Monthly Archives: January 2007

Riffing on UN

Practically everything the U.N. is involved in is un-good, which fits an organization that so perfectly exemplifies the principles of newspeak in Brave New World. Third and fourth generation refugees anyone? Human Rights Commissions and Committees with Cuba, China, Libya, Saudi Arabia in positions of power? That’s why I like to pronounce it “Un” like the first syllable of undead, as in legions of undead vampires coming to suck the blood out of the suffering natives of the Congo.

So… along those lines, how about riffing on some less than awful (un-awful) adjectives for the Un?

Un goals are:

  • un-achievable
  • un-measurable
  • un-desirable

Un methods are:

  • un-practical
  • un-believable
  • un-moral

Un functionaries are:

  • un-truthful
  • un-ethical
  • un-trustworthy

Un troops are:

  • un-qualified
  • un-ready
  • un-reliable

Got another one? Another ‘un?

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Read a Citizen’s Report on Iraq

Read a Citizen’s Report on Iraq. Michelle Malkin has it. I have paraphrased a story from it to give you, dear reader, a taste.

Imagine if you will a checkpoint stop in Iraq. A vehicle drives erratically toward the checkpoint. U.S. soldiers fire warning shots. They shout. Adrenalin pumps through their bloodstreams. They wonder what new devilish trick approaches them to endanger their lives. They flash a light in the driver’s eyes. The vehicle stops just before they were going to fire the kill shots and the soldiers investigate. What they find is an Iraqi man strapped into the car so securely he cannot get out. He is crying as he nods at the passenger side floor. There, strapped in place and wrapped in enough explosives to destroy more than half their convoy, is the man’s six-year-old son. After they disarmed the bomb and freed the man and his son, the boy cried for hours as the Iraqi man thanked the U.S. soldiers for what they had done.

Read it all.

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Helmand: When you realize you dug yourself into a hole, put down the shovel and climb

NATO strategy in the Helmand province of Afghanistan has caused a fair amount of NATO bloodletting in the past year. Following American neglect of the province while securing Kandahar and Kabul, and in combination with a Taliban retrenchment across the border in Pakistan, the original policy of platoon houses (also known colloquially as hellholes) and the more recent policy of making truces with Taliban-affiliated locals have only resulted in more attacks on NATO forces in the province. While these attacks have been beneficial in that the attacks have all been repelled with hundreds of Taliban dead (The Telegraph says more than 1,000 Taliban dead and 17 Brits), they have damaged morale and killed more British soldiers than the smart set can stomach. On January 27, before Friday prayers, a humanitarian NGO that has set up offices in Helmand was hit by a suicide bomber. When the British venture out of their hellholes and bases they destroy the Taliban enemy, but they don’t have enough manpower to hold the land they take. NATO is surging into Helmand with 3,200 American and 1,000 Polish reinforcements and a new commander for NATO in the region. U.S. General Dan K. McNeil will replace U.K. General David Richards.

What must be done?

Luckily for our questions, the Telegraph found the most pessimistic local they could and got a quote out of him that hits every note:

But Amir Mohammed, 65, a farmer, said: “We have had nothing but fighting since the British came. A lot of people have been killed by them. The Taliban are back all over Helmand. They are in Musa Qala, Nawzad, Sangin and Garamsir. There is no security. At least there was security under the Taliban. Also they are now talking about destroying our poppy fields. How will we eat?” (source)

Let’s go over these points and see how to address them.

  • Problem: Lots of fighting and killing in Helmand. Solution: Communicate with the people. They approve of the killing of violent people who would attack them without warning. Don’t be the one who kills without warning. Be the talkative protector.
  • Problem: There is no security for people to go to the market or pray at the mosque. Solution: Establish security for people to do their everyday tasks. Protect them first. Help them protect themselves however you can.
  • Problem: The Brits killed lots of people. Solution: Tell people what you’re doing constantly, and brag about it when you kill a bunch of brigands and bandits who are out to kill villagers and destroy their village.
  • Problem: The Taliban are back all over Helmand. Solution: Kill them.
  • Problem: Taliban in Musa Qala. Solution: Find them and drive them out of Musa Qala, killing as many as possible in Musa Qala and with ambushes along the escape routes.
  • Problem: Taliban in Nawzad. Solution: See Musa Qala.
  • Problem: Taliban in Sangin. Solution: See Musa Qala.
  • Problem: Taliban in Garamsir. Solution: See Musa Qala.
  • Problem: We are growing poppy to make money (and selling it to the Taliban). How can we survive without the Taliban to buy our poppy? Solution: Isn’t there a shortage of medical opiates in Europe and America? Convince legitimate pharmaceutical companies to contract to buy all the poppy grown in the province, thereby stealing the Taliban’s funding out from under them.

Is this roughly what will happen? No doubt with the exception of the last bullet it is pretty close to plan.

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World’s longest beach hidden in Bangladesh

Though one of the world’s most spectacular beaches is here, the tyrrany of the Jamaat-e-Islami now prevents the locals from enjoying the beach, and it also keeps vacationing sunbathers away.

Cox’s Bazar owes its origins to the subcontinent’s British colonial rulers, who sent Capt. Hiram Cox to settle Buddhist immigrants from nearby Burma into the area in the late 1790s.

The 120 km (75 mile) unbroken stretch of beach here is the world’s longest, and a chain of hills that run parallel to the sea for almost the entire length, towering cliffs, colorful, ancient pagodas and Hindu temples, make it a natural attraction. (source)

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Foreign Terrorists in Pakistan?!

The Times of India reports:

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday said authorities were investigating the possibility of involvement of foreign elements in the recent spate of terrorist attacks in the country.

“We are trying to find out who is behind these attacks and the causes. We are trying to find out if foreign hands are behind these attacks,” he told reporters before leaving on a two-day visit to Indonesia and Malaysia. (source)

Conspiracy theories like this one are everywhere in the Muslim world. Where would the hypothetical infiltrators be coming from? Afghanistan maybe? Iran? Certainly not India: all the terrorist infiltration across that line attacks in the other direction.

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Divorce, Pakistani Style

In 2002, an amendment to the Pakistani 1964 Civil and Family Court Act reduced the mandatory reconciliation period for divorces requested by women to three months. Now, almost 50% of civil cases in Rawalpindi district are related to women seeking divorce.

Advocate Nasreen Akhtar, who specialises in family cases, says the amended law has made it easy for women to obtain divorce.

“It has made their life safer and more secure. Now women are more confident and their spouses more careful in their married life,” she remarks. She, nonetheless, stressed that women sought help from courts only after exhausting all means of reconciliation.

Iftikharun Nisa Hassan, director of the Women’s Research and Resource Centre, Fatima Jinnah Women’s University, sees the rise in divorce cases as the “awakening of women”.

“Today women are getting educated and securing jobs and are less inclined to put up with inhuman treatment by their husbands. They are financially viable and seek second marriages for a comfortable life,” she says. (source)

Muslim men can divorce their wives by saying “I divorce you” three times. The amendment is a step towards fairness that will provide some civilizing influence on Pakistan, and is already having beneficial effects.

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Turkish Al Qaeda Leader Arrested

Not much more is known. (source)

Update: The NYT has more.

TRABZON, Turkey, Jan. 29 — In simultaneous operations carried out in five Turkish cities on Monday, the police arrested 47 people suspected of being Islamic militants, including the leader of Al Qaeda in Turkey […]

Among those taken into custody on Monday was Ekrem K, identified as the suspected leader locally of Al Qaeda. Ekrem K, who the police said went by the name Usame, was captured in Konya, 150 miles south of Ankara, along with 22 other suspects. (source)