Tag Archives: family liberation

Victory in COIN does not always run through jobs

Harriman, P. (April 13, 2008). Dangerous close to having no law. Argus Leader. Available online: http://argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080413/NEWS/804130327&referrer=FRONTPAGECAROUSEL.

The situation in South Dakota’s Lakota Indian Country is bad as always, if a bit worse this year than previous one. A crime rate ten times the national average, illegal armed militias (the Rosebud police force let its certification lapse, making its “arrests” perilously close to kidnapping and leading to the release of hundreds of criminals), and general misery. The situation among the Lakota brings about comments that could be said about Iraq:

“I come back to the basic premise if you don’t have security, it’s hard to have anything else,” he told the Standing Rock Sioux tribal council during a February visit. “It’s hard to have economic development without public safety. It’s hard for kids to learn if you don’t feel safe.”

And yet, the Counter-Insurgency (COIN) success of the US government is complete, in spite of minimal security and few jobs. How? Family liberation, the destruction of the social and cultural infrastructure of a people. Family liberation has been successfully applied against the Lakota Sioux, though obviously would not be appropriate everywhere: the destroyed culture better now be the local majority over a large area!

Still, not all COIN is touchy-feely jobs-based nation building. That’s something to keep in mind.

Losing Under the Peace of Family Liberation

Legislature sticks with plan: Judge had ruled redrawn districts violate rights,” by Terry Woster, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 12 July 2005, http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050712/NEWS/507120343/1001.

Near the end of an article on the ACLU trying to jerrymander electoral districts…

State lawyers argued in Schreier’s court that an essentially packed district is necessary in Indian Country in South Dakota to ensure the minority voice will be heard. The Lakota have a lower voting-age population and turn out to vote in smaller numbers than does the non-Indian population, the state argued.

Sound familiar?

During a violent insurgency, protecting human rights comes first. The solution may be family liberation — the government stepping in and easing the tribal and horizontal controls that “chain” individuals to the violent networks.

Family liberation can make even fearsome enemies like the Lakota — who slaughtered Custer’s American boys and their Blackfeet allies — into pacified minorities who don’t even bother to win political elections.

There’s a word for people who don’t try to win: losers.

Lakotization is Family Liberation

First, your terminology is offensive,” by Seth, tdaxp, 15 June 2005, http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/06/11/delusional_iraqi_arab_sunnis_slouching_toward_lakotization.html.

The moral pathology of Lakotization doesn’t need a lot of space,” by TM Lutas, tdaxp, 29 June 2005, http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/06/25/lakotization_of_the_iraqi_sunni_arabs_family_disintegration.html#c152142.

Seth from CCK criticizes the term “lakotization”

First, your terminology is offensive. Saying we have “lakota”ed a people by destroying their culture is about as wonderful as saying people in Darfur were “jew-ized.”

While TM Lutas condemns on the lakotization process…

The moral pathology of Lakotization doesn’t need a lot of space. It’s almost self-evident that we’re going to regret doing this (if we are doing it) later. … Lakotization is a mistake morally, it won’t work practically, and should neither be advocated, nor tolerated.

That a Democrat partisan and a Rightist aficionado of The Pentagon’s New Map find common cause against lakotization is a sign that my attempts to defend it have failed. From these critiques, I gather it is an offensive pathological failure.

So instead of exporting fear, I will export hope. How can lakotization be repackaged so it doesn’t elicit such outrage

Simple, give it a new term: family liberation. The goal remains the same: destroy Enemy family structures and turn the individuals to rely on the state. But family liberation will be presented positively and its harmony with human rights will be defended.

Description: Family Liberation is an attempt to

  • change a culture
  • to decrease the strength of families
  • and increase the influence of the state

We know each of these can be done with little violence while respecting human rights.

Cultures are changed constantly. Even when change is effected by small sub-groups, we do not consider this a violation of human rights. We hear activists talking about changing the culture of violence, the culture of bigotry, the gun culture, etc. What these people mean is that they wish to change the folkways of a culture so that violence becomes less acceptable to all societies in that culture, that “bigotry” becomes less acceptable to all societies in that culture, that gun ownership becomes less acceptable to all societies in that culture, etc.

None of these agitating groups form a majority or anything close to it. All use whatever outside help they can get. And many times the state has propagandized and subsidized actions it considers in its interest. So changing a culture is an acceptable goal. So we know that cultures can be changed while respecting human rights.

Weakening families is an acceptable political goal. Christ agitated for weaker family bonds — as did Paul. Women’s liberation and children’s liberation — indeed, the whole of feminism — is concerned with withering these bonds. While such views may be noxious, the entire world (outside the Islamists) recognize the legality of such political efforts.

Likewise, Leftism has nearly defined liberation as dependence on the state. So encouraging state dependency is an acceptable state goal. A state-education, a state-pension, a state-protected job, etc, are seen as marks of “Freedoms.” The first President to speak of a United Nations Organization — Franklin Roosevelt, used the word in this statist way when we described his “Four Freedoms.”

All lakotization is — all I mean by family liberation — is the process of converting a society from family-centered to state-centered. America has liberated the families of the lakota and the blacks. We can do this to Iraqi Sunni Arabs to save a country.

Lakotization of the Iraqi Sunni Arabs (Family Disintegration and Whorehouses)

Unveiling Iraq’s teenage prostitutes,” by Joshua Phillips, Salon, 24 June 2005, http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/06/24/prostitutes/ (from Informed Comment).

Lakotization is that type of network disintegration that can be used to destroy pre-modern networks.

In plain English: To destroy an enemy whose strength is his families, you must destroy his families.

This is happening in Iraq, which is good news. Earlier I blogged about how we have turned Fallujah into an open air prison. Now we are going to the next stage, and destroying the families of the Fallujin.

As we empty our bottle of champagne, Farah tells us her story. Like most of the girls at the Manara disco, she is an Iraqi, a Sunni from Fallujah, one of Iraq’s most war-torn areas. She got married in the United Arab Emirates, divorced four months afterward, and found work at the disco through a cousin. She says she’s working “just to make some money for my family,” who also now live in Syria. Farah says she’s the family’s breadwinner.

So our attack on the Islamic City-State of Fallujah is the gift that keeps giving

  • By divorcing, the woman weakens all the family’s bonds
  • By becoming a whore, she weakens the family’s “morals”
  • By becoming the family’s breadwinner, she disrupts the power-dynamic of the household

It continues…

Sunni Arab Iraq is a perfect candidate for lakotization because of its strict taboos. The Sunni Arab Iraq rule-set is brittle, meaning it is easy to shatter.

That Iraqi girls and women are selling sex may not seem shocking, but prostitution is especially taboo for Arab women. “In this culture, to allow your daughter to become a prostitute means you’ve hit dirt bottom,” says Joshua Landis, an American professor from the University of Oklahoma, presently living in Syria. “None of your sisters can get married if it’s known that one of them is a prostitute. If there’s any public knowledge of this, it’s a shame on the whole family.” The shame can even lead to “honor killings,” in which women are slain by their husbands or relatives for tainting the family name.

In other words, let them pimp their daughters and the family network collapses and turns on itself.

And of all of Sunni Arab Iraq, Fallujah is the best city for lakotization

Hustling has a particularly violent legacy in Iraq. In 2000, Saddam Hussein publicly executed 200 women convicted of prostitution. Prostitution would be especially shameful in Farah’s hometown, as Fallujah is considered one of Iraq’s more tribal, religiously conservative cities. “Yes, even Sunnis from Fallujah are doing this kind of work, and it reflects the drama of the situation,” El Ouali says. “It’s provoked by misery and precariousness.”

Whore of Babylon

Amazingly, the Syrians are helping us:

But with the exception of Palestinians, refugees are not officially allowed to hold jobs in Syria. For the most part, Iraqi refugees are living off their savings, which are drained by daily expenses. Many are stuck in Syria, as few Western embassies are now granting visas, claiming that Iraq has become a liberated country following the fall of Saddam. With economic conditions worsening all the time for refugees, officials say, it’s no surprise that Syria is seeing a rise in child exploitation and prostitution.

The article ends on a happy note for proponents of lakotization

“Every social convention is splitting at the seams because of the implosion of Iraqi society,” Landis says. “That place has been blown apart, so all the social barriers have collapsed.”

Around the blogosphere: Lakotization gives Echidne of the Snakes shivers. Last Liberal in Central Florida is dismayed. Hijabi Madness gives just the facts.

Delusional Iraqi Arab Sunnis (Slouching Toward Lakotization)

5 Marines Killed, 4 Wounded, 21 Bodies Found, Sunnis Reject offer on Constitutional Committee ,” by Juan Cole, Informed Comment, 11 June 2005, http://www.juancole.com/2005/06/5-marines-killed-4-wounded-21-bodies.html.

Juan Cole makes a startling comment in response to Sunni Arab demands that they (who boycotted) should get more seats at the Constitutional Convention than the Kurds (who participated in the election):

The Sunni Arabs want 25 additional seats, more than the 15 that the Kurds have. In part this demand reflects their unrealistic estimation of the size of their ethnic group. They often assert that Iraq has a Sunni Arab majority.

This may be one reason for the Sunni Arab boycott in election. If Sunni Arabs believe that they are an electoral majority, having a “Sunni Arab” list come in third would be evidence of massive fraud. So the Sunni Arabs could not have accepted the outcome of a free-and-fair election. Therefore, their leadership made them boycott, to prevent them from either perceiving a failed election or realizing the truth (and so isolating the Sunni Arab masses from the Sunni Arab leadership).

Of course, this would imply that the latest Sunni Arab gestures are just feints, and that a lakota option might be the only answer to the insurgency…

One last point from Dr. Cole:

In fact, Shiites probably form 62 percent and Kurds may be 18 percent. Given that Christians, Turkmen and some other small minorities make up 5 percent, Sunni Arabs could be as little as 15 percent of the population.

Which means that an ethnic chart of Iraq looks like:


For the sake of the 85% of Iraqis who are not Sunni Arab, how long do we let the daily murders go on? How long do we jeopardize the future of that 85% in an attempt to appease the fifteen-percenter rejectionists? We have lakotaed the Lakotas. We can lakota the Sunnis.

Should We Lakota or Embrace the Iraqi Sunni Arabs?

The Mystery of the Insurgency, by James Bennet, New York Times, 15 May 2005, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/weekinreview/15bennet.html.

Over 30 Bodies Found,” by Juan Cole, Informed Comment, 16 May 2005, http://www.juancole.com/2005/05/guantanamo-controversies-bible-and.html.

Rice, in Baghdad, Urges Sunni Role in Constitution,” by Richard Oppel Jr, New York Times, 16 May 2005, http://nytimes.com/2005/05/16/international/middleeast/16rice.html.

A provocative article in the New York Times makes us wonder: are the Sunni anti-Iraqis losers?

Counter-insurgency experts are baffled, wondering if the world is seeing the birth of a new kind of insurgency; if, as in China in the 1930’s or Vietnam in the 1940’s, it is taking insurgents a few years to organize themselves; or if, as some suspect, there is a simpler explanation.

Instead of saying, ‘What’s the logic here, we don’t see it,’ you could speculate, there is no logic here,” said Anthony James Joes, a professor of political science at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and the author of several books on the history of guerrilla warfare. The attacks now look like “wanton violence,” he continued. “And there’s a name for these guys: Losers.”

While John Robb sees global guerillaism, Juan Cole has a more conventional explanation

But USA Today quotes Iraqi army Brig. Hussein Muhsen al-Fariji giving a different explanation, focusing on the Sunni nationalist guerrillas: “The criminals want to spread panic among the people and give the impression that the new government must be changed.” (That is, the guerrillas are ex-Baathists aiming ultimately to make a coup, and they are destabilizing the country because they think the public will be so hungry for law and order that they will accept the coup when it eventually comes.)

If this is true, then it is very understandible. In PISRR theory, the Ba’athis would be

  • Pentrating the Iraqi government with agents, from secretaries to even political appointees,
  • Isolating the government from the people, and people from each other through killings and terrorism
  • Subverting the political process by using government agents to help the government, and now
  • Reorienting Iraqi policy by convincing the government the problem is too few Sunnis, which will become
  • Reharmonization after a Sunni Coup uses strong methods and restores peace

If this is true, then Rice’s advice is exactly wrong

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flew to Iraq on Sunday to urge its new Shiite-dominated government to greatly increase the involvement of Sunni Arabs in writing the Iraqi constitution, amid growing administration alarm that a chance to draw the Sunni minority into Iraq’s new democracy is slipping away.

On a trip that underscored Washington’s urgency, Ms. Rice carried a clear message: Shiite political leaders should respond rapidly and effectively to any sign that wavering elements of the Sunni Arab insurgency might be ready to turn to peace.

… and the Lakota Treatment would be exactly right.