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Like father, like son

Monday, March 18th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — a commonly-used rule / algo for one type of DoubleQuote, not always obeyed in practice, but on occasion it is.. and then some heart-led considerations ]
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Each generation of the bin Laden family seems to have many sons, not all of whom turn to terrorism — nor should they be tainted needlessly with guilt by association:

Compare:

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The outcome of the chase for bin Laden père:

and:

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See also Osama bin Laden’s last message to his children:

Osama bin Laden dead: I’m sorry for neglecting you – a final message to his 24 children

The al-Qaeda leader also told his offspring not to join al-Qaeda and ordered his wives not to remarry. [ .. ]

The instruction to his 24 children not to fight jihad cites a precedent from the Islamic texts. Omar bin al-Khattab, the successor of the Prophet Mohammad as Islam’s leader, also left written instructions to his son, Abdullah, not to wage holy war.

Bin Laden Tells Children Not to Join al Qaeda:

What does the will of a terrorist mastermind say? There are some surprises: Osama bin Laden apologizes to his children for neglecting them and instructs them not to join al Qaeda. The four-page document, published in a Kuwaiti newspaper, is focused on justifying bin Laden’s jihad against America and Israel and there is no mention of possessions. Bin Laden inherited an estimated $30 million fortune from his father. “You, my children, I apologize for giving you so little of my time because I responded to the need for jihad,” the will states. As justification for not having them join al Qaeda, bin Laden cites an Islamic text that instructs the Prophet Mohammad’s son to not to wage a holy war. As for his wives, they are instructed to “not consider” marrying again and instead focus on raising his children. The Kuwaiti paper says the will dates back to 2001.

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Of great importance in thinking through the broader question of the children of jihad is Leah Farrall‘s series of posts, collected as Children, jihad, agency, and the state of counter terrorism

:Below is a seven part series I wrote on a number of issues stemming from a twitter dispute I had with @CChristineFair over her labeling of bin Laden’s children as “terror spawn.” The series seeks to delve into the broader issues our dispute raised, such as the status of children born into jihad; agency and the difficulties of walking away. The series of posts can also be found on the blog, but owing to their length I thought it better to put them all in the one place. This was written on May 29, 2012.

Read and ponder.

What’s so significant here is heart.

It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 15

Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — a bit of a hodge-podge, also known as an olla podrida — i hope you’ll find it tasty! ]
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Headlines, no chyrons:

You know, I think this is the first bazooka metaphor I’ve seen since I started looking:

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Game, war-game and game theoretical references, as you know, are always of interest to me, but the addition of a nuclear component makes such references irresistible:

Sample paragraph:

As Trump sought to persuade Kim to give up his nuclear weapons, enticing his young “friend” with visions of a disarmed North Korea as an “Economic Powerhouse,” India and Pakistan were trading blows in a case study of what conflict looks like when countries successfully obtain nuclear weapons despite international opposition.

Latest on that:

  • BBC, Abhinandan: Crowds gather for Indian pilot’s release
  • Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said the pilot would be released as a “peace gesture” on Friday. India’s military welcomed the move.

    Ali Minai comments on FB:

    Not only the right and mature thing to do, but also a great tactical move. The Pakistan government- the PM, the opposition, and the military – have handled the situation with great skill – a benefit of “unified command and control”. Even the media in Pakistan has not gone completely nuts – though the same can’t be said for some of the Indian media. Both sides seem to have de-escalated, but it is too early to breathe a sigh of relief given Pakistan’s fragile economic state and the temptation of the electoral benefits of belligerence on the Indian side.

    **

    And then there’s this:

  • Small Wars Journal, US offers $1 million reward for information on Hamza bin Laden
  • There’s an obvious DQ there with his father’s wanted listing with a bounty on his head.

    **

    I thought this was an eye-catching description of doctrine, used as an epigraph to the UK Doctrine of War:

    I cam by it via a War on the Rocks piece, Mal Craghill‘s Thinking about thinking in the Royal Air Force, which pointed me to the UK Doctrine document. I syuspect that document may be worth a post exploring the conceptual and moral components of war (the physical component is not in my bailiwick), and in particular how the moral component and morale are related. TBD.

    **

    Back to politics, US:

  • WaPo, House Democrats exploded in recriminations

  • Fighting words, if that ain’t a contradiction in terms:

    House Democrats exploded in recriminations Thursday over moderates bucking the party, with liberal Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez threatening to put those voting with Republicans “on a list” for a primary challenge.

    In a closed-door session, a frustrated Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) lashed out at about two dozen moderates and pressured them to get on board. “We are either a team or we’re not, and we have to make that decision,” Pelosi said, according to two people present but not authorized to discuss the remarks publicly.

    But Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the unquestioned media superstar of the freshman class, upped the ante, admonishing the moderates and indicating she would help liberal activists unseat them in the 2020 election.

    **

    That’s enough for now. I’ve a blizzard coming..

    Oh, the Trumpian DoubleQuotes I’ve missed!

    Friday, June 23rd, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — praise of Bruce Hoffman’s review of The Exile (ie Osama bin Laden) — interrupted by Trumpist verbal pyrotechnics ]
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    Saif al-Adel, key AQ operative

    **

    War on the Rocks has a tremendous review by Bruce Hoffman of Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy, The Exile: The Stunning Inside Story of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Flight, a must-read.

    Never mind that, I’ve been missing tremendous DoubleQuote opportunities, as I discover now I’ve seen Kathryn and Ross PetrasTrump’s Elements of Style in McSweeney’s. Consider some of my options:

    I know more about renewables than any human being on Earth.
    — interview, Sean Hannity, 4/13/16

    I think nobody knows more about taxes than I do, maybe in the history of the world. Nobody knows more about taxes.
    — interview, AP 5/13/16

    I know more about ISIS [the Islamic State militant group] than the generals do. Believe me.
    — speech, 11/12/15

    There is nobody who understands the horror of nuclear more than me.
    — speech, 6/15/16

    And then:

    I have a great relationship with the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.
    — TALK1300 radio interview, 4/14/11

    I have a great relationship the Mexican people. I love them, they love me!
    — MSBNC interview, 7/8/15

    I have a great relationship with the people of Scotland and an unbelievably good relationship with the people of Aberdeen.
    — press conference 6/8/15

    And, for good measure, assuming you can stretch this far:

    What I like is build a safe zone in Syria. Build a big, beautiful safe zone, and you have whatever it is so people can live…
    — campaign rally, 2/13/17

    We’re going to have beautiful clean coal.
    — CPAC address, 2/24/16

    And then again:

    I have had tremendous success.
    — interview, ABC News, 7/30/16

    I am worth a tremendous amount of money
    — interview, CNN 6/26/15

    I have a tremendous income.
    — presidential debate, 9/26/16

    I pay tremendous numbers of taxes
    — presidential debate, 10/9/16

    I have to admit, those last four — besides being a tremendous source of potential DoubleQuotes — is and are beautifully consistent. But do yourself a favor, unless I’ve displeased you, and go read the whole of the McSweeney piece.

    **

    I believe I mentioned Bruce Hoffman’s review of The Exile for War on the Rocks? One among many items of interest in that book would appear to be the significant role played by Saif al-Adel (see illustration above). Hamid Gul and Qassem Suleimani likewise. A key para:

    This tale of Iranian connivance provides additional evidence debunking the popular misconception that extremists do not cooperate across sectarian lines. Rather, it demonstrates how when interests overlap, they have repeatedly shown a remarkable ability to cast aside their otherwise rigid differences to work together. The ancient proverb that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” has long characterized the shifting and sometimes inexplicable alliances formed across the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia since the war on terrorism commenced 16 years ago. In this instance, the intensity of the shared enmity between Salafi-Jihadi Sunnis and Shia militants against the United States can never be prudently forgotten.

    A tie strong enough to bind Sunni and Shia together — their joint hatred of America? For those of us who take a keen interest in religion and love America, that’s a notion that may take quite some time to digest.

    Monkey see monkey do, or an eye for an eye

    Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — or, I suppose you could say, symmetry ]
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    The Finsbury Park Mosque attacker drove a car into a crowd because he was disgusted by the Westminster Bridge attacker who drove a car into a crowd:

    Ah well, bin Laden back in the day had a more sophisticated form of the same practice. As he put it in a speech to America::

    And as I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children.

    Sources:

  • SPLC, What We Know: Finsbury Park Attack
  • Telegraph, Westminster attack: Everything we know so far
  • Zenpundit, Close reading, Synoptic- and Sembl-style
  • I did not lead a busload of others down a path

    Monday, May 29th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — the unrealities and realities of dream and vision, sensitive compartmented information, zahir and batin, bin Laden and the Mahdi, more ]
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    I did not lead a busload of others down a path to a hotel.
    I did not arrive near my childhood home by bus.
    I was not a member of a CIA team meeting for a conference.
    I did not attend breakfast in the hotel.
    I did not have a pen clipped inside my trousers.
    My attention was not called to my pen having leaked by a female friend.
    I did not have a female friend.
    I did not manage to remove both pen and leaked ink from my trousers.
    I did not wonder how I would climb hills or trees if ncecessary during the conference exercises.
    I am in no condition to climb hills or trees, nor to lead others down a path.
    There is, however, a conference center very close to the house I used to live in during my childhood.
    I dreamed these things.

    **

    The De Vere Horsley Estate, just a couple of fields away from my childhood home, now a conference center:

    Google images thinks of it more as a marriage location. This particular photo is from the Hetty Hikes album.

    Ada, Countess of Lovelace, who intuited the operational utility of punched cards of the type used in Jacquard looms for retaining information generated by her friend Charles Babbage‘s Difference Engine, prototype of today’s computers, lived at Horsley Towers, built by the same architect, Sir Charles Barry, who designed the Houses of Parliament..

    My own more modest childhood dwelling was within the grounds, just a few hundred feet inside the Horsley Towers Gates.

    **

    Dreams are, in a sense, occulted from waking life: there is a secrecy to them.

    When the time comes that we can reliably scan and record the visual and verbal imagery of dreams, perhaps even at a distance from and without the consent of their dreamers, questions will arise as to whether their contents should be classified, indeed perhaps deemed Sensitive Compartmented Information, and dreaming permitted only in SCIFs?

    Various occult, psychological and imaginal theories suppose that dreams can touch upon a subjective yet absolute realm, Jung‘s collective unconscious with its archetypes, Shia Islam’s ‘alam al-mithal, termed by Henry Corbin the mundus imaginalis

    there exists an inner world, which lies ‘outside’ our personal minds, and in which they are contained in exactly the same way as our bodies are contained in the outer world revealed by the senses

    writes D Streatfeild in Persephone.

    And Corbin, writing of the Suhrawardian mundus imaginalis:

    Essentially the relationship involved is that of the outer, the visible, the exoteric (in Greek ta exo, in Arabic zahir) to the inner, the invisible, the esoteric (in Greek ta eso, in Arabic batin), or the relationship of the natural to the spiritual world. Leaving the where, the ubi category, is equivalent to leaving the outer or natural appearances that cloak the hidden inner realities, just as the almond is concealed in its shell.

    Zahir and Batin are, respectively, the literal or apparent meanings of Quranic verses, and their hidden or spiritual meanings, known only to those who have eyes to see, ears to hear…

    **

    For a dream in which the young bin Laden is instructed to carry a black flag (“similar to the flag of Saudi Arabia” and with “something written on it in white color”) to the Mahdi at the gates of Al-Quds, Jerusalem, see A “Big Dream” attributed to Osama bin Laden.

    I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours — Bob Dylan said that.


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