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  • Talmud 7:16 as Quoted by Rishon Rishon in 2004
    Qohelet Raba, 7:16

    אכזרי סוף שנעשה אכזרי במקום רחמן

    Kol mi shena`asa rahaman bimqom akhzari Sof shena`asa akhzari bimqom rahaman

    All who are made to be compassionate in the place of the cruel In the end are made to be cruel in the place of the compassionate.

    More colloquially translated: "Those who are kind to the cruel, in the end will be cruel to the kind."

    Online Source:

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    Remark Made in the Ballroom of the Imperial Hotel, Vienna, Austria on the occasion of His 90th Birthday: "The Nazis are no more, but we are still here, singing and dancing."
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    "The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools."
  • Milan Kundera
    "The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting."


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August 29, 2008



"The city dwellers remain soft targets of terrorism when considering maximum psychological impact on the population because of enhanced kill ratios."

May we temper the clinical?

I don't wish to blame dry, empirical explanation for beckoning conflict with Islam, it may be a part of the impedence of solutions given the heavy load of drama and poetics invested in suicide bombers.

Mao had a countryside too, and probably, that is all Taliban--and guerrilla tactics, in general--suggest. Stepping up the state's military mission in the territories follows the most difficult but necessary course, which is to tackle a part of the command-control and operation aid and projection coming out of those quarters.

In that cities have more eyes that countrysides, it may be a part of individual Pakistani wisdom to choose sides and take responsibility for sheltering militants or tipping authorities. As suicide detonations have stood within Islam through practically this decade (and far back into the past), what's going on in the bomber's head in the way of sense of mission differs quite from those he kills and whose minds are on so many other things. The effect is to turn a supposed military tactic into a natural phenomenon that for all its destructive power communicates nothing.

# # #

tammy swofford

The difficulty for the ISI remains HumInt within high-density population groups. The city dwellers remain soft targets of terrorism when considering maximum psychological impact on the population because of enhanced kill ratios. We don't read of suicide bombers striking women congregated around a well in a small village along the Pak-Afghan border. They strike at bustling areas of commerce. We saw the strike-on-strike last week with a suicide bomber engaged in secondary strike against family members of an assassination victim gathered in an emergency room awaiting the final word. Although this was a targeted revenge package it surprised me. Hospital facilities are not targeted in nations with limited healthcare options. It isn't a sudden understanding of the Laws of Armed Conflict rather the grudging recognition of scarcity.



Setting other elements aside, where warfare is a predominant fact of life and primary worry for noncombatants, "administrative scaffolding" is latent. It may appear as peace does, becoming visible through a receding haze of violence.

"The religious political parties allied with the Taliban lost big in the parliamentary election. That’s a sign that Pakistan’s tradition of secular politics is healthy and showing muscle. Voters appear to be saying that between the ballot box and a more forceful stand against Islamic insurgents, the Taliban tide can be repelled."


Political expression through ballot, if it is not inhibited or rigged, and none have pressed such claims in regard to Pakistan's general election 2008, is inherently peaceful and truthful. The Taliban may not like this past year's election outcome for the frontier, but there's nothing militant action and violence can do to alter this simple political communication made in numbers and with security.

The heightened violence noted and addressed in the above short piece would seem to signal perceived disadvantage on the militant's side--sabotaging bridges and blowing up factories comes with the decision to engage in combat in earnest, which in turn comes of perceived necessity (if not now--when?).

I don't know how the fighting will go this week.

There may be cessation.

However, I would predict continued and larger Taliban assaults on Pakistani military targets (and cross-border raids on Coalition-influenced turf in Afghanistan) in an effort to fulfill loyalty challenges and maintain traction as a mountain-based force.

As often and as much as the Pakistani government and military have wished to demur from combat and treat with armed tribes and their uncertain representations, the state's forces are themselves pressed by suicide bombers and attacks against military vehicles into continuing their offense. Given the state's overwhelming advantage in military assets, amplification in engagement makes for much bad news for the Taliban.

tammy swofford

The R&D of combat robotics will change the way our troops manage the terrain in our battlespace. While Shamil Basayev (Abdallah Shamil Abu Idris) wrote of the "bee tactics" in his "Book of a Mujahiddeen" (Mujahid+Deen)with regards to psych-ops, the new generation of combat bees look formidable.

*I recommend the ebook. Solid political thought on the page.

Pakistan? I predict increased activity against the Taliban throughout the upcoming presidential election cycle with sustainability within only a narrow post-election window. The resources are somewhat in outmatched status because of the vastness of operational terrain, topography and lack of a central government footprint in many areas. The administrative scaffolding is lacking.


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