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War on Terrorism (Politics)
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Mick Harper
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You still haven't told us why he shouldn't have been allowed to do all these things. He had passed all the tests you keep going on about. He would have passed all the 'improvements' that you keep going on about. I suggest it is, as your English press would put it, time to put up or shut up. Or, of course, advocate the 'keys in the river' policy.
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Mick Harper
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All this illustrates a central plank in the Applied Epistemology philosophy. There are a great many things that are beyond human control but which human beings fervently wish was within their control. This is not necessarily inimical to human development. One of our favourite examples is weather forecasting. We take the view this is impossible -- it is a chaotic system -- but it has led to all kinds of useful innovations including the ability to see the present weather on a wider scale which allows us to see when it will arrive on our doorstep.

The one we are dealing with here is the limits to brainwashing. Most of the time our deluded optimism is fairly harmless consisting of experts wringing their hands about some social ill or other and declaring that ‘more education is needed’. This in turn, often as not, is a synonym for a cheaper form of punishment than prison since it generally involves some hapless individual being mandated to sit in a classroom for x number of weeks while somebody chunters on at the front. It may work, the individual may not wish to undergo the experience ever again.

The terrorist version, from what I have seen, mainly consists of weekly visits from somebody telling them not to do it again. And mostly they don’t! Eight years in prison will do that for you. Eight years in prison might even give you the time to reflect on the nature of Islam but I wouldn’t bank on that since Islam, like all religions, permits its adherents to smite the unGodly in all kinds of ways other than handing out leaflets inviting people to an open day at the mosque.

We discovered a lot of this with the IRA, Long Kesh and so forth but the lessons seemed to have been forgotten. We did, eventually, adopt my policy and just treat Irish terrorist outrages as normal punctuations in life. You report them, you have a bloke in a blue uniform explaining the technical side, you get a government minister reading out a statement about the need for a political solution, a quick why-oh-why in the papers, then life moves on.
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Wile E. Coyote


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Mick Harper wrote:
You still haven't told us why he shouldn't have been allowed to do all these things. He had passed all the tests you keep going on about. He would have passed all the 'improvements' that you keep going on about. I suggest it is, as your English press would put it, time to put up or shut up. Or, of course, advocate the 'keys in the river' policy.


OK so you have a ex-terrorist who has been released from prison early, his conditions say he is not allowed to travel to London. You relax this and allow him to London, and he kills 2 people at a conference, which he was attending on the rehabilitation of MAPPA cases. You will now be called to a MAPPA meeting, to find out if any mistakes have been made. The type of things they will discuss are did allowing him back to London to recount his experiences then trigger his behaviour, as he had previously spent a lot of time with his fellow jihadists planning attacks on this area. They will know this was the area he previously was obsessed with wanting to attack. Did they miss any signs that he had not been rehabilitated? Were the right professionals consulted before letting him go to London? Most probably they will consider were any increased risks to the public of his attendance, and balance this against the restriction on his rights of refusing to let him attend.

Such is the modern paradigm.
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Mick Harper
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You sum it up perfectly. It is an impossible task but it is a necessary task and we all go ape shit when the impossible task that we have demanded our masters institute turns out to be impossible and we demand that lessons are learned and the impossible task gets a tweak and we relax until the tweaked impossible task turns out to be impossible and we all go ape shit all over again.

Such is not only the modern paradigm it has been the paradigm ever since the first tree was propitiated to ensure good weather. They always work after a fashion. It is our job to jeer from the sidelines not look for new trees.
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Mick Harper
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Soleimani Assassination

The Al-Jazeeri resident expert quoted an old Swahili proverb: 'When elephants fight, it's the grass that gets damaged; when elephants play, it's the grass that gets damaged.' When Obama's America and Iran were co-operating to fight ISIS, Syria and Iraq got wrecked, so just because they're now going to start fighting, doesn't necessarily mean things will get worse.

This is an application of my Trump Doctrine: when you've got a log-jam, call in a lunatic.
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Mick Harper
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Some other resident expert said that America's intervention(s) in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost them seven trillion dollars. All right, it's no doubt as misleading as it is mind-boggling but it all goes back to the Twin Towers. If the Americans had taken my advice and shrugged -- it has after all proved to have been a one-off -- they would have saved themselves a helluvalot of money and be roughly where they are now. Maybe even a bit ahead.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Mick Harper wrote:
Soleimani Assassination

The Al-Jazeeri resident expert quoted an old Swahili proverb: 'When elephants fight, it's the grass that gets damaged; when elephants play, it's the grass that gets damaged.'


That is dumb.

It would work better if it was when elephants play the grass gets damaged. When elephants fight both the grass and the elephants get damaged.

Lost in translation?
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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When elephants mate the grass gets damaged, would be better.
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Mick Harper
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It's true I was using machine translated Arabic via Swahili which is itself a slightly artificial mercantile language. I think the point is that from the grass's point of view, elephants are bad news. Though one would have to say that in all probability elephants form an essential part of the wider ecosphere from which grass benefits. Sorry about that. I will be more careful next time. Sorry again.
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Wile E. Coyote


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No. Keep it up. This ancient elephant wisdom really helps the terrorism coverage, makes a welcome change from puppet master, pulling the strings, operating from the shadows. etc.
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Wile E. Coyote


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So, who in the region would benefit from the message that if the elephants play or fight, the grass (the weak) get punished? Who wants the elephants to do nothing?
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Mick Harper
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The theory goes that, if left alone, the weak (as you call them, but left alone they may not remain so) flourish modestly. We've tried the one-elephant policy (Ottoman/British/French imperialism) and the locals didn't flourish much at all, but at least they stayed alive and in their own homes. Once you get competing powers engaged with boots, even proxy boots, on the ground it's mayhem until, as it were, there is only one power.

Not that I'm against competing models being projected into the area. Even quite aggressively -- the locals tend to go in for very repressive regimes, if left to themselves. I'm not even against revolutionists trying to gain sway. Just elephants.
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Wile E. Coyote


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The US has managed (as most empires do) to end up providing weapons and training to their enemies. They are financially supporting and training an Iraqi government, that is really propped up by Iran, whilst the Iranians are using their proxies to battle the Americans elsewhere.

Trump is ending this, he is withdrawing after killing off those most dangerous to American interests. This is continuity. Less troops, more drone strikes, and economic sanctions from now on.

It is an attempt to end a war, Corleone style, by assassinating Soleimani and other revolutionary guard leaders. Stop the War Coalition should be thanking this "peace luvin" President.

Those Iraqi Mps chanting for the withdrawal of all foreign troops will get their way. Well at least as far as the Americans are concerned....
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Mick Harper
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The US has managed (as most empires do) to end up providing weapons and training to their enemies. They are financially supporting and training an Iraqi government, that is really propped up by Iran, whilst the Iranians are using their proxies to battle the Americans elsewhere.

But of course the Iranians are trying to set up an empire on their own account so it will be interesting to see what happens when the Iraqis, having been weaponised and trained by the Iranians, turn on them. Already there are voices to this effect -- Soleimani's death, if not the manner of it, was cheered in the streets of Baghdad. And not just by Sunni and Kurdish Iraqis either. Everybody, especially Iranians, assumes that Shia Iraqis will go with the Shia Iranians. Rather forgetting that Iraqi Arabs are always at daggers-drawn to Iranian Aryans.

Stop the War Coalition should be thanking this "peace luvin" President.

I myself think this is to be the direction of travel -- and not just in the Middle East -- and may well be reversed if Trump doesn't get a second term. A price worth paying?
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Ishmael


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Mick Harper wrote:
If the Americans had taken my advice and shrugged -- it has after all proved to have been a one-off -- they would have saved themselves a helluvalot of money and be roughly where they are now. Maybe even a bit ahead.


It wasn't a one-off.

1993 - 2003. Three major mass casualty terrorists attacks on US soil. None before. None since.

Now.. What happened in 1993 and again in 2003?
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