Courtesy of BlackFive.
Archive for March 2006
John Hawkins: In the book, you said that anti-Americanism seemed to be at least in part, a religion substitute for many Europeans. Can you elaborate on that idea?
Claire Berlinski: Certainly. The phenomena to be explained are the irrationality and the ardor of European anti-Americanism. Irrational, because entirely disproportionate to any real faults in American society. Of course America has flaws, and no, it is not lunacy to point them out. But in poll after poll, you see substantial numbers of Europeans, non-trivial numbers, who believe the September 11 attacks were staged, yes, staged, by an oil-hungry American military-industrial complex to justify its imperialist adventures in Iraq. In Germany, 20 percent of the population believes this. In France, a book arguing this case was a galloping bestseller. Now that is bughouse nuts. Totally bats in the belfry. Then the ardor: “My anti-Americanism,” wrote one columnist in the British Telegraph, “has become almost uncontrollable. It has possessed me, like a disease. It rises up in my throat like acid reflux, that fashionable American sickness.” If only we could harness all that outrage and transform it into a non-polluting energy source! You see this kind of thing all the time in the European press. (Meanwhile, if the French, say, wipe out the entire Ivorian air force, do you see protestors on the streets chanting “No blood for cocoa?” What a question.) When you have these two phenomena together-irrationality and this curious passion, this fervor-it seems reasonable to conclude that you are in the presence of something like a cult. So you consider it, sociologically. What role does this ideology serve in the European psyche? One answer: It fulfills many of the roles once played by the Church. It offers a comprehensive-if lunatic-answer to the question, “Why is the world the way it is, and why is there evil in that world?” It provides a devil to excoriate and then to exorcise. There is community and belonging in anti-American activism, ecstasy in protest. Again, a form of Christian heresy, and no more lunatic, surely, than anything the Cathars believed, if also no less.
The definition of religion has been modified by socialist propaganda apparati into meaning Christianity or anything relating to a Holy Book. But in reality, religion is belief in almost any systemic belief system. Whether of Scientific Atheism, Deism, or anti-Americanism.
You even have Shintoism, as a religion, in Japan which focuses on patriotism and honoring your ancestors.
Europe euthanizes babies in the name of “compassion”
German Euthanasia 1938-1945
THE SEEDS OF GERMAN EUTHANASIA were planted in 1920 in the book Permission to Destroy Life Unworthy of Life (Die Freigabe der Vernichtung lebensunwerten Leben). Its authors were two of the most respected academics in their respective fields: Karl Binding was a renowned law professor, and Alfred Hoche a physician and humanitarian.
The authors accepted wholeheartedly that people with terminal illnesses, the mentally ill or retarded, and deformed people could be euthanized as “life unworthy of life.” More than that, the authors professionalized and medicalized the concept and, according to Robert Jay Lifton in The Nazi Doctors, promoted euthanasia in these circumstances as “purely a healing treatment” and a “healing work”–justified as a splendid way to relieve suffering while saving money spent on caring for the disabled.
Over the years Binding and Hoche’s attitudes percolated throughout German society and became accepted widely. These attitudes were stoked enthusiastically by the Nazis so that by 1938 the German government received an outpouring of requests from the relatives of severely disabled infants and young children seeking permission to end their lives.
Americans save babies.
Decide for yourself which one is true compassion.
Here is who we fight against, and I don’t think the Europeans are on our side in this fight.
We go to Normandy. At the hotel, the woman confides to us: “My two sons are planning on leaving. While I pay for their education they’ll stay, but as soon as they’re done, they’re planning to leave and they want to go to America.”
Because the country’s going to hell. Because the bureaucracy favors the Arabs.
As a matter of loyalty, I feel that our real friends in Eastern Europe deserves to come to America. Not the French. Personal debts of honor still matter to me, even if it does not to 90% of the rest of the world.
Besides, we have too many anti-American fake liberals already, we don’t need anymore from the bailing French. If they ain’t willing to fight for their country, they sure as heck won’t fight for ours.
“What about anti-Americanism?” I ask the waiter who was marrying an American girl and hoping to go to the States to start a restaurant.
“Oh, that was bad back at the time of the Iraq war, but no longer,” he said, with a reassuring confidence.
A wave of anti-Americanism that poisoned the Western alliance and has contributed so much to making Sadaam Hussein’s removal a nightmare in the winter of 2003, was in his eyes a passing squall. Not a problem.
It reminded me of the remark that an FBI guy said to some scholars about the Waco catastrophe: “We didn’t do anything wrong, and we won’t do it again.” Except that this Gaulois who wanted to jump ship to America wasn’t even saying “We won’t do it again.” There was not even the admission that the wave of pro-Chirac anti-Americanism was a stupidity that hurt France. Just a promise that, right now, we don’t feel any anti-Americanism.
Ja, pull the other one. About as believalbe as Zarqawi saying he won’t kill you right now.
The Jews I meet with show heavy signs of wear. One of the sweetest and smartest of the French Jewish intellectuals I know, a woman of Tunisian origin, one of the single-generation acculturaters, comes towards me without knowing I see her. Her face is so drawn with care that I have difficulty identifying her. I go by her haircut, until, upon seeing me, her smile comes back and wipes away the lines of worry.
The Halimi Affair, whose Jewish and Muslim dimension the French Jews know about in much greater detail than their Christian and post-Christian fellow-citizens, has that community in a panic.
I’m sorry to say this, but the Jews have a learning problem. After what happened in WWII with the French betraying their French-Jews and trading Jews for Collaboration, you’d think the Jews would remember and hold a grudge with ruthless efficiency. But no. They still choose to live in France. It boggles my American mind.
We told ourselves, they’re unaware. If we can get them to look at this clearly, we can persuade them.
Don’t make me laugh. Relying upon dishonorable shits with one of the worst track records in history, is not wise.
I don’t like France, not because they are anti-American, but because they have no honor, no dignity, and no utility.
I feel more comraderie with the Japanese that America fought in WWII, than I would ever feel for the french.
“Since 9-11, there’s been a notable change in the Muslim community. Before you rarely heard Arabic spoken. Now they speak it loudly, the mothers aggressively take over areas in parks and gardens. They started to pick up their heads and feel pride.”
“Yes, it gave them a sense of power.”
There was a discussion going on in another post-comment about Belmont’s War to the Knife postulations.
This is a useful addendum. If 9/11 gave the Muslims in this world a sense of power, just imagine what a nuclear attack resulting in 500,000 casualties would do. Can we say world wide Muslim insurrection?
Richard Landes is a good source of amazing information, Neo, thanks for providing me with the opportunity to read him.
Israel lacks, has lack, and will always lack one thing. Ruthlessness. It is what separates them from AMerica. And it is also what separates America from everyone else in the world, except for our enemies of course. Israel has always had compassion, but compassion will not bring peace. Israel now is going isolationist, and while I would not advocate such a solution for America, it is the only solution available to the Israelis.
Unfortunately for the Israelis, they do not have the philosophy “peace through superior firepower”. Their will has been sapped by countless suicide bombings. Americans would never have tolerated the existence of such a threat to our women and children. Yet Israel has tolerated it for 50 years. Israel has given and still continues to give money to the Palestinian Authority, inspite of the casualties they suffer because of this policy. This policy is Israel’s compassion, and it has killed more Israelis than any Palestinian suicide bomber ever will.
Compassion kills. It has killed Europe, and it will continue to kill Americans until we kill compassion ourselves.
I smile whenever I read vega. Cause surely he does his place of origin proud with his moniker.
The solution in this case is the same as that which protected blacks from the lynchings of the KKK, the neo-Nazis, or whatever militia group there were.
Threat and enforcement of instant execution or arrest, upon any damage to Rahman either directly or indirectly. If we can’t prove it in an Afghanistani court that some “cleric” assassinated Rahman, then we’d just order the cleric disappeared as an object lesson in who has the real power in the region.
This would have the effect of putting the clerics, the warlords, and the criminals in stasis. Karzai has to represent his constituents, but he has to also realize who holds the real power in the region.
When these clerics that called for Rahman’s assassination, disappear and I do support their disappearance 100%, many will blame the United States government and many will say Karzai bended under Western pressure.
However, if Karzai were to say that he told America to effect the punishment of the traitors in Afghanistan, those that would fight against the lawfully elected government of Afghanistan for reasons of Islam, in public and we then confirm Karzai’s words, Karzai would not only save face but he would also prove the power of the secular state vs the religious theocracies. This helps protect and create the institutions that Afghanistan needs for democracy to work.
All it would take is the death of a few hate mongering clerics. Not a wholly huge price to pay.
This is an opportunity, like many, that could have been capitalized by Bush if he had been willing to be aggressive and use violence. Bush, however, chose the non-aggressive path of peace, diplomacy. Condi Rice convinced Karzai to drop the charges.
This has weakened Karzai to charges of Western puppet controls, and increased the power of the religious hate militias in Afghanistan. This has made the greater US strategy more vulnerable to failure, because it will now be easier to convince Afghanistanis to commit violence to “purify” Afghanistan of anti-Islamic foreigners.
One such misstep is not fatal for the cause of democracy. But as you can see in Iraq and at the American homefront, a series of such missteps in capitalizing on opportunities given to you by enemy assaults, will produce an alarming sign of your defeat in this war.
Bush has latitude to make such mistakes in the short run, but his latitude is quickly running out. The only thing holding his administration and the war effort up are two things. Blogs and the military. That is it, those are the two main pillars of Bush’s effective policy.
The UN doesn’t back Bush, the Republicans don’t back Bush cause it is his second term and his polls are low, and the Democrats don’t back him. Not even his own bureacracy, CIa/State, backs Bush. Bush has no pillars of power in the diplomatic/peaceful/non-aggressive sphere. All his powers, or political capital, rests with propaganda in the form of blogs and military power in the military.
Those are Bush’s strengths. Yet he wasted his political capital on domestic issues like social security, because he tried to play to his weaknesses.
As Sun Tzu has said time and time again, with few if anyone paying attention, concentrate your STRENGTH against the enemy’s WEAKNESSES. When you are weak and your enemy is strong, avoid battle and confrontation.
Bush is strong on defense, the military, and on the blogs where information is freely debated and facts exist to be easily read.
Bush is weak on domestic propaganda, enemy propaganda, foreign diplomacy, international diplomacy, and internal politiking.
In such a situation as Abdul Rahman, Bush should have used his military option. He did not. Al-Sadr is the ultimate personification of what happens when Bush tries to use diplomacy to “sooth” the raging beast of Iraq.
Absolute, total application of force is not the best solution. Unfortunately, Bush doesn’t have Hitler or Clinton’s rhetorical skills. Neither does Bush have the propaganda skills of a Leni Riefenstahl or a Goebels or a Dick Morris. All that is left to Bush is absolute displays of force and threats, and he won’t use it.
This is why the war is more or less inching along, and few if any ultimate victories are seen.
We’re stuck in a trench war, where both sides are hitting our strong points (terroists vs our military) and we’re hitting their fortifications (diplomacy vs Islamic propaganda and terror).
You don’t win a war through attrition, by pitting your troops against the enemy’s best fortifications and troops. Bush, though he knows it not, is relying on a strategy of attrition, to delay things until the Iraqis can take over. But that doesn’t mean what Bush wants us to think it means. When the Iraqis take over, that means it is time to take the next town. And somehow I don’t think Bush has any plans in the works for that, given his actions on Iran. If he wanted to take military action, he already would have. Like every other instance, Bush uses diplomacy. And because Bush has few if any access to good diplomacy, Bush’s diplomacy fails miserably.
There is a way to use diplomacy to intimidate Iran into backing off and Syria into backing off, but it requires giving Iraq and Afghanistan nuclear weapons and launch abilities. It also includes raids into Syrian and Iranian territory, without a declaration of war. It also requires full naval blockade and sinking of Syrian and Iranian registered ships, with the point of not rescuing any survivors.
It’s a good thing the charges were dropped. But there’s just going to be another incident the Islamics will create so that they can capitalize on. The fight goes on, and few if any gains are acquired with this “victory”.
Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice said she could not confirm that an Afghan court had dismissed the case and stressed the U.S. needs to respect the sovereignty of Afghanistan, which she called a “young democracy.”
These words are part of the international law outlook of Washington, France, Germany, and the UN. It is categorically not the outlook of Americans and Jacksonians. It just isn’t. Personally, I don’t give a damn about other nation’s sovereignty, since it’s not like if we respect their sovereignty they are going to respect ours. France has no qualms about telling us what to do, regardless of us refraining from blasting France on their problems at the highest levels.
Leaving the ME alone didn’t prevent 9/11, it didn’t prevent first Trade Center bombing, it didn’t prevent the murder of 140 Marines, it didn’t prevent the death of around 19 sailors on the USS Cole, and it sure as heck didn’t prevent the execution of Americans captured while the terroists hijacked planes and cruise ships.
International sovereignty is a joke, and it is one that the Islamics understand quite well.
The very fact that Afghanistan is a young democracy, means that you have to MAKE IT LOOK like Karzai didn’t give into Western pressure. You have to. Otherwise the next time you try and visit, the Taliban will be back in full force. If they aren’t already.
With power comes responsibility, the power over life and death means you are responsible for Afghanistan, Secretary of State Condolezza Rice. The President, if he doesn’t understand this fact, dooms the war effort to trench warfare.
While the U.S., Britain and other countries that prop-up his government have demanded the trial be dropped, Karzai has had to be careful not to offend Islamic sensibilities at home and alienate religious conservatives who wield considerable power.
Without missing their heads and limbs, will find it quite hard to “wield considerable power”.
Historically, American democracy was quite bloody. Democracy requires bloody to be shed, because you can’t have a democracy where the wacko White SUpremacists run around spouting their “politics” and assassination programs. The Wild West, if they ever caught a criminal, hung him. Chaotic situations are balanced by the sheer ruthlessness and moral clarity of the righteous and the peaceful citizens.
If you are unwilling to execute the enemy of democracy, Secretary Rice and President Bush, you will eventually end up with a government that isn’t a democracy at all.
Let it be clear. Afghanistan does not have “sovereignty”. Sovereign states don’t rely upon an “umbrella” protection from a superpower. Proxy nations are protected by their umbrella sponsors. Sovereign nations have their own defense.
In this world of ours, few nations are sovereign, which is why the idea of sovereignty is a joke. To get true sovereignty means reducing American military power and influence, which is why the Democrats keep talking about sovereignty in relation to Saddam.
Policharki, a high-security prison housing some 2,000 inmates, including about 350 Taliban and al-Qaida militants who were blamed for inciting a riot there late last month that killed six people.
A fledging democracy would have executed these 350 people for traitors already.
But Afghanistan is unable to do so. They fear the reaction from the United States. Whether Rice knows it or not, but 70 to 90% of Afghanistan’s domestic and foreign policies are decided from their perception of the reaction from the United States of America.
Republicans seem to have a rather shortsighted vision of American power and influence, to the point where they believe that it somehow doesn’t affect other nations just because we don’t want it to affect them.
The politicians, certainly do, if not middle America.
American decadence, such as the inability to execute someone guilty of mass murder in less than 1 year, and executing someone like Tookie without 25 years, is a weakness that fledging democracies should not be saddled with.
If the Wild West took 25 years to execute someone, their buddies would have sprung him and executed the sherrif in a shoot out. Eventually you won’t have a sheriff or a federal marshall force to protect the town with.
You can afford to be merciful if you hold all the cards, but America has never held all the cards in the world, especially now. Even if we did, that doesn’t mean Afghanistan could not be picked off even if America at large was safe. And as was proven on 9/11, if the enemy takes territory but not American territory, that still helps them with the logistics required to assault America herself. Seas no longer offer the same protection as they once did.
Bush obviously doesn’t want to become an Empire, but the socio-political balance of powers in the world, demands that America either relinquish our power or become worthy of our power in this world. If you want to be a leader, then you must lead. Not only that, but you must be loyal to YOUR SIDE and ruthless towards the enemy.
No leader could maintain power by rewarding his enemies and punishing his allies, no leader could maintain power by ignoring threats and trying to “negotiate” deals between his allies and his enemies.
As I said before, the military plays a big part in sustaining our victory. That is why America, is so grateful. They see a strength and vitality in the military, a clarity of purpose, that they don’t see in Washington. The military is not as decadent as American politicians. The military has the death penalty for many offenses still, under military law. Military justice is to justice as military music is to true music.
I’d take military justice over “let’s parole child rapists” any day of the century. Administrative punishment is far better than the KELO Act.
The reason why the war isn’t lost now, is because the military is facing the evils in Iraq and Afghanistan, and either freezing them or killing them. This buys the politicians time to create a political solution.
The solution is correct, it is the details of application that are wrong.
Whatever respect people hold for America, is because of Bush’s determination and the force used by our military.
The West pays premium attention to “ideas” of liberty. But for the great majority of people in the Middle East, simple survival trumps ideas. If you can’t provide our auxilliary forces (iraq/Afghanistan) with freedom from execution and assassination, then they’re not going to go with such a weak horse as us.
This might be a hindrance if we were using Imperial politics. But since we are using idea and liberty politics, it is a sheer disaster to have the people we free, think we are weak because our military can use bombs but they Catch and Release terroists and criminals.
If the Mexicans caught an American rapist, and then released him and had him escape to Europe which is free from capital punishment, we’d be pretty pissed I would think. The Iraqis are just as upset when we catch and release Saddamites and terroists back into Iraq, for them to blow up more people.
When listening to a Virgin mp3, I came up with an idea about a very good psychological operation that would fullfill many needs. This is getting quite long, so I’ll save that for later on my blog.
The only strength is fanatical adherence to Mohammad’s early medieval, post-pagan, desert nomad pronouncements.
The other strength is called a fission chain reaction.
Except we don’t use that strength of ours, therefore it doesn’t make us strong. I noted before that the ultimate weapon of mass destruction aren’t nuclear devices, but actually propaganda and psychological projects.
It has to do with the genkai, as the Japanese term it. All attacks have a limit, a rate of fire if you will. Stronger attacks have a slower rate of fire, while weaker ones have a higher rate of fire. A missile launch can shoot one missile, and then has to be reloaded or discarded. A 30mm gatling gun, however, can fire many lesser damaging projectiles at a much higher rate.
This belief in the limit, has pervaded Japanese society. It is probably the single reason why Japan didnd’t surrender after they received one nuclear device on their soil. They believed that such a powerful weapon could not be used all that often. That belief was shattered by the second. Now they were right in the sense that we only had 2 bombs, and that it takes time to make these WMDs because of their destructive potential, getting hit with a chain combo of nukes when you expected that such a powerful attack would come rarely, is a deep psychological wound.
Propaganda, has a much higher limit. It can be used over and over. And at higher echelons, like Hitler’s, propaganda kills more people in the end than nukes ever have. Simply because you have such a high limit to the use to which propaganda can be used for, while you have such a low limit for how nuclear weapons may be used.
The solution, thus, is either to increase our use of propaganda or to increase the limits imposed upon our weapons of mass destruction. If the goal is to get people to stop fighting, many solutions are available. If the goal is just to get rid of people, then go see this link.
One of the things I found fascinating was the Japanese Special Attack Forces. It takes a lot of real multicultural ability to understand such an alien culture as Japan, back in the WWII days. But we did it.
The interesting part is that you don’t need to use canine pact dynamics to explain this phenomenon. Basic human behaviors are quite satisfactory.
But NPR is wonderful. Democrats feel that it’s too conservative while Republicans feel that it’s too liberal, which is a sure sign that it’s doing its job.
A lot of people say that. Another way to look at it is with the two generals. Both are trying to deceive each other in the war, in order to gain an advantage. A neutral village, however, doesn’t want to let either of the general’s troops in, regardless of their attempts at negotiation and reasoning. The village doesn’t let the soldiers in because they believe both are telling lies, and that it would be better to stand in the middle, where both sides cannot benefit and will be pissed.
Eventually, one of the generals got fed up and realized that the other general must be playing him for a fool with these negotiations, obviously the other general had reached an agreement with the village elder to attempt this stalling tactic in order for the other general to pull some surprise attack. The suspicious general, having realized this, orders an attack on the village. The other general, seeing the enemy run to the gates of the village, realizes that the village leader was stalling him so that the suspicious general could steal a march and get inside the village, using it as a fortification to kill the slow general’s troops. So the slow general starts to march on the village. The suspicious general sees this as confirmation of his belief that the village elder was in kahoots with his enemy.
Eventually, after the fast general wins and takes over the village, he executes the village leader, his family, and his entire village for allying his village with the slow general. This is what being neutral gets you in war. As it should be. Bookworm might be interested to know that had we not faced Hitler and taken sides when we did, we would have faced both Stalin and Hitler’s armies. Just cause one of them would be dead (Slow General), doesn’t mean you aren’t going to get hit by the entire resource of both of their sides.
Some people believe that truth is derived from a sum of averages. I believe truth is derived from competition, risk taking, and skill. Along with a good bit of luck.
The law of averages people would look at my story and say that the truth was that both of the generals were wrong. I say, the truth is that both of the generals were right. Both generals were benefiting from the villager’s neutrality, and the suspicious general realized that he couldn’t trust his enemy to keep up the status quo. It was a war to a knife after all, annihilation or victory. The slow general would have done the same as the suspicious general, except the slow general was a bit slow.
Think it through, both generals were benefiting from the villager’s neutrality. So obviously one general will come to realize that he will benefit more, if he was the “only” one benefiting from the villager. To do that, he has to capture the village and deny it to the enemy.
Neutrality doesn’t mean you’re doing your job, neutrality means you’re buying time to delay the point when everyone attacks you at once.
If the terroists don’t get you like they did Tom Fox, the American people will get you like they did Dan Rather. Choose sides, it is both more responsible as well as much wiser.
One way you can analyze your opponent’s propaganda is to do a psychological analysis of the character of their leader and propagandists. Depending upon the result, you will come to the right conclusion as to their biases and goals, without paying one iota of attention to their actual techniques. Studying the techniques might teach you how good their propaganda technique is, and how much truth to lie ration they have in the mix, but it really does not tell you whether their biases are pro-American or anti-American, fake liberal or true liberal, conservative or isolationist, Republican or Democrat.
Found this link on google, while searching for something else entirely. The last post topic in fact.
“The crucial phenomenon in the society is that of honor. This is the supreme value, more important than life itself. Sharaf is a man’s honor of the man. It is dynamic and can rise or fall in line with the man’s activity and how he is perceived.
“The opposite pole of honor is shame. Researchers are not certain what is more important, the notion of honor or the fear of the shame that will be caused if honor is compromised. It is not honor, but shame that is the key issue. Public exposure is what harms a man’s honor and humiliates him. The Arab is constantly engaged in avoiding whatever causes shame, in word and deed, while striving vigorously to promote his honor. Beyond shame and preventing its occurrence, there is vengeance, which is also to be displayed to all.”
This reminded me quite stunning of Japan’s honor code. Not as a similarity, but as a basis for strategizing. We learned from Japan, through a military funded study about Japan’s culture. The commissioned book, the Sword and the Chrysanthemum, was part of the study by the military on Japan and Japanese perspectives on the war. This is the same internal study that they just finished on OIF.
Is it possible that we will gain the same insights into Islamic culture as we did in Japanese culture, and thus in effect successfully be capable of using psychological attacks to defeat our enemies once again?
A goal worth pursuing, because if you keep reading, the Islamic culture is quite a lot more depraved than the Japanese culture was before we nuked them into defeat.
I’ve been keeping my eye on the Malacca Strait (pink arrow in map) for a long time. Although the Strait narrows to less than two miles in width at one point, a significant portion of the world’s shipping passes through this area, including nearly all of the petroleum imported to Asia (esp. to China and Japan). It would be a trip of over 1,000 miles to go around the Malacca Strait.
That’s fair enough, piracy still exists. It just doesn’t exist in waters controlled by American commanders. But the main point still stands. The existence of piracy in waters that are controlled by Japan, Indonesia, Australia, and China as compared to the Persian Gulf, mediterranean and the Atlantic is a good contrast.
It would be problematic to say that America prevents piracy if there was no piracy. Hard to prove something that doesn’t exist. That tends to produce people who say that piracy evaporated because of speaking Truth to Power, like when the Berlin Wall fell.
and I agree with that, but even an organization that powerful can’t stop piracy/hijackings/illegal boardings everywhere
Our Navy can do it. Stop piracy everywhere, that is. But it would require an American Imperial will that is strong enough to overule and intimidate local governments. Since we’d be using our submarines to blow up pirate vessels on our permission, not on anyone else’s. Regardless of whose flag the target flies. That can cause problems, if we didn’t have an understanding with certain nations.
So I differ on the technical basis. Meaning, I think the problem is political, not military.
but even an organization that powerful can’t stop piracy/hijackings/illegal boardings everywhere, and unfortunately, such acts are commonplace in some areas of the world.
It is not surprising that they are common. But most criminal gangs are state sponsored, privateers in other words. Such a network of piracy would require a network, and state sponsorship. Which probably makes it the terroist’s funding source and black market.
Piracy seems to be very common in the chaotic parts of the world. As in the 17th century, the colonies in America were constantly raided by other nation’s privateers and freelance pirates. Not only ships, but entire towns and capitals were looted and slaughtered. Sometimes more than once in a row.
The pirates today are a mixed bunch and can be found all over the world and can be anyone from a highly trained guerilla warrior to a rogue military unit (such as in Indonesia) to part of an international criminal gang or cartel. Pirates might also be part of international terrorist organizations (particularly Abu Sayaf out of the Philippines, which has strong links to Al-Qaeda as well as Asian crime syndicates and the heroin trade) or even simply local down-and-out fishermen who see a rich prize steaming by and can’t resist (he states that poverty has driven many to piracy in the Caribbean, in Nigeria, Bangladesh, and elsewhere). Burnett writes that pirate weapons can vary from knives and machetes to modern assault rifles and grenade launchers. Pirates have even been known to have an insider in the crew of a ship, planted there to assist in a plan act of piracy.
The reader will discover that pirates can attack any ship – ranging from small private yachts to the largest of the supertankers – in any locale, including port or on open, international waters. The goal of the pirates can vary from robbing the ship’s safe and the sailors of their personal possessions (such as money and jewelry) to the ship’s cargo (be it millions of dollars in petroleum or on a private yacht the expensive electronics) to the ship and the sailors themselves, the former turned into a phantom ship that is used to smuggle weapons, drugs, or illegal immigrants, the latter fodder for a thriving international kidnapping trade (that is if the crew are not simply killed and dumped overboard).
Pirates can be found anywhere in the world though the main areas that they seem to operate in are west from Indonesian waters to as far east as Taiwan and the Philippines (favoring the vital shipping lanes through the Malacca Straits and the dangerous waters of the South China Sea), as well as off the coast of Brazil, off the Somali coast of East Africa, and West Africa. The Malacca Straits in particular are a vital area plagued at times by pirates; as $500 billion in goods passes through it annually, sometimes as many as 600 ships a day going through the Straits, which in some places are less than a mile wide, it is a target rich environment for pirates but one that is not particularly well policed. Though some waters where pirates operate are regularly patrolled – the Royal Malaysian Marine Police and the Singapore marine police are very active against pirates – other countries are unable or unwilling to work against them, with in Indonesia some military units either working with the pirates or pirates themselves. His description of the South China Sea – bordered by Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, China, and Taiwan – was particularly chilling, an area where international laws and standards aren’t particularly well-enforced; which he writes is an “unpatrolled black hole where unarmed vessels and their civilian crews simply fall off the edge of the planet,” an area where Abu Sayaf rebels have been know to attack ships with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades and kidnap rich tourists off of resort islands.
This is part of a review from the Amazon Book Dangerous Waters .
I notice that the pirates don’t wantonly kill the crew more often than not. Perhaps even they understand that if they catch the notice of the United States Navy, that they would be ended in 6 months.
President Bush has a problem, in that he does not apply our strength against the terroist’s weaknesses. One of the terroist’s weaknesses is that they tend to congregate in chaotic parts of the world, and use crime to fuel their terror machine. They are also minimally present on the seas, and terroists on the high seas are bereft of much of their propaganda advantages. Such as tv crews, hand cameras, and various other things. They can’t slip away into the night and meld with civilians, like they can in afghanistan and Baghdad. It would be ridiculously easy to execute the crew of a pirate ship and cover it up, but let the terroists know we did. It would be ridiculously easy to torpedo suspected terrorist ships and the ship would just go “missing” if there were no survivors.
Pirates is an economics game, just like suicide bombings is. Cut their economic life rope, and they’re dead.