I would like to sit here and say I don’t like to be smug, but, I get tired of being right and unheard. Here is the link to the Rand Corporation’s report on terrorism. They are the arch conservative think tank. Apparently, somebody was actually thinking there. In the report, there are some highlights. On the subject of how terrorist organizations ended:
- Of the 648 groups that were active at some point between 1968 and 2006, a total of 268 ended during that period. Another 136 groups splintered, and 244 remained active. As depicted in the figure, the authors found that most ended for one of two reasons: They were penetrated and eliminated by local police and intelligence agencies (40 percent), or they reached a peaceful political accommodation with their government (43 percent). Most terrorist groups that ended because of politics sought narrow policy goals. The narrower the goals, the more likely the group was to achieve them through political accommodation â€” and thus the more likely the government and terrorists were to reach a negotiated settlement.
- Al Qa’ida’s resilience should trigger a fundamental rethinking of U.S. strategy. Its goal of a pan-Islamic caliphate leaves little room for a negotiated political settlement with governments in the Middle East. A more effective U.S. approach would involve a two-front strategy:
- Religiously motivated terrorist groups took longer to eliminate than other groups but rarely achieved their objectives; no religiously motivated group achieved victory during the period studied.
- Minimize the use of U.S. military force. In most operations against al Qa’ida, local military forces frequently have more legitimacy to operate and a better understanding of the operating environment than U.S. forces have. This means a light U.S. military footprint or none at all.
Damn that John Kerry and his police action approach.
Run, Forest, Run
This morning I worked Water Station #1 for the San Francisco Marathon. Originally, I was thinking about running it as part of the AIDS Marathon fundraiser they do. At the time I was out of the house 11 hours a day getting to and working at the Bloodless Empire. I decided there just wasn’t enough hours in the day. I remained on their mailing list and when the call for volunteers went out I thought “hmmm, that I can do”. So I said yes. Which didn’t seem like a ridiculously stupid idea until I found out that I was working Water Station #1, call time 4:40 a.m. Ouch mon. I set the alarm for 3:21. I got out of bed at 3:25, let both dogs out. Mr. Blue Boy was thrilled to have spent the night in the crate. I suspect it was the first night in his life that he ever slept inside, or at least remembers sleeping inside. Possibly his breeder let him sleep inside. He was equally thrilled to see me this morning. He even went back in the crate at 4am with little protest. Our water station was located at the very end of Van Ness. It was gorgeous being out there as the sun came up. The SF Marathon system was pretty decent. They didn’t get the supplies unlocked but we managed to guess the combo. We found the rules, set it up, served everyone we could. My right arm is stiff from holding it out for two hours. It was like handing off a relay baton in high school…give it to them gentle, follow their movement. I was actually the least wet of any one on our team. My voice is a little scratchy from yelling “water”. The Marathon didn’t get us our orange t-shirts that identified us as volunteers until it was too late so we had to draw attention to ourselves by hollering. About 7:15 the motorcycle cops came through and we broke the whole thing down, swept up all of the trash, divided out the recycling to match San Francisco’s strict program, loaded the containers back up and you couldn’t tell that we had ever been there. I was home and watching tv with my eyes closed by 8:30. It was nice so I just opened up the back of the house and let the dogs run. They played the whole time. They’ve been playing most of the day with the exception of one phone call I was trying to have where they mixed it up a couple of times. Bubba got the worst of it and has a scrape on his head. He’ll learn not to piss of the bitch in the future.
If it’s Sunday, it’s Photojournalism. The little ones playing.
Rita explains the facts of life to Bubba.
And I don’t know what this next gourd is. It should be either 1) spaghetti squash 2) zucchini 3) yellow zucchini 4) crook necked squash. It appears to be 5) none of the above