Interesting read from a purely Historical standpoint. Religious standpoint though it makes one wonder exactly HOW Islam gained a foothold with both Judaism and Christianity already in the Region and strong.
Posted by: Charles ||
By killing lots of people, of course.
What - did you think they used reason and verbal persuasion?
Posted by: Barbara ||
I didn't want to post about this, because frankly, it is exhausting. I've been having this exact same argument for my entire adult life. It is not an exaggeration when I say that I know pretty much exactly every single thing an anti-gun person can say. I've heard it over and over, the same old tired stuff, trotted out every single time there is a tragedy on the news that can be milked. Yet, I got sucked in, and I've spent the last few days arguing with people who either mean well but are uninformed about gun laws and how guns actually work (who I don't mind at all), or the willfully ignorant (who I do mind), or the obnoxiously stupid who are completely incapable of any critical thinking deeper than a Facebook meme (them, I can't stand).
Today's blog post is going to be aimed at the first group. I am going to try to go through everything I've heard over the last few days, and try to break it down from my perspective. My goal tonight is to write something that my regular readers will be able to share with their friends who may not be as familiar with how mass shootings or gun control laws work.
[Dawn] MAKE no mistake. Though it is receiving far less attention, this is no less, if not more, a shameful tragedy for Pakistain, than the attack on Malala Yousafzai. The facts speak for themselves: eight polio ...Poliomyelitis is a disease caused by infection with the poliovirus. Between 1840 and the 1950s, polio was a worldwide epidemic. Since the development of polio vaccines the disease has been largely wiped out in the civilized world. However, since the vaccine is known to make Moslem pee-pees shrink and renders females sterile, bookish, and unsubmissive it is not widely used by the turban and automatic weapons set... workers killed and several injured in the last three days in a chilling succession of attacks. One rubbed out on Monday, with little sign of the carnage that was to come in the following days; five rubbed out within a chillingly short span of time on Tuesday in seemingly coordinated incidents; a string of attacks yesterday, killing a worker and her driver, carried out by undeterred imitators or co-conspirators. The reported ages of those killed in these incidents vary, but a number of them were teenagers, and most were women. Their crime? Administering free medication to children at risk of polio, a crippling disease that no child in the world should have to suffer in 2012. These were not security forces engaged in a war against myrmidons. They were not the officials of a government perceived to be America's stooge. They were simply harmless citizens carrying out a service for their countrymen for a pittance and despite the threats to their safety.
How did politicians react? In Sindh, the president distributed awards at a ceremony in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... , the scene of many of the attacks, and the Awami Tehrik and supporters of MQM chief Altaf Hussain held rallies in support of their respective political causes. From other parties, too, including the ANP, the party in power in the province where the remaining attacks took place, there was relative silence on the issue. True, there was condemnation of the attacks in both houses of parliament, but was this enough? In the face of an incident that should have brought business-as-usual to a halt, those in power went about focusing on their planned tasks instead of calling off all events and registering strong public outrage and determination against the unjustifiable evil that Pakistain has become home to.
Perhaps the biggest tragedy of all is that Pakistain, one of only three nations where polio is still endemic, was beginning to see a slowdown in the spread of the virus. Down from 173 cases detected by this time last year, only 56 cases have been registered in 2012, a 68 per cent decline. The commitment of international donors, the WHO and the provincial and federal governments had begun to pay off. But the attack against a local polio worker and his WHO colleague in Bloody Karachi in July should have led to the establishment of a system in which no polio team goes out unprotected.
In the coming days, the authorities owe Paks answers to several glaring questions. How did the security lapses take place; does the polio campaign have to do a better job of ensuring security, or do the police have to do a better job of providing it? Why are these attacks taking place now, even though polio vaccination has long been opposed by certain groups within Pakistain? Who was responsible? Were these coordinated or copycat attacks? And perhaps most important of all: what next? The WHO has asked for the campaign to be suspended in Pakistain, and until more dependable protection is put in place, that is the wisest course for both international donors and local administrations to take. But failing to resume the campaign as soon as possible will hand victory to those bent upon Pakistain's destruction.
Three things must be done immediately. Those responsible should be found and punished. Second, a foolproof system to protect polio workers has to be devised and implemented. And third, if there was ever a moment that called for a coordinated response from holy mans and politicians and the launching of a high-profile national awareness campaign in support of polio and against the worldview of those who violently oppose it, this is that moment. It is deeply unfortunate that the nation has barely recovered from the Malala incident when we have a new tragedy on our hands. But all Pakistain can do with these moments is capture them to try to turn the ship around.
The Army presented two two-star generals and three intelligence specialists Thursday to defend its $2.5 billion battlefield intelligence processor, which has failed operational tests and has been criticized by soldiers as being too slow to analyze the enemy and help find buried bombs in Afghanistan.
In a news conference at the Pentagon, the Army specialists lauded the Defense Common Ground System, an array of computers, servers and programs that is the Army's principal processor of huge amounts of battlefield data.
The Washington Times first reported in July about an internal battle within the Army. Commanders and intelligence officers in Afghanistan complained in messages to Army headquarters about the Defense Common Ground System.
Some asked for permission to buy Palantir, an off-the-shelf software platform that specializes in linking disparate bits of information to form a clear picture of the battlefield.
In some cases, Army officials involved in shielding the Defense Common Ground System from possible budget cuts viewed Palantir as a competitor and worked to shut off the requests.
I doubt there is an intelligence person beyond the grade of Specialist or buck sergeant who knows how to operate DCGS effectively. Each of the various software programs, such as the old Analyst Notebook (AnB), Query Tree, ARCGIS, and others have specific uses which permit the analyst to produce effective products.
The Digital Common Ground System (DCGS) developers have attempted to take the capabilities of numerous systems (tools) and integrate them into one proprietary, legacy mega tool. DCGS is not user friendly, nor is it cross-system, or cross-service friendly. It is also costly and contractor heavy. Yes, it comes with it's own data storage "brain", but the data is already out there on the cloud anyway. The DCGS "brain" does not share unless you access it thru the DCGS portal.
Palantir on the other hand, can be taught to a lower ranking soldier in an afternoon. It will permit him or her to "word tag" and search thousands of pieces of message traffic and built investigations which create outstanding link-analysis products.
An auto mechanic cannot repair everything on your car with a pair of pliers. Specific tools are required to perform various functions. The Army leadership is wrong about DCGS, but they are too invested in it to back out. Talk to the Marines, or SOF community, or any intelligence analyst. Don't talk to a Colonel or General about a software tool.