Monday, August 30, 2010

Red Cells

What is it about terrorism that makes US Commentators talk nonsense (Washington Post)?

Wikileaks recently obtained a document which asked what should be the rather unsurprising question 'Does the US export terrorism'.

Of course the US exports terrorism, for the simple reason that the US is a rich county with a very large population of second and third generation immigrants who can afford to engage in the irredentist politics of what they imagine to be their homeland.

The UK has the same problem. The causal nexus of the strife in the Punjab that led to the 1984 siege of the Golden Temple in Amritsar was almost entirely located in Birmingham England.

Until September 11, Rudy Giuliani would never pass up an opportunity to attend an IRA fundraiser. But support from New York City flowed to both sides of the sectarian conflict in Ireland, just as they do to both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian issue.

Expatriate irredentists are often the biggest obstacle to a peace process. They fund the conflicts but experience none of the consequences. They collect the money to buy bullets and bombs to murder and maim, but they only every acknowledge the injuries caused against their side. So the expatriates are always the last holdouts.

This is of course known to anyone who specialized in counter-terrorism before 9-11. But since then everyone in the security world has declared themselves an expert in counter-terrorism, most basing their models on the experience of the cold war era when the most visible terrorist groups were state sponsored.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

How an Israeli attack on Iran might proceed.

Glenn Greenwald is engaged in another argument with Jeffrey Goldberg over the latter's article in the Atlantic in which he is very clearly beating a drum for a US war on Iran.

Greenwald initially pointed out that Goldberg had something of a credibility problem given his earlier role in peddling some of the stories used to claim a casus belli for the US invasion of Iraq. Since then it appears that he has caught Goldberg in an outright lie. Even so, Goldberg appears to have been largely successful in framing the debate on war with Iran as to whether the US should attack first or let Israel start the war.

The argument from Goldberg et. al. appears to be that if Israel attacks Iran, Iran will retaliate and that this will force the US to come to Israel's defense following Iran's inevitable retaliation. I find this a rather unlikely scenario as it leaves out of consideration the reaction of China, Russia and US public opinion and the fact that any US response would be constrained by time and logistics.

Planning for wars takes a considerable amount of time. Even if the US was minded to immediately declare war on Iran, it could not do so immediately and the costs of doing so would be rather obvious. The US public would wake up to the possibility of being drawn into a third neo-con war in defense of the country that was unambiguously the aggressor. It is doubtful that a majority of Republicans would support that proposition, let alone Obama's base.

When Obama addressed the nation from the oval office, his only real option would be to call on all sides to accept a cease fire on the basis of a US-Russian-Chinese plan being voted on by the UN security council and look to take credit for saving Israel from its own foolish leaders.

Netanyahu is no fool, he knows that he can't launch an attack against Iran and then go run crying to the US's skirt after the inevitable retaliation. Those are the tactics of cowards and schoolyard bullies. Netanyahu would only launch an attack if he is certain he knows where the nuclear material is and he is certain that Israel would win the inevitable war that would follow. Since only a lunatic would be certain of either proposition the prospects of an Israeli attack on Iran are rather small.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

BadB and anti-Americanism

Its good to hear that Alleged Carder ‘BadB’ has been busted.

But take a look at his business card and remember that this is a Ukraine/Israeli citizen. Then ask yourself if the people who are doing Internet crime are purely in it for the money.

While the money is certainly a large part of their motivation, there is clearly a nationalist motivation as well. While the fall of the Soviet Empire was considered a very good think in the West, some people in the East were not so happy. And Horohorin, 27 was 8 when the communist system collapsed. He probably does not remember the secret police or the gulags.

It is strange but true that some people find the most bizarre, abominable things imaginable to idolize. When I was in college some students used to love to shock people by declaring their support for General Pinnochet, a man they knew to be responsible for several tens of thousands of murders.