Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Back of Beyond 2

Sgt Stryker links to Foreign Policy's Failed State Index. For most of the 20th century, rivalries between the Great Powers constituted the major threats to peace. But suddenly, as Foreign policy notes, today's greatest threats come from the weakest states in the world.

America is now threatened less by conquering states than we are by failing ones.” That was the conclusion of the 2002 U.S. National Security Strategy. For a country whose foreign policy in the 20th century was dominated by the struggles against powerful states such as Germany, Japan, and the Soviet Union, the U.S. assessment is striking. Nor is the United States alone in diagnosing the problem. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has warned that “ignoring failed states creates problems that sometimes come back to bite us.” French President Jacques Chirac has spoken of “the threat that failed states carry for the world’s equilibrium.” World leaders once worried about who was amassing power; now they worry about the absence of it.

Failed states have made a remarkable odyssey from the periphery to the very center of global politics. During the Cold War, state failure was seen through the prism of superpower conflict and was rarely addressed as a danger in its own right. In the 1990s, “failed states” fell largely into the province of humanitarians and human rights activists, although they did begin to consume the attention of the world’s sole superpower, which led interventions in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo. For so-called foreign-policy realists, however, these states and the problems they posed were a distraction from weightier issues of geopolitics.

September 11 demonstrated how potent threats hatched in Failed States had become. And that lesson was followed by Madrid, Bali and London among many others. Foreign Policy attempted to construct a set of indicators which could measure the degree of instability -- and by proxy the degree of danger -- that this chaos represented. They concluded:

Weak states are most prevalent in Africa, but they also appear in Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Experts have for years discussed an “arc of instability”—an expression that came into use in the 1970s to refer to a “Muslim Crescent” extending from Afghanistan to the “Stans” in the southern part of the former Soviet Union. Our study suggests that the concept is too narrow. The geography of weak states reveals a territorial expanse that extends from Moscow to Mexico City, far wider than an “arc” would suggest, and not limited to the Muslim world.

Future historians will argue long and hard about how this massive danger so suddenly appeared -- like an asteroid falling from the sky -- after fifty years of continuous political progress. Colonial empires were liquidated; hundreds of flags blossomed in the halls of the United Nations; borders were declared obsolete; armies were described as redundant. There were problems, it's true, but banners proclaimed, "Welcome to the UN. It's your world". The End of History was actually announced. And all of a sudden the danger of Failed States materialized, like a T-Rex,  into the circle of light of a General Assembly risen in applause. It wasn't supposed to happen. Not after all the Five Year Development Plans, structural adjustment loans, treaties, protocols. The one probable thing about the origin of this monster is that it was partly the result of the nostrums the world had been induced to drink over the intervening years. None of the many states in the Assembly Hall admitted to being the monster's keeper, but at any rate, there it was.

The Belmont Club's last post, Back of Beyond, described the efforts of the one remaining great power which did not decommission its freedom of action to address the problems in Central Asia, a reaction which some commenters have criticized as "imperial". What is most striking is that action itself in the face of the threat of Failed States has become discredited. The great debate in the West today isn't over what to do, but whether it isn't better to do nothing. There is a considerable body of opinion which argues that if the General Assembly carries on clapping, the monster will head for the nearest exit and never be seen again; or perhaps the monster may be invited to join One World and take its place in the Security Council. As the BBC Program, the Power of Nightmares argues, the danger may be entirely imaginary -- provided we make no sudden moves.

In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares. The most frightening of these is the threat of an international terror network. But just as the dreams were not true, neither are these nightmares. In a new series, the Power of Nightmares explores how the idea that we are threatened by a hidden and organised terrorist network is an illusion. It is a myth that has spread unquestioned through politics, the security services and the international media. At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neo-conservatives and the radical Islamists. ... Together they created today's nightmare vision of an organised terror network. ...

... There are dangerous and fanatical individuals and groups around the world who have been inspired by extreme Islamist ideas, and who will use the techniques of mass terror - the attacks on America and Madrid make this only too clear. But the nightmare vision of a uniquely powerful hidden organisation waiting to strike our societies is an illusion. Wherever one looks for this al-Qaeda organisation, from the mountains of Afghanistan to the "sleeper cells" in America, the British and Americans are chasing a phantom enemy. But the reason that no-one questions the illusion is because this nightmare enemy gives so many groups new power and influence in a cynical age - and not just politicians.

The one possibility that Foreign Policy doesn't directly explore is whether the West itself is not in some way a failed state: purblind, self-deluding and paralyzed. From its dim past Euripides once warned, "Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad."


Blogger 49erDweet said...

Can this be similar to the myth that so long intriqued the John Birch society?

7/27/2005 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

Failed states never really mattered in the past, other than to the people who had personal interests there; or perhaps from the possibility of piracy/interference with trade routes. But there was no way that power could be projected from a failed state. That is no longer the case, with the weaponry of today. Throw in the mix the Islamist ideology, with it's worldwide reach and ready hosts in virtually every failed and non-failed states, and you have the potent mix that we are dealing with today.

7/27/2005 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

From Beowulf:

"Now he had a golden banner
high over his head, was,
sadly by a rich people,
given to the sea.
The wisest alive can't tell
where a death ship goes."

A poem cited by Churchill:

"Who is in charge of the clattering train?
The axles creak and the couplings strain;
And the pace is hot, and the points are near,
And Sleep has deadened the driver's ear;
And the signals flash through the night in vain,
For Death is in charge of the clattering train."

7/27/2005 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Failed states are places that cannot prevent people from moving in and out, but they are not capable of launching coordinated attacks through a global terrorist organisations. Nor are they capable of sustaining a network of schools that train cannon fodder for these organisations. These things require money, alot of money and by definition this is the one thing failed states do not have.

7/27/2005 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


What is described by Foreign Policy as chaos is from a certain point of view, simply a different kind of self-sustaining system. Some "failed states" aren't poor copies of England so much as exemplars of a different type of organization. One leader who sees this clearly is Osama Bin Laden. He doesn't want territories under his sway to be like Italy or France or Japan any more than a tiger wants carrots. He doesn't want Democracy or anything else "we" have on offer. So far as he is concerned, "we" are failed states.

What's always bothered me about the "failed state" argument is the unproved assumption that something bearing a passing resemblance to a European country was universally in equilibrium. But if not, then it implies that global stability may require a continuous rebalancing between disparate types of organizations; the way some AI researchers at MIT discovered that unlike robots, we maintain our balance by constantly falling and catching ourselves. It's an inchoate thought as yet and maybe later I'll think it through.

7/27/2005 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Here's a novel idea: lets pretend that Jesus was telling THE TRUTH about the One Like Unto the Son of Man coming at the time that His 3 promises/prophecies indicated: 1844.

If He actually told the TRUTH, then the One Who came at that time actually prepared the way for the Lord of Hosts, ALSO foretold in 7,000 years of prophecy.

In that case, the Glory of God would actually BE the One promised by Jesus, (IF Jesus spoke truly, and spoke with the authority of God, and KNEW the meaning of His own words) and this matters to THIS thread inasmuch as He will have given all humanity directives on how to deal with this global upheaval, this World Civil War we find ourselves in.

Hmmm. Maybe it would be beneficial to live in accord with our Creator's purpose, rather than abuse ourselves and others...

When all else fails, follow instructions!

7/28/2005 03:06:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Two learned commenters in the previous thread seemed to agree that we had no reason to pay any attention to India's repeated warnings to us about growing terrorist threats in the area following the Afghan operation prior to our getting hit at home.
I disagree:
"When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan on behalf of their ISI mentors, destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas and forced Hindus to wear a yellow band, we tried to draw the West's attention to this appalling situation. Nobody cared; not even when IC-814 was hijacked to Kandahar as part of an ISI operation and three dangerous terrorists were released from Indian prisons and promptly found shelter in Pakistan."
Indeed, after the first Trade Towers, the Taliban Takeover, Cole, the building of terrorist camps and using them to train thousands of jihadis, etc etc., it made perfect sense to kick the can down the road while using our military in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo.

Just as it made perfect sense not to take down Osama when we had the chance because,
"We didn't have enough evidence to get a conviction in court."
The LAX bomber that was given fourteen more years yesterday was used by Madam Halfbright as an example of the Clinton admin. "getting it right" in addressing terrorism, and by gosh if we didn't have evidence that would stand up in court, then we certainly had no reason to take down Osama, or his terrorist training camps.
I just wish Bill and company were still in charge,
How safe we could all feel.

And whether Saudi money goes to failed states to train terrorists, or to the USA to lull the people and their government into a terrorist friendly stupor, neither represents a problem that should be addressed.

...and any paperwork ever produced by or about Judge Roberts should be handed over to the Democrats, but the best place for the goods on Clinton's GWOT is in Sandy Burglar's shorts.

7/28/2005 03:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

C4, did you use a description of Israel in order to formulate your definition of a successful state?

7/28/2005 03:31:00 AM  
Blogger moderationist said...

This is the first internet and new technology (cellphone etc.) conflict.

The new technologies have leveled the playing field and changed the rules forever.

7/28/2005 04:02:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Coalition of Evil .

We can’t win this thing unless we recognize the real dimensions of the enemy forces, and the global aspirations they harbor. The battle for Iraq is today’s fight, but they intend to expand the war throughout the Western world. Indeed, that was their plan from the very beginning. From 9/11. Here is a story (thanks to Captain Ed at “Captain’s Quarters”) that should make the matter clear to all of us. It appeared in the London Times on July 24:
Mohammed Afroze was sentenced (in Bombay, India) to seven years after he admitted that he had a role in an al Qaeda plot to attack London, the Rialto Towers building in Melbourne (Australia) and the Indian Parliament.
Afroze admitted that he and seven al Qaeda operatives planned to hijack aircraft at Heathrow and fly them into the two London landmarks. The suicide squad included men from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, Afroze said. They booked seats on two Manchester-bound flights, but fled just before they were due to board

7/28/2005 04:26:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

Anointiata Delenda Est,

"the rate of change"

Which is why Al Qaeda, despite its pretensions to antiquity may be thoroughly a creature of the 21st century. The formal state is a 17th century invention. But there were other state-forms before, and maybe, after it.

The modern state, like the earlier empires, is no longer coextensive with cultural units called nations. America and radical Islam may represent two rival forms of organization based around an vision. The City on the Hill versus the Mosque in the Desert. Part of the weakness of modern Liberal Europe is that it is neither founded on ethnicity nor on principle. The sand has run out from under its foundations and it is vulnerable in consequence.

7/28/2005 04:46:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If control of the hinterlands is part of a successful state, well then there are many "states" that are in failure mode. South America, Africa, Southeast Asia and Central Asia as well as the Middle East are rife with areas outside the influence of a central government.
How many despotic rulers have 'failed' their people.
In the midst of Genocide has Sudan 'failed'? How about Zimbabwe or Liberia. The list could well be endless.
In some regards couldn't Karzai's Afghanistan be considered a 'failed' state or does that judgement require a longer gestastion period.

7/28/2005 04:49:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

Desert Rat,

Right on. A functional state is about a functional culture, not the physical control of every inch of territory. A functional state in its traditional sense endures, perhaps for centuries, sometimes millenia. A failed state survives only on UN stationery. By that standard, Osama Bin Laden comes from a longer and loftier line than the President of Liberia. Al Qaeda functions, but it functions destructively.

Taking Cedarford's criteria of "national cultural cohesion, ... religion has a moral role, and cultural vigor" as a standard for viability it is not clear that multi-culti, demographically decaying Europe will be certain to outlive radical Islam.

A map of failed states then, is simply a chart of where our way of life isn't winning. It's a representation of where a rival form of organization is experiencing comparative success. It's not entirely true that terrorist enclaves are simply places where the Liberal democratic creed has not been preached; it is where other ideologies have been advanced more successfully. And unless we believe in our product, believe in our own way of life and convince ourselves that it is worth defending, there is scant chance of convincing anyone to do the same.

7/28/2005 05:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Speaking of failed states, central asia and africa there is this piece from the Guardian

"...Mugabe was emboldened to claim that Beijing would now back Zimbabwe in preventing the matter from being formally debated in the UN security council, as Britain and the US are rightly insisting it should. China has already played a role in blocking council action on the mass killings in Darfur because of its oil interests in Sudan and elsewhere in Africa. It would be a harbinger of other difficulties to come if its traditional passivity in the council - where its habit is to abstain rather than wield its veto - were to give way to more active defence of the indefensible."

China Chums

7/28/2005 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Do City States Qualify?
Singapore is sucessful.

7/28/2005 05:45:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Most fortunate, that EuroCrackup.

7/28/2005 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

The IRA just announced it was giving up the armed struggle. If I were a wag, I'd say they were beaten in part because OBL gave terrorism a bad name.

7/28/2005 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"a load of bollox"
There must be a sauce that'll make that work...

7/28/2005 06:04:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

We keep India in the Game

The follwing is the dissenting opinion at the LA Times Editorial Board

US & INDIA Line up

" The notion that President Bush blundered in promising to help India develop its nuclear energy program is understandable, widespread — and wrong. With the Pentagon warning in a new assessment of the long-term threat posed by China's military buildup, and a Chinese general huffing about lobbing nuclear weapons at the U.S. (although Beijing officially and predictably said he wasn't speaking for the government), Bush's move is long overdue. ... ... The agreement places India, a burgeoning democracy, on the same strategic footing as China. Why should there be a double standard for Asia's two biggest countries, especially when one is reaching out to the U.S. and the other isn't? Bush's decision to return to balance-of-power politics should be greeted not with hand-wringing but with applause. "

7/28/2005 06:09:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

the white elephant in the room is the failed state of palestine, the mother of all terrorism..

this failed state, being held up by billions and billions of dollars has accomplished nothing except export it's terror ideas throughout the world.....

maybe the solution to the failed state is dismemberment of terrority or complete de-population?

7/28/2005 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Palistine is not a State. It could, perhaps, gain City State status some day, but up to now Palistine would be considered more of a pirate stronghold than any kind of functioning state.

7/28/2005 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat India LINK

7/28/2005 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rat, 6:15 AM
So THAT's why it's not in Israeli Textbooks.

7/28/2005 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

and I followed your instructions to the letter, sure you don't work for the NEA?

7/28/2005 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pakistan Connection Seen in Taliban's New Tactics .

When sophisticated bombs detonated by long-range cordless phones began blowing up under U.S. and Afghan military vehicles on mountain tracks, investigators knew they had to search elsewhere for the masterminds.

Afghan officials immediately focused on nearby Pakistan and its military, whose Inter-Services Intelligence agency helped create the Taliban in the early 1990s and provided training and equipment to help the Muslim extremists win control over most of the country. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf joined the Bush administration's war on terrorism and publicly turned against the Taliban immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks. But Afghan officials allege that Taliban and allied fighters who fled to Pakistan after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001 are learning new, more lethal tactics from the Pakistani military at numerous training bases.

7/28/2005 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Like Bush, you have to face reality:
Abandon the NEA.

7/28/2005 06:26:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If the 35 million Kurds cannot have an independent State, why should 2 million Palistinian Arabs? Are not the Kurds as deserving the same liberties and freedoms and independance as the Community of Nations claim are deserved by Palistinians?

7/28/2005 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger ShrinkWrapped said...

From its dim past Euripides once warned, "Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad."
We can only lose this war if we surrender; we will surrender if we do not see anything of value to defend in our culture. We lose when fools fight to keep Military recruiters from our high school and college campuses. We lose when the forces of political correctness and multiculturism fog the minds of so many who can not recognize the enemy when he stabs them in the back.
PC & Multi-cult are forms of quasi-psychotic thinking that distort our ability to recognize and assess reality.
As an emample: AFter 7/7, the New York police instituted a program of random searches of subway passengers. There are now 20 complaints (as per NPR this morning) of ethnic profiling against the police, primarily from Hispanics who claim they were mistaken for Muslims. The good news is that Al Sharpton has anounced he will not sue the city...yet.
Cultures that lose touch with reality inevitably crumble.

7/28/2005 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I think a better frame of reference, doug.
Like Jimmy Hoffa Jr. face reality and abandon the AFL-CIO

On the 50th Anniversary
Oh, What a blow

7/28/2005 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

It's like this 'Rat:
Great Nations (France) and Great Minds (Carter et al) have made an enormous investment (US Dollars) in this ambitious experiment.
How could we throw it all away?
Double Down.

7/28/2005 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I have it on good authority that the NEXT terrorists will NOT look like all the ones so far.
Keep your eyes peeled for 80 year old Chinese Grandmothers in wheelchairs.

7/28/2005 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As my dear departed Great Uncle, a trust officer at a major Chicago Bank told me years ago, "Don't throw good money after bad, know when face reality and cut your losses"

It seems Sharon has come to a similar conclusion. The Palis are engaged in running gun battles on the streets of Gaza. Red on Red

7/28/2005 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sharon is running Ammo again?

7/28/2005 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If the London bombers are truly the next generation of terrorists, home grown. We would have to expect the same, here.
In US the majority of Mohammedan citizens may not be ethnic Arabs, but American Blacks.
Put that in your profiling pipe and smoke it, it'll stink to...

7/28/2005 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I won't doubt that some smuggling tunnels flow both ways

7/28/2005 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Do whatever you want with your pipe.
I think Prisoners are entitled to high quality Imams.
This ain't the 1800's you know.
Imam al Angry

7/28/2005 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Plus, You said Imam al Spaceballs has a nice place and gives good speech's.

7/28/2005 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

The break-up of ideas is rampant. There is not prevailing notion of what constitutes the old virtues like honor, integrity, valor, etc. Perhaps who the gods would make mad they first make small-minded.

Failed states are a macrocosm of our failed relationships with one another. Mobility, anonymity, faithlessness, for starters. A husband or wife is no longer in it for the long haul; if a better offer comes along, why not take it. After all it's all about me, isn't it?

The elederly, forgotten by their busy children, languish in "old folks' homes." Or live by themselves like those 15,000 old people who died in the heat wave in France a few summers back. All their children were on vacation, the nice, long August vacation supplied by the state.

The blogosphere perfectly answers our needs for connection and distance at the same time. Since enduring friendships and marriages also seem to be failed states, anonymous associations will have to do.

The word 'state' is nicely flexible, isn't it? It can be used to describe a polity or it can refer to a condition of being, as in "what kind of state is he in?"

The prognosis for various floundering polities isn't good. But then, as menders and healers of those places, we don't seem to have much in the way of physic, do we?

7/28/2005 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Think of increased profiling as a recruiting tool for the internal opposition.
Some are demanding we take a course that, in the past, Marxist revolutionaries have always sought. Government crack down on the general population, suspension of well established personal freedoms, enhancing a feeling of general fear in the population, Government actions well beyond those required by any historic cause or local threat.

If we have to double down, doug, it should be in the defense of the Constitution not the creation of new, economicly unviable, City States.

7/28/2005 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Perhaps who the gods would make mad they first make small-minded."
The Gods don't have to:
The NEA will suffice.
"or it can refer to a condition of being"
I just walked in, to see what condition my condition was in.

7/28/2005 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

imho the deep question for the USA is in general how do you make Mexico rich--and in particular how do you give them a deep middle class.

The answers that I've seen so far are:
1.) kill the cost of desalinized water and water transport.
2.)upgrade property rights to first world standards. the guy doing the best work on this is the peruvian Hernando de Soto. Here's a Reason Online interview him:
3.) get the people-- rather than the rulers energy independence. (What's generally unrecognized is that oil is a grossly regressive tax on productivity--and therefor wealth.)

7/28/2005 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Papa Bear,
A Black guy, living in Huntington Beach, CA,
Called into Roger Hedgecock to make a plea for profiling.
Cited these Stats to make his case:
Compton, Pop 96 k had 44 murders last year.
He then cited some city which he said used to be a nice middle class black city, but I cannot recall.
Said there ARE NO BLACK minority/majority cities anymore thanks to illegal immigration.
Then cited Huntington beach, upper class, 205 k, 1 murder this Century.
And Fountain Valley 78 k, middle class with a good police dept: Zero murders this Century.

7/28/2005 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Right wing dogma says that that treaty you don't like will make Mexico/So America prosperous, and they'll quit coming up here:
You buy that?

7/28/2005 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I walked the secure streets of Santiago, Chile in 1980 or so. Not an experience that I'd like to replicate here in the US.
There is a thin line between liberty and oppression, now they can sieze your land or search your bags all for the 'common good'.
A search prior to gaining access to a 'secured' enviorment is legitimate, but random stop and pops ...

7/28/2005 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Doug said...
Right wing dogma says that that treaty you don't like will make Mexico/So America prosperous, and they'll quit coming up here:
You buy that?
no its malarky

7/28/2005 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

You're a hopeless libertarian Rat:
We're just talking a return to traditional PRACTICAL Police methods.
The country was fractured back when the Police were allowed to do their jobs?

7/28/2005 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

So is Rat.

7/28/2005 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Private property rights will produce economic growth in Latin America. That a consumer credit markets.
Lack of mortgage opportunities and small business loan guarantees stifles the private sector.
On top of that add a European style permitting system with large amounts of personal and systemic corruption thrown in.

7/28/2005 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

A Little Less Sensitivity, Please
The L.A. Times lectures William Bratton for telling the truth.
A Los Angeles Times editorial published Thursday took LAPD Chief William Bratton to task for being “insensitive, even callous” in his remarks following a July 10 police standoff in Watts, a section of South-Central Los Angeles.
The standoff ended in the death of 19-month-old Suzie Marie Peña, who was being held hostage by her father, Jose Raul Peña. Both were killed by gunfire from SWAT officers making an ill-fated attempt to rescue the child. Video images from a security system inside Peña’s used-car dealership show him using his daughter as a shield, holding her in one hand while firing a semi-automatic pistol at officers with the other. A police officer was also wounded in the gun battle.

“Mr. Peña is not a good man,” Bratton said. “He is not a loving, caring father under any circumstances. You don’t threaten to kill your wife. You don’t attempt to kill your 17-year-old daughter. You don’t threaten to kill your . . . baby and hold that baby as a shield. So all this nonsense — how loving and caring this individual was. He was none of those things.”

Such talk falls hard on the delicate sensibilities at the Times, where apparently no one is so malevolent as to merit a harsh word from the chief of police. “Bratton had good reason to say what he did,” the editorial allows, “[b]ut his statements made a difficult situation worse, forcing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to try to ease tensions by uttering soothing words without defending either the chief or the protesters.”

7/28/2005 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Jack Dunphy" - LA Cop

7/28/2005 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Remember 1968
Watts, Detroit, perhaps one or two other riots I don't recall.
The Democratic Convention in Chitown. I recall a few fractured faces there.
Kent State broke a couple of backs.

Find the cost of freedom
Buried in the ground

7/28/2005 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'm attaching my armband now, Rat:
Any effective Police Methodes =
Michael Moore Uber Alles!

7/28/2005 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Papa Bear -- The above criteria apply to Afghanistan, Sudan, Gaza and other conventional "failed states".

They also apply to a great many enclaves in the US, Britain, France, and elsewhere.

Don't leave out the prisons. Prison fit all the criteria you mentioned.

That's why the Islamists actively recruit in American and British prisons.

7/28/2005 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This country was exactly as the left describes, before PC saved us.

7/28/2005 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

I can't recall the economist who did the work from a couple century's back but his essential point was that the property interests were in opposition to money interests and labor interests.

what's happened today is that money interests have entirely run roughshod over property interests.

The supreme court's recent puke property decision was just an example of the supremes doing their weather vane act.

The wind is at the back of money interests.

I lay a lot of the blame for this spill at the feet oil as it grossly concentrates wealth. the dippy economics guys will say oil is capital intensive. but it costs the saudi's .25 --that's twentyfive cents --a barrel to get oil from the ground to the coast and $3 a barrel to ship oil anywhere in the world. The rest is profit.

Consider you have in Saudi Arabia a bunch of fat old men trying to buy their way into camel heaven.

What will they buy?

7/28/2005 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

(running the country right now, see NY City)
requires NO PROFILING prior to
"gaining access to a 'secured' enviorment."
Thanks, Normie Minetta and his brain dead followers.

7/28/2005 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

They will make a competitive, market driven decision, thank you very much.

7/28/2005 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I would have to disagree with the extent of your critisim. While the Eminent Domain case does rankle, the Tax Code still favors property over capital.
Both in the deducability of interest cost, capital gains tax deferals and even capitial gains tax exemption in the taxpayers old age.
If the money interests had any of these advantages the Capitial Markets would boom. An indication of this is where Capital has gained tax deferment status, IRAs etc, the market in them has boomed

7/28/2005 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Cedarford, for what's its worth, even as a pro-Israel half-Jew, I've always enjoyed your iconoclastic posts.

7/28/2005 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Even if sometimes they are
Half-Assed? you must enjoy some of mine also?

7/28/2005 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

They should search 'em all, doug.
If NYCity thinks there is a threat to their subway system then search everyone, metal detectors, infra red cameras, what ever.
"Did anyone else touch your bag?"
should have to be asked of every commuter.
Just get to the subway 2 hours prior to your scheduled departure time.
London's, "Anglosphere's most secure city", experience shows anything less is eye wash

7/28/2005 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

So, none of the known terrorists so far share any age or appearance similarities?

7/28/2005 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I am in favor of 80 year old Chinese Grandmother's in Wheelchairs Rights. that warm and fuzzy enough, or should granny have to take off her bra so we can check out Ahab's backpack?

7/28/2005 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...


7/28/2005 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Doug, yours too of course, often a needed comedic relief from the normal death and destruction. Altogether, this site is a treasure trove not only because of Wretchard, but the wealth of intelligent [and less than] follow-up commentary. Seen it said before, should be said again.

There, I just spent my entire monthly allowance for wishy washy sentimentality.

7/28/2005 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Granny COULD be a donkey.
Blah, blah, blah.

7/28/2005 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I esp liked his invocation of Hezbollah as a nice policing presence.
NO doubt Rat approves also:
Bratton is a NAZI!

7/28/2005 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The T sends his girl friend off to work with a 'doctored' shoulder satchel. She does not even know, until it is to late.
The scenarios are endless.
How about the tracks, miles and miles of commuter train tracks, up and down the East Coast.
The opportunities are endless.

Forward Defense and Intel.

If they get close to Grand Central Station you've already lost.
So the bomber goes off at the crowded inpection point, still kills a dozen, hitting his secondary targets instead of the primary. The T goes to Paradise regardless.

7/28/2005 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

We are now back on topic:
There are failed states,
Sucessful States,
Heil, Imam al Doug!

7/28/2005 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Profiling is WORTHLESS,
The world's best indicator of a POLICE STATE!
Amen, Michael Moore.

7/28/2005 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...'s just that cops have used it from prehistory until 'Rat PC took over.

7/28/2005 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

8:15 AM is NOT to imply that I approve of, or endorse, the term,

7/28/2005 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

back to reality, I have to hit the hey, it's 5:30
.If I coulda done everything right,
I woulda been just like him

7/28/2005 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There are what, 25 or 30 million Black Americans, many of whom are Mohamedans. Is the Radicalized black male, coming out of prison, having converted to Mohamedanism during incarceration, the most likely candidate for Jihad in US, or not?
The number of ethbic Arabs and others of dark complection, another 35 million?
How many profiled people do you think strip seaching at the bus and subway stops is going to include?
That is not PC doug, it is tactical use of the officers and other assets available.
Those random subway searches will only move the target area to one that is undefended.
I'd hate to see NYC become a Police City State,
that would be failure.

7/28/2005 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

I would have to disagree with the extent of your critisim. While the Eminent Domain case does rankle, the Tax Code still favors property over capital.
Both in the deducability of interest cost, capital gains tax deferals and even capitial gains tax exemption in the taxpayers old age.
If the money interests had any of these advantages the Capitial Markets would boom. An indication of this is where Capital has gained tax deferment status, IRAs etc, the market in them has boomed
this is true for the USA. and a very good lens indeed for examining the problem in terms of capital vs property. Now what happens if you apply your criteria to say, Brazil or Mexico where property rights are not so well recognized or respected.

7/28/2005 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Agreed that property rights are dismal in the Latin quarter and that is a major part of their dilemma, but neither are Capital rights well protected in those areas.
Massive devaluations and inflation have wrecked havoc on the entire region. Argentina coming first to mind, but the others falling right in behind.
A comprehensive cultural reorganization would be required, and that would be difficult, at best, to implement.

7/28/2005 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

You are SO lame, 'Rat:
As IF your average cop,
The black guy in Huntington Beach,
Not Decorticized by PC and TV,
Can NOT w/their own two eyes see things that YOUR pc OUTLAWS...
Black cabbies don't discriminate on ANY basis, and esp do NOT favor white guys in Business Suits.

7/28/2005 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

wHAT the f...
Why am I wasting my time at 'Kos?

7/28/2005 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Panama has used the US Dollar as it's currency for as long as there has been a Panama. Every few years some 'Nationalist' demands that they install their own, independent scrip. Each time the people would have nothing to do with it, so even at the height of the anti-American feelings, they loved the greenback dollar.

Economic Security is derived through property, capital and labor working towards improving the overall economy, often through a 'hidden hand', as it were.

7/28/2005 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'll tell Chief Bratton,
His Problems are OVER.

7/28/2005 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

cabbies arn't the Police or National Guard.
If there are way to many murders in Black neighborhoods perhaps the answers are
More Police Patrols and neighborhood block watches.

It works on my block, no murders lately.
Although there was a double murder and suicide by one of our ex horse trainers. He was a policeman on the Indian Reservation in Payson, had just been hired by the Border Patrol. Killed his girlfreind, her lover and himself. Don't put to much trust in a cops mental stability.

7/28/2005 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I make exceptions for Girlfriends and their lovers.

7/28/2005 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"If there are way to many murders in Black neighborhoods perhaps the answers are
More Police Patrols and neighborhood block watches.
Deems that,

7/28/2005 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

All you need is love
cause love is all you need

7/28/2005 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...and don't mess w/it.

7/28/2005 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

AZ is a failed State,
It harbors the 'Rat.

7/28/2005 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

It's not like robots and moving forward by falling and catching yourself, as much as humanity and societies in general are like sharks and have to keep moving (hopefully forward) to survive. Without the oxygen of new ideas over the gills, the state will atrophy and go belly-up.

That process of atrophying and dying off is what we're seeing in Saudi Arabia. Russia atrophied, died, and is now moving again so its tail is wiggling a little bit as *some* change flows over its gills. However, since it seems to be swimming backwards it's still not as vital as it *could* be.

States like France and Germany are still flopping about and so they're not quite failed, but without the forward movement and change they're not successful either.

7/28/2005 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just in time, Nahncee:
Now I can rest in peace,
knowing some real world artifact
still exists.

7/28/2005 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Massive devaluations and inflation have wrecked havoc on the entire region. Argentina coming first to mind, but the others falling right in behind.
A comprehensive cultural reorganization would be required, and that would be difficult, at best, to implement.
so how do you incentivize ruling elites in latin america to do what's in their best interests.

7/28/2005 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Try to replicate Chile's successes without duplicating the failures.
In retrospect the Chileans and the Argentines were in a similar space and time. When the Generals were adventuring in the Falklands there was no sense of despair on the streets of Buenos Aires. On the same trip, in Santiago there was a palpable air of doom. What a difference twenty-five years and economists from the University of Chicago can make.

7/28/2005 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Like i posted before...

the palestinian issue = failed state

7/28/2005 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

The perhaps obvious implication is that the definition of "failure" needs to be revisited. In terms of their ability to defend themselves, much of Europe has been in the Failed State category since at least the 1930's. The same is true for most of South America and Africa. In terms of countries' abilities to further the "truths that we hold self-evident" in the U.S., the list is even larger.
The problem is not simply that the world is not perfect, one where we could gather on hilltops and sing the "Coke" song, but that a variety of factors mean that the definition of competency must change.
A book I am now reading on anti-Americanism shows that one European criticism of the U.S. rings through all of the different varieties: "Americans have no sense of history." Rather than referring to education, this seems to mean that Americans do not know their "place" in the world, but are more concerned about the future. I think that this leads us to constantly reevaluate our definition of competency and to make adjustments as required.
And it drives the other guys crazy.

7/28/2005 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

But failed states may be born to new "nationalist movements"

Now that it is a decent thing to expel one group from lands (gaza & the israelis) now expect Hawaiians, Hispanics & more to seek reindependence...

It has been approved by the world's people that jews have no rights to hebron, bethelehem, nazerith & jerusalem, so what right does the arab world have to live in any western nation? what right do the Lybians have to their nation? (ask the berbers) what right does china have to tibet?

If it's ok the throw jews out of the west bank to make it (judenfree), why should there be any moslems in israel? If saudia arabia is allowed to make it a crime to preach jesus, why should they be allowed to finance midrassas around the world?

beware the precedents set... I wonder if c4 supports american indians using suicide bombers to get back disputed suburbs?

7/28/2005 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I would agree that Americans have a poor grip on History, our own or the Worlds. Others agree on this point.
Lynn Cheney is on another book tour touting American children's lack of historical knowledge.
David Broder writing in the WaPo says
"... proved David McCullough's point. Late last month, the prolific historian had said in a Senate hearing that his examination of school history textbooks had shown a disquieting trend. Over the years, he said, he has noticed that the typeface in those books is growing larger, the illustrations are more lavish and the content is shrinking. The authors and the teachers using these textbooks "seem to assume that students don't like to read," he said, "and then Harry Potter comes along and blows it all away."

McCullough, ... was the star witness at a hearing convened by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Ted Kennedy to air their concerns about what they called "U.S. History: Our Worst Subject?" ..."

As for America's "Place" in the World? Most think US uppity

Over Paid, Over sexed, Over here.

is an Englishman's lament towards our GIs. The Brits would not have prevailed without US and accepted the costs.

7/28/2005 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Cedarford, I think your post pointed out very nicely how the US can not, nor wants to, ‘police’ the world and counterbalance failed states all by itself. Not only is it virtually impossible for the US to do so, it is also unjust for a single nation to do it. So, how do “we get nations like Germany and Brazil that normally sit around with their thumbs up their butt to do the Sudan”?. Well, the answer lies in forming and maintaining international norms of behavior. The ICC is a good place to start, at least in dealing with blatant failures such as Sudan.

7/28/2005 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Part of the challenge in the teaching of history, in the US, is coming to terms with which version to teach.
doug's PC & NEA chuckles are fulfilled in that regard.

7/28/2005 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If the ICC were to unseal the indictment of the 55 named defendants from the Dafur genocide and the Sudanese did not turn them over to the ICC, within a short but proscribed time period, what would you do?
Who would you send to arrest those 55 and how much collateral damage would be acceptable?
Inquiring minds want to know

7/28/2005 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Talk about your deck of cards.
In Iraq we only had a deck of 52 names.
In the Sudan we must capture and and tranist to Holland 55 indicted defendents.
What if a couple of the 55 are Warlords or Government Officers?
Looks like a job for ?

7/28/2005 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Desert Rat, the ICC needs teeth. The US could use the ICC and its judgements as leverage with other countries to intervene. If the US is the only one capable of militarily intervening then at least some of the costs could be borne by others. The US could, as a condition of signing on to the ICC, require military/monetary support from other signatories toward enforcing the ICC. My main point in all this is that we've dealt with 'failures' within borders through a judiciary, with teeth, and we should do that outside of our borders as well.

7/28/2005 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I would like to spank 'em, group punishment as it were.
We could fund a Regiment or Brigade of Gurkhas, as needed, to establish a safe zone for the feeding and caring of refugees.
There are plenty of Relief Org. to take care of feeding etc of the victims.
But you ash, you want to execute an ICC warrent on 55 individual criminals, that would be much more difficult and dangerous task.

7/28/2005 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The UN will not act because China does not allow it
Your ICC does not act, the Indictments remain sealed

Perhaps teeth are needed, ash.
Perhaps some rocks are as well.

When the Administration says this is not a War Against Mohammed, believe 'em. If it was, Khartoum would make a fine target from the air.

7/28/2005 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

"I would agree that Americans have a poor grip on History, our own or the Worlds. Others agree on this point."

I would argue that much of the world has a poor grip on history, it isn't necessarily an American people. Very few people have the time or inclination to truly study it enough. The Europeans threw it out of their curriculums, and we're going the same way, with the addition of perfectly politically correct inserts and narratives.

7/28/2005 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

people = problem

7/28/2005 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The ICC has it's own version of "Niranda Rights" wonder what language they have to be read in?

7/28/2005 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The finding I've had in interactions with others was basically each has a self centered view of history.

The well educated Latin Americans I met had an Euro-centric view of the World. Both culturally and ethnically.
The Japanese & Koreans I've known were all extremely Nationalistic in their views of the past and the participation of others in it.
Americans are equally self absorbed, we are doing a poor job in instilling an understanding of our past, as a guide to the future.
Everything old is new again.

7/28/2005 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Chennaul said...

Dang it Cedarford-

In the old days I use to view you as the anti-thesis of any opinion I might have-then we agreed about Ward Churchill and I was shocked- now we come back full circle...

Went to CU Boulder, tried constantly to sign up for courses to learn about Central Africa-at the time South Africa and the theory that the white man's capitalist MNC's were the reason for all of that countries travails was in vogue...

To make a long story short in his long list of greivances right down to soccer Mom Muffie taking away his ashtray-and something about Grenada in the 'little eichmann" piece that made Ward infamous entitled "When the Chickens Come Home to Roost" that poor excuse for a human being never once mentions the GENOCIDE in Rwanda.

Probably because Clinton made the word verboten.

Never once were any of my Profs except the ones in Cultural Anthropology interested in Central Africa-their excuse was that white people wouldn't care and that Reagan and the military complex would not-because there were no natural resources of strategic value...

So the Liberal college profs blamed their apathy on the apathy of "conservatives"...

Tony Blair has come out to say that Africa is the future. I think this is an astude observation-in fact Osama got his start after Afghanistan with these bombings-

and more ironically with his Benovelence International Foundation where he got a strong foothold in the Sudan.

Sudan is surrounded by unstable states almost geographically world powers should be interested in stemming the tide.

The billions spent to combat AIDS but more importantly the 1.8 billion in direct aid to the Sudan is a small price to pay NOW to effort some stabilization in the area.

I think also this needs to be broken down further,as I think has pointed out in the past not as a problem of nationalism but tribalism-given the clashes in Central Europe's Balkans this is not just a phenomenon of Afric

I think Bill Kristol is right.

I also believe that while it would be nice for others to do something-what international pressure would apply-

The UN track record on genocide is abysmal-Srebrenica, Rwanda, Eritrea,the list goes on probably...

americans are short on history because we haven't been a country for long and are not surrounded by the aquired relics of the days of empire that were pillaged by the romans and the British empire that now provide hands on environmental immersion history lessons for their little tykes and an insurance of tourist's dollars for as long as they keep those diamond tiaras and assorted artifacts...


Ya America may be almost an empire now-but we aren't as ruthless-

Heh-again to any Brits out there...

7/28/2005 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

I wonder if c4 supports american indians using suicide bombers to get back disputed suburbs?

first come first served (in which case the Jews precede Islam in Israel), or last come? Because I want to know if the descendants of the many Loyalists in the war of 1776-1783 can get their lands back now. At least we had a concept of private property and title that was stolen by outlaw rebels!. Either the land or Cedarford's recognition of the legimacy of Israel's origins, or we're still at war!

7/28/2005 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Desert Rat and Cutler: I don't disagree with your views in regards to the lack of historical perspective in the U.S. In high school, for study of WWII in the Pacific, our teacher deferred to me and I taught the class. Later that year I took the exemption exams for U.S. history at the university and got 6 credits without ever setting foot in class. Today, I write history articles for magazines and I'm working on a history book of my own.
But the point I was making is that the Europeans, from the 1700's to Marx to Hitler to the elites of today have said repeatedly that the Americans have no SENSE of history. That means we do not ponder endlessly how we treated by another country, race, or class 200, 300, 400, 500 plus years ago or what we achieved or failed to. That also means that we do not look at an issue and say "We are Americans and we just don't DO that stuff." like the British don't "do" cold beer and pizza and the Germans don't "do" air conditioning and aircraft carriers.
As a result, it is hard to sell us on an idea based only on such concepts, and we embarrass the Europeans by going ahead and doing what they have declared either impossible or not suitable based on their "sense of history."
Knowing history is important.
Not knowing what you "can't do" because of who you think you are is probably even more important.
And that brings us back to the problem of "failed states."
Some fail because they want to.

7/28/2005 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The Dominos Will Fall As They May
A failed state is like the dormant cell without power, purpose, or protection. But, it is viable as a proxy for more powerful external forces to control it’s sub-elements, beyond the reach or control of even the states’ authority. It is the shadow operating space writ unto geographical isolation.

The states feigned legitimacy is it’s greatest strength against the weak ideals of it’s victims. It cloaks itself in a self sustaining apparatus that’s sole purpose is to protect itself at all cost in perpetuity, paying protection to drug smugglers, Marxists, Jihadists, or combinations thereof.

The infectious germ of radical Islam favors these conditions but so do other manner of blight. If you are either with us or with the terrorists, sides must be chosen. But if the polarity of the polity evenly divides the rule of such states, then the fence sitters must totter, whilst the admixture of real politic courses its’ way through the uncertain avenues of time.

I see no solution through the “failed state” kaleidoscope. It’s definitions are too broad nor can it’s boundaries be given relief in the form of what it is not, for one fails to exalt to attention even one that is successful.

7/28/2005 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

From the American and western perspective a failed state is one that fails to adequately provide for its people, for some definition of provide.

N Korea is the epitome of a failed state; it would rather allow millions of its people to die from starvation rather than open the place up politically or in any way. The leader sees his country as his own property and the people as slaves. It's clear that in N Korea the leader doesn't agree with a western idea of what a state is for so wouldn't agree that his state is a failed one.

I think that in some of the Islamic countries the rulers would say that providing islamic rule is what is best for people, not some western idea of adequately provide, and would also disagree with us about what constitutes a failed state.

It's of course the lack of central authority or the presence of a central authority that can be bought or co-opted that AQ is looking for. Not every failed state will provide one of these.

7/28/2005 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

If you can believe it RWE, I also taught my HS class' section on the Pacific War, including an entire class on Pearl Harbor; if I hadn't volunteered we would have skipped it. Funny coincidence.

Didn't mean to disagree with you on your theory. I just noted that in spite of the caricature of stupid Americans, Europeans aren't much more informed either nowadays. Doesn't stop the sense of superiority from seeping through, however.

7/28/2005 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

History is written by the victor. So it was that American students learned about Columbus and Washington. And so it that the self proclaimed victors of the righteous war of humility shall rewrite history. Columbus was the harbinger of holocaust, Washington was a slave owner. Not that these things are not true, it is that they have harvested the festering pimple and left the carcass of our heritage to rot. American history has been rewritten and taught to new generations who now will not honor it’s past nor it’s present institutions with a pledge of allegiance or even a vague nod of respect. Civil disobedience is the new civil liberty.

7/28/2005 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Papa Bear said...
re Charles comment: so how do you incentivize ruling elites in latin america to do what's in their best interests?

They think the status quo IS in their best interests. The country as a whole may be in the pits, but the elites are sitting pretty. At a high level of wealth, a good percentage of your spending is on servants, flunkies, and mistresses -- which means that it's to your advantage if your staff has no place else to go.

this is dead wrong
but the guy you have to read de soto. I posted an interview with him here.

here's another blurb on the guy:

The darling of right wing think-tanks and the former target of the Shining Path in his home country of Peru, Hernando De Soto has produced a very original new book. The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else, is a strong challenge to those working on international development issues.

His thesis is simple. The poor in developing countries often have many assets - shacks, informal businesses. What they lack is formal property rights to their assets. This prevents them from unlocking the true potential of their assets - producing capital (for example, through using them as collateral for borrowing) and connecting them to the formal economy - so that utilities such as gas, water and electricity can be legally piped to them. This economics behind this idea will be familiar to those with knowledge of the theory of the Tragedy of the Commons.

De Soto is the president of the Instituto Libertad y Democracia (ILD) in Peru. You can read his biography here.

7/28/2005 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Very interesting article over at LGF. Failed states, schmailed states, the actual killers all share one thing, as titled in the article: "The Muslim mind is on fire."

”Time has become for the big Western vengeance.”

7/28/2005 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

FEEL the sensitivity:
Indeed, Villaraigosa’s comments were saccharine-sweet, enough to make a man gag. “We've lost a child,” he told reporters. “A family has lost a daughter. A police officer has been shot. All of us are caught up in this tragedy. All of us are devastated. But, that's why it's important we step back a moment and allow the process to take place. We are going to get to the bottom of this.”

Thus the mayor of Los Angeles presented himself as a dispassionate arbiter who would not allow himself to be seen as supporting his police officers.

7/28/2005 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

re: failed state

I believe you can trace it some of it back to Europe and the ideological and political virus of "eidodynamic" revolution:

"Isolated expressions of eidodynamic assumptions can be traced far back into history, Walsby finding them in ancient Greek and Chinese writings, {1} but they can hardly be said to have motivated political activities before the appearance of the Diggers and other egalitarian protesters of 17th century England. In the French Revolution Babeuf and followers, with their communistic Utopia, claim a place among the eidodynamics, but the main movement has to be ascribed to the ideology of precision. Not until the 19th century did the reformers and revolutionaries come to form enduring parties and movements.

These have not been able to realise their own idea of themselves; claiming to represent the interests of the great body of the people against a dominant and exploitative few, and therefore expecting to receive overwhelming numerical support, they have remained in the minority. They have known war and peace, boom and slump, the virtual disappearance of empires and ruling monarchs, the growth of political democracy, general education, widespread literacy and mass communications; one of them has been able to grasp control of governmental power in two of the largest states and a number of smaller ones. Each of these conditions has been proclaimed, before the event, the one thing needed to bring the great body of the people to accept socialism (or communism or anarchism) but none of them have produced this effect. The features and tendencies these groups oppose - private ownership, togetherness, economic competition, institutional religion, hierarchy, authority, low valuation of theory, respect for success in life, willingness to defend the national group - these continue to be the values by which society mainly operates."

In complex systems like human society, organizational success must emerge organically from the properties and interactions of the previous level. Failure to take into account the material you are working with is a fast route to failure; imposing a revolutionary (eidodynamic) paradigm from the top, an ideology based on false premises and contradictory to the properties of the existing system, will inevitably lead to the collapse of the system itself, and to our failed states.

In fractal geometry one of the first things you notice is how properties are self-similar and recursive, all the way to the bottom. Societies, if they are to have structural fitness, must also have self-similar levels and recursive properties. At the bottom of society lies the individual, then the family, then village, etc. The culture and customs that grow organically at these low levels are as important to the "state" as a cornerstone to a foundation; the low levels are determinative of of the nation's properties and fitness.

Some ideologies are never fit enough on a local level to have a new level "emerge", i.e. a nation built around those principles. Some paradigms are fit enough to go global.

Imposing a nation-state on unfit local paradigm's is one reason for state failure. Imposing unfit and eidodynamic paradigms on an otherwise fit nation-state is another.

When you look at the over-all ecology, the global system of interaction and competition, it becomes apparent why we must be like "swimming sharks", constantly moving. The world is constantly shifting, and if you sit back on your laurels and refuse to adapt, pretty soon your very successful paradigm at time 't', which was working with reality 'r', will be obsolete at time 'T' when you must work with reality 'R'.

Evolution. All these systems and all their levels have the self-similar property of participating in a selective system. The question each society must ask itself: can you compete?

If you cannot play by the organically-grown rules of world selection, then a priori you will fail.

7/28/2005 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"At a high level of wealth, a good percentage of your spending is on servants, flunkies, and mistresses -- which means that it's to your advantage if your staff has no place else to go.
Nice synopsis of the Dem's view of the World, re:

7/28/2005 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Lesley: Yes, the Germans go through that transformation. And then they get their ass kicked. Ask Fernand's Danish friend about that.
Cutler: I think the most recent public example of the European
"Sense of History" was provided by Chirac when he said that the Eastern European nations "missed a good chance to shut up" after they came forth to support the U.S.-led effort in Iraq. By his comments Chirac was saying "You are smaller nations on the peripery of civilization. We have sold you out every chance we got and you can bet we will do it again. You just don't count. So shut up."

7/28/2005 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You, better than many should appreciate what the natives of a region can do, if assisted from US.
The challenge with US is we are rather a rather short sighted culture, more interested in today and the next quarter then tomorrow and the end of the decade.
To awaken the public to the danger and then keep US from dozing off, that is the challenge.
We could project power through surogates as well as anyone, we just don't like doing it.
There are many waround the world that would fight with US for what we believe, we just have to let them.

7/28/2005 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

rwe and Cutler,
I'm sure you won't be surprised that my (formal) teaching resume is not as extensive as yours, but I did have the honor for ONE Day in my HS Physics class!

Anyway, my version of rwe's excellent post of 1:09 PM
was (and is) going to be this:

WHATEVER the Euros have, they don't have a South Park, or any of the multitude of previous examples in our history where someone comes along and survey's the wreckage, and CREATES something useful/valuable out of it!
Tom Wolfe did the commencement address this year at Cutler's school and touched on your
"Some fail because they want to" comment, I think:
He said Marx allowed us to blame class, and Freud enabled us to blame our parents, leaving us the option of holding ourselves responsible for nothing.

Great raw material for failed states.

7/28/2005 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

For the record:
I've seen about 3 episodes of South Park, so what do I know?
...I've just seen it convert the son of the most Multicult Couple on the Island from a Zombie to a Questioner.

7/28/2005 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

By the way, does anyone think its curious that the IRA are supposedly throwing away their arms so soon after the London bombings? I know that the IRA has been in a state of crisis ever since 9/11/01, perhaps because the U.S. got serious about anti-terrorism measures, perhaps because of good diplomacy (yeah, sure!) - or perhaps because the IRA did not like the new Bin Laden form of terrorism and could not stand being painted by that same brush? As I heard some British analyst say on TV today, "The IRA do bombings but they have never done suicide bombings." Is the IRA so revolted by "modern" terrorism that they gave it up? Do they fear Northern Ireland or Ulster being categorized as a "failed state" as result of their own efforts?

7/28/2005 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

In fractal geometry one of the first things you notice is how properties are self-similar and recursive, all the way to the bottom. Societies, if they are to have structural fitness, must also have self-similar levels and recursive properties. At the bottom of society lies the individual, then the family, then village, etc. The culture and customs that grow organically at these low levels are as important to the "state" as a cornerstone to a foundation; the low levels are determinative of of the nation's properties and fitness.

You'd better go easy on the orange stuff. I hear that its bad.

Anyway, neither Dawkins nor Mandelbrot are gonna be much help in trying to prevent the coming Dark Age.

7/28/2005 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Bush cut the IRA off the Christmas Card list, that's for sure.

7/28/2005 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rat Compensates When He Plays

7/28/2005 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, they do call it ROCK

7/28/2005 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That is quite the 'woody'

7/28/2005 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

On the other hand, that poor Brazilian bastard that was wasted by the London cops may turn out to be a hero in the struggle. It seems his demise may be provoking the first signs of emergence of the 'Moderate Muslim' in the US.

href=""> From Reuter's

WASHINGTON, July 28 (Reuters) - Top U.S. Muslim scholars issued a "fatwa," or religious edict, against terrorism on Thursday and called on Muslims to help authorities fight the scourge of militant violence.

The fatwa was part of efforts by U.S. Muslims to counter perceived links between Islam and terrorism and avert any negative backlash after this month's bombings by suspected Islamic extremists in London and Egypt.

"Having our religious scholars side by side with our community leaders leaves no room for anybody to suggest that Islam and Muslims condone or support any forms or acts of terrorism," said Esam Omeish, president of the Muslim American Society, one of the groups which announced the fatwa.

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said it was the first time Muslims in North America had issued an anti-terrorism edict, although they had repeatedly condemned such acts of violence.

7/28/2005 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You mean
Rocks and Roll?
'course you were speaking for yourself.

7/28/2005 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rock and Roll 'Rat Probably Fills the bill.

7/28/2005 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

Oops, sorry about the bad Reuter's link. I'll try again.

Reuters Link

7/28/2005 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe you need to call
Reuter Router.

7/28/2005 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That is the only wood you've seen lately, isn't it, doug
Back to the Pharmacy

7/28/2005 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You go to Costco, I presume?

7/28/2005 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

don't need none of them Pharmaceuticals.

7/28/2005 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, I know:
You've gone short on 'em.

7/28/2005 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

cause I'm gettin' the Wangmaster!
Thanks, amigo

7/28/2005 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

My Pleasure!

7/28/2005 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I didn't mean that the way it sounds.

7/28/2005 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

When they do the mp3 version,
it will be the

7/28/2005 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Actually, I'm more into property than Capital. There's a BOOM goin' on and one must make hay while the sun shines.
Seen boooms come, seen booms go. Sometimes it pays to ride the wave.
No time for shorts, gotta let it all hang ten on some short term trades

7/28/2005 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I was going to say
Always take the Boombox along with the Wangmaster.
...but this is going downhill faster than Real Estate in a high interest environment.

7/28/2005 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


"I disagree with your argument that we are dealing with a conflict between two rival systems of social organisation, as if it were a contest between Coke and Pepsi. No, this is a conflict between the social acceptance of change-as-a-way-of-life, and the dark-age fear-the-unknown fear-the-future turn-back-the-clock-at-any-price mentality."

We might disagree about the names on the fight card, but not about the fact that a bout is taking place. Especially since we woke up to find ourselves in the ring. But who is our masked opponent, the one who sucker punched us before the bell rang?

A variety of names have been put forward to identify him. One is "state sponsors of terrorism". Another is "Muslims". Yet another is the "chaos from failed states". Maybe it's not important to ask this question, just to keep on punching.

7/28/2005 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Muslims no longer are too blind to see
Charleston Daily Mail ^ | 7/28/5 | Don Surber

Posted on 07/28/2005 4:29:02 PM PDT by SmithL

The reign of terror finally receives some resistance

In the wake of the bombing of London, Soumayya Ghannoushi had her Coolio moment. May her words mark the tipping point in the War on Terrorism.

Coolio is a rap singer whose song about the ghetto, "Gangsta Paradise," touched a nerve in the 1990s with its haunting refrain: "Tell me why are we, too blind to see, that the ones we hurt are you and me?"

Ghannoushi is a researcher in the history of ideas at the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London. The bombing of that city forced her to confront the violence promulgated by Muslims.

She wrote a column that was posted on al-Jazeera's English-language Web site.

"How can the murder of the innocent be perpetuated in the name of a religion that likens the loss of one human life to the loss of humanity at large?" she asked. "How can Islam be said to sanction such acts of aggression when it openly forbids revenge and declares in no less than five Koranic chapters that no bearer of a burden bears the burden of another?"

Most Muslims denounce the carnage in the Middle East. No sane person approves of random attacks aimed at civilians. But their protests have not been very loud.

The weekend bombing of an Egyptian resort changed that. It made no sense. Egypt had no troops in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Anti-terror protesters gathered on the 6th of October Bridge over the Nile between Zamalek and Tahrir.

They gathered in Baghdad, where two attacks killed 105 people, including 32 children.

They gathered in Copenhagen, where a filmmaker was slaughtered.

Slowly the world realizes the War on Terrorism is not about the United States. Every nation will have its Sept. 11th. Terrorists targeted commuters in Spain and England. In Russia, terrorists targeted schoolchildren.

Those who compare this to the American Revolution sadden me. George Washington never targeted civilians.

The real comparison is the Reign of Terror in France. The guillotine beheaded thousands of people for no apparent reason. The king had already capitulated before he was decapitated.

Al-Qaida also favors beheading. Reuters casually reported that one-third of its captives are killed.

Amnesty International's Irene Khan had the gall to compare Guantanamo Bay to a gulag in Siberia.

Imagine my surprise when her organization this week denounced the terrorists in Iraq as war criminals.

Amr Moussa, the head of the Arab League, announced this week that it wants to break a nine-year deadlock with the United Nations and accept the definition of terrorism as any intentional maiming or killing of civilians, "regardless of the cause."

Those last four words were the hang-up because they denounce bombings by Palestinians.

Calling terrorists "insurgents" is inaccurate. They may want the United States out but only because the terrorists want to rule a nation that yearns to be free.

On Jan. 30, more than 8 million Iraqis defied the terrorists and voted. Now the terrorists are killing Iraqis by the score. Al-Qaida apparently wants the Iraqis to get out of Iraq.

The realization that al-Qaida is everyone's enemy has been slow in coming. And it does not solve the problem. But it is a start. Maybe someday Soumayya Ghannoushi's Coolio moment will be remembered.

Don Surber may be reached at

7/28/2005 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

stoutfellow: "Anyway, neither Dawkins nor Mandelbrot are gonna be much help in trying to prevent the coming Dark Age."

But they will be useful in describing it, yes?

The concept of a failed state implies the idea of a successful state, which in turn implies the presence of a competitive paradigm and selective process.

The Anthropic Principle states that everything that came before 'now' was necessary for us to be here, at this place. If you are an American, look around you at the prosperity, happiness, and wealth. These did not simply appear out of air, they were bought and paid for through the falsification process of our ideals.

Now let's suppose you are an Arab. All the poverty and failure around you also happened for a reason. Claiming that the West oppressed and manipulated your people is just another way of saying you were powerless to resist, which is another way of saying you lost the game. History is varied, and many causes can be determinative, but nothing can scrub away the fact that for the last 600 years your society has failed, miserably. After that long of a slump, you probably want to stop complaining about the pitching, and maybe change your swing.

The competitive value of any one state is co-dependant on the value and properties of all others, and all these are co-dependant on the properties of the system in which they interact. If the only way to compete globally is through resource aquisition (power) and world trade (production and wealth), it makes little sense to build a state paradigm on Greenpeace and the AFL-CIO. Now imagine how harmful it is to build a paradigm on something even more contradictory, and you will see why states fail the way they do.

When discussing a dynamic system where many different players can become dominant, the focal point and overall strategic objective for a state becomes the very act of competing and winning; if states lose sight of this imperative, like Europe has done, when they come out of their stupor they will find themselves much further back than they were before.

When a society chooses to structure its ideology in direct contra-distinction to reality, it will fail. And, much like in business, its resources will be cannabilized by a more fit player.

7/28/2005 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The value of the yuan and Chinese purchase of treasuries are the Paul Reveres of interest costs.
6 - 14 months and we could be in a whole new world view of China's export friven economy. Interesting article on Bloomberg by Jerry Berry on the possible outcomes of Chicoms recent devaluation and future behaviour.

China plays the market

7/28/2005 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Of course, this implies that there is such a thing as an "objectively failed state".

If life really is chaotic and random, if success and failure really are creatures of perspective and not at real things, then everything I've said falls apart.

But I'm comfortable in my assumptions. There really is such a thing as "better", and we are it.

7/28/2005 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

The rise of Ansar Al-islam:

With or without Iraqi assistance, one by one the Kurdish Islamist groups heeded bin Laden's call to unite. In July 2001, the Kurdish Hamas united with al-Tawhid, forming the Tawhid Islamic Front and sending several members to Afghanistan for training. Then in September 2001, Tawhid Islamic Front merged with the Second Soran
Unit to become Jund al-Islam, after which time the new organization launched a bloody campaign against the ruling Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. Despite its small size, Jund al-Islam soon proved its worth in battle against the PUK, quickly gaining the support of another group of Kurdish Islamists led by Faraj Ahmad Najmuddin, now known as Mullah Krekar. By December 10, 2001 the two groups had merged together and Ansar al-Islam was born.

7/28/2005 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Been there, done that and damn right, aristedes

7/28/2005 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

This from NYTimes on July 13:

"A sudden and mysterious drop in China's oil consumption helped to push down the International Energy Agency's estimate on Wednesday of global demand for this year.

After growing 11 percent in 2003 and 15.4 percent last year, China's overall oil use declined 1 percent in the second quarter from the comparable quarter a year earlier, the agency said."

Speculation: If China doesn't liberalize the Yuan and unpeg it from its artificially low valuation, it will remain an export monster and its strategic threat to the US will continue to increase.

If it does revalue the currency, the curtain will be pulled back and China will be exposed as the one-trick pony that she is. You cannot be a dominant player with 1 billion people in abject medieval poverty.

7/28/2005 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

the bloomberg link describe linking the yuan to a 'basket of currency'. In other words from the dollar to the Euro, Yen & Won. He sees the net effect as minimal.

"...The Chinese announcement that the value of the yuan, which is a denomination of China's currency, the renminbi, may end up managed against a basket of currencies rather than just against the dollar creates brand-new problems.

Economist Simon Hayley of Capital Economics in London raised the issue yesterday in an analysis of ``what would happen if the dollar continues to strengthen against other currencies and Beijing wanted to keep the trade-weighted value of the renminbi constant? In these circumstances, the renminbi would have to weaken against the dollar, to offset the rise against the euro and the yen. ..."

"...For instance, even after a partial rebound, the dollar's value is down about 40 percent against the euro since February 2002. Yet the Labor Department's index of prices of European manufactured goods exported to the U.S. was up only 15 percent as of last month.

Over the same period, the yen is up about 18 percent relative to the dollar, and up about 12 percent after adjustment for Japan's lower inflation rate. And the Labor Department's index for Japanese exports to this country? Last month it was a whole one-10th of a point higher than in early 2002.

As Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress in February, ``Although the dollar has been declining since early 2002, exporters to the United States apparently have held dollar prices relatively steady to preserve their market share, effectively choosing to absorb the decline in the dollar by accepting a reduction in their profit margins.'' ..."

."..``This reinforces the point that the dollar/renminbi rate is not the one-way bet that many seem to assume. The new regime still gives the Chinese authorities a great deal of discretion,'' Hayley said. ..."

7/28/2005 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

stoutfellow: "Anyway, neither Dawkins nor Mandelbrot are gonna be much help in trying to prevent the coming Dark Age."

But they will be useful in describing it, yes?

Perhaps, but I can't really imagine them playing a role in policy decisions, stategic planning, etc. But I don't mean to discourage your free thinking. I myself like applied math and thinking about the big philosophical questions.

BTW, I was just kidding about the orange stuff. And thanks for mentioning the Anthropic principle. I'll revisit it this weekend when I'm not dog-tired from chasing the dollar.

7/28/2005 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

July 28, 2005, 11:17 a.m.
Bordering on CAFTA
More trade, less immigration.
By Mark Krikorian

Debate leading up to Wednesday night’s narrow House passage of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) did not distinguish itself with nuance or refinement. Both supporters and opponents engaged in absurd hyperbole, claiming that the measure would either bring about massive job losses here and Dickensian slavery in Central America, or create huge new opportunities for American exporters and repulse Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. Of course, it won’t do any of those things. CAFTA supporter Rep. John Linder, a Republican from Georgia, injected a welcome dose of reality by pointing out that it is just a “modest foreign-policy agreement.”

However exaggerated the rhetoric, the supporters clearly had the better argument. But what they got completely wrong is the claim that increased trade will somehow reduce immigration pressures. Supporters of CAFTA, as they did with NAFTA, claimed over and over that free trade would “stop massive immigration to the United States” (in the words of Republican Dan Burton from Indiana), whereas Arizona Republican Jim Kolbe claimed that rejecting the agreement would lead to a “a rising tide of illegal immigration.”

Yet in the end, claims that NAFTA would dampen illegal-immigration pressures were decisively disproved. Our Mexican immigrant population, most of it illegal, exploded during the 1990s, from 4.2 million to 9.2 million, reaching a whopping 10.5 million by 2004. Some of this would have happened even without NAFTA — assuming we pursued the same policy of non-enforcement of the immigration laws — but it was supercharged by NAFTA.

In order to justify their opposition to CAFTA, some Republicans Wednesday night specifically cited the falseness of the immigration claims made by NAFTA’s supporters.

And indeed, the massive growth in immigration pressures from Mexico in the 1990s was not a failure of NAFTA, but an inevitable consequence. The way we’ll know that CAFTA is promoting economic development in Central America and the Dominican Republic (the scope of the treaty) will be when we see the same increase in immigration pressures. Counterintuitive as it might seem, economic development, especially agricultural modernization, always sets people on the move, by consolidating small farms into larger, more productive operations. These excess farmers then move to cities, where they get manufacturing or service-sector jobs.

But the fact that development cuts peasants loose from the land and compels them to move to cities doesn’t tell us whose cities they’re moving to. Immigration pressure, after all, is not the same as actual immigration. The problem with NAFTA was not that it promoted trade between the United States and Mexico but that neither country did anything meaningful to make sure that the excess Mexican peasantry moved to Mexico’s cities instead of ours. And CAFTA might actually create proportionately greater immigration pressures, because most of the agreement’s impact will be to make our exports more competitive there, with some 80 percent of imports from the CAFTA countries already entering our country duty-free. Despite this fact, the administration is not only continuing to refuse to enforce the immigration law but is making a high-profile push for a new guestworker/amnesty plan that would result in huge increases in illegal immigration.

If there is one lesson to be learned from NAFTA it is that free-trade agreements must be accompanied by muscular immigration controls, especially if they are reached with countries that are nearby or already send a lot of immigrants here. If the experience of NAFTA is repeated, and the immigration pressures unleashed by CAFTA are allowed to flood into the United States, the case for future free-trade agreements will be undermined.

The suspicion of some conservatives that free-trade pacts are the first step toward open borders is not without foundation. Mexico’s President Vicente Fox has become notorious for calling for an open border as the fulfillment of NAFTA. And the Wall Street Journal asserts a necessary connection between trade and immigration, calling most notably for an open-borders amendment to the Constitution allowing unfettered trade and immigration.

But the equivalency between trade and immigration is false. Immigrants are people, after all, not just labor inputs. As Henry Simons, a free-market pioneer at the University of Chicago, wrote in 1948: “To insist that a free-trade program is logically or practically incomplete without free migration is either disingenuous or stupid. Free trade may and should raise living standards everywhere . . . Free immigration would level standards, perhaps without raising them anywhere.”

The way forward, then, is clear: More trade, less immigration.

— NRO contributor Mark Krikorian is executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies.

7/28/2005 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

From NYTimes: "All that was said was that the Chinese currency, the yuan, which was pegged to the value of the dollar, would now be a managed currency whose value would be set in relation to a basket of currencies. The currencies were not identified, and it is not clear yet how much higher the Chinese will allow the yuan to move against the dollar.


China had to sell yuan and buy dollars to keep the yuan pegged to the value of the dollar. With the reinvestment of these dollars, China has become the second-largest holder of Treasury securities after Japan, with $243.5 billion, and also a big buyer of securities from government-sponsored agencies like Fannie Mae.

The yield on the Treasury's 10-year note rose to 4.27 percent, from 4.16 percent on Wednesday, while the price, which moves in the opposite direction, fell 29/32, to 9826/32.

Louis Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP, said the yuan revaluation "is more likely to be bad for Treasuries than good." But he said it was unclear what the ultimate effect would be.

Mr. Alexander of Citigroup argued that the Chinese could actually have to buy more dollars in the future to keep the yuan from rising in value further or faster than they want."

The discretion kept by the Chinese leads me to believe that this is a distinction without a difference. But I am far from an expert.

7/28/2005 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Fernand, thanks for this When 9-11 happened, his instant knee-jerk response was "oh my God, someone's going to get their ass kicked!"

All agreed that not responding aggressively to attack is foolish?

But what is happening now, now that Rummy himself has gone over there and opened the door to a timeframe for withdrawal?

Could it be that the idealism of the neo's is devolving to real politik? Nah. It can't be that.

It could be that we are already garrisoning our forces in a pragmatic disengagement with the local environment in Iraq. That's the one argument that makes sense for the small force 'footprint'. While such a course of announced disengagement seems to echo "Vietnamization" failures of a generation ago, in Iraq, all the dominoes are tilting in our favor.

The Iraqis know better than anyone that US has a history of letting them suffer their own local politics.

Sad to admit, but undeniable.

7/28/2005 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"DaHat writes "Following up on last weeks report that Microsoft filed suit against Google for the hiring of former Microsoft executive Kai-Fu Lee, today Superior Court Judge Steven Gonzalez granted a temporary restraining order barring Lee from violating his noncompete agreement by performing the work that he was hired for by Google."
Could this be turning the corner on never legally following up on any contract violation, or spilling of National Security Secrets, etc?
I hope.

7/28/2005 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

No offense, Dan.
I posted that before seeing your usual excellent post.

7/28/2005 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Google upgraded their mapping app with a new "Hybrid" view. I noticed it when I was looking for a way to point to the lawn in front of Parliament. Pretty neat. Here's a screen shot.

7/28/2005 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

There must be some way we can extend the trellis to them. We just have to figure out how to make it.
funny I'm thinking its us needs rescuing.

7/28/2005 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Don't worry, be happy.
I finally made the connection that was lurking in the background:
If you will recall, in the aftermath of 9-11, different bromides were repeated endlessly by the usual suspects.

The one that garnered the most derision on our local forum went something like:

"If we change anything about the way we live,

Many guffaws were had by almost all.
Now the mystery has been unveiled:
The author of that bit of insanity was our very own Desert Rat.
The goofiest part to me is that it also includes any notions of changing back to the way things always were prior to the arrival of Multicult PC.

No such luck:
We live in a PC Theocracy.
Normie Mineta is God.
Tancredo's the Devil.

7/29/2005 12:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat demoed the extent of his illness upon his arrival here by coming to the defense of the "reporter" (aka partner in terror) in one of W's pieces concerning the many "fortuitous" "coincidences" in which there was a photog/videographer conveniently on scene and set up, ready to go.

Henceforth and until he has his personal reformation, any word starting with "D" will signify dysfunctional when used in conjunction with 'Rat.
Better name would be MSM running dog.

Folks suffering from this sickness often rely on that old new left trick of immediately labeling any deviation from the party line as "proof" of being racist/xenophobic or worse:
Desirous and willing to be a cog in the machinery of a Police State.

7/29/2005 01:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Call goes out for Blood as Senate Hearings Into Organized Rat Rings Turn Violent.

7/29/2005 02:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"I may be a pet coon but I'll never be The 'Rat's pet coon."

7/29/2005 02:57:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

I would deem Saudi Arabia a failed state. Even though they don't quite fit Wretchard's definition. The Kingdom is almost solely dependent on outside help to keep its house standing. The Saudis have been poor fiduciaries over a vast fortune. They have squandered that fortune and funded many terror groups - and many people have died because of it. That includes paying blackmail to al Qaeda for protection.

I would suggest that the Saudis have some introspect regarding their Wahhabi/Muhammadan hate teachings. Perhaps the Saudis have chosen the wrong path in life. Maybe they should switch paths before they fall into the abyss.

Now, the current governing structures in Syria and Iran are probably too far down that totalitarian path to be saved (as are some other totalitarian regimes). But, the Saudis may have a chance to switch paths before it's too late.

7/29/2005 04:05:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Copied from Previous Thread,
Does 'Rat go by any other names?

"Loveiswhatitsallabout said...
Yawnnnnnn. What a bunch of doo-doo. There are no threats to anyone. You are nothing but a person who thinks very highly of themselves and prints words that put the readers to sleep. Military? Hey, what if they gave a war and no one showed up. The military is nothing but a bunch of cowards who subscribe to a GANG MENTALITY. So get a real job pal and stop spewing this drivel on the Internet."

7/29/2005 04:26:00 AM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...


The Arab world has no need to reform as long it can get windfall profits from the sale of oil. The tribes know that a capitalist society would breakdown tribal influences, but they do not need a functioning market to tax because they have oil. We need to take the oil away.

7/29/2005 04:32:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No doug, I have only one nom de plume.
As you have been so gracious to note my positions have been consistent... and I think, RIGHT.
I leave the Left to you and your pack of sniveling one liners and semi obscene guitar playing running dogs.
On withdrawal from Iraq under the banner of Victory, heard it here first.
The timetable for withdrawal, hihf

If you destroy the village in order to save it, all you've really done... destroyed a village.

I do not cower in the face of Border Bandits. It makes little difference to me what border they criminalize.
If we strip our citizens of their freedoms to save those freedoms, well, I refuse to take part in or support others in pursuit of that oxymoron.
Like there really is such a thing as Military Intelligence.

7/29/2005 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

You object to profiling? Fuhgedaboutit

7/29/2005 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Towers would still be standing if the Boston folks had not had their orders changed by the Airlines and our friends the Saudis and the folks at CAIR.
I think the civil liberties of quite a few folks were severely infringed upon as a result.

7/29/2005 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Minetta position that human intelligence must be disabled results in more restrictions on all our rights, and ultimately is suicidal.
Why is it better to search folks you strongly believe are not a threat simply to satisfy Normie's Quotas?

7/29/2005 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"If "looks like a young Muslim" or "looks Middle Eastern" is an easily visible characteristic that terrorists are likely to have, it belongs in the profile. "
...should we pretend we cannot see PROFOUND similarity in the terrorist so far?
...and you say next time it may be an elephant.
If so the profile is adjusted to reflect that, but in truth more than words on paper can describe, human intelligence DISCERNS.

7/29/2005 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

And if my comments offended you, I am sorry.
I made them in good humor, hoping you would take them that way.
Perhaps not?
Sorry if so.

7/29/2005 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I may watch a movie for the first time in a long time.
If I enjoy it am I as free to do that as you grant people their religious beliefs?
...or did I misread your tone on the guitar commentary?
A Filthy Theme and Variations

7/29/2005 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Bostonians allowed the 9-11 assault team into a 'secure' area. If you had studied my revealed word, you would note that I support searches prior to entry into those types of areas.
I do not support the idea that passengers should be allowed to carry razor bladed knives onto public transportation, but to eliminate toe nail clippers seems beyond reason, to me.
The policy of allowing hijackers to control the aircraft, to sit back and enjoy the ride, seemed reasonable, at the time. I doubt the passengers would sit back and allow that to happen again.
As I have stated, eloquently, IMHO,
is that hiding behind guards at Grand Central Station will not secure the miles of track between Boston and Washington DC.
Forward Defense and Human Intel are the answer to this challenge, not strip searches of nervous Nellie New Yorkers.
Eat a little red meat, and you'll be OK

7/29/2005 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You cannot see the humor in MY response?

7/29/2005 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The guards at the trains are eye wash. Excuses for overtime and an effort to have NYers 'feel good' about Mr Bloomberg
Remember how Blue those people are, always depressed.

7/29/2005 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

When they guard the stations in Rye, and Port Chester, searching THOSE commuters, well, then I'll begin take it seriously.

7/29/2005 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It's been real
and it's been fun
but it ain't been real fun
See ya Sunday

7/29/2005 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

“O peoples of the Earth! Verily the resplendent Light of God hath appeared in your midst, invested with this unerring Book, that ye may be guided aright to the ways of peace and, by the leave of God, step out of the darkness into the light and onto this far-extended Path of Truth.” May 23, 1844 / 1260 AH

When the Muslim world tortured and killed Him, (July 9, 1850) it began its long, dysfunctional fall into 'failed state' status.

And its beginning to look like Iraq's punishment will be visited on His natal home, Iran!

7/29/2005 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

dan: "Certain rogue barons out on the fringes have started to launch raids to test and stress our strength. How we distract the people from the basic glory that undoubtedly entails? These at least are the kind of people relative to their society that Nietzsche would have considered "healthy." They affirm the tribal pride--forcing their way by orthodox means into the position of traditional aristocrats--that we ultimately see as childish venality (because that is in fact what it is--this is the meaning of Nietzsche's word "developed"). So we first have to kill them, which is the only way to delegitimize them."

Earlier, I toyed with this theme on my blog:

"Nietzsche, in this case, was both correct and incorrect. He posited that 'good' and 'evil' were context-specific, that Master Morality, with virtues of strength, power, and conquering, could without contradiction claim certain things were good that Christian (Slave) Morality, with virtues of meekness, humility, and self-control, claimed were evil, and they could both be right within their particular contexts. Simply, what he was saying is that the terms 'good' and 'evil', since they could evolve, were actually meaningless, and needed to be discarded for a new paradigm of creativity and will to power.

However, is it the case that 'good' and 'evil' evolved, or is it simply that their application evolved? As the needs and evolutionary strategies of mankind changed, and as new systems emerged, cooperation and humility did indeed become the predominant survival techniques..."

"Good and Evil" is a universal language that all human societies understand, though sometimes the specific meanings are lost in translation between disparate groups. These terms prescribe behaviors that will be beneficial for the tribe or society, and they proscribe behaviors that will be deleterious to these units. It is the same everywhere.

Your comment made me think. If each culture's definitions of good and bad behavior are co-dependant, which they are, what are they co-dependant on? Specifically, what do these "values" act and interact with, how did they grow, and can they be changed?

They certainly act and interact within the culture itself, so one answer, if we are to help their culture 'evolve', is a change from within. This seems to be the most difficult for us, since as outsiders we will have difficulty assimilating our ideas into the flow of local logic, and, as you mentioned, the institutions for cultural interaction have atrophied in the Arab world. It is not impossible, it just takes the most time and learning, and we may not have much time. Iraq, in this respect, is our first effort at an internal shift.

But there are also outside forces that affect the internal survival values of "good and evil". These external forces can be thought of as the environment in which the tribal or cultural values strive and compete. If we look back in history, there are many examples of this, British Colonialism being but one, where the tribal preconceptions continuously bounced off the British values, which were backed by power, causing the tribal preconceptions to evolve over time.

So, we must become the environment in which these tribal preconceptions interact and compete. "Carriers" of an ideology that cannot assimilate, those who carry the doctrine of murder, will have to die. It will take years and years of power projection and resolve. I am not sure we will be able to do it...

As Churchill said:

"[H]ow the structures and habits of democratic states, unless they are welded into larger organisms, lack thoses elements of persistance and conviction which alone can give security to humble masses; how, even in matters of self-preservation, no policy is pursued for ten or fifteen years at a time. We shall see how the counsels of prudence and restraint may become the prime agents of mortal danger; how the middle course adopted from desires for safety and a quiet life may be found to lead directly to the bull's-eye of disaster. We shall see how absolute is the need of a broad path of international action pursued by many states in common across the years, irrespective of the ebb and flow of national politics."

A new cancer treatment is being tested, where nanotech drug delivery systems carry a precise amount of silver particles to surround a tumor. Once the silver is in place, the patient simply lies down in a "tanning bed" that sends infrared waves through the body. The silver particles collect and reflect these waves off the self-contained mirror system until the tumor simply dissolves from the extreme heat in the 'kill zone.' The rest of the body doesn't even feel it.

The world of today is populated with tumors, and we need a precise delivery system designed specifically for each problem area. If we are unable to find it, the cancers will metastasize, and the only option left will be a large and imprecise dose of chemotherapy.

The extreme solution weakens the body, sometimes to the point of death, recovery is difficult and painful, and there aren't even any guarantees that the cancer is gone.

It is something we should strive to avoid.

7/29/2005 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

China to use M.A.D. to contain US.

Tell me again why a missile defense shield is a bad idea?

7/29/2005 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The Bostonians allowed the 9-11 assault team into a 'secure' area. If you had studied my revealed word, you would note that I support searches prior to entry into those types of areas.
I do not support the idea that passengers should be allowed to carry razor bladed knives onto public transportation, but to eliminate toe nail clippers seems beyond reason, to me.
Yeah, my thing is with Minetta, CAIR, et al that say THAT is oppressive.
As to the movie, I never have seen much, much less enjoyed Penn and Teller, but I will always remember Penn's piece (he had a monthly column in a computer mag) around '89 giving instruction for a .bat file in dos so that when they inspected your laptop and turned it on, it would display a message that said this baby will blow in 10, 9, pure genius then imho, not advised now.
and again, appologies for any ill feelings:
I thought the Kefaufer stuff would rectify that.
...but I always have been a bit rectal.

7/29/2005 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I think the meme has a bad vibe, at least for Democrats.
One must not offend, you know.
And incineration is just that:
Nothing offensive there.
(Unless you are "into" promoting them sperm space vehicles or whatever we are)
...At least that's how I feel, even tho 'Rat is not up to the task.

7/29/2005 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

From TNR:

"Democracy has become George W. Bush's reflexive answer to terrorism. Before the wreckage left by the July 7 bombings in London had even cooled, he broke from the G-8 summit in Scotland to explain how we would defeat the perpetrators of such attacks: "We will spread an ideology of hope and compassion that will overwhelm their ideology of hate." Four days later, he elaborated, "Today in the Middle East, freedom is once again contending with an ideology that seeks to sow anger and hatred and despair. And, like fascism and communism before, the hateful ideologies that use terror will be defeated by the unstoppable power of freedom and democracy." This, of course, was not a new interpretation of the war on terrorism for the president, who, in his second inaugural this January, actually elevated democratization to the level of grand strategy, saying, "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one." A resounding sentiment--one that has provided the president with a powerful foreign policy narrative and convinced voters last November that, despite the tragedies of the Iraq war, he can best protect our national security. Yet the notion that we should defend ourselves chiefly by spreading democracy seems less than reassuring on the heels of the July 7 attack. After all, the four bombers who struck London were British--residents of one of the world's oldest and most stable democracies...."

This is a tough argument to defeat, but if we are to convince Westerners that engagement is absolutely necessary, that our way of life is something worth defending AND SPREADING, we will have to address it.

And a little nit-pick: how did Bush's second inaugural address convince voters three months earlier to vote for him?

7/29/2005 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Doug: Perhaps we need some silver particles back home?

7/29/2005 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

So it's bivouac again?
Focus those mirrors like a laser beam.
...or as some equally rectal Filopinos say here:
FOkass those mirrors like a laser beam.
I gave a lot of thought to the Ford FOkass, but then...

7/29/2005 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Is that some kind of cure for STD's?
I remember it has some kind of miracle medical properties.
Spaceballs indeed.

7/29/2005 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

They could see the meme developing, in his eyes, even tho he had not yet said it.
...Sort of like him seeing Pootie Poot's Soul in HIS eyes,
...even tho he may not have one.

7/29/2005 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Doug: tell that to Stan Jones:

"63-year-old business consultant and part-time college instructor, said he started taking colloidal silver in 1999 for fear that Y2K disruptions might lead to a shortage of antibiotics.

He made his own concoction by electrically charging a couple of silver wires in a glass of water.

His skin began turning blue-gray a year ago."

7/29/2005 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Doug: it must have been the harsh scrutiny of the NYTimes. They uncover everything, you know.

7/29/2005 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Winds of Change has disappeared. I suspect a Soros plot.

7/29/2005 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I tried that with a lead acid battery and I emerged from the "experience" with the IQ of a rat.
...just a coincidence, I guess.

7/29/2005 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Am I missing something w/winds, or is their homepage this 10 mile long thing that takes 5 min to download completely?
...sometimes web design isn't.

7/29/2005 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Mark Steyn (steynonline), regarding a subject that has undergone a thorough exam at this site:

"Softly-softly won’t catchee monkey. Slo-mo conflicts are the hardest to win, in part because in advanced societies the public finds it hard to stay focused. Granted, there are exceptions to that rule: the government, battling the commies in Malaya, went the Boris Johnson route and declined to call it a war; and the eventual victory in the Malayan ‘Emergency’ might tend to support his thesis. It was said that London was reluctant to use the term ‘war’ for reasons of home and business insurance, but it’s also a broader kind of insurance: it lowers the stakes, it softens the people up for a non-victory — as in the Irish ‘Troubles’. Sometimes, as in Malaya, you happen to win one of these ‘emergencies’ or ‘troubles’, and that’s a bonus. But the point is, by designating something as other than a war, you tend to make it peripheral, and therefore loseable.

That’s not an option here. Madrid and London — along with other events such as the murder of Theo Van Gogh — are, in essence, the opening shots of a European civil war."

7/29/2005 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

More Steyn (in case you don't have the subscription):

"The distinction between coarse blundering Israelis and subtle sophisticated Britons depends where you’re standing. If you happen to be the late Jean Charles de Menezes, for example, you might wish fate had selected you instead to be the Palestinian suicide bomber interrupted en route to Tel Aviv that same Friday. The Euro-reviled IDF managed to disarm the Fatah terrorist of his explosives belt, packed with nails, without harming a hair on his pretty little suicide-bomber head. If the demented anti-Zionism of the British and Continental media these last four years ever had a point, it doesn’t now, when you’re in the early stages of the Israelification of Europe — and, in one of fate’s better jests, in this scenario you’re the Jews."

7/29/2005 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/29/2005 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Steyn Rules.

7/29/2005 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Dan: I don't either, especially given the circumstances that drove the British Bombers to terrorism: Local segregation combined with Religious Extremism and Wahabi internationalist grievances, all these things which are not outgrowths of liberal democracy, but are its invaders. I thought the argument from TNR was a good reference point for our continuing struggle to convince 'ourselves', but it is obviously petty and petulant.

re: Musharaff. It would be interesting if a tipping point can be reached through a progression of cosmetic changes. I still lean more towards Reuel Marc Gerecht's "grab and shake real hard" model, where we, as you put it, rip the roof off and let in the sunlight, but you are right. If even Pakistan is applying pressure, who knows what can happen.

7/29/2005 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

bennet: "The "End Of History" argued that capitalism and democracy created a superior system and that all other forms would convert."

Peacefully. That was the argument. The dominant ideology had been exposed and all the rest would now fall into line. Nothing more could compete.

But someone out in the audience has raised their hand, and we are back in the sparring cage. What we are seeing is that the very success of the Western paradigm has created its new opponent; 'failure' has organized against us in one last stand to cheat the rules of selection and plunder riches that for them have been unearned. Our Marxist pal Grievance has joined hands with our Islamic pal Caliphate, and these petulant children of failure are trying their damnedest to bring the temple down with them.

Given this, just how do you suppose democracy, capitalism, freedom, and private property have been defeated?

No, it is just the case that we are still fighting; it was not the end of history after all. I can see how a pacifist would call the very act of fighting losing, but if you are expecting to see the "essence of failure" defeat the "essence of success", then you should study your metaphysics.

Offering democracy is the nice and easy opening salvo, what Wretchard called fighting with our little finger. If that doesn't work, IMPOSING democracy and the rule of law will be all that's left. Ask the Japanese how pleasant that is.

7/29/2005 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Luminary: exactly, which is why we need to take the fight abroad.

7/29/2005 11:09:00 AM  

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