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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 8

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — auditioning, pledging, pitching, animated by animus, focusing fire, kicking, lashing, assault, shocked, strike, slammer ]]
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Headers:

First, some ouroboroi (serpents that bite their own tails):

This strikes me as a negative ouroboros

— the point here is that the serpent snaps at its tail and misses:

Next, a fairly plausible ourob — the newspaper is reporting on a suit against itself. There’s a frame-switch here, between headline and paper, which is why I call it “plausible”:

And this one — can we call it an ourob? Trunp, after all, is part of reality, so in this case it’s a part raging at its own whole:

If, as I keepm arguing, ouroboroi are often markers of significant content — not always, but opften enough — it’s worth testing the boundaries of what constitutes an ourob. And simply getting practice= in identifying them.

What do you think?

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Quotes:

Writing in Inside the London tech scene’s frantic plan to stop Brexit of tech folk in Britain,

these people eventually congealed into an unofficial pro-Remain guerrilla operation, determined to use their skills to make the Brexit train stall before it goes flying over the white cliffs of Dover.

the group’s “numer” or leading light is quoted as saying:

MTP: Bernie Sanders is flexing his fundraising muscles ..
m39 one-to-one ..

Ari Melber 2/20/2019: We love to speculate about this [timing of Mueller release ] because it’s uniquely high drama ..

Hardball: Bernie Sanders comes fast out of the gate with his fundraising
It’s kicking it into Dan Coats’ court ..
We don’t know whether Joe Biden or Beto O’Rourke who are auditioning for the role of Hamlet, when they’re finally going to decide what to do ..
There’s so many wild cards out there on the Democratic side, and to some extent on the Trump side of the equation ..

All In, Chris Hayes:
CH to McCabe: What do you say to the basic idea that there’s these people inside the FBI, you among them, who just don’t like the guy [DJT], didn’t like the guy from the jump. and were animated by animus essentially in the actions you took ..
Enemy of the people .. these very loaded terms ..
The President calling you out, Fox News focusing its fire on you ..
Dan Coats is the latest one to be sort of in the cross hairs with this President ..
We still don’t know about Wikileaks ..
Clint Watts: The belief has always been that should Wikileaks ever go down, that day or the next day there would be an unbelievable release of material. It’s always been thought that they’re on an information timebomb ..

Morning Joe 2/21/2019 We should be shocked that we’re not more shocked ..

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Chyrons

  • CNN Situation Room 5pm m59 2/20/2019 chyroon NATO
  • MTP chyron NYT Enemy of the People
  • And a George Mason ouroboros:

    We weren’t always so ready to label far-right extremists domestic terrorists, but now it’s happening ..

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    Okay, Ari Melber and the Roger Stone trial:

    Roger Stone’s very well known effort to turn serious proceedings into a baroque theater of the absurd .. **

    — both kicking myself and pledging “epic fight” — twofer!

    Ari: Quite a performance. This is the reality part. Stone was doing the reality show part. We’re in the reality part today ..

    Nick Ackerman: In a way, this is like baseball: the third strike and he’s off to the slammer ..

    Rogow (defense): It’s indefensible ..

    NA: If she’s put into place at the time a full gaga order, he would have gone directly to jail, do not stop Go, do not collect $200 ..

    AM: This is his last, last strike as she puts it ..

    **

    And that’s my last stroke for the day.

    McCabe and Melber, bright lines and fuzzy borders

    Friday, February 15th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — exploring the notion that liminality is the strangeness of borders ]
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    Gadi Schwartz follows the border wall in the dunes where Trump’s prototypes have already failed the test

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    The topic area this post will explorenis that of liminality — one of the more helpful concepts anthropology provides us with — and borders — of considerable interest in terms of our southern border at this time, and closely related to the concept of liminality.

    In case you’re not familiar with liminality, my post Liminality II: the serious part, offers our best introduction to the concept. Trying to put it in brief: liminality is the strangeness of borders.

    **

    McCabe’s lines:

    Let’s start with Andrew McCabe and his forthcoming book The Threat, as excerpted in The Atlantic under the title Every Day Is a New Low in Trump’s White House.

    I’m starting here because McCabe mentions various types of lines — :

    McCabe writes that the President calls him — “It’s Don Trump calling” — on a phone line, unclassified, insecure as it turns out — but although that’s a line connecting two places and two people, it’s not the kind of line I’m interested in.

    He writes of a finish line, which he felt he’d crossed as he left the Capitol after briefing the Gang of Eight with Rod Rosenstein — in a secure SCIF — and that’s closer to my interest, with a quasi-geographical border-line, between the Capitol itself and the Capitol steps — as well as its mental component, a temporal border if you will, the completion of a significant task.

    He writes about “drawing an indelible line around the cases we had opened” during that brief, and the phrase “indelible line” has a definite, even definitive quality to it that’s significantly closer to my interest.

    And then he writes about the moral lines, the ones that really interest me because they’re so clear they’re called bright:

    The president has stepped over bright ethical and moral lines wherever he has encountered them. Every day brings a new low, with the president exposing himself as a deliberate liar who will say whatever he pleases to get whatever he wants.

    There’s no mistaking lines of that sort, they are real moral borders: light is on one side, wrong on the other

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    Bright lines and grey areas:

    There are, of course, what are known as grey areas, where the moral lines are not so bright.. and here’s where we can turn to Ari Melber and his special, Live at the Border, on MSNBC yesterday, which deals with a physical, geographical border-line that’s bright and definite — cannot be crossed — in some places, and far less distinct — an irritant in daily life, no more — in others.

    Melber’s Border:

    Some comments made by journos and interviewees in Melber‘s documentary stood out for me because they touched on this liminal nature of borders. It’s one thing to see lines on a map, and quite another to visit the varied landscapes and sociologies across two thousand miles of river, mountains, cities, desert..

    We keep talking about this border like it’s one thing, like its one place, like it’s a national crisis..

    The US southern border with Mexico is two thousand miles from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico: desert, mountains, farmland, cities, concrete, scrub grass, farmland, and a whole lot of sand, and one long river ..

    Texas:

  • The debate over the border and a wall may seem loike politics in Washington DC, but here it’s a way of life ..

  • Here the landscape takes over ..

  • The natural barrier here makes it almost impossible to cross ..
  • New Mexico:

  • The southern border of New Mexico is one of the most [unintelligible] parts of the country ..

  • t stretches across roughly two hundred miles of rugged terrain and barren desert, making it hard to know where the US ends and Mexico begins ..

  • e city of Sunland Park is actually at the point where both the state of New Mexico and the state of Texas meet, but also with the state of Chihuahua which is in Mexico.

  • It’s one region with one culture here, because, you know, I have families that live here in Sunland Park during the week, and on the weekend they go back home to visit their mom, their parents, their aunts, in Mexico ..
  • Arizona:

  • .. the interconnectedness of both sides ..

  • he reality is, the people who live in El Paso are the people who live in Juarez, they’re the same people, a hundred thousand people commute back and forth every day to go to work, to go to school..

  • In the State of Arizona it has 353 miles of border .. so long and varied the stories there are as varied as the terrain

  • This administration is using the desert to kill people and they’re dying from lack of water ..

  • This is Nogales, Arizona, but that’s Nogales, Mexico ..

  • .. it’s the rhetoric behind the border ..
  • California:

  • A massive sea of sand dunes spans the desert ..

  • It would be really hard to build a full-blown wall here, because the sands are constantly shifting throughout the year, but a floating fence, that is a different story ..
  • The issue:

    The wall is not the issue. And the border, this very real stretch of land with people, and families, and businesses, and churches, on both sides of the line, is not the issue. The issue is what this country as a whole looks like, and who gets to call it theirs — which is why the wall will never be built, and always be needed, why the border will never actually be secured but always need to be secured.

    The border is not what we need to secure; what we want is for people to be secure; we want people to feel secure. And that, that’s heart [hard?], and getting there and all that it would mean is something that no amount fencing is ever going to provide..

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    Further readings:

    Here are some of the other Zenpundit posts on liminality and borders:

  • Of border crossings, and the pilgrimage to Arbaeen in Karbala
  • Violence at three borders, naturally it’s a pattern
  • Borders, limina and unity
  • Borders as metaphors and membranes
  • Strategy Illuminated

    Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — a meander in praise of, variously, Piers at Penn, Alice in Wonderland, Caitlin Fitz Gerald, and Benjamin Wittes ]
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    Strategic theology:

    Compare Nigel Howard, in Confrontation Analysis: how to win operations other than war, writing:

    the problem of defense in the modern world is the paradoxical one of finding ways for the strong to defeat the weak.

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    Okay — Alice, in Wonderland, asks:

    And what is the use of a book without pictures or conversation?

    **

    By dint of sickness, I haven’t been able to purue my efforts to see Caitlin Fitx Gerald‘s fabulous Clausewitz for Kids make its brilliantly-deserving way into print:

    That image is from Caitlin’s work, as praised by Benjamin Wittes of Lawfare blog — whom I know not because he’s become a go-to source on many things Trump / Comey

    Suddenly, he was D.C. famous; the very next day, Collins and Wittes bumped into each other in the Morning Joe greenroom. “It used to be that what was going to be written on my tombstone was ‘Benjamin Wittes, former Washington Post editorial writer,’ or ‘Benjamin Wittes, who wasn’t even a lawyer,’?” he says. “Now it’s just, like, ‘Benjamin Wittes, who’s a friend of Jim Comey’s.’?”

    — but way before that, because he knew Caitlin and her work:

    The other day, Wells drew my attention to what could be the single most excellently eccentric national security-oriented project currently ongoing on the web: It is called Clausewitz for Kids. I am apparently not the first to discover it. Spencer Ackerman had this story about it last year. But I had missed it until the other day, and I suspect most Lawfare readers are unto this very day unaware that a woman named Caitlin Fitz Gerald is currently writing a comic book edition of Clausewitz’s On War–entitled The Children’s Illustrated Clausewitz–featuring lectures in a Prussian forest by a hare in a military uniform. To make matters all the more fun, she is blogging the process to boot.

    Hey, “single most excellently eccentric national security-oriented project” is pretty damn high praise, eh?

    **

    Benjamin Wittes and his tick, tick, as seen and summarized by Rachel Maddows:

    Ben Wittes now runs a well-regarded blog that`s called Lawfare, which I think is kind of a pun on warfare, Lawfare, warfare. Anyway. Lawfareblog.com.

    So, Ben Wittes. On May 16th .. Ben Wittes, he did this online, on Twitter, which is a weird thing, right? Nobody knew what was wrong with him. Nobody knew exactly what this was about.

    You can see the time stamp there right beneath the tick, tick, tick, tick. He sent it at 3:18 p.m. on May 16th. Hey, Ben Wittes, what`s that about?

    Well, then later, boom – literally the word boom. Two hours and eight minutes after that initial tweet, we now know in retrospect what that tick, tick, ticking was about. Ben Wittes tweeted “boom” and a link to that huge story that had just been posted at “The New York Times”.

    Quote: Comey memo says Trump asked him to end Flynn investigation.

    That was a huge story when it broke and apparently somehow Ben Wittes knew it was coming out because he tweeted, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, two hours before it came, and then boom once it landed. That was May 16th.

    And then two days after that, Ben Wittes started ticking again.

    [ read the rest.. ]

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    Go Caitlin, go Wittes!

    Go Clint Watts too, if you know what I mean!

    The FBI is onto wargamers

    Friday, June 16th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — has been for some time, apparently ]
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    Here. by FOIA magic via PAXsims from CJ Ciaramella, is the FBI’s 1990 knowledge of wargamers, FYI:

    Lucky the name of the advisor / informant has been redacted, eh?


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