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Asymmetrical Warfare

The term has come into popular parlance with twentieth century invasions of foreign countries by conventional military forces being effectively neutralized and sometimes defeated by heavily outgunned guerrilla forces. The Russians failed in Afghanistan as have the US and NATO. Interventions in Iraq, Syria and Libya have created the present day chaos ruling those countries. Before that the French and then the Americans fought and lost in Vietnam. Islamic jihad is the current asymmetrical war in process and we are not winning – again.

What saves us for now is that North America is an island separated from primary conflict by wide oceans. We can project force across these oceans to other lands while our enemies in those lands cannot do the same to us directly. The policy extension of this recent asymmetry in being able to kill our enemies is encapsulated in the Predator drone. The following video captures the nature of the weapon and its use.

For us it is the ideals military weapon. We can kill people anywhere anytime whether we know who they are or not, safely from our bases in Nevada.

What our policy does not understand is a crucial nature of the cultures we attack. It is the Hydra. When we kill an innocent civilian – what we euphemize as collateral damage” – we create eternal enemies out of the person’s entire familty. When we wipe out an entire wedding party we make eternal enemies of an entire village. The fact that we do this without warning, disrespecting a county’s sovereignty in the process, we make eternal enemies of an entire country. The fact that virtually all the death and suffering that we have visited on others in the last 2 or 3 decades have been on Islamic communities has reinforced the eternal enmity that Islam has for us.

Make no mistake about it. This is a fight to the death. And we lack the passion and zeal the other side has. This results from the final asymmetry operating here. We are operating from a secular humanist and Judeo-Christian ethic of convert and save your enemy. The Islamic world is operating from a dogma of convert, enslave or kill your enemy. Our position is fundamentally weak and theirs is fundamentally strong.


Sam Collins – October2014

  • Short-term:
    • down
  • Midterm:
    • down
  • Long-term:
    • the long-term trend is bullish

Germany Fights on Two Fronts to Preserve the Eurozone

By Adriano Bosoni and Mark Fleming-Williams

The European Court of Justice announced Sept. 22 that hearings in the case against the European Central Bank’s (ECB) bond-buying scheme known as Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) will begin Oct. 14. Though the process is likely to be lengthy, with a judgment not due until mid-2015, the ruling will have serious implications for Germany’s relationship with the rest of the eurozone. The timing could hardly be worse, coming as an anti-euro party has recently been making strides in the German political scene, steadily undermining the government’s room for maneuver.

Instructions from Prophet Muhammad on the Care and Feeding of Christians

Here is the third essay in the new series by Paul titled: From the Desk of Prophet Muhammad.  We present this essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.

The Ongoing Campaign of Liquidation of Christians in the Arab World.

As the political scene in the Middle East becomes increasingly crowded and confused, only one theme (it seems to me) becomes ever clearer, even though it is among the least discussed in our midst:

The Christian communities of the Arab world are being forced upon the path to extermination.

The notion that illiberal attitudes and religious obscurantism would dissolve as the Arab Spring advanced – as democracy developed on Arab soil — has been utterly discredited. In Egypt, the largest of the Arab nations, and the one that seemed to hold out the most promise at first, the experiment in democracy has been dismantled; but the Christian minority (most of them belonging to the ancient and indigenous Coptic Church) has been severely weakened by three years of menace from Islamist mobs. The political eclipse of the Muslim Brotherhood has evidently not significantly reduced this menace. (Gary Lane, “Why Persecution of Egypt’s Christians Is Not Over, “CBNNews, May 23, 2014; . “Violence against Christian Copts continues despite fall of Muslim Brotherhood,” Christian Post, March 26, 2014. )

Even before the Arab Spring sprang we had already seen the fruits of democracy in Iraq. Ancient hatreds between and among Sunnis and Shias, Kurds, Turkmen and other tribes and sects   prevented the creation – at least until now — of a government to which a majority felt loyalty, leaving a huge vacuum of power and authority into which has recently plunged the most satanic of all the Islamist movements – the Islamic State. All along, liquidation of Christians has been the only item on the to-do list of all of the Arab parties. After Saddam Hussein fell in 2003 and as the Americans began the grandiose experiment in making Iraq fit for democracy, the Muslim masses of Iraq, encouraged by fiery sermons from their imams, began to terrorize the Christians. With the political-opportunist Saddam Hussein removed, Muhammad’s instruction to seek conversion by force of Christians or compel them to permanent subordination through the jizyah was immediately ringing throughout the land. Long before ISIS was on the scene, perhaps one-third of Iraq’s Christians — people who had lived in the land between the Euphrates River and the Tigris River for at least 600 years before Muhammad was born — had been forced to flee to parts of Iraq remote from their homes, notably to the Kurdish Autonomous Region. Many of these are already taking the next step: fleeing the Middle East altogether.

Centripetal and Centrifugal Forces at Work in the Nation-State

By Zhixing Zhang

“Here begins our tale: The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been.” This opening adage of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, China’s classic novel of war and strategy, best captures the essential dynamism of Chinese geopolitics. At its heart is the millennia-long struggle by China’s would-be rulers to unite and govern the all-but-ungovernable geographic mass of China. It is a story of centrifugal forces and of insurmountable divisions rooted in geography and history — but also, and perhaps more fundamentally, of centripetal forces toward eventual unity.

Canada: Whither Goest Thou?

A section in John Mauldin’s weekly eletter, Thoughts From the Front Lines, caught our attention. In particular he showed this chart:

The point here is that manufacturing costs (mostly labour) in Canada are 15% higher than in the US. This means that Canada needs the Loonie at 0.87 to be cost equal. To persuade manufacturing to move north however we need a marginal advantage which might be on the order of 5-10%.
This is what unions want of course because the competitive advantage is not achieved by labour cost adjustment and market reform but by currency market adjustment. The real issue to become competitive is to reduce the labour costs. This can be achieved by introducing technology such as robotics or by reducing wage and benefit costs. Unions will fight either approach.

Failure to make the adjustments means a continued loss of manufacturing jobs with a corresponding decrease in the collective standard of living. This will continue until living standards have declined to the point where the labour market will adjust internally to a point of competitive advantage again. Of course if this decline is happening broadly in the developed economies, the adjustment may take a long time and become severe. Can you say third world country?

More From the Desk of Prophet Muhammad: Definitive Teaching on Matters of Christian theology

Below is the second essay in a new series by Paul titled: From the Desk of Prophet Muhammad.  We present this essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.

Say Not “THREE.

From the beginning, Muslims have taken the view that the Prophet Muhammad’s message contains everything that Allah has given us to know about everything. This belief informs the 240-meter-long inscription that appears around the drum of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and bears the date A.H. 72 (A.D. 691-2). These constitute some of the earliest surviving versions of any texts know to us from the Qur’an.The text reads in part:

O ye People of the Book, overstep not bounds in your religion; and of God speak only truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is only an apostle of God, and His Word which he conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him. Believe therefore in God and his apostles, and say not “three”. It will be better for you. God is only one God…. The true religion with God is Islam. (As quoted in Garth Fowden, Empire To Commonwealth: Consequences of Monotheism In Late Antiquity (Princeton U.P., 1003.)

It is far too easy for the Muslim tour guide to dazzle a flock of Christian tourists with descriptions of the magnificence that plays around them. The lesson that serious Christians should be absorbing is usually lost. It is about Islam’s absolute and unqualified confidence in its unqualified right to explain other people’s religion to them. In the case of Christians, they must “Cease to say THREE” and submit to Islam.

The Origins and Implications of the Scottish Referendum

By George Friedman

The idea of Scottish independence has moved from the implausible to the very possible. Whether or not it actually happens, the idea that the union of England and Scotland, which has existed for more than 300 years, could be dissolved has enormous implications in its own right, and significant implications for Europe and even for global stability.

The United Kingdom was the center of gravity of the international system from the end of the Napoleonic Wars until World War II. It crafted an imperial structure that shaped not only the international system but also the internal political order of countries as diverse as the United States and India. The United Kingdom devised and drove the Industrial Revolution. In many ways, this union was a pivot of world history. To realize it might be dissolved is startling and reveals important things about the direction of the world.

Ebola Update

Our friend JR sent us this link today: Millions Will Die, the Opportunity to Stop the Plague Has Been Missed. The key point the article makes is:

Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg told DW that he and his colleagues are losing hope for Sierra Leone and Liberia, two of the countries worst hit by the recent Ebola epidemic. “The right time to get this epidemic under control in these countries has been missed,” he said.

As of Sept. 4 WHO reported the death rate at 50%.

Keep in mind that patients that have survived went through a period of high fever, dehydration and possible partial organ failure. Part of their survival would be attributed to medical care. Also consider the high rate of infection and death in medical professionals. If the epidemic gets out of control in any area, staff and facilities will be overwhelmed to the point that the basic medical support will not be available. We might then expect a considerably higher death rate.

The article suggests that countries will have to be quarantined. What if we have to quarantine a continent? A spread outside of Africa to Western communities will tie up their medical resources at home and these will not be available for assisting African nations. In this case money won’t help as the pool of resources is so small.

It will take months at a minimum for this epidemic to burn itself out we think. The world is focused on its various wars either current or potential, obscuring the threat from this outbreak. We remain concerned.

The Virtue of Subtlety: A U.S. Strategy Against the Islamic State

By George Friedman

U.S. President Barack Obama said recently that he had no strategy as yet toward the Islamic State but that he would present a plan on Wednesday. It is important for a president to know when he has no strategy. It is not necessarily wise to announce it, as friends will be frightened and enemies delighted. A president must know what it is he does not know, and he should remain calm in pursuit of it, but there is no obligation to be honest about it.

This is particularly true because, in a certain sense, Obama has a strategy, though it is not necessarily one he likes. Strategy is something that emerges from reality, while tactics might be chosen. Given the situation, the United States has an unavoidable strategy. There are options and uncertainties for employing it. Let us consider some of the things that Obama does know.

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