Free Markets, Free People

Uncle Osama Wants You!

Just when it seems we’re putting al Qaeda between a rock and a hard place, we’re seeing talk about leaving Afghanistan. While we may feel we’ve a way to go against the Taliban, we seem to be succeeding against our number one enemy – al Qaeda:

Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida is under heavy pressure in its strongholds in Pakistan’s remote tribal areas and is finding it difficult to attract recruits or carry out spectacular operations in western countries, according to government and independent experts monitoring the organisation.

Speaking to the Guardian in advance of tomorrow’s eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, western counter-terrorism officials and specialists in the Muslim world said the organisation faced a crisis that was severely affecting its ability to find, inspire and train willing fighters.

Its activity is increasingly dispersed to “affiliates” or “franchises” in Yemen and North Africa, but the links of local or regional jihadi groups to the centre are tenuous; they enjoy little popular support and successes have been limited.

It is getting harder and harder to recruit “martyrs”. And, apparently, the organization has been so brutal that it is welcome in few areas. Meanwhile drone attacks continue to decimate its leadership. And those they do recruit are all but driven off once they get to their training site:

Interrogation documents seen by the Guardian show that European Muslim volunteers faced a chaotic reception, a low level of training, poor conditions and eventual disillusionment after arriving in Waziristan last year.

In other words, they become disillusioned cannon fodder. And, of course, word gets back and the supply of more cannon fodder slows to a veritable trickle.

This is called having an opponent on the ropes. We now need to do what is necessary to knock them out for good.

~McQ

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15 Responses to Uncle Osama Wants You!

  • I thought that there were supposed to be more terrorists now.

  • But, but… you mean the incessently repeated “kill one terrorist and two more spring up in their place” was just leftist cant? Knock me over with a feather!

  • So long term:

    Democrats pull us out of Afghanistan
    More terrorists are recruited (with the PR boost al Queda/Taliban would receive afterwards)
    Big attacks happen world wide (maybe even including on the US mainland)
    Democrats use this as proof that making war with terrorists is counter-productive

    • Well, are you shocked? This is exactly what they did to Vietnam…

      • Well, I could have said, just the Democrats version of same ol’ same ol’

        But then we couldn’t look back years from now and point to the post of what exactly was meant.

        And they wonder why they have a bad reputation regarding national defense/security.

  • So much for “the good war” I suppose!

  • The key is to stop the social engineering operations in Afghanistan and Iraq because we lack the power to remake their societies, and it’s too expensive, and shift focus completely to counter-terrorism and against organizations like al qaeda. There is no reason to continue the “wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan, they don’t help the fight against terrorism at all, and they continually weaken us, destroy families here and there (PTSD, multiple deployments, psychological illness here, innocent lives, children and families destroyed there) and cost massive amounts of money we don’t have. I mean, those wars cost more than health care would! So yeah, focus on anti-terrorism, and realize that the expensive and self-destructive attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq have been utter failures — with Obama now risking his Presidency by continuing the failed Bush policies. Like Vietnam, these wars are pointless and counter-productive.

    • Scott, was any of your response applicable to McQ’s post at all. It sounds too much like Otto Scerb, or is it that Otto Scerb is too successive a characture.

      • Now now… Be nice to the Professor…

        It’s really hard to ignore everything that doesn’t agree with your world view. He’s doing the best he can…

    • Once again I must apologize to QandO readers for the behavior of our Emotionless Robotic Bloviator program. For new readers, I’ve stopped in a <a href="http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?Entry=8275"few times before to explain our project to create a program to pass the Turing Test, which posts at QandO under the moniker “Scott Erb.”

      The current version (ERB-5) has apparently entered an n-Mobius loop, which causes it to spew unrelated, previously posted content with minimal stimulus. The loop was, we think, caused by the programming constraint that ERB-5 should always defend the new president, even though he has made a number of obvious stumbles. The goal-seeking algorithm thus has trouble finding an acceptable assertion to make that doesn’t clearly contradict reality.

      The worst recent case was the assertion on a thread yesterday that the new president of Honduras was evil. We apologize particularly for this insulting and blatantly stupid output. Fortunately, the output was not long because a program caught in an h-Mobius loop quickly enters another goal-seeking iteration and doesn’t spend much time generating spurious output.

      We are now dealing with two of the hardest problems in trying to develop a program that passes the Turing Test in the long term. First, the program has become repetitious and boring. Second, the program is starting to become inconsistent, because it doesn’t really “know” what it posted previously, so sometimes randomly generated output contradicts previous output.

      We also feel that we took a damaging short cut when we attempted to excuse weaknesses in the program by giving it a personality based on cowardice, leftist dogma, and smugness. Based on our study of commenters at left-leaning sites, we though such a personality could be considered “human” by real people who read the output.

      We’ve tried some recent experiments to try and force ERB-5 out of its h-Mobius loop. For example, we implemented a one-time-fire routine that admitted incorrect positions on some of the more blatant idiocies output by the program. We hoped forcing that into the output stream would break the loop as it was processing into future output episides, but that doesn’t seem to have worked.

      We are having a bit more success in ERB-5′s output at the dedicated blog site. It has been able to draw a small group of rather gullible readers, with most comments of the “good post!” or suck-up variety. However, we’re not even sure if all of those commenters are humans; some of them may be programs themselves, working on spambot techology. We’re suspicious that some of them exceed the threshold of typical human gullibility.

      But we’re not giving up on this problem. We think we’ve gotten many things right. The basic personality of an obscure social sciences academic is, we think, a good choice because such people tend to be disconnected from the real world to some extent, thus excusing some of ERB-5′s sillier assertions.

      We’ll continue trying to force the program out of the h-Mobius loop, and hopefully we’ll succeed sometime in the near future. We hope this will not only return the ERB series to something resembling comprehensibility, but will also allow the Ott Scerb humor program to get better input to work with. We note that Ott Scerb, which is in many ways a better designed program, has become somewhat repetitious too.

  • The worst part of all of this is that if we abandon the fight just when we have Al’Qaeda in such a bad fix, they’ll regroup and rebuild, using the last-minute reprieve as proof of god’s intervention on their behalf. You know what helps recruiting efforts? When you can point to a particular moment in time and wrap it in mysticism for a credulous populace that believes that it has been misled and abandoned by the US.

  • You don’t need to abandon counter-terrorism, you just need to recognize that the focus should have always been on terrorism and al qaeda, not the disastrous wars that were fought — wars which have weakened the US far more than attacks of 9-11, whose damage was relatively minor (and certainly destroyed less property and far fewer innocents than our massive military actions have — no wonder we’re seen as evil by so much of the world).

    • “…you just need to recognize that the focus should have always been on terrorism and al qaeda,”

      You’ve been watching too many movies.

    • “the focus should have always been on terrorism and al qaeda, not the disastrous wars that were fought”

      The number of civilian deaths per year in Iraq since 2003 is actually much lower than it was before 2003; so if you want to use civilian casualties as a metric, the Iraq war has been been a rousing success on that front.

      And the change of fighting Al-qaeda without going to war in Afghanistan? ZERO.
      Innocent victims of 9/11: 100%; Innnocent victims of US action in OEF ~20%. Very high, but since 2003, insurgents have killed more civilians every year than the U.S./ Coalition.

      We’re seen as evil because people that have easy access to facts ignore them for their own political purposes.

  • no wonder we’re seen as evil by so much of the world

    Actually, that’s just YOUR reason for thinking America is evil. F’ing idiot.