On The Road

September 20, 2006

Tomorrow we depart for Rome, returning October 8th.

I shan’t be posting during that time, but hopefully will return inspired by the wonderful Italian people and not too impoverished by their CPI score of 5.

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Brit Soldiers Are Not War Criminals

September 20, 2006

A team of Blair’s government lawyers prosecutes Brit soldiers for battlefield actions – adding the risk of disgrace and imprisonment to the soldier’s “normal” combat risks of death or mutilation. No rational soldier will accept that level of risk.

The lawyers’ latest coup is to bully the men engaged in this action (my ellipsis):

The 1st Battalion, The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, held responsibility for the security of Basra, Iraq’s second city, from June to November, 2003, in the immediate aftermath of the invasion of Iraq by Coalition forces.

The Battalion, with a total strength of 620 men (including 100 members of the TA (Brit National Guard)), had the task of maintaining law and order and restoring normality in a city of 1.5 to 2 million people, which:
§ had been severely oppressed for over 20 years by the previous regime,
§ which was racked by violence,
§ with a severely fractured infrastructure,
§ through the height of summer,
§ with temperatures of 50-60 degrees in daytime,
§ and never less than 40 degrees at night.


THE TASK
On a daily basis, the battalion faced:
Riots
Looting
Armed Robbery
Smuggling
Violent Black Marketeering
Extortion
House take-overs
Kidnapping
Car-jacking
Shootings
Bombings
Grenade Attacks
Public disorder
All capped with GENERAL TERRORIST ACTIVITY

On a daily basis, the battalion undertook:
Foot & Vehicle patrols
Illegal weapon searches
Capturing former regime personalities
Raiding illegal arms markets
Waterborne patrols on the Shatt Al Arab
Riot Control
Protection of the local infrastructure
Anti-smuggling
Hostage Rescue
Civil / Military affairs…
Police training
Creation and training of the Police Support Unity


But now Blair’s lawyers say the Brit soldiers were the real criminals:

A British corporal has become the first soldier to admit to a war crime after pleading guilty to inhumanely treating Iraqi civilians at a court martial yesterday.

Corporal Donald Payne, 35, is one of seven soldiers, including his former commanding officer, to be charged over the death of Baha Musa, 26, an Iraqi hotel receptionist.

Mr Musa suffered a severe beating over a period of 36 hours while in British military custody at a detention centre in Basra, southern Iraq, the court martial at Bulford Camp, Wiltshire, was told.

Julian Bevan, QC, for the prosecution, said that Mr Musa suffered 93 injuries, including fractured ribs and a broken nose. Another Iraqi civilian arrested with Mr Musa in 2003 suffered serious kidney injuries.

Soldiers are trained to kill people, break things, and control their own terror. That involves depersonalizing the enemy and forming strong bonds with their comrades. So making a Regiment-sized team mix the aggression of the battlefield with care of captive assailants is a recipe for disaster.

The politicians and senior officers that decided not to set up separate PoW facilities should take responsibility for this. If they don’t, their Army becomes useless.


How Israel May Fight Its Existential War

September 19, 2006

Earlier posts listed the biggest threats to Israel’s existence, explained how its defeat would result in a second holocaust, and showed why Islam is capable of perpetrating this atrocity. This post suggests what Israel will likely do to stay relatively safe.

Timing

When Israel does fight, it’ll have to move fast – Islam’s friends in the MSM, EU and the UN will move very quickly to block it, using everything from sanctions to forged images to threats of force. Plus Israel can’t count on a US that may be controlled by RINOs or Dems.

So, based on past conflicts, Israel will have about 10 days to destroy its enemies.

For maximum effect this attack should be a surprise, but needs to be carried out before Iran gets enough nukes to destroy Israel. That would be about 10 weapons of 200+ kiloton yield. Iran is supported by 2 unsavory nuclear powers – Russia and Pakistan – who might just give Iran the weapons.

Still, allowing for the need to test and weaponize warheads and put together enough delivery vehicles, I’d guess that Israel has about 3 years before that happens, giving it an optimal surprise window about 18-24 months out.

Preparation

Here’s what Israel may do in the 18-24 months (as well as changing out its political leadership).

Public Diplomacy Prep

The primary diplomatic goal during this period is to reassure the enemy. So expect negotiations with Syria and Iran, engagement with State’s latest nutty land-for-peace roadmap, maybe even the return of some territory.

The secondary goal is to set the scene. Since one objective of the planned war would be to neutralize Lebanon, expect Israel to take a public stance that acknowledges the territorial integrity of Lebanon (actually it just did this). That means the consequence of any future attacks from Lebanese territory will be an act of war by that state.

The final diplomatic goal is to declare a deterrence posture to its nuclear armed enemies – Russia, France, Iran, and Pakistan. This will define the circumstances under which Israel will launch, but be ambiguous about the size of its retaliation.

Information War Prep

Unless it decides to blow up the MSM – which it probably won’t – Israel is likely to concentrate on creating noise generators for use during a quick war – false stories and images that muddy the information flow.

Military Prep

The IDF will revise its to training, tactics and equipment to enable it to execute a 10 day knockout war.

Equipment Prep

Expect the IDF to up the number of nuclear-tipped cruise missiles carried by its 3 current subs – the extra 2 German subs will arrive too late. The IDF will also increase its IRBM missile fleet – it’s based in the Negev and quite vulnerable to sneak attack from Egypt or Jordan, so expect these missiles to “launch on warning”. That means that they’re all fired off as soon as any ground, air or space attack is detected coming their way.

A 10-day high intensity war will use lots of munitions, and Israel now knows it can’t rely on the US. So it will stockpile and where that doesn’t work switch to domestic production. That won’t be hard – the US mostly supplies pinpoint weapons used to minimize civilian casualties, and that won’t be a requirement in an existential war.

Finally, don’t expect Israel to deploy the THEL laser anti-missile defense. It’s expensive and depends on an embargo-prone US supplier. Instead expect it to plan on overrunning launch areas or failing that burn them off with tactical nukes.

Covert Ops Prep

The goal here would be to cut off Iranian and Russian oil revenue by interdicting their pipelines.

Pipelines are just long, flimsy and hard to defend tubes full of a highly inflammable liquid. So given the right munitions, small well trained and well-equipped teams of fighters could destroy great lengths of them.

To attack Iran’s output, Israel may arm Kurdish fighters, and to attack Russia’s it may do the same for the Chechen resistance – if Russia hasn’t killed it off.

Alliance Prep

This would be with India, to keep Pakistan in its box. Because of the size of the Pakistani target, India needs very high yield (10+ Megaton) thermonuclear weapons, and its likely that Israel can provide the know-how for this.

The War

This will be violent, driven by the Jewish people’s determination never again to walk to the gas chambers without a fight to the death. But it’ll be calculated – suicide is a sin to Jews – so expect smarts rather than self-sacrifice.

Israel’s war aims will likely be to knock the Iranian threat back 25 years, prevent Russia, France and Pakistan coming to its assistance, and convert the Lebanon to a friend or neutral neighbor on the model of Jordan. A 25 year breathing spell gives the technologically superior Israelis time to neutralize the eventual Iranian nukes – perhaps with space based WMD.

Expect the war to start with Israel taking exception to one of the provocations its enemies regularly provide it with.

To credibly deter Russia, Pakistan and France – who might be tempted to use nukes on Israel later in the war – Israel will probably start by demonstrating a nuclear device. To avoid early escalation, that might be an airburst over a lightly populated area. But a better option would be two EMP bursts high over Syria and Iran – that would kill nobody, cripple their militaries, and declare Israel’s capabilities.

The next phase is dictated by geography – Israel needs bases close to Iran to launch its ground and air strikes, and the closest place outside of Iraq is Eastern Syria. So expect an Israeli blitz to destroy the Syrian air and rocket forces, followed by a heavy armored push to roll up its army. The Israeli Arrow BMD system will thin the number of Syrian SCUDs that get through. If Syria uses WMD, Israel will nuke the launch fields and if that doesn’t stop the attacks it will nuke Syrian C&C center in Damascus.

With Syria defeated, expect a huge logistics operation to move an expeditionary force to Eastern Syria, plus cruise missile attacks on Iranian missile defense systems. If Iran responds with WMDs, expect Israel to nuke Tehran. If not, expect air, missile and commando attacks on the 40 or so Iranian nuke plants and command centers. (Note that the Israelis would need to fly over Kurdish Iraq – another reason it will help out the Iranian Kurds).

If international pressure to stop the fighting becomes unbearable, Israel will use its nuclear weapons to achieve its war aims quickly.

Aftermath

Israel’s enemies (and friends) may enforce an economic embargo via the EU and UN, but Israel can moderate this by replacing lost resources from Iran. Absent sanctions, Israel will withdraw quickly from what’s left of Syria and Iran.

If Lebanon is unharmed, expect it to conclude a peace treaty with the victorious Israelis, perhaps granting basing agreements in North Lebanon.

Israel will rebuild its deterrent forces and put them places the Russian and Chinese can’t easily hit them.

What happens to the Palestinians depends on their behavior – if they keep up their low level violence, they’ll push Israel from Retaliator into Hawk/Bully mode, and suffer the same fate as the Chechens.


Game Theory And The Clash Of Civilizations

September 18, 2006

In the now undeniable battle between Islam and the West, which group is most likely to prevail? This is an important question for Westerners, since if Islam prevails then many of them will be killed – homosexuals, for example, and the rest enslaved – women more than men. And the standards of living of the survivors will decline to the Muslim norm, an order of magnitude reduction. Here’s an analysis that says we’ll win easily.

Evolutionary biologists use Game Theory to predict the mix of fighting strategies likely to be stable in populations of the same species. Stability means that any diversion from that mix tends to right itself automatically. If you don’t have time to read the above reference, there’s a nice summary in Chapter 5 of this book (but be sure to read the chapter notes, which correct some errors).

This post extends that approach, treating each of the world’s nations as an entity competing with all the others.

Fighting Strategies

Competing organisms adopt four main fighting strategies to take resources (food, territory, etc) from others of the same species. The labels are 60-ish because that’s when the theory developed.

Hawk
Hawks always fight as hard as they can and only retreat when badly hurt.


Dove
Doves merely threaten, and never fight. Doves always run away from – and thus cede resources to – Hawks.


Retaliator
Retaliators start each conflict as if they’re a Dove, but if physically attacked they retaliate. So they behave like Doves when attacked by Doves, and like Hawks when attacked by Hawks,

Bully
A Bully behaves like a Hawk until an opponent hits back, and then he runs away.

Stable Mixes of Fighting Strategies

You model these by assigning costs and benefits to the components of each strategy, then simulating the effects of changing the strategy mix..

In a fight – even a Dove staring match – both parties pay a time penalty (time spent fighting is time not spent feeding, etc). Then of course the loser loses and the winner takes the object of the fight. And in Hawk fights, losers are either seriously injured or killed.

Putting numbers to these costs and benefits at first shows an all-Dove population is the best since it maximizes benefits and minimizes costs – although both fighters waste time, and the loser loses the object of the fight, nobody pays the cost of being hurt or killed.

But it’s not stable – if just one Hawk is added to the mix, he and his successors rapidly spread since they get whatever they want without a fight. Finally a balance is reached where Hawks are controlled by the higher risk of injury or death in confronting other Hawks, so a stable Dove/Hawk mix arises.

The exact Hawk/Dove ratio depends on the values you assign to costs and benefits, but the broad stabilities seem to be:
– Pure Dove groups are invaded by Hawks and Bullies
– Pure Hawk groups are invaded by Doves and Bullies
– Pure Bully groups are invaded by Hawks
– Pure Retaliator groups are invaded first by Doves, then Hawks and Bullies replace both (I’m not convinced by this, and will check the math).

As you’d expect there are many other layers of complexity – real players differ in strength, so for example a weak Hawk won’t fight a stronger Hawk unless the payoff is big enough to justify the risk. And a stable population of (say) 60% Hawks and 40% Doves can mean that each individual plays Dove 40% of the time and Hawk the rest.

Still, for our purposes these complexities don’t matter.

Choice of Fighting Strategies

So what predisposes an individual to be more or less Hawk (or Dove) like? Turns out that in most species, including humans, success breeds success. So Hawk contestants that lose tend to lose more and become more Dovish while winners tend to win more and become more Hawkish.

The World’s Current Contestants

These are the fighting strategies currently adopted by each of the world’s major players. I’ve used the (arguable) principle that a nation’s fighting strategy reflects the strategies of its population, unless it’s a dictatorship.

US: Unstable Mix of Retaliator, Dove and Bully
I’ve found residents of recently settled States tend to be Retaliators, while those from the older States tend to be Doves. The population is being colonized by Bullies (the MSM and others).

Mainland Europe: Unstable Dove
All the Europeans I know are Doves. That’s because every one of these nations has known the humiliation of comprehensive defeat and occupation, and as we’ve seen that breeds Doves. Hence Europe’s paralysis when faced with the treat of Iranian nukes and its disdain for the US and Israeli Retaliators. The mix is unstable because it’s being infiltrated by Bullies (see below), and that will pull in or create Hawks.

UK: Unstable Mix of Retaliator, Dove and Bully
I find the Dove percentage higher than in the US, the Retaliator mix smaller, and the Bully mix higher (the BBC is state funded and hence huge). The UK isn’t pure Dove like the rest of Europe because it has only lost little wars – e.g. the one with the IRA.

Japan: Dove Turning Hawk
Japan was never defeated in the Home Islands, and is anyway more of a warrior culture than, say, Germany. Just read a Japanese adult comic book, and see here.

Islam: Bully
The bully strategy is used by the aggressive weak, and Islam – as we’re currently seeing – is very aggressive. It’s weak because its social structures prevent economic, technical, intellectual and artistic development.


Here’s a bullying example from the WSJ today ($):

In Bosnia and Kosovo, whenever Saudi and Gulf agents offered funds to rebuild war-damaged communities, they insisted first on flattening cemeteries, destroying tombstones and whitewashing mosque décor, on the principle that pure iconophobic Islam abhorred the worship of idols.(This, despite the ubiquity of giant-sized idolatrous portraits, in their own countries, of Gulf and Saudi emirs on public walls — not to mention currency notes.)

The current rage against the Pope is classic bully behavior – as Stalin observed, the Pope has no divisions – as is shooting a nun in the back and running away.

China: Bully
All dictatorships are bullies, and China is bullying Taiwan.

Israel: Unstable Mix of Retaliators and Doves
So it’ll likely end up Hawks and Bullies.

Which Civilizations Will Win?

Islam will fail because Bullies never win, and the culture lacks the competence and flexibility to adopt a different fighting strategy. It may have temporary successes – the UK and Europe are fat Dove targets – but these will trigger either invasions of or transformations into Hawks and the Bullies will be marginalized.

Israel will (unless nuked out of existence) become truly Hawkish, to the great detriment of its adversaries.

The US will become more Hawkish, ditto.

Japan will overcome China.

So this analysis predicts a rough ride that the Good Guys end up winning, although conflict will be with us forever.


Predictions

September 17, 2006

This blog tries to make useful predictions about the safety and wealth of the Anglosphere – here are some that are looking good.

1. Blair’s Resignation

Our prediction, although not original, was more robust since it was based on a sharp change in his behavior. This was not picked up by the MSM – probably because of its ignorance of managerial behavior.

2. Drop In US Tourism

In March last year I predicted INS fingerprinting and photographing of every Brit man, woman, child & baby entering the US would cut tourism. That was because in the UK those procedures are used only on criminals. That was a correct prediction (my emphasis):

The US share of international travel has been falling since 1992, but the decline has accelerated since September 11, 2001. Since then America has lost an estimated $286 billion (£152 billion) in revenue from foreign tourists.

While global travel has grown by a fifth, the the US travel industry’s share of the world tourism market has shrunk by a third, from 9% to 6%.

Some of this is the falloff immediately after 9/11, but the rest is courtesy the TSA (which gave Brits a really hard time after the Richard Reid attempted bombing), and the INS measures from September 2004.

None of which is to deny the right of the US to do whatever it wants to visitors, allies included. But through lousy execution the US has taken an economic hit well in excess of Iraqi Freedom’s $150 billion.

But there’s good news – revenues are slowly recovering.

Japan Going Nuclear

We predicted Chinese and NoKo threats against Japan would cause it to build missile defenses and lots of H bombs, dumping its post-WW2 neutrality. It has:

Japan is about to get its most nationalistic prime minister since the 1950s and ardent patriots are celebrating in advance, sensing that their sun is rising after decades of shame.

The resurgence of pride alarms Japan’s principal wartime victims, China and the two Korea’s, but it is winning quiet applause from the United States, which foresees an enduring change in Japanese military policy.

The man in waiting is Shinzo Abe, 51, the chief cabinet secretary. He has struck a chord among voters by taking a hard line on North Korea, saying he would strike at missile sites before Kim Jong-il could fire off any weapons against Japan.

In my experience Japanese are natural warriors, and there’s some genetic evidence to support that. Their crushing defeat in WW2 pushed them into pacifism, but China and NoKo’s provocations just reset them to default mode.

Taiwan Preparing For War

I predict they have nukes, but don’t expect them to admit it until they use them against a Chinese invasion. So I’ve been looking for indirect indicators, and this may be one:

Taiwan will introduce a new home-grown missile defense shield next year…the shield, known as the Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile (ATBM), is “expected to effectively counter the threat of China’s M-9…and M-11…ballistic missiles.” The system will…eventually comprise 12 ATBM missiles batteries and an uncertain number of U.S.-made Patriot missiles and early warning radars.

This is a big system, and may be to defend Taiwan’s nuke weapons infrastructure (manufacture and deployment) against pre-emptive missile attack – just as the Russians are now rushing to shield the Iranian nuke program. Taiwan is building its own system because it fears a Dem or RINO president would hang it out to dry.

Other Predictions

The cold fusion destruction of the MSM hasn’t happened yet. But don’t give up hope!

And the Curse of Gandalf has caused IBM laptops to start catching fire.


Passive-Aggressive Liars

September 16, 2006

Senator McCain and his supporter Powell’s passive-aggressive war on the president has been ascribed to political ambition. But their attempt to stop the CIA interrogating people who commit and plan the slaughter of Americans is dishonest and disgraceful.

McCain’s ambition:

McCain isn’t on the ballot this fall, but the fight with Bush could put in jeopardy the careful balance he has struck in attempting to fuel his own presidential ambitions.

The 70-year-old senator stokes his considerable crossover appeal each time he wages a high-profile struggle with the president.

Their war against the war on terror (my ellipsis):

The Senate Armed Services Committee defied President Bush on Thursday, with four Republicans joining Democrats in approving a plan for the trial and interrogation of terrorism suspects that the White House has rejected as unacceptable.

The Republican rebellion was led by Senator John W. Warner of Virginia, the committee chairman, with backing from Senators John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine.

The White House had said their legislation would leave the United States no option but to shut down a C.I.A. program to interrogate high-level terrorism suspects.

…(Powell) sided with the senators, saying in a letter that the president’s plan to redefine the Geneva Conventions would encourage the world to “doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism,” and “put our own troops at risk.”

As McCain and Powell know, every enemy the US has fought in the last 60 years has tortured and murdered US prisoners.

The Germans and Japanese routinely tortured and murdered allied captives in WW2.

The Chinese and North Koreans tortured, brainwashed and starved US prisoners.

The Vietnamese – as Mc Cain knows – tortured US prisoners.

Hussein’s Iraqis tortured US prisoners, and pulled the fingernails off Brit captives.

And the terrorists McCain and Powell want to protect have killed every US soldier (and most US civilians) they’ve captured – burning them alive, or cutting their heads off. It’s not a secret – the videos and images are widely available on Islamic websites.

So it’s plain dishonest to say that not making nice to captive terrorists “puts our troops at risk”. And stopping the world from “doubting the moral basis of the GWOT” and a dollar might just buy you a cup of coffee.

McCain and Powell just want to poke a stick in the president’s eye and they don’t care how many Americans die as a result.


Hooked On Feeding Corruption

September 15, 2006

A great US innovation is to tie foreign aid to the honesty of the recipient, and Paul Wolfowitz is causing squeals of rage by applying that principle to World Bank lending. He should keep up the good work.

The squealers:

Britain and other European countries pressed Mr Wolfowitz in April to put greater emphasis on fighting corruption by building institutions in the developing world rather than simply suspending loans.

Critics, who include a clutch of European governments and many senior members of the bank’s staff, claim that the anti-corruption campaign threatens to undermine the bank’s primary purpose of eliminating global poverty by being too ideological, arbitrary and high-handed. “In the same way that the neocons tried to impose democracy on Iraq,” said a source at the bank. “They are trying to impose their own economic and political model on Africa — without recognising the reality of the situation on the ground.”

Of course the “reality of the situation on the ground” is that all aid is tax dollars, pounds, etc taken from productive people in Western economies. If those donors continue to see their taxes fed to corrupt tyrants, they’ll vote to cut aid.

But Blair’s likely successor thinks otherwise (ellipsis give corruption rankings for the nations referenced):

Britain last night threw down a direct challenge to Paul Wolfowitz’s leadership of the World Bank as the Government announced that it was withholding a £50 million payment in protest at the conditions attached to aid for poorer countries.

The decision by Hilary Benn, the International Development Secretary, reflects growing concern over Mr Wolfowitz’s aggressive anti-corruption campaign, which has led to the suspension of mutlimillion- dollar loans and contracts to countries such as Chad (158th, world’s most corrupt), India (88th), Argentina (97th), Congo (130th), Kenya (144th), Ethiopia (137th) and Bangladesh (158th, bottom equal with Chad).

The unexpectedly robust public attack by Mr Benn, who is close to Gordon Brown, will sound alarm bells within the US Administration about relations with Britain when Tony Blair departs No. 10.

The £50 million withheld wouldn’t keep an African Mercedes dealership going for a year, so I don’t see it terrifying Wolfowitz into submission.

And the White House already knows Brown is a hard line Euro-socialist who thinks the taxpayers’ money is his own, so no doubt it’ll control its alarm.