Thursday, January 19, 2006

The post-post colonial world

When's a death a death? Yahoo News carries this report on deaths in East Timor caused by Indonesian occupation.

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Indonesia killed up to 180,000 East Timorese through massacres, torture and starvation during its 24-year occupation, a report to be handed to the United Nations has found, an Australian daily said on Thursday. Napalm and chemical weapons were used to poison food and water and some victims were burned or buried while still alive, and others sexually mutilated, the Australian newspaper quoted the report saying. It said 90 percent of the 180,000 deaths -- almost a third of the pre-invasion population -- were caused by starvation and disease, saying starvation was used as a weapon. "Rape, sexual slavery and sexual violence were tools used as part of the campaign designed to inflict a deep experience of terror, powerlessness and hopelessness upon pro-independence supporters," the paper quoted the report saying.

The Third World is place where deaths are accounted with altogether different arithmetic than the First World. Events there happen as on another planet. Democracy Rising in a post called Hate Radio Returns As Ivory Coast Teeters On The Brink Of War talks about the implosion of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Ivory Coast.:

The continent plagued by armed-militias, ethnic conflict, corruption and tin-pot dictators is heading into familiar territory tonight. In scenes that echo Rwanda, what was once a relative African success story, has turned into a nightmare. On the streets of Ivory Coast tonight, the UN is under seige - hounded out of two towns and now facing the threat of serious violence at its HQ in Andijan.

Kinshasha on the Potomac wonders if there is even an end of the tunnel in the Ivory Coast:

Well, Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire for all you Francophones out there) has been down the tubes for a while. But, the situation is getting worse with supporters of the government fighting with UN peacekeepers at one of their basecamps. ... No one in the right mind can fault the peacekeepers for protecting themselves. And, maybe if they - and the French troops stationed there (who wiped out the Cote d'Ivoire airforce in 2004) - were even more proactive, than Gbagbo and his bully boys and the rebels would stop this stupid conflict and finally come to terms. Or, alternately, the world community can just kill off the current generation of thugs and see if there are some reasonable people who might want to run the country and not fight over the scraps.

EU Referendum points out that the old formulas, whatever they were, no longer work.

... one of the sharpest critiques of French involvement come from Le Monde diplomatique, which in April 2005 wrote:

The actions of the French Operation Unicorn peacekeeping force in the former French west African colony of Ivory Coast have exposed the greed and seaminess of France's dual role as both mediator and participant. ...

Above all though, this issue points up the indolence and hypocrisy of our media. While the hacks are quite happy to slag off the American administration and military – from the comfort of their luxury hotels in the Baghdad Green Zone, protected by the lives of those very troops they so detest - none of the professionals who employ them and use their copy have stirred themselves to find out what is going on the Ivory Coast, and report it.


That's probably because the "hacks" as the EU Referendum calls them, are grateful they have something to criticize without the burden of suggesting an alternative. The problem of what to do with chaos in the Third World is the one thing to which the pop doctrines of multiculturalism and transnationalism had no answer. The system of double-accounting, where Washington news was highlighted while events resulting in hundreds of thousands of Third World deaths was relegated to the back pages was the outcome of a system which knew how to the critique the one but not the other. Michelle Malkin recently had a post describing how key clues used to solve the London subway bombings came from Guantanamo Bay interrogations. It perfectly illustrates why perceptions are so distorted: the MSM is uneasy with narratives of how intelligence is obtained from prisoners to solve problems; it's a story they didn't "do". But the watchtowers, guards and exotic prisoners at Guantanamo Bay was a story they could "do" to perfection. And so, like the drunk searching for a coin beneath the lampost because it was the only place lit, our vision had become matched to the limits of our perception.

But the problems in the Third World won't go away; and in an age of globalization and mass immigration, they are no longer separable from events in the First World. Problems like those in the Ivory Coast, as well as the more proximate crisis of Iran are remarkable in that they do not involve Great Powers. For the last twenty years the World News has been driven by events in the what used to be the periphery of the world. The Balkans, Middle East, Africa and Southwest Asia have somehow insinuated themselves into the center stage of history. What events like the Ivory Coast and the humiliating rejection of the EU3 in Iran will do is add to the growing disrepute of the traditional instruments of statecraft upon which the First World relied upon to deal with Third World problems. Multilateral organizations, aid programs, nongovernment organizations, while not completely useless, are in their present forms completely inadequate to the task.


Blogger Meme chose said...

Wow. You so frequently come up with really perceptive insights into the void between what the media present and what is really happening around the world. You just nailed this one.

Thank you, not just from me but also on behalf of so many people around the world whose fate is to be ignored by the (left-) pious.

1/19/2006 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


>Multilateral organizations, aid programs, nongovernment organizations,
>while not completely useless, are in their present forms completely inadequate to the task.

What, pray tell, is 'the task'?

Forcing people to be nice?

1/19/2006 05:47:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In the past, the "West" used gunpowder statecraft as it's primary tool in dealing with the 'liitle people'.

The "Multilateral organizations, aid programs, nongovernment organizations" that are in the vangard today were in the rear in those days.

Civil Administation of far away places cannot be undertaken when there is no Security on the Ground.

Mao was quite correct about Political Power and where it is grows.

1/19/2006 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

In the Ivory Coast you have the Christians in the south and the Muslims in the north. This adds a religious element to the conflict that may cause the conflict to widen

1/19/2006 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

>Papa Bear said...
>In the Ivory Coast you have the
>Christians in the south and the
>Muslims in the north.

I wonder what the religion of those murdered in East Timor might have been...

1/19/2006 06:05:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


I think the task is to allow stable communities to form whether or not these conform to state boundaries. The subsidiary task is to prevent the formation of dysfunctional groups, like the Lords Resistance Army and other types of paramilitary mumbo-jumbo gangs, of which Al Qaeda is the most exalted. This requires intruments which are more effective than NGOs or aid agencies and yet finer than armored divisions or bombardment aircraft.

The point of performing this task is to find a stable solution to the problem of multitudes swarming into Europe, across the Mexican border or across African borders in search of a living and ensuring that powerful gangs don't eventually find a nuclear weapon to detonate in New York, London or Tokyo.

Those are the general parameters I think.

1/19/2006 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It would seem, W, that the Lords of Resistance 'function' quite well. If these multiple gangs around the World were dysfunctional there would not be a problem.

The truth, it seems, is that they are more 'functional' on the ground than the "West's" current alternatives.

1/19/2006 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Let me paraphrase your description of the task:

The task is to protect the standard of living in western states from NGOs with nuclear weapons.

1/19/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...


You would leave the masses of the World to their own devices, then?

The starving folks across Africa will not obtain Nuclear Weapons, they cannot even obtain a loaf of bread.

The greatest threat to the US is mass infiltration from Central America. The death toll of US citizens from these migrants has been, to date, far greater than the Mohammedans have garnered.

The Economic damage has also been greater, wages suppressed, public health care systems ravaged and repect for the rule of law diminished.

1/19/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

desert rat,

Of course you're right about LRA and similar groups being able to run rings around the "International Community". But that's got to change, not for purely humanitarian reasons, but for the very practical purpose of creating functioning societies. Things are drifting. It has the feeling of a software application that's being patched up by a very bad developer, with lots of hard-wired logic, legacy code and obsolete standards.

We watch events in Africa not in the expectation of a fix, but in the hope of a better than average patch. When that doesn't happen we shut down more and more screens in the application and shift the workflow to the remaining functionality. The system cannot drift along like that indefinitely. It will crash. The first step is to recognize the process. Once that's done we can figure out how to fix the app.

1/19/2006 06:26:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

One definition of fanaticism is redoubling your efforts when your goal has receeded completely from view.

Ronald Reagan did not merely resolve to fight the cold war in the same old way but to go on the offensive. The results were stunningly effective. He was accused of being an insane fanatic but in reality it was everyone else that fit that definition.

Really tackling the problem of the Third World will require the kind of offensive approach that Reagan employed. And it will generate the same accusations from the truly insane fanatics.

1/19/2006 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

Chirac moves the discussion forward:

Reuters January 19 11:50

France said on Thursday it would be ready to launch a targeted nuclear strike against any state that carried out a terrorist attack on French soil.

1/19/2006 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Wretchard, so you have laid out the task and you denigrate the multi-lateral approach:

"Multilateral organizations, aid programs, nongovernment organizations, while not completely useless, are in their present forms completely inadequate to the task"

So, where do you propose we go with this? Do we reform and strengthen Multilateral organizations or retreat to our individual nations and build walls keeping those bad folk out?

1/19/2006 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Ash asks whether we strengthen multilaterals, NGOs, etc., or retreat behind the walls...there's a third way and that is establishing capital formation in underdeveloped areas instead of handing out aid. You know, the old "teach a man to fish" routine.

President Bush has already started with this carrot approach, which he described in his visit to Mongolia. I forget the name of the program but it's a break away from the usual aid package.

Just like any other kind of behavioral conditioning, you reward approximate behavior.

Soon, the EU will be attempting same with Hamas, as it takes over governmental control from the useless PA. I think that's why they held onto the payments scheduled for the PA -- after elections, they'll start delivering to Hamas, which will be in control.

1/19/2006 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


Current multilateralism hasn't been denigrated by me. Who am I? They have denigrated themselves. New multilateral organizations must be built to replace or augment the old ones. The alternative is to rely on the failed systems. If you don't believe it, let's wait a little longer. The catastrophes will be the same in character, only larger and more frequent. Let's wait until even you or anyone else says 'no the system is failing'.

This is probably what will have to happen. People cannot be convinced by the words of others. Only bitter experience serves in the end. Things will have to get to a point where, by consensus, a problem is acknowledged. Let's wait.

1/19/2006 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger Pascal said...

The most deadly meme "the world is overpopulated" continues to go unchallenged.

As long as this pessimistic malthusianism continues, the mavens of "civilization" will continue to feel smug with their shrug that is multiculturalism.

I see that this is the form we can expect of "world governance." Where the social contract is turned on its head.

Instead of the strong protecting the weak, the law of the jungle is permitted to retake the former colonials.

The first world's population self-destructs through a malaise that accompanies its success; the second world has a long history of killing its own people; and now every thug from Africa to Indonesia is given free reign to self-destruct the third world.

I challenge everyone who claims to abhor these developments to start to challenge this inculcated forgone conclusion that I call "the most deadly meme."

Malthus was wrong. Ehrlich was wrong. The holdouts still control institutions of "higher" thought throughout the West. Don't permit these smug ubermenschen a moments rest.

1/19/2006 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

Capitalism/free trade is the key. Unfortunately the left won't acknowledge that. All the aid going to those areas just makes the situation worse in the long run, because it strengthens those in power. And many on both left and right decry free trade because of it's short-term effects locally. But capitalism needs a reasonable amount of security to be effective. To take care of the thugs, we could start doing air strikes anytime someone acted up. It would be very effective in the long run. Unfortunately, the left/UN/the PC world we live in won't let that happen.

1/19/2006 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

From The Washington Times, today:

U.S. to boost envoy posts in Asia, Africa

The United States will shift hundreds of its diplomats from Washington and Europe to emerging countries over the next few years as part of a broad reconfiguration of the Foreign Service and its mission, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday.

1/19/2006 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/19/2006 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

wretchard, I apologize, my use of the term denigrate was more perjorative then I intended. I agree that multi-lateral institutions have not solved the problem - 'the proof is in the pudding' is, in the end, the final arbiter. But does it then follow that we abandon all mulit-lateral institutions. I don't think building walls is the answer either. I'm intrigued by Dymphna's third way, though I doubt abaondoning multil-lateral institutions in favor of individual nations targetting aid based on self interest would address the broader problems encountered in the third world. The behavior modification would only deal with the selfish interest of the modifier.

1/19/2006 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I vote for a revival of Orientalism. Searching mostly Amazon but also whatever archive I can conveniently find, it is obvious that the reason many Third World societies are the object or subject of Western study only is because those people generally don't write any books on themselves or their neighbors that wouldn't qualify as, essentially, folklore. The introductory essay to a book concerning the rise and apex of Ottoman power published in 2002, for example, carefully explains that Ottoman studies, despite their obvious significance in the historical continuum, are in their infancy, in a state in which not only have the important questions - why rise? why fall? how subsist? what ideology? - not been answered, they have not even been asked or formulated. Virtually every one is a historical review; even scholarly monographs, the staple genre of Western historical scholarship for 6 decades, reveals few titles on Ottoman history.

Now that discerning minds can apprehend the clear connection between Islamo-machismo discourse, Said and the Third World comportment with Russian-dominated Marxist-Leninism and its Euro-derivatives, let us revive the mostly noble pursuit of presenting a clear picture of the societies from a Burkean point of view - that is, a natural, organic, sympathetic point of view that merely describes what animates these societies and constitutes its collective imagination. This is the essence of conservative Liberalism as I understand it. The post-colonial intellectual thuggery has persisted as long as it can; it has no place in the structure of knowledge, except as an amusing and disgusting carnival. That this is so is adequately shown in the failure of imagination that grips the ever-revolutionary Left, who is clearly uninformed about even its own relationship to the world, largely because it misunderstands the world. That is a normal enough variety of blindness, but one that cannot be corrected without recourse to a scientific-historical comprehension of reality, in so far as it can be expressed. Post-colonialism is merely the academic derivative of political movements and the essence of these - be they Communist, Islamist, Anarchist, Ethno-Nationalist - is clique-tribal thuggery. The result is ignorance. The question is not "Why has ever-poor, ever-riven Iraq, Congo, Vietnam remained poor in the midst of such a long boom in the West?" but "What is the nature of these peoples' ideas about the world, and can it comport with the known methods with which English, French, German and American have so enriched and improved their material and political lives?" Post-colonialism, however, has always refused to answer this question honestly, probably because it has always been dominated by literary critics - and that method of historcial scholarship has long been surpassed, though not displaced.

1/19/2006 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The essence of capitialism is self interest, ash.
It also is the basis of each nation's policies. To think that France, Belgium or US would operate against it's self interest because it was a member of some multilateral coalition is farsical.

The Oil for Food episode and how cash payments and promises of future riches kept France and Russia in Saddam's pocket, is a prime example.
The continued Genocide in Darfur also shows the lack of success in the current system.

jaw jaw will not defeat kill kill

Lady D's idea can only succeed under the Rule of Law, that requires Force and it's use.

helo drivers idea of occasional airstrikes would not work, it did not work for the Brits, it will not work for the West.
Boots on the Ground, w/guns and the will to use them is required to bring order to the chaos. All else will fail to control the LoR types.

In Latin America the challenge is not military, as there are few roving bands of killers, there Cultural & Governments elites control their people by maintaining a monopoly of force and limitations on property ownership. The system doen there is really a form of modern feudalism.

1/19/2006 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Moreover it strikes me that the entire NGO/capitlism conceptual vocabulary is blind to the thing that ultimately trumps the intentions of either party every time: what we understand, accurately enough, as tribal thuggery. If we want stable societies in Africa, Pakistan, Burma, parts of South America, and other zones, extending even to ever-barbaric Russia, we must use military power to repress what the native people will regard as a true, resonant aspect of their view of the world. We give Pakistan quake aid, and are upbraided for not giving enough, or for killing 18 people suspected of harboring or being in al Qaeda; we funnel aid into an African "nation," and find the "president" has siphoned off all aid as patronage and bought a couple MiGs, 10,000 AK-47s, RPGs and what have you, despite persistent famine and catastrophic AIDS rates, among other mortal problems; we support Vietnam in the late 50s and early 60s only to find our largess disappearing into the coffers of prefects and their underlings; we provide Mubarrak with hundreds of millions in military aid and find it has gone out as patronage to his subordinate officers, and to their subordinate officers. These "nations" are not sovereign entities, they are satrapies, immersed in habits so ancient they are justified in 9th century hadith or find precedent in methods of provincial governors in the Ming period. There is nothing an NGO can do in this realm without their first occuring a slaughter of certain actors and a crisis of imagination which that foments. It sounds brutal, but otherwise history shows that there will be nothing like fallow ground for the revolution of mores that the NGOs represent, evidently unbeknownst to themselves. If we are not willing to do this, then we must ultimately give up the ambition of being engineers of happiness - and learn to be satisfied with the normal chaos that will seep more and more into our media.

1/19/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

The history of pouring aid into third world countries in any fashion shows that it is mostly either stolen or wasted. It may be necessary to do in the short run, but a long term fix can only come from the development of cheap methods to take renewable i.e. solar energy and convert it cheaply enough into usable form. For third world countries to have a standard of living even half way to what the Western World (USA) enjoys today simply requires that energy be available cheap enoug to do it. It is a problem in physics and engneering, eventally translating to economics, but the fix cannot come from trying to instill capitalistic ideas into third world nations, the cart is ahead of the horse. It is a dual problem, drag the third world along as best we can, invest the necessary capital and resources to develop the energy source to the level required. At some point though it will have to be recognized that there may be limits to population, human and other, when we reach a level of enery consumption per capita which approaches that available from the "renewable" source we will be there. This is going to require enormous investment from the only possible sources, the rich nations. Capital investment is driven by profit, when hundreds of trillions are required these profits will be large. There will be envy which may kill the whole thing before it could get off the ground.

1/19/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Evan said...

Wretchard said:

New multilateral organizations must be built to replace or augment the old ones.

In some ways governments are ahread of you, although not yet in the dysfunctional-states context. The group of (IIRC) five consequential nations, including the US, now discussing alternative approaches to command-and-control Kyoto for global CO2 emissions, and the absence of the UN before, during and after the invasion of Iraq are examples. The most important multilateral structure is the UN, but it is an organization of national governments, not of peoples. That Syria and Australia, for example, are equal there makes it utterly inadequate to the task. So alternatives will be (and are being) built.

Ultimately a way has to be found to give potential converts to these anti-civilization gangs an alternative. Historical and tribal grievances run deep and will always provide fuel (the sociobiologists would say that tribal distrust will always be with us), but giving people a chance to get what they want from someone else by trading for it instead of trying to forcibly take it is a start.

1/19/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

desert rat, sure self interest is the basis of capitalism and we can expect individual nations and individuals to act, necessarily, in their own self interest but there is the problem of dealing with competing interests.

1/19/2006 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Dave H: I, an engineer, would love to agree with you that cheap and available energy would solve all of the problems.
But the reality is that the places with the cheapest energy are as screwed up as anywhere else, in fact, usually more so.

Wretchard: Also I think that we have to consider that Oil For Food, among numerous other efforts, has proven that while the First World cannot give the Third World prosperity, the Third World can certainly export its morals to the First World.

In my Masters program one professor said something that was awe-inspiring.
We are incredibly rich; they are horribly poor. But how is wealth defined, traditionally? Money is just a way of keeping score.

Wealth is land.
Wealth is raw materials.
Wealth is workforce.

Who has most of this wealth?
The poor nations.

1/19/2006 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Also - is it really a moral problem that certain enormous swaths of the world's people live in what we and most of them regard as persistent material misery? Is the proposition that it is not a feature of Enlightment -> Socialist thought? Would it moreover really be conducive to world stability to provide the means, through great probably impossible expense to ourselves, to self-develop along Western scientific lines to the extent that these regions or societies could become competitors - the practical meaning of the Left's "equality?" Osama bin Laden, the 56th son or whatever of a Saudi consturction magnate worth many billions of dollars, recites 7th century Islamic injunctions from his mountain lair, an AK-47 at his side, a satellite phone just off-camera, the broadcast bouncing off satellites in the ether. And our society is sent into a nearly-crippling Byzantine tailspin of recrimination and political bad faith restrained only by the previous round's excesses even as our legions are out quelling the frontier tribes - even as a significant portion of a certain political party is allowing the Avars, Goths and Huns to settle around Thessolonika and Sophia. Think of nuclear weapons as the Huns' and Turks' and Mongols' longobw.

Depressing how much more Gibbon's analysis of Christianity in Rome - though wrong there - so accurately in essence respects to the advance of Socialism and its children in the past 200 years.

1/19/2006 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

"But giving people a chance to get what they want from someone else by trading for it instead of trying to forcibly take it is a start."

Really? What is it they want, do you think?

1/19/2006 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

they want, in a word, more.

1/19/2006 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger Truthful James said...

When nations are reduced to interminable civil war, they are no longer nations.

We have bought into the artificial borders established by the great powers and bend every effort to maintain states based on these boundaries.

States are formed by entities with common interests agreeing to cooperate for the mutual benefit of all.

We have bought into the fallacy that the trappings of democracy are democracy. All the wigs and robes in the world could not bring democracy to the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Indonesia.

There are preconditions for a democratic state and the nations of Africa who are in the bloody headlines do not qualify.

What is to be done about this? Unfortunately, we can not undo the artificial borders. We can not undo the form of government which abets the rioting, the disorder, the killing. We can not undo the looting of the treasuries by the leaders who squander the raw material wealth.

Before the days of mass communication these problems will have worked themselves out, bloodily, one way or another. We are not equipped, morally, to adopt a policy of roughly benign neglect.

Overwhelming ignorance and poverty, with local authority in most areas tribal rather than civil. Enslavement of others is one of the few forms of wealth for peoples who crave subsistence snd have no dreams of more.

Population control is a function of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

1/19/2006 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

It appears to me that sexual savagery is a hallmark of the enlightened Bedouin theology. You can hardly mention Muslims without the perfunctory issue of sexual violence. For a group of people who purport to be ‘servants’ of god, they sure seem to have a great deal of repressed sexual energy that can only be assuaged by rape and sexual mutilation. I can not help but think of Islam as the ‘Religion of perverts’. I hope to Christ that our government quits playing namby-pamby with these degenerate zealots.

When will Westerners understand, as they have in their not too distant history, that one does not quell violence through negotiated acts of weakness?

Well, many Westerners do well for themselves. A merchant marine friend of mine once noted how they were ‘deviled’ by street gangs in North Africa, until he started hanging out with a group of French mercenaries. “They wouldn’t dare ‘screw’ with us.” He said, “They knew that the French would mow them done with their firearms as soon as yelling at them”.

Interjecting a weak agent of the UN between warring factions seems to act as a catalyst for further violence. Were the ‘peacekeepers’ to act with brutal efficiency, as the French will do when nobody is looking, the face of the warring factions would soon turn towards more peaceful settlements.

I don’t doubt for a moment that ‘criticizing’ nearly anybody but the United States is more dangerous to one’s health. Those who bleat about the heavy handedness of the US Military know better than to dare to criticize the French from the ‘Green Zone’ of Cote d'Ivoire, should their be one.

Wretchard, love your metaphor, “And so, like the drunk searching for a coin beneath the lampost because it was the only place lit, our vision had become matched to the limits of our perception.”

It is the sweltering well holes like these that are the engines of strife for the desparate and the motive force for those who would immigrate anywhere else. But immigration is not the final anwer because there is an endless stream of these refugees of despotism and tyranny. A new brood of debutants to be set forth each spring. We must accept them no more and if lingering guilt should move us to action, we should act with callous determination to rid the world of any such individual oppressor.

There was a time when the threat of force was effective. It was effective because the threat would imminately followed by action. This would have been the great legacy of OIF but fooler heads have prevailed, the lesson is lost, and even Iran doubts the will of the United States.

1/19/2006 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

I think one of the key missing pieces of the "how to bootstrap societies" argument is real proof about whether capitalism and capital acquisition breeds rule of law, or vice versa.

It seems impossible to me that anything can develop in a society (or anarchy) governed by whim. Just like the British in India abolished thugee and settee, just like the US in Japan put an end to the Imperium and seppuku, just like there have been very few "honor killings" in Iraq (and huge decrease in Afghanistan in the last 3 years), rule of law must be applied before any hope of development happens.

How to do that? Establish a "Green Zone". Defend it from attack and apply a rule of law that even the occupiers are not free of. Hunt down and destroy the bandits who attack the zone. After smashing a group of bandits, hold an amnesty. Repeat the destroy bandit groups then offer amnesty to others cycle as necessary until all parties are either engaged under the rule of law or destroyed. The only Cardinal Sin for a developing society is to allow any group or person to exist outside or above the law.

1/19/2006 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"helo drivers idea of occasional airstrikes would not work, it did not work for the Brits, it will not work for the West.
Boots on the Ground, w/guns and the will to use them is required to bring order to the chaos. All else will fail to control the LoR types."

Bullets...not bombs.

Does THAT always work?

I rejected, during the thoroughly regrettable Clinton years, the idea that every disturbance, every episode of evil, emiseration and wretchedness on the face of the earth requires our intervention because without it, we are ourselves imperiled. I'll swallow straight-up altruism before I swallow that one.

1/19/2006 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...



1/19/2006 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

rwe, I appreciate what you say. However, I am probably approaching this from too theoretical a level. The foundations of our lifestyle in the west are that we esu more than our share of the avsilable energy. The third world does not have the infrastructure or the tools to use the energy even where it is available. This is not a simple problem. I don't know your level of engineering experience, I was a supervising project engineer for one of the companies that get bad publicity form the left, when I retired (over 20 years ago). I absolutely agree withyour observation, correcting the situation may require centuries, it took the West centuries to get to where we are, which is kind of like the starter for the engine, having a part of the planet developed to that level is necessary, to optimize the operation of the planet. Some very hard decisions may have to be taken along the way including genocidal ones. Under no circumstances can lunatic psuedo religions be allowed to destroy the west, in the long run we will be required. Enough I am beginning to rant again.

1/19/2006 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

they would not have to be US boots, the Brits used locals when they 'ruled' the World.

If there are no locals that would stand up, with help, then perhaps other 'outsiders' could be brought in to assist

Last month 300 UN Peacekeepers in the Congo led the Congolese Army in a successful attack against the Banditos. The UN troopers were from Nepal, home of the Gurkhas.

There are competent troops in the World that are not US.

No, it does not ALWAYS work, in the short term or long. Gordon Pasha and Sudan is proof enough of that.

Me thinks they have rejected the 'Word' or they have totally embraced it. Just depends, I guess, on whose 'Word' is held sacred.

1/19/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger jinnderella said...

The first step is to recognize the process. Once that's done we can figure out how to fix the app.
my bugfix.

1/19/2006 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Dave H:
As far as our "fair share" we enable and generate virtually all of the energy, so it all "ours."

Perhaps you unintentionally echo H.G. Wells, who was mentioned in these pages the other day. His conclusion was that the Third World would have to be depopulated, preferably in as humane way as possible, but extermination of those wretched, troublesome, and ultimately hopeless hordes was the only answer.

From the indivdual human standpoint I hope that H.G. was wrong. From the cultural standpoint, I think he was dead right.

1/19/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Ha - no rat I was just using my favorite Ebonics for "I agree with you."

1/19/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Niall said...

I remember the good old days under the Old Man (Houphouët-Boigny) and the early days of Bédié before he decided he didn't fancy democracy and changed the constitution to try and ensure the 'right' result which is when it all went tits up.

Abidjan was a real sweet deal as an ex-pat back then.

Now is all fucked up and not coming back nay time soon.

Sad days.

1/19/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

rwe, don't misunderstand me. I made no reference to "whose energy" it is, it is simply that we consume more of what there is world wide, China will probably outstrip us before long but not on a per capita basis. As far as my reference to genocide, that was a highly theoretical statement and had no reference to any situation that exists today. I only meant that in the course of historic development someone may have to make such a decision, and it would probably be in the nature of not doing something rather than a proactive event. I hope this somewhat clears up what I mean, I do not intend to post again on this thread, clear or not.

1/19/2006 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Just goes to show the limits of my multi cultural knowledge, I'll just add that to my data base

1/19/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"There are competent troops in the World that are not US."

This is beside the point.

Is the First World responsible for the fate of the Second and Third? Is it the First World's duty to 'save' the latter?

That's the fundamental issue.

1/19/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Fat Man said...

"the hacks are quite happy to slag off the American administration and military – from the comfort of their luxury hotels in the Baghdad Green Zone, protected by the lives of those very troops they so detest"

The only war they care about is the one they are waging against George W Bush. If you think that they give a rat's patottie about the WOGs in Iraq or Africa you are as delusional as they are. The only people they care about are in Manhattan and D.C.NW. They rest of the world are just props in their play.

1/19/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Only in so far as it 'Saves' US

If the majority of the World goes to hell in a hand basket, the minority will not be all that far behind.

If Insurgents in Nigeria shut down oil exports, it effects the 1st World.

If Bolivia commercializes and industrializes Cocca production it effects the 1st World.

If aQ trains Mohammedan foot soldiers in Somolia it effects the 1st World.

Obviously the deaths of 180,000 and the displacement of millions in Darfur must not effect the 1st World.

The fact that most Arabs cannot read effects the 1st World, does it not?

That 300,000 armed men in Warizistan can threaten the stability of Pakistan and it's nuclear arsenal effects the 1st World, does it not?

As the World shrinks and as Mr Friedman postulates, "flattens" the events in India and Bangladesh have more and more effect on the 1st World.

There may not be a 'White man's Burden' as described by Kipling but there is enlightened self interest.

1/19/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Ha! Tits up! I like that Scottish genius, niall - nice. More for my and rat's collection.

Trish, I don't think we need to rengineer the world, but how do we negotiate the fact of interconnection via technology and energy whether we like it or not? Merely Cold War-style patronage? Or what? That's a Byzantine game. I don't like it. Give me Republican Rome. But I'd like to hear your argument.

1/19/2006 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Evan said...

dan said:

Really? What is it they want, do you think?

Great question. People want a number of things - the propagation of their genes, material possessions, the triumph of their ideas (including their religion ideas). People are predisposed to fear and be suspicious of other groups, but that tendency can be fought if good institutions evolve, where "good" means institutions that encourage cooperation rather than conflict. In large stretches of the world not only do those institutions not exist, they actually promote hostility. (One thinks, for example, of Saudi preachers on the public airwaves fulminating against the infidels.) Fixing Arab institutions is, as I understand it, the whole point of the Iraq venture.

So the trick is to build frameworks where people can advance all their interests by peaceful persuasion rather than force. No solution is perfect, but on average some (e.g., the "capitalism" some on the thread are mentioning) are better than others.

And in societies where there are solid states but conflict-promoting institutions, first try to improve the institutions and then try something else -quarantine or conquest or destruction, I suppose, is all that's left.

1/19/2006 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well to all those that thought that Osama was dead and buried, wrong again.

Right before the London and Madrid bombings Osama offered Europe a truce, now he offers one to US.

The offer itself may well be the trigger. Or not.

Mr Goss never thought Osama was dead, said he knew where he was last summer.

We should have moved Heaven, Earth and the General President to have gotten him, then.

Now it may be to late.

To much time worried about Iraq and it's Civil War, not enough time worried about those that would attack US, here.

1/19/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Desert Rat,

Do you think the terror alert will be elevated?

1/19/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...


>>here's a third way and that is establishing capital formation in underdeveloped areas instead of handing out aid. You know, the old "teach a man to fish" routine.<<

The problem with that, and the reason Third World countries stay Third World, is that there is no point in catching a fish if it is going to be immediately taken away from you by the thugs.

For Third World countries to emerge from poverty, the nascent producers must have defendable property rights to what they produce.

1/19/2006 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Not unless those NSA intercepts have provided some real intel.

I would think that the 'sleepers' are in place and incommunicado, mine would be.

The fact that there is a message is the message, it would seem to me.

There are so many 'soft' targets in the US that they all cannot be defended.
The scale of the coming attack is the worry, for me. The aQ have not hit US with a string of small scale attacks, ala Malvo & Mohammed. That would indicate, to me, that they have some large scale attack planned.

Or are about to begin a series of smaller attacks. Col Happersett was concerned last year about a small town being raided, most likely in a state with stringent gun controls.

Raising the threat level expends large amounnts of assets with little 'real' effect. IMO

1/19/2006 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger anonymouscoameq said...

The problem in the Ivory Coast is typical of UN solutions based on moral equivalence. The failure of the UN to support the legitmate government against the rebels is defacto support for the rebels. By protecting the status quo and refusing to make a judgement on who is the legitimate government and who are acting outside the law the UN is not helping to prevent war as it was chartered to do, it is aiding and encouraging those who prefer attaing power through violence rather than democracy.

1/19/2006 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"Right before the London and Madrid bombings Osama offered Europe a truce, now he offers one to US."

I had the same thought this morning.

And it IS the scale that worries.

1/19/2006 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

To build an organic system that grows in a certain direction, one must prune away the undesired, counterproductive elements consistently and often.

The Bonzai tree is shaped in this way. "Costs" revisited again and again on particular segments allows the desired areas to develop and mature.

It is really that simple, conceptually. In practice it can be complicated and exhausting, but an attentive incentive structure will deliver the desired result.

The key is consistency. When evil men ramp up their terror, costs must follow.

P.S. We are already training locals all over the world to be able to fight their own evil men. Robert Kaplan has documented this. Things are moving.

1/19/2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

re: bin Laden

An attack on the US by Al'Qaeda is Iran's worst nightmare. After all, the only thing that keeps us from doing what is necessary in Iran is our political will (though I think we are on the brink of invasion anyway).

If Al'Qaeda does attack, they will have thrown the game. It would not be the first time in history that an enemy of ours has miscalculated so.

Of course the flip side is that they know this and have been waiting for Iran's nuclear deterrent before their next attack, so they won't lose the country as a base. If that is the case, then Iran already has the bomb, and we are in the end game.

We will have entered the world of the three conjectures.

1/19/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

WTC said:

"New multilateral organizations must be built to replace or augment the old ones. The alternative is to rely on the failed systems. If you don't believe it, let's wait a little longer. The catastrophes will be the same in character, only larger and more frequent. Let's wait until even you or anyone else says 'no the system is failing'.

This is probably what will have to happen. People cannot be convinced by the words of others. Only bitter experience serves in the end. Things will have to get to a point where, by consensus, a problem is acknowledged. Let's wait."

How can it be expected from a third world country to enforce the rule of law. In the first place the laws don't respect the lower classes in many cases. A great example is Latin America, where despite being trich in resources, the countries and their populations lag. The governments there place far too much power into the hands of el presidente and his (or her) cronies. The results being a different tune but the same old dance every 4-6 years.

Hell, we have possibly the worlds best law enforcement and certainly extensive laws, but they are handcuffed themselves by the multi-culti, moral equivilency crowd. How can we expect those states that do not have sysems in place to protect their populations living on the fringes of civilization when we don't have the moral will to enforce our own system?

1/19/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

We have been training locals for decades, I did it myself at the School of the Americas and the Jungle Operations Training Center, in the old Canal Zone.
One of the reasons, I believe, that liberty of a sort has flourished in Latin America for the past twenty years. The fellows we trained have been inplace for the past two decades. Basic freedoms and human rights, while not perfect have had a good run in Latin America, since we stopped the Cubanos in Salvador and broke the Noriega brothers hold on Managua

1/19/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Time to get out the old "Black Sunday" video. Remember the report from Italy about Muslim terrorists looking at stadiums? Has anyone else heard that these broadcasts are actually "wake-up calls" to sleeper cells?

Detroit could get very warm in February. Then again, it might not look any worse than LA after a Lakers championship.

I agree w/ aristedes. An al Qaeda strike on US soil is bad news for the status quo in Iran, Syria, and Waziristan.

1/19/2006 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

The statement by Chirac can be looked at two ways. The first accords with Glenn Reynold's reaction, which is that things are coming to a head. That is an optimistic appraisal, however.

The other way of seeing these comments is more troubling. It is that Chirac has accepted the reality of a nuclear armed Iran and is first out of the gates with a statement of deterrence, along the lines of MAD. If that is the case, France has checked out of the current crisis, and has retreated to base. That is bad.

I hope that is not the case, but I'm afraid it is.

1/19/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Let's pull a surprise punch and take over France. C'mon - what the hell. There sure wouldn't be an insurgency, the French would get good government, and we'd lose a useless pain in the ass clique of latter-day aristo-parasites.

1/19/2006 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

the reason capital formation works is because people then own things. From ownership one could reasonably become a believer in the radical notion of private property. From there one has the motivation to protect that property by establishing laws which make it possible.

Oh, and guns help, too. But only as after the fact enforcement. They are necessary but not nearly sufficient.

1/19/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

"Noriega brothers hold on Managua ". Huh? Is have heard of reference to the Noriega brothers by VDH but can not figure what the hell he is talking about.

1/19/2006 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Lady D
If I come and take your property, every time you accumulate it, in no time at all you will no longer accumulate property, if I did not kill you the first time I took your stuff.

You assume a secure enviorment, when it does not exist in many locales of the world.

It is the law and force of arms that secures property. In the US thse arms and force are far from sight, but there, none the less.

In Darfur or Zimbabwe the Government or it's proxies will come and take your property and kill your husband and rape your daughter, before they bulldoze your home.
They seem to do it on a regular basis.

The LoR and it's ilk will not respect your life, let alone your property rights.

Think of the Magnificent Seven writ large.

1/19/2006 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

No More Free Lunch
Free Soup is Not Nice

We'll have to smuggle in the Pork and Beans, Dan, the group below is now banned from giving away pork soup.
The world is filled with intractable problems, they ban a solution.
...and threaten Nukes.
Malthus Smiles
French extremists denounced in Nice

Group limits charity by serving pork
French extremists denounced in Nice
By Pierre Thebault, Reuters December 23, 2005

NICE, France -- An extreme-right French group has found a way to distribute Christmas cheer only to a chosen few by offering homeless people free hot soup containing pork, which observant Jews and Muslims do not eat.

The soup kitchen, set up at the harbor of this Riviera town, draws about as many protesters as poor people.

Police stand guard between it and a Catholic charity group distributing vegetable soup outside their church.

Dominique Lescure, head of the small ultranationalist group distributing the soup, disputed charges by angry protesters Wednesday evening that what he called his ''patriots' soup" was meant to exclude Jews and Muslims.

''I don't see why I should not be able to put pork, which has always played a major role in my country's cuisine, into a traditional soup that I want to distribute, admittedly, to my compatriots and European homeless people," he argued.

1/19/2006 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...


You only own what you can effectively defend. This includes your life.

In First World countries like the US, this defense is accomplished by proxy, namely the police and courts. In that case, your property is effectively the property of those who choose to defend it, at whatever point they choose to seize it.

In Europe during the Middle Ages, the peasantry did not own anything. The land (and the peasants themselves) were the property of the noblemen. The noblemen maintained their property rights by being able and willing to kill anyone who contested their property rights.

Along around the 15th century, firearms which could penetrate knight's armor was developed. Around that point, modern-style capitalism also got its start.

1/19/2006 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat, 1:06 PM
Think of the Border as a Microcosm.
Africa writ small.
...but growing.

1/19/2006 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Papa Bear 1:21 PM,
Somehow Russia Missed the Boat.

1/19/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"An attack on the US by Al'Qaeda is Iran's worst nightmare. After all, the only thing that keeps us from doing what is necessary in Iran is our political will (though I think we are on the brink of invasion anyway)."

Why, in God's name, would we respond to an attack by al Qaeda by invading...Iran?

If we have to bite into another shit sandwich, when we haven't finished eating much less digesting the one served up in Iraq, what kind of bizarre logic would make it Iran? WHAT al Qaeda-related objective would it accomplish?

1/19/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It would just provide cover, like in Iraq, where some believe there was no AQ Connection. Iran, just and excuse to blow up those threatening to blow us up.
Can a dirty nuke trigger an attack?

1/19/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Noriega, Manuel
A trusted lieutenant of Panama's military strongman Omar Torrijos Herrera, Noriega became head of the National Guard in 1983 a few years after Torrijos was killed in a plane crash and seized control of the Panamanian government. His regime was repressive and corrupt, and in 1986 it was learned that Noriega was deeply involved in drug trafficking. In 1987, Noriega presided over a harsh crackdown when Panamanians staged protests, and the following year a U.S. grand jury indicted him on racketeering charges. When economic sanctions failed to unseat Noriega, the U.S, launched an invasion in December 1989 and arrested Noriega, taking him to Florida to stand trial. In 1992 he was found guilty and sentenced to 40 years in prison

about half way down, but it is all here

I was on duty the night that Omar Torrijos's plane went down.
As a demo team leader and rappel master I had participated in the recovery of one of two Cessna Skymasters that had gone down in the months prior to Torrijos's crash. The other went down off the coast, in the ocean.

Due to discrepencies in the Offical Report of the recovery I was involved in, I always thought that 'someone' had been practicing with shoulder fired SAM's on our Cessnas, when Torrijos went down, I was sure of it, ah well.
My Panamanian friends blamed Noriega for the crash, there was only room for one, at the top of the Panamanian power structure.

I erred in my previous post in that I was thinking of the Ortega Brothers whom were in Nicaragua.

" ... The FSLN also formally took total control of the military; two months after seizing power, FSLN leader and government junta chief Daniel Ortega announced in Havana, Cuba the creation of both the Sandinista People’s Army and the Committees in Defense of Sandinism (CDS). The latter were party-controlled block committees designed to enforce party rule and run domestic spying operations at the local levels,3 and were modeled after the Cuban Committees for Defense of the Revolution. ..."

" ... The MINT was not an indigenous force. Rather, it was modeled after the East German Ministry for State Security (MfS). Organizing and operating such a large apparatus in a short period of time required officers and advisers from the MfS, Soviet KGB, the Cuban DGI, and other Soviet bloc internal security services. These apparatchiks not only acted as advisers, but actually staffed the MINT and ran several of its day-to-day operations.8 Cuban officers aided MINT operational work, and East German personnel provided technical support.9 Cuban personnel operated at all levels of the Defense and Interior ministries, from the general staff to the battalion and, in some cases, to the company levels.10 Some foreign advisers, such as Cuban Interior Ministry Colonel Renan Montero, who ran Sandinista foreign intelligence, were given citizenship so they could function as Nicaraguans. ..."
Ortega and Nicaragua

It was, after all, 20 plus years ago.

1/19/2006 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

And I notice Ledeen hasn't shown up yet in The Corner today to tell us what his "very trusworthy" Iranian sources have to say about that tape.

But I'm waiting.

1/19/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Due to discrepencies in the Offical Report of the recovery I was involved in, I always thought that 'someone' had been practicing with shoulder fired SAM's on our Cessnas, when Torrijos went down, I was sure of it, ah well. "
Is it possible you were distracted by what was in fact some early Predator R&D?

1/19/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You should start a
"Ledeen Watch"

1/19/2006 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

American Patriots
American Heritage,

...or whatever those Stanford guys are called.

1/19/2006 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Not likely, doug.
They said the Air Force Col. had had a heart attack.
While we recovered pieces of the Col., his watch and wedding ring, the majority of the body was left behind. The plane was buried in a swamp and the coffer dams and pumps available were not adequate to both stop and drain the water. The suction of the muck made recovery of the plane itself impossible.

The report was that the autopsy proved heart attack, his heart never left the plane.

The other Cessna went down when, supposedly, the pilot ran out of gas and did not switch tanks. I thought that story was a bit thin, myself.
Especially in combination with the 'autopsy' story.

1/19/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"End of the Spear"
Producers next project is Uganda.
End of the Spear

1/19/2006 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The report was that the autopsy proved heart attack, his heart never left the plane."
Early Remote Heart Monitoring Research?

1/19/2006 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"I'm not sure why or how this movie has escaped the attention of most major media.
The movie websites says it's releasing in 1,200 theaters in a week.
Maybe the media is biased because part of the story is about missionaries.
Well, Duh!
I don't know about the rest of you, but this is the first movie I've been to in a while that is actually worth $9 for a ticket.

I think most people might think that loving your father's killer is a little sick, but when the movie unfolds and you understand the clash between the two cultures, it make sense."

IMDB End of the Spear

1/19/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Ivan Douglas said...

Southern half of continent is moving to the left.I think Wrechard if you did not picked few informations,it is time to start.Pressure on border USA-Mexico is going to go up.Also Canada-USA border is going to be more busy it would depen on elections in Canada.In ten years Vancouver is almost Peking.Vancouver Island Hanoi and elsewhere else BC like India.Far from me being a racist, visit of Safeway[being cca 4-5 years ill] and not visiting Safeway,first visit after those years was shocking.Town I live in becomes town from no BC as I know her.If mine plans are going to be as I hope,they should go I am going to Evrope,where I was not for 25 years.
Mine curiosity grows.

1/19/2006 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What's the secret to your longevity?

1/19/2006 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Will Harper become Canada's John Howard?

1/19/2006 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger heather said...

some thoughts here: a couple of threads ago, "trish" seems to have said that because there were no WMDs found in Iraq, and because this was the core reason for the US attack on that country, then that attack is clearly "wrong".

Talk about the drunk looking for his keys under the lamp-post... and a blinkered twittering that makes me VERY FRUSTRATED AND ANGRY.

The point of this Long War is that the First World MUST deal with the Third World. This is not a matter of choice. I know, if people in the First World look out of their windows, there is no fire. Paris' suburbs are sinking into the Third World BECAUSE THERE IS FIRE IN THE STREETS.

I know, the US and Australia and to a lesser extent, Britain, are carrying the water for the rest of the First World, in this Long War. Canada is almost totally corrupt in its swooning comfort north of the US border.

It is time to see that the Westphalian Nation State system no longer describes the Real World; that the Tribalism of the Third World is not a problem we can ignore... because those Tribes can learn how to use a DVD player, the Computer Internet and Bombs. And inside their heads, they think Tribally. They are pre-"Romeo and Juliet." No amount of chatter about International Law, or Our Right to Non-Involvement with these "dreadful people" can change that.

Also. The Southern Border problem: I watched a CSpan panel discussion of this, festooned with ACLU types... and I cannot help but think.. the real solution is to finish up the Mexican/American war, the US take over the joint, force American law upon that country. Really, the aristocracy of that benighted country is asking for that, given that they are (through their "government services") encouraging their people to sneak across the US border to find paid work. It is, from all accounts, in all reality, an actual invasion. Well, invasions can go both ways, can't they?

1/19/2006 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"a couple of threads ago, 'trish' seems to have said that because there were no WMDs found in Iraq, and because this was the core reason for the US attack on that country, then that attack is clearly 'wrong'."

This would VERY much surprise trish.

1/19/2006 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Pascal Fervor - The most deadly meme "the world is overpopulated" continues to go unchallenged.

The world's most dangerous people are the ones that see countries like Saudi Arabia that double their population every 20 years and long outstripped their arable land, water resources, and job supply as a wonderful thing sure to make everyone richer once "miracle high tech" accomodates the extra billions or "America simply accepts the 3rd world surplus and gets richer on cheap labor".

Past wars, where mostly there was a use for conquered enemy peoples, led to their survival. Except for nomadic people like the Mongols who saw surviving peoples taking up valuable pasture land and so butchered all they considered "needless surplus people" until they got a little more civilized.

Future war may be more about a highbirthrate people that have outstripped the carrying capacity of their own lands warring to gain resources at the expense of a rival people's lives.

America had 30% oil imports in 1970 and 203 million people. We started conserving and using "miracle high tech" to get oil substitutes. But the result of high birthrate immigrants and illegal immigrants was that we went to 300 million people, lost 8% of the nation's arable land due to sprawl, and now have critical water shortages in several Western States and cool things like bans on wood burning and single-person cars.

And our oil import dependency is now up to 70% despite the "gifts" of rising GNP, home values (great if you bought back 30 years ago), and "tremendous new High Tech".

We are going to be pushed to 363 million by 2030, more than existed in China when the Founders debated the Constitution (350 million Chinese then).

And America is far luckier than most countries that are poised right on the edge of overpopulated environmental catastrophy like Haiti, Bangladesh, Arabia, Egypt, Inonesia, Pakistan, and India. Or Mexico, which counts on dumping 10 million excess people into America every decade.

I can't wait to see what "miracles of High Tech" will make America a more livable, prosperous place in 2030.

1/19/2006 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But, But, C-4,
don't you believe in perpetual motion?
It's part of the dogma, accept it.

1/19/2006 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

(I'm a member of the
"Malthus was a complete blithering moron Society.")
What would he know?

1/19/2006 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Pascal said...

Virtually all the solutions suggested in these comments are tactical.

I have seen all such to be totally useless as long as the capital is held back by those who strategically have accepted a core Malthusian view.

The elite (clearly spotted as far back as Blaise Pascal and written of directly by C. S. Lewis) have made it their conscionable duty to cull the human herd of the non-utilitarian (Mill spins in his grave).

C-4 mocks man's adaptability as "miracle" high tech. He apes his heroes: those in high places who can be affected by unrelenting slaps of ridicule (I suggest review of Pascal's Provincial Letters).

Doug, Malthus didn't know the error of presuming a fixed boundary conditions. Human adaptability is what Malthus didn't allow for when he wrote his First Essay On The Principle Of Population. Marx and his ilk chose to ignor what Malthus eventually came to accept. Naturally, death reduced and continues to reduce all those who came under sway of Marxists.

Those who would aim to reverse the global push of inhumanity that culls itself must think strategically.

Undermimning the most deadly meme at every opportunity seems to me an important tactic that leads off a counter-strategy which strikes directly at the heart of those who want to play god with (86) other men.

1/19/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Interesting Rat,
“If in the 1950s rightists were criticized as cynical Cold Warriors who never met a right-wing thug they wouldn’t support, as long as he mouthed a few anti-Soviet platitudes, then in the last two decades almost any thug from Latin America to the Middle East who professed concern for “the people” — from Castro and the Noriega Brothers to Yasser Arafat and the Iranian mullahs — was likely to earn a pass from the American and European cultural elite and media.” Victor Davis Hanson

Maybe VDH bollixed it up but is burned into the search engines of eternity.

Anywho, I always admired the Skymaster and was trying to at one time buy one. Something nice about a center-line multi. Hermanos al Rescate tell of an incident when one of their pilots misjudged the distance to the water and managed to ‘skip’ off the water, drowning the rear engine. Nonetheless, they were able to regain altitude and make it home to a safe landing.

I noticed that the SOA used to publish some really cool counter-insurgency stuff online prior to 9-11. They took it down when they changed to WHINSEC. Some time before a bunch of military commands and agencies changed their names from easy to remember names like NOSC to things like LQDHX14A. The later name being a little harder to remember and much more difficult to spell. The best jungle training is still to be had in Peru.

1/19/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I agree the Commies, Erhlich, et al have abused Malthus.
The "solutions" thus far proposed by the right leave me unimpressed also.
...and their most outspoken proponents like Sowell and Limbaugh don't choose to live amid the squalor.
Even Wretch is living in Oz.

1/19/2006 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" Something nice about a center-line multi."
Esp low time flyers.
Should be required for doctors!

1/19/2006 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Hey Doug,
They had an interview with the one of the sons of the victims and the savages on Fox news this morning. It gives a whole new tilt on look who’s coming to dinner, besides it’s nice that someone who has someone with a bone through their nose has family values.

1/19/2006 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"someone with a bone through their nose has family values"
More than our home-grown piercers, I'd bet!

1/19/2006 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Skymaster is a great plane, after Omar hit the mountain, no more Skymasters fell down, either.
Losing two in the span of a couple of weeks...

Almost makes a person believe...

" ... Shown for the first time on German public TV, the documentary, Rendezvous with Death: Castro and Kennedy, contributes several documents and some testimony that are newsworthy. But its most convincing element is a report from Mexican intelligence that states that in September 1963 Lee Harvey Oswald received in Mexico $6,500 from the Cuban secret services to help him carry out the planned crime.

Oscar Marino -- a former officer in Cuba's state security apparatus, now elderly and in exile -- corroborated the research done by the German filmmaker: ''He offered to kill Kennedy, and we used him,'' he told Huismann. ... "
Castro had JFK killed?

When you know the Government covers up the truth, conspiracy theories become more plausable.

1/19/2006 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Any aspiring actors/filmakers out there? Everyone is gauranteed a chance in this competition. Any willing Belmonteer is welcome.
- Hewitt

1/19/2006 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Boston Review has published the results of a NOV 2005 survey: When Should We Fight? Interesting results.

1/19/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Uganda, by a Belmont Poster

1/19/2006 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...


Interesting that so few people value the importance of Oil to the Country.

I wonder how many would favor US action to keep unemployment below 10%, Gasoline under $5.00 per gallon and a Depression from our Shores.

I think the entire poll is pretty eye opening, shows the general ignorance of the polled people.

That more people are in favor of engaging Sudan over Darfur than to defend our economy, amazing.

1/19/2006 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

How did you get the article, 'Rat, link does not work for me.

1/19/2006 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

God, some of the places you go, Trish!
Biggest bunch of losers ever assembled!

Exit Strategy
How to disengage from Iraq in 18 months
Barry R. Posen
With Ambassador Barbara Bodine, Senator Joseph Biden, Vivek Chibber, Senator Russell Feingold, Randall Forsberg, Lawrence Korb and Brian Katulis, Helena Cobban, Christopher Preble, Eliot Weinberger, and Nir Rosen

1/19/2006 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe Greenies really believe Oil grows on trees.

1/19/2006 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Pascal said...


Has either Sowell or Limbaugh made a direct assault on the meme? I've missed it. Please direct.

The Right seems not to respond much better than the Left; in fact its silence is worthy of note. The Right frequently misses opportunities to tie the meme to issues it claims to lament. Down to actually ignoring it even when it is restated on air in front of them, before God and country. One would think that it were like someone had merely noted that water is wet.

Read this for an example where Medved, providing some publicity for Episcopal Bishop Spong's latest book, just let it pass when his execrableness used the seemingly incontestable meme to slam the God of the Bible.

How does Wretch's residing in Oz rather than Manila make a diff? I reside within a barrio of rottenly ruled Los Angeles and my contemporary endurance of the experience adds to my credibility not one iota.

You've an email with an outline of how this subject affects so much of which you cover dated 14 Dec 2005.

1/19/2006 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It works for me, but

1/19/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Desert Rat said we don't have to worry about Africans getting nukes ,they can't get a loaf of bread.True that ,as they say.
Weren't the guys who carried out the embassy attacks in east Africa indigenous jihadis under the direction of Khalid Shaik Mohammed?Letting African hellholes rot while we avert our eyes to 600 channels of digital mind warp hedonism ,whatever else it does seems likely to produce an endless stream of Wahaabi cannon fodder.Can we build big enough walls to keep them from coming here to slit our throats?
I saw people in Africa,digging in and helping bind the wounds of a dying continent;Assembly of God surgeons volunteering in famine ravished Niger,a lovely Canadian family running an orphanage in the bush in Burkina Faso and countless others of the best among us doing what they could with what they had."As you've done it unto the least of these you've it unto me"
Do a Google search in 50 years and see how many accolades there are for Mother Teresa and how many there are for Paris Hilton.

1/19/2006 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"How does Wretch's residing in Oz rather than Manila make a diff? I reside within a barrio of rottenly ruled Los Angeles and my contemporary endurance of the experience adds to my credibility not one iota."
Poor writing: I was just thinking of that before reading your comment - didn't mean to lump wretch in w/Sowell and Limbaugh, but it could be read that way.
I just meant that most of us choose to avoid in real life what Limbaugh and Sowell avoid when they speak as though population is no problem at all.
("Just fly over the country and look at all the open space.")
Wretch is obviously not guilty of that type of oversimplification.
I would tend to disagree about your living situation and credibility:
Means a lot more to me than all the liberals who pretend to identify closely with the poor and in fact live lives as far removed as possible.
Hope you blog about it, I'll click and find out.

1/19/2006 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Your profile doesn't link to your "real" website.
...but then maybe that's for a reason?

1/19/2006 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Please Medved: let nobody be mistaken. I do not understand how you don't alert your listeners as to how the death cult theme runs rampant through all this.

Those who precisely wish to promote destructive activities frequently enjoy accolades as grand benefactors to society.
Meanwhile, in our traditional moral code, such schemers are easily identified as evil.
How can there be any wonder, therefore, that the secular giants have been actively seeking to silence those who wish our society to sustain its moral codes which clearly didn't hinder our country's rise to greatness, and argues greatly for its goodness
I agree with you about the death cult, but I find it hard to agree that population itself is not a problem.

1/19/2006 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Interesting that so few people value the importance of Oil to the Country."

What rather amazes me now is that back in '90 Cheney testified before Congress on the importance of military action to eject the Iraqis from Kuwait and said - I'm paraphrasing, but it was quite blunt - "This is about oil...In other words, it's about jobs."

I don't remember this being at all controversial ("It's all about the OOOOIIIILL!") but then we were overseas and in something of a bubble. Maybe I missed it.

1/19/2006 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

(not pretending to have an answer, I'll read some of your stuff to find yours.)

1/19/2006 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

The poll also confirms what a deeply partisan issue OIF is. As one writer in Foreign Affairs remarked recently - noting Pew results over the course of OIF - the partisan divergence on the war is the most extreme recorded in any conflict, including Vietnam.

1/19/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

ot: hat tip lgf

MEHMET Ali Agca, the man who shot Pope John Paul II, has struck a £4.5 million deal to make a Hollywood film explaining how and why he carried out the 1981 attack, according to an interview with his friend and bodyguard published yesterday.

Agca, 48, has already been given an advance of £280,000 by the unidentified film company which has secured the exclusive rights to tell his story and finally reveal his motivation, according to a report in an Italian news magazine.

The Pope was left fighting for his life after the Turkish gunman shot him twice as he greeted crowds in the Vatican’s St Peter’s Square in May 1981.

Details of the film deal emerged in an interview Haydar Mengi had given to the news weekly Gente.

Mr Mengi explained that Agca - who was released from an Istanbul jail last week - had gone into hiding to finalise the negotiations. The bodyguard explained: “Agca has already received $500,000 as an advance on the $8 million deal. It was because of the negotiations that Agca went into hiding last week and did not sign on at his local police station as he should have.

“As part of the deal Agca must give a full interview about what happened leading up to the shooting and the shooting itself and he will also play himself in the movie. Other terms of the contract ban Agca from giving interviews and he must keep out of trouble.”

1/19/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What's amazing to me is how totally divorced from their daily activities are liberal's politics:
One would have to conclude they believe in an Oil Fairy.
Funny, but that's how I saw it when surrounded by exhibitionist enviros in college in the 70's.
Now they comprise a large part of the population!

1/19/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Pascal said...

Yeah Doug. Forgot about that. As I recall the reason my site isn't cited was that when I registerd (for the purpose of posting here) I had some difficulty to make that link. I'll attempt to remedy it tomorrow.

1/19/2006 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just finishing up "Wisdom and Anti-Wisdom"
Good Stuff!

1/19/2006 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Uh folks,

Raising living standards does more to curb population growth than famine, war, etc.

Sure you have to have rule of law etc.

BTW property rights developed in Egypt as a result of Nile flooding. Out of that came geometry, book keeping, taxes, etc.

And of course Drugs are our #1 Phantom Menace.

Is Addiction Real?

We pretty much know what causes addiction. Genetics and trauma. So we have a war on the traumatised. How Christian.

Of course the fight against this menace enriches criminals and terrorists. Someone explain again why the fight against drugs is a good thing?

Does water cause thirst?

Do drugs cause addiction?

If people are taking drugs for pain relief is that a good or bad thing.

As to the third world. The answer is simple. Bring back colonialism.

1/19/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Sure you have to have rule of law etc. "
You had me worried there, Simon.
I thought you were saying that's no big deal.
...but then you write:

"As to the third world. The answer is simple. Bring back colonialism. "
Which demonstrates a proper respect, imo.
If, when the rapacious colonialists left, the USA of mid 20th Century had stepped in, that might have been the ideal in a less than perfect world.
Is that even remotely realistic now?
If it is, is this country still sane enough to pull it off?
Paris Hilton would know.

1/19/2006 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...


Please explain how Castro doctored the Zapruder film?

1/19/2006 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

OT-The Amazing Cisneros (CLINTON) Coverup

This probably would have been just another undiscovered scandal had the whistle not been blown by John J. Filan, chief of the IRS's Criminal Investigation Division in the South Texas District. In a March 31, 1997, memo, Filan expressed outrage that the IRS chief counsel's office in Washington on Jan. 15 had pulled a tax evasion case out of San Antonio because it required "centralized review." Told to "box up" his evidence and send it to Washington, Filan wrote: "I am not aware of any other criminal tax cases that have been pulled from experienced District Counsel attorneys."

Nevertheless, the question remains what three judges -- David Sentelle (D.C.), Thomas Reavley (Texas) and Peter Fay (Florida) -- blacked out in 120 pages worth of redactions. Even after the report is released, Barrett and his lawyers would face judicial sanctions if they disclosed anything that was redacted.

The three judges have lawyer-like arguments in favor of suppressing so much material. For example, they claim the Barrett report on Cisneros should not contain evidence that was collected after the plea bargain with Cisneros.

However, the judges have established an exception, or rather 535 exceptions, to the rule that nobody can see what has been redacted. Any member of Congress can read it merely by asking. Any such lawmaker, who believes American taxpayers should see the product of $23 million in expenditures, presumably could then publish the material without fear of legal sanction.
But will any senator or House member do it?

1/19/2006 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Bin Laden tapes warn of more U.S. attacks:

"Our mujaheddin (Islamic fighters) were able to overcome all the security measures in European countries, and you saw their operation in major European capitals," bin Laden says, according to a translation by CNN.

"As for similar operations taking place in America, it's only a matter of time. They are in the planning stages, and you will see them in the heart of your land as soon as the planning is complete."

Bin Laden

1/20/2006 12:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

You left out the truce offer, bin, and the assurance that you don't
"stab people in the back."
...don't take my word for it.

1/20/2006 03:59:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"They had an interview with the one of the sons of the victims and the savages on Fox news this morning. It gives a whole new tilt on look who’s coming to dinner"
The two of them went out in Central Park to gather dinner with a little blowgun action!
...the Park Policeman informed them that would cost them a stay in the place with bars on the windows and they decided to leave the squirrels alone.
The son is not a missionary, he is Ecuadorian, he lives in the Jungle!
(his Aunts continued the Missionary work after his family was slaughtered)
...he also did all the stunt flying in the movie.

1/20/2006 04:43:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"Ultimately a way has to be found to give potential converts to these anti-civilization gangs an alternative," says Evan.

"Once that's done we can figure out how to fix the app," says Wretchard.

Well, maybe the application (Daily Life in the Human World) CAN'T be 'fixed'! Maybe virtually ALL our human-invented institutions, ideologies, precepts and assumptions are RUINED, worn out shibboleths which no longer unite people no matter how high we lift them over the heads of the people 'in the war zone'.

If this is so, and there IS no 'fix' for humanity, then the "alternative" which can, and should be, and IS being offered to potential racist-killer wannabees, is the Faith of Baha'u'llah, calling humans to do all, for the Glory of God.

1/20/2006 04:54:00 AM  
Blogger Niall said...


Niall is Irish as in Niall of the Nine Hostages.


Gbagbo's government is not legitimate. Bédié changed the constitution so only Ivorians could vote. Sounds OK doesn't it? But hold, how can you prove your Ivorian if your born and brought up in a country where there are little or no records of birth?

Answer (obviously if you know Africa) if your likely to vote for the government your Ivorian if your likely to vote for the opposition you need to prove your Ivorian to the satisfaction of the authorities which you will never manage. Gbagbo was elected under Bédiés constitution. Understand?

1/20/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"But hold, how can you prove your Ivorian if your born and brought up in a country where there are little or no records of birth?"
Bring something official from the Mexican Government?

1/20/2006 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Pascal said...

That is kind of you Doug. I commend your judgment too as I think Wisdom and Anti-Wisdom may be (sadly) my most concise and clear work.

I tend to be reactive rather than creative and tangential rather than well focused. Writing that piece required just the right impetus to congeal those thoughts coherently.

1/20/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Pascal said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/20/2006 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Pascal said...


Just because the West's population decline is concomitant with its material and political success doesn't prove that there is a direct causal relationship. Much thought on that may be rationalization, commensurately welcome in alleviating some consciences. And the early NPG people seem never to have predicted it either though the later ones may have helped engineer it. Provoking women to leave the nest and enter the workforce was unnecessary for Western success but very necessary for Western NPG. And the first Eugenicists like Sanger always tended most to worry about utilitarian survival. Some peoples they always wanted to cull.

Regarding success and reproduction. Roman decline, for instance, had so much to do with its "legacy hunting" aberration that Augustus tried to penalize the practice and to reward those who would raise large families. He failed. And Rome wasn't plagued with Malthusian troubled environmentalists either.

1/20/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Pascal said...

Well Doug, looks like from the sounds of crickets chirping the only one who accepted my challenge -- and not in the way I had hoped -- was C-4.

Perhaps, Doug, you should contact me thru email if you wish to know my population solution that falls short of the vast murder plan of all those, who in silence, are a party to (despite their protests).

I don't wish to take up bandwidth and trouble dead consciences where a traditional moral view is unwelcome.

Hey Cedarford: looks like you've fallen in with many more of like mind than you had a right to expect.

1/21/2006 12:47:00 AM  
Blogger Mitchell said...

"Across the globe a trend toward fewer armed conflicts, which began about 15 years ago, continued unmistakably in 2005. The number of wars this year was less than half the number in 1991, and global military spending, adjusted for inflation, continues to decline." - p.406 of a "Global Progress Report"

I would also point out that the real trend in the "post-post colonial world" is the rise of regional unions and new great powers. Africa has a Union; South America will have one soon; ASEAN is trying to create an East Asian "community" that will include China, Japan, and possibly even India. Even the Arab League is putting together a pan-Arab parliament for the first time in its history. That is the big picture right now, and it's the complete opposite of Kaplan's "coming anarchy".

1/21/2006 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Andre_Szara said...


1/27/2006 07:29:00 AM  

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