Tuesday, February 22, 2005

When will they learn?

The insurgents in Iraq seem to be getting a feel for the proper use of advanced targeting methodologies to create cascading network failures and to maximally leverage their investments in attacks. John Robb's Blog offers up a veritable "Targeting & Cascading Network Failure 101" for potential trouble makers. So when will "They" learn? If we listen to America's Main Stream Media, it seems like terrorists of all stripes are continuing with their haphazard target selection and futile methods: we will not give in to their simple scare tactics...

Viz., The "homicide bombers" indiscriminately target civilians in a confused attempt to spread terror in Iraq. Animal Rights and Environmental activists break windows at Starbucks and spraypaint slogans on the walls. When will they learn that these acts of frustration will not lead to "victory" for their cause??

Well, sarcasm aside, they are learning:

- Insurgents in Iraq are conducting a well planned, coordinated and effectively targeted campaign against basic infrastructure, fomenting state-failure and leading to a reversion to primary loyalties: in other words, when the government can't provide security, water, electricity, etc., people revert to community, religious and tribal affiliate groups--which is exactly where the Sunni Arab insurgents want the Sunni Arab population turning for help.

- Eco-anarchists are on the verge of grasping the basic concepts of targeting as well. A recent issue of Green Anarchy has an article by Ted Kaczynski (of UnaBomber fame) on the need for the green-anarchist movement to identify and attack key nodes--namely key nodes in the electricity and genetic/agricultural infrastructure. Sounds like someone has been reading Boyd and Warden whilst in prison. They're not just spraypainting starbucks anymore, Dorothy.

- A string of recent green-anarchist associated attacks around Sacramento, California demonstrates a degree of focus and intensity unprecedented for the movement, but is still lacking in general effectiveness. When will this kind of intensity marry up with the targeting knowledge demonstrated by Kaczynski. SHAC (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty) has been using press, coordination, long-term focus and careful targeting to leverage strings of very minor attacks and acts of non-violence to great effect (Huntingdon Life Sciences has been reduced from a $500 million dollar company in 1992 to a company valued at under $20 million today, and is no longer listed on the NYSE). A marriage of the kind of campaign executed by SHAC with the intensity, scale and violence of the recent attacks in the Sacramento area could have truly significant impact.

Some areas that I am watching carefully:

- When will the success of the infrastructure-attacks in Iraq spread to Saudi Arabia?
- When will domestic green-anarchist and affiliated groups take Kaczynski's advice and begin to target key nodes, learning from SHAC's well planned and executed campaign to tie together a string of attacks behind a clearly identifiable cause or objective?

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