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Brexit: gunpowder, treason and plot?

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — conspiracies in the lead up to Jo Cox’s death and the Brexit referendum ]
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Amil Khan, aka Londonstani, is a London-based journalist and author of The Long Struggle: The Muslim Worlds Western Problem. If I recall correctly, he was roommate for a while with Andrew Exum, aka Abu Muqawama, and a frequent contributor to Exum’s Abu Muqawama blog.

**

Here are three tweets I found that answer Londonstani‘s question — two conspiracy theories and a conspirator with motive:

and:

and by way of motive:

**

See also:

  • Washington Post, Pencil or pen? An unusual conspiracy theory grips Brexit vote.
  • Veterans Today, BREXIT victory shocks NWO – were “conspiracy theories” responsible?
  • Qur’an 8.30: And Allah is the best of plotters.

    Central Standard Time

    Monday, June 13th, 2016

    [by Mark Safranski /”zen“]

    I wanted to announce the debut of a Chicago-oriented culture e-zine, Central Standard Time, to which I will be one of the regular contributors. What is CST? In the words of the publisher, the Grammy nominated producer and professor of music, Joe Tortorici:

    The intent of this site is to suggest more than a solitary blogger’s view of the world. Central Standard Time exists to be a catalyst for timely discussions and a showcase for contemporary arts. Impetus for this effort echoes the pivotal era of the Chicago Literary Renaissance.

    Rising from the Great Fire of 1871, Chicago embraced the industrial revolution and the fundamental shift of American life from a rural to urban environment. In step with this cultural evolution came a wellspring of creativity spanning the intellectual and artistic spectrum that continued through the mid-twentieth century. It fostered the Literary Realism period in both fiction and non-fiction, and the ascendency of topical columnists writing for the myriad newspapers of the day. The Jazz Age was about to transform Chicago and the world. Art Nouveau gave way to Picasso and Duchamp; the Modern Age was born.

    I stand in awe of the diversity during this period and how Chicago helped shape American literature. Henry Fuller and Theodore Dreiser wrote novels defining Midland Realism; prolific commentators and humorists George Ade and Eugene Field gave new stimulus to the daily read; Finley Dunne and his “Mr. Dooley” narrative spoke to social and political issues from a seat in his South Side Irish pub (of course); Nelson Algren, Saul Bellow, and the immortal Ben Hecht influenced generations of writers; poets Carl Sandberg, Harriet Monroe, and Gwendolyn Brooks bridged the racial divide; Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” remains required reading in every American Literature course; in our time, Studs Terkel, Mike Royko, and Jack Mabley sustained the gritty narrative of urban life while Erma Bombeck made us smile.

    Within this multiplicity were common threads. Each of these intellectual giants created his own world by authoring plays, poetry, political commentary, neighborhood novels, and an enduring slang narrative. The age of compartmentalized sterility was more than a century in the future. Newspapers and periodicals served as incubators for numerous literary careers; The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Daily News, Chicago Post, Monroe’s Poetry, Chicago Journal, Chicago Sun, the South Side Writer’s Group, Chicago Sun Times, and Floyd Dell’s Friday Literary Review. The new millennium offers a unique method for sharing information. We would be remiss to not use this broad avenue for illumination and entertainment.

    In this spirit, Central Standard Time hopes to carry on the task of publishing compelling stories, thoughtful opinions, visual and aural beauty, laughter, and everything else that makes us human.

    Read the rest here.

    Literary graces not being my strongest suit, I will continue to focus on natsec and strategy related pieces geared to a more general and less policy wonky, .mil, .gov oriented readership that visits here. My first post at CST dealt with the terror attacks in Orlando that unfolded Saturday:

    It’s not Your Father’s War on Terror Any More

    ….While Americans quickly became politically divided on partisan lines over how to characterize Mateen’s terrorism as a problem of gun control, homophobia or Islamic radicalization, the security threat Americans now face with terrorism is different and potentially more socially disruptive that the kinds of state-sponsored terrorism of the 20th century or even that of non-state actors like al Qaida, whose September 11 attack launched the United States into fifteen years of war. The strategic targeting, the terrorist tactics, the ideological motivations and the kinds of people who become terrorists have shifted away from the model of Abu Nidal or Osama bin Laden to that of Omar Mateen or Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. It’s not your father’s war on terror any more.

    Previous iterations of terrorists have significant differences with the acts of Islamist terrorism seen in Orlando, San Bernardino or at Fort Hood in that some constraints on violence were imposed by the secretive nature and disciplined organizational structure of modern terrorist organizations and their often grandiose political aspirations. The 1970’s era terror groups such as the PLO, IRA or the Red Brigades enjoyed covert intelligence, training and funding from the Soviet bloc and radical states like Gaddafi’s Libya; while this gave these groups greater security and resources, it also gave their patrons a “veto” over any and all terror operations. Or more than a veto. Reputedly master Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal met his end at the hands of Iraqi state security when he defied his chief supporter Saddam Hussein’s “requests” once too often. In short, it was not in the interest of terrorism sponsoring states to let terrorist groups off their short leash during the Cold War, lest they spark WWIII.

    Read the rest here.

    Turner on Cultural Understanding and Influence In The Arena

    Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

    [by Mark Safranski / “zen“]

       

    Pete Turner (Right)                                                       Anthony Iannarino

    “Alcohol and hand grenades” is always the mark of a great interview.

    Some ZP readers are familiar with business strategist and sales expert S. Anthony Iannarino due to his highly regarded and widely read The Sales BlogAnthony also has a podcast, In the Arena and in this week’s episode he interviews another friend of ZP, Pete Turner of The Break it Down Show.

    Pete and Anthony discuss HUMINT, cultural understanding, John Boyd, Afghanistan, 4GW, trust building, relationships, organizational cultures and making connections through respect, analogs to the business world, institutional “tribes”, cross-cultural interactions, books and much more.

    Give it a listen here. Strongest recommendation.

    Book Bonanza

    Monday, December 28th, 2015

    [by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“]

    My usual yuletide haul of books received and purchased….

         

         

         

         

    The Last of the President’s Men by Bob Woodward
    Being Nixon: A Man Divided by Evan Thomas
    Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956 by Anne Applebaum
    Avoiding Armageddon: From the Great War to the Fall of France 1918-1940 by Jeremy Black
    Roots of Strategy Book 3
    Rule of the Clan by Mark Weiner
    Twilight of the Elites: America after Meritocracy by Christopher Hayes
    Democracy in Retreat by Joshua Kurlantzick
    The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
    The Middle-East: A Brief History of the Last 2000 Years by Bernard Lewis
    Patton: A Genius for War by Carlo D’Este
    Beetle: The Life of General Walter Bedell Smith by D.K.R. Crosswell
    The Libertarian Mind by David Boaz
    A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
    Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
    A Dance of Dragons by George R.R. Martin 

    If anyone has read these titles and wishes to fire away about them, or their authors in the comment section, feel free. Not sure how many will be featured in future reviews.

    The Nixon books were first brought to my attention on, if I recall, the Facebook page of historian Maarja Krusten of NixonNARA, the expert’s expert in matters relating to the presidential records, documents, court cases and tapes of Richard Nixon. When Maarja opines on Nixon topics, I listen with care. I look forward to reading these, even though my opinion of  Bob Woodward is that he often has to be treated cautiously, Alexander Butterfield’s cooperation and contribution was obviously central to the book (not unlike the far longer cooperation between George Kennan and his biographer,  historian John Lewis Gaddis). Evan Thomas’ theme just offhand strongly reminds me of Richard Reeves’ excellent President Nixon: Alone in the White House; I’m curious if this will be a rehashing or if Thomas can bring something new to the table about America’s 37th President.

    I am also excited about Rule of the Clan, which should be of interest to anyone thinking about insurgency, irregular warfare, unconventional warfare and terrorism intersecting with tribal or quasi-tribal societies. My friends Michael Lotus and James Bennett who wrote the excellent America 3.0 and drew on the family structure ideas of British anthropologist Alan Macfarlane and French scholar Emanuel Todd, would also be interested.

    The fiction was picked up for a simpler reason. I need a change of pace and never read the last, most recent book in the Game of Thrones series.

    What are you reading these days?

    Reminders, and other signs

    Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — the camps, theirs and ours, and nuking Mecca, with a pinch of Lynch ]
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    Here are the reminders..

    SPEC DQ reminders

    **

    These DoubleQuotes arose in the context of comments by Georgetown Syria specialist Marc Lynch, better known on the web as the blogger Abu Aardvark, on a recent On the Media podcast:

    The kinds of ideas that you are seeing espoused by presidential candidates right now are the sorts of things that you would have seen on obscure right-wing blogs twelve years ago, and now they’re being taken seriously on the op-ed pages. The idea that you would have a religious test for Syrian refugees to let Christians but not Muslims in, or that you would create a national registry to track Muslims, or to shut down mosques – I mean, these are radical fringe ideas, and yet they’ve insinuated themselves into the mainstream.

    **

    Here’s the evolution of an idea, from 2005 to the present. You’ll note that the rhetoric has gained intensity (the qualification “if they nuke us” has been dropped), but in this case the earlier source (Fox) was more mainstream, and the current one (WND) way deeper into the fringe..

    SPEC DQ nuke mecca

    **

    Sources:

  • Raw Story, Trump crosses the Nazi line: Maybe Muslims should wear special ID badges
  • Raw Story, Rhode Island Republican wants Syrian refugees held in ‘centralized’ camps

  • Fox News, Tancredo: If They Nuke Us, Bomb Mecca
  • World NetDaily, Bomb Mecca off the face of the earth

  • On the Media, Lessons Unlearned

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