Why I Love Nicolas Sarkozy

French Without Tears,” by Martin Walker, The National Interest, Spring 2005, ppg 136-138.

This is why I want the Hungarian-French politician to become President of France in 2007:

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Nicolas Sarkozy

To fight terrorism:

There are sections of almost every French city that are intensely Arab, and one reason why Sarkozy became so popular as interior minister was his announcement that there would be no more “no-go areas” for the French police, and he set up the special squads of riot police, gendarmes and customs agents to invade and bring the ruling gang leaders, or caids, to book. In an interview with Le Figaro in September 2003, he announced a tough new policy for visiting Muslims seeking to radicalize their French brethren:

“No one should expect any weakness from me. Mosques where extremist Islam is preached will be closed. Imams who give radical sermons will be expelled. And people coming to conferences who don’t show proof of respect for republican rules will find themselves systematically denied visas to enter France.”

To his Bush-style inauguration as head of the center-right political party in France, the UMP:

Characteristically, Sarkozy staged a very American kind of political spectacular for his investiture as head of the ump, in a vast hangar at Le Bourget Airport decked out to resemble Bush’s Republican convention arena in New York. Chirac chose not to attend (and made some waspish remarks about the reputed cost of $6 million), but 40,000 of the party faithful turned up to hear Sarkozy promise a new era for France and cheer him to the echo. As he told them,

To his faith-based efforts to strengthen horizontal bonds — what we call “civil society”:

Sarkozy has now produced a book, which translates as “The Republic, Religions and Hope”, that seeks to address the issue of Muslims in France, which many voters put at the top of their concerns. It is a thin volume of 180 pages, mostly conversations with philosopher Philippe Verdin, but it is revolutionary by French standards in that it calls for an end to the 1905 law that established France as a secular republic, separating the state from religion. If the state can subsidize sports and culture clubs, Sarkozy asks, why not churches?

Religion is a quality essential to civilization and morality, Sarkozy insists (an unusual stance to take in what is fast becoming post-Christian Europe). “The moral dimension is most solid, most deeply rooted, when it proceeds from a spiritual or religious engagement, rather than when it seeks its source in political discussion or republican morality.” Only religion can define and assert the moral absolutes that a just and self-confident society requires, he argues, adding that it is a weakness of the French state that it lacks this moral dimension. In a France whose schoolchildren are still inculcated daily with “republican virtues”, and where the American political process is mocked for the power of religious groups and the prevalence of religious rhetoric, this is bold stuff. But Sarkozy is clear: “the Republic does not recognize the distinction between good and evil. She defends rules, the law, without grounding these in a moral order.”

Three cheers for Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007!

No Running Starts for Micromultinational Terrorist Networks

How Companies Cope,” by Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat, 2005, pg 356.

From Friedman’s thought-provoking work on globalization

“In the old days,” said Vive Paul, the Wipro president, “when you started a company, ‘Boy, in twenty years, I hope we will be a multinational company.’ Today, you say to yourself that on day two I will be a multinational. Today, there are thirty-person companies starting out with twenty employees in Silicon Valley, and ten in India… And if you are a multiproduct company, you are probably going to have some manufacturing relationships in Malaysia and China, some design in Taiwan, some customer support in India and the Phippines, and possibly some engineering in Russia and the U.S.” These are the so-called micromultinationals, and they are the wave of the future.

Is this change in business companies also relevant for terrorist networks? If a company can be a micromultinational in two days, can a terrorist organization?

First, let’s diagram a simple 21-man micromultinational

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Three Layers, Four Countries

Note that we don’t know if the top level is “CEO” or “Emir,” if the middle layer is “Manager” or “Sheik,” or if the lowest level is “Knowledge Worker” or “Mujahid.” We only know it is a relatively flat command-and-control network with operations in the United States, European Union, South Asia, and Middle East / North Africa.

We solve the mystery if we ask what enables the peaceful corporation to make itself a micromultinational in two days:

  • Common language
  • Communications technology
  • Trust in contracts

Trust in contracts is vital to quickly build a micromultinational. In business, if your new European component doesn’t do what you want, you can sue them and get your money back. You also know your workers are unlikely to kill you.

Trust is lacking when trying to quickly build terrorist micromultinationals. Not only may the jihadis you just gave money to run out and spend it in Bangkok, they may be Enemy agents trying to kill you.

This means corporations are more nimble than terrorists, no matter how much terrorists want to be entrepreneurs.

Introduction to Modern Warfare for Seth of CCK

I was wondering this morning…,” by Seth, Clean Cut Kid, 26 June 2005, http://www.cleancutkid.com/2005/06/25/more-iraq-lies/.

CCK is an enjoyable South Dakota netroots site, and manages to have an even less functional comments page than tdaxp. So this post was originally written as a reply to a comment by Seth, one of the two CCK bloggers:

Fourth Generation War “4GW” was first defined by William Lind. I thank you for crediting mean with inventing it, but I am no Lind.

Interesting, while Lind is a well known cultural conservative, he has been been critical of the Iraq War since before it began.

Retired USMC Colonel TX Hammes deserves credit for spreading the doctrine within the military. While I am unsure of Hammes’ personal views, the fact that the very high ranking military officers have publicly praised it would imply that he gives the War at least qualified support.

4GW is sometimes known as “netwar,” because of its reliance on social networks. 4GW is basically a very-long-term violent ideological struggle.

Network-Centric Warfare is sometimes considered the “opposite” of 4GW, because NCW sees extremely fast high-tech blitzkrieg as the key to victory. An NCW may last six weeks, while a 4GW may last six decades, However, both rely on the works of the late USAF Colonel John Boyd, who is best known for his day-long presentation “Patterns of Conflict

Operation Iraqi Freedom I was an NCW, while Operation Iraqi Freedom II is a 4GW. In the end, America has never lost an NCW. Every war we have lost (Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia) has been a 4GW.

See Seth, if you would bother learning new things instead of mocking theory you could use these facts to help your case. You could say, “The very respected conservative thinker William Lind believes the war is already lost.” Or you could say, “Like President Bush in 2000, I believe that America’s core competency is NCW and we should not attempt to fight 4GW.”

Instead, you decide to recycle stale talking points from 2003, which are much less effective. But I’m hopeful :)

I’m glad that the 4GWS1T92Q-5011 theorem you have invented says the insurgency is almost done.

Words are meaningless without context, and as I mentioned the Vice President’s words were in the context of a 4th Generation struggle. The Viet Cong were lethally wounded by the failed Tet Offensive in 1968. The war was successfully “Vietnamized” in 1972. So from the final coherent action of the insurgent enemy to our withdrawal took about 4 years. In a 4GW, that’s quick.

(I’ll save a detailed discussion on the 1972-1975 nature of South Vietnam, as I don’t think its relevant to the present discussion. But if you wish, I can talk about that too.)

So if we found weapons of mass destruction

Misdirection. In your last post you talked about “banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons.” Now you mention WMDs. Not all illegal weapons are WMDs, and while Iraq had no WMDs they did possess illegal convention arms. In the link I provided, Bush was referencing illegal conventional arms.

Gap and Seam China in Pictures

Underneath the Chinese ‘Miracle’ – Photographs,” India-Defence, downloaded 26 June 2005, http://srirangan.net/india-defence/node/310.

Tom Barnett often talks about the “Gap” and the “Seam,” those regions that are either poor and unconnected or trying to climb out of the mud. SriRangan was kind enough to post an album documenting life in Seam and Gap China

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“The wealth gap in Urban China.”
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“An elderly man taking care of his shoes made out of grass.”
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Life on the farm is hard for small children
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“This 11 years old girl carries contruction bricks in order to pay for school. She carries 16 bricks each time and the bricks weight 40 kilograms. A mere 34 cents are paid for a 200 meter trip.”

But some offer hope…

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“People looking for jobs at a job fair in Shanghai.”

View the entire set