News

MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS MAKE AUDACIOUS PITCH FOR RECRUITS

Washington Post piece demonstrating increasing convergence between terrorist tactics and organised crime. This is a classic hearts and minds campaign. But is it in response to the use of military tactics against drug cartels? Is it another classic case of creating a new problem by trying to solve the old one with the wrong methods?

POLICE HUNT GIRL GANG WHO POURED LIQUID THROUGH LETTERBOX OF LONDON BLAST HOUSE

Lurid story, alleging that girl’s former classmates effectively blew up house and killed next door neighbour. Doesnt seem to be on any other media website yet. Also suggests that they might have learnt how to make a bomb on the internet. Hmmmm, so far it sounds like the Murdoch press exaggerating. Let’s wait a little while and see.

WHY THE 9/11 CONSPIRACY THEORIES WONT GO AWAY

Your blogger is just back from the Middle East, where he was surprised by the prevelance of 9/11 conspiracy theories, and a general lack of belief that 9/11 happened as reported. Here’s a Time article from September 2006 on the subject. It concentrates on US conspiracists rather than conspiracists from the Arab world.
This is a site giving official rebuttals: http://www.america.gov/st/pubs-english/2006/September/20060828133846esnamfuaK0.2676355.html
and a huge qarticle from “popular Mechanics”
http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/1227842.html

For once, conspiracists can even point at something I wrote in 1999 to demonstrate that “we” knew something was going to happen…”The time of a supranational European FBI has not yet come. But many aspects of a federal law-enforcement system are now in place. It just requires a major cause celebre to complete the picture. Perhaps a major simultaneous terrorist atrocity in more than one capital city would do the trick.” [Policing in Europe: Uniform in Diversity, Intellect 1999 p103] Certainly my graduate students have enjoyed throwing my words back to me.
The point is, though, that politics involves making plans and then reacting to events. Policy papers are always about in the files. Politicians don’t have to manufacture events. They just have to wait for one to come along to justify what they wanted to do anyway. That doesnt mean they actually plan the events. In Madrid, the metro bombings led to the defeat of Aznar’s government. In London the Underground bombings had surprisingly little political impact. In fact the measures that Blair’s government tried to bring in were resisted by parliament.
Ah well…there are still people who don’t believe the Americans went to the moon and that Elvis is alive somewhere. But 9/11 is a little bigger than that. We need to understand beliefs in the Middle East, and cover them better in our own media. I remain surprised by the challenge to my world-view.

ISRAEL PM URGED TO QUIT OVER CORRUPTION CLAIM

The problem is that Likud would win any election called now, as the article says. Allegations against Olmert have surfaced again and again. Is it a “Bill Clinton” case, where opponents just want to get him out to get themselves in, or is there a real issue? Impossible to tell from where I’m sitting.

IT’S THE BLACK ECONOMY, STUPID

A reasonable review of Misha Glenny’s book “McMafia” and Clare Longrigg’s “Boss of Bosses”.I’m still reading Glenny’s book, so maybe he uses the Romanian spelling of Transdnester. Who knows?

MAN ALLEGED TO HAVE KILLED GUERIN JAILED OVER KIDNAP PLOT

Another potential Asian businessman kidnap. This time a complex plan, financed by someone not in court and involving Patrick “Dutchy” Holland, a former associate of the INLA. Murky post-paramilitary world and article mentions Dublin crime gangs and the Irish police response to Guerin’s murder.

SGOC | News