RANGER AGAINST WAR: Everybody Knows <

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Everybody Knows

--Pour féliciter 2016  
Marian Kemnsky (Slovakia)

If you make people think they're thinking,
they'll love you,
but if you really make them think,
they'll hate you
--Don Marquis

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich 
--Everybody Knows,
Leonard Cohen

If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing
--Look on the Bright Side of Life,
Monty Python

Whether mass murders are committed by criminals, crazies or crusaders, all activities that can be conducted by terrorists can be predicted and countered; they all throw off indicators. Adequate Human Intelligence (HUMINT) should be keen to these tells, and it seems they are by the speed with which suspects are identified.

The above descriptive categories are not necessarily discrete and do not negate the humanity of the perpetrator, who has merely amplified his innate human qualities and tendencies to pathological levels. They are simply helpful labels to distinguish a potential "them" from an "us".

And yet, though the pathology and criminality can be predicted, detected and monitored, this failed to occur in Boston, Aurora, Newtown, Ft. Hood, University of West Virginia, San Bernadino or any of the other recent spree shootings that occur with sickening regularity. Why?

Why do our authorities not develop a protocol for response, as though each incident is de novo? We are no longer shocked -- only in the disingenuous sense of Casablanca's Captain Renault. What is shocking is our response to these hideous events.

Why didn’t the police barricade and contain the final scenario? Why no effort to capture the killers? If this was an example of terrorism, then capturing the suspects should have been a primary goal, as live intelligence sources are of vital importance.

Why are the identities of attackers with a tie-in to extremist Islam instantly released, yet they were not on anyone’s radar prior to the attacks? Suggestions of police racial profiling are avoided at all costs, yet immediately following these much-too-many attacks, racial profiling is the order of the day. If we know who the murderers are, why do we close the barn door after the horse is out?

Beyond this event, we should be mindful of what our responses hath wrought. Last year the U.S. movie-going public rose in admiration of Clint Eastwood's Hollywood fairy tale, "American Sniper", but to the people on the other side of the fence, neither he nor the country he represents are heroic. In fact, the response to such "heroism" has created the void into which Islamic State was birthed.

James Meek had a good piece recently on the bombing of Syria, in which he outlines the obvious, inevitable failures. As in all recent bombing campaigns, "[First] bombing, then ISIS franchise."

Bombing fails because it is reminiscent of any colonial approach:

"The country is present, but doesn’t have a voice. ... [A]ir attacks on Syria, before they are an attack on Islamic State, are an attack on Syria, a foreign country, whose citizens have no say in our affairs, and which has not attacked us, or our allies."


It doesn’t make sense for Cameron to argue that air attacks on Raqqa will help prevent IS attacks on London, when the recent attacks in Paris happened 14 months into an intensive series of air raids on and around IS-held areas, led by the world’s leading military power, which has spared no airborne military resources or technology to try to wipe IS from the earth. Russia’s recent experience, losing a passenger jet to an explosive device soon after it began bombing Syria, seems to confirm the intuitive assumption that bombing is more likely to provoke terrorism than to thwart it.
We have been here before, with al-Qaida and then with the Taliban: Western governments have mistaken a super-decentralised network, somewhere between a franchise and an ethos, for an agency with a postal address. The attacks in Paris certainly had IS links – some of the attackers had been to Syria or tried to get there – but most, if not all, were French or Belgian, who sought out IS because they had been radicalised at home, and who did most of their killing with Kalashnikovs from the former Yugoslavia.

It is useful for an IS aspirant to have a Raqqa to go to for training, for battle experience, for validation by a set of jihadi peers. But for a mobile terrorist franchise like IS or al-Qaida, Raqqa is a concept, not a place. Once Osama bin Laden’s Raqqa was in Sudan. Then it was in southern Afghanistan. It could be in Pakistan, in Somalia, in Yemen, in northern Nigeria, in the Russian Caucasus, or all these places at once.

On the bright side, San Bernadino does show that gun control laws are working, as the shooters had to obtain their weapons via an intermediary (a "straw purchase", which is a federal crime.)

The San Bernadino attack forefronts the fact that Islamic State lacks the ability to attack hard targets in the U.S., even when the attackers are willing to die during the execution phase, thus emphasizing their minimal and haphazard capabilities.

[cross-posted @ milpub.]

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


Blogger Nasreen Iqbal said...

Those Leonard Cohen lyrics are some of the truest words ever written.

It seems like we're doing all the wrong things in the Middle East, but we're going to keep doing them.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at 9:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never served my country. The banners displayed next to my blog would read like road signs on a highway to Vegas. I can't decide if that makes me completely irrelevant or exactly the opposite. Perhaps you have your own ideas. :).

I dig Lenard Cohen. He has a voice that can barely hold a tune yet touches something in the soul that we can't put words to but feel only in the math of music. It's pain or maybe regret. It's almost Russian. ISIL, ISIS, whatever you wanna call them when tactically dissected by a professional may have "minimal haphazard capabilities" but they provide a cloud. A weather system of sorts. And we all know that "Climate change is the most dangerous enemy we face as a Nation". Or so I keep hearing. Maybe this is what they mean. There is a tie between mental illness, pathological behavior, and now an ethos to embrace providing social acceptance for depravity that is drawing moths to the flame. Regardless of tactical bumbling, the sealing off of avenues of egress, or lack of marksmanship, ISIL is more dangerous as a tool to help dismantle the American Experiment, used by a mechanic on the inside.

As far as the circle goes I am born on the wheel when it spins under my ass. The future's in the future. The past is the past. Our enemies both foreign and domestic I fear have joined forces. And you thought the lines were weird in Vietnam? I fear I am surrounded. While the Super Bowl is played and Star Wars premiers I am pick pocketed and marked for murder. But when a man whatever else he is is not a sheep he knows when he is being treated as such and prepared for the round up and the hair on his neck stands up and his head's on a swivel. But then again... what the hell do I know? I can barely remember the Chelsea Hotel anymore.

- Ducati

Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 4:26:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

i don't like the concept of enemy. all who oppose our policies are not necessarily enemies.
an enemy is 1 that needs to be killed.
i'd rather we had leaders that can make a distinction between enemies and adversaries.
we can't kill every body, or even throw them into prison.
jim hruska

Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 2:37:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps... But something is rotten in Denmark


Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 11:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Cholo Azul said...

"Why didn’t the police barricade and contain the final scenario? Why no effort to capture the killers? If this was an example of terrorism, then capturing the suspects should have been a primary goal, as live intelligence sources are of vital importance."

I expect that a significant number of such individuals are intent on their own death being splashed across the headlines --- for one reason or another.
The policies in force today tend to assist that goal.

I would like to see the media deprived of that particular meal ticket as many times as possible.

Not sure that the politicians are ready to decree a change though.

Friday, February 5, 2016 at 10:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim & Lisa.

This may make you spit some of your coffee over the keyboard:


Friday, February 19, 2016 at 11:52:00 PM GMT-5  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home