9 & 19th November 2002


The UN security council has delivered an ultimatum to Hussein.  Either allow inspectors, and divulge all weapons of mass destruction, or face further action (an invasion?).

For Saddam to face down the USA on this would enhance his prestige, but it is unlikely to enhance his life expectancy.  Then again, it probably isn't so good for his life expectancy to have US troops inspecting various Iraqi facilities on demand.


At last Arafat seems to be getting the message, but perhaps too little, too late.  His only future is as a quisling, rounding up the war criminals who organize the violence against Israeli citizens.


Rebecca Peters, a touchee feelie person has taken up the bludgeon against the liberty of Australians to bear arms.

She reported in "The Sydney Morning Herald" (6th November 2002) that subsequent to an asian student's rampage with a handgun where a couple of students were killed, and the murder of a South Australian woman, the police ministers of the states are meeting at the request of the Federal prime minister to ban hand guns.  She likened the recent (1996) ban on semi-automatic longarms to the social advance made when 12 year olds were banned from working in coal mines.   (Does that mean that Hitler, who banned handguns in the thirties, was decades ahead of Australia & the USA in social engineering?).

When she begins to quote statistics the extent of her dissemination becomes apparent.  ". . handguns now account for half of all firearm homicides, up from about 17% in the early 1990's".   That statistic probably reflects the increase in criminal violence that has occurred since the semi automatic longarm buyback.  Interestingly, the NSW state premier mentioned that most handguns used in crime were unlicensed.  The responsibility for stopping illegal entry of handguns was Federal..


Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble also said he thought al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was alive.
    - November 9, on CNN.COM

I trust Mossad (israeli intelligence) on this, more than Interpol.  Mossad said Osama is dead.  If he was alive, well, he was never backward in putting forward his views.  Where are his little talks now?

11/19 - I might have to retract my unswerving trust of Mossad - if the recently broadcast of the "voice of Bin Laden" does not prove to be a hoax.


Last week US forces used an unmanned drone to kill an Al Qaeda terrorist chief in Yemen.  The practice of executing wanted criminals from a distance is Israeli policy.   We can now expect other nations with terrorist problems (Russia, India) to adopt similar strategies.


On a wider front, the above problems stem from information technology advances.  Through IT the citizens of the world are becoming more aware of perceived wrongs perpetrated on them by politicians or other nations.

On the one hand, this results in a tendency by governments to restrict liberties (such as the ownership of guns), perhaps because lawmakers are first in the line of fire when the population becomes aware of and annoyed by the corruption that exists.

On the other hand, the oppressed citizens of resource rich countries resent the wealth being extracted from their land, and readily follow plausible demagogues who place the blame on the buyers and purveyors of those resources.  Thus we get an increase in terrorist acts.

Most people accept that a majority of practitioners of the Muslim faith are peace loving, civilized persons.  We also recognize that fundamentally and historically Mohammed was not a peaceable man.  He was a commander of soldiers, and the religion he originated was not like Mosaic Judaism (which was a religion of refugees) or Roman Catholicism (a state religion promulgated to "rend to caesar that which is caesar's"), or even US Protestantism, (which was the religion of people who wanted to escape from taxation & religious oppression).  The Muslim religion sprang from a period and people who glorified war as the holy instrument of god.

As a consequence, any person of Muslim faith will be viewed with suspicion in non-muslim nations.  If all Muslim governments vigorously prosecuted a search and destroy on Muslim terrorists, the problem would diminish.  Unfortunately, this does not seem to be happening in Saudi Arabia, nor in Indonesia.  (It is the Kopassis division that seems to be finding the terrorists.  With Kopassis' record, if Kopassis said that JI is guilty, that would make me think that JI might be innocent).

11/19 - I might also have to retract the second part of that paragraph.  Recent emanations from Indonesia are persuasive that the regular Indonesian police have caught the actual culprits.  If true, this would confirm my belief that Indonesians have social institutions that are in the ballpark with such nations as Australia & the USA.

The problem with the Muslim religion is that the most peaceful of Muslims can unexpectedly and secretly convert to Jihad-warrior-terrorists.   In Israel that has happened, sometimes even their family did not know.

Another interesting observation.  The acts of violence against civilians by Al Qaeda seem to have been intended to murder persons of prominence.  The World Trade Buildings, the Bali nightclubs, Congress, the Pentagon.  These acts were against the affluent & powerful 5% of the population.  If that strategy is followed pervasively it will gradually be realized that the greater mass of people is not threatened by terrorists.   Journalists and politicians will have special cause for concern, and could be expected to delay that realization.

One solution to the problem produced by information technology is an application of information technology.  For instance a visual recognition system linked to sufficient cameras could theoretically keep track of every citizen in the state. Any perpetrators of terror could be identified, their movements traced back in time, and the whole gang apprehended.  But do we want our civilization to go that way?  Hitler's thousand year Reich could only have dreamed of such social control.  Social control of that thoroughness & intensity would generate a spontaneous reaction, and the level of sympathy for the muslim cause would rise.

A second solution would be to arm citizens, and rely more on direct democracy for important decisions.  This could be achieved by email voting and fragmenting the power of politicians by declaring multi-candidate electorates with preferential voting.  When there were less prominent targets the terrorists would be reduced to attacks on ordinary citizens.   Ordinary citizens would become very alert under such circumstances, and make those adjustments necessary for survival.  Israel is winning a war by adoption of a similar strategy, despite the fact that nearly half of the population of Israel is Palestinian Arab, and potentially terrorist.

It is unlikely that our politicians and journalists will permit the second solution.  They are addicted to power.   Power is much more addictive than gambling, nicotine or Heroin.