Thursday, May 21, 2015

NATO Principles of International Relations

1.  To resolve any intractable international or civil conflict, the use of military force is the first option.

2.  The first option never works.

3.  A long term solution can only be achieved through negotiation.

4.  Nobody knows how to do this.

5.  GOTO 1

Thursday, May 14, 2015

First we killed Saddam Hussain so everything would be fine...

Then we killed bin Laden so everything would be even more fine.

Then we killed Ghadaffi so everything would be superfine.

So now we're trying to kill Assad so everything will be ultrasuperfine.

Also, we'd like to kill whoever is in charge of ISIS - whatever ISIS is - so everything will be hyperulatrasuperfine.

If we could only find the right guy...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

New, Improved Hell in Brussels™

Bombing Libya provides expected peace dividends

Excerpt from The War Diary of SHAPE Public Affairs Rue Grande, 7020 Maisières April 20, 2015 9:30 AM 

Coffee en route to work. Urgent phone call from Chief.  Our new worst fears have been realized.  Our old worst fears were that Afghanistan would come to us, just like Lord Robertson  of Crossharbour said.  Or was that Conrad Black?  Anyway, whoever it was and now that it has, we can turn our full attention to developments in Libya. There are of course still details to attend to in shuttering the ISAF Public Affairs office:  moving furniture, shredding documents, and choosing paint. Libya will not wait however.  An urgent meeting was convened in the Bar of the Hotel Amigo, at lunch.  12:00 PM,  Hotel Amigo bar.  It's really very nice.  The task before us is to portray the Victory of NATO in Libya as the Great Victory it actually was.  Something triumphed over something else, and we won.  Now, after all that successful bombing and strafing  and budget expenditure, ungrateful wretches are washing up on shores all over the Mediterranean.  How to craft these images into strategic communication?  1:00 PM Adjourned for working lunch. 4:00 PM Reconvened. Brainstorming session.  Suggestions were: spruce up wretches for a few weeks, give them new clothes, and take them back to Libya at night;  the same, but put them all in Malta; shoot them.  The last was seen as unsporting, at least without giving them a head start. Hellfire missiles are much tidier (no survivors) and more cost effective (no food, clothing, or painful interviews to corrupt the Strategic Message).  6:00 PM  Voila, Declaration of the Hotel Amigo: everything is going according to plan, even though there was never a plan. Libyans who choose to swim the Mediterranean in hopes of a better life are unfortunately ill-advised. Public Affairs will develop an Education Action Plan for unrealistic Med swimmers.  It will be in Arabic, even.  11:00 PM Informal discussion.

Friday, March 13, 2015


The Secret Policeman's Bill
Power is not a means, it is an end.  One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.
George Orwell

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Jason Kenney regrets...

Since about that time, war had been literally continuous, though strictly speaking it had not always been the same war.  For several months during his childhood there had been confused street fighting in London itself, some of which he remembered vividly.  But to trace out the history of the whole period, to say who was fighting whom at any given moment, would have been utterly impossible, since no written record, and no spoken word, ever made mention of any other alignment than the existing one.
George Orwell
Roof of the Rex, ground zero, men who looked like they’d been suckled by wolves, they could die right there and their jaws would work for another half-hour.  This is where the asked you, “are you a Dove or a Hawk?” and “Would you rather fight them here or in Pasadena?” Maybe we could beat them in Pasadena, I’d think, but I wouldn’t say it, especially not here where they knew that I knew that they really weren’t fighting anybody anywhere anyway, it made them pretty touchy.
Michael Herr

Thursday, February 19, 2015

1099 and all that

They were the only Moslems in Jerusalem to save their lives.  The Crusaders, maddened by so great a victory after such suffering, rushed through the streets and into the houses and mosques killing all that they met, men, women and children alike.  All that afternoon and all through the night the massacre continued.  Tancred’s banner was no protection to the refugees in the Mosque of al-Aqsa.  Early next morning a band of Crusaders forced an entry into the mosque and slew everyone.  When Raymond of Aguilers later that morning went to visit the temple area he had to pick his way through the corpses and blood that reached up to his knees.
The Jews of Jerusalem fled in a body to their chief synagogue.  But they were held to have aided the Moslems; and no mercy was shown to them.  The building was set on fire and they were all burnt within.
The massacre at Jerusalem profoundly impressed all the world.  No one can say how many victims it involved; but it emptied Jerusalem of its Moslem and Jewish inhabitants.  Many even of the Christians were horrified by what had been done; and amongst the Moslems, who had been ready hitherto to accept the Franks as another factor in the tangled politics of the time, there was henceforward a clear determination that the Franks must be driven out.  It was this bloodthirsty proof of Christian fanaticism that recreated the fanaticism of Islam.  When, later, wiser Latins in the East sought to find some basis on which Christian and Moslem could work together, the memory of the massacre stood always in their way.

The First Crusade
University of Cambridge Press, 1951
pp 237-8

Wednesday, February 18, 2015