74% of the youth want that), women not marrying non-Muslims (56%), and being able to threaten dissidents (37% agree that apostates from Islam deserve death). For them, I suspect, the appeal is the nihilism of destroying a society that makes them (as individuals and as a group) feel inferior, the instinct for destruction that fills with hope the breast of he who has been denied honor.
Posted by Greg on January 12, 2007
Just when you think things can’t be worse, you turn on the news and get the daily idiocy from the White House. For today, that would be the Bush administration’s efforts in the middle east, and Dubya’s desperate, flailing hope to bring Iran into his Iraqi fuster cluck.
Greenwald really needs to be read in full.
Jesus’ General gets it right with his graphic below:
Posted by Greg on January 8, 2007
They all think the “surge” is an incredibly bad idea:
Among the many newspaper columnists questioning President Bush’s plan to send 20,000 or more fresh troops to Iraq are quite a few conservatives breaking with the White House on this.
Oliver North, for example, attacked the idea in his syndicated column on Friday and today, in the Washington Post, George Will comments that the “surge” idea is basically too little and too late, and will only lead to a “protracted” U.S. struggle. The column is titled, “Surge, or Power Failure?”
Meanwhile, David Brooks at The New York Times comments, “Unfortunately, if the goal is to create a stable, unified Iraq, the surge is a good policy three years too late.” Its chance for success is almost nil, he explained.
With Paul Krugman hitting the surge on Monday, this represents perhaps a first: all six regular opinion columnists (Brooks, Krugman, Friedman, Dowd, Kristof and Rich) are in agreement on a vital issue, all against the escalation.
Posted by Greg on November 1, 2006
Courtesy of an honest conservative – there are a few of them left.
John Derbyshire at National Review observes:
John Kerry is awful, and anything we can do further to degrade his political prospects is worth doing. But really, I saw a clip of him making the much-deplored remark, and it was obvious that the dimwit in Iraq that he referred to was George W. Bush, not the American soldier. It was a dumb joke badly delivered, but his meaning was plain. My pleasure in watching JK squirm is just as great as any other conservative’s, but something is owed to honesty. There’s a lot of fake outrage going round here.
Meanwhile, what’s going on in Iraq that makes the administration so eager to stick pins in their John Kerry doll? Wouldn’t have anything to do with the abandonment of kidnapped American soldiers, or being pushed around by their Iraqi puppets, would it?
Andrew Sullivan rightly observes:
The U.S. military does not have a tradition of abandoning its own soldiers to foreign militias, or of taking orders from foreign governments. No commander-in-chief who actually walks the walk, rather than swaggering the swagger, would acquiesce to such a thing. The soldier appears to be of Iraqi descent who is married to an Iraqi woman. Who authorized abandoning him to the enemy? Who is really giving the orders to the U.S. military in Iraq? These are real questions about honor and sacrifice and a war that is now careening out of any control. They are not phony questions drummed up by a partisan media machine to appeal to emotions to maintain power.
And where, by the way, is McCain on this? Silent on Cheney’s “no-brainer” on waterboarding. Silent recently on Iraq. But vocal – oh, how vocal – on Kerry. It tells you something about what has happened to him. And to America.
Posted by Greg on October 30, 2006
Great piece by Tim at Balloon Juice:
Let me follow up on a point from my Monday Thread below: what exactly does it mean if al Qaeda decides that it doesn’t need the Republicans anymore? What is this phase two that Kevin Drum mentioned?
Recall that al Qaeda’s overall mission statement doesn’t specifically involve killing Americans. Like most terrorist groups Bin Laden and Zawahiri’s outfit has an agenda that relates more to their local environment than to the people they attack. It may serve America’s self-absorption to think the evil men attacked us for our freedoms or some such pap but it just ain’t so. Ultimately al Qaeda’s endgame serves Bin Laden’s pseudo-messianic fantasies about uniting the Arab middle east under a populist, fundamentalist banner. A Greater Caliphate. Bin Laden’s primary problem is the British partition of the mideast, which functions exactly as designed by keeping any potential Ottoman empire bottled up in conflicts between more than a dozen competing nation-states.