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Talibs: Pak will surrender in Swat
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 4: Opinion
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Page 2: WoT Background
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Page 6: Politix
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Afghanistan
The Coming Swarm
Posted by: tipper || 02/15/2009 10:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Torrorist Swarm tactics would be far less effective amongst a well armed populace.

I'm stocking up for the coming troubles. I've got 20 jars of Skippy peanut butter, but Ima thinnin I should have gotten ammo instead.

Yes. I really do have 20 jars of peanut butter.
Posted by: Mike N. || 02/15/2009 12:03 Comments || Top||

#2  PCA?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/15/2009 13:00 Comments || Top||

#3  Nope. Skippy aint PCA sourced.
Posted by: Mike N. || 02/15/2009 14:01 Comments || Top||

#4  I get raw peanuts from my brothe in South Alabama and make my own peanutbutter.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 02/15/2009 15:10 Comments || Top||

#5  Swarm tactics would be far less effective against a populace willing to throw hard objects at the terrorists. Guns are simply a more portable and more powerful version of a handful of pebbles or paving stones. I imagine cell phones would work, too, when wielded by girls who play fast-pitch softball.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/15/2009 15:41 Comments || Top||

#6  I imagine throwing a phone at an armed terrorist is good way to get oneself killed.
Posted by: Mike N. || 02/15/2009 15:44 Comments || Top||

#7  Mike - doing squat works even better...
Posted by: Glailet Ghibelline8454 || 02/15/2009 15:48 Comments || Top||

#8  What people should understand is that "swarm" tactics can work equally well against terrorists, too. Because of modern communications technology that is available, anti-terrorist assets can be dispersed across an entire city. These assets would wear civilian clothing and blend in with the population. In case of an incident, those people closest to the scene could begin to converge on the trouble spot from all directions.

A potential attacker would be virtually surrounded before they even get started.
Posted by: crosspatch || 02/15/2009 16:01 Comments || Top||

#9  I imagine throwing a phone at an armed terrorist is good way to get oneself killed.

Lots of people throwing lots of hard objects is very disconcerting when one is trying to shoot at them, Mike N... and utterly ruins one's self-image as the bad-ass bad guy controlling the situation. I'd happily sacrifice my cell phone in such a situation, especially as the data is backed up, and the device is insured. And, as Glailet Ghibelline8454 notes, doing nothing is a sure way to get oneself harmed, as all those injured and dead Indians discovered recently.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/15/2009 16:44 Comments || Top||

#10  I'm sorry, how is it posible to read my position as 'doing nothing'?

Well armed implies doing something said firearm.

And lots of people throwing lots of things would be marginally effective right up until they killed everybody.

Firearms good. Soda cans, not so good, but better than nothing.
Posted by: Mike N. || 02/15/2009 16:52 Comments || Top||

#11  As a side note, there's now an ad over to the right for salmonella peanut butter.
Posted by: Mike N. || 02/15/2009 17:00 Comments || Top||

#12  "And lots of people throwing lots of things would be marginally effective right up until they killed everybody."

If he is going to kill everybody ANYWAY what do people have to lose in fighting back? For example, if that shooters at Columbine a while back had faced a hail of books, backpacks and water bottles thrown at their heads, and then rushed by the entire population of the school, the shooter might have managed to kill a few but the death toll would have been a lot lower.

If everyone is going to get killed *anyway* there is no excuse for *not* fighting back. Didn't we learn anything from United 93?
Posted by: crosspatch || 02/15/2009 17:28 Comments || Top||

#13  Crosspatch: easy to say, harder to do when someone has a gun and is shooting real, live bullets at everyone.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/15/2009 17:43 Comments || Top||

#14  Also consider the significant number of police trained in anti-terror in the U.S. since 911. Also many citizens go legally armed and are among the population at any given time. It is only in places like NY, California, D.C. and other places where gun grabbers have shelved the 2nd Amendment rights of citizens and made it difficult to have qualified, armed citizens at the ready to respond to swarm attacks.
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/15/2009 18:45 Comments || Top||

#15  The Mongols used swarm tactics. Just saying.
Posted by: ed || 02/15/2009 19:31 Comments || Top||

#16  So to die doing nothing is better than to die doing something?

The only reason a person would hold off is if they thought they had a chance to survive by doing nothing. If it becomes obvious that they are all going to die, there is absolutely NO benefit to remaining passive.

But we train kids these days to be sheep and so they are led to the slaughter when things like this happen.
Posted by: crosspatch || 02/15/2009 20:15 Comments || Top||

#17  Nobody is disputing that doing something is better than doing nothing.

What we're saying is, that in real life when we're not watching 24, it's not as clear cut when shit hits the fan.

I'm not sure about you, but for myself, chucking my keys at a guy with a chinese AK seems like a bad idea compared to shooting him.

Hence my first post.
Posted by: Mike N. || 02/15/2009 20:32 Comments || Top||

#18  I'm NRA and a handgun owner, but if you want a lot of armed people intervening on their own in a terror attack, they'd better DAMNED well be prudent and accurate shots with level heads, combat shooting training and a very good sense of ballistics and penetration for the weapon/ammo they are using.

It's one thing to defend yourself at close range against an attack clearly aimed at you personally. Even in this case, many handgun owners run the risk of injuring or killing bystanders, especially if they don't train often and well for such a scenario or if they carry with full jacketed ammo. In most states such injuries or deaths would mean at the very least crippling civil lawsuit and quite likely criminal charges.

The potential for all of that goes way up in the confusion of a terror attack. So does an armed citizen's chance of being taken for a terrorist and shot by law enforcement, including undercover cops.

Not saying it can't be done or that being armed is useless. Many homegrown wannabe terrorists will be deterred if they think they stand a good chance of being shot before they can pull off their attack.

But what happened at Mumbai doesn't fit the amateur wannabe scenario. It fits the scenario John Robb wrote about back in 2007 in an article called The Coming Urban Terror in which he noted that cities are very vulnerable to multiple simultaneous disruptions by groups who use cell phones etc. to keep authorities off balance with a stream of dispersed attacks.

Not sure I'm entirely comfortable with your average handgun owner blazing away at real or suspected terrorists as attacks unfold in such a scenario. Might do good, but the potential for killing innocents, getting shot by authorities or mucking up the situation are significantly higher than zero.
Posted by: lotp || 02/15/2009 20:45 Comments || Top||

#19  I carry. And I hope to never need it. But if I do, I will revert to training. That means choosing the when to draw the weapon and shoot - then put as many shots as I need into the bad guy, until he quits moving. That many, and no more. And try to be aware of whats beyond my target to try to avoid collateral damage.

Its really that simple. You have to exercise SA, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet if things break the wrong way.
Posted by: OldSpook || 02/15/2009 21:05 Comments || Top||

#20  OS, I wish I had 1/10th of your training and experience in real situations of this sort. ;-)
Posted by: lotp || 02/15/2009 21:25 Comments || Top||

#21  Well, the training, anyway.
Posted by: lotp || 02/15/2009 21:28 Comments || Top||

#22  Throwing keys - nah .. but running them over with your SUV works fine.
Posted by: 3dc || 02/15/2009 21:57 Comments || Top||


Africa North
The Saharan Conundrum
Very, very long piece in the NYT about the Maghreb, the Sahara and Mauritania. Pro'ly more words in the article than people there. Lots of hand-wringing and calls for nuance. Usual NYT premise: non-whites aren't ready for democracy.
By NICHOLAS SCHMIDLE

IN THE MONTHS AFTER 9/11, American forces in Afghanistan bombed the Taliban and, in vain, hunted for Osama bin Laden, while in Washington counterterrorism experts worried about "the next Afghanistan," a safe haven where terrorists would train, test their weapons and organize attacks on the United States. These discussions produced a double-barreled national-security strategy that dominated President George W. Bush's tenure. The first element of the strategy was to identify and eliminate terrorist networks that already existed. The second was to prevent new networks from flourishing by promoting open, democratic societies that, the thinking went, would be less susceptible to Al Qaeda's message than closed ones. Hard and soft power would be brought to bear on all the potential Afghanistans, while Afghanistan itself would be kept from regressing.

The list of candidates for the next Afghanistan was long. Just about every Muslim-majority country, or even those with sizable Muslim minorities, was considered suspect. Intelligence analysts fixed their attention on remote islands and jungles in the Philippines and Indonesia and on the rugged mountains of Pakistan's tribal areas. Africa emerged as one of the greatest areas of concern, and the Sahel, a scrubby band of ungoverned terrain straddling Saharan and sub-Saharan Africa, proved especially troublesome. An Islamist government in Sudan was host to bin Laden for five years during the 1990s. In Algeria, an Islamist insurgency ultimately commanded by the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, better known by its French acronym, G.S.P.C., was entering its second bloody decade. And in Mauritania only 3.5 million people occupied an area the size of Texas and New Mexico combined, making it -- despite decades of oppressive military rule -- one of the least-controlled parts of the world.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Steve White || 02/15/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Let me solve it for you Mr SCHMIDLE.
The place is full of Muslims. Any place that's full of Muslims is on its way to Hell.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/15/2009 6:36 Comments || Top||

#2  Usual NYT premise: non-whites aren't ready for democracy.

I didn't think the NYT thought whites were particularly ready for democracy either other than the Peoples Democratic type where a ruling elite took care of things for the little people.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/15/2009 8:24 Comments || Top||


Britain
Pat Condell: Freedom Go To Hell, Indeed
Posted by: tipper || 02/15/2009 09:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Condell seems to be one of a VERY few Brits who have any cojones. Maybe his outrage at the spineless inheiritors of Churchill and Thatcher will wake up before the whole island is Muslim.
Posted by: WolfDog || 02/15/2009 11:17 Comments || Top||

#2  awesome, simply awesome. "spineless pussies" - two thumbs up.
Posted by: Unens McGurque aka Broadhead6 || 02/15/2009 12:26 Comments || Top||


Down Under
Green policy arsonists
Posted by: tipper || 02/15/2009 10:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The "Green Policy" idiots ignore the fact that the local flora evolved in response to frequent wildfires. Without fire, the trees, particularly, cannot sprout from seed. Granted, it's my understanding that the frequent wildfires were introduced by the aborigines upon their arrival on Australia as the easiest method to produce the widespread grasslands which their preferred prey needed to thrive, but the plants evolved to need that scenario nonetheless. Seriously, one would think the Greens had no consideration for the plants they claim to care so much about.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/15/2009 16:39 Comments || Top||

#2  tw, I have seen opinion that the aborigines merely took advantage of naturally occurring fires caused by lightning strikes. They may have enhanced the process by lighting more frequent fires of course but lightning alone might do it. Interesting to investigate and do some simulations. Should be amenable to proper analysis. No guarantee that the answer will be politically correct.
Posted by: Aussie Mike || 02/15/2009 19:00 Comments || Top||

#3  Sounds like the American Indians in North America : they used to set forest fires every few years to clear off the undergrowth. That is why there are all the historical accounts of the cathedral aspect of the Eastern forests - no clogging underbrush because it was burned off.
Posted by: Shieldwolf || 02/15/2009 23:24 Comments || Top||

#4  Aussie Mike, that's an interesting argument, and would make sense. You are closer to the situation than I -- does Australia get hit by lightening strikes often? I know that the American midwest and far west do; I saw an absolutely fascinating time-lapse photography thingy, taken from space over the course of one fire season (late spring through fall), and the fires just flowed in waves from west to east the entire time. Nonetheless, our Plains Indians periodically set fire to the Great Plains to encourage the growth of new grass to feed the bison which they hunted.

Shieldwolf, it never occurred to me to question why that was so, and I have spent a good deal more time than I liked getting rid of Chinese honeysuckle bushes and Japanese honeysuckle vines. Granted, those are invasive plants, not natives, but I see no reason why native plants would not behave similarly. Certainly poison ivy and Virginia creeper would quickly render a forest impassable given half a chance, even before bushy plants grew up to block easy movement along the ground. On the other hand, it's the vines and bushes that feed non-climbing wildlife, for the most part, not cathedral-like trees. It's clearly a good thing I needn't live by my wits and hunting skills!
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/15/2009 23:49 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
Darwin: An Unwelcome Guest
Posted by: tipper || 02/15/2009 10:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:



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Two weeks of WOT
Sun 2009-02-15
  Talibs: Pak will surrender in Swat
Sat 2009-02-14
  Suspected U.S. Missile Strike Zaps 27
Fri 2009-02-13
  Canadian Muslim sentenced for firebombing Jewish institutions
Thu 2009-02-12
  Pak arrests 'main operator' in Mumbai attacks
Wed 2009-02-11
  Taliban Attack Afghan Government Buildings, Killing 20
Tue 2009-02-10
  FBI woman sexually harassed me: 26/11 accused terrorist
Mon 2009-02-09
  Female Tamil Tiger bomber kills 28 after hiding among refugees
Sun 2009-02-08
  India wants Pak declared terrorist state
Sat 2009-02-07
  Russia allows transit of US military supplies
Fri 2009-02-06
  Islamabad High Court frees AQ Khan
Thu 2009-02-05
  Thirty dead in Pakistan blast: hospital
Wed 2009-02-04
  Bridge Attack Severs Afghan Supply Route
Tue 2009-02-03
  Somalia orders recapture of Baidoa
Mon 2009-02-02
  Bomber in police uniform kills 21 Afghan policemen
Sun 2009-02-01
  Sheikh Sharif elected as Somalia's president

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