Sunday, January 25, 2015

I.S.I.S. takes Japanese Head Trophies - when will it be a Canadian's turn?

Kenji Goto displays the photo of beheaded ISIS hostage Haruna Yukawa

Japanese hostage Kenji Goto displays photo of fellow prisoner Haruna Yukawa,
who was beheaded by an I.S.I.S. guerrilla on January 25, 2015.  The latest
instalment of Islamic vengeance killings designed to weaken our resolve.

Or, if you prefer,  the tremulous media version... pixilated:

pixilated  I.S.I.S. Japanese hostages - Yukaw3a and Goto

It's really rather amazing how quickly the iconic image of 
kneeling I.S.I.S. hostages has burned into our subconscious.
It's been less than a year, and we easily recognize the black and
bright-orange hostage photos  pixilated AND miniaturized:

Yukawa Haruna - Japan's wannabe mercenary

There have been very few Japanese mercenaries in the modern era. I can think of perhaps two who made a name for themselves.  Yukawa Haruna was not made of the "right stuff".  Like millions of his fellow Japanese, he enjoyed dressing up in costumes and posing for the camera, but he was not a killer. He should not have journeyed into the most dangerous war zone in the world unless he was very prepared to die. Now he is dead, and Kenji Goto may soon join him.

Yukawa Haruna - tank boy, a childhood pose in front of Japanese tank

Yukawa Haruna - as tank boy. Nobody could fault the lad, or his dad, for this playful childhood pose. We've all done it with our kids.  Here he stands in front of a Japanese Self-Defence Force  M.B.T. 

Yukawa Haruna - posing in tactical gear - Japan
Just cosplay, or was he serious?  Yukawa Haruna poses in
tactical gear, somewhere in Japan, before leaving for Syria.

One is struck by the feminine appearance of the Yukawa face in the passport photo, (above)  in comparison to the matured face of the I.S.I.S. hostage.  I guess certain knowledge of your impending death by decapitation will do that to a fellow.

Yukawa Haruna posing with RPG launcher, Aleppo, Syria 2014

Professional mercenaries do not Blog from the battlefield.  Yukawa Haruna posed for and posted war-zone portraits constantly to the Internet, and he had a small fan following among members of Japan's para-military sub-culture.  It is quite obvious why I.S.I.S. chose to execute him first.   On his quirky FACEBOOK page he listed among his favorite music - Justin Bieber ! Another sure indication, as we Canadians might phrase it...   that Yukawa "wasn't all there!" 

It's interesting that I.S.I.S. executioners have now beheaded two Japanese, with a third condemned man soon to die.  This ferocious head trophy fetish was the big atrocity story of 2014, and may not burn itself out for a few years.  My generation was raised on history which emphasized Bushido and Japanese war crimes of civilian massacres and the beheading of Allied prisoners.  And now Japanese society is said to be severely shaken by recent events. Are they really?

For my earlier introduction to the history of head trophies, jump to BLACK JUNE - ISIS "Selfies" of head trophies shouldn't surprise anyone.

An Australian P.O.W. shown the instant before he was beheaded
by a Japanese with a sword. Thousands of civilians were so murdered.

I can't help speculating on how well the Canadian people will take it should I.S.I.S. get ahold of one of our CF18 pilots,  or one of our Special Forces soldiers who are currently "painting" targets with lasers in assistance of the bombing campaign.  I don't think our people can stomach that level of bestiality directed at one of our own, but they may have to. Worse, I already shudder at the paroxysms of  faux-suffering and genuine political theatrics that will ensue. 

CANSOFCOM - Canadian elite soldier deployed to Iraq

In 2014 CANSOFCOM deployed to Iraq and un-named countries in that region.  This is one of Canada's elite warriors -  who are authorized to engage I.S.I.S. and exterminate as many possible.  This past week our Prime Minister altered an unimportant speech to include a few words about Canadian operations in Iraq and Syria.  I quote Mr. Harper:
"Let me be clear. This is a robust mission. We're there to make those guys [Special Forces] effective so they can take on the Islamic State and deal with them. And if those guys fire at us, we're going to fire back and we're going to kill them, just like our guys did, and we're very proud of what they're doing in Iraq."
To my knowledge, that is the first time a Canadian prime minister has uttered the words "we're going to kill them" or anything even close to that phrase. I am proud of him for showing some balls at the appropriate moment. I haven't voted Tory in decades but with that genuine response to ISIS terror he just earned my vote, and a donation at election time.

Feb. 2, 2015 Update - And now the Japanese Prime MInister shows us he too has a pair of testicles.  Kenji Goto was beheaded on the weekend, and the Japanese are naturally feeling outrage and even a little vengeful.  Haruna Yakuna was an adventurer who needlessly exposed himself to I.S.I.S. killers, but the Kenji Goto was a harmless reporter of the news, with no connection to the Western intelligence agencies. The Japanese Prime Minister said his country "will cooperate with the international community and make the terrorists pay the price."  Hopefully he means providing additional  funding for the Japanese military, and not simply letting the NSA bug the toilets in every mosque in Japan.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

G. Gordon Liddy - in 1988 he described how terrorists could cripple the U.S. with a few cheap tricks

G. Gordon Liddy - former FBI agent discussed terror scenario in 1988

G. Gordon Liddy is now 84 years old and he's enjoyed a very full life.  A former FBI agent and lawyer,  he served 4 and 1/2 years in prison for his part in the Watergate Scandal during the Nixon administration.  His life after prison was even more interesting.  He wrote books, performed in movies and television, and was host of a nationally syndicated Talk-Radio program. He must be content with all of that.

In 1988 OMNI magazine commissioned him to write a fictional projection of what happen to America if it were hit by a team of well trained and motivated terrorists. (It was published in their January 1989 edition.)  By coincidence, Mr. Liddy was writing his piece just about the time Osama bin Laden was founding "The Base" or Al-Qaeda, and it would be years before the young Saudi would appear on anyone's radar. Liddy's tale has the Soviets assisting in the attack, and at the time Liddy shared in America's total preoccupation with the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. This background dates the story, and as a result it will likely never be reprinted. That is a shame because on my recent second reading I found that it still holds up.  As a public service I thought I would take the time to extract the text from amid the vintage ads and other clutter.

It takes only fifteen minutes to read. I will meet you at the bottom.  (click on photos to enlarge)

"Liquid Metal Embrittlement (LME) agent"

G. Gordon Liddy - THE RULES OF THE GAME, pub. Jan. 1989

"EHV  transformers"
G. Gordon Liddy - THE RULES OF THE GAME, pub Jan. 1989

Gordon Liddy - Stacked & Packed, 2001 girls and guns Calendar
Many Americans love putting up Girls and Guns type calendars.
Gordon Liddy was a master of self-promotion, and having served both 
in the FBI and in prison, he was a natural fit for the genre.

"The EMPG, cruder and more bulky than our own classified device..."

G. Gordon Liddy - THE RULES OF THE GAME, pub. Jan. 1989

"the prayer of public officials has always been..."

G. Gordon Liddy,  THE RULES OF THE GAME, pub. Jan. 1989

"The Capital Hill Riot"
G. Gordon Liddy, THE RULES OF THE GAME, pub. Jan. 1989

There you have it.  What is unique in this fiction is that the author resisted the temptation to describe the American retaliation, which is inevitable and is which is always disproportionally greater than the original offence against the Stars and Stripes. Of course we now know that it would be a cunning band of Saudi Arabians which would execute the most effective surprise attack on the Americans since Pearl Harbour. But there was no way at all for Liddy to know, in mid-1988, what the geo-political fallout would be to United States pro-insurgency in Afghanistan. 

And finally, the one thing in the story which seemed bogus, turns out to be true.  Liquid Metal Embrittlement or LME.  I had never heard of it, but there is a Wikipedia page and much more on the Internet.   In a few minutes I found plenty to catch up on, including a recent U.S. Army study on LME which might further improve the lethality of U.S. munitions by "making a round with selectable fragment distribution".  Just what the word needs. Improved lethality.

Liquid Metal Embrittlement LME for improving U.S. explosive ordnance
Liquid Metal Embrittlement (LME) for improving
the fragmentation properties of U.S. explosive ordnance.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Exercising Free Speech - CHARLIE HEBDO and symbols of sadistic expressionism

John O'Brien (American cartoonist) - Exercising Free Speech
Yesterday's grim massacre at CHARLIE HEBDO in Paris put me in
 mind of this cartoon by the American, John O'Brien.  The metaphor 
seems appropriate as the guillotine was a French invention.


CHARLIE HEBDO or Charlie Weekly, is a satirical publication with a weekly circulation of approximately 50,000 copies. It is described as "left-wing", not because it advocates the overthrow of the Western democracies but because its targets are typically religion, politicians and corporations. It does so with crudely drawn cartoons and biting sarcasm. All very low-brow, which explains the limited circulation. Its managing editor, Stephane Charbonnier, was one of those murdered yesterday. He sometimes took his leftist credentials rather literally, such as when he promoted his publication with the clenched fist of defiance - a traditional gesture of the Communists. It was gutsy of him, because he was courting death. Paris is polluted with Muslim fanatics, and it was inevitable that one of them would go after Charbonnier with a knife on the sidewalk outside of his office.  Had I been Charbonnier,  I would have kept a shotgun within reach behind my desk.  Not a funny image, but a more effective gesture than a clenched fist.

Stephane Charbonnier, editor of CHARLIE HEBDO - clenched fist in 2012

Many will be outraged, for a few days at least, over the massacre perpetrated inside the editorial offices of CHARLIE HEBDO, but the media will turn away and illuminate the next tragedy. They will blather about "free Speech"  but in fact there is not one working journalist in Canada who would subscribe to  CHARLIE.  Not one, and I need not list the reasons.  Mercifully, this time the jihadist assassins had no time to videotape themselves cutting off heads of their victims. We had enough of those gory political theatrics in 2014.  

Still, it is instructive to witness the interplay of crude symbolism. Recall that after decades of wars and atrocities in post-colonial Africa, Asia and the Middle East, the world had grown weary of the bloody images and simply tuned out the carnage.  So ISIS, the new terrorist on the block,  turned up the volume by making a fetish of performing ritualistic beheading ceremonies - filming and uploading the decapitations of captured soldiers and foreigners. Ghastly. Serious.

And then we have the French cartoonists who lampooned the vicious ISIS ritual, even making it the feature gag for the cover of CHARLIE HEBDO on October 1, 2014. (below) The cartoonists in Europe are just as comfortable as the skinheads with the head-lopping motif as the Muslim murderers.  I'm not being prissy in pointing that out. I have written about my Celtic ancestors who were enjoyed taking head trophies and my point remains - millions of moderns are getting too comfortable with ancient forms of barbarism.

CHARLIE HEBDO cover page - ISIS headhunter slays the ptophet
In this CHARLIE HEBDO cover page, an ISIS guerrilla
takes the head of the prophet.  The "Charlie" brand of
humour is so primitive that a Neanderthal would "get" it.
For Canadian-style cartoon humour try an earlier
 article Pissing on the Taliban - for a classic Donato cartoon.

And should anyone think for an instant that I am forcing the point, here is a cartoon just published by Dutch cartoonist Joep Bertrams.  It is entitled "Onsterfelijk" with the weekly personified by a staffer in T-shirt, and rendered "Immortal" by a Muslim scimitar. It is clever and effective - the cartoon, not the killing.   In fact the senior staff at CHARLIE HEBDO were lined up and shot in the head with Kalashnikov assault rifles. The Muslim killers were garbed in black fatigues and balaclavas, the well known uniform ISIS guerrillas, (or French anti-terrorist police for that matter), and one gave the raised finger ISIS salute to those filming him with cellphones. So the Dutch cartoonist simplifies matters by returning to the more shocking image of head-chopping. We get it. We get it instantly.

Dutch cartoomn in support of CHARLIE HEBDO

The Canadian media response to the Paris Massacre have been tepid and tame - oh, so safe.  The most honest was of course Christie Blatchford in today's NATIONAL POST [JAN 8/15]  Ms. Blatchford began with these trenchant paragraphs:

Christie Blatchford - Terrorists Have Cowed Us All - Jan. 8, 2014

I'm hoping the POST with archive her article for a year or more.  Most of the media-rash on murderous events will disappear from websites in a few months, if not weeks, but I'm hoping Blatchford's article will have legs. Jump to the NATIONAL POST and read her piece while it is still topical.


Of course many flaks rushed in to remind us, ad nauseam, that the Muslim fanatics in Western Europe are few,  while their massive immigrant populations are placid and peace loving. Of course the professional talkers have never read CHARLIE HEBDO or they would know that the weekly often lampooned the prejudices of majority-Muslims.  Here is a sloppy taste of HEBDO humour:

CHARLIE HEBDO cover mocks Muslim homophobia - editor takes sloppy kiss
CHARLIE HEBDO mocks Muslim homophobia,
which is very widespread.  Here the CHARLIE
 editor takes a sloppy kiss from the Faithful.

Of course CHARLIE HEBDO was an enemy of all established religions - but especially Christianity, Judaism and Islam. And as we know, cartoonists need only fear the wrath of Muslims. The Hebdo office was guarded by a policeman, and he was the first to be cut down. Unfortunately for expectant readers,  "Left-Wing" satirists  have yet to discover the burgeoning cult of environmentalism, with its many associated fetishes.  That's too bad. I'd like to see what they could do with it.

CHARLIE HEBO cover mocking religion - Rabbi, Pope and Imam
CHARLIE HEBDO taunted all of the traditional
religions.  Here are a crudely caricatured 
Rabbi, Bishop and Muslim Imam.

"FREE SPEECH"? Now that's funny!

Obligatory Update - January 10, 2015
Wikipedia pages always grow from spectacles that the public seems to be following, so I thought I would consult the Wiki-page for the "Charlie Hebdo shooting".  "Free Speech" on wikipedia? Pardon me while I puke... 
At Noon today the wiki-page for  the massacre of the Parisian cartoonists contains NOT A SINGLE EXAMPLE OF THEIR WORK, with the exception of a photo of a protestor holding up an old copy of the weekly.  Note the careful wording of the caption (below).

Wikipedia promotes political correctness - Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris
WIKIPEDIA is a owned by Jimmy Wales, an American businessman who self-describes as an "atheist".  He currently enjoys living in London, England and according to the most recent update of his own Wiki page, "In December 2014, Wales shared the inaugural $1-million Mohammed bin Rashid Knowledge Award with World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berniers-Lee."