Obama as Bush’s Third Term: Talking to Enemies Who Agree With Us

I have a favorable view of the Bush administration, so if Obama is being honest this time, I wouldn’t mind it:

The Weekly Standard
HOLLIS: If I can ask one more question. Sort of a follow-up to comments you made yesterday. Will you meet one-on-one with Raul Castro and other leaders of the Cuban government?

OBAMA: Not immediately. But what I’ve said is that if we start low-level talks, and at the diplomatic levels, to explore areas of potential mutual interest, then that’s something we should continue. Our primary interest is making sure the people of Cuba are free. Freedom of religion, of press, travel, and to organize politically, and that would be the agenda. We would press them. If there appeared to be progress in the area of liberalization–as I’ve said repeatedly, I would be willing, if it is going to move the progress, to move forward, with any leader that is willing to consider these issues.

Obama’s maneuvering is fun to watch: temporarily the insurgent against the Democratic Party, then the MoveOn candidate, and now Bush, Again.

So when does he renounce his old positions on trade, capital gain taxes, and COIN?

5GW as the Event Horizon

Big shout-out to Curtis of Dreaming 5GW for finding this comment over at skilluminati:

5GWhat? The Meaning of “Warfare” in 2008 // Skilluminati Research
Henry Okah and MEND, according to the framework of war theory, are rooted in 4GW because of the “calling cards” and press releases—5GW will be invisible.

I agree 100% that 5GW is an event horizon for warfare theory—it’s where war merges with everything else, where things become so radically different that the old theory is more of a hinderance than a help.

I got an interesting email this morning from a reader who pointed out that everything we speculate on 5GW techniques has been in practice for thousands of years by occult secret societies. I happen to agree with him and I’ll be drawing of Crowley just as much as Clausewitz.

I agree, with one change: 5GW is the event horizon, beyond which the xGW framework breaks down as violence is dispersed and action indirect enough that the study of war becomes the study of politics.

I’ve understood for a while why the xGW framework begins at 0GW (genocidal war): you can’t fight something that’s already completely eradicated. And now I understand why xGW ends at 5GW: that’s politics.

5GW as Event Horizion:” I think that’s my deep thought for the month.

In the Tank

Eddie of Hidden Unities shared (via google reader) this unintentionally hilarious post by Joe Klein, which argues (as best as I can tell)

  • The press has no bias in this election
  • John McCain is a horrible candidate
  • Barack Obama is the President that America needs

The post even ends, echoing Obama’s mantra of “change.”

Yes we can stop white folks’ greed from running a world in need!
Yes we can ignore unconventional wars! In our own cities!
Yes we can stop free trade!
Yes! We! Can!

Adam of The Metrpolis Times reviews “Revolutionary Strategies in Early Christianity”

Adam of The Metropolis Times (and a fellow exile from blogspirit) has now joined Shane, Stephen, Mike, and fl in reviewing my monograph, Revolutionary Strategies in Early Christianity: The 4GW Against Rome, and the COIN to Save It.

Revolutionary Strategies in Early Christianity

Adam’s review is excellent. He “gets” my reason for writing the book, and his main criticism (it is too short) is what every writer loves to hear. From the review:

The brief book outlines [tdaxp’s] application of generational war theory and contemporary military strategy to Christianity’s peaceful conquest of the Roman Empire. Rome was extremely successful at defending against military and political threats. Christianity succeeded because it didn’t set out to conquer Rome, but to co-opt it. They succeeded because they “loved their enemies” and turned every Christian man and woman into a cultural warrior. Less than three centuries later, they won.

My background in these areas is very limited, and alphabet-soup of strategic theories (PISRR, OODA, etc.) can be intimidating. Fortunatly, Strategies takes each theory one step at a time and makes it easy for laypersons to comprehend things like a ‘Penetrate-Isloate-Subvert/Subdue-Reorient-Reharmonize’ loop. This is the book’s biggest strength in my opinion. Many, if not most, of its complex ideas are best illustrated graphically, and [tdaxp] is not afraid to supplement his explanations with a plethora of clear, simply constructed graphs and charts. Even if early Christianity in particular is not of interest to you, Strategies is worth picking up just for the clear explanations of military theory that is relevant in today’s political debates – Counter-Insurgency Operations (COIN) in particular. Other examples, such as Vichy France and IMB, assist the reader’s understanding.

Read Adam’s full review, or buy the book today!

Bypassing the Great Firewall

My appreciation to Brendan (of I Hate Linux) and Aaron (formerly of groundrocket, this blog’s original home) for their help in allowing to see the outside world. While less of the internet is censored than before (I can read the New York Times, Wikipedia, etc.) most major blog services are censored, as well as some nonpolitical but calming sites (why does China filter LOST podcasts? Why???)

Brendan and Aaron are using quite different technologies to give me freedom, and they complement each other very well. Between a Putty proxy and Windows Home Server, I have all the techy liberty I need!

The Roads of Peking

It was 5 o’clock, and we were on the 2nd ring road.

The Second Ring is built along what was the Tatar City Wall, which under the Great Qing separated the Han outside the Tatar City from the anybody-but-Han inside. Apartheid ended in the early 20th century with the establishment of the Chinese Republic (the de facto capital of which is now Taipei), over the next few decades the gates of the wall were used at first more, later on less, and when the Communists took over, the wall was destroyed, to create the Second Ring.

The current rulers of China, preferring to downplay the race-war component of the last few centuries of domestic politics, prefers to call the Tatar City Wall the “Ming City Wall,” and leave it at that.

I thought of this as we crawled along at rush hour, on one of the busiest streets on the planet. As the cab’s manual transmission began to fail, I imagined what it would be like to walk down the 2nd ring towards the safety of the sidewalk.

Exhilerating, it turns out.

Fortunately, the walk wasn’t long, and we walked (after paying for the mileage and time of the taxi driver) in a concrete divider that seperated the ring road proper from one of its parrallel spurs. As we approached the sidewalk island, I said “We need to cross the bridge into the Tatar City,” like a character in Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings.

Doing so and walking one block inwards immediately opened up a new world. Instead of bumper-to-bumper traffic, we were in a community where school children and old men walked along a wide, empty street.

It so quiet that a couple was having dinner in the middle of the road! In Beijing! At rush hour!

The feeling of a tight neighborhood was everywhere. But the Tatars will have their revenge on this community of Han in their old city. The hutongs in it were being torn down, to make way for newer and better development.

An amazing end to a very productive day.