Burma is fascist more than Buddhist — it’s an odd twist but due in light of the crushing of the “Orange Revolution” led by Buddhist monks — and as such remains, despite dog-and-pony-show elections, an unconscionable dictatorship. The persecution of minority Muslims than fits the familiar pattern of nationalism in poor states: minorities are on the outs, no less than Roma or Jews in eastern Europe, and only the expression and scale of the hate differ.
The Rohingya have been left to fight or flee.
“Dark Space” would be sweeter in science fiction, but around the world it refers to informationally secluded areas — could be a mafia back room or a valley remote from a capital and difficult to police — and they are in all effects wild and ruled largely by fear in the face of ruthless force.
As regards political rhetoric, it hasn’t helped Islam to have credit for the destruction of Buddhas of Bamiyan. That criminal act may be ascribed to the Taliban, of course, but it reflects on Muslims in general where the discourse is pursued on general terms. To get anywhere with any of this, we have to dive beneath whatever impressions have been made by our separable ethnic, national, and religious labels and then approach each troubled region x area x population x political themes as an interesting challenge. While the UN may provide a platform for as much, it / we have no common experience, much less way, of coordinating force beyond “peace keepers” that would seem to work only in well organized situations, e.g., the defense of the airport at Mogadishu, the watch for border activity in southern Lebanon. The world has no police and Uncle Sam, who has done his share, wants to work of some war-related debt (and get back to watching television, I suppose).
Peeve of the moment: how come Buddhists are committing genocide against Muslims in Burma and no one says a thing?
However, as suggested, the UN plus China, Russia, and the United States, plus the Ummah in its largest aspect, and whoever’s left share no common conscience and few common humanitarian interests to the extent than any may care to band to depose the junta and impose contemporary open democratic civilization and harmonious relations or any vertical of power in Burma.
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The situation is little different within Syria where the caring outside world has proven itself at providing food and tents and assorted other humanitarian aid outside the combat arena.
Within: you’re on your own!
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It’s odds-even as to whether Iraqis will wake up this week and back the government regardless of clan, family, or sectarian allegiances to ensure the ejection of ISIS from Fallujah. There it’s open war. State forces have ringed the city. Supplies have been moved in. But Kerry says its not America’s fight — it’s Iraq’s.
Hezbollah plots in Europe over the past year exposed a return to violent operations being conducted by the Iranian-supported Lebanese Shiite group. Plots in Bulgaria and Cyprus led to a rigorous debate among European Union member states over whether or not to ban the organization’s military wing. But this only marks Hezbollah’s return to violent operations in Europe. Hezbollah has long used Europe as a staging ground for operations to be carried out elsewhere, as a logistical hub, and as a place where the group and its supporters could raise funds through a variety of criminal enterprises. The focus of this article is the wide variety of criminal activities Hezbollah engages in, revealing a global network that conducts extensive criminal operations throughout Europe.
Thirty years ago last month, Hezbollah blew up the barracks of the U.S Marines and French paratroopers stationed at the Beirut airport, killing 241 U.S. servicemen and 58 Frenchmen. It wasn’t Hezbollah’s first terrorist operation, but this attack, the most memorable in Lebanon’s vicious and chaotic 15-year-long civil war, marked the Party of God’s entry onto the world stage.
Sometimes, as in Panama, there are only intimations or incomplete reports. One sources suggests everybody knows Hezbollah has been laundering money through banks in Panama City — and there the piece stops.
Back up to the bombing of a Panamanian airliner in the 1990s and that too concludes shrouded in mystery.
On the more logical positive side, arms caches and interrupted shipments tell stories too, although, as with the findings of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, not much happens beyond some validation of knowing what was once merely suspected — or knowing with a higher level of probability.
In the wild, however contemptible and heinous the crime, whatever its depth in inhumanity, nothing need happen to perpetrator who may be remote, who may disappear, who may enjoy social sanctuary among good friends, or the sanctuary of altered identities and reduced public appearances, or who may sufficiently corrupt or threaten officials and others — whatever works — and get away with operations shuttered by arrests or surreptitious and ongoing.
As most, possibly all, unfunded mini-projects around here, the following affords but a glance at what the web has on Hezbollah in relation to whatever country comes to mind.
Nowhere is the new reality of the West African organized crime-terrorism nexus more evident than in what recently transpired in a Nigerian courtroom. There, three Lebanese men, Mustapha Fawaz, Abdallah Thahini, and Talal Ahmad Roda sat uncomfortably in the dock as masked members of the Department of State Services, the country’s primary domestic intelligence service, testified against them. The three were accused of plotting terrorist attacks against American and Israeli targets in the northern city of Kano, as well as lesser charges of money laundering and illegal importation of goods. Nigerian police found a significant cache of weapons stashed at one of the accused men’s businesses in the capital Abuja and another cache at a private home in Kano. Although the men, all of whom have long standing commercial interests in Nigeria, pleaded innocent to the charges, they confessed to their affiliation with Hezbollah.
Meanwhile, reports in 2009 and 2010 from French, Japanese, South Korean, and Israeli sources described North Korean programs to provide arms and training to Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, two groups on the U.S. list of international terrorist organizations. Large quantities of North Korean arms bound for Iran, intercepted in 2009, contained weapons that Iran supplies heavily to Hezbollah and Hamas. Moreover, a large body of reports describe a long-standing, collaborative relationship between North Korea and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Prosecutors said Bouterse agreed to accept a multimillion-dollar payoff in exchange for allowing large numbers of Hezbollah fighters to use Suriname as a base for attacking American targets.
The indictment describes a sophisticated international sting in which Bouterse was recorded meeting in Greece and Panama with people posing as Hezbollah agents and Mexican drug traffickers. In reality, they were actually confidential sources and undercover agents with the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the indictment said.
Beyond the rhetoric lies a strategic alliance that has seen Caracas, along with Damascus and Havana, vote against United Nations sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, and increasing Iranian investment in the Venezuelan economy, now worth more than $5 billion.
What is in my head is my intellectual property. There will be no flash drive, no research notes, nothing to find that is digital. I am done with digital archives.
Correspondence with Tammy Swofford, former LCDR USN, a nurse at Baylor Hospital and in her “spare time” a columnist for the Daily Times Pakistan and Economic Affairs Pakistan.
The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.
From inducing paranoia in the bloggorati to upsetting the presidents of foreign states, the world would seem to have a yet emerging issue in the proliferation of every form of intrusive information extraction (or shall we just call it “spying”).
May no signal, whether contained or transmitted by gadget, tablet, computer, or phone, go unrecorded, even if unremarked.
As suggested by Ms. Swofford, the countermeasure to all of this may be to abandon electronic repositories and minimize note keeping.
Create no trails.
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Even on the cusp of dissection, which complete dissection The Washington Post has done quite well, one notices the menage made between elements of the national defense, intelligence, and law enforcement communities. In essence, and as regards terrorism, the ultimate behavior of interest — whether it has to do with, say, breaking into parked vehicles at a mall during the holiday shopping season or blowing up the same mall — is criminal behavior.
Even so —
Maryland State Police and federal agents used a search warrant in an unrelated criminal investigation to seize the private reporting files of an award-winning former investigative journalist for The Washington Times who had exposed problems in the Homeland Security Department’s Federal Air Marshals Service.
The power garnered by NSA may make one wonder about the clout of the annual $52-billion intelligence industry overall.
From The Washington Post:
Generally, the NSA reveals nothing in public about its errors and infractions. The unclassified versions of the administration’s semiannual reports to Congress feature blacked-out pages under the headline “Statistical Data Relating to Compliance Incidents.”
Members of Congress may read the unredacted documents, but only in a special secure room, and they are not allowed to take notes. Fewer than 10 percent of lawmakers employ a staff member who has the security clearance to read the reports and provide advice about their meaning and significance.
It appears here that a substantial part of government of, for, and by the people has been supplanted by what will probably remain unknown persons but much like ourselves . . . but how much, we don’t know and won’t.
The leader of the secret court that is supposed to provide critical oversight of the government’s vast spying programs said that its ability to do so is limited and that it must trust the government to report when it improperly spies on Americans.
I know this post will look haphazard and slap-dashed, but it’s just a glance at a profound shift in boundaries enabled by reliance on electronic communications and data processing. In turn, and goosed by 9/11, the same appears to have given birth to a black intelligence campus of monstrous scale.
Every complaint listed in the reggae is true but also a little more complex in etiology.
My day started with this on Ayatollah Khamenei’s attitudes toward Jews, Israel, and the west:
“Western countries allow no freedom of expression, which they claim to advocate, with regard to the myth of the massacre of Jews known as the holocaust, and nobody in the West enjoys the freedom of expression to deny it or raise doubts about it.”
What we perceive as hateful speech, and the Ayatollah’s latest remarks are hateful — what else is new? — but we may also see them as centrally narcissistic. The politics attending the peacocks of states can and do get quite Out There, but an axis in personality differs from one involving illness: these may have few limits to none in their own domains — I would think Evin Prison a good example of that — but they’re aware of external forces and adjust tactics accordingly.
Compassion because concern with the well being of another creates always a more pleasing environment between the two.
Humility because while hurtling through space on our “pale blue dot”, we may not know everything, and God forbid we ever do.
Inclusion because the more taken in with compassion, humility, and integrity, the stronger and more surviving the entire species that is Homo sapiens sapiens.
Integrity because when the lying stops, many conflicts will also, and some will be able to do more for many than is possible in decaying societies dependent on “pandering and slandering” for their existence.
One listening or reading and reasoning soul at a time.
From The Awesome Conversation (on Facebook), and just ten minutes old, if that:
I see no value in political correctness. Period. I do see value in the global promotion of integrity, especially in the communicating and information sectors, and specifically educators, reporters, and researchers, and I might give some elevation to those toiling everywhere in the arts and humanities. These assume their roles with a debt already in place, whether they’re having a conversation with souls across time or writing a next series in pop songs.
This is the one way in which I’m glad Chomsky ascended to the barricades and become a Far Left (New Old Now Old and Lost Left) folk hero — he set the mark for Daniel Everett, a personality so much less of a Boston peacock, who has seen language a little differently and has an abundance of hard data and penetrating logic to support his views.
Let’s get to the shimmer, the “what’s coming over the berm” in the way of Islamofascism: is it “rising as one man” as my friend Tammy Swofford — it will take the curious two seconds to locate her conservative blog — has played with the title of a brief; is stumbling (and I think the stories in Somalia and Mali tell that story); are its adherents striving toward some kind of humanist reformation, and such seems to be appearing, if in small numbers, with Tarek Fatah, Qanta Ahmed, M Zuhdi Jasser, and many other co-aligning personalities across the Islamic Small Wars and their fronts.
Is there a line to be held?
I think so.
Is it only where Al Qaeda and its ilk have an active presence?
I don’t know.
I do know I have asked various others at time with regard to the Umman and their Kavkaz Center-like “Christian Crusader West” vs. the Aafia Siddiqui image of Islam whether any had a transition plan for about 1.2 billion souls nominally affiliated at minimum. None have yet to provide me — or anyone — with a politically correct or incorrect answer to that puzzle.
My tack: try not to get to the end of the story — the apocalypse, the messiah, Judgment Day, and such — too fast; and while slowing it down, let’s have a good look at culture, language, and psychology.
If a global intelligentsia, however cobbled together, has any value, it might have its own mission in evolution, one supplanting “all against all” with “all for all”.
This takes work, but between the possession of a somewhat common global English and some nifty computers, we get to invent our own extraordinarily democratized people’s diplomacy, and that alone may well subvert any state monopoly on information and image.
A Facebooker said, “Conscience does not work in vacuum. Impact of incidents do occur over our reasoning and may even our truthfulness get shattered.” [STET].
We may be more organized and programmed by the possession of language than we know.
The behavior itself is transparent (unless deliberately observed); the arrangement of associations between symbols may be taken for granted (“Everyone knows that . . . .”) until interrupted by a work of art, poetry, or war; the social grammar — what is good to say, what is not, and when or under what circumstances — of a language (language culture) has also a transparency to it as the earliest embedded thoughts, positions (attitudes), and behaviors (from how to greet to when to lie) have a “low level” or essentially subconscious life in the mind.
Those who study or work with acknowledged or well accepted as existing psychopathology (DSM present and approved, one might say) frequently apply a term to whether a person afflicted (e.g., by bipolar disorder; schizophrenia; narcissistic personality disorder, and so on) recognizes the presence of his problem. If he does, we say he “exhibits insight” and that’s helpful; if not, “he hasn’t a clue” — and others may be invited or obligated to intervene for the health of (now) the patient and for the defense of everyone in his path.
As psychology takes an interest in the life of the mind of the person, the field enjoys a convenient restriction: the concern is with the person. However, the person may turn out a leader of others, one well enough to charm and seduce, and then demonic, wicked, or wild enough to make a mess. The smaller figures — e.g., Charles Manson — are easily the subject of conversation; the larger ones — e.g., Constantine — become a little less touchable.
We have to find our way.
I feel the species will tend toward health and survival on a cooperative basis elicited by, no better word than this one, pricks.
A smaller world with more potent weapons bodes ill, but the challenges may be met by a rapidly globalizing consciousness — in large numbers, we’re working with one another across innumerable barriers and miles, and that’s going to have an effect on normative behaviors and on the invention (through language) of a global culture sufficient to rein in or shape what in earlier days would have been more isolated events with equally isolated cultural antecedents.