Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hanging a Child: "Militants" Touching the Hearts and Minds of Afghanistan

This is - sad, putting it mildly. I'm a father with four surviving children: and grieve with the Afghan police officer.
"Militants hang 8-year-old boy in southern Afghanistan"
David Ariosto, CNN (July 24, 2011)

"An 8 year-old boy was hanged by militants in Afghanistan's Helmand province after the boy's father -- a police officer in the southern city of Gereshk -- refused to comply with militants' demands to provide them with a police vehicle, officials said.

"Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the hanging, saying 'this action is not permitted in any culture or any religions,' according to a statement Sunday, which provided details of the incident...."
I suppose I'm nitpicking - but President Karzai's statement that "this action is not permitted in any culture or any religions" may not be quite true. Between honor killings, and beheaded a man because he wore trousers, it's hard to shake the impression that at least some subcultures in the Islamic world have - interesting? - laws and customs.

Still, assuming that President Karzai meant 'cultures similar to those of post-18th-century Europe and America,' I think he's fairly accurate. Not that cross-burnings are completely unknown, even now.

Points I've made before:
  • Some folks in the Islamic world were yanked from a culture that hadn't changed for millennia into the Information Age
    • In one or two generations
    • No wonder some of them went a bit nuts
  • The "Islamic world" isn't a big, monolithic block of nearly-identical cultures
    • Examples:
      • Saudi Arabia
      • Sudan
      • Indonesia
I think Information Age technology and social structures have forced some Muslims to take a hard look at what they actually believe - and want to believe.

Vaguely-related posts:
In the news:

Norway: Oslo, the Island of Utoya, Dead Bodies, Bad Motives

Anders Behring Breivik killed people with a car bomb in downtown Oslo two days ago. He also killed dozens of people - mostly teenagers and young adults - at a Norwegian youth camp on the island of Utoya.

The probable motive for that mass killing/terrorist attack in Norway started coming out yesterday. Basically, Breivik didn't like Muslims; didn't want Muslims in Norway; didn't like the idea of folks who weren't old-school Europeans in Europe: and wanted to start a war against Islam.

To 'cleanse' Europe - although I haven't noticed that phrase in the news.1

Saving Norway by Killing Norwegians?!

So he blew up a building in Oslo, Norway - killing Norwegians. Then he went to a Norwegian youth camp and killed dozens of Norwegians there.

It makes sense, in a twisted way. Breivik seems to think that by killing lots of people who look like him, he'll encourage other people who look sort of like him to kill folks who don't look like him.

A World Where Everyone Looks Like Me?!

I think killing people who don't look like me, or act like me, is a bad idea. Really bad.

I also think it's a bad idea, when someone decides that the world should consist of folks they approve of - and nobody else.

Screwball politics and ham-handed 'fairness' rules have given the idea of 'diversity' a beating. But I still think the world would be a dull - or monotonous, at any rate - place if everybody fit like some ethnic ideal. Or if we all had to stay in our little territories - for the sake of racial purity. Or whatever.

'My End of the Boat's Not Sinking?'

Why be concerned about what happened in Norway? I'm half Norwegian, for one thing: so this is a little more personal than some news. I also value freedom: and think that Niemöller made a good point. I've posted about that before.

'My end of the boat isn't sinking' is not a good attitude to take. And I've written about that before.

Related posts:
News and views:
1 Excerpt from today's news:
"Norway suspect wanted European anti-Muslim crusade"
Joern Amland, Sarah DiLorenzo, The Associated Press, via The Salt Lake Tribune (July 24, 2011)

"The man blamed for the terrorist attacks on Norway's government headquarters and an island retreat for young people that left at least 93 dead was motivated by a desire to bring about a revolution in Norwegian society, his lawyer said Sunday.

"A manifesto he published online — which police are poring over and said was posted the day of the attack — ranted against Muslim immigration to Europe and vowed revenge on 'indigenous Europeans,' whom he accused of betraying their heritage. It said that they would be punished for their 'treasonous acts.'

"The lawyer for the 32-year-old Norwegian suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, said Sunday that his client wrote the document alone. While police said they were investigating reports of a second assailant on the island, the lawyer said Breivik also claims no one helped him...."

"Norway Killing Suspect's Postings Offer Clues to Personality"
SFGate, The San Francisco Chronicle (July 24, 2011)

"Online postings from Anders Behring Breivik, detained by Norwegian police for killing 93 people in a shooting rampage and bombing, offer a portrait of a man obsessed with what he views as the threat of multiculturalism and Islam.

"In a 1,500-page English manifesto posted hours before the killings, Breivik, 32, describes nine years of planning the attacks and his vision for revolution in Europe led by the Knights Templar. Breivik has a picture posted of himself in a Freemason outfit on the Facebook page bearing his name.

"In the document entitled '2083 - A European Declaration of Independence,' which Breivik began writing while he was still a member of Norway's opposition Progress Party, he describes how the attacks would form part of a crusade against 'cultural Marxism' and the rising 'Islamization' of Europe. He writes that the massacre would serve as a tool to market the manifesto...."

"WCC general secretary shocked by unleashing of violence in his homeland"
Vatican Radio, via (July 23, 2011)

" 'Norway has today experienced an unprecedented and horrible level of violence against innocent people,' said Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, a Norwegian Lutheran pastor and General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC).

"Tveit, who is currently in Norway, had just left Oslo when he learned of the first attack, the bombing of a government building that left several injured and seven dead.In a statement, Rev. Tveit said that 'Attacking the core institutions of a democratic society and innocent youth gathered for a workshop to discuss political issues, leaves me shocked. Being close to these events, I am deeply saddened, realizing that this has happened in my beloved country, with its people, its leaders, and its institutions.' 'In times like this the Norwegian people and government need the solidarity of international society and the prayers of the worldwide church,' he said...."

"Pope: May All Norwegians Reject Hatred"
Associated Press, via (July 23, 2011)

"Pope Benedict XVI said Saturday he is praying for the victims of Norway's terror attacks and urging Norwegians to unite in a resolve to reject hatred.

"The Vatican released the text of a condolence message the pope sent Saturday to Norway's King Harald V. In it, Benedict said he was 'profoundly saddened' by the great loss of life caused by the 'senseless violence' in the Oslo bombing and the following massacre at a youth camp on a nearby island that police say have left at least 92 dead.

"The pope invoked God's peace on the dead and offered 'fervent' prayers for the victims and their families...."

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Blast, Bullets, Bodies, Norway, and Getting a Grip

More than a dozen people were killed in Norway today. At least one bomb in Oslo, and a lot of bullets in a camp for teenagers, are responsible. It's early days, but my guess is that it's a terrorist attack with two targets.

I think it's probably a "terrorist attack:" but that's not the whole story.

Depending on whose headlines you read, the attack wasn't done by Islamic Islamist terrorists. (Associated Press, via The Washington Post) and, more specifically, it was a domestic terror attack. (Nils Myklebost, Forbes)

But, like I said, it's still early days.

Remember Oklahoma City

The dude who was arrested - here's what Mr. Myklebost wrote, in part:
"...A police official said the 32-year-old ethnic Norwegian suspect arrested at the camp on Utoya island appears to have acted alone in both attacks, and that 'it seems like that this is not linked to any international terrorist organizations at all.' The official spoke on condition of anonymity because that information had not been officially released by Norway's police.

" 'It seems it's not Islamic-terror related,' the official said. 'This seems like a madman's work.'

"The official said the attack 'is probably more Norway's Oklahoma City than it is Norway's World Trade Center.' Domestic terrorists carried out the 1995 attack on a federal building in Oklahoma City, while foreign terrorists were responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks...."
(Nils Myklebost, Forbes)
As I've said before, right-wing extremists sometimes really are terrorists. (June 6, 2009) Which isn't the same as saying that everybody who disagrees with Code Pink is a terrorist.

"Islamist," "Islamic," and Unintended Consequences

Establishment news services in America, when they must, often call Islamic crazies who kill people "Islamist" terrorists. This mincing around the unpleasant reality that some folks believe that they're defending Islam by killing people is, I hope, well-intentioned.

Just as some folks assume that the CIA blew up the World Trade Center, others seem convinced that all terrorists are Ay-rabs, that everybody in the Middle East follows Islam, and that all Muslims are terrorists. Or at least support terrorists. And, perhaps just as bad: aren't Americans.

I've posted about that sort of chauvinism before:
I doubt - very much - that any euphemism will change the mind of a chauvinist. And euphemisms have a way of drawing attention to what they're dancing around. Think the way many still try not to use the word "sex," in many contexts - and that isn't quite another topic.

Outfits like Al Qaeda and the Taliban make no secret about being Muslims. They say they're waging a holy war. I think it's silly to pretend that they're not "Islamic," at least by their own definitions.

Unpleasant Realities - are Still Realities

Using a euphemism like "Islamist" may draw attention to warped religious beliefs of that particular lot of terrorists.1 Think how terms like "collateral damage" and "friendly casualties" did nothing, at best, to make folks feel better about unpleasant realities of war.

Here in America, the shine seems to have worn off political correctness. Silly labels, occasionally ham-handed efforts to avoid "sexist" pronouns like s/he, and goofball neologisms like waitron: all failed to unite everyone in an affirming siblinghood of person.

It also made a fair number of folks in this country very tired of living in another person's fantasy world. I've opined about that, in another blog:

But - Norway's too Nice for Terror?

Quite a lot has changed since my Norwegian ancestors raided my Irish forebears - and most of the rest of Europe. Norway, and Sweden, have a reputation for being very nice places to live.

So, how could something like today's attack possibly happen in such a nice place? It's actually a sensible question.

There seems to be an assumption that nice places shouldn't have nasty experiences. It's jarring, when an unpleasant reality plows through that expectation.
"...Ian Dutton, who was in a nearby hotel, said the building 'shook as if it had been struck by lightning or an earthquake.' He looked outside and saw 'a wall of debris and smoke.'

"Dutton, who is from New York, said the scene reminded him of Sept. 11 -- people 'just covered in rubble' walking through 'a fog of debris.'

" 'It wasn't any sort of a panic,' he said, 'It was really just people in disbelief and shock, especially in a such as safe and open country as Norway, you don't even think something like that is possible.'..."
(Associated Press, via
I sympathize with Mr. Dutton, and the folks in my ancestral homeland. It's a shock when parts of an orderly, civilized, society get blown to bits - along with some of the folks living in it.

But - trouble happens. Over two dozen centuries ago, someone made this observation:
"For mischief comes not out of the earth, nor does trouble spring out of the ground; 2But man himself begets mischief, as sparks fly upward."
(Job 5:6,7)
I've opined about that before, in another blog: A Catholic Citizen in America (September 6, 2010).

And yes: I'm one of those people. A practicing Catholic. Which may not mean what you've heard it does.

Finally, an example of labels and reality. These folks are Christians. Their group identifies itself with that label.

(Reuters photo, via, used w/o permission)

They are not, however, typical Christians. Not even here in America. And that's another topic, for another blog.

Somewhat-related posts:
In the news:
1 "Warped religious beliefs?" That's not entirely my view.

I think the habit of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, of killing folks who disagree, has started surviving Muslims thinking. That, and the way that Information Age technology lets folks compare old-world customs with post-18th-century law.

It'll take time for changes to happen, but I think significant numbers of Muslims are re-evaluating what they believe:

Friday, July 15, 2011

"Digital Sabre-Rattling," "Complex Legal and Cultural Issues," and Heat-Related Deaths

Part of the first paragraph in an op-ed makes my point pretty well:
"...The Pentagon revealed an unclassified version of its 'Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace.' And despite a drumbeat of scare talk and digital sabre-rattling in Washington, the document takes a measured, reasonable approach - focusing on good network hygiene and data-sharing, rather than bombing hackers into submission...."
(Noah Shachtman, Danger Room, Wired (July 14, 2011)
I've put longer excerpts at the end of this post.1

I've also archived a copy of that unclassified document ("DoD Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace (DSOC)" (Department of Defense (July 14, 2011)), along with the text of their news release.2

"Digital Sabre-Rattling?"

I'm not sure if what the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had to say is part of that "drumbeat of scare talk and digital sabre-rattling in Washington" cited by Mr. Shachtman. General Cartwright's attitude certainly isn't a sort of nice, deferential, conciliatory posture toward folks who want to kill Americans.
"...'For the Department of Defense, our networks are really our lifeblood,' Marine Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters in an interview prior to Lynn's release of the new strategy....

"...'If it's OK to attack me and I'm not going to do anything other than improve my defenses every time you attack me, it's difficult' to stop that cycle, Cartwright said. 'There is no penalty for attacking (the U.S.) right now.' He added that a number of complex legal and cultural issues need to be sorted out before the Pentagon can devise a comprehensive offensive strategy.

"In response to an audience member's question after his speech, Lynn the White House could be expected to consider using military force in response to a cyberattack 'if there is massive damage, massive human losses, significant economic damage.'..."
(Associated Press, via

Hack Attack: What's the Big Deal?

So far, major hack attacks on American targets have been - rather intellectual. Information has been stolen, folks have found it difficult to use a few online resources, and that's about it.

Even the personal data that's been stolen hasn't been all that serious. Sure, credit card numbers, email addresses, and financial records that were supposed to be personal, private, and not in the hands of whoever some anonymous hacker sold them to, went missing. But we're told that it's okay.

Since there apparently hasn't been a massive wave of identify theft, maybe those reassurances are true.

I certainly hope that's the case.

Sooner or later, though, someone's likely to try taking down the North American power grid. Some folks in China did a serious study of how that could be accomplished. Last year we were told that it's okay, though: the study was purely theoretical. Or maybe a big misunderstanding. Or something. That may be true. (March 20, 2010)

Major Blackout: What to Expect

Let's see what would happen if someone did decide to pull the plug on large parts of North America. Here's a sample of what we could expect:
"Stay safe during West Mich.'s heat wave"
Kyle Underwood, WOOD TV8 (July 15, 2011)

"...More Americans suffer heat-related deaths each year than from any other weather disaster. Many heat-caused fatalities are elderly folks who do not have access to air conditioning or a cooling center. Heat stroke and dehydration are also far more likely during heat waves...."
"Memphis man, 72, becomes third victim of summer heat"
Jody Callahan, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee) (July 14, 2011)

"A 72-year-old man succumbed to the high temperatures Wednesday, becoming the third heat-related death so far this summer in the Memphis area, officials said today...."
"Heat blamed in five Alabama deaths since May"
Associated Press, via The Gadsden Times (July 14, 2011

"At least five deaths are being blamed on the hot weather in Alabama, and health officials said Thursday they fear the number could climb as temperatures soar...."
"Second heat-related death in St. Louis" (July 14, 2011)

"An 80-year-old woman whose air conditioner wasn't working properly became the city's second heat-related death this year, officials said Thursday...."
"With many hot days to come, suspected heat deaths hit nine"
Alan Bavley, The Kansas City Star (July 13, 2011 )

"With most of the summer still ahead, and a dangerously hot weekend in the forecast, the Kansas City area on Wednesday added another possible heat-related death, bringing the year's total to nine...."

"A Drumbeat of Scare Talk?"

I don't think that some nation, or terrorist group, will hack into the systems that maintain North America's electrical power supply: Almost certainly not today. Or even this weekend. Probably not this month. Or even this year.

Besides, six months from now, we wouldn't have to worry about not having power for air conditioners. Here in Minnesota, at least, it'd be power for heating systems that I'd be concerned about.

Maybe the power would come back on in a little less than 24 hours, like it did in the part of town where I live, after a storm went through recently. If that was the case, not many folks would die. Probably.

On the other hand, no power for days, weeks, maybe a month? During summer? Or winter? I'm pretty sure that quite a few folks would survive. Particularly those of us who are comparatively young, and healthy, and don't live in cities, and have access to basements. Or caves.

The rest of you? Well, maybe you'd survive. Or, maybe not.

Is recognizing that folks die when it gets too hot - or too cold - "a drumbeat of scare talk?" I'd say it depends on how the ideas are presented.

Me? I'm trying to point out that there really is a threat. And that some folks, like the lot that run Al Qaeda and the Taliban, don't seem to respond all that well to polite requests.

Related posts:
News and views:

1Excerpts from yesterday's news and views:
"Pentagon Makes Love, Not Cyber War, in New Strategy"
Noah Shachtman, Danger Room, Wired (July 14, 2011)

"For one day, at least, you can call off the cyberwar. The Pentagon revealed an unclassified version of its 'Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace.' And despite a drumbeat of scare talk and digital sabre-rattling in Washington, the document takes a measured, reasonable approach - focusing on good network hygiene and data-sharing, rather than bombing hackers into submission.

"The question is whether this public summary conveys what's actually in the classified strategy, or reflects the real mood of the Department of Defense.

" 'DoD would like to be much more aggressive in what it says and how it acts,' says a source familiar with the development of the strategy. 'But that tendency to be aggressive has been reined in by the State Department, Treasury, and the White House, and not in an unreasonable way.'

"Listen to the talk inside the Washington Beltway - and especially within the Pentagon — and you'd think hackers were about to reach their hands through our computers, and strangle us all in our sleep....

"Pentagon Discloses Largest-Ever Cyber Theft"
Associated Press, via (July 14, 2011)

"The Pentagon on Thursday revealed that in the spring it suffered one of its largest losses ever of sensitive data in a cyberattack by a foreign government. It's a dramatic example of why the military is pursuing a new strategy emphasizing deeper defenses of its computer networks, collaboration with private industry and new steps to stop "malicious insiders."

William Lynn, the deputy secretary of defense, said in a speech outlining the strategy that 24,000 files containing Pentagon data were stolen from a defense industry computer network in a single intrusion in March. He offered no details about what was taken but in an interview before the speech he said the Pentagon believes the attacker was a foreign government. He didn't say which nation.

"We have a pretty good idea" who did it, Lynn said the interview. He would not elaborate.

Many cyberattacks in the past have been blamed on China or Russia. One of the Pentagon's fears is that eventually a terrorist group, with less at stake than a foreign government, will acquire the ability to not only penetrate U.S. computer networks to steal data but to attack them in ways that damage U.S. defenses or even cause deaths....
2Department of Defense News Release
No. 608-11
July 14, 2011

"DOD Announces First Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace

"The Department of Defense released today the DoD Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace (DSOC). It is the first DoD unified strategy for cyberspace and officially encapsulates a new way forward for DoD's military, intelligence and business operations.

"'It is critical to strengthen our cyber capabilities to address the cyber threats we're facing,' said Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta. 'I view this as an area in which we're going to confront increasing threats in the future and think we have to be better prepared to deal with the growing cyber challenges that will face the nation.'

"Reliable access to cyberspace is critical to U.S. national security, public safety and economic well-being. Cyber threats continue to grow in scope and severity on a daily basis. More than 60,000 new malicious software programs or variations are identified every day threatening our security, our economy and our citizens.

"“The cyber threats we face are urgent, sometimes uncertain and potentially devastating as adversaries constantly search for vulnerabilities,” said Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III. 'Our infrastructure, logistics network and business systems are heavily computerized. With 15,000 networks and more than seven million computing devices, DoD continues to be a target in cyberspace for malicious activity.'

"The DoD and other governmental agencies have taken steps to anticipate, mitigate and deter these threats. Last year, DoD established U.S. Cyber Command to direct the day-to-day activities that operate and defend DoD information networks. DoD also deepened and strengthened coordination with the Department of Homeland Security to secure critical networks as evidenced by the recent DoD-DHS Memorandum of Agreement.

" 'Strong partnerships with other U.S. government departments and agencies, the private sector and foreign nations are crucial,' said Lynn. 'Our success in cyberspace depends on a robust public/private partnership. The defense of the military will matter little unless our civilian critical infrastructure is also able to withstand attacks.' "
3Longer excerpt:
"...'For the Department of Defense, our networks are really our lifeblood,' Marine Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters in an interview prior to Lynn's release of the new strategy....

"...Lynn said intrusions in the last few years have compromised some of the Pentagon's most sensitive systems, including surveillance technologies and satellite communications systems. Penetrations of defense industry networks have targeted a wide swath of military hardware, including missile tracking systems and drone aircraft, he said.

"In Cartwright's view, a largely defensive approach to the problem is inadequate. He said the Pentagon currently is focused 90 percent on defensive measures and 10 percent on offense; the balance should be the reverse, he said. For the federal government as a whole, a 50-50 split would be about right, Cartwright argued.

" 'If it's OK to attack me and I'm not going to do anything other than improve my defenses every time you attack me, it's difficult' to stop that cycle, Cartwright said. 'There is no penalty for attacking (the U.S.) right now.' He added that a number of complex legal and cultural issues need to be sorted out before the Pentagon can devise a comprehensive offensive strategy.

"In response to an audience member's question after his speech, Lynn the White House could be expected to consider using military force in response to a cyberattack 'if there is massive damage, massive human losses, significant economic damage.'..."
(Associated Press, via

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pakistan, American Aid: What a Mess

This excerpt from today's news shouldn't be a surprise:
"Pakistan: US suspends $800m of military aid"
BBC News South Asia (July 10, 2011)

"The US says it is withholding some $800m in military aid to Pakistan.

"White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley told ABC television that Pakistan had 'taken some steps that have given us reason to pause on some of the aid'.

"He said the US raid that killed Osama Bin Laden in May had affected ties but he insisted the relationship 'must be made to work over time'.

"The $800m (£500m) equates to about a third of the annual US security aid to Pakistan, US officials say.

"In figures submitted to the International Monetary Fund last autumn, Pakistan's defence expenditure in its 2010-2011 budget was put at $6.41bn - an increase of $1.27bn on the previous year...."

'Good Guys,' 'Bad Guys,' and Getting a Grip

There's no shortage of assumptions a person could make about the U.S.-Pakistan situation. Here's a short list of possibilities:
That's just scratching the surface. My guess is that by now, everyone from the CIA and the Illuminati to space aliens and Zionists have been fingered as the 'real' cause of Pakistan's latest setback.

I'm inclined to think that Pakistan's alleged national government discovered that being 'important' to American foreign policy doesn't mean being immune to cause and effect.

I've discussed Pakistan's remarkable talent for not noticing Osama bin Laden's compound and support staff before. Also American insensitivity to the Pakistani custom of letting terrorists know when and where a raid is going to happen.

Cultural Sensitivity / Making Allowances

Seriously, I recognize that the lot who say they're really Pakistani's national government are in an awkward position. And that they can't, for economic, political, historical, cultural, and military reasons control more than a few parts of a few cities - most of the time. And some parts of the rest of the country - some of the time.

When doing so won't offend tribal leaders, Al Qaeda, Taliban supporters, or assorted other interested parties, of course.

As I said, Pakistan's alleged national leaders are in an awkward position.

That doesn't necessarily make them 'good guys,' or 'bad guys.' But it doesn't make them reliable allies, either.

Maybe someday, when the movers and shakers in that part of the world decide to edge their way into the 18th century - - -

Lessons Learned

As I've said before, I don't think America - or any other country - is perfect. This country does, however, learn from its mistakes. Slowly, sometimes - but we do learn.

For example, America's leaders seem to have learned something from the 20th century's Cold War. We discovered, finally, that backing trigger-happy warlords, or occasionally-deluded despots, is a really bad idea. In the long run. Even if - maybe particularly if - they claim to be 'pro-democracy.'

That may explain why the United States is withholding some money - instead of apologizing to Pakistani leaders for finding bin Laden; and trying to protect them from terrorists. Terrorists they have taken in as guests.

Pakistan and America: Now What?

I don't think American can completely withdraw from Pakistan.

Attractive as the idea of pretending that the rest of the world isn't there may be - America lives in the 21st century. If there was ever an era when a nation could make believe that nobody else existed - - - this isn't it.

Like it or not, Pakistan is between India and the Middle East, China and Africa, and fairly centrally located for all but the American continents. On top of that, somebody with government connections in Pakistan has nuclear weapons, and there doesn't seem to be anybody - alleged national leaders, tribal heads, or terrorists - who really has control of the territory.

They don't even seem to have worked out the sort of dynamic stability that places like the United Kingdom and the United States manage, when it comes to local/regional/national control.

America, Western countries, and anybody else who doesn't want a worse mess to start - simply can't afford to let Pakistan collapse on its own. Even if ethical issues weren't involved, America's interests are involved when it comes to keeping Pakistani leaders from ruining their country.

Related posts:
In the news:

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.