Larry Dunbar on Mujahid Humor

Hi Dan, You just PISRRed the enemy,” by Larry Dunbar , tdaxp, 13 October 2005,

No Longer Feared ‘Freedom’ Fighters?

My dress-up as an Muslim holy warrior has been getting some interesting responses, noticing, jokes, a death threat, etc. But the most creative contribution came from Larry Dunbar. His thoughts:

Hi Dan,

You just PISRRed the enemy. But then you probably know that. These images are your attempt to Subvert-Reorient-Reharmonize and maybe even to Isolate the enemy.

Implicit laws form and maintain an organization. With a terrorist organization such as Al Qaeda these laws take the form of pictures or, in other words, images inside the head. These images so far include a tall Arab calmly telling the world how he is going to strike and destroy the greatest powers in the world. They show the destruction of symbols of that power taken of the WTC on 9/11. They maintain these images with pictures of burnt out cars and craters. These images are also maintained by videos of suicide bombers before they attack, IED’s going off and any other successful acts attributed to the Al Qaeda organization. The need for these images is so important that if you were to replace the image of the burning constitution on your blog with a terrorist holding a bunny rabbit, or some other offensive image, my guess is your site, if not you personally, would suffer a vertical attack of some kind. Al Qaeda could not afford to have this kind of image of themselves, if your blog still is as relevant as you said it once was.

The OODA loop of this kind of organization is unlike any other. For one thing it is very slow. For another, instead of looping back to Orientation, Al Qaeda loops theirs back to Observation. They only have to go through the Orientation strategy as they Decide and carry out the Act. Because the image of the Act is so important, failure cannot be tolerated. That is one reason they like car bombs so well. Not only does it create an image that lasts inside the heads of the communities and families of the car bombers, but also they are highly successful. Because this organization practices such an old form of warfare, I call this type of warfare Zero Generation Warfare (ZGW). It gets its strength from its simplicity. It doesn’t need a lot of dogma, simply a successful plan that will produce an image that will give its members a feeling of importance or belonging. When this type of organization becomes too successful and the acts are seen not to be important, the organization simply disappears.

I need some time to think before I try to answer this. Anyone else?

George Bush Really Grinds My Gears

How has offended me? Let me count the ways.

The State of tdaxp Nation


is cooperation itself a global public good?
or just its fruits?

public goods are non-rivalrous and non-excludable (ideally)

large n problem = as participants increase, fraction of benefit decrease.
– solution of great-power multilateralism

k group = “critical mass” of leadership circle to impose a solution
but is k # of countries or count of power? probably the latter

“go it alone power” and “blocking power”

“technology of supply”
– technique of supply
– how something is created

adative technology of supply
– “every little bit helps”
– more difficult for large powers to block
– US land mine treaty?

“weakest link theory”
– the way in which a public good is provided may be a function of the least contributing member
– “bad rules drive out good”?
– epidemiological implications
= strategy: transfer resrouces to least-contributing players (Clausewitzian?)

“best shot strategy”
– opposite of weakest link theory
– hegemonic strategy
– example: how to defend against a very large alien warship