Archive for the ‘analysis’ Category
The HD watched the much anticipated Countdown to Zero (the documentary without an agenda LOL/JK) last night. Although quite short (approximately 80 minutes), the film helps to scare the sh*t out of viewers without providing a realistic, comprehensive solution towords a world free of nuclear weapons. One learns that the world could be destroyed in the time it takes to watch an episode of LOST (WITHOUT COMMERCIALS)! We have to go back, Kate! WE HAVE TO GO BACK!!!!!
The movie features some prominent players, including Fair Game Valerie Plame, calling for no nukes and international bodies to handle highly enriched uranium and plutonium. Yet the movie doesn’t deal with the question of rogue states like Iran and North Korea (and states that “just want to see the world burn”). How do we deal with the necessity of cutting American and Russian nuclear arsenals while convincing rogue states to do the same and/or not develop nuclear weapons in the first place? Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t deal with that. Without incentivizing every single country that it is in their national interest to have a world free of nuclear weapons, Countdown to Zero is really Countdown to Our Demise! As countries unilaterally cut their nuclear arsenals, each nuke becomes more valuable. If one were to pursue the ideal Countdown to Zero, then at the end the man with one
eye nuke would be king!
AND THE WINNER IS??? Colonel Willie Sharp: Get off… the nuclear… warhead.
2:50 AM -HDHQ- Editor’s note: sorry for filing this story so late. The HD and company saw “Paranormal Activity 2” tonight so it’s probably best not to sleep, ever.
On Sunday, a suicide bomber (spoiler alert: the retirement package isn’t all it’s cracked up to be) wounded 32 people in Istanbul. Fortunately, none of the HD’s sources were harmed. The HD’s main man in Istanbul was able to provide this reaction:
Yeah everything is cool. The city didnt even react dude, I went for a run along the Bosporus and people were still fishing and having coffee and no even mentioned. There was more of a crowd up for the football match in the evening. Strange I think, obviously someone just doesnt dig on youtube……
Indeed. The enemies of YouTube have no decency! However, correlation called causation. He left a voicemail saying that it wasn’t him.
The reaction of Istanbul’s population is interesting. It brings to mind the Moscow Metro bombing in March in which 38 people were killed. At that time, the HD’s Moscow man provided a similar Russian reaction in which people went about their day and were back on the trains within hours.
Maybe some have accepted that terrorism has become a part of daily life. Or maybe those in Istanbul and Moscow thought it was all just a bit silly to give in to that “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which (attempts to) paralyze” us in our daily lives. Good for them for not letting the insanity of it all ruin their day.
In conclusion, unless you are the one conducting the suicide bombing, you are more likely to die in a car accident, drowning, fire, or murder than you would in a terrorist attack. The HD would even go so far as to say you are more likely to die from watching the movie “Paranormal Activity 2” than you would in a terrorist attack. Maybe the movie was a plot by the Terry Wrists to keep fear alive! Either way, don’t give in to the fear. In the same way that “we ultimately vanquish terrorism when we refuse to be terrorized“, we ultimately stop directors from making bad movies when we refuse to see them.
Stay safe, stay vigilant, but stay saucy as well.
After Robert Gibbs initially called it a local issue, the President finally speaks (REVERSE, REVERSE) and basically echos everything that Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already said. With 54 percent of Democrats, 82 percent of Republicans, and 70 percent of independents against building the mosque (citation found), both the President and Mayor sure are heading into a political shit storm while knowing full well which way the wind is blowing. It’s tough to see how they come out of this smelling like roses. Maybe Nebraska native Ted Sorensen can ghostwrite an updated edition of Profiles in Courage to include this legendary test of constitutional rights, the honoring of private property, and keeping separate church and state in America’s history. Did the HD mention there might be a Muslim gay Allahu AkBAR close by? There’s also global petitions to build the Jewish Holocaust Museum in Gaza, the Daniel Pearl School of Journalism in Islamabad, and the Comfort Women Memorial in Tokyo! What a GREAT idea!
Matt Drudge weighs in.
It’s important to note that both President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg relied on religious history throughout their speeches. Mayor Bloomberg mentioned Jews being denied the right to build a synagogue in the mid-1650s, Quakers being thrown in jail in 1657, and Catholics getting arrested in the 1700s. The HD’s question is this: why should the Muslims get a free pass? If “this is America” as the President so eloquently stated in his speech, then surely Americans should be allowed to haze new religious minorities before accepting them into the great big American fraternity! THAT is the American way!
All seriousness aside, the real controversy is that, nine years later, Ground Zero is still a smoldering crater. It would be refreshing to see the Americans who are so devoted to stopping the mosque from being built work just as hard to see something (anything!) get built at Ground Zero.
Hello friends and colleagues, the HD is tucked away in his bunker writing a work, “not as an essay which is to win the applause of the moment, but as a possession for all time.” What is the critical opening phrase of this work?
“Now this is a story all about how Mesopotamia got flipped-turned upside down and I’d liked to take a minute, just sit right there, and I’ll tell you how A.T. Wilson became the British civil commissioner.”
Should be a fun ride these next few weeks.
The HD has decided to surface briefly to discuss the controversy (have you ever heard a Britisher pronounce “controversy”? Don’t do it while you’re driving or you might drive your Lolvo into a Lolcano!) surrounding the proposed building of a mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero in NYC.
In the battlosphere, Newt Skywalker and Sarah Palpatine have been markedly against buiding the mosque for a variety of emotional reasons. Indeed, the majority of the American public agrees with them (citation needed). NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg has etched a legendary position based on his own person history and idea of private property and constitutional rights. Andrew Exum has also charted a similar position based on the Constitution’s First Amendment and history. The White House and State Department have been silent on the issue, but have posted Bloomberg’s speech (in Arabic, *GASP*) on their public diplomacy website. Today, Charles Krauthammer has written from the Susan Sarandon/Natalie Portman perspective that just as we don’t build a liquor store near a school, we shouldn’t build a mosque near Ground Zero. Well, Mr. Krauthammer isn’t going to win the HD with the liquor analogy. Alcohol shouldn’t be near school campuses; they should be on them!
And from a financial perspective, David Frum may have just predicted the future with no mosque being built due to lack of funding:
The more I read about Feisal Rauf, the more I see a very dangerous kind of man … no, not the Islamic extremist kind of dangerous … but rather the kind of guy who can convincingly say, “$100 million? That’s nothing! I have a cousin in Abu Dhabi who could write a check for $100 million himself! Don’t worry about anything, leave it to me, I’ll get the money, that’s the easy part. You get the zoning rights, we’ll buy you out, all cash, easiest money you ever made.” The streets of New York are littered with the carcasses of dead developers who met and believed the Feisal Raufs of this world ….
Uh oh, if that happens, cut to Daniel Plainview as he beats to death Eli Sunday!
To conclude and move closer to the HD’s true sentiments on the issue, Greg Gutfeld has proposed building a Muslim gay bar next to the mosque. Legendary, right? Wrong, says the Cordoba House (mmm, Qdoba), the proposed builders of the mosque, on their twitter account: “You’re free to open whatever you like. If you won’t consider the sensibilities of Muslims, you’re not going to build dialog”. Wow, that’s richer than the Abu Dhabi oil sheiks who aren’t going to fund the whole mosquedoggle!
The HD has already mentioned the First Amendment, that “Congress shall make no law”… no law. But who cares if the government attempts to “deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion”? Who cares if building the mosque offends the majority of Americans? This is America! Americans are in the business of giving offense abroad and getting offended at home. It’s not that we shouldn’t build a mosque; it’s that we should build a McDonald’s!
Ramadan Kareem to all the HD’s Muslim readers and financiers. May you look ravaged throughout the day, set your alarm for 2 a.m., and gorge yourself until sunrise!
Juha, the HD’s resident EXPERT on all things political violence, attended the Marc Sageman lecture and offered his immediate pre-blog analysis below. Be sure to check his blog for the FULL WRITE-UP in the coming days… Unfortunately the HD couldn’t attend.
‘Understanding terror networks’ was the topic, i.e. understanding the emergence of extremist violence in Western societies. He was articulate, detached and generally quite thoughtful in presenting his argument. A rare pleasure when going to think tank events on terrorism. Knew the man by reputation but seeing him speak live was a treat.
-Political violence normally emerges in a specific counter-cultural context, which entails a active core group who has utopian ideal of what society should be like, and rejects the society and the culture which it inhabits (and if they are foreigners, also their parent society/culture).
-This leads to two types of ‘radicalisation’: violent extremism (think particularly nasty political actors which do not exhibit violent behaviour) and extremist violence.
-These active groups emerge from counter-cultural blobs (a loose, amorphous group of people) which share a feeling of alienation from their host society, who do not necessarily act upon it, and the groups are lead by societal entrepreneurs, who share a feeling of moral outrage by the failure of the non-violent forms of the counter-culture to have an impact. Hence, the go from violent extremism to extremist violence.
-These social entrepreneurs become the guardians of their imagined communities, develop a martial identity and essentially become self-perceived ‘soldiers’.
-Their activities are shifting more to the online domain, which has also seen the inclusion of females and adolescents to these active groups, some of which exist solely online and produce ‘lone wolf’ attacks.
I think those would be the main points.