September 01, 2020

Meanwhile, in Mozambique

The Islamic State (remember them?) has seized the Mozambiquean port of Mocimboa da Praia. This is significant for three reasons:

1: This is a major achievement for a defeated organization. (and I'm not being sarcastic, they were thoroughly trounced in Syria). 
2: It is FAR outside the usual stomping grounds of The Islamic State and its affiliated groups. (West Africa, The Levant, North Africa, Afganistan and neighboring countries, and the Philippines) 
3: The city in question is a particularly strategic node, being a deepwater port and also very close to natural gas fields.
4: The actual defeat of the army and seizure of the town took place 19 days ago. The Jihadists have HELD the city and are moving on the nearby gas fields
 
The Islamic State had, at its height, expanded into or incorporated into itself, many similarly motivated organizations worldwide from Boko Haram to the Sultanate of Sulu. Many of these federal arrangements seem to have actually survived the collapse in Syria and  to have given the organization redundancy and staying power.  Moreover the Islamic State has a history of growing and moving very quickly. It is, after all a revolutionary religious movement and is quite charismatic in ideology to a certain segment of Dar al islam. The fact that they are this organized has implications going forward. While the IS is of little apparent direct threat, particularly at the ass end of the planet, they are an active and enthusiastic sponsor of terrorism. The organization has a history of financing themselves via creative smuggling of petrochemicals and have proved adept at bypassing blockades. If they secure the gas fields they may be able to turn that into financing to purchase weapons and support terrorists in the U.S., Europe and other places. The Islamic State and its confederated "Caliphates" are known to have close ties with certain Latin American drug cartels including technical assistance. The group can conceivably use their smuggling infrastructure to insert agents, and or weapons into the U.S., perhaps to contribute to our current domestic urban chaos. A safe haven for The Islamic State allowing them time to build infrastructure has other implications as well, though mainly in the longer term. 

Sallying forth to slay dragons in some awful land war in Africa is a dubious and daunting prospect with no political support here. It also would take attention off the primary strategic goal of deterring China.  Certainly the locals need to be given ample time to take care of the situation themselves, but this is a situation that should be watched carefully. 

For one thing 1500 Civilians are dead and 250,000 are displaced. The last time The I.S. did this it caused a humanitarian crisis that had notable effects in Europe, Mozambique is more isolated, but the effect on such  countries as Botswana, and South Africa, (the former one of the few stable Sub-Saharan states, the latter with its own problems) could be quite disruptive. 

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January 04, 2020

Meanwhile: In Hell



There are many good faith arguments to be had regarding the situation that we find ourselves in with regards to the Middle East. There are many concerns that people can have in good faith regarding how this recent assassination might set in motion truly frightening events.

However, this asshole needed to die. A long time ago. And it is a damming indictment of both Bush and Obama that he did not do so until now.

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September 15, 2019

Well...

Oil Prices just jumped 20%.

I hope everybody took our advice and filled up.

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September 14, 2019

Saudi Arabia's Oil Production Just Cut in Half by Houthi Drone Strikes (UPDATED)

Not much to add to the post title. It looks like The Houthis, have launched a coordinated drone attack and managed to blow up half of Saudi Arabia's oil production.



The view from Space...




Buy gas now.

UPDATE:
Via Pete, in the comments, we get this from the SecState:



Note that the Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility immediately after the attacks. However, they are Iranian proxies and not agents of the Yemeni government so the tweet may refer to afilliation rather than geography.

The advice stands however; buy gas now.

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September 11, 2019

18 Years




Kids are going off to college who nothing but the world since this happened. It's as distant to them as Pearl Harbor is to us. And yet 4 years after Pearl Harbor, the issue at hand as well as the issue in Europe was resolved.

Today we continue to play whackamole against this ancient enemy that has dogged our civilization for 1300 years and there is no real end in sight. The only successes of that day, the heroic, but bittersweet ending of Flight 93 and the amazing spontaneous evacuation of lower Manhatten were decentralized actions of a free people's militia....Many today wish to strip from our society both the societal and physical toolkits that make such holistic responses possible. Meanwhile,  the kids born that year march off to colleges from which many if not most will emerge as fearsome Janissaries, primed to hate and struggle against their own as China sits on the sidelines patiently sending money to their teachers and entertainers, drugs to our children and  patiently wait as we bleed ourselves on enemies foreign and domestic.

Also Donald Trump is president...so....Yeah....'didn't really see any of this coming. I suspect others failed to foresee these developments as well. Perhaps one of many lessons we should take as we reflect upon the last dozen and a half years is just how hard predicting the future is.


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April 13, 2018

I Have a few Questions

They may be silly questions.

But they are mine.

As the bombs begin to fall, I find myself wondering;

1) Given that Trump had announced that he was preparing to leave Syria, what possible motivation could Assad have had for doing the one thing likely to invite a violent response?

2) If The U.S. , France, the U.K and Russia (all of whom are nuclear powers) have a 'tiff', who, praytell, would benefit in the long term geostrategically? (I don't think it includes the U.S., The U.K., France or Russia).

3) What else is happening in the world this week? 

4) Could we have picked a more auspicious date to start our operation than Friday the 13th?


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October 31, 2017

New York...Again

Reports are that someone drove a rental truck 14 blocks down a Manhattan bike path crushing people in the process, hit a school bus, got out of his truck, engaged police with what may, or may not have been paintball guns and, before being shot, shouted "Allah Ackbar!".


No word as to motive, though a talking head on Fox is pushing the "lone nut" theory hard..


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June 18, 2017

Well Then: That's Not a Good Thing to See When One Clicks on Drudge




This  hellish bundle of razor wire still has the potential to develop in unexpected unpleasant ways.

Let's review:
We have over 1000 troops on the ground in Syria, a country whose government has not given us permission to be there and which is a very important ally of Russia. Russia, in addition to possessing items of some interest also has thousands of troops on the ground in Syria helping to protect that country (an important ally of their's) by shooting at the Jihadists we are defining as moderates and ostensibly backing. Meanwhile, while we are fighting the (mostly) different jihadis in ISIS (which Russia is also fighting). So, Russian and U.S. troops are on opposite sides of a civil war, armed and both sides are shooting at people who are trying to kill them and that the other side is trying to defend in an area where at least two factions are using poison gas. Iran also has large forces engaged against ISIS and in support of Syria but additionally is giving support to...Hezbollah. Turkey, which happens to have of one of the largest armies in the world, is also involved...mainly as a spoiler but also to exterminate our nominal allies the Kurds, who are a completely different group from the aforementioned revolutionary groups we are backing and are also fighting ISIS.  

The shootdown aside, this mess in Syria is a lot more consequential than the coverage it's been getting would seem to indicate. 

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June 03, 2017

Well, Crap

Reports are still early, but it looks like the mess in London was separate, simultaneous (and therefore most likely coordinated) terrorist attacks.


The U.K is in for a rough ride. 

As are we all. 


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April 03, 2016

Well SOMEBODY is Fighting Back

Cover Shores reports that two ISIS patrol boats/blockade runners were just sunk last week by limpet mine attack. 




In other news: ISIS has a navy.

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November 07, 2015

Just No Idea

The inscrutable conundrum of why a college student went all stabby on a U.C Merced campus has been further clouded by the discovery of a manifesto on the corpse of the perpetrator, who has been identified as Faisal Mohammed.

 A handwritten manifesto carried by a California college student whose stabbing spree Wednesday left four wounded, bore names of his targets, a vow "to cut someone’s head off” and as many as five reminders to "praise Allah,” law enforcement authorities told FoxNews.com, while insisting that neither terrorism nor religion appear to be motives in the attack. 

Still no word on any of his affiliations, though ominously it has been suggested that he may be....a freshman.


"Be nice to the first years...or we might cut ya!"

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November 03, 2015

That'll Learn I'm!

Well the penalty for the NASA official who gave a Chinese official unfettered access to the Langley Reasearch Center for just under two years has been sentenced....to six months probation and 250 dollars


Woodell permitted Bo Jiang "complete and unrestricted access” to the NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia, according to the indictment filed October 20.  The indictment stated that he had violated NASA’s security and IT regulations over a two-year period, from Spring 2011 to January 2013.
 

I feel so safe that I might cry. 

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September 11, 2015

14 Years

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June 08, 2015

Wait! What's This?



Turkey's Islamist AKP party, which supports the countries increasingly authoritarian and Ottomanesque leader, did not get the votes to extend his term.

It gets BETTER! They LOST seats! So many in fact, that they no longer control the legislature.

This is the best international news I've heard all year. Turkeys descent into crazy was particularly disturbing for a couple of reasons. Turkey is in NATO. Furthermore, the ascent of islamism in a nation that had made great strides by embracing disestablishmentarianism and secularism in government was a grim barometer of the mood of the people in that part of the world.

This, on the other hand is a happy, hopeful barometer!





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May 10, 2015

The Red Guards Were Never So Respectable

The response to the Garland shooting has been...dismaying

That response is tied to something that I've blogged about in association with matters of far less importance before, I've been working on another post on the topic for months but its so damned depressing to me that it still festers in draft form. Fortunately, Ace has nailed it: You really should read the whole thing, but here is a particularly important excerpt:

This is about, specifically, the careerist, cowardly, go-along-to-get-along mores of the Upper Middle Class, the class of people whose parents were all college educated, and of course are college educated themselves; the class that dominates our thought-transmitting institutions (because non-college educated people are more of less shut out of this industry).

It is a class which is deathly afraid of social stigma, and lives in class-based fear being grouped with the wrong people, and which is more interested in Career, quite frankly, than in the actual tradecraft of that Career, which is clarity of thought and clarity of expression.


That is the bit that is getting quoted everywhere and I DO think it is making an exceedingly important point about the larger issue facing society. 
The idea of a 'problem class' is on the face of it is pretty obnoxious. However, the upper middle class is an important barometer of a societies' health. This is the group that in other times were often minor nobility and they produce the bulk of a nation's great thinkers and innovators when a society is healthy. 
When societies are not though, this demographic also produces about 100% of the Robspierres, Ches, Maos and disappointed Austrian painters. The herd dynamics ACE is referring to are at the core of a whole host of societal ills right now, the most troubling being the inability of so many people to stand up for anything like classically liberal principals....which is where ACE gets down to brass tacks..

One does not "support" someone's right to free speech by name-calling them and advertising how far one believes they fall outside the smug Upper Middle Class (leftist-dominated) Consensus.

One supports free speech by supporting those who speak freely.

I am so disgusted by how so many alleged thinkers seem to care more about social positioning than actual thought.

I should not advertise any hostility I may have towards Ms. Gellar to prove I'm "among the acceptable ones."

What he said...


The winning submission to the contest was by Bosch Fawstin

 I have little to add except for this....One of the more worrisome arguments I've heard concerning political correctness recently is the idea that "...as long as the GOVERNMENT isn't shutting people up, then it isn't censorship...So kindly shut up" That argument may be technically true and indeed government enforcement of such things is a bigger evil. Its also pretty hard to pass constitutional muster in this country which is why we have these examples of things that are not technically censorship.

The Hayes Code

The Comics Code Authority

The Hollywood Blacklist

Homeowners Associations

I guess those are all non-objectionable then. 


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March 03, 2015

Well, That Was One Heck of a Speech.

Netanyahu knocked it out of the park, laying out all the myriad reasons why the proposed deal is of such concern to so many. However, it seems unlikely to change many, if any minds amongst those in power whose minds are made up.

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February 18, 2015

Shockingly....

...There are stories of even greater import than the fact that it is snowing in parts of North America in February. 


This piece in the Atlantic has been widely linked to and deservedly so. I strongly urge you to read the whole thing. It gives one of the best overviews on the motivations of ISIS. It also explains in layman's terms the rationale behind what to those of us on the outside seems to be bizarre and frankly crazy behavior. They are not crazy. They are completely rational and logical given the premises they operate from. Nor are they ignorant as the group is led mostly by highly literate eschatologists who are, like many of the greatest monsters of all time convinced that they are going to make the world a better place and bring about heaven on earth. This is hard for people to get their heads around because it is simply so alien. They genuinely consider themselves to be virtuous. This is really beyond our modern experience, save possibly for the NAZIs, though even they were sufficiently uncomfortable with their atrocities that they tried to conceal them rather than using them as recruiting tools. The piece defies excerpting and you really should read the whole thing, but if you absolutely must get the Cliff's notes version or simply want to review the piece in bullet point format, Suburban Banshee has got your back. Take particular note of point #1. 

In other news, it seems that ISIS is even more active in North Africa than previously supposed, having secured territory in the festering hell-hole formerly known as  Libya, where they demonstrated their ability to operate with impunity by beheading 30 Egyptian Christians in the open on the beach, in broad daylight. In addition to a display of confidence the location choice is sending another message as well. It would appear that the ISIS "Barqa Province" in Africa consists of two coastal enclaves the smaller of which includes the city of Derna, an austere seaport, with a depth of only 15 feet, but it is a rail hub and has the logistical benefits that ports have. 



Egypt chose to express their displeasure at the bigoted butchering of their citizens with bombs, rockets and cannon fire rather than hashtags. As a result, when they asked for intel assistance from their nominal allies in the US Government, they were, like the Jordanians before them, rebuffed

Perhaps more worrying in some ways is the fact that the ISIS takeover of Derna is not exactly breaking news. It happened in August of last year .  AFD did an in depth post on that unhappy development at the time. It makes for sobering reading. 

 Hifter’s personal army and the Libyan military, as I noted in my earlier post, are being more or less crushed in Benghazi, representing eighty percent of all deaths (military, Islamist, and civilians) in Benghazi from mid-October to mid-November alone.

Hifter/ Haftar is a Libyan general leading an anti-islamist coalition.

This map is from Wikipedia and may be outdated, but it gives some idea of the mess that Libya has become. ISIS controlled areas are black and mainly cities, the grey areas are controlled by Ansar-El-Sharia, which is reportedly allied closely with ISIS (and given the eschatological underpinnings of ISIS, may be only nominally separate).

  Click here for supah-size.

Do note that Derna, in addition to being a railway hub and small port has some disadvantages, should we as a nation, ever rediscover our resolve. Being on the coast it is inherently susceptible to an amphibious assault, and I'm sure that the USMC would not mind to revisit the place

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February 14, 2015

Let Us Wish the Danes Good Hunting

Terrorists have shot up a Copenhagen cafe in an apparent attempt to assassinate cartoonist Lars Vilks, who has some blasphemous tendencies. There was another fatal shooting at a synagogue shortly thereafter. 


There is not much to add at this time, but here is something suitably non-Halal: 



May they catch the bastards quickly. 

 

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February 08, 2015

Janissaries

Via Instapundit, this article is rather hard to read without putting down the keyboard and crawling under the bed. 


It seems that ISIS has made some progress in governing their state. They have established a comprehensive and rapidly expanding a program of universal and compulsory education. 
Specifically, after killing all the teachers, they are sending the kids to religious and military indoctrination camps. Kids to young or not yet ready to fight are transported with assault forces and serve in rear echelon as blood donors. 

There is more here, and bit of that is touched on in this video from Vice, which, while not really graphic is nevertheless high octane nightmare fuel.

On the other hand, I was not aware that Turkey had turned off the Euphrates.

Note that Boko Haram, which has had some cooperation with ISIS despite the two groups distance has been doing more of this as well of late. Previously, they had been killing boys and abducting girls but that seems to have changed in recent months

In the 1300s the Muslims created the Jannissaries; children abducted from non moselem families on raids who were trained using Spartan methods to be shock troops that would not only have great combat prowess, but give their enemies pause due to the fear that they might be fighting their own relatives. These are no such elite force but they are a dreadful problem that is likely to linger rather unpleasantly, and will be both worse and more persistent the longer we allow these vile groups to fester . 

This began as the 21st century. In some ways it is looking more like the 12th. 

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January 26, 2015

....It Gets Worse

A quick addendum to all the unbridled joy in this recent post. It appears that the new Saudi King may have a few additional ...issues

  King Salman, Saudi Arabia’s newly crowned monarch, has a controversial history of helping to fund radical terror groups and has maintained ties with several anti-Semitic Muslim clerics known for advocating radical positions,
 

Words are failing me at the moment, so I'll let this young lady provide commentary on the matter. 



Happy Monday.

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