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:

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

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

“The wealth gap in Urban China.”
“An elderly man taking care of his shoes made out of grass.”
Life on the farm is hard for small children
“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…

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

View the entire set

New York Times’ John Tierney Wrong on Hobbes’ Deadwood

The Mild, Mild West,” by John Tierney, New York Times, 25 June 205, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/25/opinion/25tierney.html (from South Dakota Politics).

Recently, Mark Safranski quoted Todd Zywicki as saying the New York Times has great influence in parts of the American government. If this sort of idiotic pseudo-political-philosophy counts as part of their influence, God help us all!

Between the murders on “Deadwood” and the massacres on “Into the West,” the Steven Spielberg epic that seems to be playing round the clock on TNT, the popular version of the frontier looks scarier than ever. There’s nothing like blood on high-def TV to illustrate Hobbes’s theory that life before government was nasty, brutish and short.

It was Hobbes’s prescription for “war of every man against every man,” and he was echoed by newspaper predictions of a “theater of tragic events” in which “brute force will reign triumphant.” But the miners peacefully worked out rules for delineating claims and resolving disputes so well that the system was adopted at later camps like Deadwood.

The Indians saw that Washington’s new interest in the Black Hills would be disastrous for them (a topic for a later column). Raiding was no longer costlier than trading for the settlers because they could now let troops do the raiding for them. Hobbes had expected war in the absence of government, but the West didn’t really get wild until the feds arrived.

In three paragraphs, accurate to bizarre to insane.

Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher who escaped the worst of the English Civil War. Believing that anarchy was the worst form of government — a style where life was “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” — Hobbes believed people banded together to form a monstrous Leviathan that could pacify country and protect the people from evils. This Leviathan would be a “system administrator,” taking care of rogue outlaws while allowing individuals to live more connected, rich, comfortable, soft, and long lives.

Hobbes did not “prescribe” anarchy as an ideal form of government. He saw it as the worst form of government. Likewise, Hobbes expected government to form in the absence of government, with people creating a Leviathan out of themselves to end the chaos.

So the Old Gray Lady doesn’t know what she is talking about (while attacking the Wild West – an American icon!). What else is new?

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.

Importing Backlash-Inducing Rulesets (Barnett Right, Friedman Wrong)

This Is Not A Test,” by Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat, 2005, pg 300-302.

To join Core is to import its rules, finds Turkey,” by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/001052.html.

After talking about importing rule sets — a process Tom Friedman calls “globalution“…

“When you have the procurement dollars that HP and McDonald’s have,” said Dunn, “people really want to do business with you, so you have leverage and are in a position to set standards and [therefore] you have a responsibility to set standards.” The role of global corporations in setting standards in emerging markets id doubly important, because oftentimes local governments actually want to improve their environmental standards. They know it is important in the long run, but the pressure to create jobs and live within budget constraints is overwhelming and therefore the pressure to look the other way is overwhelming. Countries like China, noted Dunn, often actually want an outside force, like a global business coalition, to exert pressure to drive new values and standards at home that they are too weak to impose on themselves and their own bureaucrats. In The Lexus and the Olive Tree I called this form of value creation globalution,” or revolution from beyond.

Friedman irrationally succumbs to an unrelated triumphalism on “moral values”

“Compassionate capitalism. Think it sounds like an oxymoron? Think again,” said Gunther. “Even as America is supposedly turning conservative on social issues, big business is moving in the other direction.”

Friedman wants a backlash against globalization ? He wants to see his Globalization 4.0, or III, or whatever the heck, crash and burn? Go to poor companies and mess with their families. It worked great in Qing China (*cough* 30 million dead in the Taiping rebellion *cough*), the Shah’s Iran (*cough* Islamic Republic *cough*), Czarist Russia (LENIN!) and every other place it was tried.

Tom Barnett has it spot-on

You want the Gap to remain the Gap? Then make unreasonable demands that countries there find some way to develop economically without damaging the environment. Or pretend they can somehow skip the factory-based abuse of workers that the Old Core went through. Or pretend that a perfectly operating democracy on par with Vermont is required before they can join our “club.”

You can’t demand the code before offering the connectivity—it’s really that simple.

That’s why the EU better damn well deliver membership soon to Turkey, which is jumping through hoops as fast those rule-obsessed Europeans can throw them.

Does Friedman want poor countries kept poor? Judging by his advise that rich country corporations should not work in societies that require side payments, apparently so.

Hopeful on Iran

Why the Iranian Election Results Are Good News,” by Joshua, One Free Korea, 25 June 2005, http://freekorea.blogspot.com/2005/06/why-iranian-election-results-are-good.html.

A great quote from a friend of mine…,” by Curzon, Coming Anarchy, 26 June 2005, http://www.cominganarchy.com/archives/2005/06/25/a-personal-note-from-younghusband/.

Joshua from OFK hopes that the election of a backsliding theocrat for Iran’s Presidency is good news for Persia

Having abandoned hope of peaceful reform–as has the majority of the Iranian people, if recent reports are to be believed–the real hope for Iran lies in a Tehran Spring, a Peacock Revolution. The basis for that hope is contingent on reports, mostly from bloggers via contacts with the Iranian opposition, that the turnout and ballot results were nothing like the official announcements.

Accepting for the sake of discussion that the great majority of Iranians–and demographically, Iranians are very young–want a reformed, free society, then the rise of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may be just the catayst that’s needed to transform their alienation into desperation and action. Rafsanjani, as insincere and corrupt as he may be, had been promising better relations with the West, and might have cultivated some hope that patience would be rewarded with a relaxation of the state’s grip. Not so with Ahmadinejad, who seems poised to pull a black chador over the sky itself.

Curzon from CA seems to agree:

A great quote from a friend of mine (who knows his sh** when it comes to this stuff) on the Iran elections:

I think in the end this will backfire on the Mullahs there. I mean, even with a reformer as President they could control everything he did. By making even the figurehead President a nutcase, I bet that in the end they will be weakened by it in the longrun. Either way, Israel better get its fighter planes fueled up!

The election is bad news if the new President slows down or reverses Iran’s trade ties with the rest of the world. Creating modern consumers and investors is the world’s best rode to a friendly Iran… and a friendly Shia Gulf. Not destroying the economy and encouraging zealots.

Geogreen Means Strategic Scientists

The Strategic Corporal: Leadership in the Three Block War,” by Charles Krulak, Marines Magazine, January 1999, http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/usmc/strategic_corporal.htm.

This Is Not A Test,” by Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat, 2005, pg 282-283.

In ancient times, the Scythian sheik system created super-empowered managers. One man out of five was a sheik, a lowest-level manager with very broad authority. Being a sheik meant expert knowledge of warfare, equestrianism, and herding. It meant being charged with rapidly adapting to changing circumstances for the good of the larger network.

In modern warfare, this is the doctrine of the strategic corporal:

Leadership, of course, remains the hard currency of the Corps, and its development and sustainment is the third and final step in the creation of the Strategic Corporal. For two hundred and twenty-three years, on battlefields strewn across the globe, Marines have set the highest standard of combat leadership. We are inspired by their example and confident that today’s Marines and those of tomorrow will rise to the same great heights. The clear lesson of our past is that success in combat, and in the barracks for that matter, rests with our most junior leaders. Over the years, however, a perception has grown that the authority of our NCO’s has been eroded. Some believe that we have slowly stripped from them the latitude, the discretion, and the authority necessary to do their job. That perception must be stamped out. The remaining vestiges of the “zero defects mentality” must be exchanged for an environment in which all Marines are afforded the “freedom to fail” and with it, the opportunity to succeed. Micro-management must become a thing of the past and supervision — that double-edged sword — must be complemented by proactive mentoring. Most importantly, we must aggressively empower our NCO’s, hold them strictly accountable for their actions, and allow the leadership potential within each of them to flourish. This philosophy, reflected in a recent Navy Times interview as “Power Down,” is central to our efforts to sustain the transformation that begins with the first meeting with a Marine recruiter. Every opportunity must be seized to contribute to the growth of character and leadership within every Marine. We must remember that simple fact, and also remember that leaders are judged, ultimately, by the quality of the leadership reflected in their subordinates. We must also remember that the Strategic Corporal will be, above all else … a leader of Marines.

How do we apply the sheik system, the strategic corporal doctrine, to business and education? First, remember in economics that capital substitutes for labor. In other words, the more machines and computers and software programs you have, the less workers you need. So in many ways every office worker is a strategic corporal, with his own type-setter, copyist, courier, and other assistants in his computer. Every office worker is a sheik.

When IBM brought in Lou Gerstner to save the company….

one of the first things he did was replace the notion of lifetime employment with the nation of lifetime employability. A friend of mine, Alex Attal, a French-born software engineer who was working for IBM at the time, described the shift this way: “Instead of IBM giving you a guarantee that you will eb employed, you had to guarantee that you could stay employable. The company would give you the framework, but you had to build it yourself. It’s all about adapting [all about being a good sheik — tdaxp]. I was head of sales for IBM France at the time. It was the mid-nineties. I told my people that in the old days [the concept of] lifetime employment was only a company’s responsibility, not a personal responsibility. The company will give you access to knowledge, but you have to take advantage of it… You have to build the skills because it will be you against a lot of other people.

And the geogreen energy-independence project is a perfect way to encourage every American to be a sheik:

To be sure, it is not easy to get people passionate about the flat world. It takes some imagination. President Kennedy understood that the competition with the Soviet Union was not a space race but a science race, which was really an education race [in other words, the “space race” was cover for the real war of educating Americans — tdaxp]. Yet the way he chose to get Americans excited about sacrificing and buckling down to do what it took to win the Cold War — which required a large-scale push in science and engineering — was by laying out the vision of putting a man on the moon, not a missile into Moscow. If President Bush is looking for a similar legacy project, there is one just crying out — a national science initiative that would be our generation’s moon shot: a crash program for alternative energy and conservation to make America energy-independent in ten years. If President Bush made energy independence his moon shot, in one fele swoop eh would dry up revenue for terrorism, force Iran, Russia, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia onto the path of reform — which they will never do with $50-a-barrel oil — strengthen the dollar, and improve his own standing in Europe by doing something huge to reduce global warming. He would also create a real magnate to inspire young people to contribute to both the war on terrorism and America’s future by again becoming scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. “This is not just a win-win,” said Michael Mandelbaum. “This is a win-win-win-win-win-win.”

As Tom Friedman says, we must train more Americans to be strategic corporals — to be adaptable experts (“strategic scientists”) to maximize our competitive advantages.

Through this plan, we can seize the highground in the flat world. We should do it.

What Barclay’s Means By Flat

The power of unconventional thinking,” by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 22 June 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/001981.html.

Describing an advertisement he say in the New York Times

I can’t resist one more dig at Friedman’s “World is Flat” metaphor. I come across this Barclays full-page color ad in the NYT, which consists of a flat globe sitting on stand. It’s the perfect image for Friedman’s book, much better than that weird art of ships going off the edge of the world that was used in some hardcover versions.

And yet, the ad points out the against-the-grain metaphor that Friedman ended up with when he sought to recast a “level playing field” as a “flat world”: the text of the ad starts with “Without unconventional thinking, the world would still be flat and we’d still be living in caves. Heck, we’d probably never have climbed down from the trees in the first place.”

It could have continued: “At Barclays we believe in providing our clients with metaphors that don’t create cognitive dissonance . . . “

… Barnett proves he doesn’t understand what Tom Friedman means by “flat” … or what Barclays means, for that matter.

When there are specialized experts, life is not flat — it’s steep. That is what Barclay’s is saying. That’s how the Catholic Church is steep, but a hippie drum circle is flat.

How can Dr. Barnett not know this? What, is he not even reading tdaxp or something?