Friday, December 10, 2010

The London Student Riots were a masterclass in ancient warfare!

   I was watching the London Student riots yesterday, absently at first, the TV flickering in the background while I surfed naked chicks when something about the mayhem caught my attention. It was an aerial shot where the front line of the demonstration battle was distinct because the cops were wearing bright lime green jackets as opposed to the motley blue grey mass of students. Something triggered. Holy shit, that looks like the front line of a battle like Pharsalus or better yet (given the closed terrain) Thermopylae. I unmuted the TV and ran to the kitchen for popcorn.

   There was, after all, a war on.

   Soon after I found myself glued to the TV, witnessing simulated ancient warfare complete with motherfucking cavalry. I shall repeat that... motherfucking cavalry! Obviously they were nerfed but still, it's a battle in 2010 that includes charging horses! It was like paintball for people like me who never go outside. You get to see ancient battle play out like it would have, kind of, (I know it's a stretch but stay with me here for a sec) and nobody gets seriously hurt. Just like paintball.

   The cop troops were well equipped, well disciplined, like the Macedonian phalanx or one of Caesars legions, using the Roman formation of tight adjoining shields and slashing with batons, which were like nerfed versions of the Roman Gladius short sword. You'll notice in the clip coming up how a disciplined line of shields combined with stabbing actions can cause mass casualties to the enemy, especially when they're unruly and undisciplined (I'm thinking Gauls) and pressing forward from the rear.

   The cop force were outfitted with helmets with transparent face guards (a modern innovation I bet the Romans would have sold their sisters into slavery for) and had some pitched defensive fences which were soon converted to artillery by the beserking student force.

   The student army was composed almost entirely of light infantry which had the advantage of high mobility but offered little in the way of armor protection. I did notice a few veteran troops students who'd been at the previous riot and had brought along some homemade shields which they put to good use in some of the YouTube skirmishes we'll see in a few moments. The Student Force reminded me of Gauls or maybe one of the Germanic Tribes  of the first century AD, fighting with enthusiasm but little cohesion. They did deploy to good effect a lot of missile skirmishers equipped with paint bombs, bottles, and bits of smashed up fence.

   Okay, I'll pull out the hand lotion. It's time for the fun stuff.

   In this first vid notice the cop line and the steady efforts of the lightly armed student forces trying to poke holes in the cop line. You can see here how effective a row of massed shields is against a bunch of angry people with no command structure. Other things to notice, paint bomb skirmishers, the weakness of cavalry when not charging forward en masse but surrounded by hostile infantry and under missile fire. Notice too the panicking horse that chucked his cop. Ouch, I felt that.

   Fun no? Next up is the clip that makes me jizz. The cop infantry line splits open to allow the cavalry to charge through the middle. Not a tactic the ancients would have employed since cavalry is most useful when it flanks the main enemy body and pincers around from the rear. Obviously not possible in this terrain. Instead, the cop cavalry decides to go all Crécy on those bitches, charging pell mell through the middle and right into the student archers  stick and bottle throwers. Watch also how the students (accidently) pull that old trick the Macedonians used against Darius' chariots at Issus, allowing the cavalry to bubble into the main line and then pinching off the salient from the main body of cop infantry in a pincer movement. They then proceed to engulf it in missile fire, totally routing it. So much battlefield tactics on display here they should add it to the curriculum at West Point. 

   Another fun thing about this clip are the voices of the establishment commentators as they describe the battle as if the police are winning, their voices dying a little inside as the student army closes the cauldron and hammers the fuck out of the cop cavalry. Priceless.

   Awesome stuff.

   They say in ancient warfare if you could capture the enemy king the main body of enemy troops  rout on seeing their leader vanquished. Alexander pulled this move at Issus and made Darius flee the battlefield. Well, fuck me sideways, I nearly keeled over when the student army nearly pulled off the same ballsy move and captured Prince Charles.

   I love the guy screaming 'roll the window up' at the end. Top comment on YouTube is, "Window up? Pull it down and let the shit fly in their faces. Up the Student Revolution!" Makes me giggle. Because if the real revolution were ever to come, the weapons won't be nerfed and just like in all of history, the kings will have all the big guns.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Did Julian Assange give himself up as part of a greater plan?


    I have this secret fantasy that Julian Assange is a fucking genius.

   This fantasy says he gave himself up to the authorities in the UK for a deeper reason then just confronting the bullshit condom malfunction rape charge in Sweden. He knew the British would take him into custody. He knew he would refuse extradition to Sweden and the court battle for this would be long.

    He knows all major media in the US are acting in concert, denouncing him as a terrorist, as a traitor and at the very least a criminal who should be tried in court. Most US politicians want him arrested some even killed. Also, major US corporations are on his ass. Paypal cancelled Wikileak's accounts, "hackers" shut down Wikileaks, now Mastercard and Visa have blocked donations and payment transfers to Wikileaks. It's like the whole corporate-government-media-military nexus are out to 'get' him, and Assange, knowing this, gave himself up like a sacrificial lamb with a wider plan in mind.

   Is the next move the US issuing a warrant for his arrest and his extradition to the US by the British?

   I can't see the British doing it, despite the 'special relationship', there'd be too much blowback. Still, if the US wants him, leaning on the Brits is their best chance. Funnily enough Wikileaks revelation that US diplomats consider Cameron "weak" may work against them as Cameron gets to issue a stern 'fuck you' to the yanks.

   But for my fantasy's sake, let's dream that Assange wants to become a martyr for truth, the Nelson Mandela of his time, an Aung San Suu Kyi for America, a Tiananmen tankman for democracy; because you know if the Americans ever get their hands on him he'll languish in some shit hole military prison smashing rocks into smaller rocks for the rest of his life. He'll be the postcard for resistance to the imperial machines of many countries. But he'll only be as guilty as the New York Times for publishing the embassy cables. Yet he'll be the one in jail. In my fantasy world, that's his whole plan!

   Assange knows that world public opinion is on his side, at least amongst free thinkers and those not hopelessly delusional. Is Assange martyring himself to drive a wedge between the world presented to us by the corporate media and government lies and the world most people actually live in and see with their own eyes?

   I mean it's quite clear now. There is a disconnect between the world as presented on TV and what 90% of people are actually living. The only conflict is who the masses blame for it. But most people sense it. The Gulf oil spill, enviro rape, fucking wars, resource depletion, economic collapse, taxpayers paying for bank failures while the rich who own everything laugh like motherfuckers.

   The US is floating the idea of indictments against Assange for publishing documents about US diplomats spying on the UN without indicting the actual diplomats who did the illegal fucking spying? Are we approaching a tipping point here, and is Assange trying to lead us to it? Does Assange's martyrdom to the authorities provide that final straw that breaks large sections of society out of the Matrix and makes them go all Neo on the powers that be?

  Fuck, could this be the beginning of a new low grade war between citizens and corpo governments?

  Is it too much of a fantasy to believe the powers that be will overplay their hand while persecuting him, and turn Assange into a symbol for the hypocrisy of the Western 'democracies'?


    Someone tell the corpo-government that 1984 was a work of fiction, not an instruction manual!


The Mexican Drug War: Disneyland for psychotic warrior freaks!

  What is the nastiest, meanest, most lowdown, bloodthirsty, going medieval on your ass war happening in the world right now that nobody really gives a shit about and isn't in Africa, the home of wars nobody gives a shit about? What major war has racked up 45,000 dead since 2006 and has all kinds of torture deaths and indiscriminate killings of non combatants perpetrated just for the hell of it and for pure media attention designed to make regular people shit bricks? Need a hint? One of the battlefields is a mile south of San Diego.

   Yeah, it's the Mexican Drug War.

   Ranking wars in terms of human brutality in military history never works for me. I mean, you can never out do brutality by harking back to an earlier period in human brutality. That ocean is too deep. Sure, the Greek brazen bull or the Middle Ages breaking wheel offer up hellish death from the past, but seriously, Mexican drug cartels are offering up all new kinds of horrible today like slow decapitation, death by burning tire necklace and plain old live burial in the desert; so it's hard for the American Idol voting public north of the border to process the whole thing without flipping channels. There is a vague existential unease knowing that shit like that is going down just next door but nothing more TV watching can't fix. What's most disturbing is that the Mexicans south of many a gated air conditioned community in the US, are going medieval on each other in a struggle to provide Americans with sufficient nose candy, vein tar and weed to fill out their weekends with a proper mind altering drug arsenal.

   US politicians can never say this because it requires honesty to admit that it is America's appetite for drugs that is the cause of the war south of their border.

   The city of Ciudad Juarez was recently designated the second most dangerous city in the world after Mogadishu. Yeah, that's in Somalia, where the US lost two Blackhawks and the crews got hacked up with machetes. Juarez, second best death hole on the planet today, beats out Baghdad and Kabul and adjoins the US city of El Paso. The politicians are too busy in Iraq and Afghanistan, air dumping trillions of dollars for our 'freedom', while here at home Ciudad Juarez is inches south of sovereign US territory and is a war zone? Yeah, go figure that shit.

   The Mexican Drug War is asymmetrical warfare at its finest and the combatants are multiple. It's the kind of warfare that the media gets confused reporting on because it's impossible to package into simple soundbites. The narrative, if the 'mainstream media' were ever to honestly risk reporting on shit, would prove too unsettling to report, with a headline like "Americas appetite for certain drugs deemed 'illegal' by their government fuels mega death in a bordering country".  Instead, American media reports on specific incidents in the war, like twelve teens getting gunned down at a party in Tijuana or a mass grave of untraceable headless and handless corpses getting found in the desert somewhere but without much context other than drug cartels are 'bad' and they make a lot of cash and isn't it all fucking terrible. US media coverage is like some dumb Ron Burgundy local news reporter showing up at Pickett's Charge after the fact and pointing to all the dead bodies and wondering why; while leaving out Gettysburg and the fact that there's a fucking Civil War going on. That kind of shitty journalism is par for the course these days.

Money! Humans will kill for it.

   In a nutshell, it goes like this. Drugs and brown people flow north and money and weapons flow south. And we are talking serious weaponry too. AKs, Ar-15s, G3s, Light machine guns like Russian PKMs, American M 60s and M249s, hell, in one arms seizure pic I even spotted a good old German MG 42. That's a lot of spray. A fair amount of this comes from the US but not as much as the media likes to whine about. You can get a lot of it far cheaper from other South American nations or imported from Russia, China or Africa. Hell, an AK in Somalia is cheaper than a Happy Meal, that's if you can find a quality eatery like McDonalds in that desert shithole.

  You know when American politicians passed NAFTA in the 90s it was basically every corporation's wet dream come true. Now they could send every blue collar factory job south of the border where they could pay them a buck fiddy an hour and increase profits from lower labor costs. This was somehow sold to the US population as good for everyone. Yeah, people actually believed that shit. Every sneaker, jeans and widgit factory went south and left American workers wondering what the fuck? Supposedly, it was to raise 'Mexican living standards' and somehow be good for American businesses by providing a new market for those goods produced in whatever factories that didn't abandon the US, tech jobs and the like, stuff the powers that be figured the Mexican workforce were too stupid to manufacture.

   Turns out, thanks to globalization, those tech jobs got sent to India instead.

   So now nobody up here in the US has a job anymore and we need moar drugs to cope! Lots of drugs. One thing is for sure. Americans may love their country but they sure as hell love their drugs even more because for many, it's only by being wasted that makes it possible for them to live here. Cocaine and heroin are popular enough that Big Pharma came up with some neat analogues like Adderall and Oxycontin to try to muscle in on a piece of that action.

   Who are the real players here?

   The Cartels. 

   But who are they?

   Basically, they're the bastard children of Pablo Escobar.

   Escobar was a legend in the South American drug business. A true fucking badass if ever there was one. In 1989 he was ranked by Forbes as the seventh richest man in the world. That's a serious amount of blow profits. Seriously, by that metric it puts cocaine as the most prized commodity on the world market after oil. Fuck, the eighties were fun! Escobar even attempted to buy himself a seat in the Colombian government by paying off the country's entire national debt from his petty cash jar. I shit you not! Obviously, you don't get to that position without murdering shitloads of people but hey, that's how this fucked up world rolls right? Of course, this painted a pretty big target on Escobar's head especially in the US. The CIA wanted a piece of that black ops untracable drug money for themselves and him dead.  They triangulated his position for Colombian cops and Escobar went down fighting Tony Montana style, getting shot to shit on the roof of a house in his home village of Medellin.

   So that should have been the end of the whole thing, right? The boss man is dead. Actually that's when the whole thing went even more out of control like they'd just cut off one of the proverbial Hydra's heads and watched two new ones grow back in their place. Only, in this case, it wasn't heads but today's drug cartels. This factioning of the trade into numerous groups vying for a piece of the action soon turned into a war for more money, and, in 2006, against the Mexican authorities themselves when President Calderon followed the Americans 'advice' and declared a 'war' on drugs and the cartels.

   That's been working out fucking awesome, right?

  The Americans think they can solve everything by declaring 'war' on it, like the dumb bully who's been held back a year and finds himself the only big guy left on the playground because everyone else his age has moved on to high school. The bully's now pissed and declaring war on every little guy with a bag of Cheetos. But every little guy knows what happens to the bully long term.  He ends up on  meth  in a trailer park. That's America in 20 years if it doesn't get its shit together

Cartel Territory and where not to plan your Mexican vacation!

   But the Mexican Drug War is just really fucking nasty all around. When the Cartels declared war on the Mexican authorities they didn't join up together and fight. There's no honor among thieves here, they're quite adept at bribing cops to go after rival gangs, ratting each other up to the DEA, or going head to head with each other. They'll mow down a birthday party full of teenagers cos one guy in there owes them a few bucks  for an eight ball. They'll start a battle in a suburb using an SUV mounted grenade launcher and kill 12 and wound 100. All civilians.

   And nobody gives a shit.

   You see that's another problem with this war. For instance, in 2008 there were 1600 murders in Mexican border towns and 34 arrests. So basically the message sent out by that statistic is, you kill someone, you walk. There are no consequences. And in the drug business good old ultra violence is the only means of settling disputes. It's not like you can go to the cops, they are as likely to sell you out to the guy trying to kill you for cash then help you. Court system? He-he, just kidding.

   That's when you hear two words floating around that makes US politicians shit bricks... failed state.

   This is especially true in the border towns like Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Nogales and Nuevo Laredo because this is the bottleneck, the crossing point into the main market for the cocaine flowing up from Colombia, black tar heroin from southern Mexico, meth from factories in Mexico city and weed from just about everywhere in Mexico with access to sunlight. For the cartels, controlling the border crossing points is key and why they're such clusterfucks.

   There are quite a few Cartels controlling different areas but by far my favourite group are Los Zetas. These motherfuckers scare the shit out of me. These guys started out as a legit group of elite Mexican military officers trained in counter insurgency ops, small group and aerial assault, advanced comms, fuck, you name it, these guys have gotten training in it at Bragg and at the euphemistically named "School of the Americas" which is basically a South American assassin training school in Georgia that makes Amnesty International want to rage quit the whole game.

   They went rogue in the late 80s after witnessing the huge profits they were missing out on by staying legit. These guys are even better equipped then the Mexican army, wearing body armor, fielding AKs, ARs, 50cals, Stinger missiles and RPGs. They also operate helos and have shitloads of up armored SUVs and are experts in demo and advanced comms. These guys wiretap the Mexican government to make sure any bribes made get delivered on. They also employ armies of teen look out kids and hordes of prostitutes who suck cock for intel from unsuspecting targeted customers. Los Zetas are not only involved in drug smuggling, but extortion rackets, kidnapping, jail breakouts and human trafficking.

    Mexico is like Disneyland for psychotic warrior freaks.

   So what's the solution here? The Mexicans got heavy heat from the US when they decriminalized the possession of small amounts of coke, heroin and ecstasy last year but this isn't likely to affect much since the primary market for all drugs is in the US. Legalization in the US so as to kill demand and bring the trade out of the hands of criminals and hand if over legally to big pharma corporations? Sure, the CEOs of Pfizer and Glaxo Smith Kline would jizz their pants if they could sell coke legally but the public are too dumb, distracted and misinformed for this to happen in the foreseeable future. Hell, California couldn't even pass a marijuana legalization ballot measure in November, lobbied against heavily by the cop unions, the prison unions, the DEA and the Mexican drug cartels. Nice to see  all of the people making money off the drug war all on the same side for once. 

   And so like all miserable, shitty South American wars, the atrocities are bound to continue without respite until maybe the cartels start shooting up government buildings inside the US and even then the US will just declare more hysterical war and throw more tanks and bombers at it, hell anything but some common sense.