NetWar: A Brand New Concept And Two Old Follies

Contents Letter From Paris

Contents Letter From Paris

Thursday, December 09, 2004


A Brand New Concept And Two Old Follies

One of my favorite bloggers, Stygius, has a very good post that, as it happens, originated in a comment of mine to another post about the visit of Gen Musharraf to Britain. Stygius, a genuine esprit fort, has coined a very useful term to describe a hideous and very actual concept: cultural assassination. Have a look at this article that he linked to

The closing argument of his post (again, definitely a recommended reading) says:

The cultural assassination of course has a political element to it; but I think it works to put the lie to the idea that movements such as al-Qaeda have clearly discernible ends that--if we accede to them--will allow us to one day peacefully coexist with the terrorist.

And I agree, (oh so much!) with this assessment:

(But) with the murder of Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh, our notion of assassination is being broadened, as it returns to its fundamentals of simultaneous savagery, ecstasy, and suicide…
…the possibility of a coming wave of "cultural" assassination. Its objectives are more intangible than the political assassination; more directed at an aesthetic element. The nebulousness of what it is directed at (i.e., killing a culture by killing its representatives and symbols), and what it is "defending" seems to give the cultural assassination the sense that the bloody act is itself its own end. The atrocity, in its atrociousness, is self-validating in its orgasmic excess. The murder itself is emblematic of the hopes of its practitioner.

Well, for the record I think that cultural assassination had been routinely taking place in the Basque Country, a corner of Europe where journalists have been killed, painters (even abstract painters!) had their work destroyed, university teachers and singers were forced into exile… the ETA, the continent’s oldest terrorist group, which some suspect of collaboration with the jihadists, has been using cultural assassination for over 40 years to silence criticism and force Basques into submission; they have had a large measure of success, one must say. In fact, I believe that the so called Basque Paradigm very accurately defines de logical frame of every terrorist insurgency, a form of war that is, by definition, asymmetrical but not less total.
The murder of Theo van Gogh for me inaugurates, on a continental level, the basqueization of Europe. There is now a campaign of threatening letters against politicians, artists, journalists and religious leaders going on. The message is simple: “Respect Islam (i.e. abstain from any criticism against us) or else we’ll kill you.” In the Basque Country the ETA routinely sends a copy of the key to the building door or a picture of their kids going out of school…

France and Spain: howling at the moon

The stances of Jacques Chirac and José Rodríguez Zapatero regarding terrorism prove that daftness is beyond ideology, age and national origin. Monsieur Chirac has all but forgotten why two French journalists are now the two hostages that have spent more time in captivity in Iraq. At least, he doesn’t seem to have an irresistible urge to talk about it. Instead, he had a most curious attitude during the last days in Paris of Arafat, that champion of democracy.

Señor Zapatero’s government is to pay a salary to every Islamic preacher willing to come to Spain and is also taking the steps to teach Islam in Spain’s public schools. He advocates an “Alliance of Civilizations” between the West and Islam which is actively supported by, say, the Syrian regime and Venezuela’s self-styled colonel Chavez. He also said to Time magazine that he has solved the problem of modern terrorism: the magic answer to quash al Qaeda is the equality of the sexes (verbatim).

Of course, both gentlemen dislike George W. Bush’s brand of unilateralism and harsh manners in the War on Terror, overthrowing tyrants instead of preaching moderation to them, like señor Zapatero loves to do with the Cuban Supremo. (By the way, I tend to believe the people who claim that the Castro regime has got some sort of leverage over Mr. Zapatero… call it blackmail or call it inside knowledge, but Cuban Foreign Minister Perez Roque said months ago that Spain would come crawling on its knees to Havana.)

But now the going in Europe is getting rough and rougher might it get if the Iraqi election actually takes place in January. If the situation in Iraq starts cooling down, Allawi wins and the foreign fighters leave, expect the murder of film maker VanGogh to become a repletion of things to come in Europe.

Attacking Little Satan

Pouncing upon Great Satan USA has proven a risky proposition. Chances are just too big for the pious murderer to get killed or land in a place like Guantanamo or worse.

But Little Satan Europe is different. At least in Spain –it already learned its lesson-, France and Germany, chances are that a wave of selective terror could yield some results in form of tax-money ransom and a legal separation of sorts. What a neat idea, Muslim neighborhoods under Shariah rule and heroic jihadists respected by everyone…

Perhaps the jihadists could bomb Little Satan into accepting whatever agenda the apostles of multi-culturalism would care to propose in order to appease the Holly Warriors’ vengeful wrath. Separate education, Islamic courts for Muslims, public money to pay for mosques and imams… What’s wrong with dreaming a little bit? It took just 200 Spaniards killed to get Zapatero voted into power and loads of money and respect for the (True) Believers…

Now, what should be the best tactics for the jihadists to achieve cultural (and social) separatism? I think selective terror of the cultural assassination sort may become a weapon of choice.

From multiculturalism to breaking our societies into a patch-work of self-centered, uneasily co-existing communities, the distance is not so big. And, well, the philosophical bridge across the river of democracy could very well be the moral relativism still proposed by the aging gurus of the European left.

Via Jihad Watch
Judge Awards $156M to Dead Teen's Parents

CHICAGO - Three Islamic charities and an alleged fund-raiser for the Palestinian militant group Hamas were ordered Wednesday to pay $156 million to the parents of an American teenager killed by terrorists outside Jersusalem.

A federal jury deliberated for one day before awarding $52 million in damages to the parents of David Boim, shot down at a bus stop eight years ago. U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys then tripled the damages.

But it is uncertain whether the family can collect much money from the defendants, some of whom have had their assets frozen by the government.


Before the trial started, the judge had found the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, the Islamic Association for Palestine and alleged Hamas fund-raiser Mohammed Salah liable in Boim's death.

The jury found that the Quranic Literacy Institute of suburban Oak Lawn, a group that translates Islamic religious texts, was also responsible for the shooting.

Winds of Change

An example: this analysis of the March 11th attacks in Madrid, written 5 days later! Imposing.

Inspiring, passionate and decent

Iraq, the Model
A very goodview of what is going on in Iraq by Mohammad and Omar, two brothers... Check it out if you're fed up with the EuroPress

The Patriot Debates
Many provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act will expire at the end of 2005. This forum is devoted to civil and informed debate about these provisions and whether they should be renewed.

A serious visit to jihadist ideology

Michelle Malkin
Her column appears in nearly 200 US papers nationwide. Pretty conservative AND very articulate. I like her.

From Barcelona. I like it! And, by the way, it's getting better every day.

Across the Bay
Very good blog by Tony, an expert in in Ancient Near Eastern Studies with focus on Semitic Linguistics, Ancient Levantine history, religion....

Allah Pundit
It's quite consevative, but really funny!

Bjørn Stærk's blog
In the NetWar since 2001, this norwegian wonderkid is just worth reading.

Norman Geras's blog
I mean, READ HIM. He's bright, insightful and knows a lot about Marxism and la condition humaine... Yeeees! (thanks Stygius).

Dan Darling
Excellent Open Source analysis of al Qaeda!

Bilingual (FR&EN) and passionate!

The Politburo Diktat
Forthrightly, frankly, fully funny, comrades. Neo-Komintern Urgh.

Insults for use by the ideologically informed
Nice page of Real Socialist Nostalgia. Check it out, comrade!

Letters From New York City
Michele tells it from the place where the world changed three years ago.

Alphabet City by Robert Stevens
Very well informed "from the perimeter of Manhattan ;-)" Impresive collection of links.

Colt's Eurabia
If you want to know and follow politically incorrect debate, red it!
His motto is:"...the only secure basis for oligarchy is collectivism." George Orwell

Monitoring Media Coverage of the War On Terror

Political Correctness Watch
John Ray, a former university teacher gone blogger monitors political correctness around the globe. When you needthat cheering information that somewhere else it's even worse than in your home town...


Free Lance Corner
Emilio Alonso, madrileño sin pelos en la pluma, liberal y extremadamente sensato.

Guerra Eterna en Oriente Medio
Reportero español polí­ticamente correcto, buena gente y suavemente partisano

Español residente en Parí­s, liberal, vasco, polí­ticamente incorrecto, reflexiona sobre la situación en Euskadi (Paí­s Vasco)

Carmelo Jordá
Otro español, buen analista y políticamente incorrecto. Pertenece a la nueva ola de jovenes liberales (en el sentido europeo) que empiezan a poner en cuestión todo en Europa

Una Temporada en el Infierno
Interesante blog de Juan Pedro Quiñonero, escritor y periodista español que merece dos lecturas.

Location: Paris, France

I have been a journalist since I was 22. For a (long) while I worked as a reporter for the Swedish, Spanish (I was born in Spain) and American media, covering international affairs... After 1991 I recycled myself to the business press.

 A Must Read!
Note that on the above page you have BOTH a link to buy the book (US$ 20) AND
the links to all the 6 chapters in PDF for FREE.

Contents (PDF)
Chapter One: Introduction
Chapter Two: Conceptual Outlines
Chapter Three: A World in Flux - Ripe for Netwar Chapter Four: Varieties of Netwar
Chapter Five: Challenges for U.S Policy and Organization
Chapter Six: Implications for U.S. Doctrine and Strategy

And, by the way...
I love NYC French Hostages "Social Capital" "King Juan carlos" Barcelona Stockholm Iraq Bagdad Basora Volunteer shia Muqtada al-Sadr Islam Chirac Iraq Ossama Osama Bin laden Markawi Colin Powell London President Bush Paris Tony Blair Blog Allawi Geopolitics Iraqi police "Foreign Affairs" John Kerry campaign Policy Poll Bush Kerry Kofi China Madrid Japan warfare Sun-Tzu Unrestricted asymmetric strategy Survey Bush Kerry perception management Hispanic voters Sarkozy Chalabi oil for food Lebanon Donald Rumsfeld Beirut Pentagon marines Robert Kagan weapons neocon ideology neoconservative Alamut White House preventive Congress Washington Chicago New York Los Angeles Miami San Francisco Seattle California Illinois Massachussets Portland Aznar Zapatero Moratinos Saddam Syria