Monday, November 23, 2015

Which countries have the top levels of support for Daesh/ISIS?

This is interesting, but raw figures are less useful than proportiona figure for  support in proportion to population, and got this:

1 Kuwait          100
2 Palestine        41
3 Saudi             30
4 Lebanon        28
5 Syria              23
6 Iraq                13
7 Tunisia          11
8 Egypt            3.9
9 Turkey          2.7
10 UK               2.2
11 USA             1.2

Remember that these are tweeters, and tweets do not translate directly into practical support, but nevertheless it is indicative of popular support.

Overcoming Terrorism with Social Resistance

Brussels remains at the highest level of alert against terrorist attacks.

It might be that their intelligence service have evidence that give reason to expect attack.

Hopefully would-be killers will be arrested before they act.

There is, though, a chance that some of our fellow citizens will suddenly find themselves in a life and death situation. The probability of being in that situation is probably less than winning the Lottery, but still -It Could Be You.

Imagine that you are in a restaurant, and suddenly you hear the dreaded "Allahu Akbar" shout, and then you hear shots. LOUD shots. You look up, and 3 metres from you stands a man carrying a gun, with his back to you. A surge of adrenaline, (the fight or flight hormone) hits. You get an altered perception of time and space. This Is It.

You have two options.

First option, get under the table and expect to die. He can stroll around, picking you off one by one, at leisure. Let's call this O1.

Second option: rush forward and hit him with a rugby tackle, low down, preferably behind the knees. Call it O2

There are two possible consequences to option 2:

Either, he is momentarily surprised, then shoots you and everyone else that he can. (O21)

Or, other citizens rush forward with you, in an act of social resistance. Instead of turning inwards, individualistically, we will act as one, act in unison. We will overpower the attacker, concentrating on controlling his hands (O22).

Two possible outcomes:

All the attackers are successfully overcome in this way. (O22S)

Or, he may be wearing a bomb (O22B), and he may be able to detonate it without his hands.
If the bomb goes off everyone who rushed him dies (but they were going to die anyway, and their bodies absorb some of the blast, so their deaths will be meaningful.

So those are three options: O1, O22S, O22B

O1 has the worst outcome.
O22B is better than O1
O22S is the best outcome.

What we need to maximise the chance of O22S is for us to push for this O2 thinking to become universal.

O2 can be summarised as

"If some bastard starts shooting, I'm going to rush him, and I expect back-up".

In the battle situation this can be shortened to

"Get The Bastard"

There is no point in expecting Government to give advice and leadership on this. I've asked them, twice, and they will have nowt to do with it. I think they fear getting sued by someone who has a go and gets hurt.

This point of view carries some merit, but should not be the last word on the matter.

The subject deserves discussion.

Terrorism brings violence against vulnerable unarmed, civilians.
It is the warfare practised by cowards.
When cowards find that people fight back, they tend to lose heart.

O2 is the one to go for. Not least, because if this GTB people-power is consistently used and would-be perps get caught alive and tried, this might, possibly, go some way to help to put an end to terrorism as a tactic.

The Schuringa Rule
Why the government does not want us to tackle gunmen
Spotting the flaw in the Government's logic

Friday, November 20, 2015

Terrorism > Hate > Bomb. Simple emotion.

Parliament will probably decide to bomb Daesh in Syria.

The decision is understandable, predictable even.

Terrorists engender more hate than terror in people, and hate is an emotion that demands expression.

Bombs express hatred very well. Tabloid editors and commentators are working up to demanding that Daesh leaders and fighters be taken out, rubbed out, vaporised etc.

The fact that civilians who happen to be (or not, as the case may be) in the vicinity of Daesh operatives are also torn limb from limb, in some cases reduced to quivering lumps of red jelly, in others merely supplied with a PTSD that will blight their life...this fact is regrettable, but necessary because we must bomb.

So the emotional side of the decision is easy to understand.

The rational side of the situation, in other words, what is the best thing to do in response to Daesh's challenge, that is more difficult. It needs valid information and careful assessment. It needs thought,

That is why we should expect Parliament to go for the emotional option.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

What to do about Daesh/ISIS?

The horrific terrorist attacks by Daesh (aka ISIS) in Paris raise the question of what to do about this wretched death-cult.

There is no single response that will cure this illness. There are many things that need to be done. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Don't Panic! Terrorism - the use of violence against civilians and non-combatants for political purposes - aims to create terror, and of course it does so in people immediately affected by their violence, but it need not do so in the average citizen. After all we are many many times more likely to be killed or injured by a familiar car than by a swivel-eyed fanatic.
    Daesh will fade. We survived Al Fatah and now they are moderates. We survived the IRA (despite their support in the in the USA). Al Qaeda think Daesh are too violent!
  2. Don't hate Muslims. Daesh number about 15,000. Muslims number 1.6 billion. That's a terrorist proportion of 0.0009375%. OK there are a larger amount of Muslims who sympathise with, and donate to Daesh and violent jihad, but even so it is not rational to generalise from the minority to the whole community.
  3. Don't join in the chaos in Syria. France and Russia got hit because of their action in bombing Daesh. Australia and the USA are also targets because they are bombing Daesh. Canada has pulled out. The situation in Syria is too confused to get involved in. It is a matter for the regional powers and the UN to sort out. Support regional talks. The only possible benefit of the RAF joining in the madness would be to make Daily Mail editors feel better.

  4. Do aim to address the root cause of Muslim unhappiness, so far as it is in our power.
    a) Solve the Israel Palestine conflict. Here is a new approach.
    b) Pull all US troops out of Saudi Arabia. It is an offence against their faith to have foreign troops on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia.
  5. Do ask your local Imam about whether he has delivered the fatwa against terrorism, and if not, will he please do so?
  6. At the same time ask your local Christian Minister if s/he has denounced nuclear deterrence as a sin against God, since deterrence is not infallible, and will lead to nuclear war at some time in the future. It will not have escaped the notice of terrorists that nuclear-armed nations are either,"Christian", Jewish or secular. There is no Muslim Bomb. Yet.

  7. Don't buy oil supplied by Daesh, and trace and block their sources of funding.
  8. Do initiate a water management programme in the Middle East (and, indeed, everywhere). Climatic changes in the Fertile Crescent are a component in the troubles in Syria.

  9. Do solve the unemployment problem. Daesh attracts alienated youth, and unemployment is another way for the nation or state to say to a young person "We have no use for you. You have no purpose. You are not part of this society" There is high unemployment in the Brussels quarter of Molenbeek, where the Paris attackers originated.

    Unemployment is a market failure. It is utterly absurd to have so many unemployed when there is so much work that needs to be done in solving the many problems of society and environment.
  10. Do Ask UN to look at bringing continuous universal pressure against dictators through the Index of Human Rights.
  11. Do raise a glass to Anonymous, who will bring pressure on Daesh's software.
  12. Do react in a co-ordinated way to any real-life terrorist situation.
If you have any more ideas, please comment. We need all the help we can get to sort this one out.
It is of course the case that foolish Western policies have arguably made the terror threat worse, but let us look solely at what we can do to make things better.

This post is subject to updating

Friday, November 13, 2015

Not so much terrorists as hate-ists

The Paris attacks are in the news.

They're not so much terrorists as hate-ists.

They cause terror to the people actually in the vicinity of their attacks, but the general population is not so much terrorised as hate-ised. They learn to hate the terrorists, and also some generalise the hate to people who share the religion and colour of the terrorists,

So the best thing we can do is to stop them implanting hate in our minds.