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30401  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: October 01, 2003, 12:51:10 PM

Inside the Islamic Mafia
Bernard-Henri L?vy exposes Daniel Pearl's killers.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Thursday, September 25, 2003, at 10:18 AM PT

I remember laughing out loud, in what was admittedly a mirthless fashion, when Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, one of Osama Bin Laden's most heavy-duty deputies, was arrested in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Straining to think of an apt comparison, I fail badly. But what if, say, the Unabomber had been found hiding out in the environs of West Point or Fort Bragg? Rawalpindi is to the Pakistani military elite what Sandhurst is to the British, or St Cyr used to be to the French. It's not some boiling slum: It's the manicured and well-patrolled suburb of the officer class, very handy for the capital city of Islamabad if you want to mount a coup, and the site of Flashman's Hotel if you are one of those who enjoys the incomparable imperial adventure-stories of George MacDonald Fraser. Who, seeking to evade capture, would find a safe house in such a citadel?

Yet, in the general relief at the arrest of this outstanding thug, that aspect of the matter drew insufficient attention. Many words of praise were uttered, in official American circles, for the exemplary cooperation displayed by our gallant Pakistani allies. But what else do these allies have to trade, except al-Qaida and Taliban suspects, in return for the enormous stipend they receive from the U.S. treasury? Could it be that, every now and then, a small trade is made in order to keep the larger trade going?

One hesitates to utter thoughts like these, but they recur continually as one reads Bernard-Henri L?vy's latest book: Who Killed Daniel Pearl? Everybody remembers-don't they?- the ghastly video put out on the Web by Pearl's kidnappers and torturers. It's the only live-action footage we possess of the ritual slaughter of a Jew, preceded for effect by his coerced confession of his Jewishness. Pearl was lured into a trap by the promise of a meeting with a senior religious demagogue, who might or might not have shed light on the life of the notorious "shoe-bomber," because of whom millions of us must take off our footwear at American airports every day, as if performing the pieties required for entering a mosque.

What a sick joke all this is, if you study L?vy's book with care. If you ever suspected that the Pakistani ISI (or Interservices Intelligence) was in a shady relationship with the Taliban and al-Qaida forces, this book materializes the suspicion and makes the very strong suggestion that Pearl was murdered because he was doing his job too well, not because he was a naive idealist who got into the wrong car at the wrong time. His inquiries had at least the potential for exposing the Pakistani collusion and double-dealing with jihad forces, in much the same pattern the Saudi Arabian authorities have been shown to follow?by keeping two sets of books, in other words, and by exhibiting only one set to Americans.

Like a number of those who take a moral stand on this, Bernard-Henri L?vy was a strong defender of Bosnia's right to exist, at a time when that right was being menaced directly by Serbian and Croatian fascists. It was a simplification to say that Bosnia was "Muslim," but it would also have been a simplification to say that the Bosnians were not Muslims. The best resolution of this paradox was to assert that Bosnia-Herzegovina stood for ethnic and cultural pluralism, and to say that one could defend Islam from persecution while upholding some other important values at the same time. I agree with M. L?vy that it was a disgrace at the time, and a tragedy in retrospect, that so few Western governments took this opportunity.

But now we hear, from those who were indifferent to that massacre of Muslims, or who still protest the measures that were taken to stop the massacre, that it is above all necessary for the West to be aware of Islamic susceptibilities. This plea is not made on behalf of the pluralistic citizens of Sarajevo, but in mitigation of Hamas and Hezbollah and Saddam Hussein. One of the many pleasures of L?vy's book is the care he takes to show the utter cynicism of the godfathers of all this. He quotes by name a Saudi lawyer who specializes in financial transactions:

"Islamism is a business," he explains to me with a big smile. "I don't say that because it's my job, or because I see proof of it in my office ten times a day, but because it's a fact. People hide behind Islamism. They use it like a screen saying 'Allah Akbar! Allah Akbar!' But we know that here. We see the deals and the movements behind the curtain. In one way or another, it all passes through our hands. We do the paperwork. We write the contracts. And I can tell you that most of them couldn't care less about Allah. They enter Islamism because it's nothing other than a source of power and wealth, especially in Pakistan. ? Take the young ones in the madrassas. They see the high rollers in their SUVs having five wives and sending their children to good schools, much better than the madrassas. They have your Pearl's killer, Omar Sheikh, right in front of their eyes. When he gets out of the Indian prisons and returns to Lahore, what do the neighbors see? He's very well-dressed. He has a Land Cruiser. He gets married and the city's big-shots come to his wedding."

Everything we know about al-Qaida's operations, as of those of Saddam Hussein, suggests that they combine the culture of a crime family or cartel with the worst habits of a bent multinational corporation. Yet the purist critics of "globalization" tend to assume that the spiritual or nationalistic claims of such forces still deserve to be taken at their own valuation, lest Western "insensitivity" be allowed to triumph.

And this in turn suggests another latent connection, which L?vy does not stress at all though he does dwell upon one of its obvious symptoms. The most toxic and devotional rhetoric of these Islamic gangsters is anti-Semitism. And what does anti-Semitism traditionally emphasize? Why, the moving of secret money between covert elites in order to achieve world domination! The crazed maps of future Muslim conquest that are pictured by the propaganda of jihad and that show the whole world falling to future Muslim conquest are drawn in shady finance-houses and hideaways of stolen gold and portable currency, in the capital cities of paranoid states, and are if anything emulations of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion rather than negations of them. L?vy's reformulation of an old term?"neo-anti-Judaism" instead of the worn-out phrase "anti-Semitism"--is harder on the tongue but more accurate as regards the corrupt and vicious foe with which we are actually dealing. His book was finished before it became clear that the "resistance" in Iraq was also being financed by an extensive mafia, which offers different bonuses for different kamikaze tactics, as it was already doing in Palestine and Kashmir.

In a recent conversation, M. L?vy said to me carefully that he doubts the conventional wisdom of the Western liberal, who believes that a settlement in Palestine will remove the inflammation that produces jihad. A settlement in Palestine would be a good thing in itself, to be sure. But those who believe in its generally healing power, he said, have not been following events in Kashmir. Indeed, it is from the Pakistani-Saudi periphery that the core challenge comes. I don't think that anyone who follows L?vy's inquiry into corruption and fanaticism, and the intimate bond between them, will ever listen patiently to any facile argument again.
30402  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: October 01, 2003, 08:59:35 AM
A friend writes:


The war IS against the radical islamists. Unfortunately, this radical islamic "nation" will not be pacified by pacifying Iraq alone (which we may or may not accomplish in either the short or long term). This radical islamic "nation", as I believe Dr. Friedman et al have pointed out earlier in Stratfor briefings, stirs across nation-state boundaries, and not just in islamic countries, but wherever muslims live, i.e. in every country.

This war is against those governments that use Islamist groups as a deniable front to foment unrest and instability in order to carry out their own hegemonic and/or monetary aims.  Iran, Iraq and Syria have long sought to dominate the Middle East.  All of them used and still use Islamist groups as a fifth column to fight their wars.  Ba'athism is nothing more than socialist pan-Arabism.  The Iranian mullahs seek Shi'a dominance through their version of the caliphate.  Elements of the Saudi royal family seek to buy Wahabbism into dominance.

Al Qaida could not have existed without support from various governments.  From 1991 - 1996, it received sanctuary in Sudan.  From 1996-2001, Afghanistan gave it sanctuary.  From 1991-2003, it received assistance (monetary and otherwise) from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and the PLO.  Indirectly, it received assistance from Pakistan through the Taliban and Saudi Arabia through its funding of Wahabbi madrassas and charities.

By viewing Islamists as an independent grassroots movement, the US permitted its influence to grow throughout the Islamic world.  Now, terror has influence in Southeast Asia because these government sponsored groups from the Middle East have linked up with indigenous Muslim rebels in places like the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.  Since 1967, every major terror episode comning from the Islamic world - especially the Middle East - occurs because of government support.  Initially, the USSR was the source of that support.  Later, the former allies of the USSR, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, pre-Sadat Egypt, post Shah Iran, North Korea, Sudan all provided money and training to everyone from Abu Nidal to Usama bin Laden.

After 9-11, the US and its allies have reversed course.  They have recognized that without the assistance of governments, these terror groups cannot flourish.  Thus, the overthrow of Saddam is brilliant.  Geopolitically, it cuts the old silk road in half.  It isolates Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia with one stroke.

Ba'athist Iraq was a major supporter of al Qaida, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.  Why do you think that these groups have become much more openly vitriolic?  Their sugar daddy is on the run and his two sons are dead.  Nevertheless, these groups and a lot more permutations of them still have sufficient remaining resources to do damage for several years.  And their penchant for patience and secrecy should not allow us to relax our guard.

The reason that pacifying Iraq alone will not pacify the "Islamic nation" is because Iran, Syria and other disrupters still exist.  When we succeed in Iraq, their days will be numbered.
30403  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: September 30, 2003, 10:27:07 AM
Please feel free to send the Stratfor Weekly to a friend
or colleague.

29 September 2003
by Dr. George Friedman

The Unpredictability of War and Force Structure


In the United States' open-ended war against al Qaeda and
militant Islam, two factors are driving up requirements for the
size of the U.S. military. One is the unpredictability
surrounding the number of theaters in which this war will be
waged in the next two years, and the second is the type of
warfare in which the United States is compelled to engage, which
can swallow up huge numbers of troops in defensive operations.
However, for several reasons, U.S. defense personnel policies
have not yet adjusted to this reality.


Prior to the beginning of the Iraq campaign, U.S. Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was asked how long the war would last.
His response was both wise and true: He said that he didn't know,
because the enemy got to vote. Much of the discussion about the
length, cost and requirements of U.S. military operations in Iraq
should be answered the same way -- there is no answer because the
other side gets to vote. The Iraqi command decided to abandon
conventional warfare and shift to guerrilla warfare. It is as
unreasonable to ask how long this will last and how much it will
cost as it would have been to ask Abraham Lincoln in 1862 when
the Civil War would end and how much it would cost. It is an
unanswerable question.

War is extremely predictable, with 20-20 hindsight. It is easy to
say now that the Soviets would defeat the Germans in World War
II. All of us know now that the North Vietnamese had the
advantage in Vietnam. We all know now that the Normandy invasion
would work. That's the easy part of military analysis; predicting
the future is the hard part. It is possible to glimpse the
outlines of the general forces that are engaged and to measure
their relative strength, but the finer the granularity sought,
the harder prediction is. The only certainty to be found is that
all wars end eventually, and that the war you are fighting is
only occasionally the war you expected to fight.

No one, therefore, knows the course of the U.S.-militant Islamist
war. The CIA has produced no secret papers nor uncovered any
hidden plans in the caves of Afghanistan that reveal the truth.
War is about the difference between plans and events: Nothing
goes according to plan, partly because of unexpected failures
among the planners and partly because the enemy gets a vote. Carl
von Clausewitz, the father of modern military theory, had a word
for that: friction. The friction of war creates an ever-widening
gap between plans and reality.

That means that the first and most important principle of
military planning is to plan for the worst. No general was ever
condemned for winning a war with too many troops. Many generals -
- and political leaders -- are reviled for not using enough
troops. Sometimes the manpower is simply not available;
demographics limit the number of troops available. But the lowest
ring of the military inferno must be reserved for leaders who
take a nation to war, having access to massive force but choosing
to mobilize the least numbers they think they can get by with,
rather than leaving a healthy -- even unreasonable -- margin to
make up for the friction of war. Calibrating force to expected
requirements is almost always going to lead to disaster, because
as we all know, everything comes in late and over-budget.

Washington is engaged with the question of what constitutes
sufficient force structure. As one might imagine, the debate cuts
to the heart of everything the United States is doing; the
availability of force will determine the success or failure of
its war. And here, it appears to us, the administration has
chosen a radical course -- one of maintaining a narrow margin of
error on force structure, based on plans that do not necessarily
take into account that al Qaeda gets to vote.

Last week, while speaking at the National Defense University,
Rumsfeld repeated his conviction that the United States had
deployed sufficient force in Iraq and that with additional
deployments it would be able to contain the situation there. Last
week, U.S. officials announced the mobilization of additional
reserve and National Guard units for 18 months of duty.

The reality is this: The United States went to war on Sept. 11,
2001, and since that date, it has not increased the aggregate
size of its armed forces in any strategically significant way. It
has raised the effectively available force by reaching into its
reserve and National Guard units. That short-term solution has
served well for the first two years of the war. However,
deployment requirements tend to increase over the course of a
war, so the needs in the first year were relatively light and
increased progressively as additional theaters of operation were

The problem with this structure of forces is simple. People can
choose to leave the military and its reserve and National Guard
components -- and they will. Following extensive deployments, or
anticipating such deployments, many will leave the active force
as their terms expire or leave the reserve components when they
can. In order to replace these forces, the pipeline should be
full of recruits. This is not World War II. The requirements for
all specialties, including combat arms, will not be filled by
basic training and a quick advanced course. Even in the simplest
specialties, it will take nearly a year to develop the required
expertise -- not just to be deployed, but to be deployed and
effective. For more complex specialties, the timeline lengthens.

U.S. leaders appear to be giving some attention to maintaining
the force at its current size, although we think the expectations
on retention in all components are optimistic. But even if they
are dead on, the loss of personnel will be most devastating among
field-grade officers and senior noncommissioned officers -- who
form the backbone of the military. These are men and women in
their 30s and 40s who have families and mortgages -- none of
which might survive the stress of a manpower plan designed in a
way that imposes maximum unpredictability and disruption on
mature lives. The net result is that the military might keep its
current size but become thin-waisted: lots of young people, lots
of gray hair, not nearly enough in between.

The problem, however, is that keeping the force stable is not
enough by a long shot. The United States is involved in two
significant conflicts, in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also
operating in smaller deployments throughout and on the periphery
of the Islamic world. Added to this are immediate and potential
requirements for homeland security, should al Qaeda strike again,
as the U.S. government consistently predicts is likely. When
these requirements are added up and compared to the kind of force
planning and expectations that were being discussed prior to
Sept. 11, it is obvious that the U.S. force is at its limit, even
assuming that the complexities of reserve units weren't added to
the mix.

The strategic problem is that there is absolutely no reason to
believe that the demands on the current force represent the
maximum. The force level is decided by the administration; the
force requirement is decided by a committee composed of senior
Pentagon officials, Congress and al Qaeda. And on this committee,
al Qaeda has the decisive vote.

Al Qaeda's strategy is to expand the conflict as broadly as
possible. It wants to disperse U.S. forces, but it also wants
U.S. forces to intrude as deeply into the Islamic world as
possible in order to trigger an uprising not only against the
United States, but also against governments allied with the
United States. There is a simple-minded answer to this, which is
to refuse to intervene. The flaw in that answer is that it would
serve al Qaeda's purpose just as well, by proving that the United
States is weak and vulnerable. Intervention carries the same cost
as non-intervention, but with the upside that it might produce

Therefore, the United States cannot easily decline combat when it
is offered. Al Qaeda intends to offer as much combat as possible.
From the Philippines to Morocco, from central Asia to central
Africa, the scope -- if not the tempo -- of operations remains in
al Qaeda's hands. Should Indonesia blow sky high or Egypt
destabilize, both of which are obviously among al Qaeda's hopes,
U.S. forces will be required to respond.

There is another aspect to this. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the
United States is engaged in guerrilla wars. The force required to
combat a guerrilla army is not determined by the size of the
guerrilla forces, but rather by defensive requirements. A very
small guerrilla force can menace a large number of targets, even
if it cannot hit them all. Those targets must be protected for
military or political reasons. Pacification cannot take place
when the population is exposed to guerrilla forces at the will of
the guerrillas. A narrow defensive posture, as has been adopted
in Afghanistan, cedes pacification. In Iraq, where ceding
pacification is not a political option, the size of the force is
determined not by the enemy's force, but by the target set that
must be protected.

Two factors, therefore, are driving up requirements for the size
of the U.S. armed forces. First, no one can define the number of
theaters in which the United States will be deployed over the
next two years. Second, the type of warfare in which the United
States is compelled to engage after the initial assault is
carried out is a force hog: It can swallow up huge numbers of
troops in duties that are both necessary and parasitic -- such as
patrolling 15 bridges, none of which might ever be attacked
during the war, but all of which must be defended.

Rumsfeld's reassurances that there are enough forces in Iraq miss
the key question: Are there enough troops available and in the
pipeline to deal with unexpected events in two years? Iraq might
be under control by then, or it might not. Rumsfeld doesn't know
that, Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi doesn't, Osama
bin Laden doesn't. No one knows whether that is true. Nor does
anyone know whether the United States will be engaged in three or
four other theaters of operations by that time. It is certainly
al Qaeda's intention to make that happen, and so far al Qaeda's
record in drawing the United States into difficult situations
should not be discounted.

The problem is that on the one hand, the Defense Department is in
the process of running off critically needed troops with
unpredictable and spasmodic call-ups. Second, the number of men
and women in the training pipeline has not taken a quantum leap
forward in the course of the war. The United States is engaged in
a global war, but its personnel policies have not adjusted to
that reality. This is the first major war in American history
that has not included a large expansion of the armed forces.

There are a number of reasons for this. At the beginning of the
war, the administration envisioned it as a primarily covert war
involving special forces and some air power. Officials did not
see this war as a division-level conflict. They were wrong. They
did not count on their enemy's ability to resort to effective
guerrilla warfare. They did not expect the old manpower hog to
raise its ugly head. In general, Rumsfeld believed that
technology could substitute for manpower, and that large
conventional formations were not necessary. He was right in every
case but one: large-scale guerrilla warfare. Or more precisely,
the one thing the United States didn't want to be involved in is
the one thing the enemy dealt up. When you think about it, that
makes sense.

The assumption on which this war began was that there was ample
U.S. force structure for the requirements. At this point, that is
true only if one assumes there are no further surprises pending.
Since this war has been all about surprises, any force structure
built on that assumption is completely irresponsible.

We suspect that Rumsfeld and his people are aware of this issue.
The problem is that the Bush administration is in an election
year, and increasing the force by 50 percent or doubling it is
not something officials want to do now. It cannot be done by
conscription. Not only are the mechanisms for large-scale
conscriptions missing, but a conscript army is the last thing
needed: The U.S. military requires a level of technical
proficiency and commitment that draftees don't bring to bear.

To keep the force at its current size, Congress must allocate a
large amount of money for personnel retention. A father of three
with a mortgage payment based on his civilian income cannot live
on military pay. Military pay must not be permitted to rise; it
must be forced to soar. This is not only to retain the current
force size but to increase it. In addition to bringing in raw
recruits and training them, this also means, as in World War II,
bringing back trained personnel who have left the service and --
something the military will gag over -- bringing in trained
professionals from outside, directly into the chain of command
and not just as civilian employees.

Thinking out of the box is something Washington always talks
about but usually does by putting a box of corn flakes on top of
their heads. That's all right in peacetime -- but this is war,
and war is a matter of life and death. In the end, this is the
problem: While American men and women fight and die on foreign
land, the Pentagon's personnel officers are acting like this is
peacetime. The fault lies with a series of unexpected events and
Rumsfeld's tendency to behave as if nothing comes as a surprise.

The defense secretary needs to understand that in war, being
surprised is not a failure -- it is the natural commission. The
measure of a good command is not that one anticipates everything,
but that one quickly adjusts and responds to the unexpected. No
one expected this type of guerrilla war in Iraq, although perhaps
in retrospect, everyone should have. But it is here, and next
year will bring even more surprises. The Army speaks of "A Force
of One." We prefer "The Force Ready for the Unexpected." The
current U.S. force is not.

Geopolitical Diary: Monday, Sept. 29, 2003

One of the delights of our business is that we get to see surrealism without having to visit an art museum. Sometimes it's as if Salvador Dali painted a canvas just for us. It seemed that way today, when both U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice went on the Sunday news shows to reassert that the United States did have solid intelligence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Here's what happened. Members -- one Republican, one Democrat -- of a
congressional intelligence oversight committee went public with this claim
about the Bush administration's intelligence on Iraq's WMD: "The assessment that Iraq continued to pursue chemical and biological weapons remained constant and static over the past 10 years." Put simply, the intelligence community had arrived at a conclusion and didn't re-examine it.

Rice countered the congressmen by saying, " was very clear that this
(WMD development) continued and it was a gathering danger. Yes, I think I ould call it new information and it was certainly enriching the case in the same direction." Powell weighed in with, "There was every reason to believe -- and I still believe -- that there were weapons of mass
detruction and weapons programs to develop weapons of mass destruction." A CIA spokesman said, "The notion that our community does not challenge standing judgments is absurd."

What we have is this. Two congressmen have charged that the Bush
administration was wrong on Iraq's WMD program because it did not re-examine the intelligence. The administration and the CIA are deeply insulted. Their position is that they continually gathered the best intelligence that they could, and that this is the reason they were wrong. The great debate here is not whether the administration was wrong, but whether they were wrong because they either failed to challenge their old assumptions -- or the fresh intelligence they gathered was inaccurate.

This is not a trivial question. Understanding the origins of intelligence
failure is something every intelligence organization, including Stratfor,
has to do. It matters whether the failure was one of analysis, rooted in the Directorate of Intelligence, or of collection, rooted in the Directorate of Operations. If the White House overrode the intelligence, that matters even more. These things need to be understood. But the indignation with which the State Department, the National Security Council and the CIA are responding to congressional charges misses the point: Someone clearly screwed up, and if it wasn't a failure to challenge premises, then it was something else. Neither Powell nor Rice nor the CIA came close to offering an alternate explanation, as if one weren't needed.

Powell came closest of any to making sense when he said that getting rid of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was the important thing. At least that is a policy. Our view has always been that the invasion of Iraq was undertaken because of strategic considerations, not WMD -- that was just a basis for building a coalition with Europeans. However, the administration clearly thought it would find WMD -- otherwise it would have created another excuse.

This brings us back to the intelligence failure. One way or another, there
was either a massive intelligence failure, or the WMD are still out there
with the guerrillas. We think that to be marginally possible. But barring
that, the fact is, someone was dead wrong. We don't think anyone lied,
because that would be too stupid and unnecessary. Eventually they would wind up where they are now, and there was no need for that.

Therefore, there was an intelligence failure, and if the origins of that
failure were not in a fixed, unexamined set of assumptions, then it is time
for Powell, Rice and the intelligence community to cough up another
explanation. While they're at it, they might explain whether the CIA
predicted the guerrilla war that the United States currently has on its
hands, or whether this was another intelligence failure.

Intelligence failures happen. Alternatively, intelligence estimates are
sometimes overruled by customers who order up something more suitable to their political needs. All of this is understandable and part of the business. But the Bush administration's unending attempts to shoot down plausible explanations for intelligence failures without offering its own is bizarre.

If we are to believe the administration, the intelligence process worked
perfectly. The mere fact that it came up with the wrong answer should not be permitted to undermine the perfection of the process.

Gee, we wish we could get away with that.
30404  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Guro Crafty in Bern Switzerland this weekend on: September 27, 2003, 09:04:39 PM
Wuff All:

  Jet lag has caused me to wake up in the wee hours (a little after 3:00 A; local time) so until the valium kicks in here I am.

  As always with Lonely Dog and his wonderful Cornelia and son Robyn, I am made at home.  The seminar is about two thirds returning players and we are quite the international group- seven countires are represented:  Switzerland, Germany, Framce, Holland, Italy, Poland, Canada, and the US.

Yesterday after opening with "the Prison Riot" training, we did the recently named "Single Triques loop" and then went into "Los Triques Double stick", working particular on the blocks of material known as "the bat" and "the redondo variations."  

Guro Crafty
30405  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / An Army of 1 --and 1 in the oven on: September 26, 2003, 05:37:42 PM
Hi Lynda:

  I am in Switzerland right now getting ready fpr bed before doing a seminar right now.  It would be great fun to go off into the Venutian range of questions you raise, but forgive my Martian self for asking that we stay with the subject matter at hand for the moment.  ie pregnancy rates in combat situations and whether this is good or bad for military morale and discipline.

Now that you have had a chance to look up what his quoted sources were with regard to the data I gave, would you share with us what they were?

30406  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Guro Crafty in Bern Switzerland this weekend on: September 25, 2003, 01:11:48 PM
Wuff All:

  I'll be in Bern with my good friend Guro Benjamin "Lonely Dog" this weekend.

Wuff (German spelling)
Guro Crafty
30407  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Current Events: Philippines on: September 24, 2003, 10:10:08 PM
Philippines: Will Arroyo's Standing Hurt U.S. Footing in Region?
Sep 24, 2003


Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's approval ratings have sunk to record lows amid scandal and economic troubles, and Arroyo has become heavily dependent on upcoming peace talks with separatist rebels to help boost her popularity before the 2004 election season hits full gear. If the peace talks fail and she falls farther behind in the polls, the United States' strategic footing in southeast Asia could slip.


Approval ratings for Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo have plunged to record lows, a Pulse Asia, Inc., survey shows. Performance ratings in categories such as fighting poverty, improving the economy and combating terrorism and crime all slumped, bringing her overall approval rating is 41 percent, down from 51 percent in August. Facing an election in 2004, Arroyo needs successful results from upcoming negotiations with separatist rebels to boost public confidence in her presidency. If the October peace talks fail and Arroyo's numbers fall further, Washington's new strategic alliance with Manila, mostly fostered under the current president, could be in jeopardy.

The drop in Arroyo's popularity follows an upswing in August that stemmed from her perceived deft handling of a military mutiny at the end of July. However, a number of factors have contributed to hurt Arroyo's standing, both recently and over the past year.

In August, the administration was besieged by the "Jose Pidal" scandal: Philippine senate committees opened an investigation into First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo after opposition senator and possible presidential candidate Panfilo Lacson said that the president's husband had laundered hundreds of millions of dollars of presidential campaign contributions and hid the funds in a bank account under the name "Jose Pidal." Presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye has said Lacson's charges were baseless and politically motivated, but investigations are still under way.

In addition to political troubles, the administration has been hurt by the underwhelming performance of the Philippine economy. The country barely avoided a recession in second-quarter 2003, when gross domestic product rose by a mere 0.1 percent from the previous quarter. Political instability drove away investors, contributing to the 63 percent plunge in foreign direct investment in the first half of 2003. According to polls, 53 percent of respondents in August said they were "worse off than before," and the slightly lower number in September of 43 percent is nevertheless fairly high.

Arroyo likely is counting on expected peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Kuala Lumpur in October to help improve her image. If the president can engineer peace in war-torn Mindanao, it is likely her numbers will rise significantly just in time for the campaign season to shift into full gear for the May 2004 election. However, the opposite is equally true: If the negotiations fail and the delicate cease-fire gives way to violence, Arroyo will be highly vulnerable. Strategic planners in Washington would not like to see that happen.

If Arroyo lost the presidency, the strategic alliance between the United States and the Philippines could falter. From the U.S. perspective, a new president taking office in Manila at best would delay further cooperation against militant Islamist groups in southeast Asia while the new administration reviews the current terms of bilateral collaboration. At worst for Washington, a complete reversal could occur. Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr. is a popular political figure and a vocal opponent of the U.S. military presence in the Philippines. He is not alone in this sentiment -- anti-colonial feelings linger in the country, and this could be used against the president during the campaign season.
30408  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / ____"MASTERS OF ARNIS, KALI & ESKRIMA"____ on: September 24, 2003, 04:27:49 PM
Woof All:

  Briefly in the middle of a busy day:

1)  PG Edgar's book is awesome.  DO FIND IT.  

2) Disarms do happen.  I've done some, including snake with my leg from guard on two different occasions.

3) I love siniwali, and obtain superior results with it in comparison to my single stick.  Siniwali started coming into play more around 1995-96 and there are now many players who like it.

Crafty Dog
30409  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Current Events: Philippines on: September 23, 2003, 08:31:04 AM
1140 GMT - PHILIPPINES: Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has tapped Eduardo Ermita, a former general who is leading peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, as the country's new defense secretary. Arroyo had been acting defense secretary since August, when Angelo Reyes resigned following a military coup attempt.
Item Number:16
Date: 09/23/2003

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- The Philippines military was placed on
heightened alert following indications that there were moves to
destabilize the government of President Gloria Arroyo, Agence
France-Presse reports.

Intelligence reports apparently indicated anti-Arroyo groups
intended to stage rallies against the government while the president
was visiting the country's troubled southern islands, including one
historic shrine that served as a staging point for coups against
Joseph Estrada in 2001 and Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

A special military task force was activated to counter anti-Arroyo
moves, backed up by a battalion-sized unit, a military spokesman
30410  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / ____"MASTERS OF ARNIS, KALI & ESKRIMA"____ on: September 22, 2003, 07:12:22 PM
An article covering his death may be found at
30411  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / An Army of 1 --and 1 in the oven on: September 22, 2003, 05:10:26 PM
Hi Lynda:

Quite right.

"I read that in the Kosovo "war" some 5% of the women got pregnant and got sent home and that inferential data supported the notion that a high percentage of these pregnancies were then aborted. And before that, in the Gulf War the same dynamic was present as well. On one navy ship, the USS Arcadia, the rate rose to 22%."

The 22% I got from xxxx Farrell's "The Myth of Male Power".  Farrell, a man, used to sit on the board of NOW, but ahem, "saw the light" and wrote this book.  In the book he is actually rather scrupulous about citing/footnoting sources of his data and I have seen this one about the Arcadia elsewhere-- it was even known as "The Love Boat".  My sense of it is that it is a pretty hard number, whereas with Col. Hackworth, the hearsay of whom was quoted at the beginning of this thread, I would, ahem again, look for verification.  

The 5% number I may have gotten from the same chapter of Farrell (again, he would have footnoted his source) or I may have gotten it from an AP type story in the LA Times.


PS: I am not endorsing the Farrell book-- he's kind of a kitty and there are several areas with which I have distinct disagreement.  That said, he does raise points which caused me to re-examine my thinking.
30412  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Forever Young on: September 22, 2003, 02:09:19 PM
Woof All:

At the core of the attraction that the FMA hold for me is that they produce men who "walk as warriors for all their days".  

Of all the stories of Guro Inosanto, in one of the ones that has touched me the most, he tells of watching old manongs hobble out to demonstrate their art.  Amongst his many skills Guro I. is an extraordinary mimic (of accents as well as movement BTW) and as he mimics their movement one can see the effects of time.  But then!-- they pick up their sticks and begin to move and it is as though they were young again:  the movement live, dynamic and full of grace.   And then they finish and become old men again, and hobble off.

The thought I apply to myself for my personal mission (and that of DBMA) of "walking as a warrior for all my days" is to train so that there is a place in myself that is forever young-- a place that I can access should I ever need to.  If I remember my readings in NLP correctly, this may be called an anchor.  In FMA perhaps this may be considered an anting-anting.  

Regardless the name, it is the place that is forever young.  If one has done little in youth, it seems reasonable to me to think that it will be of less value than if one has done more-- without having done "too much"..   Perhaps some of the training that is derided by some today  may be better seen as what those who "did more" in their youth use to keep the rust off their skills?  Of course this interpretation implies that these methods may not suffice in the absence of seasoning experiences.  

Just a rambling rumination.

Crafty Dog
30413  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: September 19, 2003, 12:40:33 PM
- Sept. 19, 2003

Geopolitical Diary: Friday, Sept. 19, 2003

It was quite a day, and most of the media missed it. The Washington Post
published an interview with Jordan's King Abdullah II, and posted more on
its website in audio form. Abdullah said of Iran, "Iran was a very pleasant
surprise. They want to start a new page. At a minimum, the use of Jordan for terrorism is no longer an issue ... and also there are common grounds. The Wahhabi-Salafism is as much a threat to them as to the rest of us Muslims and the international community, and here's common ground that they want to work with all of us on." He continued, "They want to have a unified Iraq. They're terrified of Shia on Shia or Sunni on Shia conflict, so there's enough common ground here that has brought them closer to the way everyone else is thinking...."

That is quite a load for Abdullah to deliver publicly, before meeting U.S.
President George W. Bush. We have been tracking the growing relationship between the United States and Shiites and have been discussing possible back channels between Washington and Tehran. Abdullah is clearly one of them, and he came to Washington with a message from the Iranians: Iran is ready to settle with Washington.

Washington is obviously very interested. We have discussed various signs of growing cooperation on the ground between the United States and the Shiites, and it has been our view that this would not be happening without Tehran's sanction. Abdullah is now opening the door to a much broader, strategic entente between Washington and Tehran.

Abdullah is saying that the Iranians see the Wahhabis as a greater threat to Iran than to the United States. Translated, that means that Iran sees this as the moment to deal with the Saudis, establish itself as the dominant power in the Persian Gulf and enhance the Shiite position in the Islamic world. For this to happen, it has to dominate postwar Iraq.

The United States wants to extricate itself from daily combat in Iraq, while
retaining military bases there from which to threaten the Saudis and
Syrians. The Iranians have no problem with that. In fact, they like the idea of the United States pointing its guns at the Saudis. What Iran wants is a united, Shiite-dominated Iraq -- and a secure western flank.

The U.S. command in Iraq stated today that its goal is to withdraw from the cities of Iraq and turn over responsibility for security to Iraqis. It hopes to be out of Baghdad by December. If that is to be achieved, it will need to start turning over control of cities in the more secure areas soon. In other words, cities such as An Najaf and Basra -- Shiite cities -- will soon be turned over to Shiite authorities to patrol. By the end of the year, Iraqis also will patrol Baghdad -- but the U.S. command is not saying that it will be patrolled by Sunnis.

Naturally, the Saudis are going ballistic over this. They leaked a study
today saying that one of Saudi Arabia's options is to obtain nuclear
weapons. Another -- more practical -- option is to seek guarantees from a
nuclear power. That one is interesting since it clearly wouldn't be the
United States. Russia is a possibility, and Riyadh has been flirting
furiously with Moscow, but Moscow's nuclear arsenal offers little
protection. Then there's Pakistan, but under current circumstances, that's
not very practical. In fact, Saudi Arabia's problem is that it really
doesn't have many good choices -- leaking strategic studies is about its
best weapon at the moment.

In one sense, an alliance between the United States and Iran is the most
outlandish idea imaginable -- until we think of the U.S. relationships with
Stalin or Mao, both of which were improbable. An alliance makes strategic
sense for the United States in the short run, and Iran in the longer run,
since it would achieve an extraordinarily powerful position in the region.

The problem with the alliance for the United States is in the long run. The
Shiites comprise about 10 percent of the Islamic world, albeit a strategic
10 percent. Nevertheless, the United States is at war with a faction of the
Sunni world. Unless the alliance compels this faction to reach an
accommodation with the United States, the very real short-run benefits could eventually result in an Islamic civil war that pits Sunni against Shiite, with the United States betting on the much weaker party.

On the other hand, the United States has a very real problem right now in
Iraq and this is a very practical solution. The long run is a long way off,
and the short run is in Bush's face. Abdullah is dangling a short-term
solution right in front of him. It will be hard to resist unless the Saudis
and other Sunnis provide the United States with a better solution in Iraq
and against al Qaeda. The view in Washington is that the Saudis are so
afraid of their own radicals that they won't be able to act. That makes the
Wahhabi/Salafi faction -- in Abdullah's phrase -- the problem, not the
solution. Ergo, Iran is the answer.

We wonder what message Bush sent back to Tehran with Abdullah. We wonder what message the Saudis are sending Washington. We suspect the Iran deal is all but done. It will happen even if it is never announced. The Saudis inability or unwillingness to act decisively is creating an entirely new reality in the region. Abdullah does not speak casually about such things, certainly not on the way to Camp David.
30414  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Libertarian themes on: September 19, 2003, 12:37:32 PM
30415  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / An Army of 1 --and 1 in the oven on: September 18, 2003, 06:32:44 AM
Woof Guest, Bearblade et al:

  Thank you both for what you do for all of us.

  Getting back to the starting point of this thread, can you or anyone else  shed any light on what I understand to be inference here-- i.e. that some women are getting pregant in order to get out of dangerous duty?  How accurate is Hackworth's number? or is he speaking more hyperbolically?

  I read that in the Kosovo "war" some 5% of the women got pregnant and got sent home and that inferential data supported the notion that a high percentage of these pregnancies were then aborted.  And before that, in the Gulf War the same dynamic was present as well.  On one navy ship, the USS Arcadia, the rate rose to 22%.

Here the duty to be served is much longer and, it would seem much, more dangerous-- hence it seems reasonable to suspect that the same dynamic be present in greater degree.

Does it affect the combat readiness of a ship and/or its morale when that many members of the team have an option to abandon ship?  And what about those on the ground?

Again, we thank you for your service.

Crafty Dog
30416  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / An Army of 1 --and 1 in the oven on: September 16, 2003, 07:44:14 PM
An Army of 1 ? and 1
in the oven
Spokesman asked about level of pregnancies among U.S soldiers in Iraq

Posted: September 16, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Les Kinsolving
? 2003

At today's White House news briefing, WND asked presidential press secretary Scott McClellan about columnist David Hackworth reporting on the level of pregnancies among American service personnel in Iraq, and followed it up with a query about Pfc. Jessica Lynch.

WND: The Department of the Army spokesman at the Pentagon said yesterday that retired Col. David Hackworth is a heavily dedicated combat leader who is not regarded as undependable. And they have also seen his column where he reports, "Apparently more than half of the women deployed to Iraq are now pregnant." And my question: While Army spokesmen from the Pentagon and Baghdad would neither confirm nor deny this pregnancy rate, surely the commander in chief will not try to evade this very serious problem, will he, Scott?
McCLELLAN: Les, I'm not quite sure what you're referring to, but it sounds like it's a matter to address to the Pentagon. (Laughter.)

WND: I want to know how does the commander in chief ? is he concerned that all these women are getting pregnant?

McCLELLAN: Les, I haven't heard anything about this.

WND: Col. Hackworth also reports thousands of angry e-mails from veterans protesting the awarding of the Bronze Star to Pfc. Jessica Lynch after propagandists conned the Washington Post into reporting that she was shot and stabbed, but continued to kill Iraqis, which never happened. And I wonder, how does the commander in chief react to thousands of veterans' complaints?

McCLELLAN: Les, I think that the president knows that we have a lot of heroes, including Jessica Lynch. They should all be commended for the service and sacrifices that they make.
30417  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Current Events: Philippines on: September 16, 2003, 07:03:07 PM
U.S. Considers Role in 'Post-Conflict' Philippines
Sep 16, 2003


The United States is seeking a role in the Philippines should Manila sign a peace deal with the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The U.S. role is likely to include a military presence on the restive island of Mindanao -- a move that will aid Washington's campaign against international militant groups but also might embroil it in another violent counterinsurgency mission.


Philippine presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye said Sept. 14 that U.S. President George W. Bush plans to push for a "post-conflict" role for the United States in the Phillipines -- if and when Manila signs a peace deal with the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) during peace talks that are expected in early October.

Though it is not clear what the U.S. role would be, Washington appears to be considering sending a military contingent to help police Mindanao, an island at the center of the MILF's long-running revolt. The move not only would enhance Washington's strategic alliance with Manila, it also would expand the U.S. battleground in its campaign against international Islamic militant groups. Though this could help Washington choose its fighting space in Asia and disrupt a haven for militant groups, a large U.S. presence in Mindanao also would present a new target for terrorist strikes -- and potentially could embroil the United States in another violent counterinsurgency mission.

Bush's Oct. 18 visit to Manila -- during which Bunye said he likely will propose a "mini-Marshall Plan" for Mindanao -- will follow months of delays in talks between Manila and the rebels. The United States announced its involvement as an intermediary -- alongside Malaysia -- in June, and Philippine officials hoped at that time that peace talks could begin in earnest by early July. However, the death of MILF founder Hashim Salamat on July 13 and an aborted coup on July 29 led to delays.

The U.S. role in the conflict was bolstered in mid-August when Washington asked five former U.S. ambassadors to the Philippines and members of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) -- Richard Solomon, Nicholas Platt, Stephen Bosworth, Richard W. Murphy and Frank Wisner -- to help facilitate the peace talks in an "unofficial capacity." More recently, Manila expressed hopes that talks would resume in Malaysia before the Oct. 15 summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) -- in time for Bush's visit.

The "mini-Marshall Plan" that Bush is expected to propose would involve an extensive development package, including $30 million to rehabilitate and develop conflict-affected areas -- to be paid immediately once a peace deal is signed - and $20 million more next year. That money would be in addition to the $74 million already allocated by the U.S. Agency for International Development, most of which is earmarked for the southern Philippines.

A U.S. military presence in the region also seems likely, though neither Washington, Manila nor MILF leaders have confirmed it would be necessary as part of a "post-conflict" role. After a year and a half of military cooperation with the Philippines -- which kicked off in January 2002 with the deployment of 650 U.S. troops for counterterrorism exercises -- U.S. operations in the country are growing in scope and scale, and the relationship is becoming closer and more institutionalized. The Philippines was granted "Major Non-NATO Ally" status when President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo met with Bush in May 2003, and about 1,500 U.S. Marines arrived in the Philippines on Sept. 14 for a weeklong joint exercise.

For Washington, helping to secure the peace and prosperity of Mindanao serves many goals.

First, it would strengthen the strategic alliance between the United States and the Philippines that was formed when Arroyo took office and, later, expanded with joint military operations. The Philippines' central location within East Asia makes it valuable as the United Stats undergoes a shift in force structure that relies on maintaining numerous small bases and pre-positioned equipment in key regions.

Second, a U.S.-backed and -enforced peace deal in Mindanao would be highly disruptive for groups using the conflict-torn region as a refuge. Mindanao and neighboring islands long have been a transit hub for illicit materials and a haven for militants who are training and planning missions. In addition, with Washington actively facilitating a peace deal and dumping money into the area, it is quite possible that the MILF will supply valuable intelligence to U.S. forces on Abu Sayyaf, al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah activities in the region.

Third, by deploying troops to the area, Washington would be improving its capacity to choose the battleground in its campaign against Islamist militant groups in Asia. Or, to put it more accurately, the ground has been chosen by process of elimination, but the United States is accepting the challenge. Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand all have Islamist militants, but for various reasons, U.S. military operations in those countries are either impossible or undesirable. Indonesia, for example, is far too challenging -- geographically, socially and politically -- and dangerous for a deployment. And even if Jakarta allowed it, it is unimaginable that Kuala Lumpur would ever invite U.S. forces in, and Thailand is too tangential to the problem.

Mindanao, therefore, appears to be Washington's best hope of taking the fight to militant groups in Asia. In the Philippines, U.S. strategic planners likely are hoping that a military presence would put Islamist radical groups on the defensive and undermine their ability to strike targets -- not only in the Philippines, but in neighboring countries that are home to U.S. economic and military assets. However, as in Afghanistan and Iraq, the plan would provide U.S. enemies -- including hardline MILF separatists, the JI and even the New People's Army communist group -- with tempting new targets.
30418  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / DB in the media on: September 16, 2003, 05:52:30 PM
Woof All:

I finally saw it today and what can I say?  Dog Milt was right.  I anticipate more of the same for the next one.

Crafty Dog
30419  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / New kali &Krabi Krabong video on: September 15, 2003, 09:37:44 AM
Kam et al:

I'm bringing your post starting a new thread over to here.


PS:  I have very high regard for Sled Dog.  Enjoy your training with him!

Hello Guru Crafty,Mike.Thanks for the prompt and honest reply regarding the new kali & Krabi Krabong video.I went ahead and ordered the tape, I should get any day now.I`ll let you know what i think once i watch it. I currently train under Guru Bob Carver who was also taught by Guru Dan Inosanto. Also a couple of us from the academy have been in touch with  Guru Phil "Sled Dog" we are going to start training with him sometime in october. He's about two hours away from us so it's just a matter of working out our schedules.Since we are going to be taking privates with him.Actually he brought us back a couple of shirts from the last gathering he's a great guy.Anyhow that's enough for tonight. Have a good one!
30420  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: September 13, 2003, 12:24:12 AM
I see a lot of people yelling for peace but I have not  heard of a
plan for peace. So, here's one plan:

1. The US will apologize to the world for our "interference" in their
affairs, past &present. You know, Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, Noriega,
Milosovich and the rest of those 'good ole boys.' We will never "interfere"

2. We will withdraw our troops from all over the world, starting with
Germany, South Korea and the Philippines. They don't want us there.   We would station troops at our borders. No one sneaking through holes in the fence.

3. All illegal aliens have 90 days to get their affairs together and
leave. We'll give them a free trip home. After 90 days  the remainder will
be gathered up and deported immediately, regardless of who or where they are. France would welcome them.

4. All future visitors will be thoroughly checked and limited to 90
days unless given a special permit. No one from a terrorist nation would be allowed in. If you don't like it there, change it yourself and don't hide
here. Asylum would never be available to anyone.   We don't need any more cab drivers or 7-11 cashiers.

5. No "students" over age 21. The older ones are the  bombers.  If
they don't attend classes, they get a "D" and it's back home ,baby.

6. The US will make a strong effort to become self-sufficient energy
wise. This will include developing non-polluting sources of energy  ,but
will require a temporary drilling of oil in the Alaskan wilderness.  The
caribou will have to cope for a while.

7. Offer Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries  $10 a barrel
for their oil. If they don't like it, we go some place else.  They can go
somewhere else to sell their production. (About a week of the wells filling
up the storage sites would be enough.)

8. If there is a famine or other natural catastrophe in the world,
we will not "interfere." They can pray to Allah or whomever, for seeds,
rain, cement or  whatever they need. Besides most of what we give them is stolen or given to the army. The people who need it most get very little, if anything.

9. Ship the UN Headquarters to an isolated island some  place.  We
don't need the spies and fair weather friends here. Besides,the building
would make a good homeless shelter or lockup for illegal aliens.

10. All Americans must go to charm and beauty school. That way, no
one can call us "Ugly Americans" any longer.

The Language we speak is ENGLISH.....learn it...or LEAVE...

Attributed to Robin Williams
30421  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We the Well-armed People on: September 13, 2003, 12:05:32 AM
Concealed guns now legal in Missouri
Lawmakers override governor who sought to 'protect children'

Posted: September 12, 2003
3:20 p.m. Eastern

By Jon Dougherty
? 2003

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. ? Missouri became the 45th state in the nation to allow most of its citizens the right to carry a concealed handgun after state lawmakers overrode Gov. Bob Holden's veto of an earlier bill.

The House voted Wednesday 115-45 to override, with the Senate narrowly following suit Thursday. The upper chamber's 23-10 vote barely cleared the two-thirds majority necessary to override gubernatorial vetoes.

The deciding Senate vote was cast by Sen. John Dolan, an Army public affairs officer, after he received special leave from his post at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was granted the last-minute request so he could attend the veto session here.

Holden, a Democrat, voiced disappointment in the vote, calling it an "unfortunate day" for Missourians who had worked hard to protect their children from gun violence.

"I stood for the things I believe in, and I'll stand for them every day," he said.

Republicans countered that the vetoes show Holden is out of touch with ordinary Missourians.

"It's been a historic day. It's a reassertion of the vast middle mainstream of Missouri against this governor who has adopted a series of extremist positions," said Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder, R-Cape Girardeau.

Under the new law, persons 23 years of age and older can apply to their local sheriff's department for a concealed carry permit. Before being licensed, applicants must complete firearms marksmanship and safety training, among other requirements. Holders will not be permitted to carry guns into churches, schools, day care centers or police stations.

In 1999 voters narrowly rejected a ballot initiative to allow concealed carry of handguns. Most of those voting against the measure lived in urban centers, but the overwhelming majority of the state's rural enclaves voted for the measure.

In another gun-related issue, the Senate voted 23-10 Thursday to override Holden's veto of a bill that forbids Missouri governments from suing gun manufacturers. That bill went yesterday to the House, which is also expected to vote to override.
30422  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Trauma Debriefing Countereffective? on: September 12, 2003, 03:43:02 PM
Woof All:

  I found this article interesting.


Is Trauma Debriefing
Worse Than Letting
Victims Heal Naturally?

The executive was in a meeting in one of the Twin Towers when the first plane hit. Of the 30 people with him, he and only six others staggered out alive that morning. Crushed by the enormity of the tragedy, the man told his trauma counselor that it was all he could do to try to understand why he had lived while others died. Yet he had to cope with a great deal more.

Like thousands of other victims of Sept. 11, the executive underwent psychological debriefing, a catch-all term for sessions in which a counselor encourages a group of 10 to 20 trauma survivors or disaster workers to share, in a supportive environment, what they experienced, felt and thought. Debriefing, say proponents, can prevent long-term psychological problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder. The disaster industry that emerged in the 1990s has vigorously promoted psychological debriefing, training more than 40,000 people a year in it. Members of the U.S. military undergo stress debriefing before deploying home from Iraq.

For the executive who survived the 2001 terrorist attacks, though, hearing other victims describe what they saw and suffered that day was too much. When one described seeing a body part roll down a sidewalk, he had to flee the session.

For weeks afterward he suffered flashbacks and nightmares, finally seeking help from Crisis Management International, an Atlanta-based company that, at the behest of 204 corporate clients, had sent hundreds of counselors to New York within days of Sept. 11. "The group debriefing had led him right into what he couldn't get rid of in the first place: the memories and images of 9/11," says CEO Bruce Blythe.

See a September 2002 special report from the Online Journal for a look at how former World Trade Center tenants -- including some business owners mentioned in this article -- worked to rebuild their businesses after the terrorist attacks.
In science, anecdotes are not data. But stories like this executive's are igniting a firestorm of controversy in psychology. After scrutinizing dozens of studies of psychological debriefing, a panel of eminent researchers assembled by the American Psychological Society -- Richard McNally of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.; Richard Bryant of the University of New South Wales in Sydney and Anke Ehlers of King's College London -- has reached a clear conclusion.

"Contrary to a widely held belief, pushing people to talk about their feelings and thoughts very soon after a trauma may not be beneficial," they write in a paper to be published in November in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest (available at "Although psychological debriefing is widely used throughout the world to prevent PTSD, there is no convincing evidence that it does so. ... For scientific and ethical reasons, professionals should cease compulsory debriefing of trauma-exposed people."

Most survivors who have undergone psychological debriefing call it helpful. But objectively comparing the outcomes of people who did and didn't undergo debriefing -- survivors of car accidents, police officers exposed to trauma and disaster workers -- tells a different story. Debriefing has no effect on rates of PTSD.

A 2001 analysis, for example, examined peer-reviewed studies that randomly assigned trauma survivors to receive "critical-incident stress debriefing," a commonly used protocol, or not. (Randomized controls let you separate the effects of debriefing from natural recovery.) The conclusion: There is no evidence that debriefing helps prevent PTSD in trauma survivors, partly because most recover naturally.

More worrisome, debriefing may impede natural recovery. When police officers who worked a plane crash underwent debriefing, they had significantly more PTSD symptoms 18 months later than officers who weren't debriefed. By forcing survivors to relive horrific memories, says Prof. McNally, "debriefing may consolidate emotional memories more intensely, when what you need is to shut down for a while. As one earthquake survivor in Turkey said, 'It was as if the debriefers opened me up as in surgery and didn't stitch me back up.'&"

Jeffrey Mitchell, an associate professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, who devised critical-incident stress debriefing, dismisses the negative studies. Many include debriefings conducted by poorly trained or minimally experienced counselors, he says, or done too soon after the trauma. Moreover, "this was never designed as a stand-alone. Crisis intervention includes much more than debriefing."

In fact, at least one debriefing study found a benefit. In 1999, scientists reported that 42 emergency medical personnel who underwent debriefing after working the 1992 Los Angeles riots reported significantly fewer PTSD symptoms than did 23 nondebriefed workers. Other pro-debriefing studies, however, are problematic. Some failed to include a no-treatment group to serve as a control. In others, the follow-up period for assessing "lasting" psychological damage was woefully short.

Businesses aren't waiting for academics to resolve the debate. Concerned about the potential harm of debriefing, says Mr. Blythe, CMI has abandoned it. The company's Web site now warns prospective clients that the science behind debriefing is so iffy, and the suggestions of harm so troubling, that requiring employees to undergo debriefing could invite lawsuits.

You can e-mail me at
30423  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: September 12, 2003, 01:07:41 PM


Geopolitical Diary: Friday, Sept. 12, 2003

A major battle erupted in the Iraqi town of Khaldiya on Thursday, Sept. 11.  A U.S. Army truck broke down and was attacked while repairs were under way.  Two U.S. tanks joined the fight, and heavy machine gun fire was exchanged.  Two U.S. vehicles were destroyed and one soldier was wounded. The interesting thing is that the U.S. command could not confirm if any Iraqi guerrillas were wounded, saying simply, "They said the attackers fired two rocket-propelled grenades at soldiers working on the truck in the afternoon. Hopefully we gave as good as we got, but I do not have confirmation of that yet."

We take that to mean that the battle ended with the guerrillas leaving the
battlefield in fairly good order -- taking casualties, if any, with them.
That the guerrillas, while reducing the number of attacks, are increasing
the intensity of individual engagements. That the guerrillas continue to be
able to choose the time and place of engagements.

Another feature of this engagement, according to Reuters' account of it, is
that a crowd gathered after the battle and chanted, "We sacrifice our blood and souls for you, Saddam." That is interesting indeed. Islamic
fundamentalists certainly would not be chanting this. Regardless of who the combatants were, the crowd -- or at least whoever organized the crowd -- still stood with Saddam Hussein. Whether this represents a genuine fondness for the man or means that he has simply become a symbol of resistance remains unclear. However, the chanting does indicate that the political nature of the resistance is extremely complex, consisting of many contradictory strands that are potentially in conflict.

The challenge the U.S. command in Iraq must face is precisely how to take advantage of these fault lines. Hussein tried to play France and the United States against each other while he was in power. The United States is trying to play Sunni and Shiite against each other. But deep within the guerrilla movement, bound together by opposition to the United States, reside very different political visions and desires. The victory of the Islamists would be a defeat for the Baathists and vice versa. Therefore, it is logical to assume that at some point the United States must seek to break apart the now-allied factions.

This points to Washington's central problem. As Thursday's battle
demonstrates, the guerrillas remain at least minimally capable. They can
organize an attack rapidly, engage in relatively intense combat, and then
withdraw in reasonable order. Unless the United States seizes the military
initiative, which depends on the generation of superior intelligence, the
guerrillas pose a difficult military problem, at least at their current
level of operations.

Manipulating the fault lines within the guerrilla movement requires a
suppleness -- indeed, a Machiavellianism -- that will be difficult for the
United States to achieve. As hard as it is to cooperate with the Shiites
without appearing to be completely unprincipled, manipulating the guerrilla movement will be infinitely more difficult. Working with one faction to weaken the other sounds good in theory, but is extremely difficult to execute politically. On the other hand, allowing the guerrillas to strike -- at will -- whenever a truck breaks down is a bitter pill.

When trying to discern what the future holds, we continue to be struck by
Washington's three choices: defeat the guerrillas, accept and absorb the
costs of a certain level of guerrilla operations or make exquisitely painful
political deals. We do not think that defeat is likely in the foreseeable
future. We do not see how U.S. strategic aims and the appearance of
helplessness when confronted by guerrillas can be reconciled. Therefore, we continue to conclude that the third choice is the only potentially effective one -- make the deals, painful as they are.

Obviously, our conclusion depends on our perception that the guerrilla war cannot be controlled, and that ongoing low-intensity conflict cannot be
endured. The Bush administration may have a different calculus. They may have a plan to win the guerrilla war that isn't apparent to us, or they may think they can endure the war as it is. Right now, it appears that the
Shiites are being drawn into the war and that the administration will want
to turn the war over to them. But a piece is still missing -- a working
alliance of Baathists and Islamists is too complex to be stable. The
administration surely must be considering the possibilities here.
30424  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / DB in the media on: September 12, 2003, 06:20:29 AM
Woof All:

  Apparently the show was broadcast yesterday or today.  They didn't bring my copy to the shoot today so I still haven't seen it.  They SWEAR they will send it to me tomorrow  Roll Eyes  Dog Milt says he saw it and it was really weak-- 10 seconds wherein nothing was clear.

  The shoot today had its own energy.  The girl's silicone mounds were brighter than her and tighter than a drum.  For some reason Wink they planted her mike there and didn't bother giving me one.  They told me to just be sure to be close to her and to look at the mike when I was speaking.   Wink Wink Wink

I got more playful with the banter this time (Against the headlock: "Hit him in the big head, the little head, and then give him a cameltoe."   Apparently the folks in the trailer loved this.

I find out in a month when it airs.

Guro C.
30425  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / I think I handled this right... on: September 12, 2003, 03:11:23 AM
Woof Alex:

 A big part of why I got involved in martial arts was because of situations where I grew up in NYC where bystanders looked the other way.  In addition to some personal experiences a famous case, the Kitty Genovese case, moved me greatly.

  My sense of it is that you handled it very well.  Domestic situations are the most dangerous category for police to handle and much more so for us.  They are very, very hard to read.  I once had an analogous situation on the streets of Philadelphia where I was tempted to intervene but instead found a pay phone (this was in the early 1970s) and called the police.  When they arrived it became apparent that the woman was angry/distraught and not in danger from the man at all.

You called the police, did not meddle in what you did not know, and by your presence served to strongly decrease the chance of things getting out of hand.  

Well done.

Crafty Dog
30426  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: September 12, 2003, 01:02:37 AM


August 23, 2003 -- THE terrorist is the pundit's friend. Plant one seed of terror and a thousand opinions bloom in the media's heavily manured fields. In the wake of last week's bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, we heard, yet again, that the sky was falling, that our involvement in Iraq is damned and doomed. One online "intelligence" service even predicted a vast Arab uprising, from Morocco to the Iranian border, that would bury our soldiers beneath the desert sands.

Well, the Arab world can barely get out of bed in the morning, let alone rise up against America. Remember how the "Arab Street" was going to go on a rampage if our troops invaded Iraq, how our influence in the Middle East would be lost forever?

The more we listened to last week's debates about the U.N. bombing, the less we knew. Meanwhile, some remarkable facts about the lead-up to that attack and its aftermath have gone unreported. Why? Because the truth involved American heroes. Wouldn't want that sort of  thing to get mixed in with the constant accusations of American incompetence from the hackademic legions of the left. (I'm waiting for Noam Chomsky, Radio Pacifica and Al-Jazeera to blame the U.N. bombing on the Israelis. Or on us.)

Here's the truth, relayed from within the U.N. compound:

In the weeks before the truck-bomb attack, the U.N.'s veteran security officer on site struggled, argued and begged for better protection. He knew the Canal Hotel was a vulnerable and likely target -- but the U.N. chain of command refused to acknowledge the dimensions of the threat.

The U.S. military did offer protection -- repeatedly. But U.N. bureaucrats turned it down. They didn't want to be associated with those wicked, imperialist, ill-mannered Americans. After all, everybody loves the United Nations, don't they?

Repeatedly stymied by prejudice and inertia, the U.N. security chief -- a retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer with a wealth of prior experience -- nonetheless managed to cajole his superiors into letting him build a wall around the hotel. That wall was made of reinforced concrete, almost 17 feet high and a foot thick. But U.N. officials refused to let the security officer push the wall very far out from the hotel. They didn't want to annoy anyone by limiting access to a public alley. Still, the security officer inched the wall as far out as he could.

The truck-bomber could not get inside the compound -- the security measures in place at least prevented that. But the truck was able to speed toward the wall's exterior, using the alley that "had" to be kept open. The driver knew exactly where he was going. He aimed his truck-bomb precisely to decapitate the U.N.'s in-country staff.

We all know what happened: Two dozen dead, including one of the U.N.'s most capable senior diplomats. Almost 150 wounded. A tragic day, indeed.

But without that wall and the security measures for which one American veteran fought, the hotel would have been leveled, with a death toll in the hundreds. The wall absorbed the initial force of three separate bombs packed into the truck.

And there is some justice in the world: Although his office disintegrated around him, the security officer walked out of the wreckage uninjured.

An active-duty U.S. Army officer, Lt.-Col. Jack Curran, was in charge of  local medevac operations. Weeks before the truck-bomb attack, he, too, recognized the vulnerability of the hotel compound. Diplomatically, he asked if his pilots and medical personnel could "practice medevac ops" at the U.N. headquarters. "Just for training." With the security officer's help, he got permission.

As a result, there had just been two full, onsite rehearsals for what had to be done after the bombing. Thanks to this spirited, visionary officer, our helicopters and vehicles knew exactly how to get in, where best to upload casualties and where a triage station should be set up. With impressive speed, the U.S. Army medevaced 135 U.N. employees and Iraqi civilians from the scene, saving more lives than will ever be known for certain. U.S. Army Reserve engineers and Army mortuary personnel moved in to do the grisly, demanding work of rescuing any trapped survivors and processing the dead.

Now that the damage is done, the U.S. Army's welcome. A company of our 82nd Airborne Division took over external security for the site last week.

But what were the first complaints we heard from the media "experts"? That the U.S. Army was to blame, because it failed to provide adequate security. In fact, we offered the U.N. armored vehicles. They told us to take a hike. U.N. bureaucrats put more trust in the good will of terrorists and Ba'athist butchers than they did in GI Joe. But when the U.N.'s own people lay bleeding, they were glad enough for our help. As one U.N. employee, speaking from inside the Baghdad compound,
put it to me, "It was a proud day for the U.S. Army."

Of course, no one at U.N. headquarters had any public thanks to offer our soldiers. By the end of last week, the French delegation had already warned its U.N. colleagues not to be tricked into supporting American and British efforts to help the Iraqi people just because of a terror bombing. And our own media didn't give five seconds of coverage to the superbly
professional rescue efforts our military made after the bombing.

One is tempted to say, "Next time, let the French do it." But we're Americans, of course. We'll save your sorry backsides, even after you trash us.

If the United Nations won't say it, I will: "Thanks, GI."

Ralph Peters is a retired military officer and the author of "Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World."
30427  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Libertarian themes on: September 11, 2003, 12:10:18 PM
RFID blocker may ease privacy fears

Richard Shim
August 28, 2003, 11:05 BST

Tell us your opinion
RSA Security will develop technology that jams the signals emitted by radio frequency identification tags

Researchers at a major security firm have developed a blocking technique to ease privacy concerns surrounding controversial radio frequency identification technology.

The labs at RSA Security on Wednesday outlined plans for a technology they call blocker tags, which are similar in size and cost to radio frequency identification (RFID) tags but disrupt the transmission of information to scanning devices and thwart the collection of data.

The technique, one of few RFID-blocking technologies being worked on by researchers, is still a concept in the labs. But the next step is to develop prototype chips and see if manufacturers are interested in making the processors, according to Ari Juels, a principal research scientist with RSA Laboratories. Blocker and RFID tags are about the size of a grain of sand and cost around 10 cents.

RFID technology uses microchips to wirelessly transmit product serial numbers to a scanner without the need for human intervention. While the technology is potentially useful in improving supply chain management and preventing theft in stores, consumer privacy groups have voiced concerns about possible abuses of the technology if product-tracking tags are allowed to follow people from stores into their homes. Many retailers view RFID as an eventual successor to the barcode inventory tracking system, because it promises to cut distribution costs for manufacturers and improve retailing margins.

RSA's technique would address the needs of all parties involved, according to Juels. Other options, such as a kill feature embedded in RFID tags, also are available, but with blocker tags, consumers and companies would still be able to use the RFID tags without sacrificing privacy.

"This is not meant to be a hostile tool," Juels said. "It balances consumer privacy and retail use in a profitable way... Tags are too useful to completely disable them."

Retailers have been testing how to use RFID technology in their warehouses to improve inventory management and have dipped their toes into product-level tracking.

Juels said that he foresees a day when tags in clothes can tell washing machines the proper way they need to be washed.

The idea isn't to disable RFID tags, but instead to disrupt the transmission of certain information to scanning devices when consumers want privacy. Blocker tags could be embedded in watches or bags.

Juels said the issue of privacy with regards to RFID technology has been overblown but that there is a need to establish how to best address those concerns before the technology becomes more prevalent.

"If we don't think of it now, it will be more difficult in the future," he said.
30428  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / REMEMBER on: September 11, 2003, 06:19:14 AM
30429  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: September 11, 2003, 06:14:20 AM

  A different point of view  , , ,


The fourth world war

For two years, the U.S. has pursued the culprits behind the 9/11
atrocities with a vengeance that has shocked and awed ally and enemy
alike. But even the devastating attacks on the Afghan and Iraqi regimes
don`t illustrate the true scope of the campaign, DOUG SAUNDERS reports.
While everyone was preoccupied with the fireworks, Washington has
quietly deployed thousands of agents in a secretive struggle that may
last a lifetime


If you happen to find yourself in Nouakchott, a dusty and rarely
visited city of three million on the far western edge of the Sahara, you
may be surprised to find an unlikely sort of character hanging around
government buildings and better hotels. These new strangers, whose ranks
have been growing steadily in recent months, are a species of
serious-looking American men who bear little resemblance to the oil
explorers and motorcycle adventurers who until recently were this city`s
only foreign visitors.

These men, the first Americans in decades to pay any attention to this
poor region, began to appear only in the past two years. With their grim
and purposeful presence, they bring a Graham Greene sort of mood to this
very remote outpost, but instead of seersucker suits and Panama hats,
they tend to wear floppy safari hats and sunglasses, the unofficial
uniform of the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. Special Forces.

What are these quiet Americans doing in the capital of Mauritania, a
nation that has never made the front pages and sits a continent and a
half removed from the immediate interests of the United States? And what
are their colleagues in a dozen other far-flung regions doing, handing
out money and guns and hard-won secrets to governments and warlords and
military men in the southern islands of the Philippines, on the steppes
of Uzbekistan, in the dense jungle between Venezuela and Brazil?

The guys in the sunglasses have a name for this not-so-secret campaign.
They call it World War Four, an unofficial title that is now used
routinely by top officials and ground-level operatives in the U.S.
military and the CIA. It is a global war, one of the most expensive and
complex in world history. And it will mark its second anniversary this
week, on Sept. 11.

The White House would rather it be known as the war on terrorism. But in
its strategies, political risk and secrecy, it is more like the Cold
War, which the CIA types like to consider World War Three. Its central
battles, in Afghanistan and Iraq, have been traditional conflicts. But
while the public`s attention was focused on those big, controversial and
expensive campaigns, the United States was busy launching a broader war
whose battlefields have spread quietly to two dozen countries.

Iraq also was a distraction in another way: It was a shocking and
awesome display of conventional military might that is not at all
typical of the stealth, spy craft, diplomacy and dirty tricks being
employed in the wider war on terrorism. Likewise, "although Operation
Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan understandably captured the imagination
and attention of the press and public," said William Rosenau, a former
senior policy adviser in the State Department, "large-scale military
operations are arguably the smallest aspect of the counterterrorism
campaign. That campaign resembles an iceberg, with the military
component at the top, visible above the water."

Below the surface are dozens of operations, some secret and some simply
unnoticed, conducted by the CIA, the FBI, the diplomatic corps and
small, elite military squads. They have been aided by changes to U.S.
laws after Sept. 11 that allow Americans to do things once forbidden --
such as assassinating foreign figures.

And much of the war is being fought by foreign governments that are
willing and able to do things Americans wouldn`t or couldn`t. "We simply
don`t have the resources, or the inclination, to be everywhere the
terrorists and their supporters are, so we have no choice but to
co-operate with other countries and their security services," Mr.
Rosenau said during a panel discussion in Washington last week.

In some cases, that co-operation has led the United States to endorse
and enable activities that are deeply unsavoury, all in the name of
stomping out terrorism. "Counterterrorism is now 90 per cent law
enforcement and intelligence," said Jonathan Stevenson, a senior
strategist with the International Institute for Strategic Studies in
London. "Since Sept. 11, the only overt military actions have been the
Predator [missile] strike in Yemen, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
-- and I don`t think there will be many more. I think there`s a much
higher priority placed on law enforcement and intelligence now. It`s not
a traditional war."

Whether this is actually a world war, or a large-scale police action, or
(as both critics and some supporters say) the gestation of a new
American imperialism, there is no question that it has come to span the
globe. It has caused mammoth shifts in global allegiances, in the
positioning of U.S. military bases and CIA stations, in the flow of aid
dollars, soldiers and arms across distant borders, on a scale not seen
since the Cold War began.

Over the summer, while the world`s attention was focused on Iraq, the
Pentagon was busily preparing to shift hundreds of thousands of soldiers
to new real estate, in places most Westerners known little about, in
preparation for a world war that could last decades. "Everything is
going to move everywhere," Pentagon undersecretary Douglas Feith said.
"There is not going to be a place in the world where it`s going to be
the same as it used to be."

On Sept. 11, 2001, the world looked much as it had in the 1950s, even
though the Cold War had been over for a decade. Huge concentrations of
American soldiers were based in Germany, in Japan`s outlying islands,
and in South Korea.

It was around this time that Eliot Cohen, a military strategist and
historian, referred to "World War Four" in a Wall Street Journal article
that caught the eye of many Washington officials. James Woolsey, the
former CIA director, began to use the phrase last year in speeches
calling for a far wider sphere of covert activity.

The White House officially objected to the phrase as senseless, even
offensive: The first two world wars had real enemies and real victories,
and together killed 60 million soldiers and civilians. The Cold War
wasn`t a world war at all, but the avoidance of one. And this new
operation is a "war" against an improper noun, whose enemy was not a
nation nor even an ideology but a strategy, and its death toll,
including both its actual wars, remains in the thousands.

Still, it has caught on, both among the stern-faced guys on the ground
and in Washington`s hawkish policy circles. General Tommy Franks, head
of the U.S. Central Command, was in Addis Ababa this summer to announce
that Africa`s east coast had become a region of great strategic
importance. "We are in the midst of World War Four," he told his
audience, before imploring them to arrest local Islamist leaders in
exchange for $100-million in aid, "with an insidious web of
international terrorists."

As well, the general and his colleagues are acting as though it`s a
world war, or at least a global operation on the scale of the Cold War.
They are building a new kind of military, one that will be based in
lonely places we`ve never heard of, and doing things we won`t often hear

"As we pursue the global war on terrorism, we`re going to have to go
where the terrorists are," explained Gen. James Jones, head of the U.S.
military`s European Command. "And we`re seeing some evidence, at least
preliminary, that more and more of these large uncontrolled, ungoverned
areas are going to be potential havens for that kind of activity."

So American soldiers and spooks are moving out of Germany and into
Africa -- the east now, and soon into the western Sahara and the
northern Mediterranean coast as well. They are moving out of Japan and
Korea and into Southeast Asia, which has the world`s largest Muslim
population and is believed to be the area at highest risk of al-Qaeda
outbreaks. This fall, large numbers of U.S. soldiers are expected to
land in the southern Philippines, whose Muslim terrorists are accused of
having links to al-Qaeda.

And the soldiers are also manning bases created in such central Asian
republics as Uzbekistan for the Afghan war, and on the Black Sea in
Bulgaria and Romania for the Iraq conflict, but now expected to become

And even farther afield will be hundreds of new outposts that Gen. Jones
refers to as "warm bases," "lily pads" and "virtual bases" -- temporary,
stealthy or secret operations mounted with the help of local regimes.

This has led the United States into some highly unlikely allegiances,
which may or may not be directly related to the immediate threat of
Osama bin Laden`s circle. For example, it is conducting stealth
operations in South America -- in the "tri-border" jungle region between
Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, and on Venezuela`s exotic Margarita
Island, both of which are home to large populations of Saudi Arabian
expatriates. It is not clear whether there are actual terrorists here,
or simply people who have sent money to terrorists, or if accusations of
terrorism are being used to support local conflicts and to attract U.S.

"The downside," said Herman Cohen, former U.S. secretary of state for
Africa, "is that you can take on the agenda of local leaders."

To understand the astonishing scope and morally swampy ground of this
ever-expanding war, it is worth visiting three of its lesser-known

The unlikely winner: Djibouti

Even American generals have to search for it on a map. It is a tiny,
barren speck of sand and lava rock on Africa`s upper right-hand corner,
a country with no tangible economy, no arable land, no tourism, no
reason to matter to anyone other than its 640,000 inhabitants.

That is, until the war on terrorism came along. During the two Iraq
wars, the United States used Djibouti`s conveniently empty desert for
training and war simulations. The generals were impressed with what they
found: a nearly vacant stretch of land right across the Red Sea from the
Persian Gulf nations, and right next to the eastern African nations
believed to be the "next Afghanistan" for their burgeoning community of
Islamist terrorists.

Even better, the government of Djibouti was a lot more amenable to
American soldiers than was Saudi Arabia, the traditional U.S. base in
the region. For only a few million dollars, the Americans could do
virtually anything they wanted -- and Djibouti would do almost anything
the Americans want.

In August, the United States turned its temporary station at Djibouti`s
Camp Lemonier into permanent headquarters for the war on terrorism,
setting up elaborate electronic listening posts and erecting a small
city of concrete buildings. More than 2,000 troops are now stationed
there, with more expected to arrive as the United States vacates Saudi
Arabia. They will spend years, maybe decades, keeping a close watch on
the unstable territories of Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan.

"If I was a terrorist, I`d be going to places like Africa," Sergeant Jim
Lewis of the U.S. Army said recently at the Djibouti headquarters.
"That`s why we`re here. To seek them out, do whatever we can to find and
kill them."

But Djibouti is typical of the strange new alliances the United States
is willing to enter -- and of the abuses it is willing to tolerate in
order to achieve its goals. This year, it wrote cheques for $31-million
to the tiny country, making it one of the larger recipients of U.S. aid.
The cheques go to the government of President Ismael Omar Guelleh, whose
party won all the seats in January`s general election. Opposition leader
Daher Ahed Farah complained that his Democratic Renewal Party received
37 per cent of the vote but failed to win a seat. For his criticisms, he
was arrested in March and thrown into Djibouti`s notorious Gabode
prison. Other opposition leaders are forced to live in exile in France.

The State Department officially says Djibouti`s human-rights record has
"serious problems," but the Bush administration seems to see this as a
potential asset. Last week, Djibouti expelled 100,000 residents, or 15
per cent of its population, to neighbouring countries. One government
official explained that these foreign-born residents are "a threat to
the peace and security of the country . . . How do we know whether an
individual is a terrorist biding his time to cause harm, or not?" The
official denied reports that the United States had requested the

The poor human-rights record has not hurt Mr. Guelleh`s relations with
his allies. In late January, shortly after the questionable election, he
visited Washington and was personally f?ted by President George W. Bush,
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defence
Donald Rumsfeld -- a level of access beyond the reach of leaders such as
Prime Minister Jean Chr?tien.

When a powerful truck bomb destroyed the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta and
killed six people a month ago today, local police and military were
quick to spring into action. Within a week, they had arrested top
officials in Jemaah Islamiyah, the Indonesian branch of al-Qaeda.

And no wonder: They not only had the direct help of U.S. Special Forces
soldiers and CIA agents who had flooded into the region after Sept. 11;
they had just received a special $50-million U.S. war on terrorism
assistance package, half of which went to the police force.

But the bomb`s aftermath reminded many people of another explosive event
a dozen years earlier. In 1991, Indonesian soldiers had opened fire on
protesters demanding independence for East Timor. More than 200 were
slaughtered in an event that shocked the world. The Cold War had created
endless horrors in Indonesia, where the Americans supported both the
army and Islamist separatists, whom it saw as useful opponents to
Soviet-backed Communist independence movements.

After the slaughter, the United States began to back away, throwing
support to democracy movements throughout Southeast Asia. The one in
Indonesia flourished after the 1998 departure of strongman Suharto, and
a year later, the United States actually helped East Timor gain
independence, using its aid muscle to keep the Indonesian army on the

So now, the people of the world`s most populous Islamic nation are not
exactly happy to see themselves becoming pawns in yet another global
war. While the U.S. aid and attention are welcomed by many, they
threaten to set back the democracy movement, turn the military back into
lawless and dangerous forces, and bring back the old Cold War dynamics.

In exchange for participating in the war on terrorism, the Indonesian
government has said it wants U.S. help in fighting what it defines as
"terrorist" groups. Chief among these is the Free Aceh Movement,
generally recognized as a legitimate party calling for the independence
of a former archipelago nation now part of Indonesia. So far, Washington
has refused to co-operate, saying its list of terrorist groups includes
only those that threaten U.S. interests.

All across Southeast Asia, this pattern is being repeated: fragile
democracy movements, enjoying U.S. support after years of Cold War
suppression, are being menaced by armies and governments emboldened by
the war on terrorism. In Thailand, in Malaysia and in the Philippines,
the threat of Islamic terrorism is real -- but so is the threat created
by the war against it.

The paradox: Mauritania

To appreciate the strange new ecology of this war fully, it`s worth
visiting its most distant front, and taking a closer look at those
mysterious Americans hanging around that dusty capital on the western
edge of the Sahara.

For 19 years, the former French colony of Mauritania has been ruled by a
military strongman named Maaouyah Ould Sid Ahmed Taya, in what his
partisans describe as a democracy, one that opposition parties accuse of
bloodily repressing political dissent.

Until 2001, this was of no interest at all to the United States or any
other English-speaking country. The war on terrorism has changed
everything. In a nation with a per-capita income of a dollar a day, the
prospect of becoming a foreign client is hard to resist. When the United
States and its allies drove al-Qaeda and its supporters out of such
northern African nations as Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia shortly after
Sept. 11 (with the help of foreign-aid dollars, secret military
campaigns and a new willingness to overlook the countries` abuses), the
Mauritanians saw an opportunity.

"We acted because it was obvious to us that this was the thing to do,"
Mohamedou Ould Michel, the Mauritanian ambassador to the United States,
told the Washington Times recently. "In a world situation in which one
nation is dominant, it serves the interest of other nations to take this
into account."

The United States suspected al-Qaeda cells had moved south into the
ancient trade routes that span the Sahara from Sudan to Mauritania. This
isn`t at all certain -- even senior Pentagon and CIA officials have said
they don`t really know. But Mr. Taya, whose military regime faces a
popular Saudi-backed opposition in elections scheduled this fall, was
quick to claim that his country was under threat.

Mauritania has certainly benefited. It received a large share of a
$100-million (U.S.) military aid package for friendly West African
nations this summer. Starting this month, it will become the prime
beneficiary of the Pan-Sahelian Initiative, in which U.S. military
advisers provide weapons, vehicles and extensive military training to
special terror-fighting squads in Mali, Niger, Chad and Mauritania.

In exchange for this largesse, it has embraced the Americans,
acknowledged Israel`s existence, and cracked down hard on its Islamist
opposition parties, often with U.S. help. Those parties, whose leaders
have been driven into exile in Europe, argue that there never was any
al-Qaeda link; rather, they say, Mr. Taya has used the imprimatur of
terrorism to ban the opposition and has even tortured some leaders to
death in prison -- with full U.S. support.

His co-operation with Washington has yielded the Mauritanian leader even
greater fruit. In the predawn hours of June 8, a group of Islamists in
the military staged a violent coup d`?tat, driving tanks into the
capital and mounting a two-day gun battle. But in the end the uprising
was put down, reportedly with help from the leader`s new Western allies.

The Americans tend to view this as a victory. Most observers are frankly
amazed at how much support a few million dollars bought. "A little bit
of money sure goes a long way out there," laughs Steven Simon, a former
senior director of the U.S. National Security Council who now provides
private consulting to the Pentagon with the RAND Corporation.

Beyond the possibility of a vaporous enemy, these dubious new
allegiances pose another threat, Mr. Simon noted. What if the United
States, in its zeal to eliminate the tens of thousands of people trained
by al-Qaeda around the world, winds up providing aid and encouragement
to unpopular regimes that are doing things almost as bad?

"The risk here is one of the big paradoxes of the war on terrorism," he
said. "One of the main grievances these terrorist groups are trying to
draw attention to is that the United States is consorting with evil
regimes that repress their people. But if the United States is going to
try to eliminate these groups, it will need the help and co-operation of
these regimes and therefore could give credence to those complaints."

Mr. Simon is among a growing group of Washington hawks who worry that
the war on terrorism may indeed have become a little too much like World
War Four -- or, worse, too much like the Cold War.

"Look at the similarities: Here we have a globalized organization that
was competing for hearts and minds with the rest of the world -- like
the Cold War, the battle is being fought all over the place. And one
mistake of the Cold War was that the U.S. came to think that you have to
fight the enemy everywhere. That`s how we wound up in Vietnam, which was
a terrible mistake in every sense. We seem to be having a very similar
situation here, and making the same mistake, where you end up stuck in
one place. I`m concerned that that`s happened in Iraq, and that it could
happen elsewhere."

The Cold War at least had a tangible enemy to negotiate with. "The
difference is that here, the enemy cannot be deterred in the same way,"
Mr. Simon said. Unlike the spectre of a nuclear conflict, "there`s no
mutually assured destruction."

World War Four, if that is going to be its name, had a firm and definite
beginning, when the jetliner attacks shocked the United States back into
an international role two years ago. But there is no chance that it will
have a firm and definite end. There will be no V-T day.

"Since al-Qaeda is not an army, but an ideological, transnational
movement, there is no enemy military force physically to defeat," said
Bruce Hoffman, a Washington-based terrorism expert and military
consultant. "In fact, our enemies have defined this conflict, from their
perspective, as a war of attrition designed eventually to wear down our
resolve and will to resist."

We have become used to a "war" being something that lasts a few months
at most, possibly only days. This one could last a lifetime -- and there
is no question, given the enormous shifts in manpower and geographic
focus, that the United States is preparing for just that. "Our enemies
see this conflict as an epic struggle that will last years, if not
decades," Mr. Hoffman said. "The challenge therefore for the U.S. and
other countries enmeshed in this conflict is to maintain focus, and not
to become complacent about security or our prowess."

For the harried commanders in Washington, that will indeed be the
challenge. For the rest of the world, the far more difficult challenge
will be understanding what is really going on in this lifelong,
worldwide conflict -- what is right and what is wrong in this morally
and strategically fraught new world.

Doug Saunders writes on international affairs for The Globe and Mail.
30430  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Libertarian themes on: September 11, 2003, 05:34:02 AM
Group to protest 'spy chips'
Inventory technology also can be used to track consumers

Posted: September 11, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Jon Dougherty
? 2003

A consumer-protection group is planning to lead a demonstration against the introduction of electronic identification technology critics say violates basic privacy rights.

According to a statement issued by Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering, or CASPIAN, opponents will protest the launch of the Electronic Product Code, or EPC, network during a Sept. 16 symposium at Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center.

Enlarged graphic of RFID tag.

Currently, all products are identified by a series of lines and numbers via the Universal Product Code, or UPC ? which is commonly referred to as "bar coding." But industry and manufacturing leaders want to adopt the EPC network, which involves embedding computer chips that emit radio signals inside products. The signals, which can be picked up by "readers" at varied distances, will alert in-store and warehouse managers to current stock levels, streamlining product management while aiding in the prevention of theft.

But opponents of the technology say the so-called "spy chips" could also be misused by industry and government to not only identify products but also consumers who buy them. By incorporating Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, technology within the EPC network, corporations can identify shoppers as well as products.

"We have serious privacy and civil-liberties concerns about this technology. Corporations and governments could use it to register products to individuals and secretly track them after purchase," says Katherine Albrecht, founder and director of CASPIAN.

Peter Fox, a spokesman for shaving supply giant Gillette ? one of the first companies planning to use EPC technology ? downplayed concerns about civil-liberties violations.

"There seems to be a level of misunderstanding" about the use of the technology, Fox told WorldNetDaily.

Back in 1999, Fox said Gillette was "a founding sponsor" of the AutoID Center, a corporation helping to develop both barcode and EPC technology, because "our goal is ? to have our products on retail shelves where consumers can buy them."

"That may be a simple goal, but the truth of the matter is, that doesn't happen," he said. "Each year billions of dollars are lost by manufacturers and retailers because products get lost in the supply chain, and for lots of different reasons."

Data error, mistakes in inventory and outright theft are some ways products can get "lost" in the system. As the cost of covering those losses rises, so too does the cost of the product, he explained.

But Albrecht says RFID technology is much more than an "improved bar code," and she believes industry is dismissing "consumer concerns."

"These RFID spy chips can be read silently from a distance, right through your clothes, wallet, backpack or purse by anyone with the right reader device," she said. "For example, the chips can be secretly embedded in credit cards or sewn into the seams of pants where they can be used to observe people's movements without their knowledge or consent."

As WorldNetDaily reported, CASPIAN led a boycott against Gillette for the company's decision to use the technology.

Days later, Gillette renounced some uses of the technology.
Gillette renounces
'smart-shelf' technology
Controversial plan called for tracking merchandise, photographing customers

Posted: August 15, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Jon Dougherty
? 2003

The Gillette Company ? the world's leading shaving-supplies manufacturer ? says it is scrapping plans to deploy its controversial "smart-shelf" product-tracking technology, which would have involved planting tiny computer chips in its product packaging and surreptitiously photographing customers.

As WorldNetDaily reported, the tracking technology, called Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, centered on small tracking chips being affixed to Gillette products. The chips can track items at a distance, even through personal items such as a purse, backpack or wallet, and have been anticipated to replace eventually the bar codes now used to track all retail items.

Close-up of RFID tag.

Gillette, a leading backer of RFID, wanted to go a step further. The company was also planning to install tiny cameras on shelves containing its products in stores, which would then photograph customers as they removed items from the shelf, consumer advocate Katherine Albrecht told WorldNetDaily last month.

However, Gillette has now decided to shelve its "smart-shelf" plans, perhaps for as long as a decade, reports the Financial Times.

The shaving supplier had ordered some 500 million of the RFID tag chips from a small California tech company, Alien Technologies. The chips were to be delivered this year, according to the Times.

"Gillette denied it had abandoned an earlier plan to use the technology in individual products on store shelves. But a spokesman said the company did not now expect RFID tags to be used to monitor individual products in stores for at least 10 years," the report said.

Rather, Gillette has now decided to place the chips on pallets of merchandise, so it can track them from warehouse to warehouse and from warehouse to store, said the Times.

In January, Gillette announced plans to use the RFID tags. "If successful, up to half a billion tags could be placed on Gillette products over the next few years," according to a company statement.

News of Gillette's plan to cancel its "smart-shelf" trials comes a day after WorldNetDaily reported a group founded by Albrecht had begun a boycott of Gillette products as a protest against RFID.

The boycott, sponsored by Albrecht's parent group, Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering, or CASPIAN, sought to punish Gillette for utilizing in-store and in-product technology capable of tracking buyers.

Although it's unclear to what degree, if any, Gillette's decision to abandon in-store RFID was based on the boycott, Albrecht told WorldNetDaily she "absolutely" believes it impacted the company's announcement.

"We've gotten quite a few letters and quite a few phone calls," she said. "It's been hectic."

An e-mail forwarded to WorldNetDaily by Albrecht contains a customer reply from Paul Fox, a spokesman for Gillette. In it, Fox claims the corporation is interested only in using RFID technology to monitor its "supply chain."

"We have not and have no intentions to use this technology to track, videotape or photograph consumers," Fox said in the e-mail.

Fox did not respond to inquiries by WorldNetDaily before publication of this report.

Despite Gillette's denial, Albrecht said the boycott would continue until the company completely and publicly renounces the use of the RFID tags in its individual products.

"What I'd really like to see is Gillette say they're not putting these tags in individual products because when they do, it invites abuse," said Albrecht. "If Gillette claims they have no control over [the abuse], I say sure they do ? stop putting the tags in the packages."
Auto-ID: Tracking everything, everywhere
Katherine Albrecht, CASPIAN
[The following is an excerpt from the article, "Supermarket Cards: Tip of the Retail Surveillance Iceberg," accepted for Publication in the Denver University Law Review, June 2002]

"In 5-10 years, whole new ways of doing things will emerge and gradually become commonplace. Expect big changes."
- MIT's Auto-ID Center

Supermarket cards and other retail surveillance devices are merely the opening volley of the marketers' war against consumers. If consumers fail to oppose these practices now, our long term prospects may look like something from a dystopian science fiction novel.

A new consumer goods tracking system called Auto-ID is poised to enter all of our lives, with profound implications for consumer privacy. Auto-ID couples radio frequency (RF) identification technology with highly miniaturized computers that enable products to be identified and tracked at any point along the supply chain.

The system could be applied to almost any physical item, from ballpoint pens to toothpaste, which would carry their own unique information in the form of an embedded chip. The chip sends out an identification signal allowing it to communicate with reader devices and other products embedded with similar chips.

Analysts envision a time when the system will be used to identify and track every item produced on the planet.

A number for every Item on the planet

Auto-ID employs a numbering scheme called ePC (for "electronic product code") which can provide a unique ID for any physical object in the world. The ePC is intended to replace the UPC bar code used on products today.

Unlike the bar code, however, the ePC goes beyond identifying product categories -- it actually assigns a unique number to every single item that rolls off a manufacturing line. For example, each pack of cigarettes, individual can of soda, light bulb or package of razor blades produced would be uniquely identifiable through its own ePC number.

Once assigned, this number is transmitted by a radio frequency ID tag (RFID) in or on the product. These tiny tags, predicted by some to cost less than 1 cent each by 2004, are "somewhere between the size of a grain of sand and a speck of dust." They are to be built directly into food, clothes, drugs, or auto-parts during the manufacturing process.

Receiver or reader devices are used to pick up the signal transmitted by the RFID tag. Proponents envision a pervasive global network of millions of receivers along the entire supply chain -- in airports, seaports, highways, distribution centers, warehouses, retail stores, and in the home. This would allow for seamless, continuous identification and tracking of physical items as they move from one place to another, enabling companies to determine the whereabouts of all their products at all times.

Steven Van Fleet, an executive at International Paper, looks forward to the prospect. "We'll put a radio frequency ID tag on everything that moves in the North American supply chain," he enthused recently.

The ultimate goal is for Auto-ID to create a "physically linked world" in which every item on the planet is numbered, identified, catalogued, and tracked. And the technology exists to make this a reality. Described as "a political rather than a technological problem," creating a global system ?would . . . involve negotiation between, and consensus among, different countries.? Supporters are aiming for worldwide acceptance of the technologies needed to build the infrastructure within the next few years.

The implications of Auto-ID

"Theft will be drastically reduced because items will report when they are stolen, their smart tags also serving as a homing device toward their exact location." - MIT's Auto-ID Center

Since the Auto-ID Center's founding at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1999, it has moved forward at remarkable speed. The center has attracted funding from some of the largest consumer goods manufacturers in the world, and even counts the Department of Defense among its sponsors. In a mid-2001 pilot test with Gillette, Philip Morris, Procter & Gamble, and Wal-Mart, the center wired the entire city of Tulsa, Oklahoma with radio-frequency equipment to verify its ability to track Auto-ID equipped packages.

Though many Auto-ID proponents appear focused on inventory and supply chain efficiency, others are developing financial and consumer applications that, if adopted, will have chilling effects on consumers' ability to escape the oppressive surveillance of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers. Of course, government and law enforcement will be quick to use the technology to keep tabs on citizens, as well.

The European Central Bank is quietly working to embed RFID tags in the fibers of Euro bank notes by 2005. The tag would allow money to carry its own history by recording information about where it has been, thus giving governments and law enforcement agencies a means to literally "follow the money" in every transaction. If and when RFID devices are embedded in banknotes, the anonymity that cash affords in consumer transactions will be eliminated.

Hitachi Europe wants to supply the tags. The company has developed a smart tag chip that -- at just 0.3mm square and as thin as a human hair -- can easily fit inside of a banknote. Mass-production of the new chip will start within a year.

Consumer marketing applications will decimate privacy

"Radio frequency is another technology that supermarkets are already using in a number of places throughout the store. We now envision a day where consumers will walk into a store, select products whose packages are embedded with small radio frequency UPC codes, and exit the store without ever going through a checkout line or signing their name on a dotted line."
Jacki Snyder, Manager of Electronic Payments for Supervalu (Supermarkets), Inc., and Chair, Food Marketing Institute Electronic Payments Committee

Auto-ID would expand marketers' ability to monitor individuals' behavior to undreamt of extremes. With corporate sponsors like Wal-Mart, Target, the Food Marketing Institute, Home Depot, and British supermarket chain Tesco, as well as some of the world's largest consumer goods manufacturers including Proctor and Gamble, Phillip Morris, and Coca Cola it may not be long before Auto-ID-based surveillance tags begin appearing in every store-bought item in a consumer's home.

According to a video tour of the "Home of the Future" and "Store of the Future" sponsored by Proctor and Gamble, applications could include shopping carts that automatically bill consumer's accounts (cards would no longer be needed to link purchases to individuals), refrigerators that report their contents to the supermarket for re-ordering, and interactive televisions that select commercials based on the contents of a home's refrigerator.

Now that shopper cards have whetted their appetite for data, marketers are no longer content to know who buys what, when, where, and how. As incredible as it may seem, they are now planning ways to monitor consumers' use of products within their very homes. Auto-ID tags coupled with indoor receivers installed in shelves, floors, and doorways, could provide a degree of omniscience about consumer behavior that staggers the imagination.

Consider the following statements by John Stermer, Senior Vice President of eBusiness Market Development at ACNielsen:

"[After bar codes] [t]he next 'big thing' [was] [f]requent shopper cards. While these did a better job of linking consumers and their purchases, loyalty cards were severely limited...consider the usage, consumer demographic, psychographic and economic blind spots of tracking data.... omething more integrated and holistic was needed to provide a ubiquitous understanding of on- and off-line consumer purchase behavior, attitudes and product usage. The answer: RFID (radio frequency identification) technology.... In an industry first, RFID enables the linking of all this product information with a specific consumer identified by key demographic and psychographic markers....Where once we collected purchase information, now we can correlate multiple points of consumer product purchase with consumption specifics such as the how, when and who of product use."

Marketers aren't the only ones who want to watch what you do in your home. Enter again the health surveillance connection. Some have suggested that pill bottles in medicine cabinets be tagged with Auto-ID devices to allow doctors to remotely monitor patient compliance with prescriptions.

While developers claim that Auto-ID technology will create "order and balance" in a chaotic world, even the center's executive director, Kevin Ashton, acknowledges there's a "Brave New World" feel to the technology. He admits, for example, that people might balk at the thought of police using Auto-ID to scan the contents of a car's trunk without needing to open it. The Center's co-director, Sanjay E. Sarma, has already begun planning strategies to counter the public backlash he expects the system will encounter.

This passage has 27 footnoted references associated with it. I will be happy to send a copy of the entire article, including footnotes and references, as an email attachment on request.
30431  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Weird and/or silly on: September 10, 2003, 05:35:24 PM
Exclusive: Saudi Govt Bans "Jewish" Barbie Dolls
by SIA News

(Washington) September 8, 2003 - SIA News  The Saudi government has announced that Barbie dolls are Jewish tools promoting the lewd behavior of what it calls the perverted Western world, according to a government poster distributed to Saudi schools, mosques and hospitals which has been obtained and translated by SIA news.

The poster, titled "The Jewish Doll", is printed and distributed by the powerful Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, otherwise known as the religious police. This is a government agency headed by a Wahhabi cleric with ministerial rank appointed by King Fahd.

The poster includes photos of Barbie dolls that have been confiscated by religious police from local retail outlets, displayed in a special exhibition of goods which are deemed to have violated official religious teachings.

The Permanent Exhibition for Religious Contraventions is located at the headquarters of the religious police in Madina. It displays confiscated goods such as photographs, perfumes, and dolls among other confiscated items.

Saudi spokesman in Washington, Adel Al-Jubeir, refused to comment when SIA news asked him about the poster and the official propagation of religious hatred against Jews, Christians, Hindus and non-Wahhabi Muslims by government agencies and officials.

The power of the religious police emanates from the support of King Fahd and the powerful Interior Minister Prince Naif, who fund it generously.

In addition to their large annual budget, the religious police receive millions of dollars from the king in form of cash infusions, and new SUV?s, on annual bases.

On June 30, 2002 Al-Riyadh newspaper reported that King Fahd donated $1.25 million from his private covers to support the religious police?s work.

On May 18, Naif reiterated his support for the religious police in a press conference attended by western reporters. ?The religious police are part of the government and are here to stay,? said Naif, who was angered by a Saudi journalist?s question regarding the possibility of it being dismantled.

The Barbie doll and similar posters are distributed to school children, worshipers at mosques, and hospital patients.

The agency's official website uses 'gov' net extension displays the government seal also found on the poster. To access the poster from the government website:

Other confiscated items can be seen at:
30432  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / 1 stick vs. 2 sticks on: September 10, 2003, 03:00:16 PM
Woof All:

A couple of points:

1) What Mookie refers to as the DBMA videos are properly called either "The Dog Brothers videos" or "Real Contact Stickfighting".   They comprise our first series.  The DBMA videos are our second series.\

2) Many people prefer to develop their dominant side first and many of them have good results.   My concern with this approach is that, unlike boxing/kickboxing where both hands/feet are active, it tends to increase the disparity between dominant and complementary hands/sides and, for many people, to develop only linear footwork.

Some systems, e.g. LaCoste, solve this by teaching long and short first.

3) In DBMA we teach double from the beginning.  Apart from the fighting benefits of this, it develops the body evenly (and if you train with gusto imbalance is a risk in training only one side IMHO) and opens the door to footwork that changes lead.  Not to say that the off-lead in single does not have its place, but if it does not matter which side is forward then all triangles become possible.

4) The skills developed by this approach we feel have importance in 360 degree situations.

Guro Crafty

 and when working single stick usually teach the complementary hand first.  This transposes readily to the dominant side (vice versa not doing so in our experience) and yields a natural comfort with the motion(s) in question on either side.

30433  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / New kali &Krabi Krabong video on: September 10, 2003, 02:44:50 PM
Woof Kam, Mike, Tomek et al:

  Actually I have not yet received my copies of the video-- although I have seen the raw footage.  The plan was for me to edit it, but due to a glitch in communication they went ahead without me so I confess to a bit of concern at the moment.  Although the advertising promises fight footage, I have supplied none.  Does the video have any?

Guro Crafty
30434  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: September 09, 2003, 05:44:40 PM

Two Years of War
Sep 09, 2003


Two years into the war that began on Sept. 11, 2001, the primary pressure is on al Qaeda to demonstrate its ability to achieve its goals. The events of Sept. 11 were primarily intended to change the internal dynamics of the Islamic world, but not a single regime fell as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks. However, the United States -- unable to decline action -- has taken a huge risk in its response. The outcome of the battle is now in doubt: Washington still holds the resources card and can militarily outman al Qaeda, but the militant network's ability to pull off massive and unpleasant surprises should not be dismissed.


Old military communiqu?s used to read, "The battle has been joined but the outcome is in doubt." From Stratfor's viewpoint, that seems to be the best way to sum up the status of the war that began on Sept. 11, 2001, when al Qaeda operatives attacked U.S. political, military and economic targets.

Though the militants were devastatingly successful in destroying the World Trade Center and shutting down U.S. financial markets, al Qaeda did not achieve its primary goal: a massive uprising in the Islamic world. Its attack was a means toward an end and not an end in itself. Al Qaeda's primary goal was the radical transformation of the Islamic world as a preface for re-establishing the Caliphate -- a multinational Islamic empire that, at its height, stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans.

To achieve this end, al Qaeda knew that it had to first overthrow existing regimes in the Islamic world. These regimes were divided into two classes. One was made up of secular, socialist and military regimes, inspired by Gamel Abdul Nasser. This class included countries such as Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Libya. The second class comprised the formally Islamic states of the Arabian Peninsula, which Osama bin Laden referred to as "hypocrites" for policies that appeared Islamic but actually undermined the construction of the Caliphate. Finally, bin Laden had to deal with the problem of Shiite Iran, which had taken the lead in revolutionizing Islam but in which the Wahhabi and Sunni al Qaeda had little confidence.

Al Qaeda's political objective was to set into motion the process that would replace these governments with Islamist regimes. To achieve this, al Qaeda needed a popular uprising in at least some of these countries. But it reasoned that there could be no rising until the Islamic masses recognized that these governments were simply collaborators and puppets of the Christians, Jews and Hindus. Even more important, al Qaeda had to demonstrate that the United States was both militarily impotent and an active enemy of the Islamic world. The attacks would serve to convince the masses that the United States could be defeated. An ongoing war between the United States and the Islamic world would serve to convince the masses that the United States had to be defeated.

Al Qaeda had to stage an operation that would achieve these ends:

1. It had to show that the United States was vulnerable.
2. Its action had to be sufficiently severe that the United States could not avoid a counterattack.
3. The counterattack had to be, in turn, countered by al Qaeda, reinforcing the perception of U.S. weakness.

The events of Sept. 11 were intended primarily to change the internal dynamics of the Islamic world. The attacks were designed so that their significance could not be minimized in the Islamic world or in the United States -- as had been the case with prior al Qaeda strikes against U.S. interests. Al Qaeda also had to strike symbols of American power -- symbols so obvious that their significance would be understandable to the simplest Muslim. Thus, operatives struck at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and -- in a failed attack -- Congress.

As expected, the attacks riveted global attention and forced the United States to strike back, first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq. The United States could not decline combat: If it did so, al Qaeda's representation of the United States as an essentially weak power would have been emphatically confirmed. That was not an option. At the same time, optimal military targets were unavailable, so the United States was forced into suboptimal attacks.

The invasion of Afghanistan was the first of these. But the United States did not defeat the Taliban; Knowing it could not defeat U.S. troops in conventional combat -- the Taliban withdrew, dispersed and reorganized as a guerrilla force in the Afghan countryside. It is now carrying out counterattacks against entrenched U.S. and allied forces.

In Iraq, the Islamist forces appear to have followed a similar strategy within a much tighter time frame. Rather than continuing conventional resistance, the Iraqis essentially dispersed a small core of dedicated fighters -- joined by an international cadre of Islamists -- and transitioned into guerrilla warfare in a few short weeks after the cessation of major conventional combat operations.

However, al Qaeda did not achieve its primary mission -- Sept. 11 did not generate a mass uprising in the Islamic world. Not a single regime fell. To the contrary, the Taliban lost control of Afghanistan, and the regime of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein fell. Nevertheless, given its goals, al Qaeda was the net winner in this initial phase. First, the U.S. obsession about being attacked by al Qaeda constantly validated the militant network's power in the Islamic world and emphasized the vulnerability of the United States. Second, the United States threw itself into the Islamic world, adding credence to al Qaeda's claim that the country is the enemy of Islam. Finally, Washington drew a range of Islamic regimes into collaboration with its own war effort, demonstrating that these regimes -- from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan -- were in fact collaborating with the Christians rather than representing Islamic interests. Finally, by drawing the United States into the kind of war it is the least competent in waging --guerrilla war -- al Qaeda created the framework for a prolonged conflict that would work against the United States in the Islamic world and at home.

Therefore, on first reading it would appear that the war has thus far gone pretty much as al Qaeda hoped it would. That is true, except for the fact that al Qaeda has not achieved the goal toward which all of this was directed. It achieved the things that it saw as the means toward the end, and yet the end is nowhere in sight.

This is the most important fact of the war. Al Qaeda wins if the Islamic world transforms itself at least in part by establishing Islamist regimes. That simply hasn't happened, and there is no sign of it happening. Thus far, at least, whatever the stresses might have been in the Islamic world, existing regimes working in concert with the United States have managed to contain the threat quite effectively.

This might be simply a matter of time. However, after two years, the suspicion has to be raised that al Qaeda calculated everything perfectly -- except for the response. Given what has been said about the Islamic world's anger at the United States and its contempt for the corruption of many governments, the failure of a revolutionary movement to take hold anywhere raises the question of whether al Qaeda's core analysis of the Islamic world had any truth, or whether other factors are at play.

Now turn the question to the United States for a moment. The United States clearly understood al Qaeda's strategy. The government understood that al Qaeda was hoping for a massive counterattack in multiple countries and deep intrusions into other countries. Washington understood that it was playing into al Qaeda's plans; it nevertheless did so.

The U.S. analysis paralleled al Qaeda's analysis. Washington agreed that the issue was the Islamic perception of U.S. weakness. It understood, as President George W. Bush said in his Sept. 7 speech, that Beirut and Somalia -- as well as other events -- had persuaded the Islamic world that the country was indeed weak. Therefore, U.S. officials concluded that inaction would simply reinforce this perception and would hasten the unraveling of the region. Therefore, they realized that even if it played directly into al Qaeda's plan, the United States could not refuse to act.

Taking action carried with it a huge risk -- that of playing out al Qaeda's scenario. However, U.S. leaders made another bet: If an attack on the Islamic world could force or entice regimes in the area to act against al Qaeda inside their borders, then the threat could be turned around. Instead of al Qaeda trapping the United States, the United States could be trap al Qaeda. The central U.S. bet was that Washington could move the regimes in question in a suitable direction -- without their disintegration. If it succeeded, the tables could be turned.

The invasion of Iraq was intended to achieve this, and to a great extent it did. The Saudis moved against al Qaeda domestically. Syria changed its behavior. Most importantly, the Iranians shifted their view and actions. None of these regimes fell in the process. None of these actions were as thorough as the United States wanted, either -- and certainly none were definitive. Nevertheless, collaboration increased, and no regime fell.

But at this point, the battle is in doubt:

1. The United States must craft strategies for keeping both the Afghan and Iraqi campaigns at manageable levels. In particular, it must contain guerrilla activities at a level that will not be perceived by the Islamic world as a significant victory.
2. The United States must continue to force or induce nations to collaborate without bringing down any governments.
3. Al Qaeda must, at some point, bring down a government to maintain its own credibility. At this point, merely surviving is not enough.

Both sides now are caught in a battle. The United States holds the resource card: Despite insufficient planning for manpower requirements over the course of the war, the United States is still in a position to bring substantial power to bear in multiple theaters of operation. For al Qaeda, the card is another massive attack on the United States. In the short run, the network cannot do more than sustain the level of combat currently achieved. This level is insufficient to trigger the political events for which it hopes. Therefore, it has to up the ante.

The next months will give some indication of the direction the war is going. Logic tells us that the United States will contain the war in Iraq and, to a lesser extent, in Afghanistan. Logic also tells us that al Qaeda will attempt another massive attack in the United States to try to break the logjam in the Islamic world. What al Qaeda needs is a series of uprisings from the Pacific to the Atlantic that would topple existing regimes. What the United States needs is to demonstrate that it has the will and ability to contain the forces al Qaeda has unleashed.

At this moment, two years into the war, the primary pressure is on al Qaeda. It has not yet demonstrated its ability to achieve its goals; it has only achieved an ability to mobilize the means of doing so. That is not going to be enough. On the other hand, its ability to pull off massive and unpleasant surprises should not be underestimated.
30435  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Current Events: Philippines on: September 08, 2003, 08:43:55 AM
1137 GMT - PHILIPPINES: The Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are expected to resume peace talks in October, Norberto Gonzales, presidential adviser on special concerns, said Sept. 8. The talks, which will be held in Malaysia, will be the first in two years between Philippine officials and the militant group. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has said she is confident that a peace deal will be reached before U.S. President George W. Bush visits the area in late October.
30436  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Libertarian themes on: September 07, 2003, 09:17:28 AM
Group sues feds over medical privacy
Doctors, patients, advocates claim new rules 'threaten essential liberties'

Posted: September 6, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Jon Dougherty
? 2003

A group consisting of patients, doctors and privacy advocates has filed suit in federal court charging a new government rule actually "eliminates the right to privacy" of past and future communications between doctor and patient.

In papers filed in U.S. district court in Philadelphia, the group ? Citizens for Health, represented by Washington, D.C. lawyer James Pyles ? accuses "the federal government of ignoring overwhelming public opinion to prevent the widespread use of medical records and instead implemented new regulations that threaten essential liberties guaranteed by the Constitution."

Specifically, the group alleges the new rule, which was implemented under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, of 1996, eliminates medical privacy and "jeopardizes the privacy of past and future communications between patients and their physicians."

President George W. Bush embraces Secretary of Health and Human Services and former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson after speaking about healthcare reform issues at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wis., February 11, 2002.

Under the rule, which was implemented by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson April 14, "virtually all personal health information about every aspect of an individual's life can be used and disclosed routinely without notice, without the individual's consent and against his or her will," the group said in a statement.

Some of the allegations mirror findings by the General Accounting Office, Congress' watchdog agency, which reported in July the federal government could not guarantee patients' medical privacy.

The GAO report found that of 25 federal agencies, compliance with Privacy Act requirements and those of the Office of Management and Budget ? which oversees implementation of the act ? was "uneven."

"As a result of this uneven compliance, the government cannot adequately assure the public that all legislated individual privacy rights are being protected," said the agency.

The privacy rule, which was under consideration during the Clinton administration, has been routinely criticized by health advocates as being too revealing of privacy, not protective of it. But that's a charge the government has just as regularly denied.

"From the time of Hippocrates, privacy in medical care has been of prime importance to patients and to the medical profession," Thompson said.

As electronic data transmission is becoming ingrained in our health-care system, we have new challenges to insure that medical privacy is secured. While many states have enacted laws giving differing degrees of protection, there has never before been a federal standard defining and ensuring medical privacy," he continued. "Now new federal standards are coming into force to protect the personal health information of every American patient."

But critics say the government's standards aren't the problem. Rather, they say the problem is medical records are now much too easy to access by a multitude of third parties.

Indeed, says the group, Health and Human Services' "own findings show that the rules affect the medical privacy rights of 'virtually every American,' and allows more than '600,000 entities' access to their records ?" That list includes insurance companies, banks, employers, and law enforcement agencies.

Pyles initially filed suit in April, but Thursday's filing is for summary judgment. In court documents he alleged "that HHS changed the privacy requirement, even though the agency officials had received thousands of comments from citizens urging them to preserve their rights."

"Further," he argued, "the amended privacy rule provides no opportunity or mechanism for individuals to object or refuse to have their personal health information used and disclosed for routine purposes repeatedly."

Kathyrn Serkes, public affairs counsel for the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, said the new rules are so invasive patients will need "Miranda warnings" before answering medical questions.

"While masquerading as patient protection, the rules would actually eliminate any last shred of confidentiality and risk lives," Serkes said. "The frontline defense for medical privacy always has been the patient's right to give or withhold consent to how his records are used and who sees them. These rules throw that out the window."

Pyles represents 10 national and state associations, seven individuals and two "interveners," as well as 750,000 members of the associations.

Among them, Dr. Deborah Peel ? an Austin, Texas psychiatrist who has testified before Congress on the issue of medical privacy ? says Americans should be concerned about the manner in which their rights were disregarded and their opinions discounted.

"The 'HIPAA privacy rule' was turned into a massive 'disclosure rule,'" she said.

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30437  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Weird and/or silly on: September 05, 2003, 03:40:18 PM
Jackass warning after horrific firecracker accident

Doctors in Australia have urged people to not to attempt Jackass style stunts after a man burnt his genitals in a firecracker accident.

The 26-year-old Australian man suffered a fractured pelvis and severe burns when a firecracker exploded between the cheeks of his buttocks.

The incident has left the man, from Illawarra, New South Wales, incontinent and unable to have sex and he is expected to remain in hospital for several months.

Dr Robert McCurdie, who operated on the man when he was taken to Wollongong Hospital, likened the man's condition to "a war injury".

Dr McCurdie said he believed the man had stumbled while the firecracker was in his buttocks, and fell down on it.

"By virtue of the fact that the explosion was confined in an upward direction, it went up into his pelvis, blasted a great hole in the pelvis, ruptured the urethra, injured muscles in the floor of the pelvis which rendered him incontinent. His pelvis was also fractured."

It is not known whether the man was imitating the cult prankster film Jackass in which men place firecrackers in their buttocks and shoot them into the air.

Acting Senior Sergeant John Klepczarek said the danger with movies like Jackass was that some people were tempted to try the stunts at home.

"They're putting themselves at risk, and other people. We do caution people strongly against following these acts," he said.
30438  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Oct 12 Hemet CA: DBMA Seminar with Guro Crafty on: September 05, 2003, 01:51:09 PM
Sunday October 12th
Hemet, CA


Lester "Surf Dog" Griffin:
114 E. Florida
Hemet, CA 92545
phone: 909-766-0702
30439  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Violence against Women on: September 05, 2003, 01:37:52 AM
Woof All:

  This thread started concering violence against women, but it seems pertinent to me to touch here upon the matter of sexual violence against men.  If the cited datum of 20% of men in prison being sexually assaulted is correct and there being many millions of men in prison, the numbers of men raped etc is quite large.

  The following article is not particularly deep-- but it does report on new legislation regarding rapes in prison as well as present a fair question to society.  

Crafty Dog



Nation Cherishes Rule of Law, Yet Unmoved by Prison Justice

c.2003 Newhouse News Service


More stories by Delia M. Rios
What was perhaps most surprising about the sudden, brutal prison killing of the defrocked priest John Geoghan was the utter lack of surprise.

Convicted of molesting one child, accused of preying on as many as 130, he was the emblem of the child molestation scandal roiling the American Catholic church. The conclusions drawn about his slaying were certain if hasty, and the word "predictable" was bandied around to describe the target he must have presented to other inmates.

The commentary in news coverage was almost blase, as if this were not only expected, but accepted.

Geoghan's slaying once again exposed a parallel justice system inside the nation's prisons, administered by inmates according to their own codes of conduct and mores. Child molesters, among the most reviled members of prison society, are likely to face jailhouse retribution.

How can this be, in a nation that prides itself on the rule of law?

Criminal justice professionals say the reason has everything to do with the management and culture of prisons, a sense of inevitability about violence within prison walls, and public attitudes.

"It's beyond acknowledgment -- it's a tacit acceptance," said Paula C. Johnson, professor at Syracuse University's College of Law and a former prosecutor and defense attorney.

But to accept this dual system is to concede a failing of American justice. "The fact of being a prisoner does not mean that you have forfeited those rights that the legal system has not taken away from you," said William Galston, director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of Maryland.

Philosophers, Galston explained, would say it's a duty of care; lawyers that it's a requirement of due diligence.

So how has it come to this?

"You have to start with the reality that prisons are to some degree run by the inmates -- they're not a zoo with everybody behind bars 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Frank Hartmann, executive director of the Program in Criminal Justice Policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Prison officials are most concerned with the perimeter -- or outside walls. Inside, there is greater freedom of movement and inmate control than the public supposes, Hartmann said -- especially in prisons that are ill-managed, understaffed and overcrowded.

"There's a kind of balance of terror," Galston said. "Guards have tools at their disposal, but prisoners have tools at theirs."

Prison society, like any other, has a pecking order and a set of norms. That's true whether inmates are men or women. In women's prisons there is special scorn for mothers who have abused their children.

"There are sanctions ranging from shunning people to hurting them," Hartmann said. "It's always been immensely interesting to me that for people who don't abide by the law outside, there's a very strict set of norms on the inside."

He cites a New York case in which an inmate serving time for robbery and rape was exonerated, based on new DNA evidence, of the rape charge: "He was very proud of this; he said, `Look, I'm a robber, but I'm no rapist.' Both are against the law, but that's not the issue."

The most extreme inmate sanction, of course, is death. It doesn't happen as often as it once did. There were 56 homicides in prisons in 1999, compared with 124 in a much smaller 1973 prison population. There were five homicides for every 10,000 inmates in 1999, but 61 for every 10,000 inmates in 1973, according to Steven Barkan, a University of Maine sociologist and co-author of the new textbook "Fundamentals of Criminal Justice."

Assaults are a different story. A survey of inmates in three Ohio prisons, published in 1998, reported that 10 percent had been physically assaulted in the previous six months.

From his reading of surveys conducted from 1996 to 2000, Barkan concluded that one-fifth of prison inmates had been sexually assaulted.

The Rape Elimination Act of 2003 recently approved by Congress would require a comprehensive accounting of prison rape, which is now lacking. Said Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Alabama Republican who sponsored the legislation, "We all agree that punishment for a criminal defendant should be set by a judge and should not include sexual assault."

But all this begs an unanswered question.

"What do you do," asked Bill Pooler of Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, "when you lock up that many people prone to violence?"

The problems are daunting. For one, Pooler said, it's not possible to completely control every prisoner, all the time -- the thriving prison economy, whether for drugs or cigarettes, is proof.

As Hartmann points out, there are always places where inmates can hide from guards, and prisoners have nothing but time to study guard movements.

Syracuse's Johnson says a key limitation is the need to maintain order and security in an institution where prisoners outnumber prison staff. However counterintuitive that may sound, keeping order depends to some degree on the inmates. It's one reason the inmate hierarchies are tolerated, though there is an effort to keep them in check.

Those in the criminal justice field suspect that the general public, rather than being outraged by all of this, is quietly content to let things go on as they are.

"A lot of people feel they get what they deserve," said sociologist Barkan, who studies public attitudes toward crime and criminals.

The problem with that argument, he said, is twofold: Many prisoners are in for non-violent crimes and suffer worse fates than the courts intended; and most inmates eventually leave prison to live again among their fellow Americans. If nothing else, Barkan said, people on the "outside" should consider the long-term public safety issue.

Maryland's Galston says these issues should be morally troubling.

"Our society, like any society, wants certain unpleasant jobs done in a way that the majority doesn't have to pay attention to," he said. "That's true of garbage collection and it's true of prisons -- we don't want to know where it goes or what happens to it when it's gone, we just want it to be done."

But from time to time, something penetrates the physical and psychological isolation of prisons from society at large. In Galston's words, the "seal is breached." That happened with the news of Geoghan's death.

It remains to be seen whether Geoghan was singled out because he was a child molester or for some other reason. But whatever the killer's motivation, Johnson is struck by an ambivalence in the reactions of the ex-priest's accusers.

"That is not the justice they had in mind," she said. "The tragedy is now compounded by the way his life ended. They can't exactly be satisfied that this is the way the system should have worked."

Sept. 1, 2003

(Delia M. Rios can be reached at
30440  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: September 04, 2003, 02:44:26 PM
Moore's Law
The immorality of the Ten Commandments.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Wednesday, August 27, 2003, at 2:04 PM PT

The row over the boulder-sized version of the so-called "Ten Commandments," and as to whether they should be exhibited in such massive shape on public property, misses the opportunity to consider these top-10 divine ordinances and their relationship to original intent. Judge Roy Moore is clearly, as well as a fool and a publicity-hound, a man who identifies the Mount Sinai orders to Moses with a certain interpretation of Protestantism. But we may ask ourselves why any sect, however primitive, would want to base itself on such vague pre-Christian desert morality (assuming Moses to be pre-Christian).

The first four of the commandments have little to do with either law or morality, and the first three suggest a terrific insecurity on the part of the person supposedly issuing them. I am the lord thy god and thou shalt have no other ... no graven images ... no taking of my name in vain: surely these could have been compressed into a more general injunction to show respect. The ensuing order to set aside a holy day is scarcely a moral or ethical one, unless you assume that other days are somehow profane. (The Rev. Ian Paisley, I remember, used to refuse interviewers for Sunday newspapers even after it was pointed out to him that it's the Monday edition that is prepared on Sunday.) Whereas a day of rest, as prefigured in the opening passages of Genesis, is no more than organized labor might have demanded, perhaps during the arduous days of unpaid pyramid erection.

So the first four commandments have almost nothing to do with moral conduct and cannot in any case be enforced by law unless the state forbids certain sorts of art all week, including religious and iconographic art?and all activity on the Sabbath (which the words of the fourth commandment do not actually require). The next instruction is to honor one's parents: a harmless enough idea, but again unenforceable in law and inapplicable to the many orphans that nature or god sees fit to create. That there should be no itemized utterance enjoining the protection of children seems odd, given that the commandments are addressed in the first instance to adults. But then, the same god frequently urged his followers to exterminate various forgotten enemy tribes down to the last infant, sparing only the virgins, so this may be a case where hand-tying or absolute prohibitions were best avoided.

There has never yet been any society, Confucian or Buddhist or Islamic, where the legal codes did not frown upon murder and theft. These offenses were certainly crimes in the Pharaonic Egypt from which the children of Israel had, if the story is to be believed, just escaped. So the middle-ranking commandments, of which the chief one has long been confusingly rendered "thou shalt not kill," leave us none the wiser as to whether the almighty considers warfare to be murder, or taxation and confiscation to be theft. Tautology hovers over the whole enterprise.

In much the same way, few if any courts in any recorded society have approved the idea of perjury, so the idea that witnesses should tell the truth can scarcely have required a divine spark in order to take root. To how many of its original audience, I mean to say, can this have come with the force of revelation? Then it's a swift wrap-up with a condemnation of adultery (from which humans actually can refrain) and a prohibition upon covetousness (from which they cannot). To insist that people not annex their neighbor's cattle or wife "or anything that is his" might be reasonable, even if it does place the wife in the same category as the cattle, and presumably to that extent diminishes the offense of adultery. But to demand "don't even think about it" is absurd and totalitarian, and furthermore inhibiting to the Protestant spirit of entrepreneurship and competition.

One is presuming (is one not?) that this is the same god who actually created the audience he was addressing. This leaves us with the insoluble mystery of why he would have molded ("in his own image," yet) a covetous, murderous, disrespectful, lying, and adulterous species. Create them sick, and then command them to be well? What a mad despot this is, and how fortunate we are that he exists only in the minds of his worshippers.

It's obviously too much to expect that a Bronze Age demagogue should have remembered to condemn drug abuse, drunken driving, or offenses against gender equality, or to demand prayer in the schools. Still, to have left rape and child abuse and genocide and slavery out of the account is to have been negligent to some degree, even by the lax standards of the time. I wonder what would happen if secularists were now to insist that the verses of the Bible that actually recommend enslavement, mutilation, stoning, and mass murder of civilians be incised on the walls of, say, public libraries? There are many more than 10 commandments in the Old Testament, and I live for the day when Americans are obliged to observe all of them, including the ox-goring and witch-burning ones. (Who is Judge Moore to pick and choose?) Too many editorialists have described the recent flap as a silly confrontation with exhibitionist fundamentalism, when the true problem is our failure to recognize that religion is not just incongruent with
morality but in essential ways incompatible with it.
30441  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / An inspiring story on: September 03, 2003, 01:34:36 PM
Woof All:

  This was forwarded to me and I share it here.

Crafty Dog

As many of you know, I won the World Juijitsu Championship in my division and placed third in the open.  Juijitsu is a full-contact grappling martial art exceedingly popular in Brazil where the World Championships are held.  The style of juijitsu that I have studied is called Gracie Method, made famous by the Gracie brothers who won the Ultimate Fighting competitions several times.  Before this, few in the US were familiar with juijitsu.  The Gracies proved that juijitsu could trample karate, judo, boxing and any other form of fighting.

The road to victory is never short and in my case credit must be shared with many people who helped along the way.  This is a little report on my preparation and last week's tournament in Rio.

To prepare, I trained three days each week with three different black belts.  The first was Steve Maxwell, he and his wife D.C. are the owners of Maxercise in Philadelphia. Steve not only taught me juijitsu but made it his personal project to transform my body into a lean, strong, limber fighting tool.  Hagis, another black belt from Brazil, reinforced many of the moves that I have learned over these past five years.  With him I would repeat moves again and again and again until they became second nature.  I also flew to California twice to train with Jean-Jacques Machado, a multi-champion black belt who also fights one-handed.  As I was discovering, my blindness was less of an hindrance than the limitations of my left hand.  For those of you that may have forgotten, my left hand has only two fingers attached to a fused wrist.  Machado taught me many ways to overcome my limitations and use more of my legwork.  So after six months of high-intensity training, I flew to Brazil for the competition.

D.C. Maxwell, Natalia Davis, Jamie and I flew to Rio together. All of us practice juijitsu. Once in Rio, we were met by Saulo Ribiera, a six time world champion who would continue my preparation for the match.   He would also prove instrumental in coaching me through my fights.  I worked out with Greg, a fellow blue belt juijitsu student who flew in from Ohio.  After four days of training, the competition was at hand.  I had only to focus on my state of mind.  My body was ready, now to prepare my head.  

It would all come down to five minutes on the mat.  At the tournament I was joined by four more friends from the US: Marco, Anray, Nick and Noah. They along with other Americans, whose names we never got, joined in the cheering.  My first hesitations came when I shook my opponent's hand and realized how large they were.  My next apprehension arrived when his young 46-year-old body hit my 58-year old body on the mat.  He was so strong and serious.  This wasn't friendly sparring in the gym.  But I performed technically better than I have ever performed.  I even managed to get out of a triangle, a move where the competitor wraps his legs around your neck in an attempt to choke you out.  I managed to stand up, stack his body, and produce enough pressure that he finally let go of his grip.  Thanks to Saulo, I never gave up even though I was afraid that I might pass out.  When I broke his triangle, it broke his spirit.  After that I passed his guard, or for those who don't know juijitsu, I escaped his legs coiled around my waist.  In the end, I won six points to nothing.  The gold metal!  The crowd roared and I got a standing ovation along with many hugs from friends.  Even my competitor was gracious with his compliments.  He declared that the better man had indeed won.

Next was the absolute or open, or the competition where size and weight is irrelevant.  There were eight competitors.  I had resolved previously that I would not fight these if I had won my division.  I was still nursing a dislocated rib and feared further injury.  But I found myself far less winded than expected, and I was spurred on by the cheers of my son.  This match was very different.  I had no sense of my opponent.  We did not shake hands ahead of time.  My first sense of him was when we hit the mat and I discovered that he must be at least 200 pounds.  30 pounds more than me!  I lost that 5 minute round but managed to make him work for it.  The winner, who had stormed through his division, now moved on to collect the gold medal in the absolutes.  I collected a bronze.  When I lost, the crowd cheered so loudly it was deafening.  Unfortunate for the winner, the crowd neglected to cheer him as well.  

After I collected my medals, many of the competitors and coaches came to shake my hand.  They were shocked to see that my hands were also disabled.  They looked at me with reverence.  Some of the local young people also came up to have their picture taken with me.  I was interviewed by a Brazilian magazine where I hope I inspired others to try harder.  This is one of the achievements I am most proud of in my life.

I was not athletic until middle age.  I didn't start training for juijitsu until I was fifty.  I had always believed that I was not an athlete.  I proved myself wrong.  "I have found that whether you believe you can, or believe you can't.  You are usually right."-Tony Robbins.

Again thanks to all of you who supported me both directly and indirectly.  I will remember this forever.
Russell Redenbaugh
Kairos, Inc.
30442  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Summer 2003 Gathering Report on: September 03, 2003, 12:58:52 PM
Summer Gathering 2003 Report

A Howl of Greeting to All:

On Sunday July 13th, the ?Dog Brothers? Summer Gathering of the Pack? was held once again at the RAW Gym in El Segundo, CA--- on the heels of the ?Dog Brothers Martial Arts Training Camp? held July 10-12.

Each Gathering has its own unique rhythm, part of which is each fighter?s preparations.  To know that you have given your word to yourself that at time certain and place certain you will be , , , .

In the months prior to this Gathering, Top Dog announced that this would be his ?last time?.   The summer Gathering last year there was an exciting fight between TD and Tom Kier.   With the word that Tom was returning to fight again (advertisement: in conjunction with his appearance as Tuhon of Sayoc Kali covering ?Medical Management? at our DBMA Training Camp the day before) there was considerable anticipation amongst the cognoscenti  of the return engagement?which poetically enough would take place on TD?s last day.

Curious glances were cast from around the room as Eric and Tom greeted each other when Tom arrived at the Camp.  Alas, due to back and knee problems the fight was not to be.  After Tuhon Tom?s morning presentation (a fascinating and highly practical presentation on the near totally neglected area of Medical Management?we thank TT for his help) the afternoon session was one of GM Gyi?s famous get-ready-to fight Dhanda yoga sessions.  The ever-playful GM Gyi paired the two Eric and Tom together for the session.  During one position (think Child?s Pose facing Down Dog with Down Dog?s front paws on his back) TT had to walk his hands down the length of TD?s back, deep massaging the spinal erectors as he went.   TD is a long body type and Tom had to really reach. ?God, you?re long? he commented.

TD, reciprocating, complimented Tom?s hand strength as Tom worked on his back muscles.  ?You?re very strong.?

Hot Dog, never one to miss a beat, continued with ?And you?re very pretty.?

GM Gyi cracked up.

But I digress , , ,

The fighters were:

Top Dog
True Dog
Lonely Dog

Gerald ?C-Heretic? Dog Boggs
Dog Brian ?Porn Star? Jungwiwattanattaporn, a.k.a. ?Jung?
Dog Mike Barredo

Roger Tinkoff
Milt Tinkoff
Richard Raphael
Bryan Lorentzen
Joseph Artigas
Greg Brown
Philip Vilasis
Carlo Arellano
James Wilks
Will Bohrer
Steve Feng
Maynard Ancheta
R. Kalani Grimm
Kam Kasmsei
Cameron Lamprecht
Amal Jasen , , , ,
Dennis Hall
Eric Johnson
and Linda Matsumi (knife)

After several years of lapsing in this regard, we will once again be listing all fighters on the Fire Hydrant page of our website.  If I have missed anyone, please email me so that your name can be included.

Yours truly and Salty Dog served as Ringmaster; GM Gyi was available for injury management; as usual James Stacey was Timekeeper and Master of Arms; Underdog?s son James Salter was on Camera; and we were once again fortunate to have Mark Mikita on Djembe drum.  In attendance also were Original DBs Sled Dog and Surf Dog, and Hot Dog.

As always, my Pretty Kitty was In Charge of Reality.

The crowd/tribe was in full strength.  We were honored by the attendance of Grandmaster Atillo of Atillo Balintawak and introduced him to the crowd.  The number of the fighters was a bit less than usual?(approximately 25) but when the dust cleared, the time spent fighting was longer than usual.  Also greater than usual were the number of injuries-- more on this below.

For the opening talk I had intended to underline my words about realistic behavior in the knife fights by waving a real knife around in front of people?s faces, but, well, I forgot the knife and had to use only words to make my point.  Whatever the cause, I would say that the level of realism in the knife fights on the whole was good.  

A few Gatherings ago we introduced using aluminum training blades.  The first time we did this, nearly everyone used them.  However the percent of people using them has declined substantially since then.  This is understandable?a good whack with an aluminum blade on the hand carries with it a substantial chance of breaking bones?not to mention how much it hurts wherever it hits or the chance of a power thrust doing damage.  I should mention that the trend towards ultra-light hand gear continues?with several fighters using ski gloves, moto-cross gloves and such both against knife and against stick.

  There were many exciting and skillful knife fights demonstrating good technique as well as athleticism.  A disarm by kick was seen, as were traps, and kills from both long range and close.  Linda Matsumi, our efforts at helping her find women opponents for stick having come up empty this time, faced her opponent?s hard plastic knife with aluminum.  She showed excellent ambidexterity switching from left to right for a kill slash to the neck, and later made another kill after a disarm.  

Top Dog?s son Matt (14 years old and already taller than me L ) made his Gathering debut facing his father?and gave a very good account of himself.

Bryan Lorentzen and C-Heretic Dog opened the Stick fights with a fight that went to clinch and grapple in fairly short order.  Once there, both men showed well on several levels including skillful headbutts and headbutt defense.

Dog Brian Porn Star went sinwali against his opponent?s single and showed good array of outer-range-in-to-media-range-and-out-again techniques.

Pinoy Maynard Ancheta came in with an interesting and different structure that allowed for good range control via chamber and footwork shifts.  When I asked him in class the next week what he had been using he told me it was his interpretation of Hsing Yi empty hand shocked  Interesting.

James Wilks and his opponent were up next with some large sticks.  James showed a varied game including a KK kicking close and sound vale tudo kissakatami (sp?) on the ground to submission.

Lonely Dog and his opponent fought Staff.  Lonely is pretty formidable on staff and looked good as he drove the fight went to Vale Tudo clinch in the corner.

True Dog and Dog Greg had a hardcore KK siniwali fight going that was cut short as the fight clinched and Greg?s shoulder dislocated.   When I called him a few days afterwards he told me that the doc says it was relatively minor and all should be well.
In a single stick fight that included both Right against Left and Right against Right, Kalani Grimm of the Hawaii clan of the Dog Brothers dropped his opponent.  Blood flowed freely during the post-fight commentary.

Top Dog dropped his first opponent of the day with a kidney shot.

Dog Mike Barredo adapted his usual structure to fight with a sprained ankle and showed well.  Achieving the close and takedown, his mount dominated his opponent?s stick to submission.

Pinoy Dog Carlo Arellano had a sweet KK roof teep combo but had to stop soon thereafter as a knee injury reactivated.

Dog Brian Jung and C-Heretic, who have been working on their clinch games, had an interesting clinch and ground based fight for those with the eye to see it.

Dog Bryan showed some quality stickgrappling in his next fight.

Top Dog continued to lift his leg in his next fight with several strong shots to the head and elsewhere.

C-Heretic, after being driven in the crowd while having half guard, reversed and submitted with a shoulder lock

As part of a well-varied attack James Wilks scored an excellent knee shot in his next fight, a technical takedown and another kissakatami finish.

The knee shot theme continued as True Dog got in a couple in his next fight?not to mention a groin shot.  Throwing in kick on the close and some strong vale tudo striking pressure, True got the submission.

Top Dog and Lonely Dog were next.  These two always have a fine fight.  Lonely is one of the very few people who can threaten Top?s knee or foot, but this time Top closed as he did so.   A surprisingly long clinch (after all, Top has 80 pounds on Lonely) staggered into the pads that were stacked up against some weightlifting equipment and his movement muffled by the pads Lonely had to submit to the Fang.

Matt Knaus had his first stickfight and showed very well.  The glow of the altered state was obvious in his post-fight interview.  We?ll be seeing more of Matt I think.

Dog Bryan scored a clean hand shot and a pair of knee shots before a wild close put him on his back.  Again showing good stickgrappling, he reversed and calmly finished with a nutcracker variation.

Dog Brian?s teacher had promised him that if he used the new ?Los Triques Siniwali? material that it would appear in the next DBMA Siniwali video and apparently he took it to heart. wink  Against a worthy opponent (who scored well too) he displayed a nice mix of attacks?until he lost one stick.  Closing with a shout after taking a good hit, he was able to achieve arm bar position from which he pummeled his opponent into submission with both stick and empty-handed strikes.

After taking one to the head, James Wilks and his opponent clinched.  Although he was swept on his effort to sweep out of clinch, he kept his focus and went for an arm-bar that flowed very nicely into a leg/inside heel hock that was applied both skillfully and with excellent safety awareness.

Top Dog continued on his rampage against in a siniwali fight with True Dog, dropping him with a fluid attack reminiscent of the famous one that dropped Salty Dog at the beginning of the first video in the first series (RCSF #1 J )  True?s post-fight commentary was priceless?he?s a medical technician and his description of the symptoms of his concussion was hysterical.

Dog Bryan siniwali caught Lonely Dog?s staff thinking too much about the snake and his explosive charge got him inside the range of Lonely?s justly feared staff.  It cost Lonely some work, but eventually he reversed and passed guard and stunned Dog Bryan with a kick to the occipetal (sp?) that brought matters to a close.  Although the kick was substantially pulled, timing and placement were superb.

The closing fight of the day was Top Dog with his son Matt?a very special moment for both.  The fight went to clinch and the crowd roared as Matt pulled off a hanging arm throw!  TD was able to reverse and take side control, which Matt (who wrestles for his high school team) momentarily reversed.  

There were many more fights than these and all in all it was a fine day of warrior spirit.  The tribe (and that includes those there to witness) is strong.

That said, over the years in my role as Guiding Force I have had occasion to offer some thoughts for consideration and would like to do so now.

When I give the Magic Words at the beginning of a day?s fighting to the Fighters I will say ?The idea is that we are members of the same tribe, helping prepare each other to stand together to defend our land, women and children.  Thus if you go too hard on a man and break him or whether you go too easy on him and leave him inadequately tested and seasoned, it will not serve you well when you stand together in battle.?

No doubt people who think the fencing masks to be helmets will not note the point, but the number of probable concussions in this Gathering (GM Gyi, who assisted injured fighters, estimates at least 6) was too high.   An occasional concussion is to be expected at this level? and certainly Top, Salty and I all have been concussed but my sense of things is that this level of concussions is too much.  At this rate, the tribe will weaken, not strengthen, from the experience.

Stickfighting IS dangerous and injuries WILL happen, but there is a difference between someone who genuinely understands the risks and takes them anyway, and a young male in a testosterone frenzy thinking he is invulnerable.    One may be crazy, but the other is foolish.  It may be crazy to do this while genuinely appreciating the consequences risked, but that understanding informs the training and gives it power.  What one then brings to a day of fighting allows for an extraordinary experience.  But if one simply comes sailing in without the awareness of what a shot to the head can mean and lacking the training to minimize its likelihood, then one is not brave, but foolish.

Why is this happening now at this time?  

It is not because some fighters are taking shots that should not be taken.   I am proud of the character, composure and awareness shown by the fighters in not taking shots that should not be taken.   There is no problem on this front.

The problem, in my opinion has two basic causes.  First, with the trend of manufacture of the fencing masks tending towards ever heavier, many of the current masks have large zones of substantial protection, thus leading to unsound habits.  Thus it may come as a surprise to a fighter when he gets hit in a zone that offers little protection.

Second, in my opinion is that there is a tendency at the moment to bypass the rigorous training methods that yield sound defensive skills.  

What to do?

When it comes to a Dog Brothers Gathering, only you are responsible for you.  If you wish to fight, it is up to you what to do about this.  I do suggest you think about it and train well.

The adventure continues,
Crafty Dog
Guiding Force of the Dog Brothers
30443  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: September 02, 2003, 07:43:07 PM
Please feel free to send the Stratfor Weekly to a friend
or colleague.

02 September 2003

by Dr. George Friedman

An Unlikely Alliance


Though the recent death of SCIRI leader Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim would appear to be raising the level of turmoil within Iraq, it might in fact help to push the United States and Iran toward a powerful -- if seemingly unlikely -- alignment.


The death of Shiite Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), appears to have exacerbated the turmoil in Iraq. In fact, it opens the door to some dramatic shifts that might help stabilize the U.S. position in Iran. Indeed, it might even lead to a fundamental redrawing of the geopolitical maps of the region -- as dramatic as the U.S.-Chinese alignment against the Soviet Union in the 1970s.

To understand what is happening, we must note two important aspects of the al-Hakim affair. First, though far from being pro-American, al-Hakim was engaged in limited cooperation with the United States, including -- through SCIRI -- participating in the U.S.-sponsored Iraq Governing Council. Second, upon his death, Iran announced a three-day mourning period in his honor. Al-Hakim, who had lived in exile in Iran during much of Saddam Hussein's rule in Baghdad, was an integral part of the Shiite governing apparatus -- admired and loved in Iran.

We therefore have two facts. First, al-Hakim was engaged in
limited but meaningful collaboration with the United States,
which appears to be why he was killed. Second, he was intimately connected to Iranian ruling circles, and not just to those circles that Americans like to call "reformers." If we stop and think about it, these two facts would appear incompatible, but in reality they reveal a growing movement toward alignment between the United States and Iran.

The United States has realized that it cannot pacify Iraq on its own. One proposal, floated by the State Department, calls for a United Nations force -- under U.S. command -- to take control of Iraq. This raises three questions. First, why would any sane country put its forces at risk -- under U.S. command, no less -- to solve America's problems if it doesn't have to? Second, what would additional outside forces, as unfamiliar with Iraq as U.S. forces are, add to the mix, save more confusion? Finally, what price would the United States have to pay for U.N. cooperation; for instance, would the U.N. presence place restrictions on U.S. operations against al Qaeda?

Another proposal, floated by Defense Advisory Board Chairman Richard Perle, suggests that the way out is to turn Iraq over to Iraqis as quickly as possible rather than prolonging a U.S. occupation. The problem with Perle's proposal is that it assumes a generic Iraq, unattached to any subgrouping -- religious, ethnic or ideological -- that not only is ready to take the reins, but is capable of governing. In other words, Perle's proposal would turn Iraq over to whom?

Putting the Kurdish issue aside, the fundamental fault line
running through Iraqi society is the division between Sunni and Shiite. The Shiite majority dominates the area south of Baghdad. The Sunni minority, which very much includes Hussein and most of the Baath Party's national apparatus, spent the past generation brutalizing the Shiites, and Hussein's group also spent that time making certain that Sunnis who were not part of their tribe were marginalized. Today, Iraq is a fragmented entity where the center of gravity, the Baath Party, has been shattered and there is no
substitute for it.

However, embedded in Perle's proposal is a simple fact. If there is a cohesive group in Iraq -- indeed a majority group -- it is the Shiites. Although ideologically and tribally fragmented, the Shiites of Iraq are far better organized than U.S. intelligence reports estimated before the war. This is due to the creation of a clandestine infrastructure, sponsored by Iranian intelligence, following the failure of U.S.-encouraged Shiite uprisings in the 1990s. While Washington was worried about the disintegration of Iraq and the growth of Iranian power, Tehran was preparing for the day that Hussein's regime would either collapse or be destroyed by the United States.

As a result, and somewhat to the surprise of U.S. intelligence, organizations were in place in Iraq's Shiite regions that were able to maintain order and exercise control after the war. British authorities realized this early on and tried to transfer power from British forces in Basra to local control, much to U.S. displeasure.

Initially, Washington viewed the Iranian-sponsored organization of the Shiite regions as a threat to its control of Iraq. The initial U.S. perception was that the Shiites, being bitterly anti-Hussein, would respond enthusiastically to their liberation by U.S. forces. In fact, the response was cautious and sullen. Officials in Washington also assumed that the collapse of the Iraqi army would mean the collapse of Sunni resistance. Under this theory, the United States would have an easy time in the Sunni regions -- it already had excellent relations in the Kurdish regions -- but would face a challenge from Iran in the south.

The game actually played out very differently. The United States did not have an easy time in the Sunni triangle. To the contrary: A clearly planned guerrilla war kicked off weeks after the conquest of Baghdad and has continued since. Had the rising spread to the Sunni regions, or had the Sunnis launched an intifada with massed demonstrations, the U.S. position in Iraq would have become enormously more difficult, if not untenable.

The Sunnis staged some protests to demonstrate their capabilities to the United States, but they did not rise en masse. In general, they have contented themselves with playing a waiting game -- intensifying their organization in the region, carrying out some internal factional struggles, but watching and waiting. Most interesting, rather than simply rejecting the U.S. occupation, they simultaneously called for its end while participating in it.

The key goes back to Iran and to the Sunni-Shiite split within
the Islamic world. Iran has a geopolitical problem, one it has
had for centuries: It faces a threat from the north, through the Caucasus, and a threat from the west, from whatever entity occupies the Tigris and Euphrates basin. When both threats are active, as they were for much of the Cold War, Iran must have outside support, and that support frequently turns into domination. Iran's dream is that it might be secure on both fronts. That rarely happens.

The end of the Cold War has created an unstable area in the
Caucasus that actually helps secure Iran's interests. The
Caucasus might be in chaos, but there is no great imperial power about to push down into Iran. Moreover, at about the same time, the threat posed by Iraq abated after the United States defeated it and neutralized its armed forces during Desert Storm. This created a period of unprecedented security for Iran that Tehran exploited by working to reconstruct its military and moving forward on nuclear weapons.

However, Iran's real interest is not simply Iraq's neutralization; that could easily change. Its real interest is in dominating Iraq. An Iranian-dominated Iraq would mean two things: First, the only threat to Iran would come from the north and Iran could concentrate on blocking that threat; second, it would make Iran the major native regional power in the Persian Gulf. Therefore, were Iranian-sponsored and sympathetic Shiite groups to come to power in Iraq, it would represent a massive geopolitical coup for the United States.

Initially, this was the opposite of anything the United States
wanted. One of the reasons for invading Iraq was to be able to control Iran and its nuclear capability. But the guerrilla war in the north has created a new strategic reality for Washington. The issue at the moment is not how to project power throughout the region, but how to simply pacify Iraq. The ambitions of April have given way to the realities of September.

The United States needs a native force in Iraq to carry the brunt of the pacification program. The Shiites, unlike the United Nations, already would deliver a fairly pacified south and probably would enjoy giving some payback to the Sunnis in the north. Certainly, they are both more likely to achieve success and more willing to bear the burden of pacification than is the United States, let alone any U.N. member willing to send troops. It is not, at the moment, a question of what the United States wants; it is a question of what it can have.

The initial idea was that the United States would sponsor a massive rising of disaffected youth in Iran. In fact, U.S. intelligence supported dissident university students in a plan to do just that. However, Iranian security forces crushed the rebellion effortlessly -- and with it any U.S. hopes of forcing regime change in Iran through internal means. If this were to
happen, it would not happen in a time frame relative to Washington's problems in Iraq or problems with al Qaeda. Therefore, the Iranian regime, such as it is, is the regime the United States must deal with. And that regime holds the key to the Iraqi Shiites.

The United States has been negotiating both overtly and covertly with Iran on a range of issues. There has been enough progress to keep southern Iraq quiet, but not enough to reach a definitive breakthrough. The issue has not been Iranian nuclear power. Certainly, the Iranians have been producing a nuclear weapon. They made certain that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency saw weapons-grade uranium during an inspection in recent days. It is an important bargaining chip.

But as with North Korea, Iranian leaders know that nuclear
weapons are more valuable as a bargaining chip than as a reality. Asymmetry leads to eradication of nuclear threats. Put less pretentiously, Tehran must assume that the United States -- or Israel -- will destroy any nuclear capability before it becomes a threat. Moreover, if it has nuclear capability, what would it do with it? Even as a deterrent, retaliation would lead to national annihilation. The value of nuclear weapons in this context is less real than apparent -- and therefore more valuable in negotiations than deployment.

Tehran has hinted several times that its nuclear program is
negotiable regarding weapons. Officials also have indicated by word and deed to the United States that they are prepared to encourage Iraqi Shiites to cooperate with the U.S. occupation. The issue on the table now is whether the Shiites will raise the level of cooperation from passive to active -- whether they will move from not doing harm to actively helping to suppress the Sunni rising.

This is the line that they are considering crossing -- and the
issue is not only whether they cross, but whether the United
States wants them to cross. Obviously, the United States needs help. On the other hand, the Iranian price is enormous.
Domination of Iraq means enormous power in the Gulf region. In the past, Saudi Arabia's sensibilities would have mattered; today, the Saudis matter less.

U.S. leaders understand that making such an agreement means problems down the road. On the other hand, the United States has some pretty major problems right now anyway. Moreover -- and this is critical -- the Sunni-Shiite fault line defines the Islamic world. Splitting Islam along those lines, fomenting conflict within that world, certainly would divert attention from the United States: Iran working against al Qaeda would have more than marginal value, but not, however, as much as Saudi Arabia pulling out the stops.

Against the background of the U.S.-Iranian negotiation is the
idea that the Saudis, terrified of a triumphant Iran, will panic
and begin crushing the extreme Wahhabis in the kingdom. This has delayed a U.S. decision, as has the legitimate fear that a deal with Iran would unleash the genie. But of course, the other fear is that if Iran loses patience, it will call the Shiite masses into the streets and there will be hell to pay in Iraq.

The death of SCIRI leader al-Hakim, therefore, represents a break point. Whether it was Shiite dissidents or Sunnis that killed him, his death costs the Iranians a key ally and drives home the risks they are running with delay. They are vulnerable in Iraq. This opens the door for Tehran to move forward in a deal with the United States. Washington needs to make something happen soon.

This deal might never be formalized. Neither Iranian nor American politics would easily swallow an overt alliance. On the other hand, there is plenty of precedent for U.S.-Iranian cooperation on a covert level. Of course, this would be fairly open and obvious cooperation -- a major mobilization of Shiite strength in Iraq on behalf of the United States -- regardless of the rhetoric.

Currently, this seems to be the most likely evolution of events: Washington gets Tehran's help in putting down the Sunnis. The United States gets a civil war in the Muslim world. The United States gets Iran to dial back its nuclear program. Iran gets to dominate Iraq. The United States gets all the benefits in the near term. Iran gets its historical dream. If Roosevelt could side with Stalin against Hitler, and Nixon with Mao against Brezhnev, this collaboration certainly is not without precedence in U.S. history. But boy, would it be a campaign issue -- in both countries.
30444  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Meaning of the exploding star on: September 01, 2003, 01:08:45 PM
Woof Mike:

  Sorry for the delay in replying.

  The exploding star is just an expanded version of the star footwork pattern.  These patterns are used to develop footwork and to combine stick and footwork.

Crafty Dog
30445  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / DBMA Practitioner & Instructor Candidate Weekend on: September 01, 2003, 06:53:20 AM
Woof WD:

  Details, details!

10-12:30 Train
12:30-2:00 eat together
2-4:30 Train.

In other words, no crack of dawn nonsense, a leisurely lunch of good companionship, and 5 hours of the best training we can do.

Guro Crafty
30446  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Myth of the streetfighter? on: September 01, 2003, 06:45:31 AM
Hi Sting:

My question WAS carefully worded precisely for the reasons that you note.  Smiley   And I do reflect upon this case precisely because in various flying fickle finger of fate moments in my life I too have done the equivalent of chasing the car.   I suspect its exactly why the case has such resonance for us.

The question arises as to what one does if one catches it.  

What do you do?  Is the mission reparations (e.g. take the license plate number) or punishment (reach into the car and drag him out and kick his ass)?  A blend of the two?  

  Some versions of this incident had him reaching/punching? into the car.  
Is this confident behavior based upon his success in ritual hierarchical contexts?  Did it blind him to be on the lookout for motions related to drawing weapons?  

We may never know in this case, and I certainly intend no glibness or disrespect to AG, but may we not use the case to reflect upon our personal "rules of engagement"?

In my case my review of my own rules of engagement  has led me to underline the importance of assuming weapons.

Crafty Dog/Marc
30447  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Current Events: Philippines on: August 30, 2003, 06:09:02 PM
Item Number:10
Date: 08/29/2003

BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Philippine President Gloria Arroyo has
accepted the resignation of Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes and will
assume the defense portfolio herself, the BBC reports.

Reyes said he resigned primarily to give Arroyo a "free hand" in
dealing with continued threats to the government, including
suspected elements of the military.

The resignation comes just weeks after an attempted coup by
disgruntled military officers and troops, who seized a downtown
Manila shopping complex for several hours before giving up.

Item Number:11
Date: 08/29/2003

PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE -- The Philippine military deployed
a large contingent of soldiers and policeman to guard the Edsa
Shrine on Thursday, following reports that rebel groups were
planning to gather nearby, reports Philippine Headline News Online.

Gen. Narciso Abaya, chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
(AFP) said that groups were planning to seize the shrine in an
attempt to destabilize the government.

Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes played down the threat, saying,
"These are mere precautionary measures undertaken to anticipate any
projected activity."

The shrine is a monument to the revolution that ousted President
Ferdinand Marcos, and also marks the site of an uprising that
brought down President Joseph Estrada.
30448  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Myth of the streetfighter? on: August 30, 2003, 01:07:19 AM
Woof All:

Carlo wrote:

"I would hate to fight a guy like Rampage Jackson, much less if he were using "illeagal" moves. A Profighter with a paradigm shift makes a devastating streetfighter."

Would you expand upon this Carlo?  Who is RJ?  And what do you mean by a profighter with a paradigm shift?

As for the question presented in this thread, some thoughts:

There are three types of Aggression: Territorial, Hierarchical and Sexual (e.g. two males over a female/female in defense of her young).  Often closely related, but different in important respects, is Hunting.

There are 5 responses to Aggression:  Fight, posture, flight, submit, freeze.

Thus, in "streetfighter versus profighter" it may well depend upon which intersection of the matrix about which we are talking.

Often the "Streetfighter" (often a.k.a. a "Criminal") is operating in hunting modality.  A hunter is not willing to be injured for a meal because it makes scoring his next meals much more difficult.   The Streetfighter will often have substantially less pyschic hindrance in launching the first blow and/or attacking by ambush.   If things do not go according to plan, this may well rattle his composure.

The profighter may be locked into hierarchical patterns of thought and action far more than he realizes.  Was the recent tragic death of Alex Gong an example of this?  The articles we have seen seem to be open to this interpretation.

Just some thoughts,
Crafty Dog
30449  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Weird and/or silly on: August 29, 2003, 01:13:40 AM
Infuriating game.
30450  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / How2find"truedog"Chris Clifton on: August 28, 2003, 03:27:45 PM
Woof Adam:

True Dog may be reached at

760-641-1097 is his mobile number.

I just spoke with him and he will be glad to hear from you.

Crafty Dog
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