Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Imagine if by 1953, President Truman was faced with the following situation:
An almost completely victorious Republic of Korea succeeded in completely landlocking their evil opponent. Meanwhile, the Republic of China vowed unremittingly hostility against the DPRK holdouts.
Now imagne that the Republic of Korea somehow finds oil all over the place -- as does the Republic of China. Further, imagine that there is nothing in the DPRK remnant state.
Further, imagine if, in the closing days of the Korean War, the greatest problem facing the American government was that a ROK/ROC alliance might defeat the DPRK too well -- that Koreans and Chinese would be so united in the fight against Communism that Stalinism would never again have a fighting chance in north east asia.
That is an almost perfect analogy to today's situation in Iraq. Our "catastrophic victory" blinded our power elite to the magnitude of their victory.
There is no reason for us to remain in Iraq for the same reason as US Forces Korea would have had no reason to exist in the above version of 1953.
Leave Iraq now. When we do, al-Ba'ath and al Qa'eda lose in Iraq. Forever.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Ever wonder what your city looked like a century ago? The answer is available from The University of Texas at Austin's Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection (which has previously been described at tdaxp and by Catholicgauze).
Here's what the grandest city in South Dakota, Sioux Falls, looked like in 1920:
What's interesting to me is how few of the streets I am familiar with. Main and Philippes are still in the city's center, and Minnesota and Cliff are still imposing avenues. But Ridge? Colton?
I recognize some further sites -- the Big Sioux River, obviously, as well as the South Dakota
Deaf Mute Institute School for the Deaf
Sioux Falls is a beautiful city. 'Specially when we blow stuff up. And afterwards, too.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
I'm unusually sympathetic to a John Robb post as I have a bad cold, as well. So today's update isn't politics or gossip -- are just two 1970s information reels (one fake, one real).
The DHARMA Initiative (from Purpleslog via TV Squad)
The ARPANET Initiative (from Digg via Search Marketing)
(Interestingly, they both start out with similar, awful music. Hmmm...)
Monday, September 25, 2006
Catholicgauze, Coming Anarchy, and Sun Bin are abuzz about a terrifying proposed world map from the 1940s. Representing, if implemented, preemptive surrender in the Cold War, the map would have been a disastrous on an unimaginable scale.
The proposal would have completely demilitarized the Rimland, throwing democratic parties out of Europe, Africa, and coastal Asia, with the sole exception of Britain (whose possessions would focus on Australasia). The Soviets would have war-water ports on three oceans, and the exclusive American dominion over the Western Hemisphere would be reduced to only North America.
Bloody Sovietism in full swing, the plan called for ethnic cleansing genocide, and socialism on a huge scale
38. To reduce the numerical power of the aggressor nations, as a potential military advantage, a Population Control Policy shall be elaborated and applied in the quarantined areas
39. In the New World Moral Order which we week to establish, besides the essential political freedoms, the following fundamental economic changes are imperative
(a) Nationalization of all natural resources and equitable distribution of same to all nations -- everywhere in the world;
(b) Nationalization of international banking, foreign investments, railroads, and power plants -- everywhere in the world;
(c) Nationalization of all armaments producing establishments by all remaining military powers;
(d) Federal control of foreign commerce and shipping;
(e) The establishment of a world common monetary system
(f) World-wide limitations of interest rates to a maximum of two percent
40. To retain the victory and leadership of our united democratic effort -- the aim of which is not vengeance or exploitation, but freedom and security to all notions for peaceful progress -- the unified "Supreme War Command of the United Nations" at the conclusion of the present war, shall be reorganized and transformed into a permanent "Supreme Military and Economic Council" collaborating with the World League of Nationalities in post-war reconstruction and to enforce world peace.
Thank God we didn't lose the War through that sort of "peace"! Even if it meant 50 years of "war"!
Saturday, September 23, 2006
John Boyd, the American Air Force Colonel, wrote that there were five stages to victory. In the first two, Penetration and Isolation, one's forces enter the enemy's networks and began tearing it apart. In the last two, Reorientation and Reharmonization, the old world is refashioned in one's desired image.
There is only one grand choice, but that choice is critical. If, for the third stage, one chooses Subversion, one desires to "take-over" the enemy. The enemy's house -- his many mansions -- should be viewed as one's future property, and so their substance must be preserved while the deed is (re)-written
Christianity, a political philosophy that could accurately be described as Jesusism-Paulism, was designed to Subvert the Roman Empire and seize her institutions in order to remake them. Jesus summed up the essence of subversion -- the conquest of force by the service to force -- in one line:
If someone [a Roman soldier] forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
Of course, there is another strategy. Instead of attempted to take-over, one might take-down. One might Subdue the enemy, destroying what is his, and win through war instead of through peace. Six centuries after Jesus, another Semite elucidated that strategy
It is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land. Ye desire the lure of this world and Allah desireth (for you) the Hereafter, and Allah is Mighty, Wise.
The Spoils of War:67
The Rule-Set Revolution of Islam had begun.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
"Big Popey," by J.F. Atkinson, Chiasm, 19 September 2006, http://chiasm.blog-city.com/popey.htm.
FWIW, count me in the 'WTF Pope?' legions - despite being a Catholic (if not a particularly orthodox one) and despite finding the fundamentalist frothing at his remarks totally retarded obv, his choice of words seem so-obv-as-to-be-basically-purposely provocative that his soul's gotta be heavy with guilt over the (obv awful inexcused etc) shooting of a 70-year old Italian nun three times in the back outside a children's hospital in Somalia and whatever other insane reprisals he has exposed Catholics around the world to. While he was using that quote in the process of making a pretty legit (as far as these things go) point, there's no reason why he had to use that particular and ripe-for-misrepresentation quote unless A) he really is completely out of touch with the world and/or has a tard for a PR guy, or B) he felt that the provocation served a political-theological agenda more important than the safety of his followers. I'm guessing 'B', and if it weren't the Pope we were talking about I would say that this is 'kind of a dick move'.
It's also worth noting, as Christopher Hitchens did today on some C-SPAN jawn, that it's difficult for even die-hard War on Terrorcrats to be sympathetic on this with a Vatican that sided with these same extremists in condemning the Dutch Mohammed cartoons as blasphemous, no? Wondering if we're gonna get commentary on this from also-Catholics and staunch connectivists Tom Barnett or Dan tdaxp, who both seem 'weirdly' but explicably silent on this issue so far.
Well, I can recognize a smack-down when I see it (and when Sean Meade reminds me by email!). I have been struggling to integrate Pope Benedict XVI's speech into my series on Jesusism-Paulism, to take the story of the Christians from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Islam, but in the meantime here is my response, slightly reworded:
We live in an exceptional time when two greatest world religions are each re-experiencing the world of their birth.
Christianity is an ideology that is optimized to spread in unipolar environments. It teaches submission to the state and subversion of resources. Christ's and Paul's words were particularly effective against the Romans because a military insurgency could never work, but an ideology one might. The goal was not to spread a reborne Israel throughout the Mediterranean but to convert Mediterraneans to be the new Children of Israel.
Islam is designed for a chaotic, post-superpower world. Mohammed's words were particularly effective because the Romans had previously destroyed the Persian Empire, and much of the world was lawless and disoriented. Islam provided a grand unifying ideal where none existed and spread this through violence that none could resist.
Two-thirds of the world, everything but the Islamic and African states, is as Rome was. Your security is guaranteed by the police, and your state's security is guaranteed by the American military. Violent confrontation against the system cannot work, so the best method for spreading your beliefs is co-option of the system.
One-third of the world, the African and Islamic states, is as Arabia was. The police are corrupt and the Americans don't care. Peaceful subversion of the system cannot work, because there is no system. The best way for spreading your beliefs is force.
Hence we see Christianity acting through words and Islam acting through violence. Christianity has been violent, as Islam has been peaceful, but for the first time they are both in their Environment of Evolutionary Adaption simultaneously.
I also take issue with his implication that the Pope is somehow uniquely insensitive to the Catholic faithful. From the beginning, the Church has encouraged martyrdom operations. As I write:
"Insane reprisals" are in no way new to the Catholic faith. Indeed, such martyrdom operations helped spread the faith. If the physical safety of all Catholics was the prime goal of the Church, then suffering under Diocletian and Caiaphas was for not. But then, if the physical safety of all Catholics was the prime goal of the Church, it never would been as successful as it has been.
Islamic persecution -- the persecution of others by Islam -- and Christian persecution -- the persecution of Christianity by others -- are how those faiths spread.
"What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun."
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Imagine that you have a set of four conceptual behaviors, patterns, phenotypes, whatever. We will call the elements "A," "B," "C," and "D"
Set of Four Observables
You are able to operationalize them, and demonstrate all four exist in the world around you. In other words, you can give A, B, C, and D and objective definition, observe them, and with that same definition others can observe them too. These four elements can all be observed at the present time
Four Observables that Exist Now
Yet the question remains -- did these exist earlier?
Determining the Pedigree of Observable Facts
Scientists and historians regularly run into this problem. Broadly, there are two approaches to them. One is based on observable evidence, and is a Positivist approach. Positivism is a fact-based method of inquiry that says something exists if there is positive evidence it exists. Another approach may be called uniformism. This belief, based on a presumption that the past is like the present, assumes something exists unless it can be proved it doesn't.
Positivism, besides being a "fact-based" epistemology, limits what we think we know to what we can observe. Uniformism, being a "faith-based" method of inquiry, lets us believe all manners of things because "absense of evidence is not evidence of absence."
As I will explain below the fold, a belief in the ancient existence of homosexuality requires a "faith-based" research agenda.
Friday, August 25, 2006
On October 27, 312, the world changed.
What exactly happened is disputed. A "heavenly sign," apparently some form of crossed disc, appeared to Gaius Constantinus outside of Rome. Constantinus read into it "By this, Conquer." Within twelve hours the world had have turned. Christianity had a shield. More importantly, the Christians had an army.
The Roman Legions were not the first military force fielded by the Jesusist-Paulists. The Armenian King Trdat III submitted his armies to Christ eleven years earlier, but if Christianity had stopped at Armenia the plans of Caiaphas and Diocletian (to force Christianity to morph into violent military force that could be processed as a regular insurgency) would have been victorious. When Tiridates III converted, Christianity gained a weak country. When Constantine I converted, Christianity gained the world.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Catholicgauze notes that 745 years, today, the Roman Empire was crushed by the Empire of the Romans. On that date Byzantine Emperor Michael VII defeated Latin Emperor Baldwin II, restoring Constantinople to Greek rule. Nowadays the Turks are in charge.
Catholicgauze also explains how that the end of the this civilizational wars between the Roman Emperors led to the fall of the Greek Empire
In a twist of irony Michael VII's rise to emperor restarted the fall of the empire. He withdrew troops from Asia Minor to fight wars of reunification in Greece and against the Bulgarians. The lack of troops on his east flank allowed the Arabs to conquer more territory. Michael also refused to reform the government and bureaucracy of the empire which the term “byzantine” (number 4) comes from.
Wikipedia shows that the Latin Empire, at least in legal fiction, also survived its catastrophic defeat. The title of Empire of Rome was used until Emperor James, who willed the title to the Duke of Anjou -- who never cared enough to use the title himself. Thus the Latin Empire fades into history.
(Unrelated, Enterra CEO Stephen DeAngelis adds his thoughts to an article that begins with Rome as a Multinational Enterprise...)
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
"Not Settled" (courtesy Purpleslog).
While ZenPundit and Catholicgauze pat America on the back for the Liberation of Europe, there is work yet to be done.
As we remember the Battle for Normandy, we cannot forget the Massacre at the Gate of Heavenly Peace
When we defend Taiwan from the Chinese People's Republic, is it not the Taiwanese "holding us hostage." It is preventing this from happening to an entire nation. Again. And again.
America's policy is and must be the destruction -- the transformation or revolution -- of the current regime in Beiping. To the extent the Communist government in those lands wants to "modernize," we can be friends and help them. But to the extent the Communist Party will use violence to widen the political gap between them the Chinese, the Tibetans, the Turkmen, the Taiwanese, or any other people, we cannot.