What’s Really Important About The Mumbai (Bombay) Catastrophe — And What Isn’t. Then, How The USA Can Bolster Its Defense Against Attacks Of This Sort
What matters most about the Islamofascist slaughter of innocents in India is not the coordinated, professional tactics, not the torture of Israeli and Western captives, nor “The utter confusion of Indian counter-terrorist units, rushing about like headless chickens…” as reportedhere.
What the world should be noting is the unrequested, unprompted, spontaneous reaction of Muslims everywhere. Muslims of all types. Muslims of all sects, all degrees of faith, and all ethnicities.
What are they saying, without being asked? What are they volunteering? What are they saying to each other?
Pay careful attention. It’s important. Silence can be easily overlooked and forgotten…. And silence always means something.
Meanwhile don’t be deceived by those who claim there is something new in all this, something that means Islam’s war against the West is entering a novel period. Consider carefully these facts:
…theoretician of Jihad, Sheikh Abu-Bakr Naji, proposed his new strategy. This suggests that low intensity war be extended to anywhere in the world with a significant Muslim presence.
Naji recommends kidnappings, the holding of hostages, the use of women and children as human shields, exhibition beheadings, suicide bombings and countless gestures that make normal life impossible for the “infidel” and “impious Muslims”.
Virtually none of this is new, except possibly “gestures” that are unspecified. Self-styled experts are babbling about how Islam has profoundly changed its tactics. That’s silly.
Islamists have struck in Bali, London, Egypt, Italy, New York, Saudi Arabia…and how many other far-flung locations? No one should be surprised by an attack in India, which has a long and incredibly bloody history with Islam.
And tactics? Again, not much is new. Recall the 1972 slaughter of Israeli athletes in Munich, and compare that to the recent enormity, which was essentially the same type of operation, only done larger and better. The enemy will keep trying things to see what works and what does not. Unfortunately in India, just about anything works.
What can the USA do? Not as much as one would like, mostly because the cops can’t be everywhere in sufficient numbers to protect the population.
That admitted, the best single measure that could be taken to prevent Muslims from accomplishing or even attempting a Mumbai-style attack in the USA would be widespread adoption of concealed carry regulations, coupled with marksmanship classes. Trained but otherwise ordinary citizens who have firearms are a powerful force — far more effective than is commonly realized.
Weakness — in this case, civilians known to be unarmed — invites attack.
But suppose the would-be murderers literally couldn’t tell the helpless folks from those who will unexpectedly defend themselves with lethal force. That’s a very different scenario. Every crowd would present a deadly threat of unknown proportions to attacking Islamofascists.
Making the murderers more trigger-happy, you say? No. In Mumbai, they sprayed crowds with automatic rifle fire. They killed all their captives, and horribly tortured many.
Once the attack starts, to survive it, you either run away, hide, or fight your way clear. If you have a weapon and the first two possibilities are closed to you, you still have the option of turning yourself over to be killed.
Being armed gives you at least one additional choice. It improves your chances. How much? News stories claim ten young men killed some two hundred people in Mumbai. The killers had to be spread rather thin at times; consider that some of the victims, had they been armed, might have had to take out a single Islamist in order to escape to safety.
Yes, each situation will be different and there are no guarantees, but a dismounted attack with rifles and grenades has its vulnerabilities. One of them is the fragility of the timing such operations require. The best way to deal with what is essentially an infantry squad assault is to shoot back accurately, and there is no reason why civilians cannot do that. They would have the advantage of surprise, which can be decisive.
The internet is boiling with speculation that as Islamists pick targets all over the world, we shall see more of this type of assault. Even though some are saying that its goal was five thousand dead, it worked too well in India not to be repeated.
Concealed carry is an effective policy the nation should adopt.
The One will never agree to that. That is genuine cause for voter’s remorse.
Anthropogenic Global Warming Cultists Are Becoming Increasingly Desperate
The science behind claims of human-caused climate change is junk. As proof of that accumulates — much of it, but by no means all, reported by this newsletter — two developments are occurring.
First, we know that advocates of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) have been fudging the data for some time. Partial list: the hockeystick graph hoax, lies about changes in sea level, faked temperatures for October of 2008, untruths regarding the origins and effects of carbon dioxide, those non-existent evacuations of South Sea islands that are not in fact being submerged by the ocean, and the bogus hottest decade of the 20th century. Then, as if all that were not enough of an embarrassment for the Gore Gang, there are some glaciers that are growing rather than shrinking.
Now, however, the most prominent scientist in the AGW camp has slithered from unethical junk science to misbehavior that may be downright illegal.
Readers who have followed the PenPo’s AGW coverage will recall James Hansen. He is the authoritarian US government bureaucrat and guru to Al Gore who insists, among other absurdities, that mankind must reduce the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide by nine percent. He ignores the fact that all human activity produces carbon dioxide that totals no more than five percent of the (correction: carbon dioxide in the) air — not to mention the fact that carbon dioxide is not an important greenhouse gas (it has never caused global warming).
Hansen has endorsed criminality.
Vandalism in the name of ecological causes is now OK thanks in part to Dr. James Hansen, of NASA GISS coming to the defense of eco-vandals.
1- A NASA scientist siding with vandalism as a “lawful excuse” is an inappropriate abuse of the position. It was a question of law, not of science.
2- Dr. Hansen cannot separate himself from the agency as private citizen in this case, because he was brought in as an “expert witness”. Even if he paid his own way and took personal time, his presence was based on taxpayer funded research.
3- It appears Dr. Hansen has violated the code of ethics posted on the NASA Office of General Council webpage.
From the Goddard Institute for Space Studies web page: GISS is a component laboratory of Goddard Space Flight Center’s Earth Sciences Division, which is part of GSFC’s Sciences and Exploration Directorate. Thus Hansen falls under these ethics rules.
Specifically, Dr. Hansen’s defense of vandalism in the name of a cause he believes in fails under the NASA Misuse of position rule. If he received compensation of any kind, such as airfare, rooms, board etc. to appear as a NASA expert, he would also be breaking other NASA conduct rules.
4- As keeper of data, specifically the GISTEMP dataset, he has now brought the impartiality of that data into question due to his activism in areas unrelated to scientific research.
If he can come to the defense of lawbreakers in the name of his global warming cause, then it is an even easier jump to allow that same bias to creep into scientific data he is responsible for and his conclusions drawn from that data.
AGW is a cult. Hansen is one of its theologians. Though his pronouncements continue to draw fire from scientists who do not bend their knees at the shrine of Gaia, and though he places his Holy Cause above the law, Hansen remains on the public payroll.
(Source for the above quotes.)
Then there is the case of Vaclav Klaus, a crusty man who has his opinions and is not afraid to voice them. Because he’s not in the AGW cult, he’s been targeted by the ethically flexible New York Times, as reported in this article in an Australian newspaper:
As the Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, an economist, anti-totalitarian and climate change sceptic, prepares to take up the rotating presidency of the European Union next year, climate alarmists are doing their best to traduce him.
The New York Times opened a profile of Klaus, 67, this week with a quote from a 1980s communist secret agent’s report, claiming he behaves like a “rejected genius”, and asserts there is “palpable fear” he will “embarrass” the EU.
Hah! Trust the NYT to quote a communist spy as a reliable source, and a wise one at that…!
Well, surprise, surprise: the cult is playing dirty. Cults always do; they begin with fake facts, preposterous claims and psychological ploys, and slide down the ethical slope from there. Virtually all of them preach the flawed nature of man, insisting that his sinful ways have damned him because he is at odds with some immense punitive power; guilt, remorse, and desperation then drive the faithful to irrational acts intended to absolve the sinners. Next comes the censorship and persecution of rational critics of the cult. At that point, literally anything can happen. Read the history of fourteenth century Europe to see what, or read the news (in your computer, not in your newspaper, please) of the activities of contemporary Islam.
Meanwhile the public’s increasingly incredulous perception of the AGW cult’s apocalyptic claims (more recent information here) is inspiring alarm among the believers. From the Australian article quoted above:
… the real fear driving climate alarmists wild is that a more rational approach to the fundamentalist religion of global warming may be in the ascendancy – ….
One of Australia’s leading enviro-sceptics, the geologist and University of Adelaide professor Ian Plimer, … (has written a) …new book, Heaven And Earth: The Missing Science Of Global Warming, to be published early next year.
…essentially Plimer’s message is that the idea humans cause climate change has become a fundamentalist religion which is corrupting science. ….dissenting voices are shouted down by true believers in the scientific community who claim they alone have the authority to speak.
The cult won’t dominate climatology forever. More and more people will perceive it as what it is, and opposition to it will grow in both scientific and lay circles.
Some Links That Are Worth Checking Out. No, Really — Click On Them
You got this. What did you expect? Honest, unbiased reporting??
The media (that’s a plural noun) are not qualified to examine their own bias.
Watch this video, eh? Then click on the next link, which is related.
Whew! X-rated for zoophily, paedophilia, Canadian “justice,” and Islamic thought. Delicious because it’s Mark Steyn skewering the bastards.
Canada the model: the UK discards Western political ethics.
This is going to anger a lot of folks on the left, and how. The One’s slippery language implied a reversal of course, but now “Change has rarely looked so much like continuity.”
Yes, we just published a link in the last PenPo on the NYT re-writing history. Well, they are still at it, again.
Mumbai: CNN “reports” the story, and damn the consequences. You may find this expose of CNN’s unethical misbehavior hard to believe, but CNN has been morally deformed for years. Remember the filthy deal with Saddam Hussein? Remember Eason Jordan chatting idly about how the US military was assassinating reporters?
The wrong man for the job. So Heller means nothing? Correct. The Supremes are in for a shake-up. Next: expect an infuriated NRA to return to the fray.
Life is not all wine and roses. We have social justice and saving the earth to contend with, while the freedom of the individual is ignored. Drat.
Here’s more good stuff you have not been getting from the major media.
Nobody’s perfect, but…someone should have thought this through. What next? Jane Fonda pitching a Hanoi hotel?
How and why the financial crisis happened, explained. Is the author correct? The PenPo can not evaluate his thesis authoritatively, but he has the credentials, and his scenario is convincing.
And: D. Duck explains monetary policy. Yep.
Thailand Tries To Shoot Itself In The Foot, Misses, And Hits Its Thigh
Introductory: the Thai equivalents of the US federal supreme court have dissolved three political parties, one of them the ruling party, and stripped the PM of his office. The courts were so overwhelmed by a mountain of evidence of blatant corruption that they could not weasel out of the decisions. Meanwhile sporadic local violence continues and a clumsy compromise seems in the works to open Bangkok’s international airport. Two days ago, The Penguin Post conducted the following interview, the thrust of which is not invalidated by these events.
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Thailand is showing up on BBC World and Drudge, so the PenPo has decided to provide its subscribers outside Southeast Asia with some corrective and informative coverage of the mess in Bangkok. The result is a bit long, but should be helpful to those looking for perspective on developments.
According to an individual recently interviewed for an item in this newsletter, the internationally available news about the Thai situation is exaggerated, often incorrect, bigoted and uninformative. Example: this report that appeared on Drudge. Replete with snotty remarks about “cockroach-infested hotel(s)” and “backwater” regions of Thailand where, presumably, no Westerner would want to spend any time at all, the report clarifies nothing. It also validates the fears of tourists who claim to be so frightened by events that they stay close to their hotels rather than go shopping or sight-seeing in Bangkok. Here’s the interview:
It’s lousy reporting. It panders to peoples’ fears of the unknown and uncertain. It does not explain what is happening, and it certainly distorts the reality of the situation.
So there are no “cockroach-infested” hotels in Thailand? And no “backwaters”?
It’s very much like the USA in those respects,” is the reply. “I suppose you can find both if you look, but I have never managed it, and I’ve been in Thailand almost twenty years.
What is accurate about these amateurish news reports is the terrific damage all this is doing to the Thai economy. I remember when the old Terrapin Gazette was predicting Muslim bombs in Bangkok; it even mentioned how various tourist spots were totally vulnerable, and estimated deaths in the hundreds. The TG pointed out that the tourists would stay away in droves, and the nation would be brought to its knees economically. Never happened, thank goodness. But now the Thais themselves are doing the Muslims’ dirty work for them — and at a time when the Muslims in the south just said they were indeed coming to Bangkok with bombs. Now they won’t have to….
Look, this whole mess is infuriating. It’s true that Thaksin is a villain, and it’s true he is running the country by proxy. That’s not good, and the protesters are right to be incensed. What is not so obvious is that these anti-Thaksin activists claim to be pro-democracy, yet have an agenda that is anything but — they want most of the Senate to be appointed, not elected, because they know that Thaksin is popular enough to get a majority in that body, and carry on with his looting of the public treasury.
The frosting on the poison cake is that there are no good guys who can save the country politically. The anti-Thaksin folks are just as crooked as Thaksin is, but not as clever and not as connected. Thaksin’s network is amazing.
Yes, it’s a huge mess, a disaster, but through it all some facts need to be emphasized: first, life in Bangkok is the same as always. That means safer than in almost any North American city of comparable size. This place is too big and too wrapped up in the business of everyday business to fall apart because of misbehaving political activists.
Second, tourists here will be catered to, for almost all Thais are polite and sympathetic. They will help those who need help, and, in the event of local rioting, shelter them in their homes. Thais may be politically unsophisticated, but they are not bad people. And finally, it disgusts me to see rural Thailand libeled as a ‘backwater’ — I have lived there, and I know it’s a lie.
What, then, about rumors of “civil war“? The source continues:
Pardon the expression, but rather than call this journalistic hyperbole, we should call it what it is: bullshit.
To have a civil war, you need two warring parties. Thailand has parties, all right, and at least three of them: the military, which means the army; the rural folks, who love the former PM Thaksin (who was ousted by a military coup about two years ago); and finally, the urban mob that wants to dismantle the current government that is run by puppet-master Thaksin from overseas. So there are the factions, but who is going to fight whom, and how seriously? Let’s have a look.
There has been fighting, sometimes fatal, between the pro- and anti-Thaksin factions. That amounts to small riots, not war. It’s not anywhere near the scale or intensity of the riots in Los Angeles triggered by the trial of the police officers who roughed up Rodney King — the difference is astronomically huge. I was in LA at the time (and in the wrong part of town, to boot), so I know what I am talking about. If there are any images in your mind of Bangkok collapsing into anarchy and bloodshed, get rid of them!
The police here have been remarkably restrained, and at times should have stepped in much more forcefully, but they don’t want to make things worse. The military is run by a pro-Thaksin general, but is very reluctant to impose peace by force, so a coup is not likely. The last one did no good and got Thailand a bad press; then Thaksin outmaneuvered the coup-makers, and the coup failed. The army does not want to besmirch Thailand’s reputation again, and the generals know they would solve no problems by taking over from politicians they consider allies of a sort. Yes, a coup could happen; it would not shock me if it did. But I’m betting against it because there is so little to be gained from it. The anti-Thaksin faction can be mopped up without a coup, even though that will be messy at times.
People around the world should realize that the violence so far has been very localized. Small parts of town have been involved, and over 99% of the city learns what is going on from TV. Now the scene has shifted from government buildings to the two Bangkok airports, where nothing violent has taken place — yet. It will, when the cops go in and clear the protesters out. But again, the fuss will be local. Of course the tourists will be removed before the fracas begins.
Recent development: someone tossed a bomb at the anti-government protesters in the international airport, killing one person and injuring several others, after this interview was conducted.
Continuing quotes from the interview:
So with those facts as context, let’s look at the possibility of civil war.
True nation-shattering civil war is cataclysmic, seismic. It’s a lot more than just occasional violence or even widespread rioting. And Thailand is not at all likely to plunge into that abyss.
Why, you might wonder, will the violence not be widespread? Simple: because the anti-Thaksin protesters cannot call upon the populace of Bangkok to rise up and fight the government. The average Thai considers this mess just politics gone off the rails, not a casus belli.
This newsletter asked why our source’s optimism contrasts sharply with what many journalists are saying. These reporters are professionals, which raises the question of how it is that his guess is better than theirs. The answer was interesting:
The truth is right in front of the pros, who can’t see it. It’s the university students. They are always the bellwethers of popular uprisings against Thai officials who need to be tossed out of office. If you want to know how bad things will get, how ready the crowds are to go up against the cops and military, count the students who are in the streets. The more students you see, the more serious the confrontation will be.
Today there are virtually no outraged university students urging their countrymen on. That’s tremendously significant. Not seeing it is an error of omission that should embarrass the journalists badly. So why did they make it?
Big topic, because it involves huge cultural differences where none seem to exist, but the Western press practices linear thinking, while the Thais frequently think in curves and loops. When the students did not show, the press ignored that fact; why should you take someone into account, when he’s not there? Then when bombs went off or shots were fired, the press literally projected those events. Projecting a small picture onto a big screen makes it huge. That’s a type of distortion, or misrepresentation, that creates a new reality. Finally, thinking in straight lines means you look at the magnified image, and see the threat of war.
Thais know better. Experience tells them that between A and B there is sometimes an entire alphabet.
The students are sitting this one out because they realize that the protesters are not principled defenders of good government. The youngsters know that reform is not on anyone’s agenda.
Could police or army brutality touch off a civil war?
I guess there is a possibility that if the police and army kill some protesters, and people see it on TV, the students might come out and fight. Then all bets would be off and we could see terrible bloodshed.
But there won’t be an attempted revolution sparked by police or army brutality. What we are talking about is, at its worst, localized rioting. That’s not a civil war, that’s a temporary, punitive reaction to governmental malfeasance. True civil wars are fought over more fundamental issues, and usually involve conflicting value systems.
I’ll go out on a limb and say the only people violently protesting police brutality will be the victims of it. Recall that at the ethical nadir of his career, PM Thaksin turned his cops loose, and as a consequence thousands were murdered rather than arrested — we still don’t know how many died in that affair — and there was criticism but neither civil war nor violence. Thais know how bad their cops are. The populace lives with the curse of rotten law enforcement, as it lives with smog and dengue fever.
Now let me deal with another rumor that feeds on fear and excitement. There has been talk of busing people in from the south, where Thaksin is unpopular. Bringing in hot-headed civilians who are ready to fight to the death over a crooked politician in a nation that has thousands of crooked politicians? That notion is a defining example of the word ‘incredible.’ In any event, the convoys of buses full of bloodthirsty partisans would be very easy to stop: look at a map of Thailand, and you will see why.
Meanwhile some folks are muttering about royalists versus populists. There are lots of rumors, but many of those are obviously nonsense; I can’t shed any light on the topic, and the thing to remember is that no one else can, either, in spite of claims to the contrary. Sometimes it seems that every other Thai you meet will tell you the ‘real, inside story, the facts, which I know because I have a source.’ It’s fun to listen, but remember this bit of wisdom: the less is known, the larger the group of people who claim to know something.
Ultimately, the folks who don’t like Thaksin are not about to rise up in their millions and go to war. There simply is no charismatic reformer who can lead the nation to good government (though there are some characters whose vanity far exceeds their statesmanship). Lacking a Garibaldi or Washington or Bolivar, the Thai people realize they’ll just have to muddle through with a gang of corrupt, greedy thugs running the place. As usual.
A Thai friend of mine sums up the locals’ practicality: ‘All the politicians steal. All of them. I don’t care.’ She copes with her immediate concerns, which do not involve political reform and the ethics of big businesses.
So: civil war? Between which two armies? Not likely.
But couldn’t some militants from the anti-Thaksin forces become guerillas, slip into the jungle, and wage a terrorist war against the army? The communists did that, and the army never did win that conflict.
Our source shrugs at the suggestion.
Sure. Anything is possible. But that and a lot more has been going on for a long, long time in the south, with those Muslim fanatics doing a lot of damage, killing people in large numbers, and nobody has been calling that a civil war. Why not, and why is this political squabbling suddenly an embryonic civil war? Reconsider the faith you put in the wisdom of the press!
Too, if the anti-Thaksin folks take to the bushes, they will be in rural regions, right? And that is where Thaksin is most popular. How rational would that strategy be? The locals would not help them, and would turn them in to the cops.
Why has all this happened? Who is at fault here?
The answer is immediate.
Thaksin caused it. He was an outrageous prime minister, a spectacular disgrace to the nation and Peron-style populist who did some things right and a lot more very badly. The military threw him out just as he was about to put his cronies in charge of the armed forces. Though still actually running the government that was voted in after the coup leaders allowed elections, he wants to return to Thailand without being tossed into prison. He’s been convicted and sentenced for one of his corrupt deals, a situation probably forced on the court because an attempt to bribe the judges was exposed and reported in the press.
Some say Thaksin wants to declare a republic and become president for life. I would not put it past him. His greed and his willingness to have people killed and his exploitation of his wife and children in his many blatantly illegal schemes disgust me. He’s a one-man pandemic, a pirate and utterly unprincipled autocrat.
Sure, Thaksin is all that’s bad about the ethnic Chinese minority that controls most of the Thai economy. But the Thais are not ready to tear their country apart to try to fend him and his cronies off. That’s wise, given the fact that there is no hope of genuine reform of the system.
Well, our opinionated observer of the Thai scene is just another Westerner with a viewpoint, so take his opinions with a dose of salt. Nobody can predict.
He has a point when he notes that nobody reporting on Thailand seems to understand what is happening, and sensationalism has distorted the facts. The rest is pure guesswork.
Only one thing appears certain: once those morons in the airports are cleared out, this country will be a great value as a tourist destination. There will be discounts galore!
Reporter (in White House press room): Your Obamaness, the press here want me to give you what appears to be a collection bowl….
The One: I know what’s in it. IOUs, panties, New York Times stock…worthless trifles.
Reporter: You don’t sound very disappointed.
The One: They gave at the office.
Reporter: …I see your point….