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December 07, 2005

Osama a no-show in latest video

There's a new video out from Hollywood these days. Oops. I think it's from Al Qaida. Sorry, I get them confused. Conspicuous in his absence, however, is Osama Bin Laden himself. The video features Zawahri.

It's the usual enemy propoganda, the kind of stuff you'd expect from Al Qaida and the DNC. One thing I found fascinating, was when he said:

The (Iraqi) government is begging Americans not to leave because they know the day Americans leave is the day they are finished.

Now, I know they're not above reverse psychology. I remember how before weinvaded Iraq, Osama tried to convince us that Saddam Hussen was an infidel and that Al Qaida wouldn't have anything to do with him. Yeah. Right. That statement alone convinced me of the closeness of their relationship.

So I got to wondering, is he trying reverse psychology here? Does he want Americans to stay in Iraq? Is Iraq a boomtown (absolutely no pun intended!) for Al Qaida recruitment? In their more coherent moments, that's an argument made by those in the left. And in fact, they may be right about that. But the terrorists were, despite what they said, buddies with Saddam Hussein, and we promised we would not allow any countries to grant them safe haven.

What's Al Qaida's best interests in Iraq? On the one aforementioned hand, our occupation in Iraq does offer them recruiting abilities. But they would be much better off if (1) we surrendered and quit (which would be a far-better recruiting boost for them in itself) and (2) a terrorist-friendly government (either Saddam or the Taliban) was installed. So are they trying to keep us there? I really don't think so. No reverse psychology here. They're focus here is on recruitment. They want to convince Arabs that if they go blow themselves up in Iraq, they may be the straw that breaks the American back.

The problem for Al Qaida is, they're running out of targets. Sure, there's plenty in Iraq, but I think the Jordan wedding bombing showed how desperate they're getting. They need attacks not only for their overall aim, but as a recruitment tool ("this could be you! Join now, and you too can blow up infidels!"). With America virtually off-limits, and most of the rest of the world the same, all that's left for them to blow up are other Arabs. And once that happens, they start losing their core support.

I think I see now how victory in the war on terrorism will come about. Step 1, remove any safe havens (like Afghanistan and Iraq) for terrorists. Step 2, remove non-Arab targets. Step 3, Al Qaida shoots themselves in the foot. Step 4, they run out of dumb young men willing to blow themselves up. We're seeing that start to come about now. They're running out of targets, and without targets, they can't recruit more terrorists.

And what of Osama? I suspect that either (a) he's already dead (maybe died in the earthquake as some rumored) or (b) we know where he is, but there's better intel to be had by letting him live and watching him than by capturing or killing him. Besides, if Al Qaida is strong when he dies, someone else (we know less about) will take his place. Or maybe that someone else (Zawahri) already has?

I guess we'll find out one of these days.

Michael

Posted by mlv at 02:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 02, 2005

Tech help, please

I'm getting swarmed with trackback spam. How do other people deal with this? I just went through the archives and marked all to not accept TrackBack pings (I've had to erase maybe 30-40 TrackBacks today alone, and about 1000 since dusting off the site). How do other people deal with this? Should I upgrade (I'm using MovableType 3.15)?

By the way, if you stumbled upon me, I encourage you to look through some of the old archives, especially the Welcome post.

Update: I decided to play some with the stylesheets. I never found the one I originally chose all that readable.

Update II: I've upgraded to MT 3.2. But my templates have now changed (I think).

Michael

Posted by mlv at 05:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Tookie's Colors

Want to see something interesting? Do this: Google "tookie williams" and look at the images.

Now, he says he repents of his gangbanging days (although not the murders that put him on death row). If that is true, then why is it that every picture of him (when he's not in a prison uniform) has him wearing blue (the Crips color). If he wore red to some public appearance, I'd be impressed.

La Shawn Barber has some more on him here.

Michael

Posted by mlv at 04:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 01, 2005

Just got the joke

I just got the joke. Maybe I'm slow...

The Tubes had a song, "What do you want from life" that had a monologue that included a litany of things that some people might actually want, and one of them was, "A dream date in kneepads with Paul Williams". I'd never heard of him outside of that song, so didn't get it. Well, I've been watching some of the old Muppet Shows on DVD, and one of them had Paul Williams.

Oh. He's short. Now I get it.

Like I said, I'm slow.

Another weird thing about Muppet Show, I don't recall Sam the Eagle being such a sympathetic character. Back when I watched it all the time, he wasn't. Now I relate to him more. How did he change? :)

Oh well. Starting out with milk before I get to the meat.

Michael

Posted by mlv at 06:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Something's HAPPENING???

Yeah, some actual activity here. Please drop me a line if (1) you've been watching this, and (2) you're not a spammer (I deleted a whole boatload of trackbacks and comments left by spammers. Ugh.).

For those of you mythical "faithful readers", the probable reason why I stopped posting was twofold. You may note that the last post was right before Pascha. I posted some spiritual posts relating to various upcoming feasts, and knew that it would be weird (to say the least!) to avoid a post for the Feast of Feasts. It got harder to explain that absence, which fostered a hesitation to posting. Add to that the "geek factor", which is (at least for me) the fascination with things I don't understand -- as long as I don't understand them. Once I understand them, I get bored. Well, I started to understand this whole blogging thing, so it started getting boring.

Anyway, what's happening now?

I changed the name, which reflects a change in the blog. When it was "OrthodoxBlog", it contained both general conserative political posts and Orthodox Christian spiritual posts. This blog will be just general secular topics. When I get so inspired, I may start another blog (just for confusion's sake, called OrthodoxBlog) that will be dedicated to spiritual things (festal posts, etc). There's a priestmonk of my aquaintance who maintains a mailing list just like that.

I don't know how often I'll post things. This isn't going to be a quasi-full time job, I don't think. For starters, I don't have the time for the in-depth research that is behind that.

But... we'll just see what happens.

Michael

Posted by mlv at 06:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack