Sunday, October 31, 2004

The New York Times > International > Asia Pacific > Ethnic Clashes Erupt in China, Leaving 150 Dead

The New York Times > International > Asia Pacific > Ethnic Clashes Erupt in China, Leaving 150 Dead

It's little stories like this, ones that will be there for a day then vanish which to me show the nature of the present and future conflicts of the world. Something tragic, something very personal and small (in the total scheme of things) lights a spark which turns into a raging fire. Ethnic tensions and more specifically the tensions between Islam and everyone else are there in China, in Russia, in Europe and in Africa. It's a conflict that has been going on since before the Crusades and has reared up in Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq, Chechnia, New York, etc.

A very real problem though is not that we cannot win this war, it's that we are fighting different types of war. In particular we are very much like the British Redcoats from The American War of Independence. They marched along in brightly colored uniforms, the American colonists hid behind trees to fight and ran away when confronted with a larger force. The British, the most powerful military in the world could not and would not change, and therefore lost the war. They couldn't understand why we didn't fight like gentlemen. Here we are, the modern British redcoats who complain that the enemy doesn't stand up and fight. We march around and like the British are simply targets and so there is a slow bleeding. There is no reason why we can't fight and win. However, we can't even get close to the battlefield. Because of the constraints of our morality and philosophy of war now, we can't fight the war in a way which allows us to win. We won't go to those cities which are being held by terrorists and glorified street gangs and seal em up and blow em up. We won't so we'll not win those fights. We'll let our men get blown up every day rather than simply saying we will win and doing what is needed to win. The little martial law in a small section of China is a problem which will go away in short order. Much the same way that those ethnic tensions were kept down in Yugoslavia by the heavy hand of the government, the heavy hand will keep them down in China. Iraq is a different matter. It's a day by day wondering if the US military will be allowed to attack street thugs in this city or that city.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Death-row inmate (Ambrose Harris) denied bid to avoid execution for murder

Death-row inmate denied bid to avoid execution for murder

I get more emails about this person than most any other death row inmate. Ambrose Harris, while on death row in New Jersey, killed another death row inmate. He was acquitted of that murder, the killing of Robert "Mudman" Simon. The questions that people ask me are 'what happened to him now?' . The answer is that he is still on death row in New Jersey and that the latest news is that his latest appeal has been denied. The other pertinent information about the death penalty in New Jersey is that there are still about a dozen inmates there and there have been no death sentences carried out since New Jersey reinstated the death penalty in 1982.

Powell backpedals on Taiwan remarks

The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Powell backpedals on Taiwan remarks

Colin Powell is probably a very nice man. A man who loves his wife, his children and his household pets. This man is also a complete idiot and his remarks, the ones he is apologizing for now are the kind of remarks that lead to war. When he veered so inexplicably from decades of American foreign policy and suggested that Taiwan is not an independent country which it is -de facto (in fact if not in law) rather than the traditional nonanswer designed to not incite the Red Chinese and still stand by the Taiwanese government, Powell gave a very real indication to the Red Chinese that they could invade Taiwan and not face a war with the United States. Like the ambiguious signals which led Saddam to believe that his invasion of Kuwaiit would not be opposed by the United States the remarks by Powell made the possibility of war more likely. It is hard to believe that he would not know the proper words to use and the proper signals to give and it seems like this internationalist and real opponent to United States foreign policy didn't do it on purpose. His backtracking to official US policy means that hehas been freelancing and doing what Powell does best - namely going to the biggest enemies of the United States and kissing their asses on our behalf. Don't you just hate political ex-generals?

Gilbert's Big Adventure

I've been looking at this form of expression for some time and thought it was about time. The main hope is to be able to link and comment on articles and news reports that are of interest to me and to those who find my website at interesting and informative. Recent questions about Ambrose Harris - the murderer on Death Row in New Jersey have brought this to a head so to speak. More as I regroup.