“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, March 23, 2007

Desertion. Now and then.

The headline over at Drudge was worrisome, "More Soldiers Deserting than Previously Reported."

"Oh no.", I thought. I pictured brigades leaving equipment and units behind and going to Canada and Sweden. Then I read the article behind the banner. It seems as if a total of 3,196 active-duty soldiers deserted the Army last year, or 853 more than previously reported, according to revised figures from the Army.

The new calculations by the Army, which had about 500,000 active-duty troops at the end of 2006, alter the annual desertion totals since the 2000 fiscal year, but are they significant?

In 2005, for example, the Army now says 2,543 soldiers deserted, not the 2,011 it had reported earlier.

The revised figures show 2,543 desertions in the fiscal year 2005, an 8 percent increase from the 2,357 the year before. Previously, the service said 2005 desertions dropped by 17 percent, to 2,011 from 2,432.

But from the fiscal year 2000 through 2003, there were hundreds fewer desertions than the Army had previously reported. The Army’s revised data, while reflecting significant errors in year-to-year desertions, showed a total of 22,468 desertions since the fiscal year 2000, nearly the same as the old count of 22,586. There is no explanation for the change but I suspect it could be the result of adjudication of status between awol and desertion.

Desertions, always present in all armies in all times, now account for less than 1 percent of active-duty soldiers. There were 33,094 soldiers, 3.41 percent of the total force, who deserted the Army in 1971, during the last days of the Vietnam War.

My suspicions are that most desertions are personal and not ideological. Someone gets a "Dear John", or has emotional or drinking problems. Financial considerations or personality problems would be high on the list. Surely, the increase in woman in units where they just do not belong adds to the numbers.

The numbers are minor compared to earlier wars. I found this link where a Civil War historian investigated desertions in some small Pennsylvania units during the Civil War. Desertion in Pennsylvania Civil War Units. It is interesting and timeless as it looks as the small but very important reasons soldiers desert their units. The author finds the reasons behind desertions are rarely political:

...Again, an immediate and personal decision, rather than a political one. This is also bolstered by the fact that desertion tended to be highest from the regiments with a reputation of being poorly led. I also studied, in detail, a local company in the Philadelphia Brigade. This four-regiment unit was made of the same stuff -- working-class Irish and native-born soldiers, recruited in Philadelphia and the smaller industrial cities in its vicinity.

The four regiments in the Philadelphia Brigade served together until the very late stages of the war, fought the same battles, slept on the same campsites. Yet their desertion rate ranged from only 10 percent in the 106th Pa., to 19 percent in the 71st Pa. (California Regiment). Not coincidentally, the 106th had a reputation from the opening weeks of the brigade's term in service as the best-led, and the 71st as the worst-led, regiments in the brigade.

[Gottfried, "Stopping Pickett" is a good study of the Philadelphia Brigade that I wish had been in print when I did my work on it].

"My" part of that outfit was Company K of the 71st, one hundred or so Irish immigrants or sons of immigrants from the Schuylkill River iron mill town of Phoenixville. In Company K, there were 27 desertions, a rate of 25 percent. There was no meticulous records-keeping, as there had been in the 97th, so I turned to the county relief records, on which an astounding one-third of Company K was represented. Unlike the majority of the 97th Pa., these soldiers had families at risk.

The families on relief got one dollar per week for a wife or other adult dependent, sixty-five cents for each child under 12. Rates fluctuated, but generally grew smaller as the war went on, as more and more men with families were in the ranks while the county cash contribution did not keep pace. A family's relief also was slashed if a child was put out to live, or died, and wives could be dropped for "improper conduct."

As early as March 1862, the Phoenixville relief directors reported to the county that many under their charge were "extremely needy, not having BREAD to eat unless given by the hand of charity." All of which gives some context to the 25 percent desertion rate, and to men like Pvt. Patrick McKenna, 39, an iron mill worker with a wife and two children on relief who deserted, came to Phoenixville, took his family and went to New York.

No large political issue to worry about then or now.


  1. Who was Methuselah?

    Methuselah, whose name means ‘when he dies it shall be sent,’ was the longest living man on record. In the same generation that he died, at the age of 969, the Lord sent the judgment of a worldwide Flood. Because of his incredible age, Methuselah enjoyed a unique position in history. As a young man, he could meet Adam and hear first-hand accounts of life in the Garden of Eden; he also lived long enough to recount these true stories to his grandson, Noah, and Noah’s sons.

    Methuselah had some amazing stories to tell. His father was Enoch, the godly man before the Flood who ‘walked with God’ and then disappeared because ‘God took him’ (Genesis 5:24). Methuselah also witnessed the moral collapse of Noah’s day, when ‘every imagination of the thoughts of [man’s] heart was only evil continually’ (Genesis 6:5).

  2. The Wisdom of Methuselah:


    I'll have you know I'm a Professional !!

    But then, so is Christian Amanpour
    -- buttwrestling a decaying edifice."

  3. Wretchard Posted this Video Link
    There's some guy named
    "Osama bin Laden"
    that's training virtually all of the new terrorists from Pakistan.
    Isn't that amazing?

    Who IS this guy "bin Laden????"

  4. Still looking for a Doctrine that Works

    For the good of America and its fighting men in Iraq, we certainly hope Operation Fard al-Qanun succeeds. But even if it does, such a victory will be entirely Pyrrhic. Potential insurgents elsewhere in the world will certainly be encouraged by what they have observed in Iraq. It is thus more likely that the U.S. will again face circumstances similar to Iraq in the future. But no future American president will ever use Operation Iraqi Freedom as a model. Nor is it likely that the

    U.S. field manual for counter-insurgency warfare
    will do anything but gather dust on a shelf. After the U.S. disengages from its searing experience in Iraq, anything, including the new COIN manual, associated with Iraq will likely be avoided as if diseased.

    But the U.S. will still have to face insurgencies. Whether they like it or not, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps will have to try again to produce a low-intensity combat/COIN doctrine that works within the limitations offered up by American society. In this sense the burden of finding a new COIN doctrine will weigh not so much on U.S. Army and Marine Corps staff officers as it will on America’s political system, its political leaders, and on the souls of America’s citizens.

    For example, America can easily wipe away the problem of al Qaeda in Iraq by giving a green light to Iraq’s Shi’ite and Kurdish majority to cleanse the country of the Sunni enclaves where al Qaeda hides. The U.S. can prevent the establishment of al Qaeda sanctuaries in Somalia by encouraging civil war inside Somalia, supporting friendly tribes and factions, and occasionally backing an Ethiopian invasion when necessary. “Divide and conquer” has a successful pedigree extending back thousands of years. Statesmen have found it to be a low-cost and sustainable technique.

    Can America find a technique that is low-cost and sustainable? It surely must. But America’s citizens will learn in the years ahead that the answer to its security problems is neither technical nor tactical. The question is a moral one and the answer is the responsibility of every citizen.

  5. doug, you make me chuckle.
    Osama, Osama, come out, come out, where ever you are.

    We have allowed Osama and Dr Z five years of Sanctuary. Five years of diplomacy. Five years of retrenchment and resupply.
    Five years of US failure, well at least a lack of success.

    We managed to shift the Taliban's Area of Occupation from Afghanistan to Pakistan, where it now thrives. aQ reportedly has dispatched it's people from the Sanctuaries, back to their "Home Countries", where they have retired from Jihad, or not.

    The General President's term of office is coming to an end, The legal community in Pakistan is in open rebellion, or at least performing spontaneous acts of civil disobedience.

    The Pakistani's nuclear capacity, touted as being between 30 and 50 warheads. Where as in the past it was reported the Pakistani had 48, it is now reported that the US is not sure of the actual number of warheads. If that is true, that we do not know, it's a slam dunk, that we do not know where "they" all are.

    Perhaps General Gul knows, or Dr Khan, but neither are talking, to US.

    It will not be long before the Wahabbists have physical control of a nuclear weapon, if they do not already.

    Osama is dead, doug, that's a "slam dunk". I read it at the Belmont Club, here too, I think. Posted by folks that wished it were true, but cannot deliver a head, nor even ears.

    Five and a half years, with little success to show for it. No Osama, No Doctor Z, but what is worse, no lessened threat. Perpetual War against Border Bandits has brought US to accepting there can be no Victory, no major Success, just movin' along, on a path to no where.

    In Iraq, those that promote Islamic Revolution have been empowered. I am sure that if that had been the preWar pronouncement, the USArmy would not have left Kuwait.

    The idea that Mr al-Hakim and the rest of the Mohammedans in Iraq will become allies in the War against Wahhabist extremists is laughable, since the Sauds are the fountainhead of Wahhabism, and there is no War with Saudi Arabia, waged by US. None at all.

    The War on Terror, the War on Drugs, the War on Crime, War on Illiteracy or War on Poverty.

    The War on Language, degrading the meaning of the word "War", seems more apt.

  6. Not me baby, instead of whining about me whining, show me some of the success, rufus.

    Bitch at messenger, all you want, but the message it still rings true.

    Come on, rufus, link away, to the stories of success, of victory.
    Love to see them, if they are out there.

    When success for US is the empowerment of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution Iraq something very major is wrong with US policy.

    When Prince Bandar, heir apparent of the Saudi Kingdom is a negotiator for US, with Iran, something is very wrong indeed.

    But instead of whining, rufus, show me the money, proof is in the pudding.

  7. What became of the Royal Navy?

    Iran Captures 15 British Sailors in Iraqi Waters!

    I Presume You Understand, Suh, That This Means Wah!

    re: Osama bin Laden

    While no one could produce the head or ears of Hitler, he was, nonetheless, dead. It is common practice among politicians and leaders to make themselves available for comment.

    In a few more years, Osama could be pronounced legally dead in many jurisdictions. Would he come forward to contest probate?

    Pathetically, he does remain an inspiration to those opposed to American foreign policy.

  8. Even Mr Bush admits to leading the US to "Slow Failure"

    The President himself.

    Not Dan Rather and not me.

    Perhaps they can turn it around, but the public Plan is to further empower the
    Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution Iraq
    that may just be deception, though.

  9. Without a head, he ain't dead.

    He'll live forever as an Icon. Unless the base of "The Base" were destroyed, obliterated.

    But it's not going to be. The forces of Osama, dead or alive, are on the march in Pakistan, we watch from the sidelines as the power of the Jihadi grows in Pakistan, under the protective wing of the Pakistani Government.

  10. Hitler's Government, his movement was dead, whether he was, or not. If he had lived and got away, it'd have made no difference, there were no more NAZIs to inspire, just beaten down and defeated Germans.

    The same is not true of Osama and his followers.

    He inspires the undefeated Jihadi, alive or dead.

  11. Proof of American success? Hmm...

    Didn't Hussein go to the gallows?

    Is Afghanistan ruled by the Taliban?

    Who governs Somalia?

    Where is Osama bin Laden?

    Has the Untied States suffered another attack comparable to 9/11?

    Do the Iranians or Saudis physically possess nuclear weapons?

    Where is al-Sadr?

    Does the Strait of Hormuz remain open to traffic?

    Has China attacked Taiwan?

    Will Poland and the Czech Republic permit missile defense technology?

    Is the United States developing a credible missile defense?

    Has American productivity fallen, since 9/11?

    Has Amercian per capita or gross GDP fallen, since 9/11?

    Has the United States failed to meet any of its internal or external financial obligations, since 9/11?


  12. I repeat: despite a forty year absence of corroborating evidence, Hitler was dead.

    You have, however, at long last, admitted the possibility of bin Laden's death. That possibility, in the absence of countervailing evidence, is, in and of itself, demonstrative of success. The United States promised to chase him down. The United States, then reduced his sanctuary. He has made no public appearance since. Soon, bin Laden can be declared legally dead - something his sundry wives might consider.

  13. Saddam is dead, defeated four years ago, let's go home.

    Parts of Afghanistan is ruled by the Taliban, larger parts of Pakistan are, as well.

    No one governs Somolia, a success for the Ethiopians.

    In Pakistan, forever perhaps. An Icon

    Yes, the US has suffered attacks against civilians to a far greater scale than 9-11, since 911. Almost 25,000 US citizens have been killed by cross border infiltrators.

    Some say they both do. The Iranians a Russian, the Sauds a Pakistani.
    We do not know the truth. It's no slam dunk, either way

    al-Sadr is in the Iranian Sanctuary, waiting upon events. He's younger than I am.

    As it has for hundreds of years, success equals the status que

    We are at War with our lenders?

    Perhaps they will, missile defense, against whose missiles? Back to the Cold War, we are?

    Good to see that a Border Raid did not topple the US, if that is success, then yea, we didn't fall to a single terrorist event.

    Let's celebrate.

  14. I have always said that he COULD be dead.

    Absence of evidince is not evidence of absence.

  15. As to Mr al-Sadr and his vacation/exile in Iran.

    Mr Maliki was also an exile in Iran and Syria, from Saddam's Iraq, he returned to hang Saddam.

  16. re: Saddam is dead, defeated four years ago, let's go home.

    But, I want to go on a picnic instead, although that has nothing to do with the question.

  17. re: Parts of Afghanistan is ruled by the Taliban, larger parts of Pakistan are, as well.

    The government of Afghanistan is an internationally recognized, lawful, democratically elected entity, compliments of the Untied States.

  18. allen: Soon, bin Laden can be declared legally dead - something his sundry wives might consider.

    Right around the time Karl Rove is supposed to appear before Waxman, they will come forward with Osama's little finger and declare him dead.

  19. re: No one governs Somolia, a success for the Ethiopians.

    Someone had better get the message out to the internationally recognized government of Somalia. Web site: Link

  20. Well, allen, in regards Somalia there is this
    Ethiopian military officials and elders of the dominant clan in Somalia’s capital have agreed to a truce following two days of fighting during which dozens died.
    Another elder, Mohammed Ibrahim Aden, said 25 Hawiye clan elders met with “several Ethiopian (military) officials” late yesterday and agreed to stop hostilities and begin talks to resolve differences.

    “We have asked the Ethiopian officials to pull their troops back from front line areas and force government troops to do the same,” said Aden.

    “We have also promised on our part to pull our fighters back from the battle fronts.”

    Which would indicate that the Somali Government is one in name only. That the Ethiopians and Hawiye clan elders are calling the shots.

    Another indication is this piece, from Kenya:

    The world must act to stem Somalia anarchy

    A NEW vicious cycle of violence and blood letting is going on in that god­for­saken Horn of Africa coun­try called Somalia. It is amazing that humanity has the ca­pacity for the depth and scope of brutality currently on display in that coun­try.
    The TFG may have been unable to exert authority over So­ma­lia but at least it enjoyed legitimacy. The de­cision by Ethio­pia to join forces with the TFG to drive away the Courts of Is­lamic Union was premised on an acclaimed sense of le­giti­macy and which is why the Af­ri­can Union authorised that peace keeping troops from willing African coun­tries be dis­patched to help secure the TFG and Ethio­pian troops hold on Somalia.

    This week saw the intensification of brutal insurgency attacks on TFG troops and their Ethio­pian supporters. The TV footages of dead troops being dragged along Mogadishu streets before being set ablaze is likely the handi­work of Is­lamists who have vowed to throw out Ethio­pian troops charging that they are in­vaders. The questions that beg are many but most pressing among them must be :Should the world just watch as Somalia burns with the threat of the fire spreading through­out the Horn?

    All the countries who had pledged to supply troops to prevent the resurgence of all-out anarchy should feel obliged to intervene. This will not be easy given the likely cost, in­cluding human toll. Everybody feeling they have a stake in this grave matter should rise up to be counted, including the US. Uganda and Ethio­pia have shown the way, others must follow.

    We should follow the Ethiopians and the Ugandans into Somalia?

    Let Somalia stew, that'll be US policy. Whether or not that is to be termed a "success", is a matter of perspective. I'd say that it is, for the Ethiopians and the Ugandans, here to date.

  21. The chief spokesman of the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, Ugandan army Captain Paddy Ankunda, tells VOA that the escalating violence should not deter other nations from fulfilling their pledge to send troops.

    "That (the violence) should compel them to come to Somalia because it is an indicator that there is a problem and Africans must rise up to solve it," Ankunda said.

    The A.U. peacekeeping mission in Somalia right now is made up of just 1,500 Ugandan soldiers, who have been attacked daily by insurgents since their arrival in Mogadishu earlier this month.

    The central African country of Burundi has offered to send 1,700 troops, but it says it does not have enough equipment for the mission. Nigeria, Malawi and Ghana have also said they would send troops, but they have not yet given details of their deployment schedule.

    Even if all four countries sent peacekeepers, the mission would still be thousands short from reaching its goal of deploying 8,000 African troops in Somalia to protect the country's interim government, train its security forces, and restore order.

    Captain Ankunda refused to speculate as to what would happen if no other country joined Uganda in the mission. But he acknowledged that the insurgency his men are facing in Mogadishu is becoming more lethal and better organized every day.

    Ankunda said there are fears that terrorist networks, such as al-Qaida, may be helping Somali Islamist insurgents refine their tactics.

    "We have no evidence, but we think it is very likely they are playing a role," he said.

    On Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger told reporters in Nairobi that he believed radical Islamists in Mogadishu were regrouping and becoming more organized.

    "To the extent they are seeking to reorganize, undoubtedly there is al-Qaida encouragement to that and support for that. But I would not attribute what is going on necessarily to al-Qaida at this point," Ambassador Ranneberger said.

    See, allen, it's just another local conflict, not al-Qaida at all. Not part of a greater conflict, so says the US Government. So say we all.

    All these links and more, found at google news, just type in Somalia.

  22. re: Yes, the US has suffered attacks against civilians to a far greater scale than 9-11, since 911. Almost 25,000 US citizens have been killed by cross border infiltrators.

    It is estimated that some 50,000+/- patients die of nosocomial infections every year. Has this some bearing on the EVENT of 9/11?

  23. No, that is an indication of poor Health Services. Not of cross border terrorists in an Asymetric War against US.

    The Border Bandits of 9-11 were successful in their Asymentric War because of a lack of immigration security. Continues today. The terrorists, border bandits continue their terror across the US.

    Only one with a nonUS centric position would not see it.
    Only those more concerned with Israeli Security than US Security would even try to make that case.

    Casualty counts in the Mexican WarII, far greater than in the Mohammedan Wars. Neither of which Wars is the US engaged in.

  24. re: Some say they both do. The Iranians a Russian, the Sauds a Pakistani.
    We do not know the truth. It's no slam dunk, either way

    "Some say" lots of things.

  25. DR,

    Oh, I like Israel just fine, as you may have noticed. However, my love of Israel has never forced me to distort or prevaricate to score points.

    You made this statement, "Yes, the US has suffered attacks against civilians to a far greater scale than 9-11, since 911. Almost 25,000 US citizens have been killed by cross border infiltrators." Prove it! Name three infiltrators? List any event that cost the lives of nearly 3,000 Americans on any given day subsequent to 9/11.

  26. Pedro, Julio, Manuel.

    The Israeli were never subject to a massive event, during the Intafada, so those casualties do not count?

    A long term drip, death by a thousand cuts, is just as serious as a beheading, maybe more so, to a Society.
    It's the scale of casualties, 3,000 to 25,000 since the same time in space. September 11, 2001.

    Now this site B'TSELEM - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights, offers statistics that show that 705 Israeli civilians were killed in the Intafada, from 9/29/2000 to date.
    Out of a population of 6 million Israelis. .0117%

    charles documented almost 24,000 US citizens killed, out of a population of 300 million, .008%
    Statisticly comparable.

    3,000 dead out of a population of 300 million = .001% which is less than 10% of the Israeli losses, comparably.

    So the Mexican WarII is much more comparable to the Intafada then is 9-11.

    Who would argue that the Palistian Intafada was not part of a War in the Levant?
    Or the antiIsraeli leftists of Europe?
    When the casualty figures are proportionaly similar why is it not a War against US?
    The Terror is equal.

  27. Allen: Almost 25,000 US citizens have been killed by cross border infiltrators." Prove it!

    Twelve Americans are murdered every day by illegal aliens, according to statistics released by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. If those numbers are correct, it translates to 4,380 Americans murdered annually by illegal aliens. That's 21,900 since Sept. 11, 2001.

    Add about 1500 since the report came out in November 2006. So call it 23,000 KIA.

  28. Yep, there abouts.

    Add in the unsolved, etc.
    That's why I did the math with 24,000, but 23,000 about the same.

    Reconquesta does not get as much US air time as "Intafada" but both are similar. "Right of Return", to where they've never been, foremost in both.

    Or as they say at wiki

    Reconquista was coined as a facetious term, popularized by Mexican writers Carlos Fuentes and Elena Poniatowska, to describe the demographic and cultural reemergence of Mexicans in the American Southwest. It was originally a jocular analogy to the Spanish Reconquista of Moorish Iberia, since the areas of greatest Mexican immigration and cultural diffusion are conterminous with northern New Spain and former Mexican territories. Since then, the term has been adopted by immigration reform groups to characterize the irridentism by Mexicans. [1]

    The concept has also been advanced by Chicano nationalists to describe plans to restore the mythical Aztlán, though these groups do not generally use the word "reconquista". The word does not properly apply to immigration outside territories lost by Mexico in the Mexican-American War following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

    Viva la Raza!
    Viva Basra!

  29. A stupid Israeli politician:

    "‘If you say your primary objective is to free the abducted (soldiers), you in practice put yourself at the mercy of the enemy,’ Peres told the panel. ‘Why would you say that?’"

    Peres calls Lebanon war a 'mistake'

    Mr. Peres never understood or senility has made him forget that Israel was established for the purpose of protecting Jews from the arbitrary predation of others. In my opinion, that includes cross border kidnappings and murder but, admittedly, I am something of a stickler on the finer points of the law of self-preservation. Moreover, as a general principle, a government incapable or unwilling to protect its citizens forfeits the right to govern. That the Israeli public has clung to this fool for so long is an indictment of that public.

    Oh, to reiterate: John Bolton, yesterday, took a diametrically opposed position to Mr. Peres on the late war.

  30. DR & Teresita,

    You have shown no connection to 9/11. You have named no persons other than childishly and you can name no event. Try admitting the obvious: 9/11 has not been even remotely repeated.

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. This apply to US, as well, allen

    In my opinion, that includes cross border kidnappings and murder but, admittedly, I am something of a stickler on the finer points of the law of self-preservation. Moreover, as a general principle, a government incapable or unwilling to protect its citizens forfeits the right to govern.

    Almost the same rates of cross border violence & murder, per capita, in the US as in Israel. Greater, really, in the high impact areas of the US, than in the whole of Israel.

    If you need a cataclysmic event, to see the comparison, you're a fool. But we all knew that.

  33. DR & Teresita,

    I hate to make a big deal of it; but now that you have explicitly and implicitly lumped illegal immigrants into the categories of “infiltrators” and “terrorists”, I expect something other than anecdote and personal opinion as proof. To simplify things, let’s consider proof of “terrorism” only.

    “The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.”

    [edit] Dictionaries
    • The Oxford English Dictionary defines terrorism as "a policy intended to strike with terror those against whom it is adopted; the employment of methods of intimidation; the fact of terrorising or condition of being terrorised."
    • Webster's New International Dictionary defines terrorism as the "act of terrorizing, or state of being terrorized; specif.: a The system of the Reign of Terror. b A mode of governing, or of opposing government, by intimidation. c Any policy of intimidation.
    • The definition of the term in the Oxford Concise Dictionary of Politics (2nd edition) begins:
    Term with no agreement amongst government or academic analysts, but almost invariably used in a pejorative sense, most frequently to describe life-threatening actions perpetrated by politically motivated self-appointed sub-state groups.

    Look up terrorism in
    Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
    • The American Heritage Dictionary defines terrorism as "The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons."
    • The Online Etymology Dictionary refers to terrorism as the "systematic use of terror as a policy" and describes the word's origin in the specific sense of "government intimidation during the Reign of Terror in France".

    European Union:

    This provides that terrorist offences are certain criminal offences set out in a list comprised largely of serious offences against persons and property which, "given their nature or context, may seriously damage a country or an international organisation where committed with the aim of: seriously intimidating a population; or unduly compelling a Government or international organisation to perform or abstain from performing any act; or seriously destabilising or destroying the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a country or an international organisation."

    [edit] Laws and government agencies:

    • U.S. Code of Federal
    Regulations: "...the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives" (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85).
    • Current U.S. national security strategy: "premeditated, politically motivated violence against innocents."
    • United States Department of Defense: the "calculated use of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or intimidate governments or societies in pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological."
    • USA PATRIOT Act: "activities that (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the U.S. or of any state, that (B) appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping, and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S."
    • The U.S. National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) described a terrorist act as one which was: "premeditated; perpetrated by a subnational or clandestine agent; politically motivated, potentially including religious, philosophical, or culturally symbolic motivations; violent; and perpetrated against a noncombatant target." [1]
    • The British Terrorism Act 2000 defines terrorism so as to include not only violent offences against persons and physical damage to property, but also acts "designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system".[2] This latter consideration would include shutting down a website whose views one dislikes. However this, and any of the other acts covered by the definition would also need to be (a) designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, AND (b)be done for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.[the latter three terms are not defined in the Act]. [3]

    So, how exactly do “Pedro, Julio, Manuel” fit into this as "terrorists"?

    Why only Hispanic surnames? You do recall that the 9/11 gang was Sunni Arabic and primarily Saudi Arabian?

  34. Question:

    "Has the Untied States suffered another attack comparable to 9/11?"

    All this ink and time wasted to avoid answering a simple question, the answer to which MIGHT, REMOTELY, VAGUELY, POSSIBLY SUGGEST something positive about the United States government.

    Hey, you can hate your government, your country, the US military, and the Easter Bunny while remaining intellectually honest.

  35. Bobalharb: T., you are around there--are they still working the UW campus? Bet the answer is yes.

    The National Council of La Raza raked in over $15.2 million in federal grants in 2005 alone. A subsidiary group of La Raza is Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan. MEChA's founding principles are contained in "El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan" (Aztlan is the whole southwestern United States):

    "...Aztlan belongs to those who plant the seeds, water the fields, and gather the crops and not to the foreign Europeans....For La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada." (For The Race everything. Outside The Race, nothing."

    Remember that on April 15 when you cut a check for Uncle Sam.

  36. Allen: You have shown no connection to 9/11. You have named no persons other than childishly and you can name no event. Try admitting the obvious: 9/11 has not been even remotely repeated.

    September 11, 2001 should have been this generation's Pearl Harbor. We should have shut the airports, seaports, and border crossings down tight and let people in to this country on a case-by-case basis, and in no case should a traveler who had so much as passed through a Muslim country have been allowed through customs. There should be a draft and a suspension of posse comitatus so the new soldiers could entrench, string barbed wire, and enfilade the southern and northern borders like France in 1915. There should be a thousand Coast Guard and Navy destroyers and submarines going up and down the east and west coasts intercepting every container ship and doing 100% inspections, and there should be 700,000 troops in Iraq locking the whole country down tight and making it one big megabase, all paid for by war bonds and taxes so steep there would be no doubt in anyone's mind that we are at war. There should be wartime measures that only allow a car to be on the road on alternate days, forcing everyone to carpool, and there should be victory gardens in everyone's backyard growing corn because the Iowa stuff is all going toward biofuels on a crash course getting us off Middle East oil.

    But no, what do we get, tax CUTS, a navy gutted to pay for half-measures in Iraq, only 140,000 troops in Iraq, and a white flag called a "guest worker program" which admits we can't do anything to control our own border.

  37. It has nothing to do with not giving credit, where little is due.
    Anymore than the US deserves credit for the sectarian cleansing in Iraq or Kosovo.

    It has to do with admitting there are other challenges, at least as, if not more serious than 9-11.

    A series of affiliated terrorist cells are migrating across the US.
    They use criminal activities to finace their terror.

    Is that terror political?
    Some say everything is political.

    Are there Chicano groups that advocate violence to achieve the Reconquista, better believe it. That the NYTimes does not cover them, ah well.

    The Governor of Texas, he sees it as National Security issue and admits his population is being terrorized by cross border drug cartels. He also sees where these Cartels are in league with Mohammedan terrorists.

    Overview: The Border Threat
    Al-Qaeda leadership plans to use criminal alien smuggling organizations to bring terrorist operatives across the border into the U.S. A vulnerable border also gives terrorists opportunities to smuggle weapons of mass destruction into the U.S. undetected. There can be no homeland security in Texas without border security.

    Illegal aliens from countries other than Mexico-known as OTMs-are flowing across the Texas-Mexico border at alarming rates. According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, more than 119,000 OTMs were apprehended in 2005 from January through July. An unknown number were never detected or apprehended. The McAllen Border Patrol Sector alone, which includes Brownsville, Harlingen and McAllen and 316 border miles, reports that it has apprehended more than 47,600 OTMs thus far in 2005.

    OTMs of particular concern are from countries with a known al-Qaeda presence such as Iraq, Iran, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and the Triborder region of Latin America which lies between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. The Triborder Region is a focal point of Islamic extremism.

    Border security is aggravated by the lack of federal detention space. Rather than being detained until an immigration court hearing, some OTMs are released on their own recognizance with orders to appear at a deportation hearing. In the McAllen Border Patrol Sector, more than 42,000 OTMs have been released in 2005 and the majority fail to appear in court. No show rates are almost 90% in Harlingen. The newly expanded federal Expedited Return policy to repatriate OTMs who have spent less than 14 days in the United States and are apprehended within 100 miles of the border is a step toward addressing this security gap. However, many OTMs apprehended further inland and more than two weeks after their entry continue to pose a significant threat to Texas.

    In addition to posing a threat to national security, the unsecured border threatens public safety. Local law enforcement has long been overwhelmed along the border. Events in Nuevo Laredo illustrate how powerful Mexican drug trafficking organizations torture, kidnap and murder on both sides of the border to support their operations. The Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang is now operating in Texas and is engaged in violent crime on both sides of the border. MS-13 is a violent street gang founded by Salvadorans in Los Angeles in the 1980's. MS-13 has expanded to an estimated 10,000 members in 33 states in the U.S. and a further 50,000 members in Latin America.

    The citizens who live along the border suffer the daily consequences of drug-related violence, robbery, burglary and theft. These armed criminal organizations also prey upon aliens who cross the border in search of employment.

    In Mexico, amigo. the drug cartels ARE political, don't you know. Or they could not control local Police Departments, as in Tijuana, where the Federales came and disarmed the entire force.

    The FBI, in Congressional testimony will say this, publicly:

    The FBI is taking pro-active measures to assess and confront this heightened threat to public safety on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border, including participation in multiple bilateral multi-agency meetings and working groups to hone strategies to address the problem. Our intelligence gathering activities provide windows into these organizations and their operations while our investigative efforts strive to disrupt and dismantle these criminal organizations and reduce the violence in the region.

    Paramilitary groups such as the Zetas, Los Negros, Los Numeros, and others who work for Mexican drug cartels as enforcers are a serious threat to public safety on both sides of the entire U.S./Mexico border. They are well financed and well equipped. Their willingness to shoot and kill law enforcement officers on both sides of the border makes these paramilitary groups among the most dangerous criminal enterprises in North America.

    Working with our federal, state, and local partners, and the government of Mexico, the FBI continues to investigate these cartels and their paramilitary enforcers, gathering evidence for prosecution where U.S. jurisdiction exists.

    Chasing after paramilitary forces.
    Sounds a lot like Mohammedan terrorists in Palistine, to me.

    Criminals with an underlaying, but fantastical political cause, "Right of Return", in both cases.

    The Israelis seriously try to stop those unentitled from returning, the US does not.

  38. Allen, this thread is FILLED W/Links to terrorism from the South.
    ...unless you want to quibble and say MS-13 is not organized terror against the United States and her citizens.
    Like the recently returned U.S. Marine Iraq war veteran who was mugged by illegals while visiting the sand dunes outside Yuma, or the group of bird watchers north of Douglas who came upon an entire caravan of armed smugglers carrying bails of cocaine, or like the ranchers in the southern part of the state who must carry a gun and search their homes every time they return from the store – just to make sure that illegals are not hiding there; or the violent illegal alien gangs roam our streets robbing, stealing, injuring and killing our citizens, and the police officers/border patrol agents being shot and killed, including my son who was shot and critically wounded by an illegal while serving a search warrant on illegal aliens wanted for murder.

    Over 4000 homicide warratnts (murder) issued to suspects who have fled south across the border.

  39. Surprised by WSU, Bobal:

    I would bet UC Santa Barbara had thoes racist pigs earlier, but had no idea they were at WSU way back then.

  40. How do we know Rufus is alive?
    He always disappears when the issue of Slaughter of Innocent Gringos by Illegals comes up!

  41. "Try admitting the obvious: 9/11 has not been even remotely repeated."
    21,000/3,000 = 7

    More than 7 times as many killed by Illegal Infiltrators since 9-11.
    MANY of the perps members of organize and well-financed terror groups.

    ...getting Federal Money, just like CAIR, from the terrorfighter and his sidekicks Karen and Condi.

  42. We call the Palis that want to eliminate Israel from the map terrorists.

    La Raza, which wants to "retake" the Southwest, and their various enabling murderous, drug, human, and weapons running gangs are not?

  43. ...but Trish is right:
    Human Nature is a bitch when paddling down the river (of) Denile.

  44. Clinton, Bad.
    Bush, Good.
    Both allowed the GROWTH of Taliban Training Camps on their watch.
    Clinton's had no reasonable access to Nukes.
    Can't say that now.

  45. 23,000 individual human tragedies not equalling one big one, in the midget minds of some.

    It does not advance Israel's cause, for the US to be distracted from the MidEast, becoming focused instead upon the Security of it's citizens.

    So the Israel cheer leaders amongst US become confused in their loyalties.

    Cross border violence that requires walls, fences and discrimination against Palistinians is inconsequental, in the US, even while proportionatly equal.

  46. With a simple change of plan, to switch from lawlessness to the rule of law, the Security of the USA could be multiplied by orders of magnitude.
    ...yet some don't want to hold our Govt accountable to DO it's most basic duty.

    In fact, some don't WANT them to.

  47. Another way to draw a comparison with Israel and our irregualr residents.

    The US with it's 300 million folk is 50 times larger than Israel and it's 6 million.

    We are told that 20 million irregulars in the US is of no concern.
    That would be equal to 400,000 returning Palistinians, proportionatly, for Israel to accept. From, let's say, the camps in Lebanon.

    Wiki tells us that:
    402,582 Palestinian refugees were registered in Lebanon with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in March 2005

    So thank you, allen, your position has finalized an internal debate I've been having. The Israel should accept all those Palistinians in Lebanon back into Israel, based on your opinion of what is good, for US.

  48. Without background checks, those Palistinians only want to lead a good life, support their families.
    There could only a couple of bad apples in the bunch, no big deal.

  49. Quibble: “To evade the truth or importance of an issue by raising trivial distinctions and objections.”

    Quibble indeed!

    At 11:00:00 AM, EDT, I asked a question. Prior to that, Mexico had not been mentioned, even in passing. Moreover, neither immigration nor the American policy appertaining thereto had been broached. Indeed, Islam and Islamic terrorism had provided the general train of thought for the morning.

    “Has the Untied States suffered another attack comparable to 9/11?”

    [Note: “attack” is singular, specifying a unique event. That event was the nearly simultaneous murder of almost 3,000 Americans in a coordinated assault by a known Islamic terrorist organization associated with Islam, on 11 September 2001.]

    Rather than answer my question within its logical frame of reference, which answer might have inadvertently given some minuscule praise to the hated Bush, DR disingenuously changed the subject to “attacks” [plural and over a period of five plus years] by unnamed “infiltrators”, crossing an unspecified border.

    Since I BEGAN, STARTED, INITIATED, COMMENCED, and LAUNCHED this conversation by asking the question: “Has the Untied States suffered another attack comparable to 9/11?”, I would really appreciate an answer to that question, in the context rendered.

    Let the quibbling begin!

  50. Clinton, Bad.
    Bush, Good.
    Both allowed the GROWTH of Taliban Training Camps on their watch.
    Clinton's had no reasonable access to Nukes.
    Can't say that now.
    Almost ALL now say Clinton should have seen the inevitable result of leaving training camps unharmed.
    What has CHANGED?

  51. Are YOURS the only important questions, Allen? if we should neglect a GREATER threat?

  52. DR,

    Your ongoing compassion continued sensitivity to the plight of the poor Palestinian people is touching. Their proven record of gratitude might persuade you to consider retiring to the PA rather than south of the border. Who knows, they might even name a brigade for you.

    Oh, watch out for bulldozers.

  53. doug,

    I suppose priority and honesty would be beyond the pale.

  54. Pretty sure this does not reference Mexico, or other points south:
    Clinton, Bad.
    Bush, Good.
    Both allowed the GROWTH of Taliban Training Camps on their watch.
    Clinton's had no reasonable access to Nukes.
    Can't say that now.
    Almost ALL now say Clinton should have seen the inevitable result of leaving training camps unharmed.
    What has CHANGED?

  55. New versions of "The Exodus"

    "Today, after the exodus of the Hindus in the 1990s, Kashmir valley is 99% Muslim.
    There is still a significant Kashmiri Hindu presence in some regions of Jammu (Jammu is the winter capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Srinagar is the summer capital).

    The First Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, was of Kashmiri lineage. Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif is of Kashmiri lineage as was Allama Iqbal, the famous Urdu poet."

  56. 'Rat,
    Boston is back at Belmont, assuring us there will be no threat from Pakistan due to the incompetence of the Jihadis!
    Clinton should have used that one!
    Good to have different tributaries of DeNile.

  57. bobalharb,

    You did answer the question. Thanks. Sorry, to have ignored the positive.

  58. It is agreed (by most)9-11 was the inevitable result of neglect of the Taliban Training Camps.

    Can we say a second attact does not become more likely with every day the Taliban Training Camps are allowed to grow NOW and in the future?

    Answer to your question:
    I await an answer to this one.
    (I also think the Murderous as well as the Demographic threat from open borders is Far Greater than the Islamic One we faced before 9-11.)
    Security Counts, even when it slowly bleeds away.

  59. doug,


    My thoughts on the administration's monumental immigration failures are found on scores (if not hundreds) of posts at this site and elsewhere.

    Whether the terrorist threat is greater from Mexico or Asia, I am unable to say. Culturally, and I mean that inclusively, the United States has been changed by illegal immigration. Instead of emphasizing the transformation of Latino immigrants into "Americans", illegal immigration has made mongrels of us all. For the already seething, there is no "American" ethnicity; although, there was, for nearly two centuries, a distinct, recognizable American culture.