Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Abolish the DNI

There are now news reports (Source: The Blaze citing CBS) that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) altered CIA information on the 9/11/12 Benghazi attack to remove references to terrorism.

As a member of the INTEL Community (IC) when the DNI was proposed, myself and my colleagues understood that it was a path to failure, not success.  Why?

Whenever a bureaucracy is put over a set of bureaucracies there are new fiefdoms for individuals to control (that is, areas of responsibility that get divvied up and individuals then begin turf wars for resources).  This is true of ANY bureaucracy, not just the DNI.

Why was the DNI formed?

In response to a Blue Ribbon Commission investigating the 9/11/01 attacks to find out how so much INTEL could not be coordinated between Agencies within the IC. 

The solution was NOT to remove barriers between common work areas across Agencies. 

The solution was NOT to spin up a cross-agency task sharking system so that INTEL could be shared at the Analyst level and work assignments done utilizing specialists across Agencies.

The solution was not to pare down an obviously inefficient set of bureaucracies to both make them more efficient and to punish such Agencies that had continually asked for more personnel to 'get the job done'.

These were NOT the solutions put into place.

Instead the DNI, a bureaucracy above other bureaucracies, each of those sub-pieces that would now need additional manpower to interface with the new bureaucracy, was created.  This is understood as a path to failure.

There is or should be an Iron Law of Bureaucratic Size for Oversight.  It would simply read:

Any bureaucracy that is increased with the goal to enhance oversight and efficiency instead reduces oversight, efficiency and accountability by requiring more bureaucracy between individuals and more individuals to point the finger at when something goes wrong.

That is what has happened with the DNI.

It failed, as an Office created to discern indications of terrorism, to correctly ID a terror attack after it happened with resources telling it that this was, unmistakably, a terror attack.

On 9/11.

The irony would be mirthful if there were not 4 Americans dead in the streets of Benghazi.

By the reason it was created, by the standards to which it was set to adhere to, the DNI has failed completely and utterly in its mission.

If you want a better working IC get rid of the DNI, strip out bureaucratic staffing at the GS-13 to GS-15 levels, and have the IC get together as working units to determine how best to address information gathering, processing, analysis and draw conclusions by removing fiefdoms and ownership over resources now bestowed upon Agencies.  What is needed to get a job done is best determined at the working level of the Analyst.  Agencies should have as their mandate the requirement to identify key skills and then SUPPORT THEM and recruit individuals to meet REQUIRED SKILLSETS to properly work through INTEL.

Make project heads accountable for their work product and grade analysts directly on the quality of it as seen by their USERS, not by their BOSSES.

Reward good work, efficiency and actually getting the job done correctly and to the end-user's satisfaction.

But above all else, if nothing else is done, get rid of the DNI as we are LESS able to ID terrorism NOW than on 9/10/01.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The deals, fiscal cliff and Weimar

When the Weimar Republic went into a tailspin it was due to outstanding debt (war debt from WWI) that it couldn't repay coupled with a hoarding binge set off by the need to actually feed returning soldiers.  Hoarding of food started the German Mark going on an inflationary spiral as the amount of food dwindled the price of the remaining food skyrocketed.  As costs rose the German government tried to cover that by printing more money, thereby devaluing their currency which then caused foreign debt holders to doubt the value of their debt assets as they were getting paid in money worth less and less because it was not pegged to the gold standard.  When that happened hyper-inflation set in to the point where you had to spend a paycheck when you got it just to get anything of value from your work.

Money is an exchange value of work put in to perceived value for final goods, after all, so when any government starts to print money they are saying: your work is worth less to you because we can't manage the value of the currency.  Because there is an inherent work valuation in finished products delivered to market, when more money is printed the goods are worth more, as well, which is inflation: it is more money trying to chase a set intrinsic value of work investment in goods production and when the currency is devalued then more of it is needed to get that intrinsic value.

When the foreign creditors came knocking the German economy imploded with hyper-inflation as the government tried printing more money to the point where you needed carts and wheelbarrows to get money to a store on the hour you were paid... yes you were paid by the hour at that point and the government had set up rationing of how much you were allowed to get, but that was meaningless when you couldn't buy anything.  Finally the German Mark was worthless and everything ground to a halt in Germany: the banks shut down, the industries imploded and stopped manufacturing, and the agricultural sector only got by if they could barter actual food for work.  Thus you had barter.

Welcome to the land of the US 'fiscal cliff' brought on to you by the debt given to you by the US federal government which went off the gold standard under Richard Nixon!

The US debt by our government is $16 trillion and growing at a phenomenal rate.  The annual deficit, per year, of the federal government is heading north of $1.5 trillion/year.  The Federal Reserve (that set of private banks the US government allows to handle our debt servicing for a fee, lucky them! and the printers of cash) are now inflating the US dollar under the guise of 'Quantative Easing' I, I II and a limitless III, with worthless cash now sitting in reserve to cover the US federal government's spending because, surprise!, no one overseas wants to buy it.  The largest holder of the US federal debt is the Federal Reserve.

What is the 'fiscal cliff'?  The inability of the US federal government to get spending under control and wanting to turn the US economy into the Weimar Republic by being unable to stop the red spread of ink to cover the stuff that can't be covered by taxes.  This was approached just after the prior election cycle and a deal was made to keep the economy going: raise the debt ceiling for more deficit spending in exchange for keeping tax rates where they were under what became the Bush/Obama tax cuts.  Now the debt ceiling is approaching, the deal is about to end and the tax rates are about to skyrocket taking another chunk out of the US economy to go into the federal bottomless pit.  Capital gains taxes will rise from 15% to 20%.  The Alternative Minimum Tax, set up to hit 'the rich' way back when, is not indexed to inflation and will go up to take in about 30 million citizens who are far and away just in the upper middle class to rich category.  Because everyone, to some extent, has money in the equity markets and capital gains are utilized to garner money from the growth of companies, all Americans will suffer.  Once the taxes are in place there will be less incentive to gain money from capital growth and less reason to increase wages and earnings due to the cost of running companies rising due to the Quantative Easing.

The rich get this hit, the poor get this hit, everyone gets this hit.  Income tax goes up in each bracket so the lowest bracket goes up from 10% to 15%, the middle class goes from 33% to 36%,  and the highest bracket  goes up from 35% to about 40%.  Some other cuts expiring are the child tax credit, some higher education expenses tax credits and FICA goes up 2% on every wage earner.  Added tax for Medicare goes up by 3.8% as well as the brandy-new Obamacare. The Estate Tax goes up.  You see?  Fairness!  Everyone suffers.

Net amount gained?  $440 billion

Because of the deal there are also some spending cuts, mostly to the military, which are a figurative 'drop in the bucket'.  The entire US military could drop out of the budget and you would still have over $1 trillion in deficit spending without 'the deal'.  The 99 weeks of unemployment goes back to 26 weeks... and good luck in finding a job, eh?

So while the US economy locks up, there is that other thing coming around again: the debt ceiling.

For the $2 trillion plus $440 billion and change the US government gets in tax revenue, it spends $3.5 trillion per year.   And if you did make the military magically go away as the Left keeps on wanting it to do, you would only have... $3 trillion in spending.  Needless to say there needs to be some military to protect the Nation and we can start shutting down bases wholesale overseas to trim just a bit more out of structural costs.  In other words due to the amount the Obama Administration has asked for in structurally increased spending, the expiring tax cuts would only lower deficit spending from $1.5 trillion to $1.1 trillion per year.

Now what are the major line items that the federal government will have to rack up?  First is servicing that $16 trillion debt:

Debt Service: $250 billion

After that the military.  Now lets take a 20% across the board hit plus a bit more and give every Leftists a wet dream just to paint the rosiest of rosy pictures for them and they can't say I didn't give them what they asked for:

DoD: $400 billion

Say that leaves $1.75 trillion per year!  Say did you know that Social Security (FICA tax) and the Medicare tax don't cover the cost of those programs?  They are both running in the red with SSA cashing out 'special bonds' which will increase the cost of our Debt Service line... but lets say that it doesn't just to keep things simple.  Now you would think that ANY GOVERNMENT should be able to do basic functions on that remaining haul, right?

First up paying up on SSA:

SSA: $880 billion

Ok, you are down to having a total of $870 billion of revenue to spend!  Geeze, can't we get by on that?  Next up are the M&M's, Medicare and Medicaid (sans Obamacare), which aren't bad but aren't all that hot, either:

M&Ms: $800 billion, approx. no one can give exacting figures due to Obamacare cuts and changes

For $70 billion you can now fund the rest of the federal budget.

Now to be fair, Obamacare rightly belongs with the M&Ms, making them the MMO, so lets add in that to get the actual cost change to the system:

MMO: $920 billion (again inexact as NO ONE has an idea of the TRUE COST of Obamacare)

Your $70 billion to spend now goes into a $50 billion deficit, red ink in other words.

The rest of the federal government has not been funded at this point.  Here are some relatively mandatory agencies based on what their functions are (although do regard them with a huge grain of salt as they are summaries and, unfortunately, the actual functions tend to be small parts of a bureaucratic morass):

Homeland Security:  $40 billion

VA:  $61 billion

State Dept: $48 billion

INTEL Community: $0.5 billion

HHS: $78 billion (the overhead cost in personnel and such  to run MMO)

Interior:  $11 billion (but they want to close the parks!!!)

Treasury: $4.7 billion (remember the Federal Reserve is a quasi-governmentally chartered organization, NOT the Treasury)

SSA: $9 billion (the overhead cost of personnel and such to run SSA)

Cost to run these parts that are Constitutionally required (in whole or in part) or to keep discretionary wealth transfer payments going is thus

Cats & Dogs: $255 billion

To fund the C&Ds with Obamacare gets a $305 billion deficit, and without it a $185 billion deficit.

Everything else (EPA, Education, Justice, Labor, HUD, Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Transportation, Corps. of Engineers, NSF, SBA, all of this stuff) gets zeroed out and eliminated from the US federal government.  The big goose-egg for funding, but the property can be sold off to get a bit of revenue, which doesn't matter a lot, but gets you something.  Also the regulatory behemoth gets it right in the heart and topples over dead as a doornail.

If the agreement made post-2010 is actually kept for taxes and then the debt limit is NOT RAISED, then what to fund in the federal government becomes a very interesting proposition.  Take all the truly mandatory (as in specified in the US Constitution) stuff and you get, in spending:

Debt Service: $250 billion

DoD: $400 billion (unrealistic, but fun to tweak the Left with on their wet dreams)

Cats & Dogs: $255 billion

Absolutely mandatory, by the US Constitution required spending: $0.905 trillion

That isn't bad.

Cost of voluntary spending:

SSA: $880 billion

MMO: $920 billion (again inexact as NO ONE has an idea of the TRUE COST of Obamacare)

Total spending on Entitlements: $1.8 trillion

Total spending: $2.705 trillion (but probably more as these things go)

Total revenue from all sources: $2.44 trillion

Total deficit in 2013:  $300 billion (approx.)

And no other parts of the US federal government left outside the mandatory Cats & Dogs.

This is the sort of math that gets done if you don't raise the debt ceiling: you make hard choices of what to cut, and something else outside of DoD (which I gave the Leftists a wet dream on) and more taxes is the issue as that voluntary or discretionary portion of the budget is set to be the long-term budget buster as no one forecasts those outlays to go DOWN as a structural portion of the budget, but only UP and sharply upwards.  Remember that before Obamacare was factored in you had a $70 billion surplus before you got to other mandatory spending and that other mandatory spending would have given you a deficit of $800 billion without Obamacare.  There is no way to run any of the math on Obamacare and have it come out cost neutral or actually cut the cost of the government because it RAISES the cost of government.  That one CBO report was so rigged, so based on non-adjusted numbers and static (meaning it didn't take into considerations responses to the law) that it was a lie, pure and outright.  It just doesn't work that way.

So if you cap off spending you then have areas you must cut.  You can save a bit trimming at mandatory spending, but that is not the problem in this budget: 'entitlements' are.

Let's say that everything was capped and, say, Obamacare not funded, a bit of trimming at State, HHS (unfunded Obamacare), unnecessary functions at DHS (like the TSA) and Interior (like handing back land to the States to get rid of overhead functions) and you get a deficit neutral budget.  What happens, firstly, is the regulatory overburden from the rest of the government, plus the subsidies to do inefficient things (like corn based ethanol and 'green' energy) go away.  So does DoJ, which includes the FBI, BATFE, and a number of other functions all blow into dust and Eric Holder is out of a job.  Labor goes away as an agency, and so does OSHA and all the federal overhead with it.  The EPA becomes dry gulch of unsustainable regulations no one will enforce at the federal level.  After that the Cost of Living Adjustments for SSA and M&Ms might be frozen for a few years and harsh means testing put in place to get the upper middle class off of the M&Ms.

Basically it is saying to the States: you are on your own.

It also gives a major signal to the credit markets: the US is now serious about paying off its debt and can be considered a secure place to invest as we are no longer in the red at the federal level.

The Federal Reserve to liquidate its worthless cash then starts to jack up interest rates to, say, 25-30% for 4-6 years which has a two-fold effect of making loans for a number of banks nearly impossible to make, but also draws in external capital and cash to start funding companies in the US that are now unshackled from the federal regulatory monster (although the tax problem is a major one, still, that regulatory overburden will allow companies to free up their own capital to invest).  Unemployment goes up for 2-5 years as the job market expands and new entrants try to find positions in it and labor participation rates increase, and this is a GOOD THING, unlike now where labor participation rate is dropping which is a BAD THING.

The worst of all scenarios is just agreeing on anything like the path we are on.

A half-way decent agreement would be one to scrap Obamacare and all the stuff Obama has put in, for an exchange of another debt ceiling limit raise which will also be the LAST time and that will be made clear to everyone.  This gets a couple of years to restructure entitlements, roll back government slowly, and get the Federal Reserve to stop filling up the swimming pool sized punch bowl for us to drown in and pull out the plug on the monetary Debt Star.

The best of all scenarios is for the House to hold out that Obama asked for the cliff in exchange for a one-time ceiling hike, and now that he has gotten all the taxes he wanted, he should be smart enough to figure out how to fund the government with $2.44 trillion.  He asked for it, so give it to him.  If this is what all these bozos got elected on (and that is what the Left is saying for taxes) then the agreement MUST be good.  Hard medicine to go cold turkey on spending, yes.  But it is, after all, what was agreed-upon: the deficit addict goes cold turkey after one last hit on taxes and then balances the budget in one year.  The Left wanted, with a vengeance, the 'Clinton Era Tax Rates' so GIVE IT TO THEM and demand a return to CLINTON ERA SPENDING RATES and the CLINTON SIZE OF GOVERNMENT to boot.  They loved the Clinton era so much, then tell them to bring it ALL BACK on both taxes and spending.   You can formulate your own approach, but the basics are to get spending in line, kill regulations, put the States on their own and let them all know: no bailouts for you.

These idiots Upon The Hill I expect to be the worst of all possible people.



Debt Junkies.

And they HATE that your WORK is worth something to YOU and want to PUNISH you for being PRODUCTIVE.  They want to CONTROL YOUR LIFE from cradle to grave, take all you own and then have you THANK THEM for being so nice to you.

When you hear the words 'Grand Bargain' and it doesn't include any rollback, then you will have your answer if we are going Weimar or not.

No rollback: Weimar.

Rollback and government accountable to citizens: America.

I'm preparing for Weimar.

I am hoping for America, but hope is not a strategy, preparation is and sends a message all its own that is unmistakable.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Anomie and you

n 1: personal state of isolation and anxiety resulting from a lack of social control and regulation
2: lack of moral standards in a society
Source: WordNet (r) 1.7
an·o·mie [an-uh-mee]
noun Sociology.
a state or condition of individuals or society characterized by a breakdown or absence of social norms and values, as in the case of uprooted people.
Source: Dictionary.com
This concept of anomie is one that is targeted at individuals who are the basis for society. Social isolation, societal removal of norms, and the result of them create a more isolated set of individuals that no longer work as a cohesive society. This trend pre-dates the internet and was worrying sociologists for decades long before you ever get to Facebook, Myspace or 'social media'. One of the causes for concern in those days was the concept of 'media' being an isolation system that left the individual with few tools to reach out on the problems of society. The telephone is person-to-person, the television, radio and film are one-to-many and neither of these offered the capacity to actually get mass interaction amongst individuals. What these shared were an isolating interposition of technology turning individuals into passive viewers of information or at least being able to deal with a single other person from the comfort of your kitchen or bedroom while talking.

Movies, while seen together in a theater, were only a 'social' event if you actually were able to socialize with others afterwards, and that was limited to art house venues or similar small venues that gathered like-minded viewers together and then had a post-viewing experience to actually share the experience and find out what others thought about that shared experience. Big Box Multiplexes, the multi-screen venue, and even the large and ostentatious theaters of the 1920's and 1930's, while having lovely settings, did not offer the ability to interact and even discouraged it by having the ushering of audiences out so the next one could then see the film.

Media, be it newspaper, radio, television, film, or any other process of presentation of information to a mass audience lacked the ability to bring individuals together to actually discuss topics: media is anomic to the individual by definition as it only presents information in a relatively static way and even the interaction with a known other on a telephone is not the same as being together physically.

Being INTP

INTP is a personality type derived from using the descriptive Myers-Briggs test(s) and is one of the earliest attempts to do this to help individuals understand just why they act, think and feel in the way that they do, and there is The Myers & Briggs Foundation dedicated to this task and resources to help you find out about what your personality type actually is. Actually there are lots and lots of MBPT tests out there, from quick and easy to the multi-session ones that take a few days. What you get are Type Indicators (MBTI) for your personality, which are rough outlines of what the basis for your personality actually is. This does not mean you adhere to it in all instances, in fact no one does because personality has many different modes of expression because of individuation, so that you have a unique personality type that is individual to you. While identical twins will often have many of the same personality characteristics, because they are individuated they will have slightly different responses via their personality that are distinct to them, even when having a high degree of similarity.

The rough basis of the MBTI is based upon dichotomies of personality preferences as expressed by individuals (that is not only expressed as in 'taking the test' but as how traits drive certain responses) that serve as the basic four letter encapsulation of one's personality. There are refinements to the test, yes, but they are refinements to the rough outline of one's MBTI. They are as follows:

Extraversion/Introversion (E/I) – Extraversion is outward turning, while Introversion are inward turning personality types. This set is first and primary and helps to determine the main social outlook of individuals via the MBTI.

Sensing/Intuition (S/N) – How do you perceive the world and gather information about it? The Sensing (S) person takes in what is around them via their senses and trusts that as this data has meaning in a concrete way. The Intuition (N) person takes in data and then abstract it and associate it with other information to find out how current information fits into a larger scale of information.

Thinking/Feeling (T/F) – These are judgmental functions of personality. Thinking for judgment allows for decisions to be made based on the rational factors presented by such data utilizing an understanding of interactions between events by rules such as causation and consistency within a given framework of known information. Feeling for judgment utilize empathy and internal weighting to attempt to get a harmonization of what has happened and consider such things within the framework of how it affects other people.

Judging/Perception (J/P) – These two are lifestyle determinates and they serve in reference to the other functions. Judging personality determinates have a preference to settle matters and for Extraverts can be the dominant mode of personality, while for Introverts it is an auxiliary to their personality to seek conclusion only after introspection. Perceptive types utilize the framework of keeping options open and that what is set today may not be the best way to do things. Again the driver for Extraverts with Perceptive is that openness to keep understanding open as a dominant function, while for Introverts it is an auxiliary function. For Introverts either of these can become a driver, but only when the internally understood worldview is unsettled by them.

As an INTP, then, these modes put the Introversion thinking as dominant to the Extraverted type, utilized a dominant Intuition perception over the inferior Sensing type, have a Thinking dominant and Feeling auxiliary judgmental type, and utilize Perception over Judging as an auxiliary to my Introversion personality type. I have a flexible world view that must have not just hard data, but have conformity between such data and known frameworks via abstraction of data for a coherent world structure.

Or, as one of the books looking at how often personality types put it, the INTP appears in less than 5% of the population and appears to be a space alien to everyone else.

Anomie and Personality

The vast majority of the population is of basic Extraversion type: gregarious, able to get along with each other, socially needing other people and generally those having a better time working with people than working alone.

Our media enforces just the opposite of that. As I see it (P) that is not in accordance with social norms (T) which creates a disassociation amongst individuals who are not temperamentally suited to such activities (N) and no good for anyone in such a situation (I). That is a worldview expression based on the information and derived abstraction of it utilizing observations of society and individuals to derive an end view that is open to change but serves as a foundational piece for then putting forth that something is horribly out of whack.

No good shall come of that.

The G.O.D. Theorem

The G.O.D. Theorem (as I call it, there are other names for it) is pretty simple: everything was better in the Good Old Days. If you watch any of Bill O'Reilly raging against the machines, you know exactly what I'm talking about, and his tirades against the use of modern technology is both deplorable and comedic, simultaneously. All this technology is killing society, is the short of the BOR rant, and it has been heard for ages about pool halls, pinball arcades, that decadent artwork that actually put perspective into paintings and the Waltz. All of that has been driving the morally upright society downhill, forever and this modern technology will be the end of us all.

Hey! I'm the guy who just said that no good will come of technology, right?

Yes, yes I am, but I am telling you in a bit more refined mode than BOR and NOT telling you pithy little tips of the day nor bemoaning about the harmful crudities of society caught on YouTube, not fit for children, save the teasers which show the worst of it and aren't fit for children, but you don't tell anyone about those. That is a bit on the hypocritical side utilized to build audiences. Building an audience that sits isolated in their homes, watching the program... on a machine... which is evil in the BOR mindset. Don't ask me how that works, I am clueless.

No, what I am pointing out is from my prior bit on the media as a dissociative factor as it is meant for passive or at most response only interaction. Both of these put individuals in isolation and passive response, very much like the educational system that emphasizes 'learning' (passive intake of information) instead of critical thinking (analyzing information to put it into a contextual framework). That dates back to the 1920's and the Progressive movement's March Through the Institutions where Progressive thought would be pushed out at every venue available to disrupt the coherent society and reform it into a passive edifice under hierarchical control. The modern schooling movement of the late 19th and early 20th century helped to foster this as did the Dewey Decimal system which attempted to order information and teaching along strict 'scientific' lines (that is to say lines that Progressives liked, instead of lines towards creative analytical thought).

The main institution for this societal change would be via politics and that meant having to break up the old internal party structure and put in a Boss (top-down) based system. This would be utilized to slowly remove the easy association of individuals to their local party system and seek to support apparatchiks over true representatives at all times in all political venues in each political party. By utilizing governmental power granted to it by the people, government would then begin remolding the people and society to the ends of those who controlled government, who saw themselves as 'enlightened' and you as ignorant. These were the idea put forward by Edward Bernays via the conceptualization of Propaganda which he gained from his advertising background. If you want the man to blame for getting women to smoke, it is Mr. Bernays.

Edward Bernays saw that the subversion of choice preferences for goods could be translated into politics. In politics advertising would be utilized to 'shape' opinion and form it within society to the benefit of those benevolent know-it-alls that should be the ones ruling over you and making decisions for you. He worked with Woodrow Wilson and others and only came to realize what he had actually created after WWII and the explicit use of internal Propaganda by the Nazi Party to have passive social distancing of society from the death camps be put in place after years of advertising against Jews as a whole. And yet that end is not out of the normal course of events when society has individuals get a feeling of isolation, powerlessness and a morally perverted sense pushed at them as 'normal'.

That is anomie.

And it is pushed by the passivity of the educational system, the power structure of the political parties and sustained by socially anomic media that discourages physical interaction save for the most base sort of sexual distraction. This enforced isolation and lack of external social contacts in a real, physical way leaves those using Extraversion with few outlets and those that are left are the most base sort and encourage no thinking whatsoever.

If you have a personality type with an E at the beginning, then you are the target and you are not temperamentally suited by your personality to handle enforced Introversion. This is done with malice aforethought since the late 19th century and the goal is to reshape society but its actual outcome is to liquidate society and remove moral and firmly rooted concepts for the basis of society from individual support. You are isolated and taught to be docile, to have an imposed exterior mental framework of pre-decided moral relativism fed to you, to have any moral standard run down, to no longer invite critical thinking about societies and their relative value but to put forward that all societies (even those that encourage infanticide) as being 'equal' and that you are powerless and should only entertain the most base thoughts towards your fellow man.

I am an Introvert and know how to handle my own internal world domain and situation. Self-imposed isolation and having few friends is not a problem to me and gives me leeway to decide just who is and isn't a friend and doesn't leave me grasping at any 'Friend' in the cyber-way as a means to uphold my personality needs for Extraversion. Because I have a firm reference basis built up of observation and yet one that is flexible to all of mankind, I can utilize my auxiliary traits to understand just what the goal and object of such things are. I can then utilize an understanding of history and tell you that enslavement is the BEST end scenario for individuals at the end of this and the total decay and collapse of modern civilization the WORST end for this scenario. And I can reference at least 3 'Dark Ages' (pre-Ming Dynasty China after the takeover by non-Chinese creating social isolation, Late Bronze Age with Egypt, the Hittites, Achaean Greeks and arguably all those effected by the Sea People, and the end of the Roman Empire) to demonstrate that enforced isolation (social or physical) means that individuals are ill-prepared for what comes when their world is reshaped by external events.

Note that this is Perception talking not Judging: the interior framework of world understanding that I have must have a high degree of correlation to the exterior world so that I can survive. I am willing to do the hard work, hunt down sources no one is even willing to talk about to find answers and I share them with you and encourage you to seek them out, read them, and then examine your own internal worldview to see if where we are in the modern world can come to ANY good end. What I do that is more than BOR is to hand you alternatives, outlets and other means to deal with things, although I also encourage you to get out to coffee shops, go out to see real, physical friends and to really think long and hard about your social valuation structure.

Family, Friends, Associates

My basic structure for social needs and interaction on a personal level are simple and stated above.

Family, first – these are the closest associates you have and biology is only a part of it, as this also includes those others that you have mutual agreement with to share the most personal aspects of your life. If Marriage is the basis for the Nation, then Family is the first social structure of the Nation we make. You can't help the family you were born into, but you can help who it is you pull in close to you in your life. If you value your online 'Friends' that you have never met, that you have never physically associated with, that you have not shook hands with face to face, then, not in a Judging way but in a Perceiving way, you have a problem. I am not here to Judge you, I am here to say that you social structure and Extraverted nature is being used to isolate you and this will cause you to be dependent on the first thing offered to you. It is intentional, malicious and means no good end for you... that is the framework and pattern you get when you passively allow these things to happen to you. You are in extreme danger, personally, and by not being an active part of the physical society, you are part of the destructive Progressive methodology to control even you cyber 'Friends'. I'm sorry if I'm the one that has to break this to you. There is good in having such 'Friends', but only if you actually invest time, effort and real physical location displacement to meet them and understand them directly, physically, as individuals.

Friends, second – the real thing, the ones where you get in a horrible accident, the family is on vacation and have just one or two people to turn to for help. The person who will get to the hospital to see you. The person that will bail you out of jail, give you a ride home, and tell you that you don't have to pay them, just do your duty to show up and they will stand by your side. That person is a FRIEND. And as someone who has gone friendless most of his life, I can tell you that such a person isn't to be passed off lightly. If you ignore this person (or if damned lucky a handful of them) for your cyber 'Friends' you are asking for a world of hurt even if you are interacting with these people as cyber 'Friends' because only the physical bonds of common projects sustain friendship. Trust me on that if you can't figure it out for yourself. Because I am Introverted and self-reliant, I damn well do my best to avoid such situations: you can't. Being basically friendless by choice is one thing, disdaining that person that will get to the hospital to make sure you are OK is lethal. If you lose that person, you have lost your back-up and if you aren't thinking ahead of time to get other back-up in place, then you will be dead in that crisis. Physically spend time with your friends, especially those close friends as an Extravert you need it and deserve it and so do they. Even those Introverts who are your friends... especially them as they are more likely to show up when NO ONE ELSE WILL. Just let them know they are your back-up, OK?

Associates, third – The people you meet up with in your life on a relatively frequent basis at work or at school. You have little choice but to have such associates unless you are: an author, run a sole proprietor business, or are in a cave living off of investment income. Authors who work alone get much say in how their works get distributed, and thus have the ability to choose who they will work with to a great extent. Running your own business and being your own boss and employee means you do have work contacts, yes, but they tend to be commerce related and not a daily recurring physical meeting situation. Then there is Ted Kaczinski, Howard Hughes and the totally bugged out that are self-sufficient and are rarely seen. If you aren't any of those, and do have daily contacts in business or school, then you have associates: those people you associate with frequently. This also includes church organizations, charitable work, helping to run a scout troop, and a whole host of activities from sports to games to reading circles and everything in between that you do for a social life. Your co-workers are those people you may go out and blow off steam after work, fulfilling a good social function and decompressing from the day to be sociable in the rest of your life. These also tend to be cyber 'Friends' that you may interact with via video, instant messaging or text messaging with or without images. This is by no means an unimportant category of people in your life, but they are in that next shell out and the least tied to you even when you physically meet up on a regular basis.

All of these people, plus the casual acquaintances, are a necessary and vital part of staving off anomie in one's life and help to gain some social grounding for you in this life. And while you may be in the situation where you have no choice but to spend time with Associates as a majority of your time, they in no way make up for Family and Friends. All three are critical to all humans, save the Kaczinski types, of course, but everyone needs them in different amounts and spending too much time with groups of people can even be stress inducing to Introverts, who tend to take the rest of humanity in smaller and measured doses. As humans grew up and got acculturated to each other through history, from pre-historic times to present, there are strong bonds that all people form to emotionally sustain them and give them moral and ethical roots in society. I stress physical meeting because there is no substitute for them: actually being in someone's direct presence has physical, psychological and emotional feedback into your psyche that is, generally, positive.

Just don't save up negative feelings for Thanskgiving and Christmas time with your family. Having positive time together as a family with friends is one of the most important things that can be done: let the preachers do the preaching that everyone wants to hear, not what you need to get off your chest or pontificate about. You are better than that. If you have bothered to learn self-restraint, that is.

The Body Politic

You participate in the Body Politic even if you haven't registered to vote, disdain the political system, and generally decry it at all turns. You are a member of society and are to be considered part of the Body Politic no matter how little you want to have to do with it.

Using the G.O.D. Theorem, I can state that there used to be a different era of politics that were not centered on elections, not centered on candidates, and were centered on the positive social impact of being in a political party that met up as smaller units for social gatherings. There are very, very, very few positives in growing up in a socialist leaning family, let me tell you that right off. In fact the only great aspect was seeing how the traditional, old-line socialists actually ran their political lives together at party meetings. Party meetings were things like: barbecues, a day at the beach, spending a day to celebrate one of the respected people in the party chapter on their birthday, stuff like that. Maybe 3 meetings a year, tops. The total time spent on politics at a typical 5-7 hour meeting was 1 hour or less, usually with a speech or two. You have to give the old line socialists credit for continuing on a tradition that had been lost in the late 1960's and early 1970's by the mainstream parties. But then the old-line, First International Socialist types had speeches on actual political outlook, dogma and not about plans or policy, by and large. Really, what sane person would attend a nice day at the beach to talk about the intricacies of tax policy or which programs are actually doing any good? Those get shuffled off to meeting rooms, run by party apparatchiks... and that is in the mainstream political parties as well as the old line socialists. No one wants to see how political sausage is made, these days.

With the shift in party power in the mainstream parties from wards, precincts and districts to the higher level offices until the National offices came to run the party, also came the distancing of people from actually discussing politics as a moral, ethical and popular matter. Political parties used to be about ideals and moral viewpoints, not about getting a slice of the power pie. The Body Politic only works well when there is a healthy discourse and intercourse amongst individuals and parties based on ideology, dogma, and arguing the basics of each to see how viewpoints that differ lead to different conclusions. It is society that creates the requirement for government by having a commonality of understood law amongst all members of society, and Nations are formed to differentiate societies due to the ideological, ethnic, religious and moral differences between them.

To unmoor individuals from this connection, those connections must be devalued, slowly removed and the ability of individuals to have say over the Body Politic and the organ of society we call 'government' must also be distanced. This is generally not a fast process and takes much time to degrade and demoralize society via other organs of education, church and the law. Government is created not to think for society, but to be a Punisher and ensure that those that would attack society are punished. It is given power to do those things, but they are safeguarding powers, not productive powers. For all the great edifices put up by government, they come at the expense of human liberty and freedom and the larger the edifice the greater the expenditure in lost productivity to gain it. Necessary infrastructure is to be created and safeguarded as directed by society through government for the benefit of all members of society and the welfare of society as a whole. This requires active participation in the political process to ensure that government only safeguards society and does not think that it is the determinative organ of society.

When government assumes that latter role we have various names for it: tyrannical, authoritarian, and imperial. Those individuals that wish to remove differences across all society are putting forward an imperial dogma as the ones doing the pushing are also the ones doing the deciding on what, really, you need in the way of liberty and freedom. Similarly those trying to liquidate national boundaries are trying to homogenize mankind to end its differences and reduce mankind to the lowest common moral denominator which, when done across cultures, is called savagery. The very worst components of all cultures, taken as the base of all human culture, is a savage thing and it is the conscious effort to move away from infanticide, slavery and so on, that gives a higher moral standing to those who eliminate such things in their own society. Yet this is diminished in 'moral relativism' that says that all good things are only good on a sliding scale and not a positive good in and of themselves.

This end is reached by starting to alienate individual from government by utilizing government's punitive powers against individuals of a certain group or class. Income tax was put into place on a class basis to 'tax the rich' and would 'never go above 7%'. Yet within 7 years it went to 70%, and still the insatiable appetite of government was not assuaged. Also demonized were the 'fat cat' tycoons of the trusts: Carnegie, Rockefeller, and those who sought to purchase corrupt politicians to their cause. While the anti-trust act was passed to break up the large trusts, the large banks counter-attacked because of the problem government had in funding itself. JP Morgan floated loans to the US government and prior to WWI the largest bankers in the US got together to put together legislation to put a Federal Reserve run by them into legal form, via the Progressive banner. The very types of trusts Progressives decried in industry, were most amenable to them in banking and their reach, to this day, is much larger than any or all of the tycoons in business combined. But you will not hear their modern day counterparts talking about breaking such an establishment or member banks up as they are 'too big to fail'. If the public had gotten any word of this legislation, at the time, it would not have passed. The public was not consulted, however, because the new Progressives didn't want the public to know of the deal that went down. Really, parties are only for passing legislation, not representing people, right?

With the Anti-Trust Acts, Federal Reserve and Income Tax, the Progressives had already changed the basis of government to exclude popular oversight and distance government from the Body Politic and society as a whole. It was an intentional set of acts to start creating anomie and isolate the individual by class, by economic status and to then punitively utilize the tax code to further isolate those that politicians didn't like. The media played its role as purveyor of information from government, but rarely, if ever, serves as a feedback instrument past that era of partisan newspapers that populated all sides of the political spectrum. By choosing who is and is not worthy to propagate information, government chooses the propagandists who then change their tune to better suit what government wants purveyed. You have little to no say in this, it is taken from your hands intentionally and you are no longer taught about your right to publish as part of your freedom of speech. It is implied that the freedom of the press is held by the press, not by the people, and yet it is the people who set up the organs that create the press, not the other way around.

The goal of this agenda, started over a century ago, is to install a small group of Elites as those who will dictate your life to you via government. If you depend on government for 'retirement', medical care, and even something like surviving a disaster, then you are no longer doing the basics necessary to secure your own life and survival. Such programs are sold as one thing, that is being a positive good, but they come at a cost of productivity, lost investment opportunity and having you as a thinking, vital member of society. Instead the individual becomes a mere cluster of group overlaps where any single group might be demonized to distract from the work and lacks of the Elites. When you group together to 'protest' against 'banksters' you are no longer holding government to account for it NOT allowing the process of justice work its ends on them. A bailed out company is one that is inefficient, poorly run and no matter how big it is, deserves to go through hard and deep restructuring of all of its elements just to survive. When allowed to tell people what energy is good and what energy is bad, then the most efficient and economical forms of energy can be marginalized so as to jack up the cost of actually having a modern life until the economy grinds to a halt and the dissociative media can soothe you by letting you know that this was the fault of this or that evil company, not your fault for helping to foster such government which wishes to impoverish you after driving you apart from your fellow man and making you dependent upon an authoritarian government that changes how you learn, what you learn and diminishes the ability to think critically.

As an individual I do not sit in judgment of you but tell you of what I perceive and the changes in the course of the world due to the structure of how society works and what part in it you play or do not play. When you hand over government by not even participating in its functioning, then you are giving the assent of apathy to have your life dictated to you by others. You could have a say, you could create a vibrant society that is rich in thought and discussion, and you could hold government to account to yourself and your fellow citizens by actually being a citizen and doing the job of a citizen. That job requires thinking and not just superficially but the deep and profound thinking of what it actually means to be you beyond distractions from media and seeking an easy life of doing what you are told by a set of Elites you do not elect but assent to by being passive. This passivity creates a frail society, a weak society and one that then gains fewer and less robust points of failure, until only a few are left that have no back-up, no capacity to respond to any failure because they all must do those things which you no longer do. And then there is a failure that cascades and your world disappears as the complex systems have gained simplistic governance that has a reach that is vast and a grasp of very little at all. That governance will seek to vilify and displace blame from itself so that you will be angry at anything, anyone, any group but those who have claimed so much and now can perform nothing and fail.

In anomie the individual becomes dependent, all moral decisions including that of which to sustain, life or death, becomes equal as all morals are rendered to have no value. That cannot sustain a society. That cannot sustain a government of any sort as you no longer self-govern. And those who fostered this have forgotten that they sit atop this set of vast and complex systems and for all they say they do not understand that complexity one whit better than those they are trying to control. When such vast societies fail they fail for the rich and poor alike, and while the rich might gain a cushion from their wealth, their very lives have the exact, same value as the very poorest who bear the brunt of their decisions. Soon there are fewer wealthy, fewer poor, and society is reduced by fire and iron to base survival where those who think and can plan are left to pick up the pieces to try and create a better world out of ruins. That is how such plans end as raw power is not competent in anything, save savagery. In that it excels because it is loosed from the bounds of having to weigh and judge towards civilized ends and is no longer held in check by citizens, but is used over mere subjects who are just subject to power, forgetting that they are its very author.

You cannot forget what you have not been taught. Sadly the Elites suffer this as badly in their quest for power. Once your life becomes all about you, then you are the absent author of power, the absent creator of society and the present instigator of your impoverishment by doing nothing to stop it on your own behalf. One cannot be sustained without work and without fear of outcomes: these two things do not go together and allow survival of society.

I prepare and plan for the failure of my fellow man writ large.

I do my part in warning and in letting you know that thinking, while difficult, is worth it as it is the creative process necessary to have a society that upholds your right to think. I see the destructive ends of anomie applied to my fellow man and what its effects are over time and point them out. That is my duty as a citizen to my fellow countrymen and as someone who loves his fellow man globally. I can still do that even with what I see happening around me because judgment is open-ended, adaptable and what is as it is can change. If you believe that being civilized is easy, then I ask that you look at where such ease ends and point out that those ends are savagery. I will, however, not step on the path of savagery with my fellow man and must point out the better, harder, tougher, nastier and yet more fulfilling way that allows you to be the great author in the hardest work of all: civilization.

You have been lied to not just as an individual, but your parents and grandparents and great-grandparents as well. Fed a belief that is destructive to self and society for generations, we are now near the end of that anomie that it has fostered. You have not been taught the basics and, instead, learn only to be dependent upon power held by the Punisher which is authored by us all, and it is base and raw in every instance, at every turn, and in every way. Power is a slavering beast inside us and manifests in that one organ of society that must process the rough and harsh people who forget what it means to be civilized. That is not the brain of society, but that most base organ that is yet so essential to the health of society. It grows cancerous through inattention, spreads its cancer when unchecked and when it claims to be the author of itself, then its true author is reduced to subjugation to it. Thus are the Elites turned into the savages they so desire you to become. That takes work to stop with your fellow man, and it cannot be done without you. For you are also the author of Hope. Unfortunately she got stuck at the bottom of the box and someone has to reach in and help her out after all the demons of savagery have been loosed upon the world and this task cannot be done alone. You must change to get hope, not ask for hope and change inverted for it does not and cannot work that way.

Hope is not bestowed, it is reached for.

Hope does not arrive upon a litter borne up by vast multitudes, but alone, unclothed and shivering when she must be helped up from the box of terrors.

Hope is not released but must be set free by those who change their viewpoint and will to no longer indulge themselves but to offer a hand of kindness to her with their fellow man.

Hope is many things.

Hope is not a strategy.

Hope is not delivered it is built.

Hope is not the product of government, but its dearest enemy for she offers to hold it accountable for its deeds.

You are the author of Hope.

I hold my hand out to you to help you out of the box of terrors.

There is a better way and you are the light of your own life and of our own world once out of that box of horrors and to love those around you and not demonize them for not being you.

I say that not in judgment of you but for the simple fact that it is true.

It takes effort to step out of that warm, dark, and lethal box and a lifetime of work to stay out of it as it is so warm, so dark, so cozy, and if you stay too long the horrors then put the top back on the box and then you are dead and Hope extinguished.

I ask you unleash the power of Hope in yourself, to hold the Hope enslavers to their deeds, to free yourself from the shackles of dark comfort and ill ends and to transform the world together by holding a hand out to the oppressed and a shield against the savage.

You cannot fail me.

You can only fail yourself.

And in my deepest love of you I do not want to see that happen.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Thoughts for the future post-election

My views on the past election are simple and clear, or so I hope.  Taken from my commentary at Hot Air:

The next four years has a set of problems that remain unchanged, and they are due to a century of turning away from a fiscally responsible course and never working to pull back programs and hold institutions accountable for what they do. This does not change in 2 years of a Tea Party.

The ‘fiscal cliff’ of higher taxes, unsustainable debt, and the resulting low investment into the economy which gives lower jobs cannot be avoided no matter who is in office. Over-regulation of society and institutions by government was always going to be a hard job and will be harder because of who is elected, but the problem, itself, remains. The lowered productivity is a result of this, as well as an increasing cost to everything as central management fails as it has done since the beginning of time and only absolute poverty of thought and pocket have allowed such conditions to spiral into Iron Times.

As a Nation we see insolvent States about to go belly-up: CA, IL, NY to name but three. Yet Obama winning does not detract from the fact that at the State level the movement is away from ‘just accepting’ dictation from above. With 30 States with Governors who do not necessarily follow the federal government’s lead and Statehouses tasked with survival of their States likewise aligned, the coming problems of a few States going insolvent will point out that the Constitution is not a suicide pact: no State is ‘too big to fail’. That decision isn’t made at the federal level, but the State level and when the good and thrifty States put forth that their people did not vote for pensions in CA, IL, NY and elsewhere, then the second level of accountability comes into play along with its checks and balances.

These things were on the agenda no matter who won last night, and the American people are not giving a solid message but one that is nuanced with an innate understanding of what federalism is, even if it is not talked about. The fight now moves from the failed National institutions to the State and local level just where so many have said it would be and should be since the rise of the Tea Party. In that realm is the hardest fight for those who would correct the problems of society as the federal government will no longer be able or ready to help as it becomes insolvent in its own right. We will have a devalued currency, soaring prices for everything, and a bankrupt educational system from K-12 through to the University level that cannot be sustained and will, due to its own weight, collapse as it has already started to do.

Hard times are ahead and they always were. Mitt Romney promised to put pressure on the wound to at least allow it to clot up and perhaps limp along until something a bit better could be done. Now comes the next path, the harder path, the unpleasant path, the painful path and as we see our Nation devolve at the federal level it is up to the States to bring it back in line. We have grown overly fond of the 20th century Nation State and yet, driven by 19th century dogma against eternal 18th century understandings, it is up to us in the 21st century to apply the thing that is left to us: cauterize the wound. Our fellow citizens won’t want to face that now, but when they are slapped silly by having to pay for what others have promised and cannot deliver, when what they have been promised cannot be delivered, when their straits grow so dire because of unwise governmental choices then what other end is there?

Hold the Left to their lovely promises and continually ask how they can pay for it without killing people. Because medical rationing is the State deciding who should die and when – it is killing people via the element of the State. Taking from the rich does not make the poor wealthy as the economy declines, and that, too is the State deciding winners and losers and extending and deepening poverty for all which will kill those at the lowest part of society. This is the mirror that now must be held up to the gloating, smirking, finger-pointing, condescending Left and point to the blood on their hands and pooling around their feet. If all their lovely ideas are so grand, then why is such misery required and such impoverishment guaranteed? For this does not work out no matter when it was tried or by whom: it cannot be done ‘right’ because of the required misery that none on the Left dare to acknowledge and always decry as ‘someone else’s fault’ never their own.

That is your job: educate those who will listen, warn those who can hear, work with your fellow man to insure his safety, point out that the ills of the many are not solved by making the few worse off and killing the old, the poor, the young and the enfeebled. Help the educational system to implode and be prepared to take its place in your neighborhood so that the young can learn of our folly and that of their grand-parents and great-grandparents. Be an example to others, lead a good life, uphold your ideals, and prepare as many as you can for what comes next for it will be awful in ways we cannot conceive. Winning an election is not the same as surviving the victory, and an election is not a war but a battle.

As Breitbart said, we are at WAR.

I’ve been preparing for the long haul no matter who wins or loses a battle.

Have you?

ajacksonian on November 7, 2012 at 9:10 AM

What institutions are about to fail?

- Medicare and Medicaid, the M&Ms, aided and abetted by Obamacare.  These are no longer vital and insolvent and show the folly of government trying to figure out medicine and, with Obamacare, just decide who lives and who dies.  Just like with cronies in business, the government seeks to make newborns a crony to the ruling government via having to thank it for being allowed to live.  Yet this is fiscally and morally irresponsible, and those two go hand-in-hand.  And these hands drip with blood.

- Social Security is in the red and after a few years of getting paid off with inflated dollars in their bonds, it will soon be insolvent.  The government has attempted to set a retirement age while demographics has been pushing the upper limit of human healthy old age for decades.  Luckily with the Obamacare death panels, government might try to make SSA solvent by killing the old, the sick, the infirm.  That will be YOU because ideology and politics will be involved, and getting SSA will soon get not means tested but compliance tested as this is how tyrants secure power to their government.

- Education – As a 13th century institution it has run its course, and has varied from the best route of teaching one how to think and replaced it with rote learning.  The first gets you a vibrant and constantly questioning citizenry, while the latter gets you a compliant one.  Yet to perform this there must be more bureaucrats than educators, more overburden and less to sustain it, which causes the institution to become brittle, frail, and to implode due to the move to sustain ever growing revenue to ever more bureaucrats, and far less capable teachers who can no longer think on their feet.  This one is coming hard and fast at the post-secondary level, but even at the lowest level these institutions have been crumbling and no amount of money will sustain them.

- Banking at the National Scale has enabled and empowered deficit spending which can only be paid for by one of two routes: inflation of the currency to pay off past debt in devalued currency, meaning you are deprived of wealth as more money is in circulation without work to back it, or, high interest rates so that excess currency can be removed from circulation which lowers the tax base by having people paid less in more valuable currency and the taxes set up for a low valuation currency cannot adjust downwards fast enough to cover the delta.  With lowered tax revenue there is a call to increase taxation, but what does one do when the hard and fast poverty line is numerated in inflated currency?  Taxing the new 'poor' doesn't sell and the old 'rich' are paying less because of a stronger currency as well.  Neither of these will make the bankers to be nice people, and for not doing their duty a decade and more ago of taking the punch bowl away when the party was starting to roar, we will find ourselves truly questioning why we have a National Banking System known as the Federal Reserve as they will be shown to be clear currency manipulators doing the bidding of spendthrift politicians.

- Insolvent States – 'Too big to fail' will be attempted to apply to States like CA, IL, NY and any others that have over-obligated their tax base to pensions and pay-offs to retirees.  This now drives the debt burden up to these States to the point they cannot be sustained.  The States, as signatories to the US Constitution, do have the power to negate and change contracts, to put forward that contracts done with ill intention or just absent-mindedness can be dissolved.  The other States will be pointing this out to those insolvent States and that the power to re-organize is well within the legislative process inside the States.  Other States will refuse to accept the burden of 'too bit to fail' for other States and point out that THEIR taxpayers had no say in the debt incurred and obligated by States they DO NOT LIVE IN.  This will not 'break' the Union, but put up the mirror that it is upon those who obligate such debt to deal with it.

Then there is the backdrop to all of this on the Global level as crony systems fail and become insolvent globally.  The EU is unlikely to last out another decade and it may only have months to live at this point.  Unless you want to see Germany put in charge of it, which would be the equivalent of winning WWII and losing it a generation later.  Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and now France all teeter on the brink of chaos due to Left politics and social policies that can't be sustained by anyone, not even Germany.  Germany might be able to cushion a collapse of that international monstrosity, but it will not be tied to it as their people did not agree to the debt incurred by other European Nations.  See how that works?  It is a mirror of America a few months ahead of us at this point.

China  has spent capital and wealth for cities none can afford to live in and impoverished their people and inflated their currency by stealth.  Already the rumblings of problems from east to west, from polluted and failing industrial provinces to the rise of radical Islam are hammering at that Nation.  Communism has failed.  Corrupt and crony National Socialism has failed which is what China moved to in the post-Mao world.  China has been used to bloody solutions in the past but never had a population educated enough to actually formulate resistance to it.  For the first time ever in Chinese history its government will have to face an industrialized Nation being impoverished that is just educated enough to know what is being done to it and with 21st century electronic and social media tools to talk with each other about their plight.  When all of the Western debt holding move to lower value either via Nation State insolvency or inflation (or both) China's economy will implode and has already started that in seeing low cost labor jobs moving via Chinese companies outside of China.  China is not the last bastion of cheap labor: SE Asia and Africa are and now China will reap what it has sown.

India has grown by leaps and bounds, yet its infrastructure has not followed suit and its ability to uplift the poor has only incrementally improved.  With global problems comes threats to the modern infrastructure of electricity, sewage conditioning and potable water (where they are available).  Technologically India has taken vast strides in the late 20th century with the fall of the USSR and having never fully vested in its backwards economic system, India has allowed areas for growth internally.  Yet those, too, rely on debt and foreign sources for materials and finished goods, along with food.  Unrest due to lack of food has hit not just India but other Nations as well, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, and these will only grow as Western food sources decline in productivity due to backwards government spending.

The Middle East is in the midst of upheaval due to Radical Islam and broken, crony infrastructure that is used to repress peoples.  The elements of Radical Islam do not have any modern notion of economics and will cause further strife, chaos, disorder and starvation in their wake.  Starving masses usually don't provide for competent military machines, however, and utilizing jihadi self-destructive violence only makes problems worse for those Nations supplying such as productive and young individuals are removed from the workforce.  The human bomb of demographic domination is built on a house of cards sustained by Western agriculture and productivity, and once those disappear the problem becomes a demographic one internally to those Nations of the 'Arab Spring'.  North Africa will export foment and jihadism, yes, and the population crash will redouble the devastation upon that weary continent.

In the sub-Saharan southern Africa there are few good and viable Nations outside of South Africa, and even there social turmoil due to ethnic strife is not unknown.  If South Africa cannot assure its food supply then the problems about to beset the rest of the sub-Saharan region will come its way as well.  Outside of South Africa things are not so bright and the list of Nations undergoing social strife, ethnic cleansing, kleptocratic governments, and all with a backdrop of AIDS removing most of a generation is sobering.  It may well be that only the morally and socially upright populations and sub-populations survive to any great extent in 50 years due to the horror besetting their part of the world.

S. America is only meta-stable due to resource industries, which will collapse once Europe and North America no longer have industrial capacity nor demand to utilize them.  Nor will China in recession going far beyond anything we know as modern recession, be able to sustain internal demand (by building cities) to keep industries going.  Without industrialization spread deeply into S. America the opportunity to create vibrant economies is limited.  Chavez has pointed out that the end of socialist doctrines is internal lack of productive capacity and that indenturing people to the State (even if it is competently run) means lowering of living standards for all, not just the rich.  Argentina has had cash problems for more than a decade and its currency is suspect.  Brazil's crony socialism is about to see the end of ready cash flow, which means that without heavy industry and shifting away from agriculture, the Nation will be at extreme peril for internal problems.

Mexico had unwisely signed on to NAFTA, which exposed its backwards agrarian sector to the modernized US agribusiness.  Rural Mexico was deeply harmed as young men moved north to find jobs (first in transplanted US production facilities and, later, as illegal migrants seeking work) now find that those jobs are gone.  Organized crime and the foreign jihadi element helping the criminals now seeps into Mexico via standard means of corruption and through outright murder, often on a scale that dwarfs current wars.  Mexico had signed on to 'Green' ideas and limited marginal expansion of oil and natural gas, meaning that it is now bereft of those sectors to sustain the economy.  Mexico used to be able to feed its own people (albeit poorly) prior to NAFTA, and now that form of agriculture has been decimated by 20 years of NAFTA and those skills and knowledge of local farming, once lost, will not come back easily if at all.

Australia has been a relative bright spot for the world outside of Israel, as it had started to undo some of its socialist policies on retirement and put a relative amount of freedom back into the hands of its people.  Agriculture has done well in Australia and it is serving as the supplemental breadbasket of the world.  The internal problems of Australia are unique to it, including jihadists exporting problems to its shores.  As the British Commonwealth falters, it is Australia and Canada that will become those places trying to repeal the most onerous and financially lethal government policies the fastest.  The rest of the Anglo-sphere had best take note of this as these two Nations have resources, arable land, water, and relatively high productive capacity for the near term.  Longer term issues of global market collapse will hit these Nations, as well, but they will be able to weather these storms by having their people understand that the problems of government trying to control their economies (and their very lives) is the cause of the world's problems, not its solution.  Both Nations have had backwards laws on firearms and preservation of freedom, but nothing like Great Britain itself now has.

That these problems were all known before the election is troubling.  That the American people have not factored them into the Nation State federal government is more troubling, still.  Yet the US wellspring of revitalization starts at the bottom, not the top, which is why so many States moving to get responsible and responsive governments in place is heartening.  As the States are signatories to the US Constitution after in-State ratification by the people, it is these set of governments that hold the major key to renewal along with the people of the Nation as a whole.  If the socialist movements of the 20th century was to put more power into the hands of Nation State governments, America holds the card of that Nation State actually being formulated by the States and must serve all of their needs, not just any one of them or collection of them.  America was instituted on the self-evident observation that governments are instituted amongst men to preserve freedom and liberty and that it is very hard to give up any government even when it becomes contrary to the needs of its people.  The people will undergo great harm, even tyranny, before they finally have enough to change or abolish such government and to renew the tenets that government is given few things to do and must, actually, do them and leave the people to figure out the rest on their own.  First we must do all the stupid things, the good feeling things, the bass ackward things until we finally realize that we are far better with little government than with much of it.  Let us hope that we survive the troubled times ahead.

You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.

-Winston Churchill

Thursday, November 01, 2012

The Management of Savagery: Arab Spring, Libya, and beyond

This post has been previously posted at DLSF.

For those unfamiliar with al Qaeda doctrine, my first intro to it was via The Management of Savagery: The Most Critical Stage Through Which the Umma Will Pass by Abu Bakr Naji, Translated by William McCants (hosted at Harvard here for pdf).  I did a quick review of it as a first hit and a bit more, and looked at its views towards Nation States, particularly weak ones.  This is a multi-step system of proselytizing, getting sharia law put in place:

As for the current of popular jihad (like the movement of Hamas and the Jihad Movement in Palestine), in comparison with the four previous programs and what you have learned about this current, you can understand the nature of its program. In short, it resembles the program of the current of jihadi salafism, except that it goes further in its political thought, in the manner of the archetypal Brethren and the Brethren of Turabi. Furthermore, it is deficient in disseminating the correct scientific method among its followers when implementing the pedagogical method. One of two fates is feared for it: either the loss of the fruit (of its labors) in the end and its falling into the hands of the secular apostates and the nationalists, or the establishment of a state resembling the state of al-Bashir and al-Turabi in Sudan. The explanation of the details of all of that takes a long time...

The text was written prior to the US invasion of Afghanistan and looks at a pre-9/11 world which is still most of the world, today, in the Middle East and Africa.  The Management of Savagery is aimed at establishing a Caliphate via the encroachment of radicalized, jihadist Islam into States, shifting the law basis of States and, when that is not possible, fracturing States so as to spread jihad violently into neighboring States.

The management of savagery is the next stage that the Umma will pass through and it is considered the most critical stage. If we succeed in the management of this savagery, that stage (by the permission of God) will be a bridge to the Islamic state which has been awaited since the fall of the caliphate. If we fail – we seek refuge with God from that – it does not mean end of the matter; rather, this failure will lead to an increase in savagery!!

This increase in savagery, which may result from failure, is not the worst thing that can happen now or in the previous decade (the nineties) and those before it. Rather, the most abominable of the levels of savagery is (still) less than stability under the order of unbelief [niz?m al-kufr] by (several) degrees.

Again, this mindset sees violence due to Islam as better than being in a secular State.  This continues since jihadism is not an end, in and of itself, but a means to an end.

Despite the violence of Satan, a small group of thinkers and noble people remain who oppose tyranny and seek justice. This group wants to use the power they possess to change this reality for the better in accordance with their belief system. However, a second consideration that occurs to them is the existence of a criminal force in these armies which does not pay heed to values. Even if, in the best of circumstances, there is a clear plan for uniting [lit. encircling] the disharmonious elements of the (military) power, one or both of the superpowers will, under the cover of the United Nations, compel the new regime – through trickery, force, pressure, or all of these – to continue circling in the orbit of one of the superpowers and they will force new beneficiaries upon the new regime. This honored person who came to power comes to resemble those who went before him, like al-Bashir in Sudan.

Continued a bit later:

Therefore, the two superpowers must resort to using a deceptive media halo which portrays these powers as non-coercive and world-encompassing, able to reach into every earth and heaven as if they possess the power of the Creator of creation.

But the interesting thing that happened is that these two superpowers believed, for a time, their media deception: that they are actually a power capable of completely controlling any place in the entire world, and that (this power) bears the characteristics of the power of the Creator. According to the media deception, it is an all-encompassing, overwhelming power and people are subservient to it not only through fear, but also through love because it spreads freedom, justice, equality among humanity, and various other slogans.

When a state submits – whatever the extent of its ability – to the illusion of the deceptive power and behaves on this basis, that is when its downfall begins. It is just as the American author Paul Kennedy says: “If America expands the use of its military power and strategically extends more than necessary, this will lead to its downfall.”

Now do remember how easily the UN became the umbrella to Libya was quite astounding.  With that said the cover by the Arab League Nations gave it a patina of legitimacy and allowed Russia and China to abstain from vetoing the move.  On the ground, however, this has a different view not just to the 'rebels' but to al Qaeda.  Kaddafi had an air force which could only be countered either by MANPADs or by an opposition air force.  With Kaddafi's forces neutralized in the air, the rest is pretty simple since the UN forces weren't 'boots on the ground'.  This allows multiple elements, not just the rebels, to act freely in Libya.

The organization used to establish a toehold: Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.  From - 

Country Reports on Terrorism 2006

Released by the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism
April 30, 2007

Concentrating on Chapter 6 – Terrorist Organizations.

Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) 1

The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) emerged in the early 1990s among Libyans who had fought Soviet forces in Afghanistan and the Qadhafi regime in Libya. The LIFG declared Libyan President Muammar Qadhafi un-Islamic and pledged to overthrow him. Some members maintain a strictly anti-Qadhafi focus and organize against Libyan government interests, but others, such as Abu al-Faraj al-Libi, who was arrested in Pakistan in 2005, are aligned with Usama bin Ladin and believed to be part of al-Qaida's leadership structure or active in the international terrorist network. The United States designated the LIFG a Foreign Terrorist Organization in December 2004.

Libyans associated with the LIFG are part of the broader international terrorist movement. Spanish media in August 2005 linked Ziyad Hashem, an alleged member of the LIFG's media committee, as well as the imprisoned amir Abdullah al-Sadeq, with the Tunisian Islamist Serhane Ben Abdelmajid Fakhet, the suspected ringleader in the 2004 Madrid attacks. The LIFG is one of the groups believed to have planned the Casablanca suicide bombings in May 2003. The LIFG continues to target Libyan interests, and attempted to assassinate Qadhafi a total of four times; the last attempt was in 1998. The LIFG engaged Libyan security forces in armed clashes during the 1990s.

Probably has several hundred active members or supporters.

Location/Area of Operation
Since the late 1990s many members have fled to various Asian, Arabian Gulf, African, and European countries, particularly the United Kingdom. It is likely that LIFG maintains a clandestine presence in Libya.

External Aid
Unknown. The LIFG has used Islamic charitable organizations as cover for raising and transferring money and documents.

This group is thought to be defunct as of 2007 and formally announced its end in 2009.  In that 2009 update there is also indications that LIFG had gotten into organized crime for external aid.  And utilizing that 2009 report the next group to stand up can be seen:


aka AQIM; formerly known as Group for Call and Combat; GSPC; Le Groupe Salafiste Pour La Predication Et Le Combat; Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat

Description: The Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC) was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on March 27, 2002. The GSPC officially merged with al-Qa’ida (AQ) in September 2006 and subsequently changed its name to al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in January 2007.

Despite its affiliation, AQIM remains largely a regionally-focused terrorist group. It has adopted a more anti-Western rhetoric and ideology and has aspirations of overthrowing “apostate” African regimes and creating an Islamic Caliphate. AQIM numbers under a thousand fighters and is significantly constrained by its poor finances and lack of broad general appeal to Sufi Muslims in the region. Some senior members of AQIM are former GIA insurgents.

Activities: AQIM has not been able to conduct spectacular attacks in over two years since it bombed the UN building and Algerian government buildings in 2007. AQIM continued to conduct small scale attacks and ambushes in northeastern Algeria against Algerian security forces and regularly used improvised explosive devices there. AQIM in northeastern Algeria was under significant pressure by Algerian security forces. AQIM’s goals of expanding into Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and Europe have failed thus far.

AQIM factions in the northern Sahel (northern Mali, Niger and Mauritania) conduct kidnap for ransom operations and can conduct small scale attacks and ambushes on security forces there. The target for kidnap for ransom is usually Western citizens from governments or third parties that have established a pattern of making concessions in the form of payment of money or release of operatives in custody. Last year, one citizen from the United States and the United Kingdom were murdered in Mauritania and Mali respectively.

Strength: AQIM has under a thousand fighters operating in Algeria with a smaller number in the Sahel. Abdelmalek Droukdel, aka Abu Mus’ab Abd al-Wadoud, is the leader of the group.

Location/Area of Operation: Northeastern Algeria (the Kabylie region) and northern Mali, Niger, and Mauritania. AQIM aspires to expand into Europe but its efforts to do so thus far have failed.

External Aid: Algerian expatriates and AQIM members abroad, many residing in Western Europe, provide some limited financial and logistical support. AQIM members also engage in hostage-taking for ransom and criminal activity to finance their operations.

And who are the IG?  Why a Muslim Brotherhood off-shoot!


aka al-Gama’at; Egyptian al-Gama’at al-Islamiyya; GI; Islamic Gama’at; IG; Islamic Group,

Description: Gama’a al-Islamiyya (IG) was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on October 8, 1997. IG, once Egypt’s largest militant groups, was active in the late 1970s, but is now a loosely organized network. The majority of its Egypt-based members have renounced terrorism, although some located overseas have begun to work with or have joined al-Qa’ida (AQ). The external wing, composed of mainly exiled members in several countries, maintained that its primary goal was to replace the Egyptian government with an Islamic state.

IG announced a cease-fire in 1997 that led to a split into two factions: one, led by Mustafa Hamza, supported the cease-fire; the other, led by Rifa’i Taha Musa, called for a return to armed operations. IG announced another ceasefire in March 1999 that the majority of its leaders have held to through the end of 2009, but its spiritual leader, Sheik Umar Abd al-Rahman, sentenced to life in prison in January 1996 for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and incarcerated in the United States, rescinded his support for the cease-fire in June 2000. IG has not conducted an attack inside Egypt since the 1997 Luxor attack, which killed 58 tourists and four Egyptians, and wounded dozens more. In February 1998, a senior member signed Usama bin Ladin’s fatwa call for attacks against the United States but may not have been acting as part of the IG.

In early 2001, Taha Musa published a book in which he attempted to justify terrorist attacks that cause mass casualties. Musa disappeared several months afterward and the United States has no information about his whereabouts. In March 2002, members of the group’s historic leadership in Egypt declared the use of violence misguided and renounced its future use, prompting denunciations from much of the leadership abroad. The Egyptian government continued to release IG members from prison as part of its rehabilitation program; approximately 900 were released in 2003 and most of the 700 persons released in 2004 at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan were IG members. In August 2006, Ayman al-Zawahiri announced that IG had merged with AQ, but the group’s Egypt-based leadership quickly denied this claim which ran counter to their reconciliation efforts. Supporters of Sheikh Abd al-Rahman still remain a possible threat to U.S. interests as both ‘Abd al-Rahman and his supporters have previously called for reprisal attacks in case of his death in prison.

Activities: Before the 1997 cease-fire, IG conducted armed attacks against Egyptian security and other government officials and Coptic Christians. After the cease-fire, the faction led by Taha Musa launched attacks on tourists in Egypt, most notably the 1997 Luxor attack. IG claimed responsibility for the June 1995 assassination attempt on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. IG was dormant in 2009.

Strength: At its peak, IG probably commanded several thousand hardcore members and a similar number of supporters. Security crackdowns following the 1997 attack in Luxor, the 1999 cease-fire, and post-September 11 security measures and defections to AQ have probably resulted in a substantial decrease in what is left of an organized group.

Location/Area of Operation: The IG maintained an external presence in Afghanistan, Yemen, Iran, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, and France. IG terrorist presence in Egypt was minimal due to the reconciliation efforts of former local members.

External Aid: AQ and Afghan militant groups provide support to members of the organization to carry out support on behalf of AQ but not in conjunction with the IG. IG also may have obtained some funding through various Islamic non-governmental organizations.

Thus AQIM has direct ties to al Qaeda and through them the Muslim Brotherhood, and the IG is also part of the AQIM, which has relations to the Blind Sheikh.  With AQIM displacing or absorbing the LIFG, the inroads into Libya are made prior to the 2011 uprising.  This explains some of Kaddafi's worries about al Qaeda:

17 MAR 2011 - Gaddafi fears Bin Laden's occupation of Libya (Source: RIA Novosti via GlobalSecurity document cache)

16:58 17/03/2011 MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti) - Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi fears that number one terrorist, al-Qaeda's Osama Bin Laden, will take control over Libya making it "the second Afghanistan," Gaddafi told Russia Today (RT) satellite TV channel on Thursday.

"Al-Qaeda will establish Jihad in Northern Africa and the West will have to oppose the dangerous challenges, triggering a new crusade," Gaddafi said in an interview with RT.


Early on in the conflict was a military worry about the MANPADs (Man Portable Air Defense systems, aka shoulder launched SAMs) in Libya:

30 MAR 2011 - US Lawmakers Vent Frustrations About Libya (Source: VOA via GlobalSecurity)


Democratic Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland said he did not believe Libyan rebels have requested arms. "Well the first thing, I don't believe the rebels have asked to be armed because I have been to Libya, I have met with Ghadhafi, there is a tremendous amount of ammunition all over Libya. There are over 20,000 manpads [man-portable air-defense systems, commonly known as shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles], and the opposition has been able to secure a lot of this. Now whether they know how to use it, that is another issue."

In an interview late Tuesday with NBC news, President Obama said he is not ruling out arming Libyan rebels, but said he has also not made a decision to arm them. He says right now coalition forces are degrading Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces' capabilities.


These are the items that can be used to track the links of terrorists and Nation States.  The majority of Kaddafi's MANPADs are of the SA variety (likely the SA-7 at least), which do require some training to use.  This would explain the likelihood of the CIA being involved ( 31 MAR 2011 - US May Use Covert Action Against Gadhafi (Source: VOA via GlobalSecurity)) and the CIA with British Intelligence (05 APR 2011 - CIA Secretly at Work Inside Libya (Source: VOA via GlobalSecurity)).  President Obama issued a memorandum to use FAA reserve funds to be used for the Libyans (26 APR 2011 – GlobalSecurity document cache).

As AQIM follows the AQ doctrine, they sought to gather arms to spread into other areas of Africa, which is part of their area of operations.  First mention of arms going to al Qaeda from Libyan conflict and it will not be the last of these reports. Note ethnic role and which Nation is involved.

30 JUN 2011 - AU condemns French arms drop to Libyan rebels - media

(Source: RIA Novosti via GlobalSecurity)

MOSCOW, June 30 (RIA Novosti) - African Union Commission Chief Jean Ping condemned on Thursday French arms supply to Libyan rebels, world media said on Thursday.

France has confirmed media reports that it dropped weapons to Berber tribal fighters in mountains southwest of the Libyan capital Tripoli without informing the other coalition countries taking part in a military operation against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

"What worries us is not who is giving what, but simply that weapons are being distributed by all parties and to all parties," Ping said ahead of an African Union summit in Equatorial Guinea. "We already have proof that these weapons are in the hands of al-Qaeda, of traffickers. These weapons will contribute to the destabilization of African states."


It is likely that the Berbers are associated with the GIA (Armed Islamic Group) which has associations with al Qaeda, which developed over the Algerian Insurgency.  Back to the 2009 terrorist group listing:


aka GIA; al-Jama’ah al-Islamiyah al-Musallah; Groupement Islamique Arme

Description: The Armed Islamic Group was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on October 8, 1997. The GIA aims to overthrow the Algerian regime and replace it with a state governed by Sharia law. The GIA began its violent activity in 1992 after the military government suspended legislative elections in anticipation of an overwhelming victory by the Islamic Salvation Front, the largest Algerian Islamic opposition party.

Activities: The GIA has engaged in attacks against civilians and government workers. The group began conducting a terrorist campaign of civilian massacres in 1992, sometimes wiping out entire villages and killing tens of thousands of Algerians. Since announcing its campaign against foreigners living in Algeria in 1992, the GIA has killed more than 100 expatriate men and women, mostly Europeans. Almost all of the GIA’s members have now joined other Islamist groups or have been killed or captured by the Algerian government. The Algerian government’s September 2005 reconciliation program led to an increase in the number of GIA terrorist suspects who surrendered to security forces, and the GIA has not conducted attacks since that time. Some senior members of AQIM are former GIA insurgents.

Strength: Almost all former GIA members have accepted amnesty or joined other terrorist groups; precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation: Algeria

External Aid: Unknown.

Well good that its gone, bad that some of it was absorbed by AQIM.  Or morphed into the GSPC and then turned into AQIM:

Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC)

The Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC) was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on March 27, 2002. The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) aimed to establish an Islamic state within Algeria. Addtionaly it sought to destroy western targets. The GSPC had been visible since 1996 and is an offshoot of the GIA.

On March 11, 2004 news sources reported that a firefight had occurred between the Chad military and an Algerian terrorist group, Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC). This firefight, which is believed to have resulted in the death of some 43 GSPC members, apparently began in Niger and crossed into Chad. The fighting took place over two days. The group, led by a former Algerian soldier named Saifi Ammari and nicknamed "the Para," had been tracked across the Sahara from its bases in the Algeria-Mali border area. It is not clear if "the Para" was involved in the attack.

After the GSPC officially merged with al-Qa'ida (AQ) in September 2006 the organization became known as al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). On February 20, 2008, the Department of State amended the GSPC designation to reflect the change and made AQIM the official name for the organization. Some senior members of AQIM are former Armed Islamic Group (GIA) insurgents.

So the groups associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in the region have been pre-positioned, perhaps weakly in Libya but strongly in Algeria.  The cross-border Berbers do allow for the movement of men and arms throughout the area they are in which includes Libya.
Now there can be some perspective put onto the prospect of French arms sent to the Berbers winding up in the hands of AQIM.  In fact those border regions are extremely susceptible to the movement of men and arms and by putting the Libyan forces under Kaddafi in check, this allowed for the freeing up of other AQIM elements to spread the instability to weaker Nations. More reports of al Qaeda getting weapons from Libya:

08 JUL 2011 - Niger: Libyan Conflict Impacting Sahel Security (Source: VOA via GlobalSecurity)

Scott Stearns | Dakar July 08, 2011

Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou says the longer the Libyan conflict drags on, the worse it will be for Libya's neighbors in the Sahel.

President Issoufou says the Libyan crisis has security consequences for Niger including the spread of arms, sometimes heavy arms into the Sahel.

Security forces in Niger recovered detonators, more than 600 kilograms of semtex explosives and $90,000 in cash during a shoot-out with suspected terrorists last month. President Issoufou's government says the arms came from Libya and were intended for Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM,) which is responsible for a string of kidnappings and ambushes across the Sahel.

Mauritania and Mali are fighting AQIM militants in the Wagadou forest region along their common border. Mauritania, Mali, and Niger all say they are concerned that some of the weapons captured by insurgents in Libya are being sold to the al-Qaida-affiliated group.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the Libyan conflict risks destabilizing the region further.


Libya, Algeria, Mali, Mauritania all start to become an integrated operation with the flow of arms and fighters shifting through Libya to other countries.  More al Qaeda worries going official as the conflict continues:  24 AUG 2011 - West fears Al-Qaeda could seize Gaddafi weapons – paper (Source: RIA Novosti via GlobalSecurity)

15:13 24/08/2011 CAIRO, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - The United States, France and Britain have asked Libya's neighbors to beef up security on their borders to prevent the possible smuggling out of weapons, Algerian paper al-Habar said.

The West is afraid that in the chaos of Gaddafi's downfall the leftovers of his military capabilities could fall into hands of al-Qaeda or other militant groups.

No one can be sure who is now controlling the Libyan government's weapons stockpiles, a stew of deadly chemicals, raw nuclear material and some 30,000 shoulder-fired rockets, the paper said.

The leaders of Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Chad and Niger received letters in which Western leaders requested that measures be taken to prevent such groups obtaining the weapons, the paper said.

Anyone with any illusions as to the point of taking down Kaddafi from the perspective of al Qaeda should begin to  have doubts about them.  In this perspective, the loss of the grip of Kaddafi on Libya means the expansion of al Qaeda influence and terrorism into northern Africa.  The Western perspective doesn't matter much, at all, as this sub-theme becomes an important one for the longer-term consequences in the Middle East.

Getting a handle on Kadaffy's WMDs and those pesky MANPADs is vital to the West, but only one of them is critical to al Qaeda:25 AUG 2011 - US: Libyan Uranium, Chemical Weapons Secure (Source: VOA via GlobalSecurity)

August 25, 2011

David Gollust | Washington

The U.S. State Department said Thursday it believes that Libyan stockpiles of mustard agent and uranium are secure, despite continuing turmoil there. U.S. officials are less sure about the status of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft weapons that were in Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's military arsenal.

The Gadhafi government, in a bid to escape terrorism-related sanctions and political isolation, renounced weapons of mass destruction in 2003 and later gave up key components of a nascent nuclear weapons program.

But Libya’s continued to possess large quantities of mustard agent -- a potential component of chemical weapons. And a stockpile of low-enriched uranium, or yellowcake, has been a matter of international concern as the country descended into conflict.


“It is at the Tajoura nuclear research facility. It is safeguarded there. We are able, through our national technical means, to assert that we believe it is secure. And in any case, Libya doesn’t have the means right now to turn yellowcake into anything dangerous,’ Nuland said.

Nuland said that in the process that led to the normalization of relations between the United States and Libya in 2006, the Gadhafi government surrendered nuclear weapons equipment it had obtained from Pakistan’s A.Q. Khan network two years earlier. She said it gave up its last highly-enriched uranium in 2009.


Nuland said the main proliferation concern from Libya involves portable shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, or MANPADS -- short for Man Portable Air Defense System. The Gadhafi government is thought to have stockpiled perhaps thousands of the weapons, which could be used to shoot down commercial airliners.

Since the Libyan conflict began, U.S. personnel have been working with countries bordering Libya, and more recently with the TNC, to try to detect MANPAD smuggling attempts.

Nuland decried what she called ”fear-mongering” reporting on the subject, but also said that there is no reliable information on the extent of the Libyan MANPAD problem, if there is one.

MANPADS have rarely been linked to terrorist attacks. One attack was an unsuccessful attempt by an al-Qaida-affiliated group to shoot down an Israeli airliner at the Kenyan port city of Mombassa in 2002.

Actually MANPADs can directly be related to terrorism via the birth of al Qaeda's early military successes with the Taliban in Afghanistan by getting rid of Soviet airpower advantages.  Neutralizing airpower during an insurgency, not during a terrorist attack, is vital and not something lost on AQIM.  Attempts to play down the use of them is misplaced, at best, and inviting disaster, at worse.  Notice that the Israeli airliner most likely had automated anti-missile systems (chaff and flares) that could make them harder to hit.  Name another civilian airfleet that has such defenses on-board their aircraft.

During the Libyan conflict the new Egyptian government (controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood) seeks to help out the new Libyan transitional council (29 AUG 2011 - Egypt ready to help riot-torn Libya – media (Source: RIA Novosti via GlobalSecurity)) although calling Libya 'riot-torn' suggests more of a widespread set of soccer hooligans rather than a civil war.

HRW releases files to show work between CIA, MI6 and Kaddafi regime: 03 SEP 2011 - HRW releases secret files on US, UK ties to hunt Libyan dissidents (Source: GlobalSecurity document cache)

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New York, Sept 3, IRNA -- Secret files released by Human Rights Watch show close relationship between United States, UK and Libyan intelligence agencies to hunt dissidents of Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

They reveal that MI6 and the CIA had a regular dialogue with their counterparts in Libyan Intelligence, in particular Musa Kusa the former head of Libya's intelligence service and foreign minister who defected to the UK earlier this year.

Kusa flew to Britain in March and was allowed to fly to Qatar the following month, despite being accused of rights violations.

The papers reportedly include letters and faxes to him headed 'greetings from MI6' and a personal christmas greeting signed by a senior spy as 'your friend'.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said that the documents were apparently found in Musa Kusa's former offices in Tripoli.


Also among the files is evidence that the United States used Libya as a base for its rendition programme - transporting prisoners it believed to be a threat to its national security for further interrogation on foreign soil.

Human rights organisations claim that the real purpose was to torture these prisoners outside of US jurisdiction.

Bouckaert said the documents about alleged CIA renditions to Libya included some on the man who is now head of the Tripoli Military Council, Abdel-Hakim Belhaj.

'He was captured, abducted together with his pregnant wife and flown on the so-called black flight to Tripoli for his interrogation,' Bouckaert said.

There is no suggestion that the UK was involved in the rendition process but there are allegations from the secret papers that UK intelligence gave its Libyan counterparts information on dissidents to the Gaddafi regime who were living in Britain at the time.

'Libya asked the US to send Abu Abdullah al-Sadiq, an opposition leader, to Libya and a CIA case officer wrote back in March 2004, that 'we are committed to developing this relationship for the benefit of both our services,' and promised to do their best to locate him, according to another document.'

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30546930

Yes it is a Leftist talking point, but this does point to the CIA and MI6 having contacts within Libya and not just with the old regime, either.

Speaking of which, as the old regime started to lose its hold on its forces, those forces started to head to other places:  06 SEP 2011 - Libyan Convoy in Niger Where Gadhafi Has Tuareg Ties (Source: VOA via GlobalSecurity)

September 06, 2011

Scott Stearns | Abuja, Nigeria

A convoy of up to 200 vehicles carrying forces loyal to Libya's Moammar Gadhafi has crossed into Niger.

The ousted Libyan leader has close ties to Tuareg nomads based in northern Niger who Colonel Gadhafi has supported in the past and who may support him now.

The head of Colonel Gadhafi's security brigade, Mansour Dhao, crossed into Niger hours ahead of a larger convoy which quickly moved on toward the capital Niamey.

Officials in Niger said Colonel Gadhafi is not with the convoy, and it was not clear whether any Gadhafi family members or senior political allies were with it either.

Niger's capital in the far southwest of the country is close to the border with Burkina Faso, where officials offered Colonel Gadhafi asylum about two weeks ago.

It is believed the convoy may have first crossed into Algeria before entering Niger through an area that is home to Tuareg nomads with longstanding ties to the former Gadhafi government.


Less than a week later this movement is confirmed in Niger (Link: RFE/RL).  Tribal alignment is one that crosses religious lines making purely religious designation for inter-tribal conflicts questionable.  Even when not done by AQIM, such activities serve to destabilize countries that have cross-border tribes in their borders.  A tribal uprising can make a country weak against an attack by AQIM. 

From this perspective the West serves the purpose of introducing an abundance of arms, freeing up critical arms from a tyrannical regime and boosting the possibility of inter-tribal conflicts across borders to destabilize more regimes.  All of this for very little to NO time or monetary investment on their part but done freely, at great expense, by the West.

Back to the interim council in Libya.

Now isn't this wonderful? 'Moderate' Islamic rule promised in Libya! Considering that 'moderate Islam' in the Middle East tends to be semi-jihadi with better clothes and hygiene, this becomes an interesting optic. Do the Libyans really want to defang the worst of sharia or just lie about it?

13 SEP 2011 - Libya's New Leaders Pledge 'Moderate' Islamic Rule (Source: RFE/RL via GlobalSecurity)

Last updated (GMT/UTC): 13.09.2011 08:37

Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the head of Libya's National Transitional Council, has made his first public appearance in Tripoli, telling a fervent crowd at Martyrs' Square that there will be "moderate" Islamic rule for the country.

Speaking to thousands of jubilant supporters who gave him a hero's welcome on September 12, Jalil said Libya's new government "will not accept any extremist ideology."

"We are a Muslim nation, with moderate Islam, and we will maintain that so you remain with us and you support us," he said. "You are our weapon against whoever tries to hijack the revolution, from the right or from the left."

Jalil said "moderate Islam" would be the main source of legislation in Libya following the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi from power after a six-month uprising and civil war.

"It is a great honor for anyone to stand before this crowd in this situation and on this occasion, at a time when Libya and all Libyans are getting rid of the tyrants and the Libyan people emerge dignified and honored by their action and courage," Jalil said.


Is there such a thing as 'moderate' Islam?  Does a 'moderate' Islamic State depend on clerics to tell it what its laws should be, or do the clerics only get a veto?  Does that matter?  If it is a secular State, then which tenets of Islam does it keep and which does it reject to allow for religious freedom (even within Islam there are many sects)  and keep the State from dictating religious doctrine?  That is a difficult thing for the US to do with Christianity, can it be done with Islam?

Going back to the arms front, Russia has some problems with Western countries not following the UN mandates they agreed to:

27 SEP 2011 - European, Arab countries violated Libya arms embargo - Lavrov

(Source: RIA Novosti via GlobalSecurity)

15:00 27/09/2011 MOSCOW, September 27 (RIA Novosti) - Several European and Arab countries have violated the embargo on arms supplies to Libya introduced by the UN Security Council, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

"It has already been said openly that Resolution 1970, which was adopted by consensus and stipulated a full embargo on arms trade with Libya, as well as on certain services of a military nature, has been violated," Lavrov said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 TV channel.

"Arms have been supplied [to Libya] from a number of European countries, as well as from several countries in the Arab region," he said.

Earlier this month, the Security Council unanimously passed a resolution to ease an assets freeze and arms embargo against Libyan companies and the government.

Last week, the European Union lifted sanctions on Libya, partially removing the arms embargo, unlocking frozen central bank and oil funds and allowing Libyan aircraft to use European airports and airspace.

"There are data in Western media, which no one has yet denied, that besides instructors, special forces - namely people who planned and participated in military operations - were also working [in Libya]," Lavrov said.

He said "damage has been caused to the UN Security Council," because, "no one had violated understandable decisions so gravely and openly before."

Russia has repeatedly criticized the NATO-led operation in Libya for exceeding the UN mandate by supporting rebel forces in their fight against troops loyal to Col. Muammar Gaddafi. The colonel had ruled Libya for more than 40 years before he was deposed by rebel forces in August.

While self-serving (that is what such ministers are for, after all, to serve the Nation State) the man does have a point in that such activities are not part of the agreed-upon sanctions regime.  If you must have a treaty organization like the UN, the least you could do is what you agree to do.

Sec. State Clinton promising aid, other countries see concerns, main part is to get the militias into a unified, national force. To date, this continues to be a problem that is unsolved. Also note that the 'scholar' seems to get this idea that autonomy is provided by others... this mindset is a major problem facing the spread of the understanding of liberty and freedom on a global basis.

18 OCT 2011 - Clinton in Libya Vows Support For Democracy (Source: VOA via GlobalSecurity)

October 18, 2011

Elizabeth Arrott | Cairo

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to Libya Tuesday to show support for the leaders Washington and other NATO countries helped bring to power. The visit highlights the struggle of Libya's interim government to prove it is strong enough on its own.


In a press conference with Jibril, Clinton said it was an honor to stand on the soil of a "free Libya" and a privilege to see a "new future for Libya being born."

America's top diplomat offered help for Libya to establish greater security. "I am pleased to announce that we are going to put even more money into helping Libya secure and destroy dangerous stockpiles of weapons. And the administration, working with Congress, is going to provide $40 million to support this effort. We will also work with Libya to destroy chemical weapons stock," said Clinton.

And she promised millions more dollars in aid for a nation trying to rebuild. The help ranges from military equipment to educational and economic programs, medical care for wounded fighters, and archeological help in preserving Libya's Greek and Roman-era ruins.


But such help could come at a cost. The NTC has yet to consolidate either military or political rule.

Libya scholar Ziad Akl of the Ahram Center in Cairo says the various parties contending for power could accuse the NTC of over-reliance on the West.

"There seems to be an agreement on the necessity of the role of the West," said Akl. "It's just the amount of obedience that they have to show and the amount of autonomy that the West should provide. And [it] should not condition its aid to following a specific agenda laid down by the Western allies."


"There is political capital that the West had laid down there, that even the Qataris and Turks cannot ignore or step over," said the scholar.


Clinton and Libyan leaders discussed bringing the numerous anti-Gadhafi militias carrying out those operations under unified, national control.

U.S. officials say she also pushed for a pledge that the new government abide by the rule of law, in particular concerning prisoners' rights. Human rights observers have criticized the NTC for not controlling the abuse of people in their custody.

Here is the problem – if the terrorists have weapons and the government seeks to disarm civilians and the government is weak, then how can terrorism be countered?  This article starts to outline this problem:  19 OCT 2011 - Securing Libya's weapons (Source: NATO via GlobalSecurity)

NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

19 Oct. 2011

It’s easy to see where the oil revenues of Libya were squandered over the decades of Colonel Qadafi’s rule. The streets of the country are now awash with weapons that have fallen into the hands of the National Transitional Council as they seized the caches that were built up to suppress the Libyan people.

The looting of these weapons hoards allowed the rebels to quickly acquire the firepower they needed to overthrow the regime, but it has resulted in a highly armed population. It is a problem that will need to be addressed quickly if it is not to create security issues further down the line.

Giving up the guns

The situation is serious and there have been calls for the National Transitional Council to act quickly. Recent advertising on Libyan television and radio has encouraged people to hand over their weapons to the authorities.

“It’s started to be like a daily routine where people come and give up their weapons,” says Abed, a member of the National Transitional Council in Abu Sleem. “Before, we had to go to their homes and collect the weapons, now it’s the other way round.”

It is easy to understand why Libyans are not keen to part with the weapons that have taken them through the revolution and thrown off the shackles of a hated despotic regime. Fear and uncertainty in their future has led many to feel that the time has not yet come when they can return to their old lives and put down the tools of war.

“I won’t hand it over until the country is clear and Qadhafi is captured,” says Osama, who used to be a mechanic before the conflict. “When nothing is wrong with the country, I’ll hand over my weapon.”

Others, who have a deeper trust in their new leaders, are ready to follow orders. “Even now if they want me to hand over my weapon I will happily do it, and I will go straight home. I have no problem with this. The most important thing is to have peace and stability in Libya,” says Mahmoud with an assault rifle slung over his shoulder.

The revolutionary without his rifle

One shouldn’t underestimate the power of the image of a man with a Kalashnikov in Libya now. A sense of bravado has built up around it. Before the revolution they may not have come across a weapon unless they were drafted into the army and a lot of young men had only seen guns in the movies.

“You have to be responsible of what you are doing first,” says Ahmed, “I mean holding a gun is not easy. It’s not like ‘oh look at me I’m holding a gun, I’m showing off.’ That’s not it. You’re doing something for your country, you’re supposed to save people, make people safe.”

However, unlike Ahmed, safety is not at the forefront of everybody’s mind. The recent news of the capture of one of Qadhafi’s sons brought people out onto the streets, firing wildly into the air in celebration. Smashed car windshields attest to the inevitable return of the bullets towards earth and there have been reports of injuries and even deaths.

The wrong hands

Whilst Kalashnikov rifles and other small arms such as rocket-propelled grenades have flooded Libya in their hundreds of thousands, there are weapons which although less numerous could cause an even greater threat.

It’s feared that man-portable missiles, rocket systems and even chemical weapons could fall into the hands of extremists unless prompt action is taken to secure them. Individual nations have taken steps to resolve the issue on a bilateral basis. For instance, a recent Canadian initiative saw the government pledge 10m dollars to help Libya collect and neutralise the threat from these weapons systems, while both the UK and the US also acted to deploy military and civilian personnel on the ground to help secure stockpiles.

With the country awash with weaponry, the National Transitional Council will face a tough challenge in disarming their population and creating a safe future for Libya and the region.

The UN is worried about arms, not tribal or ethnic problems which are the cause of conflicts that can destabilize a Nation. Apparently the cart gets put before the horse on this issue, yet again, in a simplistic formulation of liberty, society and arms. Arms secured for civil self-defense by individuals are NOT a problem. Ethnic strife, tribal conflicts and personal vendettas are a problem, not the positive liberty or right to DEFEND against such conflicts by individuals. Notice that the people, on the ground, have the right idea... NATO does not.

Individuals seeking civil and responsible self-defense are NOT extremists seeking to impose their wishes upon others with force of arms. Depriving a civilian of the ability to defend themselves invites repression by those willing to wage war on their lonesome. This is a human right, a natural right and a bolster for civil society not a detractor from it. In a Nation and region that has seen much turmoil and strife, someone should have figured this out by now.

This is something that al Qaeda has figured out quite well and looks forward to the misplaced trust of the Leftist Western powers in governments being armed and civilians being disarmed.  If you disarm civilians you leave them hostage to terrorists and tyrannical governments, and if you don't seek to have settlements of inter-tribal problems that cross borders, then you guarantee destabilizing conflicts.  In this set of equations the arms are not the problem.

And how do such conflicts start?  Well this might give you an example of a future conflict flashpoint:  24 OCT 2011 - Rights Group to NTC: Probe Apparent Mass Execution (Source: VOA via GlobalSecurity)

VOA News October 24, 2011

A human rights group reporting from the hometown of ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi says it has found the bodies of 53 people who appear to have been executed by fighters for the National Transitional Council during the bitter fighting for control of Sirte.

Humans Rights Watch said on Monday it discovered the bodies in an abandoned hotel in an area of Sirte that was controlled by anti-Gadhafi forces at the apparent time of the deaths about a week earlier. The group said bloodstains on the grass, bullet holes on the ground and bullet casings scattered around the site suggest executioners killed some, if not all, of the people at that location.

Sirte residents preparing the bodies for burial said most of the victims were local people and some were Gadhafi supporters. Human Rights Watch is urging Libya's new authorities to investigate the deaths and hold those responsible accountable.

Libya's provisional authority on Sunday declared the country liberated from Gadhafi's 42-year rule. Tens of thousands of jubilant people gathered for the ceremony in the eastern city of Benghazi.

NTC head Mustafa Abdel Jalil told the crowd that Islamic law would shape the new constitution in post-Gadhafi Libya.

Libya's outgoing provisional prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, said consultations are under way to form a new interim government within one month, followed by elections for a constitutional assembly within eight months. Parliamentary and presidential elections would be held within a year after that.

Jibril spoke from an economic forum in Jordan, where he announced his resignation to allow new leaders to oversee Libya's transition to democracy.

Concerns still linger about the circumstances of the death of Moammar Gadhafi in Sirte on Thursday. Cell phone video showed provisional government fighters taunting and beating a wounded Gadhafi shortly before he died.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States would like to see a U.N. investigation of Gadhafi's killing. She said she supports the investigation that the NTC has pledged to conduct, and said it is important for a democratic Libya to begin with the rule of law and accountability.

British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said Gadhafi's killing had "stained" the image of Libya's provisional government, and that Britain would have liked to see the former leader stand trial for alleged misdeeds.

Libyan doctors performed an autopsy on Gadhafi's body in the city of Misrata and said he died of gunshot wounds to the head and abdomen. Libyan officials say the former leader was shot in crossfire between his loyalists and provisional government forces. Fighters on the scene have acknowledged beating the ousted leader after his capture.

Gadhafi's body remained on public display in a commercial freezer in Misrata Sunday. Details of his burial have not been disclosed.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

But no one will pay attention to it.

The MANPADs, remember those? Where are they? And the WMDs, too. Who has them?  01 NOV 2011 - Security Council calls on Libyan authorities to stem proliferation of arms (Source: UN News Service via GlobalSecurity)

1 November 2011 – The Security Council has called on interim authorities in Libya to take action to prevent the proliferation of arms, missiles and related materiel, warning of the danger they pose to the newly liberated North African country and the wider region.

In a resolution adopted unanimously yesterday, Council members also authorized its committee on Libyan sanctions to draw up proposals for how to keep any stockpiles of arms and materiel away from terrorist groups, including the group known as Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

The resolution, adopted hours before the mandate for authorized international military action in Libya came to an end, voiced concern about the proliferation of arms in the region, especially man-portable surface-to-air missiles – otherwise known as MANPADS.

The text said Libyan authorities must take “all necessary steps to prevent the proliferation of all arms and related materiel of all types, in particular man-portable surface-to-air missiles, to ensure their proper custody, as well as to meet Libya’s arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation obligations under international law.”

Council members called on Libyan authorities to work closely with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) with the aim of destroying the country’s stockpiles of chemical weapons. In addition, States in the region were asked to play their part to prevent arms proliferation.

The committee set up after sanctions were imposed earlier this year was asked “to assess the threats and challenges, in particular related to terrorism, posed by the proliferation of all arms and related materiel of all types.”

A report will be prepared by the committee on preventing proliferation, as well as on how to ensure that any stockpiles are managed safely and securely, that border controls are strengthened and that transport security is boosted.

Last week Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) declared the full liberation of the country, more than eight months after a popular uprising began against the regime of Muammar al-Qadhafi, and days after his death in his home town of Sirte.

The uprising in Libya was part of the so-called Arab Spring, a wider pro-democracy movement across North Africa and the Middle East that has also led to the toppling of long-standing regimes in Tunisia and Egypt.

Really, MANPADs and WMDs do need to be kept under lock and key... right? Gotta find them all, first.

02 NOV 2011 - UN Chief in Libya, Seeks Weapons Controls (Source: VOA via GlobalSecurity)

November 02, 2011

VOA News

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has used a previously unannounced visit to Libya to urge the country's new leaders to secure weapons stockpiled by the former Gadhafi government.

Ban says he raised the issue Wednesday during a meeting in Tripoli with Libya's transitional leader, Mustafa Abdel Jalil. The secretary-general says it is particularly important to secure stocks of shoulder-fired missiles and chemical and biological weapons.

Some of those arsenals were left unguarded during the chaotic outcome of the popular uprising this year that resulted in long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi's death last month. The U.N. Security Council warned in a resolution Monday of the risk that terrorists and other armed groups in the region could gain access to the former regime's weapons.

Ban, visiting Libya for the first time since the uprising began in March, told Jalil the U.N. will support the Libyan people in their transition to democracy. He offered U.N. help to Libya in preparing for its first free elections, in drafting a new constitution and in safeguarding human rights and improving public security.

From Tripoli, the U.N. chief goes to the French city of Cannes to attend a summit of the Group of 20 economic powers.

Libya's National Transitional Council on Monday appointed Abdurrahim el-Keib as its new interim prime minister. The American-educated engineering professor said he protecting human rights will be a priority for his interim government, expected to remain in power until elections next year.

Human-rights groups have expressed concern about the NTC's treatment of pro-Gadhafi fighters and African migrants during the eight-month uprising.

In another development, Italy on Wednesday became the first EU nation to resume commercial flights to post-Gadhafi Libya. An Alitalia plane left Rome for Tripoli carrying more than 100 people, mostly Libyan citizens.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini praised the resumption of flights as an "important signal" of the depth of Italy's involvement in Libya, a former Italian colony. Italy was one of several NATO member states that took part in an aerial bombing campaign in support of the anti-Gadhafi uprising.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

And here comes the 'mostly secular' Muslim Brotherhood, in Libya!

18 NOV 2011 - Muslim Brotherhood Holds First Public Conference In Libya (Source: RFE/RL)

Not that they hadn't been sponsoring IG for a couple of decades, mind you. That is why they want the Blind Sheikh: he is the bridge between MB Egypt and MB Libya. It's just another of the terror off-shoots of the MB: HAMAS, al Qaeda, IG. And more.... many, many more.

And after the warm welcome at the UN, welcoming Libya back to being a civilized Nation, there is the problem of the MANPADs.  Still.  It's like no one can find more than 1/4 of those suckers.

28 NOV 2011 - Most pressing task for Libya is consolidation of security, UN envoy reports (Source: UN News Service via GlobalSecurity)

28 November 2011 – Libya’s interim Government faces a number of challenges as it seeks to move past the recent conflict and decades of dictatorship, the most immediate of which is consolidating security, the top United Nations envoy to the country said today.

It has been just over a month since the National Transitional Council (NTC) declared the full liberation of Libya, and more than nine months after the start of the popular uprising against the regime of long-time ruler Colonel Muammar al-Qadhafi.

Over the course of the past month, the NTC approved the interim Government headed by Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib.

“They know that they now face great challenges, requiring effective central as well as local governance,” Ian Martin, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), said as he briefed the Security Council on the latest developments.

“The first and foremost of immediate challenges is in the area of security,” he added, noting that this includes determining the future of the revolutionary fighters. Another major security issue is the presence and proliferation of conventional and non-conventional weapons and related materiel.

Of particular concern, said Mr. Martin, is the large number of MANPADS [man-portable air defence systems] and ammunition still unaccounted for, which pose both a disarmament problem for Libya and a proliferation risk for the region. Libya has accumulated the largest known stockpile of MANPADS outside those countries that produce such systems.

“The Government will need a little time to work out the different responsibilities of its ministries and other bodies in addressing all these tasks across the security sector – integration and demobilization, training and development of police and a new army, weapons control and border management – but there is no doubt about its sense of urgency,” said the envoy.

He added that the security situation and the way in which it develops in the near future cannot be separated from Libya’s urgent need for liquid funds, noting that “the stabilization of the country, the success of the Government and the perception of the international community are all at stake.”

Other challenges facing the new government are election preparations, fostering national reconciliation, and addressing the legacy of human rights violation and current human rights issues.

The NTC is committed to a first election within eight months, a challenging timeline, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon notes in his report, in a country where there has been limited or no electoral experience in over 45 years.

The UN has continued to stress that for credible elections for a National Congress to be held by June 2012 early decisions have to be made on a range of issues, said Mr. Martin. Among them are the electoral system, the eligibility of candidates and voters, and the authority, composition and appointment of the electoral commission.

“The challenge of national reconciliation is of overwhelming importance,” writes Mr. Ban. “However deep the anger at the war crimes committed by the former regime, the National Transitional Council must continue its calls to avoid acts of revenge and must investigate abuses by its own fighters.

“I believe that the leaders of the new Libya are truly committed to building a society based on respect for human rights. However difficult the circumstances, it is essential to take the earliest possible action to end arbitrary detention and prevent abuses and discrimination against third country nationals and against any group of Libya’s own citizens,” he states.

Makes you wonder where the MANPADs got to, doesn't it?  While they do disappear into the air, they don't disappear into thin air out of storage bunkers.  One is rocketry, the other magic.

Back to tribalism for a moment.  Remember the Tuaregs? The tribe that Qaddaffy belonged to?

Taking guns away isn't the problem. Tribal and ethnic conflict, is:  13 DEC 2011 - LIBYA: Rocky road ahead for Libya's Tawergha minority (Source: IRIN via GlobalSecurity)

TRIPOLI, 13 December 2011 (IRIN) - A major challenge facing Libya as it emerges from a nine-month civil war will be reconciling and integrating thousands of Tawergha accused of killing and raping residents of Misrata on behalf of deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Theirs is the most extreme test of national reconciliation for a government that will have to integrate several groups of Gaddafi loyalists, including those in the towns of Bani Walid and Sirte, if the revolution is to be successful.

“The principle is extremely important,” said Emmanuel Gignac, head of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Libya. “The country will not stand if you have rejected communities within it.”

The dark-skinned Tawergha minority - former slaves brought to Libya in the 18th and 19th centuries - resided until recently in a coastal town of the same name 250km east of the capital Tripoli.

With the rise to power of the rebels, the Tawergha are now on the defensive. Their town sits empty - doors hanging open and homes burned; the sign leading to the city has been changed to New Misrata and its population told not to return.

Continued harassment and revenge attacks on this minority threaten to re-ignite conflict, say aid workers.


What actually happened in Misrata?

Part of the problem is that no one really knows what and how much happened in Misrata - estimates of how many people were allegedly involved in crimes range from 1,500 to 9,000 - and for cultural and other reasons, some people are fiercely opposed to any kind of investigation.

“To have the International Criminal Court come and have doctors investigate the rapes… no way,” Maiteeg said.

Others say an acknowledgement of crimes committed would go a long way to diffusing Misratan anger. But any such truth and reconciliation process would require “a strong message and vision by the National Transitional Council (NTC) and the government,” according to Ahmed Safar, a junior minister in the new cabinet, originally from Misrata - something that has so far been absent.

On 10 December, the NTC held its first national reconciliation conference, in which interim Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib said the future “cannot be built with revenge as a base,” Agence France-Presse reported.

But among the interim government’s competing priorities are recuperating millions of dollars in frozen funds to rebuild the country; preparing elections in eight months’ time; collecting weapons which have spread across the country; and providing alternatives to the young men who fought during the war.

“The NTC doesn’t have a plan for the Tawergha,” one aid worker said. “The sensitivities of it are such that no single leader in the NTC can handle this issue without taking some significant political heat from their constituencies.” So far, Safar added, initiatives towards national reconciliation have been piecemeal, lacking a “dedicated effort”.


“We will not leave Tripoli unless it’s for Tawergha,” said Mohammed, the supervisor of the Tawergha site in Tripoli. This stems, in part, from the fear of an existential threat. “Some people will try to disperse us all around, like the Jews… We have to stay put together… If we go elsewhere, they will kill us slowly.”

He said he had hope that the new government would fix the problem - one he characterized as a national issue, not a Misrata-Tawergha issue - and arrange for the Tawergha to eventually return home.

“But if the new government refuses, we will take up arms and take it back by force.”

And, yet again, the rights of the individual reassert themselves.  Almost like it is human nature... because it is.  Peace is not the absence of war, but the building of a civil society and respect amongst societies and Nations.
Now if you are looking at events through al Qaeda eyes, getting arms to groups in northern Africa is a primary goal.  As almost none of the nearby regimes have a decent air force, do you really need MANPADs in, say, Mali or Mauritania or Niger?  Probably not.  Where do you need them?  Where is the next struggle of import?

An important article, which shows that even the loss-leader AK-47 can get a premium price, and citing a WaPo report of CIA help to the Syrian rebels:  22 MAY 2012 - Syrian rebels say Turkey is arming and training them (Source: The Telegraph (UK))

By Michael Weiss

The weekend before last I was in Hatay province, in southern Turkey, interviewing Syrian rebels and activists, who all complained of the lack of foreign assistance in toppling the Assad regime. Even the "non-lethal" aid that the Obama administration had promised hadn't seemed to make it through to these fighters, many of whom had spent as much as $6,000 of their own money to buy black-market Kalashnikovs.

A lot's changed in a week.

Rebel sources in Hatay told me last night that not only is Turkey supplying light arms to select battalion commanders, it is also training Syrians in Istanbul. Men from the unit I was embedded with were vetted and called up by Turkish intelligence in the last few days and large consignments of AK-47s are being delivered by the Turkish military to the Syrian-Turkish border. No one knows where the guns came from originally, but no one much cares.

This news, which has provided a much-needed morale boost to Syria's embattled opposition, does appear to corroborate a recent report by the Washington Post that the United States has been facilitating the transfer of Gulf-purchased weapons to the rebels:

The U.S. contacts with the rebel military and the information-sharing with gulf nations mark a shift in Obama administration policy as hopes dim for a political solution to the Syrian crisis. Many officials now consider an expanding military confrontation to be inevitable.

Material is being stockpiled in Damascus, in Idlib near the Turkish border and in Zabadani on the Lebanese border. Opposition activists who two months ago said the rebels were running out of ammunition said this week that the flow of weapons — most still bought on the black market in neighboring countries or from elements of the Syrian military — has significantly increased after a decision by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other gulf states to provide millions of dollars in funding each month.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said this about the Post's scoop: "We continue to provide non-lethal support to the opposition. And while I can only speak for the United States, we know that others are pursuing different types of support, and I'd refer you to them to characterise the nature of their actions."


Why, yes!  Syria!  A place with a despised regime, lots of ethnicities, heavy weapons, WMDs and an air force.  Just the ticket if you are al Qaeda.  Even better, since you don't have any air assets, there will be MANPADs left over if you can get your hands on them.  Wouldn't that be sweet?

Next up: 21 JUN 2012 – C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition (Source: New York Times)


Published: June 21, 2012

WASHINGTON — A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.

The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said.

The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, one senior American official said. The Obama administration has said it is not providing arms to the rebels, but it has also acknowledged that Syria’s neighbors would do so.

The clandestine intelligence-gathering effort is the most detailed known instance of the limited American support for the military campaign against the Syrian government. It is also part of Washington’s attempt to increase the pressure on President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, who has recently escalated his government’s deadly crackdown on civilians and the militias battling his rule. With Russia blocking more aggressive steps against the Assad government, the United States and its allies have instead turned to diplomacy and aiding allied efforts to arm the rebels to force Mr. Assad from power.


American officials and retired C.I.A. officials said the administration was also weighing additional assistance to rebels, like providing satellite imagery and other detailed intelligence on Syrian troop locations and movements. The administration is also considering whether to help the opposition set up a rudimentary intelligence service. But no decisions have been made on those measures or even more aggressive steps, like sending C.I.A. officers into Syria itself, they said.


What has changed since March is an influx of weapons and ammunition to the rebels. The increasingly fierce air and artillery assaults by the government are intended to counter improved coordination, tactics and weaponry among the opposition forces, according to members of the Syrian National Council and other activists.

Last month, these activists said, Turkish Army vehicles delivered antitank weaponry to the border, where it was then smuggled into Syria. Turkey has repeatedly denied it was extending anything other than humanitarian aid to the opposition, mostly via refugee camps near the border. The United States, these activists said, was consulted about these weapons transfers.

Neil MacFarquhar contributed reporting from Beirut, Lebanon. Souad Mekhennet also contributed reporting.

Why it's the CIA!  They have been missing from the mix just like in Libya.  Gotta have the CIA around to get rid of nefarious regimes.

And leave exploitable chaos in the wake.

All you need is MANPADs. 

16 AUG 2012 - Syrian Rebels Step Up Efforts to Get Anti-Aircraft Missiles (Source: VOA via GlobalSecurity)

by Jamie Dettmer August 16, 2012

ALEPPO, Syria - Syrian rebels are redoubling their efforts to acquire portable anti-aircraft missiles following government airstrikes on cities and towns in the north of the country.
In the latest such strike, a Syrian Air Force jet bombed the rebel-held town of Azaz near the Turkish border, killing at least 50 people and wounding more than 100.

Rebel commanders and activists say their buyers are now scouring the arms black markets in the region to get the shoulder-fired missiles that can counter the government airstrikes.

According to opposition activist “Tony” al-Taieb, who works with the rebel military council in Aleppo, representatives with cash from rich Syrian exiles are negotiating to buy the portable surface-to-air missiles, often called SAMS or MANPADS, for “Man-Portable-Air-Defense-System.”

“Don’t believe everything you hear about the Qataris and Saudis supplying us with heavier weaponry,” al-Taieb says. “We are getting hardly anything from them.”

Al-Taieb said acquiring as many MANPADS missile systems as possible was now the highest priority for the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the umbrella organization for many of the rebel brigades that have been trying to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the past 18 months.

He said the government airstrikes on Aleppo, Azaz, Tel Rifat and villages such as Akhtarin and other settlements closer to the Turkish border were apparently designed to menace the rebel enclave in the region and disrupt rebel supply routes from Turkey.

Military analysts say shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles can turn the tide of battle in an insurgency war like the one in Syria.

The example most often cited is the Afghan Mujahedeen insurgency against the Soviet Army in Afghanistan 25 years ago. Many military analysts say U.S.-supplied Stinger portable missiles downed dozens of Moscow’s feared Hind attack helicopters and helped the Afghan guerrillas defeat the Soviets.
According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, many of the casualties in the town of Azaz were women and children buried under piles of rubble. Opposition activists in Azaz said the death toll would likely rise to 25.
Rebel commanders say portable surface-to-air missiles could help them defend towns such as Azaz and even give them the advantage in Aleppo, where forces loyal to President Assad managed to uproot rebels from parts of the city after eight days of bloody fighting.

“We need a no-fly zone and, failing that, anti-aircraft missiles,” says Zaher Sherkat, a 32-year-old commander of the rebel Abu Bakr brigade. The unit is now down to about 120 fighters after losing 20 men in the Aleppo fighting.

“We have had 20 ‘martyrs’ from my brigade and about 30 wounded,” he says.

Sherkat says he established the brigade after Assad’s forces killed half a dozen children in his hometown of Al Bab.

Despite press reports that rebels already have a small supply of MANPADS missiles, rebel commanders insist they don’t. And there have been no verified media reports of rebels firing such missiles.

Last week, rebels in Deir el-Zour province claimed they had shot down a Syrian jet, and activists released a video they said showed the government Soviet-made MiG warplane catching fire after apparently being hit by ground fire.

The jet exploded in flames and rebels claimed to have captured the pilot. Rebels said they shot down the plane using a captured 14.5 mm anti-aircraft gun, the largest weapon in their armory.

“Machine guns were used to shoot at the plane,” says Aref Hammoud, an FSA spokesman in Turkey. “It was in a low range, which made it possible to hit.”

The Syrian government conceded it had lost a warplane, but said it crashed because of “technical difficulties.”

The U.S. and other western governments sympathetic to the anti-Assad rebellion have so far declined to supply the rebels with portable anti-aircraft missiles. One reason cited is that such missiles, capable of shooting down a commercial aircraft, could fall into the hands of terrorists or foreign Jihadists now reported infiltrating into Syria.

At a recent meeting with reporters in Washington, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro said the U.S. government hadn’t seen any evidence of MANPADS missiles getting into Syria from Libya, but acknowledged such a possibility was an area of concern.

U.S. officials estimate that the late Moammar Gaddafi’s Libya may have had as many as 20,000 MANPADS missile systems and that several thousand of them turned up missing during the civil war there last year.

Al-Taieb, the Aleppo opposition activist, would not talk about the possibility that Syrian rebels were buying some of the Libyan missiles.

“In the coming days we will have a consignment of MANPADS, Insha'Allah,” says al-Taieb. Asked whether if rebels managed to secure MANPADS, would they have trouble moving them into Turkey and then across the border, he responded:

“The Turkish government turns a blind eye to some things but not others.”

Why, its magic!

25 OCT 2012 - Syria rebels have US-made Stinger missiles: Russia (Source: AFP via asiaone news)

MOSCOW - Syrian rebels battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad have shoulder-launched missile systems, including US-made Stingers, Russia's top general claimed Wednesday, prompting a strong denial from Washington.

Russian chief of staff General Nikolai Makarov, whose country is the Damascus regime's top arms supplier and has refused to back the opposition, said it was not clear who had delivered the weapons.

"We have information that the rebels fighting the Syrian army have shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles of several states, including Stingers made in the United States," he said quoted by the Interfax news agency.

"We need to still find out who has delivered them," he said.

The United States vehemently disputed the allegation, challenging Moscow to provide proof.

"We have provided no Stingers of any kind to Syria, nor will we," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. "If the Russian Federation has evidence of Stingers in the hands of the opposition, we'd like to see it".

Makarov said it was possible that these and other weapons could have been delivered to the rebels from abroad on several means of transport, including passenger planes.

"For this, all kinds of transport could be activated, including civil aviation. This is a serious matter," Makarov said.

US broadcaster NBC News reported in July that the rebel Free Syrian Army had obtained two dozen surface-to-air missiles (man-portable air-defence systems known as MANPADS), delivered via Turkey.

"The Americans say that they have not delivered anything to the rebels," said Makarov.

"But we have reliable information that the Syrian rebels have foreign-made MANPADS, including American ones."

Nuland, meanwhile, noted that of all the images Washington has seen of MANPADS and MANPAD-like equipment in Syria "has been exclusively of a Soviet Warsaw Pact vintage - the SA-7 type vintage."

"We have not seen evidence of Stingers," she said.

Makarov's comments come as Russia is under sustained pressure from the West, Turkey and Assad's foes in the Arab world to cut its military cooperation with the Syrian regime.

Turkey earlier this month forced a Syrian Air passenger plane en route from Moscow to Damascus to land in Ankara on the grounds it was carrying an illegal Russian cargo for Syria.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the cargo confiscated by Ankara before the plane was allowed to leave was "war equipment". Russia has insisted the cargo was perfectly legal radar technology.

President Vladimir Putin last week defended Russia's right to trade weapons with whomever it wanted, so long as sales did not break any sanctions from the UN Security Council where Moscow has a permanent, veto-wielding seat.

"In all other cases, no one can on any pretext dictate to Russia or any other state with whom and how it should trade," Putin said.

Moscow has refused to take sides against Assad, condemning the West and Turkey for making clear their support for the rebels battling his regime.

So if the MANPADs aren't US made... might they have come from... Kaddafi's weapons cache.  If you're al Qaeda this is exactly what you want so you can have a nice set of MANPADs left over for your next target.

Jordan, say.  Saudi Arabia, maybe.  Turkey, perhaps?

Lots of weapons, weapons to take out the one sort of asset you can't get nor support, and they suddenly show up just where you want them.

Funny how that works, huh?

And yet, I'm betting that it wasn't magic that got those MANPADs from Libya to 'rebels' in Syria.