11 July 2005

It’s the occupation, not the fundamentalism

University of Chicago Associate Professor Robert Pape has conducted an exhaustive survey of terrorist suicide bombings and presents his findings in a new book titled Dying to Win. Pape's findings contradict beliefs held by the general public and run counter to announcements from our government experts.
Over the past two years, I have collected the first complete database of every suicide-terrorist attack around the world from 1980 to early 2004. This research is conducted not only in English but also in native-language sources—Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, and Tamil, and others—so that we can gather information not only from newspapers but also from products from the terrorist community. The terrorists are often quite proud of what they do in their local communities, and they produce albums and all kinds of other information that can be very helpful to understand suicide-terrorist attacks.

This wealth of information creates a new picture about what is motivating suicide terrorism. Islamic fundamentalism is not as closely associated with suicide terrorism as many people think. The world leader in suicide terrorism is a group that you may not be familiar with: the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

The central fact is that overwhelmingly suicide-terrorist attacks are not driven by religion as much as they are by a clear strategic objective: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland. From Lebanon to Sri Lanka to Chechnya to Kashmir to the West Bank, every major suicide-terrorist campaign—over 95 percent of all the incidents—has had as its central objective to compel a democratic state to withdraw.

Since suicide terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation and not Islamic fundamentalism, the use of heavy military force to transform Muslim societies over there, if you would, is only likely to increase the number of suicide terrorists coming at us.

9 July 2005

If the deal is not allowed, it sends a message to Chinese companies and perhaps they might start looking for other ways, other markets to do business with

Get Used to It: China's bid to take over Unocal is just the start of its plans for acquisitions
Demands that corporate America bolt its doors in the wake of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation's (CNOOC's) unsolicited offer to purchase the energy giant Unocal Corp. are being closely watched here. Many Chinese say the U.S. reaction will send an irrefutable message about whether Washington is more interested in its commitment to free trade or in containing the growing might of China, a country President Bush has labeled a "strategic competitor."

8 July 2005


In the letters to the editor section of today's Arizona Republic, Scott Anderson of Green Valley takes syndicated columnist Richard Cohen to task for comparing Bush's invasion of Iraq to the nation's Vietnam experience. Whether or not the Iraq/Vietnam analogy is apropos, is not why I highlight this text. Instead, I wish to address the continued denial of administration apologists on the matter of alleged Al-Qaida links to Saddam Hussien, even after the administration itself backed away from such claims.
The assertion that Saddam had no connection to al-Qaida suggests that he was unaware of the al-Qaida training camps in his country, which I consider preposterous, and that he was unaware of the al-Qaida members who resided in Iraq and received medical treatment in Iraq. It just doesn't fly.

True, members of the Bush administration have soft pedaled the Hussien/bin Laden connection, consistently peppering 9/11 into dialog over the Iraq quagmire today, and slip barbs in here and there, even while when publicly called on those statements, retreat and confess there existed no such collaboration.

Before dissecting the charges that did surface in the pre-invasion frenzy, it should be noted that any study of geopolitics in this world region would reveal that Saddam Hussien was a bitter enemy of Osama bin Laden, and that there is nothing that bin Laden could have hoped for more than the American invasion and occupation of Iraq. To despose of a secular dictator ruling over a Muslim holy land rich with oil resources, and to put that nation into play for fundamentalists who vie to create the ultimate universal Islamic Nation state.

First off, the official 9/11 congressional inquiry found no link between Al-Qaida and Iraq:

The report of the joint congressional inquiry into the suicide hijackings on Sept. 11, 2001, to be published Thursday, reveals U.S. intelligence had no evidence that the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks, or that it had supported al-Qaida, United Press International has learned.

Second, most of the allegations regarding a Saddam/Al-Qaida link were rooted in dubious claims by an exile group led by Ahmad Chalabi, convicted swindler and intelligence asset that's played multiple sides.

The former Iraqi exile group that gave the Bush administration exaggerated and fabricated intelligence on Iraq also fed much of the same information to leading newspapers, news agencies and magazines in the United States, Britain and Australia.

Feeding the information to the news media, as well as to selected administration officials and members of Congress, helped foster an impression that there were multiple sources of intelligence on Iraq's illicit weapons programs and links to bin Laden.

In fact, many of the allegations came from the same half-dozen defectors, weren't confirmed by other intelligence and were hotly disputed by intelligence professionals at the CIA, the Defense Department and the State Department.

But the propaganda campaign wasn't just confined to a small group of self serving Iraqi exiles, as Colonel Sam Gardiner detailed in his treatise Truth from These Podia: Summary of a Study of Strategic Influence, Perception Management, Strategic Information Warfare and Strategic Psychological Operations in Gulf II.

My research suggests there were over 50 stories manufactured or at least engineered that distorted the picture of Gulf II for the American and British people. I'll cover most in this report. At the end, I will also describe some stories that seem as if they were part of the strategic influence campaign although the evidence is only circumstantial.

7 July 2005

Clearly we've had considerable success in the past using closed-circuit television footage to trace the movements of people involved

Given the ubiquitous preponderance of cameras in Britian, in lieu of the horrific bombing in London today, will cameras help catch the bombers?
Closed-circuit TV cameras track people in the British capital almost everywhere they go. Now, those recordings could help police determine who staged Thursday's bloody subway and bus explosions.

More than 6,000 cameras monitor the Underground subway network and 1,800 watch the city's train stations. Cameras also have been installed on some London buses.

Condolences to those affected by this savage act of wanton violence.

I cannot believe, however, that such evidence of the bombing has not been recorded, given the prevalence of cameras throughout the area. But, typically, the output of these implemented systems is for "official eyes only", and such secrecy and lack of transparency, I contend, is counterproductive. If all our eyes can be cast on subjects in a public setting, then there is nothing to fear. Otherwise, it is indeed a machination of "Big Brother".