Singapore is a Single Point of Failure Because Singapore is a Single Point

Singapore Revisited,” by Stephen DeAngelis, Enterprise Resilience Management Blog, 29 August 2006,

Steve’s recent post on Singaporean resilience was picked up by Fred, Sean, and myself, and Steve kindly responded to a criticism that Singapore isn’t resilient because it is a signal point of failure

Unfortunately for Singapore, it is a classic example of a single point of failure. I respect Steve D. & Enterra, but in the proliferated 21st Century, resilient assets must be distributed assets. Singapore, by definition, isn’t.

I must admit that Zimmerman’s logic escapes me. My entire point was that Singapore is trying to expand into more economic sectors (beyond electronics and finance) in order to avoid setting itself up for “single point” failure.

Singapore is a single point of failure because Singapore is a city-state, a significant fraction of which could be obliterated by a terrorist nuclear bomb. This may be best understood visually:

100 kilotons over Singapore

Singapore is not unique in this — all high-density cities are so vulnerable — but there is a physical dimension to resiliency which needs to be considered, too.

Disconnecting Lebanon from Syria, Disconnecting Syria from the Syrians

Key US legislator says will block aid to Lebanon, by Adam Entous, Reuters, 27 August 2006, (from Democratic Underground).

Islamic Revival in Syria Is Led by Women,” by Katherine Zoepf, New York Times, 29 August 2006, A1,

Tom Lantos, a California Democrat who not only supports a McCain-Lieberman foreign policy but also married a first-cousin of Zsa-Zsa Gabor, pushes for the continued separation of Lebanon from Syria:

A key U.S. legislator said in Israel on Sunday he would block aid President George W. Bush promised Lebanon and free the funds only when Beirut agreed to the deployment of international troops on the border with Syria

The international community must use all our available means to stiffen Lebanon’s spine and to convince the government of Lebanon to have the new UNIFIL troops on the Syrian border in adequate numbers,” said Tom Lantos, the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives’ International Relations Committee.

Syria, showing the same stupidity that got her expelled from Lebanon in the first place, promises to play into her enemies’ hands

Syria has threatened to shut its border with Lebanon if U.N. troops deploy there. Israel says it will not lift a sea and air blockade of Lebanon unless a U.N. force helps ensure that no new weapons reach Hizbollah in the south.

Meanwhile, women less glamorous than Zsa-Zsa (and not of the liberal Muslims kind) do their bit to hasten their brothers and submit Damascus to the Koran

The Fate of the Baath Arab Socialist Party

At those meetings, participants say, they are tutored further in the faith and are even taught how to influence some of their well-connected fathers and husbands to accept a greater presence of Islam in public life.

These are the two faces of an Islamic revival for women in Syria, one that could add up to a potent challenge to this determinedly secular state. Though government officials vociferously deny it, Syria is becoming increasingly religious and its national identity is weakening. If Islam replaces that identity, it may undermine the unity of a society that is ruled by a Muslim religious minority, the Alawites, and includes many religious groups.

Syrian officials, who had front-row seats as Hezbollah dragged Lebanon into war, are painfully aware of the myriad ways that state authority can be undermined by increasingly powerful, and appealing, religious groups. Though Syria’s government supports Hezbollah, it has been taking steps to ensure that the phenomenon it helped to build in Lebanon does not come to haunt it at home.

For many years any kind of religious piety was viewed here with skepticism. But while men suspected of Islamist activity are frequently interrogated and jailed, subjecting women to such treatment would cause a public outcry that the government cannot risk. Women have taken advantage of their relatively greater freedom to form Islamic groups, becoming a deeply rooted and potentially subversive force to spread stricter and more conservative Islamic practices in their families and communities.

Mr. Abdul Salam explained that such secret Islamic prayer groups recruited women differently, depending on their social position. “They teach poor women how to humble themselves in front of their husbands and how to pray, but they’re teaching upper-class women how to influence politics,” he said.

(It is not surprising that radical Muslims are exploiting women in this way. Christians did the same thing to spread their ideology and conquer Rome. Women are not somehow opposed to religion. They are the vehicles for religion.)

Arab National-Secularism is in collapse. Since Sharon took power in 2000, and Bush took power in 2001, Lebanon and Iraq have been freed from the National-Secularist yoke. Now we see the Syrian National-Secularists increasingly isolated from their former-client and from their own people.

Like the Qaedists, the National-Secularists are losing. The dreams of our generational enemies in the Middle East are falling apart. Good.

An Almost Perfect Letter to the Editor

“Time to Leave Iraq,” by Ed Schmersal, Lincoln Journal Star, 29 August 2006, 5B.

Unlike T.M. Lutas I don’t normally blog letters, but a recent one was so very close to perfect that it demands tdaxp attention.

Iraq is broken.

Sure is. The Baath Party did tremendous damage in Mesopotamia, destroying what little middle class it inherited.

and even after billions of dollars and thousands of lives lost, the United States can’t put Iraq back together again.

True. America is not an Empire, and unlike Britain, Rome, and others before us, we do not export a maximal ruleset. Instead, we enable networks of connectivity. We have neither the taste nor will to forcefully remake others.

The U.S. needs to exit Iraq.

Yep. We can win militarily without being there in large numbers.

in order to focus on other problems: Iran

Iran has us by the neck as long as we are in Iraq. A great reason to leave.

North Korea

Kill Kim. A much more pressing issue than whatever we think we are doing.


Preventing the rise of another Eurasian land power — that means encouraging devolution in Russia — is a great idea. Leaving Iraq would free our attention to this important work.


China is critical to globalization — she can enable it through a “Revese Domino Theory” of multinational capitalism, she can wreck it by invading Taiwan, she can secure globalization through military cooperation.


Don’t forget more mundane goals, like boxing in France.

Iraq needs to be divided into three regions: the north Kurdistan, a pro-West place for some U.S. forces to remain close; the south Shiite-controlled pro-Iranian region; and the Sunni middle area.

Like former Iraqi Governing Council President Hakim and United States Senator Biden, I agree.

The US. needs to regain our European allies and stature as the world’s superpower.


Europe doesn’t matter that much. Those whites over the ocean are doing what they can — Britain is in Iraq, Spain is in Afghanistan, Italy, France, and Turkey will be in Lebanon. These contributions are important, but Europe represents the past, not the future.

We need decisive leadership now!

As long as it doesn’t decisively try to lose.