Innumerable as the Starrs of Night,
Or Starrs of Morning,
Dew-drops, which the Sun
on every leaf and every flouer
Beauty is truth, truth beauty,
— that is all
Ye know on earth, and all
ye need to know.
E = M
Energy is eternal delight.
Impearls: 2005-06-19 Archive
BBC World confirms the Flypaper Strategy
Nothing that has occurred since in Iraq and elsewhere has invalidated the fundamental correctness of this doctrine. Warren himself has written considerably further on this topic, most recently during this last month here, where he says:
Many other analysts have commented on this strategy, most recently James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal's editorial OpinionJournal page, where he runs a daily feature the “Best of the Web Today.” Yesterday, in a piece called “Red on Red,” Taranto notes a report from that day's New York Times revealing that insurgents in Iraq are now fighting each other as some local Iraqis, otherwise opponents of the Coalition's presence in the country, seek to forestall the imported foreign jihadists' proclivities towards blowing up Iraqis right and left in their campaign to prevent the newly installed elected Iraqi government from consolidating its hold on power and completing work on the new democratic Iraqi constitution.
As Taranto says, “it would seem to vindicate both Vice President Cheney's much-maligned view that the indigenous insurgency is in its ‘final throes’ and the ‘flypaper’ theory that liberating Iraq is drawing in terrorists and forcing them to face the U.S. military.”
In this regard, a report from the BBC just a week ago thoroughly reinforces this point of view. While the BBC has been almost unremittingly negative with respect to the war on terror, including its Iraqi theater, even a stopped clock gets it right occasionally, and the BBC now and then does partially make up for its “sins.”On June 15, 2005, BBC World broadcast a remarkable story (carried in the U.S. by PBS outlets) illustrating how fighting the terrorists in Iraq is making both America and Europe safer. They reported, “Police in Spain say they've arrested sixteen suspected Islamic militants in raids across the country. Eleven of them are said to be linked to Abu Musab al-Zarkawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq.”
As BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner (who was crippled a year ago incidentally by gunmen in Saudi Arabia) narrates:
A BBC interviewee, Jeremy Binnie of Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, put it thusly:
The war in Iraq has minimized the threat to Europe [emphasis added] because everyone who's Jihad-inclined wants to go fight over there. So even though some of these… the guys suspected of involvement in the train bombings have reportedly gone over to lodge themselves in Iraq. So there are these radicals sort of coming out of Europe and actually going to a different theater altogether.
Gardner concludes his report, noting: “Spain has seen terror-related arrests like these before, but despite early claims by the authorities, insufficient evidence has often seen them result in embarrassing acquittals.”
As one might expect from the BBC, the written report at their web site concerning this incident has been sanitized of all such stuff as “The war in Iraq has minimized the threat to Europe.” However, the report does include some other very interesting tidbits, to wit:
Thus, the importance of the war in Iraq for keeping terrorists at bay from the centers of civilization. The BBC broadcast piece shows how the “flypaper strategy” for attracting terrorists to Iraq is working. Instead of subverting European countries or attacking America, potentially at the cost of thousands of civilian casualties as we've seen before, jihadists are flocking to Iraq, where our military can kill them in detail.
It's also worth observing how the suicide bombers we hear about every day in the news from Iraq are actually arriving from abroad.
From the reports I've seen, essentially none of the fanatics willing to blow themselves up taking many Iraqis along with them are Iraqis themselves.
So much for the idea that it's primarily the Iraqis who hate Americans and the Coalition and want us out; rather it's radical Islamofascist foreigners from around the world who are desperate to prevent Iraqis from taking destiny in their own hands to establish a modern, decent democratic society in the heart of the Muslim world.
UPDATE — Follow-up article:
2005-06-29 17:50 UT:
A follow-up article to the original posting above, entitled
“Flypaper Strategy II,”
has been posted.
UPDATE — Reader's Write: 2005-06-26 17:30 UT: A number of readers sent in their comments:
Good point. Here's another letter:
Thanks for your reply, Patrick. Your appreciation really should go to David Warren, however, rather than to me, as he's the one who originated the “Flypaper” concept. I agree that his idea also chimes pretty well with my own thoughts on this issue.
I think TigerHawk's article that Glenn Reynolds linked to in that same posting as he did to mine is also quite significant in this regard. I've always thought that Iraq's placement next to Saudi Arabia, as well as Iran, was a factor in the selection of Iraq as the next target after Afghanistan. Not only would holding Iraq give the U.S. a much larger and broader footprint than Kuwait in its border against Saudi Arabia, but Iraq's oil producing capability (once ramped up adequately after the war) would help shield the developed world against too great a shock (which otherwise might cause collapse of the world economy) in case Saudi Arabia were to cut off oil supplies in a new boycott of the West as a result of too much pressure being placed on it to reform its terrorist-abetting ways.
And another letter along the same lines:
This reader, on the other hand, finds the article an occasion for mirth:
Always glad to provide comic relief to the readers of Impearls.
UPDATE — Links to the piece: 2005-06-23 15:00 UT: Glenn Reynolds the Instapundit linked to this article, with the comment, “the ‘Flypaper Strategy’ is getting strange new respect.” The posting by TigerHawk that he links to in the same posting is very much worth perusing in this connection as well.
Winds of Change links to the article twice: once (by Colt) in the “Thursday Winds of War” section, and again in a piece by Bill Roggio specifically about Iraq called “Training Grounds, Magnets, and Hunters in Iraq,” commenting: “Michael McNeil from Impearls cites an unlikely source for confirmation of the Flypaper/Magnet theory: the BBC. Not only has Iraq become a magnet, but it has increased Europe's security by redirecting fighters from their European soil.
UPDATE — Links to the piece: 2005-06-29 17:45 UT: Many more blogs have linked to this article:
Cold Fury in a posting amusingly but aptly titled “Snatching victory from the jaws of Democrats,” quotes David Warren and links to this article, commenting: “Warren as usual is perfectly correct, and all the handwringing defeatism the Democrats and their Old Media poodles can possibly muster won't change it. (Via Michael McNeil — and this is a fine post as well, btw, and well worth your time if you haven't seen it yet — and Insty.)” Cold Fury has an active comments section, with leftists reacting to the article with their usual hyperbolic outrage, and the blog's regulars coolly taking them on. I'll reply to some of the leftist points in comments to the Cold Fury piece in a separate posting.
Russ Mitchell at Boxing Alcibiades, in a posting entitled “Flypaper for asshats…,” writes: “Over at Impearls, an interesting article: BBC confirms the flypaper strategy. This has long been suspected, of course. It's what the soldiers speak of when they talk about how it's better to play “an away game” than a “home game.”
“Ace” at Ace of Spades HQ, in an article called “Flypaper Revisited: Even the BBC Acknowledges The War In Iraq Has Made Europe Safer,” links to my piece and quotes from the BBC broadcast, calling it “stunning.” He goes on to say:
“Firehand” in his Irons in the Fire blog, in a piece called “All you need to know about Gitmo,” links to a column by James Lileks on that subject, and also to this article, noting: “And an interesting bit on the ‘flypaper strategy’ and how, among other things, it's been saving a lot of Europeans from themselves, here.”
Brad Lips at the Lips Brothers, in a piece called “The Iraq Project,” links to this article, writing: “When I put my finger to the wind, even among conservatives, there seems to be a growing exhaustion over Iraq. I'm still very pleased with how well things have gone. Is this stubborn clinging to a position, or (as I like to think) having a sense of perspective about the inherent challenges and costs of war that a lot of other observors lack? All I know for sure is that this post about the ‘Flypaper’ strategy of bringing war to Iraq resonates with me as mostly true.”
“antimedia” writing in Media Lies, in a lengthy piece called ‘Rethinking the Downing Street memo,” links to this article in an update at the end, noting: “For a different point of view on the strategy behind the war, read about the ‘flypaper strategy.’ I confess, I wasn't aware of David Warren's essays, but I've written essentially the same thing before myself.”
“Mr. B” in New Optimates, in a posting titled “What's the most efficient way to kill lots of flies?,” answers his own question (and links to this article) presenting the solution, “Lay down some flypaper….”
Pierre Legrand, in Papa Doc's Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill blog, posts a piece mainly about an Ann Coulter article entitled “Coulter gives out some much needed perspective on Gitmo,” ending it with a link to this article, writing:
The latter New York Times article that Legrand points to illustrates yet another instance where a Muslim conspiracy in a Western country (Britain in this case) maintains links and provides support (including yet another suicide bomber connection) with the jihadists in Iraq.
Jay Fitzgerald at Hub Blog, on the other hand, in a posting entitled “Stabilization vs. Fly-trap, Part II” (he'd earlier written about the subject here, in a posting criticizing Austin Bay for having the temerity to mention the “Flypaper” theory), follows up on his previous piece with a link to this article, writing:
Impearls: 2005-06-19 Archive
Map of Mars
While on the subject of Mars (see the next posting for that earlier piece), above is a strikingly beautiful, relatively recent (from a few years ago) map of the Red Planet, that I suspect few people have as yet encountered, derived from the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft's MOLA (Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter) instrument, which for the first time puts together a detailed look at how the elevations of the terrain on Mars stack up with respect to each other. The color-coding legend shown at the top of the map extends from −8 kilometers (−5 miles) below the standard “datum” to +8 km above that level, while latitude and longitude on the map proper are indicated in 5° increments for the Mercator projection portion, and 10° for the polar projections (left one is south, right for north).
Click on the map to link to a larger version at NASA with surface elements labeled (I like it better without the labeling, frankly). See also this link to the NASA “MOLA” homepage, and this one for the MOLA Image Gallery. On the Image Gallery page, don't miss the large scale maps, particularly here (at 1,080 × 620 pixels), and here — for 12,032 × 6,912 pixels (careful, it's a 17.6 MB file!).
Using the MOLA data, researchers can now discern, for instance, how the descending altitude of apparent streambed valleys really could have conducted water down their courses back during warmer-wetter days on Mars; and it's also possible to compute how three-quarters of the martian terrain during such earlier times would have drained down to the “northern lowlands” (purple-blue along the top portion of the map), where oceans — if ever there were any on Mars, as seems increasingly likely — would have resided.
Taking inspiration from Edgar Rice Burroughs' “John Carter of Mars” stories of our youth, those northern lowlands (plus the enormous impact basin in the southern hemisphere known as Hellas) would have constituted the martian “dead sea bottoms” of yore and lore!
Also, for illustrative purposes, below is a view of our own planet using a similar altitude-coding representation (not precisely the same altitude scale). Notice how Antarctica appears red, not due to some weird false-color rendering of its coldness, but because the continent is so high altitude-wise: it's covered by an average of 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) thickness of glacial ice. (Click on the map to link to John Walker's “Earth Screen Saver for Windows,” the source of the image.)
2002-11-03 2002-11-10 2002-11-17 2002-11-24 2002-12-01 2002-12-08 2002-12-15 2002-12-22 2002-12-29 2003-01-05 2003-01-12 2003-01-19 2003-01-26 2003-02-02 2003-02-16 2003-04-20 2003-04-27 2003-05-04 2003-05-11 2003-06-01 2003-06-15 2003-06-22 2003-06-29 2003-07-13 2003-07-20 2003-08-03 2003-08-10 2003-08-24 2003-08-31 2003-09-07 2003-09-28 2003-10-05 2003-10-26 2003-11-02 2003-11-16 2003-11-23 2003-11-30 2003-12-07 2003-12-14 2003-12-21 2003-12-28 2004-01-04 2004-01-11 2004-01-25 2004-02-01 2004-02-08 2004-02-29 2004-03-07 2004-03-14 2004-03-21 2004-03-28 2004-04-04 2004-04-11 2004-04-18 2004-04-25 2004-05-02 2004-05-16 2004-05-23 2004-05-30 2004-06-06 2004-06-13 2004-06-20 2004-07-11 2004-07-18 2004-07-25 2004-08-22 2004-09-05 2004-10-10 2005-06-12 2005-06-19 2005-06-26 2005-07-03 2005-07-10 2005-07-24 2005-08-07 2005-08-21 2005-08-28 2005-09-04 2005-09-11 2005-09-18 2005-10-02 2005-10-09 2005-10-16 2005-10-30 2005-11-06 2005-11-27 2006-04-02 2006-04-09 2006-07-02 2006-07-23 2006-07-30 2007-01-21 2007-02-04 2007-04-22 2007-05-13 2007-06-17 2007-09-09 2007-09-16 2007-09-23 2007-10-07 2007-10-21 2007-11-04 2009-06-28 2009-07-19 2009-08-23 2009-09-06 2009-09-20 2009-12-13 2011-03-27 2012-01-01 2012-02-05 2012-02-12