Monthly Archives: March 2003

Idiots, idiots, idiots.

There's no excuse for how flat-out stupid the Allies are being. The strategy being employed in Iraq (bomb first, then send in ground troops) is designed to fail. I just can't believe that US military planners are this stupid. For whatever reason, this action is designed not to work.

Let me recommend three classic books that help illustrate:

The overwhelming message in all of those books, which explain in simple terms how an underfunded underequipped and minimally trained force can best large advanced well funded militaries, is this:

For grass-roots guerrilla action to succeed, the people must understand your political mission, and must relate to it. If the people do not support you, no matter how just your cause, you will fail. But with the people's support, no matter how great the enemy, you will be victorious.

Everyone agrees I think that Baghdad may be the “defining” battle in Iraq… And the people are the real wildcard. Saddam may have a lot of troops (outnumbering the US forces potentially), but Baghdad is no mud-hut village — it's a modern metropolis of four million people. Change the writing in the advertising billboards and shave everyone's mustache and you'd think it was Miami.

So what does the US do? Launch missiles into civilian markets. Do you really think that the people who's family's bodies litter the streets are cheering for American-style freedom? Do you really think they understand that this is just “unfortunate collateral damage”? Maybe they'll see that in twenty-five years, but they're not going to believe that lie any time soon.

So what is the US doing? It's taking a giant population of people who could easily have swung politically toward the US, and instead guarantees the opposite… Whereas they should have sent in ground troops first (into civilian areas). Yes, more US troops might have died, but the Iraqis would not be shown the dishonor that it means to be part of the American military, and would not be living with the proven belief that Americans will never improve their lives.

It's a very basic strategical failure.

Everyone in the military knows that. Guerrilla forces have been a significant part of mainstream warfare for the last fifty years. Which means that logically, this was a reasoned decision.

Now ask yourself, why would the US make military decisions, that, no matter what the end outcome (I'm not saying the US can't eventually pound Iraq into submission — it's got probably a hundred thousand times the assets to throw at this), will guarantee civilian hostilities and a deeply destabilized region? I offer you two potential overlapping answers:

  • The more damage that's done, the more money will be spent. That is, the corporate interests will reap rewards directly in relation to the damage. These corporate interests are not only the largest contributors to the Bush/Cheney regime, but they are personally involved as well. These attacks go a long way to guaranteeing that those companies, as well as key figures in the regime, will become outrageously wealthy.
  • Iraq was on the cusp of having sanctions lifted, its tourism was way up, and its population was largely Westernized (look at pictures of Iraqi's urban centres if you don't believe me; the picture above really is Baghdad). It was literally on the verge of becoming a “first world” nation with the same ideals of freedoms as places like America (well, maybe not America, but you know what I mean). These attacks go a long way to guaranteeing that won't happen.

Maybe you have another answer…. But the only other answer I could come up with is “the people making the plans are morons” and we know that's not true…

War isn't pretty

I'm not an idiot, and I understand how war “works”… I understand that friendly fire happens in war and that one shouldn't read too much into isolated incidents of it. But let's take a look at the death count so far. According to the British, “friendly fire” currently accounts for 90% of their fatalities. That means that if you're a British soldier, and you're killed in this war, so far there's a 90% chance that your own Allies killed you, not “the enemy”.

If you want to see something interesting, watch the Chinese news… They have a pile of their own military experts explaining why the US will lose this war. To simplify, the US still fights wars “like WWII”, whereas Iraq has been so impoverished as far as gear goes for so long that it's had forty years of relatively well-funded guerrilla training, putting it at a massive strategic advantge on some levels.

Which may mean that short of just levelling the country through air-based nuclear strikes, Iraq might be able to hold its own. I still think America should be able to win this war quickly and will be quite confused when they don't… But then… Remember, God is anti-war.

Now it's common sense time… and thanks to mal for this link of clarification. Now I understand the debate and how the logic of all this works…

PS. Feel free to take these pictures I'm posting and forward them to anyone you'd like.


Well, the update is in place thankfully. I honestly wasn't sure if I'd wake up and have to restart it manually… But it's there in place, and I'll get the rest of it online later today I hope.

As most of you know, one of the things US troops “discovered” (it was a known target so “discovered” isn't really the right word) was a chemical plant that was “bunkered” and slightly hidden. The suspicion was that it was a chemical weapons plant (although any idiot can tell you that if you're building even a legitimate factory in Iraq you should probably shield/hide it to protect it from US attacks). I saw the following post:

I heard about some warehouse possibly had chem weapons in it....then my mom said a neigbor said it was FILLED and blah blah blah, now I cant find ANYTHING about it. weird. i dont beleive that there were WMD, but i find it weird that i cant even find it now.

I think that pretty much typifies how “information” comes out in this war. The US makes some outlandish statement and then it turns out to a lie, and we never hear about it again — it just gets back page coverage so unless you actually read the news, you don't always hear about it. That chemical plant turned out to be clean for example. A couple other examples:

  • The US gave a list of folks it thought was dead including Saddam and Tariq…. turned out they were not.
  • The US said that Iraq fired a SCUD at Kuwaid…. turned out they didn't.
  • The US said Umm Qasr had fallen…. turns out it didn't.
  • The US said the Iraqis had surrended in bulk…. turns out they didn't.
  • The US said Iraq hadn't shot down any choppers… turned out they did.
  • The US said there would be a civil uprising against Saddam…. turns out the people are more loyal to him than ever.
  • The US said the Republican Guard would surrender…. turns out it didn't happen.
  • The US said Basra had fallen…. turns out it didn't.
  • The US said Iraq had fired on Iran…. turns out they didn't.

I can list these on and on. Unfortunately most people just hear the first part of the statement since it's aid ten times as loud. The Bush administration has told Americans that the “victory” will come with a price in American blood. But let's look at what price that victory comes at for the Iraqis… What regime-legacy is being left for them?.

Saddam, even if you believe he's an “evil man” with a “rape room” that “eats babies” and may even breathe fire, is far less “evil” than many of the alternatives. And we do seem to be playing a game of choosing the “lesser” evil, right? To oversimplify, there are two major theo-political forces in Iraq — extremist Muslims, and then moderates like Saddam.

The extremists have been clear: “If you want to kill Saddam for us, fine, but when you're done with that, get the hell out or we'll massacre every soldier you leave here, and then we start on your citizens.” Seriously, this is right up there with when the US put the Taliban in power in Afghanistan.

Here are some guarantees. Everything else is up for debate. All of these are true even if the war magically ends fifteen minutes from now:

  • Billions of dollars of damage to Iraq
  • Billions of dollars of American tax money wasted
  • Thousands of Iraqis killed, if not more
  • Hundreds of American soldiers killed
  • Religious extremists (aka potential terrorists) empowered

I could expand that list almost indefinitely, and it gets worse every minute this goes on. There is no payback for the Iraqi people. All that'll happen for them is one dictator gets replaced with a far worse one and a lot of people get killed. All that'll happen for the American people is economic crisis and terrorist attacks… Some US companies might get right in the process.

But you will suffer for them.

But keep your head high, the flag of freedom will soon fly over Iraq, right? Either that or by the time Bush is through, the image of the US flag will be so tarnished that America will have to design a new flag out of shame.

Sharad Hett ownz j00

OK, I know I shouldn't laugh, what with the financial screwing of the American people by the Bush regime, the huge “JDAM” bombs being dropped on civilian buildings, and the multitudes of Iraqis being killed, but this “friendly fire” story did make me laugh (thankfully no one was killed in this one):

US F-16 Attacks Own Patriot Launcher

The upload is going soooo slow right now… I thought it just crashed (long freeze) but luckily it started again. It's at 27 meg (of I think 58 meg) as I write this and it looks like I'm getting not much better than 20kbps upstream which is… well… horrible. I can only assume that satellite traffic is way up because of all the stupid crap happening in the world.

Oh wait… it just crashed… damn.

(satellite rebooted… re-started…)

While I was waiting I took a bath and re-read Michael Bakunin's God and the State, an always relevant book (although if you want the short version just read any of Netzapper's posts, j/k)…

Yes, our first ancestors, our Adams and our Eves, were, if not gorillas, very near relatives of gorillas, omnivorous, intelligent, and ferocious beasts, endowed in a higher degree than the animals of any other species with two precious faculties — the power to think and the desire to rebel.

Anyway, I really enjoyed reading it again although I on the whole I find most books of philosophy absolutely dull (because of the style of writing that permeates them, not because of the content).

On a less pleasant note, my disowned mother (who tried to have me committed over body modification, kicked me out of the house for having a mohawk, kicked me out of the house for a nostril piercing, tried to undermine every lesson on freedom and liberty my father ever taught me, has done what she can as a teacher to have pierced kids banned from schools, and eventually drove my father crazy through her abuse, as well as other things that I won't mention) somehow figured out my address here and had the gall to show up. I told her to get the hell off the property immediately or the police would be called and to never come back.

I don't buy this “blood” crap. If someone mistreats me or the people I care about I will remove them from my life. If they continue to intrude it gets dealt with more harshly. It's that simple. Bad people are bad people, even if they happen to be related to you, and only a fool would associate with someone negative because of some ridiculous notion of kinship.

A little levity

Why do people think they can send me stolen pictures?

From: "Master Mike"
Subject: pic submission for website membership
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2003 17:40:34 -0500


I am submitting these personal pics so you can give me a membership in BME Hard and Extreme ........a full membership. Please let me know how I can access these pages ASAP.

Thank you!

Master Mike

Oh come on — those pictures are largely ripped off from BME, and they're obviously not even of the same person. Hell, one of the pictures isn't even of a human! It's flat-out insulting to expect that a scam like this will work. But don't worry, Franko is on the case.

From: Franko el Derbi
To: "Master Mike"
Subject: Re: pic submission for website membership

Thank you -- those are great photos. Unfortunately because of the new anti-terror legislation, we can no longer transmit passwords via email as we are located in a nation that the US no longer maintains diplomatic relations with.

Please visit your nearest Office of Homeland Security and (a) show them those photos, and (b) mention the following passcode to verify that it is you that is meant to obtain them: '5782-8642-6321'. If your village does not have an office, local law enforcement should be able to direct you to the proper authorities.

May peace rain down on you like fire from the skies,

Franko el Derbi
Ministry of Customer Affairs