Interesting theory but ignores that cell service would go away almost immediately, either deliberately or from lack of service. After that there would be no "flash mobs". Doesn't mean that things couldn't get "interesting", just not quite as described. Especially in less populated areas and Red States....
I've been thinking about what's the end game for currency debasement? The writer under-estimates how bad it will be and then there is internationally. Egypt only produces half of the food it consumes. It will get very bad, very quickly in a lot of places.
The scenario I came up with is Germany, the UK, Switzerland and some E European states introduce a new gold backed currency that can be exchanged for gold on demand like the old Bank of England.
Entirely possible Phil. When that day comes, Champ will 'go totally FDR' and issue an EO banning the private ownership of gold as well as silver. We'll get the worthless script, he'll have the new currency.
Only criticism I have is that the article assumes that food stamps would be the first to be cut. If you look at Rome, entitlement were the last to be cut. Pay for security, army navy etc. were the first to be cut(sequestering?)and security was subcontracted out to outlying barbarian tribes. When they didn't get paid they went over to the invading tribes. Rome itself had ceased to be military orientated. It's citizens had become "soft" and indulged in the new Christian concept of otherworld rewards, i.e Hope and change.
Thirty years after the fall of Rome a visitor to Rome said all that was there was brigands and wild animals.
Only criticism I have is that the article assumes that food stamps would be the first to be cut.
Don't need food stamps for food that never shows up. Once the food stores are looted, who's going to rebuild them fast enough for restocking, if anyone is willing to drive a delivery truck to the store in the first place. Then there are the rail lines and long distance truckers that move the bulk of the food which will reroute around troubled areas.
The intricacies of a very elaborate system of the free market provide that foodstuff, not to mention that magic electrical switch that turns on and off the light, do not survive anarchy. These concepts are beyond the immediate gratification of the mob, until the days after when they have to start roving to find replenishment. They'll quickly become aware that 'free' has been funded and operated by others who don't work for free. Not that they'll care beyond their aching stomachs, because they've been told their owed it because of something that was common in all cultures over a hundred years ago. If enough cities explode, there's not enough manpower or sympathy around to alleviate such a self inflicted wound.
Tipper -- the Roman government imported and distributed the food; they didn't have third parties handling the distribution.
P2k had it right -- the breakdown in food will be that the trucks won't run when the drivers are pulled from their cabs and beaten, the food won't be edible after fires bring down the local power grid, and the stores won't be staffed when the commute to and from work means risking murder.
Posted by: Rob Crawford ||
Some Korean War perspective:
Popular uprisings against Communist governments usually fail. The ruthlessness of the Communist security and counterinsurgency forces generally serves to limit the support of anti-Communist rebellions.
So it was in Korea. The Communist regime in the North, aided by the Chinese, had such tight controls over the people and their movements that operating on the mainland was extremely difficult. Identification and pass cards were constantly changed and checked by NKPA security forces. Strangers coming into an area were easily spotted and monitored. The partisans could go in and out of the coastal areas with some ease. But along the major supply lines and deep in the North Korea there were tight security controls they could not avoid. Denying people their civil and individual rights to stamp out fledgling insurgency is never a worry for Communist-controlled regimes.
In these situations concern for personal safety among the general population often outweighs the need for political change. Support of the people generally will go to whichever side offers them the greatest security and the opportunity to continue life as safely and as normally as possible, no matter what the restrictions. The great mass of politically neutral people will favor that side which affords it the greatest protection. In the case of the people of North Korea it was the Communist government.
Ben S. Malcom COL(Ret) US Army, White Tigers, My Secret War in North Korea, COL, Brassey's 1996, pp. 36-37.
I agree with tipover. Unless the whole essay takes place in a long weekend the rioters will run out of food and bullets fairly quickly, cell service will go down and the power will probably be cut to their areas as they are pacified. They would turn on each other before they threatened neighboring areas for long.
The whole thing assumes a tepid police response when the rioters have escallated everything. I just don't see that. Just watching the police in the last few decades indicated to me that overreaction is a very real possibility in many areas.
rj, I think Bracken was assuming that the police would be too badly outnumbered to handle things. Wikipedia says Chicago has 12K police. The population of the city is over 2M. One estimate claims it has 68K gang members.
If things erupted along racial lines, it would seem more likely that the white cops would retreat and attempt to protect the north district and abandon the rest. I have no idea what racial attitudes are like in the police force; the result might be better.
My point is that once the food is looted those areas will tear into each other. The cops don't have to go into the rioting areas, they just need to contain and wait. The bulk of the gangbangers and troublemakers are not actual soldiers and there is a world of difference between a soldier (a lot of cops are ex-military these days) and a thug.
It's sort of a Versailles Treaty, an unfinished mess that kicks the can down the road. The whole 'nation building' crock needs to be exorcised from the play book till its understood the enemy has been completely beaten (and acts accordingly) or has been isolated to specific geographic parameters from which it can be effectively contained. The next best option is to employ others to keep the miscreants so busy staying alive that they have no time to meddle in others' affairs.
DOS and the CIA fr allowing that corrupt fast food puppet to get elected.
Between Obumble and Karsai, not much chance any kind of coherent plan would get traction.
Otherwise the only solution would be to do the Babylonian thing and export all of the locals and resettle with loyal subjects...of course if you can find loyals that would go there except at the point of a gun.
There are some good lessons on solidifying your military advantage in ancient history, too bad no one wants to look much past WWI. Tiglath Pilester, Von Moltke, and Patton are all you need to know about solving Afghanistan.
The key lesson is terror works both ways and until we understand you can't make nice and win with stupid ROE and understanding, we'll never win in that awful rock heap.
Posted by: Bill Clinton ||
About nation building. Both in Germany and Japan the Allies forced a change of software: they ensured Nazism and the "Deutechland über alles in der Welt" for Germany, and the cult to the Emperor and the "spirit of Yamato" would be cast into darkness. In Afghanistan the West has helped to rebuild mosques and to has allowed its aid money to be squandered in Saudi Arabia. About as stupid as as if the Allies had paid for printing and shipping a copy of Mein Kampf to every post-WWII German.
Our involvement in Afghanistan was (I say again was) important to the Champ for at least two or three very politically motivated reasons:
1. It was the "GOOD war" vs President Bush's bad war in Iraq.
2. It was a launch platform for the kill/capture of Ben Laden.
3. Champ was and remains deeply enamored with the power and decision making process extended him via persistent surveillance and "Drone Zapping". Of all the possible motivations, this one concerns me most.
The crucially important question is how long after the US and NATO forces leave before Karzai et al are in Switzerland and how many billions they have on deposit there. I seem to recall the last go around at a major power leaving had a Karzai-like dope swinging from a lamp post about 6 months in...Perhaps a Rantburg Poll might add some interest.
I seem to recall the last go around at a major power leaving had a Karzai-like dope swinging from a lamp post about 6 months in.
Najibullah was no dope. But he was handicapped by an economy run along Marxist-Leninist lines. He hung on for 3 years after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. Ultimately, he lost because Yeltsin ended Russia's multi-billion dollar annual stipend to the government, even while Pakistan continued to support the mujahideen. Karzai's Afghanistan is more or less a market economy. If we hand him or his successor a few billion dollars a year, he'll hold it together, because Pakistan's economy is such a shambles now, due to the Talibanization of the country's economy, that it really doesn't have that much money to hand to the Taliban.
What do we know about Brennan? He held several important posts in the CIA, including station chief in Saudi Arabia from 1996-99. His academic background includes the study of Arabic and Arab culture; he received a B.A. in political science from Fordham University, including a year abroad at the American University in Cairo, and an M.A. in Government specializing in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He speaks Arabic 'fluently.'
Now there is nothing wrong with having this kind of background. After all, insofar as the threat of terrorism is a major concern, and the fact that almost all terrorism today emanates from the Arab and Muslim world, the CIA director can't know too much about it.
But on the other hand, there is the phenomenon of the 'Arabist' -- the Westerner who studies Arabic and is so taken by the culture that he adopts the Arab worldview and politics. T. E. Lawrence is probably the most well-known, but contemporary examples abound (for example, the academic Juan Cole).
[Dawn] THE criminal justice system of Pakistain stands on three pillars: investigation, prosecution and the judiciary.
...and the pillars sink firmly in the quicksand of corruption.
In a case registered under the Anti-Terrorist Act (ATA), 1997, the trial courts are the anti-terrorism courts (ATCs).
The duty of the police as the investigation agency is to trace the culprits and collect evidence against them, and forward that to the prosecution department within the stipulated period. The latter is statutorily bound to scrutinise the report under the law and if the case is fit to be tried, send it to the trial court. The judiciary has only one duty: to deliver justice.
Terrorism has been exhaustively defined in Section 6 of the ATA, and the country's superior courts declare any "action" an act of terrorism if it is "designed to" coerce the government or to incite sectarianism etc.
The ATA is a mixture of two kinds of law, substantive and procedural. The former lays out what to do. For instance, the Pakistain Penal Code (PPC) identifies the punishment for offences -- duration of imprisonment, etc. Procedural law, however, explains how to go about it, e.g. the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), 1898, stipulates the way the to carry out these punishments, etc. The ATA, 1997, includes both sorts of law.
The provisions of the ATA contain, to some extent, substantive law, but the law is mainly procedural. The CrPC has been made applicable to proceedings before special courts under the ATA. This means that the ATA emphasises procedure which is different from a normal criminal trial, such as special courts and speedy trials.
However, those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things... whenever the ATA is silent on procedure, the law as applied in usual criminal trials and in the CrPC prevails. The ATA is not exhaustive in nature, and thus the CrPC and the Qanoon-e-Shahadat (the law of evidence) and judgments of the higher courts are used in aid of the ATA to reach decisions.
In Pakistain, two kinds of law are applicable: general law (the PPC, CrPC, the Code of Civil Procedure and the Contract Act, etc) which is applicable to the public on the lam, and special law which is applicable in special circumstances or meant for special ties between parties (family laws, civil service laws, rent-control laws, banking laws and the anti-terrorism law).
Both special and general laws sometimes clash in their applicability and procedure, and it is a settled principle that whenever there is such a clash the special law prevails. Thus, the ATA being a special law, its provisions will always override the provisions of general law.
The ATCs are creations of the ATA. This essentially means that ATCs, like other sessions (criminal) courts in Pakistain, follow established principles of the criminal justice system evolved by the Supreme Court. Thus, when a suspect is sent to the ATC to be tried under the ATA, he is initially presumed to be innocent and the onus is on the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt.
The ATA interacts with some other laws as well. The provisions of the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance, 2002, for instance, are to be read with other laws, including the Narcotic Substances Act, 1967, and the ATA.
This means that when children commit crimes in the ambit of terrorism, they will be tried under juvenile courts rather than ATA courts. However, death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate... there are exceptions. Since many jacket wallahs whose missions have been aborted are juveniles, they have been apprehended under the ATA rather than the law specific to juveniles. This needs to be reviewed.
Special courts such as the ATCs are competent to entertain a private complaint directly. A private complaint can be sent to an ATC by a complainant or a prosecution agency without first approaching a magistrate's court. However, some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them... this rarely occurs in terrorist cases and most submissions (challans) to the court are submitted by the police.
It is a settled principle in the ATA that the armed and civil armed forces can facilitate the government in emergencies. Legal cover is provided to special situations such as the counterinsurgency operation in Swat.
Section 5 of the ATA gives power to police and the armed forces to use force against the bully boyz to stop them, but the same power is subject to Article 14 of the constitution, which states that the dignity of man and the privacy of his home, subject to the law, are inviolable.
An important aspect of the act, highlighted by the Supreme Court, is that terrorism is a sine qua non for applying the provision contained in Section 6 of the ATA. Terrorism can hardly be determined without examining the nature and gravity of the offence, FIR contents, the effect on society and evidence that is already on record.
Section 7 of the ATA determines the punishment of the crime committed, and it is in the hands of the police to determine -- after hearing out the complainant -- whether the occurrence falls under Section 6, and under what category of Section 7 of the ATA it will be tried.
Notwithstanding the legal problems, there is much that can be done within the ambit of the ATA to improve the functioning of the ATCs.
Perhaps some sort of judicial task force on reform and effective implementation of the ATA could be set up with a mandate to look into the flaws in Pakistain's anti-terrorism laws and the difficulties in effectively implementing them.
Having said that Bush should have pushed through a dozen nuke plants in the aftermath of 9/11. Excuse them from the usual environmental paperwork. The things would have been online ling ago and the world would be a better place.