Saturday, February 03, 2007

Who Am I Speaking To?

Forces loyal to Muslim leader Nur Misuari held Filipino peace negotiators hostage after they arrived on a peace mission. A cabinet Undersecretary and a Philippine Marine general were being held as "special guests" at in Panamao, Sulu. According to the Philippine Star. The group identified itself as a "breakaway faction" of an Islamic entity the government was "peace partnering" with. The rebels demanded mediation of their disputes by the Organization of Islamic Countries.


They were being held by the Misuari Breakaway Group (MBG) of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), led by Habier Malik and Khaid Ajibun. The identities of the other members of Santos' group were not immediately known. Presidential Chief of Staff Michael Defensor said President Arroyo instructed the military to handle the situation carefully. Armed Forces chief Gen.Hermogenes Esperon told The STAR that the MBG promised to release the group this morning to Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza. Esperon said the incident "has opened a wider understanding of the peace process because they took this opportunity to settle many unresolved issues." But Dolorfino, in a mobile phone interview over GMA 7, said they were not hostages but were "special guests" of the rebels who set as a condition for their release the setting of a definite schedule for a tripartite peace negotiation with the Organization of Islamic Conference or OIC.

This incident dramatically illustrates how difficult it is to negotiate with a networked insurgency, where organizational membership and even international boundaries count for little. For example, the Jemaah Islamiyah is training in Mindanao camps protected under a ceasefire agreement between the Philippine government and the More Islamic Liberation Front. When this fact is pointed out, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front says, 'you can't attack our base areas, we're your partners for peace'! They also solemnly maintain that 'we can't control breakaway factions'. And so the finger pointing and denials go. Advocates of "engaging" sponsors of terrorism must know, as the Filipino peace negotiators learned to their cost, that it is sometimes hard to know who you are talking to.

Update

The hostages have released, but denied they were ever hostages. The Philippine Star has an update on the story.

The group of Marine Maj. Gen. Mohamad Ben Dolorfino and Undersecretary Ramon Santos of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process left the rebel camp in the afternoon and spent about an hour at a Marine base in Lake Seit before being flown by helicopter to the headquarters of the 104th brigade and the Joint Task Force Comet at Camp Bautista in Busbus, Jolo. It was the Misuari Breakaway Group of the Moro National Liberation Front which held them for two days to press for the setting of a definite schedule for a tripartite meeting among the MNLF, the government and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Saudi Arabia.

10 Comments:

Blogger wretchard said...

Who are you going to talk to?

Suspected militants from the Hizbullah recently planted a series of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against a patrol of Spanish troops serving with the bolstered UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL 2) according to a subscription only report at Janes.

2/03/2007 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Why, you talk to the commander of the taqiyya brigades by telegram and JDAM. Unless he's on the internet, which will allow you to save some money.
The only non-negotiable element is the JDAM. Tell them that you'll be back to talk to them after they're gone.
Tell them that the solution isn't final, only permanent.

A while ago I said that we were in a total war, one of these days we'll find the clue that will allow us to recognize that fact.

2/03/2007 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger George1776 said...

You should also talk to our friends the Saudis. How about JDAMs sent to the headquarters of Islamic International Relief Organization (IIRO), the Al Haramain Foundation, the Medical Emergency Relief Charity (MERC), and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth. All Saudi "charities" all funding the war for a south east asian caliphate.

2/03/2007 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"The only non-negotiable element is the JDAM. Tell them that you'll be back to talk to them after they're gone."

Also, they should be told we won't talk to anyone who wasn't within the effective casualty radius of the JDAM(s) at the time of arrival.

2/03/2007 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Cedarford,

How exactly does that Ashkenazi higher IQ conspiracy work? Oh, that’s right; it’s perpetrated against marginal thinkers and is, therefore, inexplicable to all others than the Ashkenazi.

2/03/2007 08:12:00 PM

2/03/2007 09:07:00 PM

The Secret Populations of Saudi Arabia

2/03/2007 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

George1776, my apologies for not including that point.

2/03/2007 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

3case, I will leave the discussion in the more than capable hands of you and George1776. Perhaps the NSC and JCS would consider your thoughts in their planning sessions.

Back to my considerably less aggressive lurking mode.

I enjoy the discussions here.

2/03/2007 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Who am I speaking to?"

Why bother finding out?

You already know where it will all end.

ADE

2/04/2007 03:26:00 AM  
Blogger Rizalist said...

Maj. Gen. Ben Dolorfino said on tv just now that he was being "hosted" and not hostaged by Ustadz Malik's "breakaway faction". Funny, he also says he converted to Islam to prove his commitment to the peace process. He defends Malik by saying the MNLF merely "invited" him and 24 others, including USEC Ramon Santos of the peace process and a number of Marine colonels, in order to clarify something about the 1996 peace agreement with the MNLF. And head honcho of the peace talks Jesus Dureza claimed during the press conference following the release of Dolorfino that "no harm has been done." Incredible. Makes my blood boil coz this tells me what's really going on in these peace talks. It's total surrender where not even buying off the Moro leaders is not gonna work, because they are gonna want far, far more, and the capitulationists like Gloria are gonna give it to them.

2/04/2007 03:28:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

China's dire prediction
By Arnaud de Borchgrave
February 4, 2007


China is making geopolitical hay while the sun isn't shining for America.
Chinese leaders have seen President Bush's approval ratings continue a downward slide all over the world, according to the BBC's latest universal survey. More important, previous public opinion polls showed China with a better image than America in friendly European countries -- with the notable exception of Poland. The rest of the world has watched the defection of some of Mr. Bush's congressional supporters. China's topsiders have heard from their close ally Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf -- "a major non-NATO ally" -- that he doesn't think the U.S. can avoid what the world will perceive as a defeat in Iraq. And perception trumps reality the world over.
The global newspaper Financial Times wrote, "As authority drains from Mr. Bush, so Washington is losing its capacity to determine outcomes elsewhere. Iran is the principal beneficiary."
A defector from Mr. Musharraf's camp has informed U.S. authorities the Pakistani leader's "agonizing reappraisal" about Afghanistan's future stems from his perception the U.S. cannot pull a victory rabbit out of the Iraqi hat. Hence, his perception that neither the U.S. nor NATO can muster what it takes to complete their mission in Afghanistan. Hence, in turn, Mr. Musharraf's decision to authorize his all-powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency to assist the bid of Taliban "moderates" to retake power in Kabul. ISI greatly assisted the original victory of Taliban in 1996.
Assessing the American scene as conveyed by CNN, FOX, BBC and Al Jazeera, Chinese leaders can be forgiven if they have concluded the American Century -- the 20th -- may not be renewed in the 21st. While the American body politic has been almost totally immersed in and absorbed by Iraq and Afghanistan, China's Hu Jintao's current trip to Africa is the third to the continent by a top Chinese leader in a year.
Last November, China demonstrated its growing global clout by inviting 48 African heads of state and government to a summit in Beijing where they were wined and dined in a style unmatched by their former French, British and Portuguese colonial masters. China has been buying up their production of raw materials years in advance. Pledges have been made to double aid to Africa to $5 billion, train 15,000 professionals and grant 4,000 scholarships.
Vertiginous double-digit yearly growth for the fourth consecutive year has put China on track to leapfrog Germany as the world's third-largest economy. Its foreign currency reserves are accumulating at the rate of $30 million per hour and recently topped the $1 trillion mark -- about 70 percent of that in U.S. paper. It is outspending Japan on technology R&D. China is preening with self-confidence.
As Ford posts a record $12.7 billion loss, China's "Chery" (which started with machines and engine technology purchased from Ford Europe for $25 million), in alliance with China's "Visionary Vehicles," is getting ready to invade the U.S. market with five different models in 2008, all designed by Pininfarina (known for Ferrari and Lamborghini designs). The Las Vegas Sands Casino, with 800 gaming tables, is now the world's largest -- not in Nevada but in Macau, China.
To offset America's enormous strategic military superiority, the Chinese military concluded in the 1990s that information warfare -- or cyberwarfare -- could give China an "asymmetric" advantage over the United States. In 1998, the PLA newspaper Jiefangjun Bao said priority should be given "to learning how to launch an electronic attack on an enemy... to ensure electromagnetic control in an area and at a time favorable to us."
How to take down the computer-driven sinews of a modern industrialized state quickly became a top priority for the major powers and Israel. Since then the U.S. has more than matched China's arsenal of cyberweapons -- from ultra-sophisticated logic bombs, to Trojan horses, worms, viruses and denial-of-service decoys.
The 1990-91 Desert Shield and Desert Storm and the 2003 invasion of Iraq (when 50 military-specific satellites and numerous commercial birds were used) showed the Chinese how utterly dependent the U.S. had become on "satcoms." In 1998, the failure of a single satellite disabled 80 percent of the pagers in the U.S.
Unmanned aircraft like the Predator achieve pinpoint bombing accuracy over the Pak-Afghan border while flown by a pilot/bombardier in a simulated cockpit thousands of miles away in Washington. Signals from Global Positioning System's satellites guide precision weapons to their targets in the same role as a rifle gunsight.

Modern battlespace's eyes and ears are in orbit and vulnerable. The space equivalents of bullets and shells -- kinetic energy weapons -- to destroy or damage a target in space is the next phase of modern warfare. The 2001 Congress-mandated Commission to Assess U.S. National Security Space Management said the U.S. "is an attractive candidate for a space Pearl Harbor -- or a surprise attack on U.S. space assets aimed at crippling U.S. war-fighting and other capabilities."
Chinese strategists view U.S. dependence on space as an asymmetric vulnerability while Chinese scientists are known to be working on ASAT (anti-satellite weapons, such as kinetic kill vehicles). On Jan. 11, China decided it was time to demonstrate the fragility of the U.S. military dependence on communications satellites.
Without warning, China fired a missile aimed at one of its own aging communications satellites. With pinpoint accuracy, the missile pulverized the Feng Yun 1-C 500 miles above Earth, scattering thousands of tiny fragments that could easily puncture the metal skin of other satellites in orbit. The former Soviet Union did it first in 1971, followed by the U.S. in 1985, before Congress banned further tests lest they imperiled one of the several hundred satellites, many from other nations.
Space as a sanctuary free from armed conflict will most probably end over the next 20 years. Speaking in flawless English at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, one-star Gen. Yao Yunzhu, who directs China's Asia-Pacific Office at the Academy of Military Science in Beijing, predicted: "Outer space is going to be weaponized in our lifetime." She is 52. If there's going to be "a space superpower," she said, "it will have company" -- China. And Beijing said China was now ready to talk turkey about an international treaty to curb the weaponization of space. But the U.S. wasn't. In fact, the administration suspended plans agreed to at a summit meeting last April to develop plans for the joint exploration of the moon.
Following disengagement from Iraq, U.S. defense priorities are likely to remain focused on combating terrorism while Europe's defense agenda becomes increasingly unsupportive of U.S. policies. China is eyeing an emerging geopolitical vacuum with interest. And it has no intention to play the game of nations by U.S. rules.

Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.

2/04/2007 08:47:00 AM  

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