Baitullah Mehsud Calls on Pakistan to Use Nuclear Arsenal “to Defend Against the Enemies”.

In this brief interview you will see Baitullah Mehsud, leader of TTP, or Pakistan’s Taliban, deny the assasination of Benazir Bhutto (methinks he doth protest too oft and too much…) as well as praise Bin Laden. He states that Bin Laden is not “in this region”, but they would do whatever he asks.

Then he goes on to exhort the Pakistan government to use their Nuclear power against the enemies, later he identifies the enemies of their Jihad as Christians and Jews.

Watch here at Memri.

Keep in mind that Baitullah is a well practiced liar and manipulator — way back during the putsch of Uzbeks in his region he had me hoping that he was actually anti-AQ. That hope was false, and like the rest of the Neo-Takfirist Pashtun Jihadis in Pakistan, he is their lapdog.

The Politics of Energy Stasis

Electing Obama would be disastrous for our energy future because for energy policy Obama is not the candidate of change – instead he would give us more of the same. Barrack Obama is the candidate of energy ennui from the party of entropy – he represents stasism and zero change for energy policy.

Electing Obama would be disastrous for our energy future because for energy policy Obama is not the candidate of change – instead he would give us more of the same. Barrack Obama is the candidate of energy ennui from the party of entropy – he represents stasism and zero change for energy policy.

His “green jobs program” amounts to jobs for activists and entrenched luddite energy lobbies that would have us use antique power generation methods (solar, coal, and wind) to create energy. These sources are centuries old and if there were real promise of abundance in these technologies we would have seen it by now. Before you bluster about that, how long have windmills, water-wheels, and solar motors been around? What supplied power to farmers in the great plains during pioneer days, where did ancient Romans get energy? How long have windmills been in Europe? Haven’t we been using Biomass since we discovered that wood burns? Did any of the above means except coal ever provide abundant energy by today’s standards?

If you look at history and follow the growth of civilizations they centered around those antique power nexus. Every ancient harbor is a center of wind-powered transport in the form of sailing ships. Ancient Chinese and Egyptian civilization grew along the rivers, where energy in the form of food (food is human fuel,) wood, water power, and water-borne transport was abundant by that day’s standards. 

The middle class industries of Europe grew where the energy was during the middle ages and the Renaissance, and the power sources the Eco-luddites propose are quite antique – they’ve all been given plenty of time to develop, and proven less than effective (the first modern solar engine was built in 1860, ancient Roman and Greek cities used passive solar heating.)

The key thing about these ancient renewable sources is that they are desirable in small niches where they can be used, but they are not enough in themselves. (As past articles have pointed out: if you paved the entire Southwest in solar grids it still wouldn’t provide the amount of energy that we burned in cars in 2006)

The net energy effect of an Obama presidency would be no change at all and more of what we’ve seen for the past 34 years from the establishment Democrat party. Carter-style Stagflation would return. We would see continued increase in coal power generation, since that’s the only source of energy allowed to grow in today’s eco-luddite regulatory environment, and cap and trade is just another way to let it grow if you look under the covers of the proposals to the fine print inserted by coal and eco lobbyists.

With nuclear, oil, and gas halted by prohibitive legislation that favors antique energy sources an Obama Presidency is a stasist formula for a dirty environment and economic disaster. It would mean no new nuclear energy, existing nuclear energy plants storing fuel in dangerously dispersed locations, no new oil, no new gas, no new refineries.

In past articles you’ve read of the need for new energy sources to aid ecology, growth, and food security as well as the beneficent effects of abundant energy. Abundant cheap energy reults in lower birth rates, higher wealth, lower infant mortality, cleaner environments, and longer lives.

We need an estimated 70 Petwatt Hours of energy online by 2050 to sustain nine billion people. In other words every source of energy we have must be used as fully as possible.


Since the needs for plentiful energy as well as the bonuses of abundance has been covered in sufficient detail here, here, and here, it’s time you learned more about the political forces of entropy impeding the energy economies of the world. This loose knit neo-luddite cabal of energy stasists cuts across political, class, and cultural divides.  You will see odd alliances, such as greenpeace advocates and coal lobbyists, Marxists and venture capitalists, social conservatives and social liberals.

The “strange bedfellows” syndrome you’ve seen in  the spate of commercials featuring staunch political opponents sitting on couches is not recent, Virginia Postrel noted the cause of these alliances in her book “The Future and its Enemies,” where you see Pat Buchanan and Jeremy Rifkin both reveling in agreeable xenophobic nihilism on Crossfire in the ’80s.

Today you see similar strange bedfellows in the form of Greenpeace and Sierra club activists teaming with Biodiesel pimps, coal lobbyists, oil lobbyists, wind and solar lobbyists, foreign energy interests, and other supposed opponents in a strange dark pact that keeps us in a deep freeze for energy policy.

Over the next few weeks you will see more details on this in a series of articles here.

Memorial Day 2008

Our familie’s war memorials are scattered – a picture on a wall, a worn conch shell with broken spines, a piece of slagged shrapnel that looks like a dark meteor with ragged edge, a name on a wall, an exploded mine, and of course our own memories. On this memorial day, please honor all of those who served.

Previous Memorial Day Post

Two Jihadis Dead in Philippines Terrorist Attack

In the Philippines 17 soldiers were wounded and two terrorists died in fighting after Moro Islamic Liberation Front (affiliated with Al Qaeda) attacked two outposts in the town of Tipo Tipo on Basilan Island. The military states that Abu Sayyaf fighters were involved as well, and the attack on the outpost was sophisticated, including IED’s planted on the retreat route.

This is just another front in the global war on terror and the attack breaks a ceasefire just a week after the Islamists demanded that troops be removed from the island with the threat of attacks if they were not.

Capsule analysis:

The Southern Philippines Islamist Jihadis can bluster, but as elsewhere they can’t mount effective attacks against prepared military forces. Expect one to two more  abortive attacks on military forces before they revert to form. They prefer soft, unprepared targets and will likely revert to terror bombings, kidnappings, and IED attacks in the months ahead if the truce is not re-established.

More at Breitbart:

At least 17 marines were wounded and two Muslim separatist rebels killed as fierce prolonged fighting broke out in the southern Philippines Sunday, the army said. The violence erupted after Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels attacked two military outposts in the town of Tipo Tipo in Basilan island, the military said, causing civilians to flee the area in fear.

Ten marines were wounded in the initial clash, while another was hurt when an armoured personnel carrier ran over a landmine, the military said.

Six other soldiers were wounded in running gunbattles that raged throughout the day, while two MILF rebels were killed, the military said.

In a statement, the military said MILF rebels were backed by fighters from the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group, which also operates in the area.

“We condemn the treacherous attack by some MILF members with the aid of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf in Basilan this morning,” the statement said.

It said air support has also been dispatched to evacuate the wounded and help ground forces.

MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal blamed the troops for the hostilities and denied knowledge of casualties on either side.


Senior Al Qaeda Leader(s) Killed in Damadola

It appears we got an Algerian Al Qaeda leader in the Damadola village hellfire strike last week, this is the third one in the area. ( as reported here in February.)  Jammie Wearing Fool has more

The Algerian, known by the nickname Abu Sulayman Jazairi, apparently died May 14 in the strike that killed as many as 14 people and destroyed a compound near the village of Damadola, an Al Qaeda stronghold in northwestern Pakistan, officials said. A knowledgeable U.S. official and a senior European anti-terrorism official said Jazairi was thought to be dead.

U.S. anti-terrorism forces are targeting front-line planners in Pakistani hide-outs, and Jazairi would be another in a series of recent losses for the Al Qaeda leadership, the two officials said.

More also at the Asia Times:

US intelligence is closely monitoring the area, acutely aware of its importance. The strike had some success, taking out two senior al-Qaeda leaders – Sheikh Osman, know for his amputated hand, and Sheikh Soliman. However, a famous Taliban commander, Dost Muhammad, escaped unhurt. **

** Note that when you read an article by Syed you will be reading the Taliban’s agitprop — sometimes they lie, sometimes they don’t; so you will find nuggets of truth in his articles. I don’t think Syed lies but he is sympathetic, and prints verbatim what they tell him.

Update: More from the Pakistan Daily times:

They said the Algerian, known by the nickname Abu Sulayman Jazairi, apparently died on May 14 in the strike that killed 14 people and destroyed a compound near the village of Damadola.

A knowledgeable US official and a senior European anti-terrorism official told the Times that Jazairi was thought to be dead.

They said that US anti-terrorism forces were targeting frontline planners in Pakistani hideouts, and Jazairi would be another in a series of recent losses for the Al Qaeda leadership.

“He was a significant person within the Al Qaeda ranks,” said the European official, requesting anonymity. “Not in the top five, but he’s up there. The suspicion is he was one of those individuals involved in training and targeting Western interests. There is uncorroborated intelligence that he was involved in plots against Europe.”

According to the Times, officials declined to discuss last week’s operation because of political tension in Pakistan over US airstrikes. In fact, it added, some doubt lingers about the identity of the man killed. The report referred to a statement of a senior Pakistani official in which he said he believed the slain man was not the Algerian but another foreign militant.

Despite the confusion, the US and European officials told the paper that their information about the militant’s identity seemed solid.

“There are good reasons to think that Al Jazairi is dead,” the US official said. The European official said that there recently had been allusions to Jazairi’s death on radical websites.

Explosives expert: Jazairi was an explosives expert and “important terrorist trainer”, the US official said.

“When it comes to training, this individual was an important figure … People like him are vital to terrorist plots. That doesn’t mean he can’t be replaced. But when Al Qaeda loses someone with his experience, it matters.”

UPDATE: More at The Long War Journal

How to Talk to Tyrants

When Presidents talk to tyrants they do it in a particular way – it’s done through intermediaries and third parties with preset conditions, or its done through speeches and the press. To understand why you first need to understand how not to talk to tyrants.

After President Kennedy was elected he held direct policy talks with Kruschev in Vienna in which the main topic was Berlin, and access to East Berlin. It was initially seen and ballyhooed as a foreign policy coup; one sorely needed after the Bay of Pigs debacle.

39 days after the talks in Vienna construction started on the Berlin wall, and that’s about the length of time you would need to plan the construction and logistics if you were a Soviet tyrant in a hurry. That was followed later by the Cuban Missile Crisis, probably the closest America ever came to full on nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

Prior to Kennedy, the US policy towards Berlin was firm, unwavering, and resolute. (as you will see later, bear with me a moment.)

In another example of how not to talk to tyrants, even newly budded, you see President Carter working with the Khomeini camp and expressing support through intermediaries here.

The first contact between the US and the mullahs was established in November 1978, soon after Khomeini set up shop in a suburb of Paris. George Cave, the CIA’s Iran specialist traveled to Paris and met Khomeini’s close aides at the time: Abol-Hassan Banisadr and Ibrahim Yazdi. The message from President Jimmy Carter was one of support for the ayatollah and his Islamic Revolution.

So how do you talk to tyrants if you are President of the US?

Here are some examples:


Another from Eisenhower here,  here’s another way to talk to tyrants, but all talks with tyrants are fruitless and meaningless unless the tyrant understands that this day could come for them.

Why is it important to talk to tyrants only through intermediaries with set bounds and limits or only through speeches?

As President you don’t want to open negotiations on anything but the urgent, immediate issue that forces negotiations, and you want to circumscribe the playing field. An example of this is the negotiations held with North Korea over the captured US plane at the beginning of the GW Bush’s Presidency.

The rest of the time you speak to them and the world at large in clear obdurate phrases because it’s important to speak not just to the tyrant, but to the people enslaved under them.

More on this from John Bolton – the distinction between preparation, and preconditions or limits.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Self-Censors after Muslim Fundamentalists Seethe Over Quran Depiction

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is an ongoing Anime/Manga cartoon series produced by A.P.P.P. of Japan, and recently they made and inadvertent mistake. They pictured a villain vowing to kill the hero while reading pages from the Quran. Are muslims seething again because the publishers made a mistake, or are they seething because the company inadvertently got something right?

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is an ongoing Anime/Manga cartoon series produced by Shueisha & A.P.P.P. of Japan, and recently they made and inadvertent mistake. They pictured a villain vowing to kill the hero while reading pages from the Quran. The series is old, but seething is eternal, here’s the Fatwa Committee who’s raising the stink.

From Bloomberg:

The scene from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, adapted from a comic strip published from 1987 to 2003, generated angry responses on more than 300 Arab and Islamic Internet forums, with many accusing Japan of insulting the Koran, Kyodo said.

Anime is a powerful draw to adolescent males, and typically it depicts good winning over evil, and the Hero winning through persistence and strength of moral character. It’s an influence not wanted in the Islamic fundamentalist world. In the clip below you will see the evil character bested by the good character, note how the evil character is willing to use any means to win, and says so. Warning this is a spoiler, the conclusion of the movie, do not watch if you are a fan and haven’t seen it.

Are Muslim Fundamentalists seething again because the publishers made a mistake, or are they seething because the company inadvertently got something right? Are they going after anime because of the strong moral content that appeals to youths?

The Japanese publisher Shueisha and the anime production company A.P.P.P. have halted shipments of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure anime and manga after online Islamic protesters objected to imagery in the anime that they deemed offensive. In particular, a scene in the sixth anime episode (“The Mist of Vengeance”) depicts the main villain, Dio, vowing to kill the main character Jotaro Kujo while looking at pages of the Qur’an, the main religious text of Islam.

The original scene in the manga’s Part 3 (“Stardust Crusaders,” pictured at right) has unintelligible scrawls in the book. However, the animators put reproductions of pages from the Ar-Ra’d (The Thunder) chapter of the Qur’an in the corresponding scene in their version. The Kyodo News agency cited Sheikh Abdul Hamid Al-Atrash, chairman of the Fatwa Committee at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, as saying, “The scene depicts Muslims as terrorists.”

Shueisha posted a Japanese statement about the issue and a English letter to the “Muslim audience of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure on Thursday. In both documents, Shueisha and A.P.P.P. explained that the anime staffers added Arabic text to the book to indicate the scene’s apparent location in the Arabic world. However, the same staffers were illiterate in Arabic and did not realize that they chose pages from the Qur’an. The two companies acknowledged that they were also unaware of the issue until recently, and emphasized that manga author did not know that the anime staffers added pages from the Qur’an.

A short plot summary :

Kujo Jotaro is a normal, popular Japanese high-schooler, until he thinks that he is possesed by a spirit, and locks himself in prison. After seeing his grandfather, Joseph Joestar, and fighting Joseph’s friend Muhammad Abdul, Jotaro learns that the “Sprirt” is actually Star Platinum, his Stand, or fighting energy given a semi-solid form. Later, his mother gains a Stand, and becomes sick. Jotaro leanrs that it is because the vampire Dio Brando has been revived 100 years after his defeat to Jonathan Joestar, Jotaro’s great-great-grandfather. Jotaro decides to join Joseph and Abdul in a trip to Egypt to defeat Dio once and for all.

Here’s the full story, you decide.

More at Bloomberg

H/T to my son, the Anime fan.

Robotic Battlefield Ethics – ROE and Geneva Convention Programming?

Robotics are creeping into the battlefield  – so far with “human in the loop” controls, but we are fast approaching the point where autonomous lethal decisions on the battlefield might need to be made by the equipment itself. (Ballistic Missile Defense and Counterbattery come to mind, indeed, the MK15 Phalanx could be considered an autonomous robotic defense system already.)
This opens a case full of cans of worms, and it was a subject of consideration at this year’s Artificial General Intelligence conference. As the electronic battlefield evolves, so too will the equipment used, and at some point the speed and accuracy of machines will find “human in the loop” to be an impediment. As we cross that barrier it behooves us to pay attention to conventions, as in the Geneva Convention, as well as rules of engagement, and how those form the programming and controls of battlefield robots.

This is one of those lightning fast presentations where they were trying to make up time at the conference, and much is left out. Please do pay attention however, every two sentences covers a few varied topics that could be papers, presentations, and whole fields of study in themselves. There’s a lot of food for thought here, so please pay close attention, and then go here to read the paper.