Saturday, July 10, 2004

Nutwatch 2004--Dumber than 3 dogs...

Nutwatch 2004 is blowing almost hurricane-force today.

As the vile winds blow, the pathetic bawling and screeching from the Kerry camp is in full force as the most liberal of Senators has his record revealed to the voters. What all know is going to be a brutish, nasty campaign is in full-swing and many young, idealistic twenty-something’s are learning that politics is a contact sport.

Showing up in my e-mail yesterday is a missive so hideously insane that I feel I must share part of it—and commit its’ writer to the Nutwatch 2004 hall of fame:

"The Bush Campaign has violated every standard of decency by attacking John Kerry's military service. When it comes down to it, this is an attack on all veterans, soldiers and their families. And so we're asking for help from all Americans to hit back now:

RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie and Bush Campaign Manager Ken Melhman are running an ugly smear campaign on John Kerry's service in Vietnam. We've seen this before. In 2000 they ran a "whisper campaign" against John McCain, suggesting his time as a POW made him unfit for the Presidency. Then in this campaign, their surrogates have even questioned Max Cleland's war heroism -- a man who received a Silver Star and lost three limbs in the Vietnam War.

The fact is they're terrified of running against John Kerry's war record. And so they're desperately doing everything they can to try to tear it down.

We need to hit back, and hit back hard to get out the truth. We've learned that the Bush Campaign will say and do anything in the attack ads they're running in key swings states. We've simply got to be able to counter them. And we can only do that if supporters keep contributing to our campaign at the record-setting levels we saw last month. Give us the means to hit back. Contribute now:

Thank you, Mary Beth Cahill Campaign Manager, John Kerry for President

Yes, Mary Beth, I’ll just dig deep into my pockets and mail you a check for a grand or two but first I want you to promise me you’ll get back on your medicine and back into therapy and quit mixing the drugs and alcohol—and try to get laid once a day because you obviously are getting high-strung and it’s exacerbating your schizophrenia and causing you to send out twisted letters like the one I received in my e-mail yesterday—I know lithium is probably too strong to function, you may want to try Caramazepine or Propranolol—but watch mixing these with other drugs Mary Beth. This is serious business—and millions are observing your behavior.

Down in Texas they have a saying for letter like this Mary Beth: That dog won’t hunt.

I’d like to add a little more risqué Texas saying: Your letter is dumber than three dogs having sex.

Now I know you’re suffering Mary Beth, and the disease that has you in it’s grasp is a wicked and vile one—but please get someone to give missives a sniff-test before you go off the deep end with a letter like this

Do you remember the attack on President Bush’s National Guard record Mary Beth? There is something rather illogical to a statement “violated every standard of decency” when referring to one candidate’s attack on a record—when you did it first.

Try to see through your madness and twisted logic—if this is an attack on all veterans, etc—what was your attack on the President’s record? And while we’re on that topic—how do you feel the protesting of the war and John Kerry claiming he served with a bunch of war criminals made people feel? What about the new JFK throwing someone else’s war medals over a fence?

Whisper campaign? Have you listened to the Senator Kennedy, the butcher of Chappaquiddick giving speeches in public lately? He obviously has been mixing copious amounts of alcohol with drugs to listen to his personal insults and attacks on the President. Bet he is getting laid though, Mary Beth—although that is an image worse than the three above-mentioned dogs.

Max Cleland? I’m actually a Republican who admires him. But he didn’t lose three limbs in combat—as you and your campaign have tried to assert. He had a tragic accident—picked up a grenade and it exploded.

So, Mary Beth, send me a letter from your therapist and I’ll be glad to send you some money.

Until then, I’m hitting and enrolling you in Nutwatch 2004.


Friday, July 09, 2004

Nutwatch 2004-When In Doubt, It's Always The CIA

Nutwatch 2004 is howling and screeching like a double tornado across the Oklahoma plains. Here, at Insanely Pathetic, and Criminally Insane we have the two stories I’ve warned you were coming.

Two, truly hideous and offensively insane schizophrenic ramblings that should trouble all who worry about the possibility of civilization sinking into the depths of another Dark Age.

I warned you it would just be a matter of time. Here are two stories that I can’t decide are truly insane because they are so colossally pathetic; or truly pathetic because they are so colossally insane.

One writer, James Conachy suggests “American Agencies” somehow had a hand in the beheading of Nick Berg. Yes folks, the American government killed Berg to deflect attention from the nude Iraqi pictures that has become the mainstream press fetish of the past two weeks. Sort of a “wag the dog,” with sharp knives.

But then, the clincher, the story only a bull-fruit lunatic in the deep throes of psychotic delusion would ever sign their name to—one that Michel Chossudovsky proudly penned his name to and actually published.

Listen to how the truly delusional write: “When people across the US find out that Al Qaeda is not linked to Saddam but is in fact a creation of the CIA and that the terrorist warnings are fabricated, the legitimacy of the Bush Administration will tumble like a deck of cards. The perceived enemy will no longer be Saddam, it will be Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, et al.”

Al Qaida is a creation of the CIA.

Sweet grunting, sweating mother of Buddha!

“It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine …”

What is it that propels the far-out left to madness? You can only hope bin Laden or Al-Zarqawi read this insane gibberish, get angry, and hunt these two down for cheapening their cause.

Listen you two nitwits, more than one countries’ intelligence service listed Zarqawi in-charge of Al Qaida’s middle eastern and European strikes and Ramadan Abdullah Ramadan as being charged with hitting the United States the next time.

I know it’s hard James and Michael, particularly when you only sporadically take your medicine—but try to write this on your forearms or something—all of these Islamists are fighting a religious war against the infidels. They don’t need western intelligence help.

So go take a look the ramblings. Like most schizophrenic delusions, there’s no sane evidence presented. Just a bunch of disconnected gibberish. Somehow, Nick Berg’s father is quoted as tying it all back to the Patriot Act—which if a true quote—we’ll overlook due to his terrible loss.

Until the James and Michael, welcome to the Nutwatch 2004 hall of fame.


Countdown to the next strikes

by william webb

The mainstream media is great at taking something like the Iraq prison photos and running them into the ground. They are horrible and pathetic when it comes to reporting on something like the groups who plan to cause hundreds of thousands of American casualties.

Likewise, politically-tainted commissions like the 9/11 body, are great Monday-morning quarterbacks and give politicians and political hacks a chance to mug for the cameras. Hindsight is 20/20. Foresight is something tragically lacking within the beltway.

You will hear both the media and the politicians in shock before this year is up. The United States is going to get hit hard--and as much as I personally hope I am wrong--WMDs will feature in the strikes.

For the next several days, we will investigate the non-classified material available and help you connect the dots so you aren't surprised when the next round of mass murder begins

Countdown to the Next Strike by William Webb

In July 2003, radical Saudi Sheik Nasser bin Hamd al-Fahad issued a fatwa, or religious edict, granting legal religious authority to the use of weapons of mass destruction against both the United States and Great Britain and their civilian populations. For anyone familiar with the operations of Al-Qaida, this fatwa should serve as a grim, horrific warning to read, listen to, and most importantly, understand. Osama bin Laden has cloaked his next planned major mass murder in religious legitimacy by obtaining these rulings prior to the strikes. Two months after publication of the fatwa, on September 10, 2003, the State Department issued a warning which stated in part: “We expect Al-Qaida will strive for new attacks that will be more devastating than the September 11 attack, possibly involving nonconventional weapons such as chemical or biological agents. We also cannot rule out the potential for Al-Qaida to attempt a second catastrophic attack within the U.S. Terrorist actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations, hijackings, bombings, or kidnappings. These may also involve commercial aircraft and threats to include conventional weapons, such as explosive devices. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets.”

The theory is jihad. The act is the use of weapons of mass destruction against cities in the West. The fatwa provides religious justification for the act.

Sheik Fahad, Sheik Ali al-Khadir and Sheik Ahmed al-Khaldi are three of the most radical Saudi clerics and have written dozens of books, pamphlets, and other materials full of incitement and religious rulings against the United States and the West. The three were arrested following the May 12, 2003 terrorist attacks in Riyadh, and the possibility of them receiving the death penalty has led to further threats against the Saudi royal family from bin Laden.

According to Yoni Fighel and Moshe Marzouk of the International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism, “Sheikh al-Fahad’s fatwa is one of several such edicts issued by Islamic clerics granting religious authorization to carry out terrorist attacks using weapons of mass destruction against American targets and targets of those who provide assistance to “the crusader’s world of heresy.” Edicts issued by the same clerics, who have connections to Al-Qaida, offer the religious backing for the continuation and escalation of the organization’s terrorist activity against the U.S.

“In our estimation, the Al-Qaida organization and other radical Islamic groups associated with it will use such edicts to gain support for their efforts to carry out large-scale attacks against Western targets. These efforts are likely to include plots against Western civilian infrastructure targets with the intention of maximizing the human toll and economic loss.”

An Arab journalist writing in the Arabic daily Hayat highlighted the use of fatwas by clerics to legitimize violence. Under the subhead, “fatwas permit murder,” the journalist made the following points:

o Saudi Sheikh Safar Abd Al-Rahman Al-Hawali, who prefers to use the Internet to publish his religious rulings permitting the killing of groups and nations, ruled that the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan are unbelievers because they support the Americans against the Islamic government of the Taliban. The fatwa read: ‘Support of any kind for the unbelievers against the Muslims, even if only verbal, constitutes blatant heresy and hypocrisy, and anyone doing so goes against Islam. Members of the Afghan opposition or others who do so must repent, recant this loathsome deed, and support their Muslim brothers...’ The fatwa said, that the September 11 tragedy is strictly an act of ‘measure for measure.’ Namely, ‘a response to Clinton’s missile aggression against Al-Qaida following the bombing of the American Embassy in Nairobi.

o In the bin Laden video released by the Pentagon in 2002, his unidentified guest informed him that Sheikh Salman Al-‘Alwan had ruled that bin Laden’s attack on the U.S. was in line with shariah, Islamic religious law.”

The Arab author suggested, “the connection between the fatwa and terrorism lies in the fact that the religious ruling unleashes the terrorist’s sadism and instinct for murder. It frees him from all moral restraints and shrivels what remains of his conscience. It releases him from any healthy sense of guilt.” Sheikh Ali bin Khdheir Al-Khdheir, one of the three radical Saudi sheiks who now reside in jail, also posts his fatwas on the Internet. He presented his fatwas concerning September 11 as a response for his students in Yemen: “The weeping, the sorrow, and the pain over the American victims among those termed ‘innocent’ are strange. Those victims were...unbelieving Americans who must not be sorrowed over, because the unbelieving American is considered a combatant due to his connection to his government, or because he supports it with money or opinion or counsel, as is customary in their political regime, may Allah not multiply such regimes. It is permissible to kill the combatants among them, as well as those who are non-combatants, for example the aged man, the blind man, and the dhimmi, as the clerics agree.”

The author concluded that, “This fatwa permits the blood of all Americans, without exception, and was endorsed by Sheikh Yussef Al-Qaradhawi and the leaders of the Islamic movements who joined him in his religious ruling that encouraged Hamas and the Islamic jihad to kill Israeli civilians. Why? Because fanaticism, as hatred for everyone who is different, removes the lobe of logic from the brain of the fanatic!”

Another Sheik writes, “Regardless of the norms of ‘humanist’ belief, which sees destroying the infidel countries as a tragedy requiring us to show some conscientious empathy and…an atmosphere of sadness for the loss that is to be caused to human civilization—an approach that does not distinguish between believer and infidel…. I would like to stress that annihilating the infidels is an inarguable fact, as this is the [divine] decree of fate… “When the Koran places these tortures [to be inflicted on the infidels] in the solid framework of reward and punishment…it seeks to root this predestined fact in the consciousness of the Muslim group, asserting that the infidels will be annihilated, so as to open a window of hope to the Muslim group…”

Near the day in 2003 when President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, FBI Director Robert Mueller warned that Al-Qaida “remains capable of launching a multicity attack similar to the assaults on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.”

“The war with Al-Qaida is not over,” Mueller said. “We have not won it by any stretch of the imagination. Al-Qaida still seeks to attack us and has the capacity to do it. Will we be attacked in the future? Yes.”

More ominous was a four-page CIA report quoted in a June 2003 article by Bill Gertz, reporter, author, and terrorism expert. “Al-Qaida terrorists and related groups are set to use chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons in deadly strikes,” Gertz wrote.

Among the points made in the CIA report:

o “Al-Qaida’s goal is the use of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons to cause mass casualties. o “Osama bin Laden’s operatives may try to launch conventional attacks against the nuclear industrial infrastructure of the United States in an bid to cause contamination, disruption, and terror. o “Indicates the group has crude procedures for making mustard agent, sarin and VX nerve agent” o “Terrorists can produce a nuclear device in three ways, including a bomb made from diverted nuclear-weapons components, a nuclear weapon that has been modified, or a new indigenously designed device.”

While the report was downplayed within the government, many people believe that the next “super” terrorist act from Al-Qaida will involve at the very least a dirty bomb. Others are not as optimistic. “Al-Qaida has recruited scientists for a weapons of mass destruction attack on the West,” the head of Britain’s domestic intelligence agency said in a recent interview. Al-Qaida has recruited what she termed “renegade scientists” to develop biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons. Eliza Manningham-Buller, the director of MI5, did not identify where Al-Qaida has recruited, but officials later said Iraq and Pakistan were suspected of being the key countries supplying such personnel. “We know that renegade scientists have cooperated with Al-Qaida and provided them with some of the knowledge they need to develop these CBRN [chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear] weapons,” Ms. Manningham-Buller told the Royal United Services Institute in London. “My conclusion, based on the intelligence we have uncovered, is that we are faced with the realistic possibility of some form of unconventional attack.”


Thursday, July 08, 2004

NutWatch 2004--Get the Thorazine Ready!

Presidential election years seem to bring out serious crackpots and wackos-professional nut-jobs who should be shot full of Thorazine and made to shuffle aimlessly through the halls of a prison for the criminally insane.

There is simply no facility secure enough to protect us from these people-many who feel they must join organizations of like-mindless individuals suffering from similar pathology.

One of these new organizations, ominously named "2004 Racism Watch," has taken offense at a Bush ad that according to UPI's Peter Roff, "says makes reference "to terrorism and terrorists while highlighting a photograph of an anonymous man of Middle Eastern descent" and wants it changed or taken off the Bush-Cheney 2004 Web site."

Who should they have shown? A Chinese juggler? Cowboys in Texas? Japanese geishas?

Huum, where do the majority of the terrorists groups in the world, including the 19 men who brought us 9/11 receive funding, training, and then operate and grow?

But before you answer, get ready to be called a racist for stating facts.

You may answer silently.

Who are these newest collections of wackos who want to bring racism into the political arena this year? There is a list at Newest Candidates For Therapy. Mental health workers may want to e-mail them and offer prompt treatment.

Among this obviously-not-on-their-medication group are actors Ed Asner, Ed Begley Jr., and Susan Sarandon; former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga. and authors Noam Chomsky and Barbara Ehrenreich.

I'm not going to whip on the actors and actresses too much-it's a brutal profession that leaves psychological wounds too numerous to enumerate here. You can imagine how easy it would be to actually believe you are the character you're playing-something that is OK for five-year-olds but is quite disturbing when you see somebody as old as Martin Sheen parading around the country acting like he really is the president of the United States.

Mental pathology from actors and actresses has made many psychiatrists, clinical psychologist, substance abuse counselors, divorce attorneys and religious shamans of all persuasions very rich in southern California.

You expect people like the two Eds and Susan to attach themselves to bizarre causes such as Racism Watch 2004.

Barbara and Noam's worldview also explains their participation with this group of misfits as well. Both are extreme far left, filled with self-loathing and hatred for the usual left-wing isms and schisms-capitalism, republicanism, sexism, Catholicism, maleism, racism, wealthism, caucasianism, militarism and Zionism.

In short, if you are a white, Christian, male republican, supporter of Israel everything bad in the world is your fault and you must endlessly repay the debt accumulated throughout the centuries.

Doctor, do you have that Thorazine handy yet?

Finally, we will comment on the participation of former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., who along with Senator Ted Kennedy, D-Ma. and Maxine Watters, D-Ca., are living proof that democracy as envisioned by the Greeks is no longer tenable in America. One-person, one-vote depended on an educated and intelligent society of voters and these three's participation in the political process suggests not even a moderately-educated voter base.

If there truly were justice in the world, Ms. McKinney would long ago have been, caned, drugged and wrapped in a stylish white coat and placed in what used to be called the nuthouse. Just a few of her paranoid, disjointed mental hallucinations include: accusing President Bush of knowing about 9/11 beforehand an failing to stop it to make money, apologizing to the Muslims for September 11th and blaming it on American policy, blaming all mideast terror on Israel, insisting the CIA assassinated Martin Luther King, and the Kennedys, that crack cocaine was somehow a conspiracy of white people aimed at destroying black people and on an on.

In short, any organization that allows her to serve on their board, lacks any modicum of credibility and the very sanity of its' members is seriously in doubt.

I predict the only racism this group will find will be in Republican ads this election year. Call me cynical-but 20 years of liberal political correctness and political strategy suggests this to be so.

Nutwatch 2004 is blowing full force


Zawahiri Says Vote For Kerry For The Continuance Of The War Against the Jews, Christians and Crusaders

Note: This was an earlier writing that nobody has read :-)

The new JFK stooped to the absolute lowest I have ever witnessed from anybody running for president yesterday by announcing that that several European leaders had voiced hopes that he was elected rather than President Bush.

Ordinarily, somebody who suggests that foreign leaders should get involved with American political elections should probably be whipped on the mall in front of the reflecting pool and sent to prison in Syria with a six-pack of Corona and picture of Michael Jackson sleeping with his chimps.

But, since Kerry's now protected by the secret service, I guess suggesting he receive a beating is out-of-the-question but I heard Ayman Al-Zawahiri agrees with some of these European leaders that "crazy Texan needs to be replaced by our friend John Kerry who will return America to the glory days of Jimmy Carter."

I had a hard time running Ayman down to verify the quotes-after returning from Iran he and bin Laden have been on the run in eastern Pakistan. Suddenly Pakistan's President has received an epiphany-or whatever the Islamic equivalent to that experience might be.

General Pervez Musharraf and the wild group of Deobandi's that make up Pakistan's military have up-to-last-month only paid lip service to trying to catch bin-Laden while actually tipping him off through Afghan channels during the siege of Tora Bora and refusing to allow American special forces to operate unimpeded along the border.

Ooops! State Department Foul!

This all changed after several car bombs came uncomfortably close to the general last month. Musharraf came to realize that Sheik Osama is nuttier than Jessica Lange on a glue binge and while it's OK for ordinary fanatics to martyr themselves, nothing in the Koran suggests the President of Pakistan should take one for the team.

Another contributing factor was the beginning of the grim unraveling of the nuclear proliferation program of General Abdul Qadeer Khan, who basically said, "America is the enemy of all muslims and the greatest threat to muslims in the entire world."

When Khan's crimes finally come to light, and hopefully that won't be a very blinding light in New York, Washington or Los Angeles, you may find that he has done more to promote mass murder than the mad Sheik could ever begin to contemplate.

So here is the crux of what Ayman relayed to me through Pakistani friends in Bethesda: George Bush is a crackpot who actually drove us from our sanctuary in Afghanistan. You need to vote for John Kerry so we can open up a dialogue and you can see the error of your way and convert to Islam and save yourself from judgment.

Ayman and a few European leaders can't be wrong-can they?


Bin Laden, geniuses at Carnegie Mellon and the ultimate sucker punch

"We have the right to kill four million Americans-two million of them children-and to exile twice as many and wound and cripple hundreds of thousands. Furthermore, it is our right to fight them with chemical and biological weapons," wrote Suleiman Abu Gheith, a former Kuwaiti schoolteacher and mosque imam of that peace-loving religion that has become the favorite of liberal democrats everywhere. The quote originally appeared on the now defunct Al Qaida site, Al and has since been quoted in several books and articles including the draft of my book that should be out next year.

There are at least two ways you can look at this. One, you can dismiss it as just another harmless example of free speech and religious freedom from any of the millions of hate-filled ravings that populate Islamist web sites and writings worldwide. After-all, nothing has happened within America since 9/11 and it is only white, republican men as a recent group of moronic academics at Carnegie Mellon recently wrote in the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, who are frightened of Islamic terror anyway. (yes, this group of heavyweights took their sample from web-tvs and actually presented this in the journal. Their names are Baruch Fischhoff, Roxana Gonzalez, Deborah Small and Jennifer Lerner)

Number two, you can couple this with a fatwa, or religious ruling from another member of the religion of peace, Saudi Sheik Nasser bin Hamd al-Fahad who issued a fatwa, granting legal religious authority to the use of weapons of mass destruction against both the United States and Great Britain and their civilian populations. Now as a white, republican male I find this troubling and please write us at if you are a member of any other demographic group and tell me why this doesn't bother you at all.

While not as scientific as the work of the geniuses at Carnegie Mellon, I did show this to a group of 12 democratic black women friends of mine who unanimously agreed that, " we should track down and kill all of these crazy M@*@*@ F*#@#@ as soon as possible." Personally, I think it's time to check how many black, democratic women are professors at Carnegie Mellon. I know 12 who are much brighter than the four half-wits of the mentioned article.

So now we have a bunch of white republican men and 12 democratic black women who are troubled by statements arguing both intellectual and spiritual justification to use weapons of mass destruction against American and British cities. How has this turned up as a rant today?

Al Jazeera reported several months ago that "US and British special forces have cornered al-Qaida leader Usama bin Ladin in a mountainous area in northwest Pakistan, a British newspaper has reported.
Quoting "a US intelligence source", the Sunday Express said bin Ladin and "up to 50 fanatical henchmen" were inside an area 16km wide and deep "north of the town of Khanozai and the city of Quetta".
"He is boxed in," the unidentified source was quoted by the tabloid as saying, adding US special forces were "absolutely confident" he could not escape

Now at first blush, it would seem time to get the cage ready for bin Laden. The cage in which he is led through the streets of New York on his way to the temporary pigpen we have constructed for him and 20 or 30 of his closest friends in Battery Park. Justice could be served with some tent stakes, heavy rope and about 15 pounds of animal stimulant.

It would make a great short film with the simple voice of the narrator in the background speaking in Arabic, Farsi, Pashtun and the other dialects used by the haters of democracy, Jews and Christians: "We don't care what you do in your own countries but here's what happens when you F#@* with America on our own soil." Oh, delicious irony--simple justice--true and un-adorned.

I have spoken with six of my Arab and Pakistani friends who live here in the United States and they would buy the film because of the problems bin Laden and his Jihadi accomplices have caused Muslims here in America. They are also very concerned about the threat of weapons of mass destruction used against American cities.

So now we have white, republican men, 12 black, democratic women and six Arab and Pakistani-Americans who are troubled by WMD terror. Just in case you are in a demographic group not mentioned in the Carnegie Mellon academic's study and do care about terrorism, let me explain to you why the last day's of bin Laden may not bode well for some inhabitants of an American city.

Without giving away any of my book's headline value, many in the worldwide intelligence community are very concerned that bin Laden has a nuke. A working nuke. Nobody in the American government is going to publicly admit it due to the panic it could cause. But their is great evidence and concern that he has acquired one, and the only question is: Will he use it against the U.S. or Israel? Before you write this off as farfetched, go back and look at the warnings from the CIA, FBI, MI5 and other intelligence and government agencies during the past two years. All have warned that Al Qaida is attempting to acquire and plans to use WMDs against western cities.

During one his sermons last year, bin Laden vowed to die a martyrs death in 2004 in "the belly of the eagle." Now we do not have space here today to get into a deep analysis of what he meant by that. But if he does have a nuke, and we succeed in capturing or killing him before the first Tuesday in November, you should begin to be concerned if you live in Washington, New York or Los Angeles.

The liberal democrats will use the death or capture of Bin Laden as evidence that the war on terror is over. There will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth from all but white republican men, 12 democratic black women and six Arab and Pakistani-Americans that it is time to divert energy and resources elsewhere.

It will be time for the ultimate sucker punch. For as Bin Laden said in an interview on Al Jazeera, "the Americans never understand until you hit them in the head."

It will be a very painful path to understanding

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Kerry and the Liberal Elite's Fetish: A Return to Camelot?

It resurfaced during the photo-op today ... the mention of Camelot .... so I have bowed to e-mail requests and plan to rerun some pure political writing .... for the next several days, the serious terrorism stuff can be found at

For the un-initiated, fetish, as defined by Webster's is any non-sexual object such as a foot or glove, that abnormally excites sexual feelings. And democratic-hopeful John Kerry's handlers are already tickling the Camelot fetish of downtrodden liberal elites by using what is called in the trade --- reverse black propaganda.

Kerry is denying any connection with Camelot, real or imagined. Yet, behind the curtains campaign operatives are making the connections in hope of mobilizing all those afflicted with this particularly liberal elite fetish. Already articles are popping up in international media discussing everything from Kerry's JFK initials to his dating of Jackie's half-sister. There are pictures of the new JFK boating with the old JFK. Like former President Bill Clinton, Senator Kerry had an almost religious experience from meeting the first JFK.

A casual understanding of what went on with the two deceased members of Camelot, John and Robert Kennedy and you can begun to see how pathetic those afflicted with the Camelot fetish really are. Because, by all accounts, John and Robert were men of action, too busy "collecting butterflies," as they so tastefully call it in Japan. And what a wonderful butterfly collection the two deceased members of Camelot collected.

Make no mistake about it, these Camelot boys were no Clintonian amateurs. There were no over-weight interns with hot cigar tricks nor any woman even remotely guilty of being labeled as trailer trash. The Camelot butterfly list was absolutely stellar. Just a few on the list were: Marilyn Monroe, Jane Mansfield, Marlene Dietrich, one of mobster Sam Giancana's girlfriends, Inga Artad, Angie Dickinson, Judith Campbell Exner, and a very impressive longer list of wives, ex-wives and girlfriends that should warm the heart of butterfly collectors everywhere.

Now,as an un-apologetic, non-politically correct, anti-metrosexual male I can understand why John Kerry might want to return to the glory days of Camelot. But what I'd like to really understand, and feel free to write us at is: How can any self-respecting woman take any politician seriously who tries to use a return-to-Camelot theme either overtly or in stealth mode?

I'm waiting particularly to hear from women from John Kerry's state of Massachusetts who continually help send John Kerry's good friend and only living member of Camelot, Senator Edward Kennedy to wreak havoc on the body politic. Kennedy is the most evil, morally-bankrupt politician to grace the annals of American politics. He is a cross between Golam and a hideously over-weight hyena. He doesn't have to worry about taxes so is always ready to raise yours and has never seen an immigration bill too liberal to sponsor. Here's a guy who got kicked out of Harvard for cheating, has his own machinations of an Army enlistment, and was present at a rape for which Kennedy justice, yet again, prevailed. However, unlike his deceased Camelot brothers who have only been suspected in Marilyn Monroe's suicide and one other mysterious death, Senator Kennedy was directly responsible for killing one of his butterflys.

If there was justice in the world Ted Kennedy would just now be getting out of prison, with a fancy prison-bitch name like "fudge boy," probably with dentures and certainly not in the bloated physical condition we had to witness during his recent state-of-the-union antics. For those to-young to remember, Camelot's senator was responsible for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddik in July 1969. His reprehensible, cowardly and illegal-anywhere-except-if-you're-a-Kennedy behavior is well documented from multiple sources. Yet, the voters of Massachusetts keep sending Camelot's senator back to serve beside his friend John Kerry.

Maybe it's time to think seriously about a candidate who keeps these type of friends. Or, is the Democrat's hatred of President Bush so strong they have to resort to the fetish of Camelot?


Loose Nukes and Al Qaida

By Taras Kuzio

In an article in the January-February issue of Foreign Affairs, Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, pointed out that nearly each month someone is "apprehended trying to smuggle or steal nuclear materials or weapons." The last incident, in February, involved a former Soviet intelligence officer attempting to smuggle plutonium-239, cesium-137 and uranium across the Ukrainian-Hungarian border. The current U.S. Ambassador to Japan warned "there could be 40,000 nuclear weapons, or maybe 80,000 in the former Soviet Union, poorly controlled and poorly stored…" Half of the Soviet arsenal, Allison argues, "remains inadequately secured."

Potential "loose nukes" suppliers include Russia, Ukraine, Belarus (led by Europe's last dictator, Alyaksandr Lukashenka) and the Transdniester enclave of Moldova. Of these potential sources, Belarus and Transdniester are aligned with Russia and are propped up financially by Moscow.


From 1996 to 2000, Pakistan spent US$800 million on Ukrainian arms and military equipment, making it one of the largest purchasers of Ukrainian armaments. The bulk of this expenditure went to the purchase of 300 T-80YD tanks. In June 2002, a Pakistani delegation visited Ukraine, seeking to modernize its T-69 and T-72 tanks as well as its U.S. F16 and Russian SU-27 aircraft. A US$100 million deal was signed for Ukraine to deliver 285 engines for tanks. Close military links between Ukraine and Pakistan have inevitably raised the question of whether there were also Ukrainian military links with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which was backed by Saudi funds and Pakistani personnel and political support.

In January of 2002 reports surfaced in a number of Western media, including Der Spiegel, that Ukrainian T-55 tanks had ended up in Afghanistan via Pakistan. Der Spiegel pointed to Leonid and Andrei Derkach as being behind the military shipments to Afghanistan. Leonid Derkach headed the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) from 1997-2002, during which time the SBU was heavily involved in such illegal arms transactions. His son, Andrei, is implicated in many other arms scandals that involve such notorious gunrunners as Leonid Minin.

In July 2000, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma authorized the sale of Kolchuga radars to Iraq. Presidential security service officer Mykola Melnychenko, disgusted at high-level corruption, illicitly taped Kuchma's office. Melnychenko fled from Ukraine in November of 2000 and received political asylum in the United States in April of the following year. He now lives in Washington, DC.

In addition to the Derkachs, another highly compromised Ukrainian oligarch involved in illegal arms trafficking was Vadym Rabinovych. Despite his status as persona non grata in the United States since 1995, links between Kuchma and Rabinovych continue to remain close. During Kuchma's stay in a private hospital at Baden-Baden, Germany, in late December-early January, Rabinovych was one of his select visitors. Natalia Ligachova, editor of the Ukrainian Telekritika, described Rabinovych as someone who can be "used by the presidential administration, thanks to his not-quite-transparent businesses, arms sales and former links with the KGB in the Soviet era".

A Rabinovych proxy organization brought charges of anti-Semitism against Silski Visti, Ukraine's only large opposition newspaper, forcing the publication to close and thereby denying opposition access to media outlets during this year's presidential elections. Interpol police files obtained by PBS Frontline/World prove Rabinovych's ties to organized crime and his involvement in money laundering and arms trafficking. His ties to Victor Bout and Minin are well documented.

Der Spiegel mentions Rabinovych as a middle man working with the Derkachs between the Ukrainian arms exporter (Ukrspetseksport) and the SBU (then run by L. Derkach) to the Pakistanis and the Taliban. A former Russian border troop officer and a Pakistani ISI defector have confirmed this network. In June 1999, Rabinovych became persona non grata in Ukraine at the urging of then National Security and Defence Council (NRBO) Secretary Volodymyr Horbulin. SBU Chairman Derkach intervened on Rabinovych's behalf and succeeded in having his pariah status rescinded. Rabinovych in the meantime took up Israeli citizenship. The NRBO under Horbulin's successor, Yevhen Marchuk (defence minister since 2003), continues to publicly wrangle with the Derkachs over their involvement in illegal arms trafficking.

But, as has always been the case in Ukraine under Kuchma, no oligarch has ever been brought to trial for arms trafficking, let alone corruption. The only occasion when oligarchs have been targeted is when they have gone into opposition to Kuchma (e.g., Pavlo Lazarenko and Yulia Tymoshenko).


With Ukraine closely involved in supplying arms to Pakistan beginning in 1996, and possibly the Taliban regime as well, it is not surprising that further allegations have surfaced concerning links to al-Qaeda. The most recent were reports of nuclear materials supplied to al-Qaeda by Ukraine.

The Financial Times reported that a Taliban-al-Qaeda delegation visited Ukraine in September 1999, headed by Taliban deputy foreign minister Abdul-Rahman Zahed. The ties established in 1999, a year before UN sanctions were imposed on Afghanistan, continued at least until Sept 11, 2001.

A former Soviet air force officer and notorious illegal arms trafficker, Victor Bout runs most of his business operations from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), operating between forty and sixty aircraft (including the largest Antonov cargo fleet in the world) and employing 300. One of Bout's airfreight companies air-lifted Rabinovych's weaponry from the UAE. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Saqr al Nayhan, former UAE Ambassador to the United States and a member of the UAE ruling family, remains a close business associate of Bout.

Bout's links to the Taliban go back to the mid 1990s, when a transport plane intended for the Northern Alliance government of Burhanuddin Rabbani landed in Taliban-controlled territory. Bout immediately began selling Rabinovych's arms to the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and continued right up to 9/11. British intelligence (MI6/SIS) had been monitoring Bout since 1999. A British official said, "The evidence assembled is persuasive. He has a go-anywhere, supply-anything outfit that fuels war and terrorism". British Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain claimed Bout "was also supplying the Taliban and al-Qaeda. He must be put out of business."

More serious charges concern possible nuclear trafficking. Although tactical and strategic nuclear weapons were removed from Ukraine in 1992 and 1996, respectively, not all nuclear materials have been accounted for. In 1994 a Ukrainian nuclear scientist offered U.S. officials the opportunity to purchase 165 pounds of weapons-grade uranium, sufficient for three nuclear bombs. The United States declined.

The scientist, then working at the obscure Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology, admitted at the time that, "It's lightly guarded". Two-thirds of the staff had been laid off and the remainder were paid poor salaries. Formerly a major scientific research arm of the Soviet Union's nuclear weapons industry, the Kharkiv Institute used to employ some 6,000. So where has all of this nuclear material gone to in the time since the Soviet collapse? In 2002 the Washington Post quoted William Potter, director of the Monterey Center for Nonproliferation Studies, as believing "It represents a major terrorist and proliferation target…"

These concerns should be borne in mind when two February reports appeared in the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper alleging that al-Qaeda obtained tactical nuclear weapons or "suitcase bombs" from Ukraine. The reports claimed that Ukrainian scientists visited Kandahar in 1998 and met senior al-Qaeda figures. U.S. intelligence agents "learned about the affair and were able to immediately track the deal all the way to Ukraine," according to Al-Hayat. Publicly at least, U.S. officials have remained skeptical about the new claims. Not surprisingly, Russia has come to the rescue of its ally, President Kuchma, backing the official claim that all nuclear weapons were transferred to Russia in 1992-1996. As usual, the Ukrainian authorities also dismissed these reports as "Totally groundless and surprising".

Nevertheless, we should not rush to dismiss these claims, however sensational they may be. Two years earlier, in September 2002, Ukrainian Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko alleged that only 2,200 of the 2,400 tactical nuclear warheads that Ukraine inherited from the USSR were transferred to Russia in 1992, while 200 remained unaccounted for. Nor did Ukrainian Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Adam Martyniuk, also a Communist, rule out the Al-Hayat reports completely.


The new claims made in Al-Hayat about al-Qaeda obtaining nuclear materials from Ukraine seem at first glance to be unlikely and the two stories seem, therefore, to have been planted by an unknown group or country. Nevertheless, three factors should be kept in mind.

Firstly, Ukraine has a very poor record in illegal arms trafficking. Not a single Ukrainian arms trafficker has been prosecuted domestically. These arms traffickers had, and continue to have, close ties to President Kuchma, as evidenced by his recent meeting with Rabinovych.

Secondly, the international commission that visited Ukraine in October 2002 to investigate charges that it supplied Kolchugas to Iraq concluded that Ukraine's arms export controls were poor. During L. Derkach's chairmanship of the SBU from 1997-2002, Ukraine developed close military ties with Pakistan.

Thirdly, the chronology of events shows that during this same period Ukraine broadened these military ties. Bout had ties to the Taliban from 1995-1996. Ukrainian scientists may have visited the Taliban and al-Qaeda in 1998, and a Taliban-al-Qaeda delegation reportedly visited Ukraine in 1999. The Bout-Rabinovych arms export business alliance is known to have supplied military equipment to the Taliban from 1999-2001. All this should raise concerns for those monitoring al-Qaeda attempts at obtaining nuclear capabilities.

Dr. Taras Kuzio is a resident fellow at the Centre for Russian and East European studies and adjunct professor of the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto (

In Praise of Attrition


Parameters, Summer 2004, pp. 24-32.

In our military, the danger of accepting the traditional wisdom has become part of the traditional wisdom. Despite our lip service to creativity and innovation, we rarely pause to question fundamentals. Partly, of course, this is because officers in today’s Army or Marine Corps operate at a wartime tempo, with little leisure for reflection. Yet, even more fundamentally, deep prejudices have crept into our military—as well as into the civilian world— that obscure elementary truths.

There is no better example of our unthinking embrace of an error than our rejection of the term “war of attrition.” The belief that attrition, as an objective or a result, is inherently negative is simply wrong. A soldier’s job is to kill the enemy. All else, however important it may appear at the moment, is secondary. And to kill the enemy is to attrit the enemy. All wars in which bullets—or arrows—fly are wars of attrition.

Of course, the term “war of attrition” conjures the unimaginative slaughter of the Western Front, with massive casualties on both sides. Last year, when journalists wanted to denigrate our military’s occupation efforts in Iraq, the term bubbled up again and again. The notion that killing even the enemy is a bad thing in war has been exacerbated by the defense industry’s claims, seconded by glib military careerists, that precision weapons and technology in general had irrevocably changed the nature of warfare. But the nature of warfare never changes—only its superficial manifestations.

The US Army also did great harm to its own intellectual and practical grasp of war by trolling for theories, especially in the 1980s. Theories don’t win wars. Well-trained, well-led soldiers in well-equipped armies do. And they do so by killing effectively. Yet we heard a great deal of nonsense about “maneuver warfare” as the solution to all our woes, from our numerical


disadvantage vis-à-vis the Warsaw Pact to our knowledge that the “active defense” on the old inner-German border was political tomfoolery and a military sham—and, frankly, the best an Army gutted by Vietnam and its long hangover could hope to do.

Maneuver is not a solution unto itself, any more than technology is. It exists in an ever-readjusting balance with fires. Neither fires nor maneuver can be dispensed with. This sounds obvious, but that which is obvious is not always that which is valued or pursued. Those who would be theorists always prefer the arcane to the actual.

Precious few military campaigns have been won by maneuver alone— at least not since the Renaissance and the days of chessboard battles between corporate condottieri. Napoleon’s Ulm campaign, the Japanese march on Singapore, and a few others make up the short list of “bloodless” victories.

Even campaigns that appear to be triumphs of maneuver prove, on closer inspection, to have been successful because of a dynamic combination of fire and maneuver. The opening, conventional phase of the Franco-Prussian War, culminating in the grand envelopment at Sedan, is often cited as an example of brilliant maneuver at the operational level—yet the road to Paris was paved with more German than French corpses. It was a bloody war that happened to be fought on the move. Other campaigns whose success was built on audacious maneuvers nonetheless required attrition battles along the way or at their climax, from Moltke’s brilliant concentration on multiple axes at Koenigsgraetz (urgent marches to a gory day), to the German blitzkrieg efforts against the Poles, French, and Russians, and on to Operation Desert Storm, in which daring operational maneuvers positioned tactical firepower for a series of short, convincingly sharp engagements. Even the Inchon landing, one of the two or three most daring operations led by an American field commander, failed to bring the Korean War to a conclusion.

More often than not, an overreliance on bold operational maneuvers to win a swift campaign led to disappointment, even disaster. One may argue for centuries about the diversion of a half dozen German divisions from the right flank of the Schlieffen Plan in 1914, but the attempt to win the war in one swift sweep led to more than four years of stalemate on the Western Front. In the same campaign season, Russian attempts at grand maneuver in the vicinity of the Masurian lakes collapsed in the face of counter-maneuvers and sharp encounter battles—a German active defense that drew on Napoleon’s


“strategy of the central position”—while, in Galicia, aggressive maneuvering proved to be exactly the wrong approach for the Austro-Hungarian military—which was ill-prepared for encounter battles.

There is no substitute for shedding the enemy’s blood.

Despite initial maneuver victories against Russia and in the Western Desert, a German overreliance on maneuver as a substitute for adequate firepower ultimately led to the destruction of Nazi armies. Time and again, from Lee’s disastrous Gettysburg campaign to the race to the Yalu in Korea, overconfidence in an army’s capabilities to continue to assert its power during grand maneuvers led to stunning reverses. The results were not merely a matter of Clausewitzian culminating points, but of fundamentally flawed strategies.

Operation Iraqi Freedom, one of the most successful military campaigns in history, was intended to be a new kind of war of maneuver, in which aerial weapons would “shock and awe” a humbled opponent into surrender while ground forces did a little light dusting in the house of war. But instead of being decided by maneuvered technologies, the three-week war was fought and won—triumphantly—by soldiers and marines employing both aggressive operational maneuvers and devastating tactical firepower.

The point is not that maneuver is the stepbrother of firepower, but that there is no single answer to the battlefield, no formula. The commander’s age-old need to balance incisive movements with the application of weaponry is unlikely to change even well beyond our lifetimes. It’s not an either-or matter, but about getting the integration right in each specific case.

Although no two campaigns are identical, the closest we can come to an American superpower model of war would be this: strategic maneuver, then operational maneuver to deliver fires, then tactical fires to enable further maneuver. Increasingly, strategic fires play a role—although they do not win wars or decide them. Of course, no battlefield is ever quite so simple as this proposition, but any force that loses its elementary focus on killing the enemy swiftly and relentlessly until that enemy surrenders unconditionally cripples itself.

Far from entering an age of maneuver, we have entered a new age of attrition warfare in two kinds: First, the war against religious terrorism is unquestionably a war of attrition—if one of your enemies is left alive or unimprisoned, he will continue trying to kill you and destroy your civilization. Second, Operation Iraqi Freedom, for all its dashing maneuvers, provided a new example of a postmodern war of attrition—one in which the casualties are overwhelmingly on one side.

Nothing says that wars of attrition have to be fair.

It’s essential to purge our minds of the clichéd images the term “war of attrition” evokes. Certainly, we do not and will not seek wars in which vast


casualties are equally distributed between our own forces and the enemy’s. But a one-sided war of attrition, enabled by our broad range of superior capabilities, is a strong model for a 21st-century American way of war.

No model is consistently applicable. That is—or should be—a given. Wars create exceptions, to the eternal chagrin of military commanders and the consistent embarrassment of theorists. One of our greatest national and military strengths is our adaptability. Unlike many other cultures, we have an almost-primal aversion to wearing the straitjacket of theory, and our independence of mind serves us very well, indeed. But the theorists are always there, like devils whispering in our ears, telling us that airpower will win this war, or that satellite “intelligence” obviates the need for human effort, or that a mortal enemy will be persuaded to surrender by a sound-and-light show.

Precision weapons unquestionably have value, but they are expensive and do not cause adequate destruction to impress a hardened enemy. The first time a guided bomb hits the deputy’s desk, it will get his chief’s attention, but if precision weaponry fails both to annihilate the enemy’s leadership and to somehow convince the army and population it has been defeated, it leaves the job to the soldier once again. Those who live in the technological clouds simply do not grasp the importance of graphic, extensive destruction in convincing an opponent of his defeat.

Focus on killing the enemy. With fires. With maneuver. With sticks and stones and polyunsaturated fats. In a disciplined military, aggressive leaders and troops can always be restrained. But it’s difficult to persuade leaders schooled in caution that their mission is not to keep an entire corps’ tanks on line, but to rip the enemy’s heart out. We have made great progress from the ballet of Desert Storm—“spoiled” only by then-Major General Barry McCaffrey’s insistence on breaking out of the chorus line and kicking the enemy instead of thin air—to the close-with-the-enemy spirit of last year’s race to Baghdad.

In the bitter years after Vietnam, when our national leaders succumbed to the myth that the American people would not tolerate casualties, elements within our military—although certainly not everyone—grew morally and practically timid. By the mid-1990s, the US Army’s informal motto appeared to be “We won’t fight, and you can’t make us.”

There were obvious reasons for this. Our military—especially the Army and Marine Corps—felt betrayed by our national leadership over Vietnam. Then President Reagan evacuated Beirut shortly after the bombing of our Marine barracks on the city’s outskirts—beginning a long series of bipartisan retreats in the face of terror that ultimately led to 9/11. We hit a low point in Mogadishu, when Army Rangers, Special Operations elements, and line troops delivered a devastating blow against General Aideed’s irregulars—


only to have President Clinton declare defeat by pulling out. One may argue about the rationale for our presence in Somalia and about the dangers of mission creep, but once we’re in a fight, we need to win it—and remain on the battlefield long enough to convince our enemies they’ve lost on every count.

Things began to change less than two weeks into our campaign in Afghanistan. At first, there was caution—would the new President run as soon as we suffered casualties? Then, as it dawned on our commanders that the Administration would stand behind our forces, we saw one of the most innovative campaigns in military history unfold with stunning speed.

Our military, and especially our Army, has come a long way. But we’re still in recovery—almost through our Cold War hangover, but still too vulnerable to the nonsense concocted by desk-bound theoreticians. Evaluating lessons learned in Iraq, a recent draft study for a major joint command spoke of the need for “discourses” between commanders at various levels and their staffs.

Trust me. We don’t need discourses. We need plain talk, honest answers, and the will to close with the enemy and kill him. And to keep on killing him until it is unmistakably clear to the entire world who won. When military officers start speaking in academic gobbledygook, it means they have nothing to contribute to the effectiveness of our forces. They badly need an assignment to Fallujah.

Consider our enemies in the War on Terror. Men who believe, literally, that they are on a mission from God to destroy your civilization and who regard death as a promotion are not impressed by elegant maneuvers. You must find them, no matter how long it takes, then kill them. If they surrender, you must accord them their rights under the laws of war and international conventions. But, as we have learned so painfully from all the mindless, left-wing nonsense spouted about the prisoners at Guantanamo, you are much better off killing them before they have a chance to surrender.

We have heard no end of blather about network-centric warfare, to the great profit of defense contractors. If you want to see a superb—and cheap—example of “net-war,” look at al Qaeda. The mere possession of technology does not ensure that it will be used effectively. And effectiveness is what matters.

It isn’t a question of whether or not we want to fight a war of attrition against religion-fueled terrorists. We’re in a war of attrition with them. We have no realistic choice. Indeed, our enemies are, in some respects, better suited to both global and local wars of maneuver than we are. They have a world in which to hide, and the world is full of targets for them. They do not heed laws or boundaries. They make and observe no treaties. They do not ex-


pect the approval of the United Nations Security Council. They do not face election cycles. And their weapons are largely provided by our own societies.

We have the technical capabilities to deploy globally, but, for now, we are forced to watch as Pakistani forces fumble efforts to surround and destroy concentrations of terrorists; we cannot enter any country (except, temporarily, Iraq) without the permission of its government. We have many tools—military, diplomatic, economic, cultural, law enforcement, and so on—but we have less freedom of maneuver than our enemies.

But we do have superior killing power, once our enemies have been located. Ultimately, the key advantage of a superpower is super power. Faced with implacable enemies who would kill every man, woman, and child in our country and call the killing good (the ultimate war of attrition), we must be willing to use that power wisely, but remorselessly.

We are, militarily and nationally, in a transition phase. Even after 9/11, we do not fully appreciate the cruelty and determination of our enemies. We will learn our lesson, painfully, because the terrorists will not quit. The only solution is to kill them and keep on killing them: a war of attrition. But a war of attrition fought on our terms, not theirs.

Of course, we shall hear no end of fatuous arguments to the effect that we can’t kill our way out of the problem. Well, until a better methodology is discovered, killing every terrorist we can find is a good interim solution. The truth is that even if you can’t kill yourself out of the problem, you can make the problem a great deal smaller by effective targeting.

And we shall hear that killing terrorists only creates more terrorists. This is sophomoric nonsense. The surest way to swell the ranks of terror is to follow the approach we did in the decade before 9/11 and do nothing of substance. Success breeds success. Everybody loves a winner. The clichés exist because they’re true. Al Qaeda and related terrorist groups metastasized because they were viewed in the Muslim world as standing up to the West successfully and handing the Great Satan America embarrassing defeats with impunity. Some fanatics will flock to the standard of terror, no matter what we do. But it’s far easier for Islamic societies to purge themselves of terrorists if the terrorists are on the losing end of the global struggle than if they’re al-


lowed to become triumphant heroes to every jobless, unstable teenager in the Middle East and beyond.

Far worse than fighting such a war of attrition aggressively is to pretend you’re not in one while your enemy keeps on killing you.

Even the occupation of Iraq is a war of attrition. We’re doing remarkably well, given the restrictions under which our forces operate. But no grand maneuvers, no gestures of humanity, no offers of conciliation, and no compromises will persuade the terrorists to halt their efforts to disrupt the development of a democratic, rule-of-law Iraq. On the contrary, anything less than relentless pursuit, with both preemptive and retaliatory action, only encourages the terrorists and remaining Baathist gangsters.

With hardcore terrorists, it’s not about PSYOP or jobs or deploying dental teams. It’s about killing them. Even regarding the general population, which benefits from our reconstruction and development efforts, the best thing we can do for them is to kill terrorists and insurgents. Until the people of Iraq are secure, they are not truly free. The terrorists know that. We pretend otherwise.

This will be a long war, stretching beyond many of our lifetimes. And it will be a long war of attrition. We must ensure that the casualties are always disproportionately on the other side.

Curiously, while our military avoids a “body count” in Iraq—body counts have at least as bad a name as wars of attrition—the media insist on one. Sad to say, the body count cherished by the media is the number of our own troops dead and wounded. With our over-caution, we have allowed the media to create a perception that the losses are consistently on our side. By avoiding an enemy body count, we create an impression of our own defeat.

In a war of attrition, numbers matter.

Regarding the other postmodern form of wars of attrition—the high-velocity conventional operations in which maneuver and firepower, speed and violent systemic shock, combine to devastate an opposing force—the Army and Marine Corps need to embrace it, instead of allowing the technical services, the Air Force and Navy, to define the future of war (which the Air Force, especially, is defining wrongly). We will not live to see a magical suite of technologies achieve meaningful victories at no cost in human life. We need to oppose that massive lie at every opportunity. The 21st century’s opening decades, at least, will be dominated by the up-gunned Cain-and-Abel warfare we have seen from Manhattan to Bali, from Afghanistan’s Shamali Plain to Nasiriyeh, from Fallujah to Madrid.

The problem is that the Department of Defense combines two fundamentally different breeds of military services. In the Air Force and the Navy,


people support machines. In the Army and Marine Corps, machines support people. While expensive technologies can have great utility—and Air Force and Navy assets made notable contributions to the Army-Marine victory in Operation Iraqi Freedom—the technical services have a profoundly diminished utility in the extended range of operations we are required to perform, from urban raids to extended occupations, from foot patrols in remote environments to peacemaking.

The Navy is struggling hard with these issues, but the Air Force is the strongest opponent of admitting that we face wars of attrition, since it has invested overwhelmingly in precision weapons designed to win a war by “deconstructing” the enemy’s command networks. But the only way you can decisively cripple the command networks of terrorist organizations is by killing terrorists. Even in Operation Iraqi Freedom, airpower made an invaluable contribution, but attacking military and governmental infrastructure targets proved no substitute for destroying enemy forces. When, in mid-war, the focus of the air effort shifted from trying to persuade Saddam Hussein to wave a white handkerchief (which he had no incentive to do) to destroying Iraqi military equipment and killing enemy troops, the utility of airpower soared.

It cannot be repeated often enough: Whatever else you aim to do in wartime, never lose your focus on killing the enemy.

A number of the problems we have faced in the aftermath of Operation Iraqi Freedom arose because we tried to moderate the amount of destruction we inflicted on the Iraqi military. The only result was the rise of an Iraqi Dolchstosslegende, the notion that they weren’t really defeated, but betrayed. Combined with insufficient numbers of Coalition troops to blanket the country—especially the Sunni triangle—in the weeks immediately following the toppling of the regime, crucial portions of the population never really felt America’s power.

It is not enough to materially defeat your enemy. You must convince your enemy that he has been defeated. You cannot do that by bombing empty buildings. You must be willing to kill in the short term to save lives and foster peace in the long term.

This essay does not suppose that warfare is simple: “Just go out and kill ’em.” Of course, incisive attacks on command networks and control capabilities, well-considered psychological operations, and humane treatment of civilians and prisoners matter profoundly, along with many other complex factors. But at a time when huckster contractors and “experts” who never served in uniform prophesize bloodless wars and sterile victories through technology, it’s essential that those who actually must fight our nation’s wars


not succumb to the facile theories or shimmering vocabulary of those who wish to explain war to our soldiers from comfortable offices.

It is not a matter of whether attrition is good or bad. It’s necessary. Only the shedding of their blood defeats resolute enemies. Especially in our struggle with God-obsessed terrorists—the most implacable enemies our nation has ever faced—there is no economical solution. Unquestionably, our long-term strategy must include a wide range of efforts to do what we, as outsiders, can to address the environmental conditions in which terrorism arises and thrives (often disappointingly little—it’s a self-help world). But, for now, all we can do is to impress our enemies, our allies, and all the populations in between that we are winning and will continue to win.

The only way to do that is through killing.

The fifth edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines to “attrit” as to “wear down in quality or quantity by military attrition.” That sounds like the next several years, at least, of the War on Terror. The same dictionary defines “attrition” as “the gradual wearing down of an enemy’s forces in sustained warfare.” Indeed, that is exactly what we shall have to do against religious terrorists. There is no magic maneuver waiting to be plotted on a map. While sharp tactical movements that bring firepower to bear will bring us important successes along the way, this war is going to be a long, hard slog.

The new trenches are ideological and civilizational, involving the most fundamental differences human beings can have—those over the intentions of God and the roles of men and women. In the short term, we shall have to wear down the enemy’s forces; in the longer term, we shall have to wear down the appeal of his ideas. Our military wars of attrition in the 21st century will be only one aspect of a vast metaphysical war of attrition, in which the differences between the sides are so profound they prohibit compromise.

As a result of our recent wars and lesser operations, we have the best-trained, best-led, best-equipped, and most experienced ground forces in the world in our Army and Marine Corps. Potential competitors and even most of our traditional allies have only the knowledge of the classroom and the training range, while we have experience of war and related operations unparalleled in our time. We have the most impressive military establishment, overall, in military history.

Now, if only we could steel ourselves to think clearly and speak plainly: There is no shame in calling reality by its proper name. We are fighting, and will fight, wars of attrition. And we are going to win them.


Ralph Peters is a retired Army officer and the author of 19 books, as well as of hundreds of essays and articles, written both under his own name and as Owen Parry. He has experience, military or civilian, in 60 countries, and is a frequent contributor to Parameters.


Financing Al-Qaeda 2.0

Insight on the News - World
Issue: 7/6/04

By Steven Brooke

Since 9/11 authorities have revealed and unraveled a significant portion of al-Qaeda's funding apparatus. Charities, private donors and informal hawala money-transfer operations are subject to increased regulation and monitoring. Even Saudi Arabia, under the pressure of an increasingly sophisticated and deadly terrorist challenge, is engaging in joint measures with the United States to stem the flow of cash into the coffers of the terrorists. But an emerging, increasingly autonomous, and self-contained twist on the traditional crime-terrorism nexus is threatening to reverse these hard-fought victories.

Like all successful organizations al-Qaeda adapted to the body blows inflicted by the war on terrorism by morphing into what commentators and analysts have called "al-Qaeda 2.0."

Whereas before 9/11 al-Qaeda was a more or less hierarchical structure, with leaders, members and committees overseeing everything from the issuance of religious justifications to the purchasing of tires for SUVs, now al-Qaeda is more an ideology, a worldwide movement and vehicle of protest. Through periodic statements posted on the Internet and audiotapes passed to Arab media what remains of al-Qaeda's leadership dictates targets, sets strategic guidelines, and offers advice and schooling for the prospective terrorist.

The recipients of these messages are not traditional militants who have studied in an Afghan camp and honed their skills fighting the Russians in Afghanistan, but a wide pool of angry, humiliated Muslims, many of whom live in Europe, who spend their days absorbing images flooding in from Gaza and the West Bank, Iraq, Kashmir, Chechnya and other zones of sectarian conflict. Angered by these images and stirred by Osama bin Laden's statements and intransigence in the face of the West these individuals coalesce around like-minded compatriots, forming bands that appear and disappear, sometimes pulling off an operation, other times dissolving even before they reach the planning stage.

While this transformation from organization to ideology presents myriad difficulties for security and intelligence services, one aspect that has been overlooked is the evolving nature of the financing facilitating the emergence and operations of these quasi-independent actors.

As the effervescent bands of al-Qaeda 2.0 develop and mature to the point of carrying out an operation they require funding. Befitting their position outside the hierarchy of al-Qaeda, their recourse to institutional funding is limited. Even if they were able to tap into al-Qaeda coffers and apply for a grant, so to speak, they would still have to contend with a worldwide financial crackdown on terrorist financing. These impediments to utilizing established funding networks will force bands to increasingly turn toward small-scale criminal enterprises to finance their operations.

The crime-terrorism nexus is an established fact among terror groups for a number of reasons. Crime is self-starting and requires no particular training or expertise. The underworld many of these bands inhabit is rife with opportunities for collaboration or interaction with criminal elements.

Strands of the Algerian GIA in Europe provided the bulk of the organization's funds through petty theft and credit-card fraud. The network headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al Tawhid, got its start trafficking in forged documents and immigrant smuggling between the Middle East and Europe. Some observers argue that al-Qaeda derived the bulk of its income from the opium trade in south Asia. This tactic isn't limited to Sunni jihadis -- Hezbollah has gotten into the act by tapping into a simple and efficient cigarette-smuggling racket.

But al-Qaeda 2.0 means the emergence of terrorism by extreme remote control, where al-Qaeda provides the ideology but not the logistical support or cash. There is little movement of specialized financial or technical operatives, no cumbersome network of funding, and no large transfers of cash between headquarters and the field to pique the interest of authorities. Couriers shuttling between cells and able to reveal links between levels of the hierarchy don't exist. In al-Qaeda 2.0 financing likely will be delegated within the bands and done on a small scale, a couple of hundred dollars at a time.

Inasmuch as there is a template, we can learn a good deal from the cell that perpetrated the Madrid bombings. The explosive was bartered from a jailhouse contact of one of the bombers for a few bricks of hashish and some cash. A portion of the funds was raised by selling hashish, pills and stolen cell phones; another portion was provided by ATM fraud. Among the bombers was a set of Moroccan brothers, the Ahmidans, one of whom is a notorious drug kingpin. One of the bombers was known to the police, who used him as an informant in drug cases.

This offers distinct challenges to authorities tasked with drying up terrorist financing. For instance, local police tasked with monitoring petty crimes will now have to consider the possibility that the rash of snatch-and-grabs plaguing the neighborhood are financing a burgeoning terrorist plot.

To confront this possibility, ground-level police and local authorities must extensively cooperate in both intelligence and law-enforcement matters. Police must be alert for upsurges in petty crimes, particularly in areas where intelligence indicates that the potential for terrorism is high. Too often in these areas petty crime is written off as a byproduct of dismal economic circumstances, but now it may have much more serious implications.

Police forces should also strive to break down barriers between traditional criminal investigations and terrorist ones. The connection between crime and terrorism will simultaneously become more entrenched and murkier with the emergence of al-Qaeda 2.0, and police must prove their ability to adapt as fast as the threats they face.

As Madrid graphically illustrated, terrorism does not need a state sponsor or a distinct base of operations. But it does need money. While we ponder how al-Qaeda's shift from organization to ideology has altered the nature of planning and executing of terrorism, we must not lose sight of the repercussions for terrorist financing as well.

Steven Brooke is a program assistant at the Nixon Center

BBC: US reveals Iraq nuclear operation

The US has revealed that it removed more than 1.7 metric tons of radioactive material from Iraq in a secret operation last month.
"This operation was a major achievement," said US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham in a statement.

He said it would keep "potentially dangerous nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists".

Along with 1.77 tons of enriched uranium, about 1,000 "highly radioactive sources" were also removed.

The material was taken from a former nuclear research facility on 23 June, after being packaged by 20 experts from the US Energy Department's secret laboratories.

It was flown out of the country aboard a military plane in a joint operation with the Department of Defense, and is being stored temporarily at a Department of Energy facility.

The United Nations nuclear watchdog - the International Atomic Energy Agency - and Iraqi officials were informed ahead of the operation, which happened ahead of the 28 June handover of sovereignty.

'Dirty bomb'?

The explosion of a so-called "dirty bomb" in a city by a terrorist group is a major concern of Western intelligence agencies.

Rather than causing a nuclear explosion, a "dirty bomb" would see radioactive material combined with a conventional explosive - probably causing widespread panic and requiring a large clean-up operation.

Uranium would not be suitable for fashioning such a device, though appropriate material may have been among the other unidentified "sources".

Mr Abraham added that the operation had also prevented the material falling into the hands "of countries that may seek to develop their own nuclear weapons".

The 1,000 "sources" evacuated in the Iraqi operation included a "huge range" of radioactive items used for medical purposes and industrial purposes, a spokesman for the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration told AP news agency.

Bryan Wilkes said much of the material was "in powdered form, which is easily dispersed".

The IAEA has been among organisations which have warned that many countries have lost track of radioactive material


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Heading Towards the Big Boom?

We've covered al Qaida's planned use of WMD's in an earlier set of articles (Countdown 1-5 and summary in the RANTS archives of Now that the 4th has finished, it is time for American's to become vigilant and aware.

As one of the following articles suggests, there is no doubt we will face an al Qaida strike between now and the end of November. The only questions are where and using what means.

As much as I pray that I am wrong, my research and intelligence indicates the strike will involve a nuclear device.

While many in the CIA, FBI and U.S. government still contend al Qaida hasn't acquired nukes, other intelligence sources indicate they have and articles like the one included below do not paint a very pretty picture.

Bin Laden has already received religious justification to use WMD from his Saudi religious handlers and seems to have contacted some of the Saudi royals to warn them of an upcoming event designed to "influence the balance of power in the world."

This doesn't come from hitting soft targets like shopping malls as some in the Department of Homeland Security warn.

Word-of-mouth promises of nuke use are contained in many Islamist chat rooms like the one included below.

We are entering a grim time that is made more dangerous by this being a political election year. Besides the political carnival, which threatens to mask the real threat behind spin and counter-spin, we are most vulnerable during a potential change in the executive and legislative branches.

The mainstream media doesn't have a clue, although I will predict they will be called into service in a way none of them have ever imagined

We should rally around Jihad Watch and some other larger sites and begin to raise both awareness and people's senses to detect out-of-place happenings around them.

It is time for American's to wake up and become vigilant. What is coming should be no surprise


Janes' Article: Ukraine's missing missiles

Here's a sobering article from Jane's Defense Review

Since March, Ukraine's defence minister, Yevhen Marchuk, has been searching for missing missiles and other weapons that could have fallen into terrorist hands or been sold to rogue states. JID investigates why this potentially catastrophic situation is only now being brought to light.

Marchuk raised a domestic storm when he publicly revealed that the Defence Ministry had no unified accounting system. Nor has a comprehensive inventory of military equipment in Ukraine ever been carried out. It is unknown what weapons the Defence Ministry actually possesses or what it inherited from the former Soviet Union.

When Marchuk became defence minister in June 2003 he ordered two inventories that indicated US$170m of military stock was probably missing. These results were so shocking that Marchuk ordered a new team of investigators to conduct an additional check using different methods. They uncovered that additional equipment, worth $20m, was missing.

Ukraine's officially declared revenue from the sale of military equipment is $3bn. This, according to JID's inside sources, only represents a small fraction of the real volume of Ukraine's military exports. Meanwhile, Marchuk has complained that there is no data available to him regarding the quantity of military equipment Ukraine inherited after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

The sheer scale of what appears to be missing equipment is astounding, as demonstrated by just one example. In 1990-1991, on the eve of the break up of the Soviet Union, 1,942 S-185 rockets were delivered to the Zhytomir military base, west of Kiev. These rockets were to be dismantled.

In fact, only 488 of the 1,942 rockets can actually be accounted for. The missiles could have been sold to unknown groups or countries. Or their scrap metal, gold, platinum and silver could have been sold separately with the proceeds being transferred to offshore accounts.

"We are looking for several hundred missiles. They have already been decommissioned, but we cannot find them," complained Marchuk.


Professor Tells New Zealand Audience: Nuclear Attack Against US is Inevitable

A nuclear attack by terrorists against the United States is inevitable, according to an American international relations expert visiting the University of Canterbury.

Professor Terry Nardin, a political scientist from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, is using his six-week visit as a Canterbury Fellow to teach theories of international relations.

He will also give two public lectures. The first, this Thursday evening, will look at the influence of religion on international affairs. The second, next Thursday, will consider the cultural impact of the September 11 terror attacks. Last week the US Attorney General, John Ashcroft, said credible intelligence from multiple sources indicated that the al Qaeda terror network was planning an attack on the US in the next few months.

Professor Nardin believes that despite the intelligence sources of the US authorities, terrorist organisations such as al Qaeda are still capable of planning and carrying out attacks.

“I see a kind of offence-defence race. We’re busy defending ourselves in ways that we’ve thought of and Al Qaeda people, who are smart, are busy thinking of ways to get around it.

“There are so many weapons floating around, there’s so little control over nuclear material, biological weapons and so forth, I think it’s only a matter of time before there is some catastrophic event.

“It’s not difficult to transport nuclear materials or biological materials around. There may be a gesture of inspecting aircraft luggage and so on but the whole world container trade goes on so people move around and things move around. “


AP Story: al-Qaida Plans Major US Attack

U.S. officials have obtained new intelligence deemed highly credible indicating al-Qaida or other terrorists are in the United States and preparing to launch a major attack this summer, The Associated Press has learned.

The intelligence does not include a time, place or method of attack but is among the most disturbing received by the government since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to a senior federal counterterrorism official who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Tuesday.

Of most concern, the official said, is that terrorists may possess and use a chemical, biological or radiological weapon that could cause much more damage and casualties than a conventional bomb.

"There is clearly a steady drumbeat of information that they are going to attack and hit us hard," said the official, who described the intelligence as highly credible.

The official declined to provide any specifics about the sources of the information but said there was an unusually high level of corroboration.

Despite that, the official said there was no immediate plan to raise the nation's terrorism threat level from yellow, or elevated, to orange, or high. The threat level has been at yellow -- midpoint on the five-color scale -- since January.

Los Angeles police held a news conference Tuesday to reassure the public. "We would be foolhardy to ignore those statements, but I think it would be irresponsible to panic," said John Miller, head of the LAPD counterterrorism bureau.

Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller plan a news conference Wednesday to outline an intensive effort by law enforcement, intelligence and homeland security officials to detect and disrupt any potential plots. And the FBI plans to dispatch a bulletin to some 18,000 state and local law enforcement agencies warning of the threat.

The FBI also has already created a special task force that is focused solely on dealing with this summer's threat. The task force, whose existence until recently was classified, is intended to ensure that no valuable bits of information or intelligence fall through the cracks -- as happened repeatedly before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Other actions to be taken include new FBI interviews with people who may have provided valuable information in the past and a fresh examination of older investigative leads to determine if they might point to elements of the summer plot.

The FBI and Homeland Security Department also are concerned about so-called soft targets such as shopping malls anywhere in the United States that offer a far less protected environment than a political convention hall.

U.S. authorities repeatedly have said al-Qaida is determined to mount an attack on U.S. soil, in part to announce to the world that it remains capable of doing so despite the money and effort that has gone into homeland security in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

There also is concern terrorists might try to mount an attack to coincide with the November election. The political fallout from the March 11 train bombings in Spain taught al-Qaida that an attack timed to an election can have a major impact. Spain's former ruling party was ousted in the voting that followed the bombing, which killed 191 and injured more than 2,000.

The official did not say how many suspected al-Qaida or other terrorist operatives are believed in the country, whether they made their way into the United States recently or have been here for some time. The FBI has warned in the past that Islamic extremist groups may attempt to recruit non-Middle Easterners or women for attacks because they would be less likely to arouse suspicion.

Special security attention already is being focused to the nation's rail, subway and bus lines. The FBI last week sent out an intelligence bulletin to law enforcement agencies urging vigilance against suicide bombers, who have been used by terror groups worldwide to devastating effect but not so far in the United States.

Separately, Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief Michael Garcia told reporters Tuesday that some 2,300 of its agents are being deployed to assist in security for the high-profile events scheduled this summer in the United States. These include as many as 20 agents each day working with the Secret Service to protect the campaigns of President Bush and Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate.

Garcia said his agency also is working to "tighten the investigative system" to ensure that terrorists do not enter the United States by way of human smuggling operations or through the vast, largely unprotected border with Canada.


A Very Disturbing Story--The New Arab Way of War

Here's a story from Proceedings that looks at the new war we face

By Captain Peter Layton, Royal Australian Air Force

The October 2002 bombing of a nightclub in Indonesia's popular resort island of Bali, which killed more than 190 people—mostly tourists and many Westerners—is a grim example of the new Arab way of war. Planning and educating the agents in bomb making and holy-war doctrine took place over months in several locations. The planners of this bombing and others have been linked to the Jemaah Islamiya Southeast Asia terror network as well as Al Qaeda.

The first great struggles between the Middle East and Europe to be recorded fully were the campaigns of Salamis and Plataea in 480-479 B.C. The Greeks triumphed, and for the next several hundred years Western civilization slowly advanced east. In the 7th century A.D. this was reversed sharply when the Bedouins emerged from Arabia, defeated the Persian and eastern Roman empires, and conquered the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain. The invaders eventually were stopped in the east in 718 at the city walls of Constantinople, and in the west in 732 some 200 miles from Paris. There were to be another thousand years of see-saw wars on sea and land before the last Middle Eastern attack on a major European city, Vienna, was repulsed in 1683. It was not until the attacks by Arabians on New York in 2001 that a major Western city again came under assault from the Middle East.

While this protracted border conflict raged between the West and the Middle East, Western civilization engaged in a long series of civil wars. In 1942, the great democracies started to win and kept winning, thus determining the modern Western technique of war. The horrors of two world wars motivated the strengthening of international laws to prevent attacks on noncombatants and limit war's impact on civilians. Technology was developed that allowed highly accurate attacks that could limit destruction to military targets and minimize the number of people killed. Waging war became the business of elaborate machines operated by highly trained, long-service professionals. Western militaries became seemingly invincible on the battlefield and a tool of humanitarian assistance, not of empire. The last Western war of the 20th century was not of conquest, but waged to defend the human rights of the Muslims of Kosovo.

Middle Eastern societies have taken stock of the Western challenge and devised an innovative, strongly asymmetrical response. Middle Eastern societies demonstrably cannot win symmetrical conflict involving Western militaries. Their "better way" inherently appears barbarous, murderous, and cruel as it is diametrically opposed to the Western approach to armed conflict.

A New Way of War

The new Arab approach to conflict is an adaptation of the revolutionary warfare of the second half of the 20th century.1 Assassins using this new way of war now swim among the populations of the world.2 With cheap, unrestricted global air travel provided by Western technology, they can deploy wherever they wish; there are no front lines or safe rear areas. The assassins make effective use of liberal immigration policies that have permitted large numbers of Middle Eastern migrants to settle in the West. Small numbers of fellow travelers and sympathizers are distributed throughout Western nations, able to be activated to provide local support, protection, and knowledge for deploying assassins. Their command-and-control system relies on commercial communications systems and business application cryptography. This makes their control system strong, redundant, secure, and global and the assassins hard to detect, track, and target. They do not rely on their own technology even for weapons, instead using in situ civilian, commercial equipment for attack.

The new Arab way of war is parasitic. Local supporters acquire weapons and explosives, provide safe houses, arrange transportation, and steal or hire vehicles. Assassins fly in, carry out attacks, and fly out quickly, avoiding arrest. Relying completely on local sources, they can strike deep into the Western heartlands, mimicking the strategic air attacks characteristic of the West.

Foot soldiers employed in this way of war usually are male and middle class and often well-educated, with strong religious fervor. A good education is necessary to operate independently and covertly in Western societies. The most dedicated assassins come from countries with a well-established, openly anti-Western education system antagonistic to secular societies, modernism, and human rights. A consuming spiritual passion, with a commitment bordering on fanaticism, is a valuable attribute for members of a small group when deployed into hostile countries. Given these warfare techniques, Muslims seem likely to remain the prime source of recruits.3

Intentionally, there is no obvious state involvement. In his attack, the assassin dies or melts into the crowd, providing no proof of who is responsible. This tactic is meant to confuse and frustrate a legally justifiable response, as the Western paradigm based on the 1648 Peace of Westphalia assumes a state-versus-state conflict. Avoiding giving the West a defined, obvious state opponent is a rational strategy peculiar to the Arab way of war.

The Arab combat style imposes small financial burden on its parent societies, allowing long and protracted wars without inflicting economic hardship. Employing only small numbers of personnel with few needs, wars can be financed privately and seemingly remain independent of overt government support. Such entrepreneurs can be hard to trace and impossible to stop.

A major innovation of the Arab way of war is the deliberate targeting of civilians. The assassins' rhetoric makes no distinction between civilian and military targets. Attacking civilians guarantees global attention as the media, reflecting global values, has a horror of the infliction of cruelty on noncombatants. Attacking civilians is perceived by the assassins as the most direct route to influence global opinion and to affect the national will of the nations struck.

Attacks usually are conducted with considerable skill, timing, expertise, and precision but are designed to kill absolutely indiscriminately. Given this, the strategic aim of attacks is hard to discern.4 Violence customarily is conceived as a means to an end, but the essence in this style of war seems to be inflicting terror. Pakistani Brigadier S. K. Malik notes: "Terror is not a means of imposing decision upon the enemy; it is the decision we wish to impose on him."5

The manner of Arab warfare is intentionally designed contrary to the modern international laws of war. Deliberately attacking civilians, noncombatants, women, and children is against the moral codes of all religions—including Islam. Such actions also violate the ethical codes enshrined in the U.N. human rights charters. The leaders directing such acts are vulnerable to charges of war crimes and international human rights trials. Any country that harbors them inherently appears as an outlaw state operating outside of the civilized world and in defiance of U.N. conventions.

Middle Eastern societies frequently criticize the immoral and lax ethical stance of the secular and materialist West. It is ironic that their chosen way of war makes their assassins appear immoral and unprincipled, which may be why their commanders seek not to identify themselves. Anonymity provides safety from accusations of moral bankruptcy.

Although the tactics of the Arab system rely almost completely on the civilian technology and resources of those nations being attacked, the assassins generally originate from another nation-state. A specific government may not support assassins openly, but to thrive the assassins rely on the acquiescence, sympathy, and often active support of the population from which they came. A society has created them and continues to provide financing, safe harbor, and training. Edmund Burke noted in 1729 that "the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." The silence of the good men of the Middle East implies a terrible consent.

The West now has no choice. For many years the Arab way of war was ignored and its brutal methods overlooked, but this option now is impossible. The societies of the Middle East have forced the West to retaliate with a multifaceted response that is well under way. This response may be complemented by a focus on on denying the support base that keeps the assassins operational.

A dilemma the West faces is whom to hold responsible for the assassins' attacks. The Western warfare paradigm holds the government of the hostile nation-state responsible rather than the people. In the modern Arab conflict style, the people, not the government, often bear responsibility, especially in situations where the central government is weak, fragmented, ineffectual, or corrupt. The West's indignation must be focused on the societies, not just the governments of the nations from which the assassins originate. Members of the societies directly or indirectly supporting attacks must understand they will be held responsible and pay a price for their support.

There is a pressing need to deter the responsible Middle Eastern societies from their chosen path of escalating terrorism. Several Middle Eastern states harbor sizable elements that support the Arab way of war. Those that support this method of conflict have been identified by their actions over several decades. They exist in unfriendly states such as Iran and Syria, but also in friendly nations such as Saudi Arabia, whose children financed, directed, and undertook the 11 September attacks. This population support base is as vulnerable to attack as are the societies of the West. Focusing attention on the support base would be contentious and controversial. However, the West must be innovative and take advantage of inherent weakness in the Arab conflict paradigm to frustrate the steady intensification of violence directed against its citizens.

The West could retaliate with random and indiscriminate attacks on particular Middle Eastern cities, thereby replicating the Arab warfare approach, but this goes against centuries of Western efforts to limit the impact of war and is completely unacceptable.6 Not the whole societies of those Middle Eastern nations involved, but only a small, discernable sliver of these societies should be held accountable and deterred from further support of the Arab way of war. The assassins inevitably are from the middle class, with their commanders among the more wealthy members of the country. The middle and wealthy classes have great power in their own societies at the local level, and more real influence with the masses than their usually despotic governments. If the majority of the middle and wealthy classes determined to no longer directly or indirectly support the Arab style of conflict, this would have a significant impact. Without an active support base, and with the possibility of their activities being compromised at any time, assassins' freedom of action would be curtailed severely.

An intense, relentless psychological campaign could be undertaken targeting the middle and wealthy classes of the Middle Eastern nations involved. Mass-marketing methods may offer insight into how to apply long-term, focused psychological pressure. The aim of such a campaign would be to make each individual perceive being held personally responsible and targeted for his or her support of the Arab way of war. The proud, strongly religious societies of the Middle East may be vulnerable to considerable self-doubt about the moral bankruptcy of their actions and their pronounced ethical decline compared to the remainder of the world. This effort would complement the other measures of defense and containment already being undertaken. Consideration also could be given to applying economic pressure, restrictions, and constraints, such as those used against South Africa during the apartheid years.

Incentives should be offered as well. Easy means should be provided to allow individuals to relay information concerning members of their societies engaging in acts of war. If individuals or groups tire of the difficulties caused by supporting the assassins, an opportunity should be given for them to make a positive contribution to overcoming the problems inflicted. There would be many false reports, but occasionally something of real value would be passed. The possibility of this occurring would create a sense of vulnerability among assassin organizations.

There is a worst-case fear in the West of a Middle Eastern weapon-of-mass-destruction (WMD) attack; this fear has led directly to a preventive war strategy. Possessing, developing, or even considering developing a WMD capability may be considered intent to use in the near future. Although understandable, this is an unwelcome strategy with some inherent flaws.

Unnecessary wars may be fought to prevent nations from developing a capability and the possibility of use; a future uncertainty thus becomes the basis for a certain war today. Preventive war may be insufficient by itself to stop all attacks; some may occur. Moreover, chemical and biological weapon laboratories are difficult to detect, making their preemptive destruction hard to guarantee.

Nuclear threats traditionally have been handled using deterrent strategies. In this case, a declaratory policy could be devised based on the threat of retaliation if an attack occurs in the West by nonstate actors using the Arab way of war. In such a circumstance, there could be a strategy of instant, graduated response: nuclear strikes against several of the capital cites of the Middle Eastern nations that long have demonstrated support for this method of war.7 The response's intensity and discrimination would vary based on the severity of the WMD attack. This approach would be a policy of deterrence through the threat of brutal and immediate punishment of particular societies.

The strategy is irrational in the sense that it proposes to punish the innocent—although these "innocents" would have supported assassins that undertook a WMD attack, killing potentially millions. It draws on the successful but frightening Cold War strategy in which the populations of Europe and North America were held hostage for the good behavior of their governments. In this new application, the citizens of several Middle Eastern nations would be held responsible for their own actions, rather than the actions of their governments. The societies' futures would be in their own hands. The sole alternative at present is preventive war; as noted, this strategy may not be sufficient, practical, sensible, or long-term. The WMD threat is so serious that a multifaceted approach is needed to prevent it.

This approach is solely for deterrence, not war fighting, and would be another constant, worrying reminder to the Middle East's middle and wealthy classes that if they allowed the worst to happen to the West, they quickly would pay a heavy price. The strategy articulates what inevitably would happen; a declaratory policy would ensure there were no unfortunate misunderstandings.8

There also should be an incentive to motivate Middle Eastern societies to change their ways and be taken off the instant-response list. The Arab way of war starts in the schools and educational facilities of particular nations. Twenty years after a society stops teaching children to hate and kill, and twenty years after the last attempted terrorist attack by the members of that society, their capital should cease to be targeted.

The Arab way of war has been devised to defeat the Western construct by making use of its inherent weaknesses. In so doing, the Arab method has its own intrinsic internal contradictions and weaknesses that can be exploited in response. The vulnerability of the support base in several Middle Eastern nations is one of these. A relentless psychological campaign to dissuade the middle-class and wealthy members of these specific societies from supporting the Arab way of war may complement other current offensive and defensive activities. Deterrence, at least against the WMD threat, also may be worth considering.

The term Arab way of war is used here only as Arab societies initially developed and adopted this mode of warfare in the early 1970s and remain its principal exponents. In recent years, some other non-Arab Middle Eastern societies have adopted this way of war. The term is therefore used in a similar way to the American way of war, which focuses on mass and high technology, and Davis Hanson's Western Way of War, emphasizing decisive combat by heavy infantry. Other nations can and have made use of the American and Western ways of war. There are specific characteristics of the Arab way of war that set it apart from the styles used elsewhere in the world. back to article

The word assassin seems particularly applicable to the foot soldiers of the modern Arab way of war. Assassin is used here as one who kills, or attempts to kill, by surprise or secret assault; or one who treacherously murders anyone unprepared for defense. The name comes from the Assassins of the East, followers of the Shaikh al-Jabal (Old Man of the Mountain). This was a Muslim order active in Persia and Syria about 1090-1272 whose members believed their religious duty was to harass and murder their enemies. The word derives from medieval Latin assassinus, which is derived from the Arabic hashshashin, and first appeared in English early in the 1600s. back to article

Islam is not the problem causing the present conflict between the West and the Middle East. Islam is only the principal religion of those societies currently attacking the West from the Middle East. back to article
The strategic aim of the assassins has been cited as forcing U.S. military forces to leave Saudi Arabia, creating national uprisings to overthrow various Middle Eastern governments, forcing Israel to leave the occupied territories, persuading the United States to cease aid to Israel, radicalizing the lower classes in certain Middle Eastern states, bringing about a new caliphate, and determining an ideological conflict between Islamic society and modernity. Not all can be the strategic aims of the assassins. Strategic coherency and consistency, or even maintenance of a defined aim, does not appear to be a feature of the new Arab conflict paradigm. back to article
Brigadier S. K. Malik, "The Quranic Concept of War," quoted in Yossef Bodansky, Bin Laden: the Man Who Declared War on America (Roseville, CA: Prima Publishing, 2001), p. xv. back to article

But there have been many instances in Western history where patience has been exhausted suddenly and merciless, ruthless responses undertaken. The Arab way of war could yet reap this whirlwind for the Middle East if attacks by assassins go too far. History suggests this line will not be known, or even articulated, until after it is crossed. This is one of the difficulties with dealing with democracies that opposing political systems have problems comprehending. back to article

Attention would need to be given to not unintentionally punishing Muslims by damaging or destroying Islamic holy sites. back to article
There appears to be a quaint belief in some areas that if there were such a nonstate attack, the world would not realize whom it was. Who else practices this style of war? A WMD attack would generate an overwhelming desire for revenge and a compelling need to respond harshly and immediately. The response would be a nuclear spasm attack before any investigation ever began; the originators would be deemed apparent to all from their style of conflict. back to article

Group Captain Layton is a career Royal Australian Air Force officer with experience in attack, reconnaissance, and maritime patrol aviation. He currently is an operational requirements staff member.


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