Sunday, September 28, 2008

There is no problem murder can't solve

'Ms Kakar, who was reported to be in her early 40s and had six children, was one of the most high-profile women in the country.

She has figured prominently in the national and international media, partly due to a famous episode in which she killed three would-be assassins in a shoot-out - although she said her everyday life involved tackling theft, fights and murders.

Ms Kakar joined Kandahar's police force in 1982, after her father and brothers were also police officers.'

'...In June, another woman police officer was gunned down in Herat province in a killing believed to have been the first of its kind.'

I don't want to think like this, and I've resisted stoutly. But it does seem to me that for fundamentalist Islam, there is no problem murder can't solve. Koran forbids women working and doing man stuff? Murder any women who are presumptuous enough to ignore the Koran. I can't see any way that an accomodation can be made between them and us. I've tried, but I can't see it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A small exercise in Logic

'The Taliban, al Qaeda, and allied terrorist groups have established 157 training camps and more than 400 support locations in the tribal areas and the Northwest Frontier Province, US intelligence officials have told The Long War Journal.'

Add this:

'The Pakistani military said it had direct orders to "open fire" on any US forces attempting to violate Pakistan's borders.'

What can we deduce from this? The Pakistani government insists that every inch of the FATA/NWFP is part of Pakistan, and that it has soveriegn power over it. The FATA/NWFP is bulging with armies and terrorist groups attacking Afghanistan and planning attacks around the world. Ergo, persons under the protection of the Pakistani government are invading Afghanistan and planning terrorist ops, which makes the Pakistani government collectively responsible.

Question: what will it take to persuade the governments of Europe and North America to hold Pakistan properly accountable for its actions in Afghanistan, Kashmir and India?

For how long can Pakistan get away with this clumsy sleight of hand?

Share traders discovered trading shares shock

'The Archbishop of York has called share traders who cashed in on falling prices "bank robbers and asset strippers".'

You can't turn around these days without Archbishop Sentamu sounding off about something. I don't know how much he knows about money markets, but I'm guessing its less than me. Share traders cashing in on falling prices is called 'The Stock Market'. Its like accusing the guys at Smithfields of cutting up animals. You know, its what they do for a living. I really wish that the Archbishops of Britain were as active in their Christian prosyletizing as they are in patrolling the rest of this countries activities. If you are going to make stupid statements, at least let them fall in the area of your specific competence.

I realise that brings my specific competence into question- but I'm not willing to give up my soap box that easily.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

And you are going to do what about that?

'Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has said he will not allow Pakistan's territory to be violated by terrorists or foreign powers fighting them.

The newly elected president vowed instead to "root out terrorism and extremism wherever and whenever they may rear their ugly heads".'

But can he turn those fine words into stirring deeds?

If he can, he will be the first person in history to do so. The North West Frontier province has never really belonged to anybodies country- just to itself. In fact even that is not really accurate. Every inch of the North West Frontier province is the fiefdom of some tribe or other, perhaps a family even. It is an enormous patchwork of tiny fiefdoms, and to claim sovereignty to that patchwork is largely an empty exercise in self-aggrandizement. Occasionally the mountain tribes agreed to not annoy and attack the lowland folk, but they certainly never accepted the existence of purely theoretical things like 'Pakistan' and 'Afghanistan'.

For Mr 10 Percent to claim that the people in the mountains are as Pakistani as the folk in Islamabad is laughable. They won't oblige him. He is creating for himself a monumental hostage to fortune. Pakistan has quite a large army, but nothing like large enough to pacify the whole NWFP by force. I don't think the US army is that big. Of course, Mr 10 Percent is so macho that it must be physically painful to admit that he is in a no-win situation in NWFP. The guys in the hills are well enough armed to make a Pakistani army takeover a pipe dream, and if the Pakistanis don't take the matter in hand the US military will do the job for him, at least to the extent of nullifying the cross border capabilities.

Both will make him look like a big wussy. But hey, guy, thats the job you took! Bet it doesn't look like such a fab dealio now huh?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

She's got into ma subconscious!

Is he talking about Sarah Palin?

Only if you have a mind to think so. Doesn't sound it like me. But then I just read this, and I think Barack has been dreaming about Ms Palin...

Do they REALLY want Obama to win? [Hat Tip:Instapundit]

'US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama may be struggling to nudge ahead of his Republican rival in polls at home, but people across the world want him in the White House, a BBC poll said.

All 22 countries covered in the poll would prefer to see Senator Obama elected US president ahead of Republican John McCain.'

I imagine its true in most US presidential elections- people in many countries outside the US form a view about who they want to see in the White House. But it is unique in my experience that a candidate get this kind of lopsided support. Lets face it, if the world voted, McCain wouldn't lose- he'd be utterly wiped out. And whats funny is, many of the countries in Europe and round the world slathering over Mr Obama would NEVER elect a black man. Or a gypsy. Or a Turk. Or a Pakistani. Or a Chinaman. Or a Moroccan.

So why exactly do they like Mr Obama? Would Mr Obama win a German election? Would he win in Italy, or France, or Spain? Honest commentators would say no, resoundingly. So why do they want Mr Obama to win an American election so much? Perhaps in their secret dead-of-night fantasies, they believe Mr Obama might turn America into a European nation- Godless, spineless, military-less, childless, 'inclusive', gay-loving, selfish, hedonistic and nihilistic. Maybe they think he can dictate all those things to America, and they have to do it because he's the President.

I really don't think they've thought through the whole Barack Obama thing. If America elects him, whither the argument that the US is the most racist nation in the world, where blacks have no chance against the entrenched white oligarchy? Whither the argument that rednecks rule the roost, and only cowboy Texans get to be the big shot in the White House? Whither the argument that a lefty liberal would never get near the hot seat? Be careful what you wish for, people.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Even if we're in charge, we're not in charge

'With that in mind, here's the New York Times on McCain:

The nominee’s friend described him as a "restless reformer who will clean up Washington." His defeated rival described him going to the capital to "drain that swamp."” His running mate described their mission as "change, the goal we share." And that was at the incumbent party’s convention.

After watching two political conclaves the last two weeks, it would be easy to be confused about which was really the gathering of the opposition. As Senator John McCain accepted the Republican nomination for president, he and his supporters sounded the call of insurgents seeking to topple the establishment, even though their party heads the establishment.

You would think that the author would at least mention somewhere in this article that the Democrats control both houses of Congress. You would be wrong.'

Apart from the easy answer to this conundrum, that the New York Times is just lying to make it easier for the Democratic ticket to win in November, I think there's a more subtle and vastly more far-reaching process at work. And that is the absolute necessity for the left to always be the 'outsiders', the 'opposition', 'speaking truth to power' from a position of virtuous weakness, the plucky little guy duking it out with 'The Man', the victim against the big White bully. Their ideology and their psychology intersect at this point.

For the baby-boomers who never wanted to cut the umbilical, who got everything given to them on a plate, who were born into plenty and luxury and good health and a bouncy economy and universally accessible education; it was just natural that they never wanted to vacate the world view of the pampered teenager. Mum and dad aren't just the source of all the goodies, they are also the representatives of the 'The Man'. They are the voice of authority, whilst the boomers are the spoilt brats who don't want to be ordered around by mum and dad any more. The Republicans are mum and dad; the Democrats are the spoilt brats. So OF COURSE, even if the Democrats control two out of the three branches of government, the Supreme court and Congress, they ARE STILL the outsiders, the plucky little guy, the victims. The Republicans, who only control the executive branch, are actually all-powerful and oppressive.

Somewhere, I believe most Americans fundamentally understand this. They couldn't articulate it, but they FEEL it. They listen to the snivelling whining of the Dems and they think 'but you are in charge, Ms Pelosi!. the reins of power are in your hands, do something with them'. But as I have pointed out many times, self-declared victimhood comes at a price- it paralyses and disables and removes the capability to exercise your own God-given power. Which is where the Dems have arrived. What have they done since arriving in Washington a couple of years ago? Absolutely nothing of consequence. They didn't even cut the funding for 'Bushs war' as they promised their nutroots.

Which is why the Democrat congress has the lowest ratings a congress has EVER had. But who castrated them? They did that to themselves.

Oh my God, are you are man Obama?

'“I think that the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated,” Obama said while refusing to retract his initial opposition to the surge. “I’ve already said it’s succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.”

However, he added, the country has not had enough “political reconciliation” and Iraqis still have not taken responsibility for their country.' [Hat Tip: Instapundit]

What utterly pathetic words. What kind of people would hear those words and not find them dissembling and mean and intellectually dishonest?

As Glenn Reynolds points out over at Instapundit, 'I think it succeeded in ways that John McCain anticipated. And General Petraeus' and he could have added George W Bush. The latter, after all, was the guy who could actually MAKE the surge happen; And fought tooth and nail against resistance from both in-country military brass and Pentagon brass to get his way on it. We here at Merry Warriors also predicted it would work. But then the common thread between McCain, Petraeus, President Bush and myself (apart from our debonair good looks obviously) is that we were all basing our judgement of the potential of the surge on a wide base of factual evidence, the latest information coming in from the soldiers on the ground, and at least a functional knowledge of how military operations work.

None of those three are present in Barry Obama. I get the distinct impression that lefties quietly abhor the military, spend as little time with members of the forces as possible, and consider studying military matters on a par with interfering sexually with children. So they just don't get anywhere near any of that stuff. But arguably, taking care of the common defense is the MOST important job of the President of the United States. Its not optional. You can't just wander in on the first day and try to get up to speed. Obama shows about the same understanding of military matters, and the United States role in the world as all the other lefty law professors- virtually nil. Remember, these are the guys who grew up singing 'I ain't gonna study war no more'...

So Obama scores very low on his military knowledge, but even lower on his personal integrity. Why not just say, I didn't have the faintest idea whether the surge would work or not, but everybody in my party hated it, so I just followed along. I said some completely unfair and stupid things to David Petraeus, which I now humbly ask his forgiveness for, and accept that I have a massive mountain of things to learn about the military before I sound off about it again.

Had he said anything even vaguely approximating that, I'd consider Senator Obama a real stand up man.

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Palin Conversation

'There have been significant changes in perception of John McCain in the two days of polling since he named Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Since then, 49% of Republicans voice a Very Favorable opinion of McCain. That’s up six percentage points from 43% just before the announcement. Also, 64% of unaffiliated voters now give positive reviews to McCain, up ten points since naming his running mate. ' [Hat Tip: Instapundit]

In a Democracy, the most important question is, what do the people think? Much less interesting is, what do the pundits and Washington insiders think. I suspect there will be a hefty split between the former and the latter on Sarah Palin the whole run-in to the general. I am amazed at how ambivalent and often outright hostile conservative bloggers and pundits are being about Palin. They seem to be viewing her through the tiny and circumscribed lens of her CV- not addressing her in toto. The whole conversation about her seems to have got off to a bizarre start. Once you have heard the woman speak, and get a feel for what kind of individual she is, it is difficult to remember that her CV is relatively light. She is highly formidable. In four years time, it will be surprising if she doesn't get the Republican nomination in her own right. Thats the calibre of individual I believe she is.

Most of the punditry about her seems to miss the point- will the people vote for her? I absolutely believe they will. She comes across as somebody whose feet are firmly planted in day-to-day American life. Perhaps not the life of the eastern seaboard elite and the academic lefty brain-trusts, but the life of the great mass of American working folk. She is exactly what Obama isn't- one of us, rather than one of them. I could be wrong, I have been before, but I don't think I am.