The winner for the Council for June 23rd was “The Iraq Insurgency Has No Central Command.” This post is an image; you can’t excerpt from it since the source code isn’t available. However if you remember your first year Latin exercises, think back to: Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres and you’ll get the general idea. Better yet, click on the link — this is an informative schematic.
Gates of Vienna followed behind with Children in Danger from the UN. Yep, that saintly group, UNICEF, is not an effective place to put your charitable donations. Old myths die hard, especially this one:
Africa has many child-hostile traditions and practices. IRIN has the stories here, here, and here.[see post for links]. You can read them if you want, but know this: You’re being manipulated by charity-porn, which is meant to elicit your guilt and separate you from your money. Yes, the suffering is awful, but donating to UNICEF won’t change that, and the illusion of helping these kids can only prolong their exploitation.
What would be the best thing for African children? To have the UN disappear.
“The Jihadi Network’s Fatal Flaw” was the non-Council winner.
Mr. Dunn asks:
So how do we handle it [terrorism’s distributed network pattern]? The first point is that a distributed network doesn’t resemble an army, a guerilla force, or even the customary terrorist organization. What it resembles, with its wide range, clandestine approach, and ability to appear seemingly at random, in obedience to factors invisible to an onlooker, is an epidemic disease.
Fortunately, we know a lot about tracking epidemic diseases. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have been in business for decades, and have refined their techniques to a high art. You do the epidemiology, learn everything there is to know about the microorganism, its life cycle, its habits, and in particular its vectors, and concentrate on those. The pool of potential Islamist infectees is relatively small, the behavior of the infecting agent (a 4GW fan would call it a “meme”) well understood, the methods of prophylaxis highly effective.
What is certain is that a top-heavy bureaucracy such as Homeland Defense can’t meet the challenge. We need a small, self-contained unit, dedicated to handling this problem alone. A taskforce designed and staffed to deal with domestic distributed networks and nothing else.
Second place was given to the disturbing, memorable essay by New Sisyphus, “Srebrenica, Kosovo, Unknown.”
New Sisyphus says, of the barbaric deaths in Iraq of Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, 25, of Madras, Ore.,—-
And through it all, the American people, quietly but intently, are watching.
They are listening, reading, thinking, weighing, reasoning.
The time has almost come for them to make their voices heard. When they speak it will be a terrible thing to behold and the world, displeased now, will be more displeased then.
There will come a time after that, sooner rather than later I think, when eyes will turn to America seeking help. And the great silence that will arise in this busy nation, content in its understanding and newly aware of the rules of the game, will cause despair in the onlookers.
We see you and what you think of us. We see our deaths and what you think of them. We know you and what you are worth.
Oh, you smiling young men of Barcelona, Lyon, Antwerp, Swindon, Rotterdam, Munich, Turin: fate comes for you, and soon, and no hope from over the ocean will ever, ever again arrive.
It’s over, over there.
The Watcher has everything here.
For the June 30th nominations, the Council winner was The Dance of Escalation and Reaction by our beloved, very sane Shrinkwrapped:
The illusory “peace process” depends on Israel getting their soldier and their student back intact, yet the Palestinians, indeed, Islamic fascists in general, have rarely shown themselves able to defer the gratification of torturing and murdering Jews and other infidels in the service of any particular real-world benefit.
Will these abductions be the trigger for real war?
Not likely. The U.S. keeps Israel on a very short leash or "Palestine" would be history by now. Let's hope it doesn't turn out to be another of our strategic stupidities, of which all of us could count enough to use up all our fingers and toes.
The Glittering Eye was second with "How Do You Solve a Problem Like…Korea?"
What do I think should be done? Contrary to what may seem apparent from my many posts urging avoidance of the use of force I am not a dove. If a North Korean missile were to strike U. S. territory, it would be an act of war and should be treated as such. President Bush should immediately put the North Koreans on notice to this effect.
Most importantly, we need to engage the Chinese immediately on this issue. North Korea owes its creation and its continued existence to China. Without Chinese support Kim Jong-Il’s regime would surely fail. China must recognize that the United States will not be bullied, particularly by nonentities like North Korea whether it’s a Chinese client state or no. And we must be willing to sacrifice to back that up.
He’s absolutely right, too.
In the Non-Council Department, Diane West’s column, It’s The Islamic Jihad, Stupid led the rest:
Discussing the “war on terror” has been endlessly awkward. Terror — like a blitzkrieg, sneak-attack or disinformation — is a tactic, not an enemy. But in our politically-correct era, we dwell on the tactic, never defining the enemy. Drop 500-pound bombs on his head if we must — and we must — but don’t describe him as an Islamic jihadist in the age-old tradition of Islamic jihadis going back to Muhammad. Such historical precision might be hurtful and insensitive, and we wouldn’t want that.
Indeed, as a matter of American foreign policy, we don’t want that. Better to keep things vague and indirect, much as the Victorians are reputed to have done to avoid giving offense in the drawing room.
Florida Cracker followed with a creepy revelation titled, most aptly, “Peter, Paul and Ingrate.” Mary Whatever-Her-Name-Was, says with all candor, while discussing the voluntary donor who gave her some life-saving bone marrow:
“I had to have a bone marrow transplant. It’s been a terrible year,” she told me. “I just learned the donor’s name is also Mary. She has two daughters. I have two daughters. See, just in case something goes wrong, you must wait a year before you can communicate with them.
...Mary laughed and added: “The problem was, I’m a lifelong Democrat. I was terrified that if she’s a Republican, I could go into the voting booth and, like Dr. Strangelove, my whole brain could change around. When we finally spoke I asked her about this. There was a pause then she said, ‘But I am a Republican.’ So I said, ‘Well, hell, I guess it’s about time the Republicans did something nice for me.’ “
I bet the donor got a good chuckle out of that, and as everyone knows, having a good laugh from a shot taken at you is much better than receiving a thank you from a person grateful for your life-saving kindness. It made the surgical procedure where, under anesthesia, the doctors used special, hollow needles to withdraw the liquid marrow from the back of her pelvic bones all worthwhile.
I don’t wish many people ill, but curses on your head, you singer of trivial drivel. May your vocal chords shrivel until they are as small as your sense of gratitude.
The rest of the nominations and winners are over at The Watcher’s place. Go there.