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I don’t question the police for courage. A quick glance at the news tells how aggressive and deep the investigation has gone on this attack. As regards the better solution of having forestalled the attack, the European neighbors seem to be attending to that area of criticism. The public — and on Facebook, those now featuring the meme “Je Suis Tired of This Shit” — also tires of complacency in the presence of this implacable (“sub-state transnational”) enemy. Expect the heat to rise against this class of transnational state enemy.

From the editor’s accidental (2007 and broadband-enabled) introduction to them, the “Islamic Small Wars” have been wars for “detectives and poets” — detectives, because every element in an attack has welled up out of a chain of criminal conspiracies; poets, because what’s in the head got there through language and language-driven manipulation.

In the American experience from 2007 forward, we have seen at least the watched figure of Carlos Bledsoe (Little Rock, 2009) carry through his attack without impedance, the similarly tagged Tsarnaev brothers (Boston, 2013) similarly succeed (and there were other attacks — e.g., Nidal Hassan, Fort Hood, 2009 — that involved perpetrator signals in words and actions that should have produced responsive countermeasures — counseling, detention, investigation), and it seems not until San Bernardino (2015) that authorities acknowledge the character of the attack, its relationship with “radical Islam”, and the “gating” missed all along the timeline to the massacre.  Now, having turned that corner, the attack in Brussels adds impetus to the business of using accumulated experience and knowledge to finally “crawl up the vines” with intents shifting between investigative purposes to actually dismantling involved criminal networks.


“Open source” punditry ends about here where governments may (finally) set to work against the God Mob using accumulated nonpublic intelligence and methods.

As the whole sheet of martial and political music may go, the dark gifts of the 20th Century that were Hitlerism and Stalinism would seem in the mix given the contribution of both to the development and distribution of now decades of similar terrorism, especially that targeting airliners and terminals (for reading up on the 1970s experience, BackChannels recommends Brendan I. Koerner’s The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking).

Obama’s Administration, perhaps having chosen to display the least visible war possible, has perhaps effectively met the challenge posed by Putin’s post-Soviet transitioning of Russia into, for now, a feudal estate and the related aggression sustained by aligned but old powers, especially that represented by the piratical Ayatollah Khamenei with his handling of Hezbollah and Hamas and other elements in the field.

BackChannels reminds readers that the Soviet dissolved a little more than 24 years ago (December 26, 1991), that the quarter-century anniversary is therefore this year, and that Putin and NATO may be engaged in a tug of war over how the world will look — and how medieval absolute power in the modern world will have fared — on Christmas Day 2016.

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