Prague Twin

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Iran Threatened, I'm off to Paris

Iran has been threatened by president Bush. You really don't want GWB caling you "defiant". When he says, "there must be consequences," you tend to believe him, using history as a guide.

I just hope he doesn't start dropping bombs before I get back from Paris on Sunday. I'll be sure to report on Charles de Gaulle's securtity situation. The last time I left there, I had a knife in my backpack that I had forgotten from a picknik. They laughed at me.

I get the feeling no one will be laughing now, but I'll be sure to leave the knives at home anyway.

So until Monday, think peaceful thoughts.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Airline Security

On Sunday, I flew from Prague to Frankfurt and back. I was quite interested to see what it would be like with all the fuss over new security measures. Overall, things went pretty well, but my experience in the Prague airport was anything but uneventful.

I arrived at the airport just less that an hour before my flight. Prague is a very small airport so I usually don't even get there that early. I figured an hour would be plenty of time even with extra security.

While I was waiting in line, there were two very old Arab men in wheelchairs at the back of my line. They were accompanied by three younger Arab men who were dressed in a distinctly western style: designer jeans, designer sunglasses, dress shirts untucked. They were all arguing quite loudly which was attracting quite a bit of attention. One of the older men in the wheelchair was dressed in the traditional garb: all in white with a headscarf. The other apparently had had a stroke. He looked very confused and every once in a while he said, "ahhhh!" All of the onlookers, including myself, were somewhat concerned with the scene. We all laughed at ourselves for being concerned everytime the one man uttered his signature, "ahhhh!"

I got through check-in in 12 minutes, through passport control in 2 minutes, and through security in 13 minutes. Essentially, it was a breeze.

At the gate, I was in my little iPod world until a couple guys from the states popped a bottle of champagne (at 6:30AM) in a very unprofessional manner right next to me. The cork hit the ceiling hard and the pop was heard round the world (well, nearly). Then of course the champagne went all over the guy who opened it. Since I was in my iPod world, I guess my comment was heard nearly round the world as well. I said, "are you fucking joking me?" Suddenly everyone was staring at me instead of the perpetrators. I imagine it was dead silent and I was quite loud. Truly a headphone moment.

On the way back, security was a little tighter. It seemed that everyone in my line was searched: the two people in front of me and the person behind me. How I avoided a search with my 5 pieces of electronic equipment is beyond me. The girl in front of me with pens wrapped in gift wrap was having a serious problem.

But all of this is nothing compared to the hardships experienced currently in the United States and in the U.K. The only sensible response that I have heard so far came from Ryanair's CEO Michael O'leary who is threatening to sue British authorities for their draconian security measures. The most obvious example of a total lack of common sense was when a pilot was prohibited from bringing a pen on board because the ink inside is a liquid.

What is most disappointing is that all of this hassle is exactly what the terrorists want. It is even more disappointing in light of the fact that this foiled plot was probably doomed from the start.

As a comic aside, I am always making fun of my wife for her inability to throw away plastic bags (or recycle them as the case may be). But now, she already has 3 designer label carry-ons suitable for the Brave New World.

A Pause

Perhaps someone noticed that I took a pause from writing. At certain points I feel like I have nothing to say. I look back on where I started and realize that although I have been generally correct, it is totally irrelevant. I mean, who cares what some kooky ex-pat thinks about the war in Iraq? Well, I care, so here I am again.

When I first wrote something of substance on this blog, I had really just meant to say that despite the right claiming things are getting better and the left claiming things are getting worse (well, Mike doesn't actually claim it is getting worse, but the emphasis is there) things remain generally unchanged. Sure, there has been an upsurge in sectarian violence in Baghdad, but other places are much more under control than they were 9 months ago. Although the shape of the struggle has changed, it's intensity, more or less, remains stagnant. Coalition casualties in the first 8 months of 2006 are quite a bit lower than the last 8 months of 2005. However, the average of about 2 a day is still in play, and the Iraqi losses more than make up for the lower casualty rate among the coalition forces (almost all of which is American at this point).

Each day I think things are changing, that there is a turning point. But in the end, it just keeps trudging along at this slow, painfull pace.

Not long ago, I was considered a pessimist for my stalemate view. Now days,I think I would be considered an optimist.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Corporate Watch

Click here for an explaination.

Really, it is interesting.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Iraq Anyone

It has been pointed out that the mainstream media is ignoring Iraq. That seem to be the case, and as Mike points out, Iraq is still quite newsworthy.

Previously, I had posted on the deployment of Stryker units to Baghdad. I keep hearing they are on the way, but nothing has happened. Here is the best information I can find on the operation. Sounds like they are waiting for everyone to arrive. It also sounds like the operation will be scheduled for a few months. September, October, November. Not bad timing if you think about it.

Meanwhile, Anbar is experiencing a resurgent insurgency. (Is that a resurgency?) As the article points out, despite the spin that everything is focused on Baghdad, a majority of this month's U.S. casualties have been in Anbar, and there have been many outside of Baghdad and elsewhere.

So it is comparitively quiet in Baghdad right now. At least for the Americans. It sounds like they are sitting pretty tight, waiting, planning. A couple more weeks I figure before we have Iraq back in the headlines.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bernanke Was Right

Todays PPI and core PPI data confirmed what Bernanke said when the Fed decided to not raise interest rates a week ago. Essentially, the argument is that a slowing economy will moderate inflation. Todays data helped legitimize this claim.

First of all, PPI is the Producers' Price Index. It is a broad measure of inflation based on the producers' price lists for a given month. Core PPI is the PPI with volatile energy and food prices removed from the equation. Core PPI is considered a more accurate measure than total PPI. CPI, the Consumers' Price Index, is considered more important than PPI but it is even more backward looking as it represents the increase in prices after they have been passed onto the consumer.

Today, anaylist almost unanimously called for a .2% month on month rise in Core PPI and a .4% rise in PPI. The data was realeased an hour before the stock market opened and Core PPI came it at -.3%. Stock market futures took off on the news and the Dow and S&P moved instantly higher. The dow is minutes away from having it's first 100 point rally stand at close for the first time in almost two weeks. The dollar took an immediate .5 cent hit on the news and the Euro tested the 1.28 level within an hour. The Euro has since leveled off at 1.2785.

A good day for Wall Street, but nothing there to indicate any rally past that 11,300 ceiling is in the cards. Yes, in fact the Dow has just closed 131.99 points higher for the day at just under 11,230. If tomorrow CPI were to come in higher than expected, the bears will have a field day. It will be like salmon spawning season. Core CPI is expected to read .3%, again almost unanimously. I think that is a pretty high number so it is unlikely that it will come in over expectations, but it certainly could happen..

More likely is that is will come in slightly under, reflecting only part of the Core PPI data from today. Anything under .3% will continue the rally which would be a benefit for the market by breaking the downward treadline that is starting to develop.

Having said that, I have not heard this much negative sentiment about the overall direction of the market in quite some time. Morgan Stanley issued their most pessimistic statement in 10 years today. The Index of New Home Builders had its lowest reading in 15 years. The NY State Empire Index came it at 10.4 when analyst expected between 15 and 17.

The currency traders, who I have said before tend to be ahead of the market, believe that the pressures of a slowing economy are going to far outweigh inflation pressures in the year ahead. They believe the Fed is done raising rates for the year and may start dropping rates next year. They think that the intrest rate hikes went too far and the long term effects will start to kick in by the end of the year. They see a decline in the dollar short term, perhaps rather drastic, but a strengthening of the dollar next year when the Fed comes back into the fold. Ironically, they believe that as the Fed loosens policy, the dollar will start to gain strength as the market recovers, which has happened before.

I've been calling for a correction for quite some time: pre-maturely as it were. Today I heard a technical analysist who is considered a guru to say the least say the he expects a 25% correction in the stock market by the end of the year.

"If lovin' you is wrong, then I don't want to be right."

Monday, August 14, 2006


I was talking to Abraham who works in the kebab shop in the center of Liberec (Czech Republic). Abraham is Palestinian but he has Jordanian citizenship. We were talking about the normal stuff: work, stress, sleep, excess of the first two and lack of the latter. I started to joke with him a little asking, "why don't you start drinking?"

He said he didn't really like it. I said, "yea, you are Muslim right?"

He said, "yea, but that is not why I don't drink. I don't take it so seriously."

Never passing on a chance to be snide and obnoxious I asked, "you mean you don't hate me?"

He asked, "why would I hate you?"

"Because I'm an infadel."

He laughed out loud at this one. "No," he said, still chuckling a little, "I don't hate you."

I explained I was just kidding, but I think it was pretty obvious. Presently he started telling me a story about something that happened at about 3 am a couple of nights back. It fit right in with our previous lack-of-sleep-over-worked conversation. Here is what he told me....

"About 3 am, a Czech guy comes in and asks me, 'are you from Palestine?'. I said, 'Yes, I am.... and?'"

The kid replies, "Well I am from Israel."

Abraham responds, "O.K. so, so what?"

The kid says, "I know you hate me, and you probably want to kill me."

Abraham laughs at him and says, "you know, when you first walked in the door, I had the feeling you were drunk. Now, you've proven it. Go home and get some sleep."

Why am I recounting this story? I'm not exactly sure. If anyone has any idea, I'm all ears.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Terror Plot

Now that it has been a few days since the foiled terror plot in the UK, it is time to mention something that has been bothering me a bit.

What bothers me is the knee-jerk reaction especially in the U.S. It reminds me immediately of the days directly after 9/11 which I have written about before in a piece on the "We Are Not Afraid" campaign, which is still the most sensable and effective civilian response to terrorism that I have seen.

My best friend, J. was supposed to fly to Prague to visit me on September 11th, 2001. He woke up to hear that all flights in North America had been cancelled. J., being the fearless, brash man that he is, faught his way onto the first international flight out of San Francisco International....on September 18th. Our feeling was that the terrorists were winning with each passing day. I believe that the goal of terrorism is not just to kill, but to terrorise. They want us to react exactly the way we do.

And this case is no different. In reaction to a foiled plot, thousands of people lost hours and days out of their lives. Literally tons of cosmetics and beverages have met the same fate as tens of thousands of nail clippers and sewing scissors. They have created chaos throughout the United States by failing to carry out a terroist act in the United Kingdom. To date, no connection to the United States has been found in this case. And yet days later, people are losing money, time, and dignity. Carring their belongings in plastic bags, and dumping their newly prohibited items. This is overreacting. Even when the terrorists fail, they still win.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Interesting Hit

Every once in a while I get an interesting hit. When I clicked this referring URL, I was impressed.

I'd really love to know how "Prague Twin" was translated into 6 characters.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Qana Revisited

When I first posted on the Qana bombing, I said that there were 60 civilians killed. Obviously I was just repeating what was being reported at the time. We all know that I am not in Qana. But it has come to light that only 25 were actually killed there. Or were they killed there?

Many on the right are entertaining conspiracy theories that the children killed were actually killed in Tyre, and trucked in for the purpose of propoganda. They cite inconsistencies in the time stamps. They also point out the discrepancy in the facts surrounding the time of the bombing and the actual collapse of the building.

The news agencies who covered the event have catagorically denied the allegations of staging. Three different agencies covered this event: AP, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse. It is one thing when a single reporter engages in doctoring as did a Lebanese free-lance reporter who was sacked. In this case, Hajj had doctored photos for effect. Darker smoke was added to a photograph, and more bombs coming out of an Israeli jet had been added to another. Hajj was immediately fired and all of his photos removed from the wires.

In Qana, you would have to have three news agencies (two of the largest in the world included) conspire together. At least three independent reporters would have to actually take part in a fabricated event. All of these reporters would have to hold this secret for their entire lives. This is a jump that I just can not make. Sadly, all of this has distracted from more important issues.

Qana was, in fact, bombed. To date, Israel has provided no evidence of any Hezbollah activity in the area. Unless the conspiracy theorists believe that the conspirators killed those kids, those kids were killed by Israeli bombs, most likely in Qana. The last time I checked, the Lebanese civilian death toll was above 700. The Israeli civilian death toll was at about 70. That is at least 770 civilians too many.

What is really bugging me is that it takes a Qana incident to get people outraged enough to do something. Even if there had been 75 people in the building, why is it that they are more important than the other 770 people who have already been killed? Shouldn't the first 770 people killed elicit sufficient response from the world?

The same can be said for 9/11. As horible as it is for 3,000 people to die all at once in such horrid fashion, does that justify everything that has been done since then? I don't mean justify in the moral sense, but in the sense of resources spent countering the force that caused those deaths. For example, nearly 50,000 people die in the U.S. every year due to auto accidents. About the same number of high-school students die in alcohol related accidents each year as did in the 9/11 attack.

As human beings, it seems we are unable to grasp the significance of life and death unless it is personal (someone we know) or dramatic (plane crashes, Qana). This is a limit on our ability to sympathise with individuals with whom we are not aquainted.

For most, the 25 people killed in Qana are more important than the 700 Lebanese and the 70 Israelis, who have lost their lives since this war began about four weeks ago. They are infinately more important than the nearly 100 people killed in sectarian violence in Iraq on any given day and even more important than the 10 high school kids who die each day in automobiles due to alchohol.

But to me, they each count as one. And each one is one more too many.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Fed Decision

The Fed decided to leave the overnight lending rate at 5.25% thus ending a record streak of 17 strait rate hikes from 1% to 5.25%. One of the five voting members, Richmond Federal Bank President Jeffery Lacker, voted for another rate hike citing inflation worries.

Some of the key language in the Fed statement centered around the belief that inflation pressures should moderate over time. This is an indication that economy is slowing and that previous hikes will have a long term effect going forward. The Fed mentioned that the economy is slowing and that there are still inflation risks in the market.

Equities rallied briefly on the news, but finished down for the day. It should be a steady sell off for the rest of the week. The Feds comments about a slowing economy spooked the market a bit. I can't imagine that the Dow will break 11,300 anytime in the near future, and we are likely to see a test of the 10,650 bottom within a couple of weeks.

The dollar initially lost ground on the news but made up it's losses quickly. Long term outlook for the dollar is still bearish, but any dollar selling rally has been quickly capped.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Point System

On July 1st of this year, the Czech Republic introduced a driving point sytem to try and curb the excessive death toll on Czech highways. Prior to this, a driver could get as many tickets as he or she wanted, and there was no fear of increased insurance rates or losing one's licence. Therefore, rich guys drove as fast and as crazy as the wanted with no fear other than of a nominal fee.

The Czech's have had one of the highest motorway death rates in Europe. It has been gradually decreasing year on year, but the Czech highways were still quite deadly. Experience on the road backs up the numbers. I have seen more stupid moves and accident scenes here than pretty much anywhere I have traveled. In Moscow, they drove crazier, but they didn't seem to hit each other much. Not the case here.

But everything changed about a month ago. There is a new calm on the highway, and I have yet to see an accident. I have heard that the statistics are showing a rapid drop in accidents and fatalities.

Have the police been enforcing the existing laws any more strigently? Not at all. In this society, it is enough just to make the rule. Just like when pedestrians got the right of way in the crosswalk, the behavior of the motorists changed literally overnight.

With regards to the pedestrian law change I had asked, "how will they enforce it?" This time around I knew better. The cautious and practical Czechs now drive in a way that matches their personality.

Hamdan Overdrive

Bloggers sometimes wonder if anyone is reading our stuff. Every once in a while, something happens that confirms that yes, someone is actually out there and paying attention.

Today I found out that my post was linked at This is pretty huge for a little blogger like me. Especially considering that in the roundup, mine is the first listed.

I know my readers pretty well. This was the first time a big fish actually took notice.

Not a bad feeling. Nope, not too bad at at all.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Economic Report

Both the Bank of England and the European Central Bank raised interest rates yesterday. The BOE shocked the market with their decision, while the ECB's decision was widely expected.

Initial jobless claims in the U.S. came in higher than expected and the Sevice Index showed signs of slowing. This led to the thinking that perhaps the Fed would indeed pause in their rate hike cycle.

Lately all the focus has been on interest rates, so yesterday's drop in the dollar and rise in equities comes as no surprise. The Dow is playing with the 11,300 barrier again, but it will need more bad data today to confirm it's suspicion that the Fed will indeed pause when they meet next week.

Today, non-farm payrolls will be announced at 8:30 EDT. There is quite a lot of ambiguity around this number as usual. It has packed some big surprises of late. The general concensous is for 145K jobs to be added in July. However, some analysts are calling for only 135K. To make matters worse, the currency traders were calling for 155K, but have revised that down to 130K. With all of the data lately showing signs of a slowing economy, I wouldn't be surprised to see a shocker of a number. Something between 110K and 90K is possible, and this would send the Dow soaring. It would also be a feeding frenzy for those who like to short the dollar.

Hold on to your hats kids, this could be a wild ride.

UPDATE: Non-farm payrolls came in at 114K, much lower than expected and unemployment jumped from 4.6% to 4.8%. These were shockers but not as shocking as they could have been. Nevertheless, I had put my money where my mouth was and shorted the dollar. Needless to say, I made a handsome profit. The Dow got a bit of a lift early but has flattened out. I suspect that although everyone now believes the Fed will in fact pause, all this bad economic data is having its effect on buying confidence. Also, that 11,300 resistance level is proving to be tough to overcome with any follow-through.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Return of the Stryker

One of the most successful units in Iraq has been the Stryker unit.The vehicle itself is quite an impressive one. It beats the hell out of a Humvee.

But what is more impressive are the guys that man these vehicles. One of these men is known on the internet as Buck Sargent. Buck, and others like him, actually engage in effective counterinsurgency. They have been able to quell the areas they have been to. Buck was in Kuwait on his way home after two tours when he got called back. His post, written a few days after he found out he was going to Baghdad is long but worth reading. Keep in mind this is a dedicated soldier who truly believes in the cause and is vocal about it.

I wish you well, Buck, and a safe return home.

My point in bringing this up is that almost all of the Stryker units they have are now being sent to Baghdad. 1,400 are being sent from Mosul. Up to 25,000 soldiers are slated for re-deployment from the states. They named the following brigades today.

1st Brigade 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.
Marine Regimental Combat Team 2, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Marine Regimental Combat Team 6, Camp Lejeune.

So essentially, they are quite serious about quelling Baghdad.

If something is really going to change, it is coming soon. If this effort fails, I think it will be a fairly quick withdrawl.

After all the talk of turning points, we may truly be on the edge of one.

Hamdan Revisited

The White House has proposed a model for the military tribunals that would try prisonerss in Guantanamo Bay, as well as other current detainees and future detainees. What they have proposed is nearly identical to what had been proposed for Hamdan.

Contrary to some of the rhetoric I've heard, no power was stripped from the President as a result of the Hamdan decision. It was the structure of the court that the court objected to. Furthermore, Congress had not approved the proposed tribunal. The juristiction issue was struck down due to lack of urgency. Hamdan had been in prison for nearly 4 years. Previous courts had allowed Congress to strip the court of the power to grant writs of certiorai in habeas corpus cases in cases where expediency was crucial. The court ruled that expediancy, a requirement for military tribunals, was not sufficient in Hamdan's case.

So although the court has already ruled that an almost identical tribunal as the one proposed is unlawful, they left the door open for Congress to approve a tribunal. They made it pretty clear that if the executive submits a plan to Congress, and Congress appoves that plan, the court will not interfere.

This is how it should be.

Let Congress vote on a tribunal that has the power to try people not members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban. Let them approve a plan that is summed up so well in the Washington Post article by John D. Hutson, a former top Navy lawyer. He said the court would work something like this...

We know you're guilty. We can't tell you why, but there's a guy, we can't tell you who, who told us something. We can't tell you what, but you're guilty.

Josef K. had it better.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


One of my firmly held beliefs is that making war usually leads to more war. War is like fire, I have heard. It seems the facts bear me out.

A corollary of this belief is that occupation will be resisted. As evidence, let us look at the security situation in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon for a moment.

Only 45 U.S. soldiers were killed or died as a result of wounds suffered in July. I say only, becuase this is about 15 soldiers less than average. Three Marines identities were realease in two statements.

In other Iraq news...

BASRA - A British soldier was killed when a mortar round landed on the British military base in Basra, 550 (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, the British military said.
MOSUL - Gunmen killed a student in the college of Islamic law and wounded another in Mosul, 390 km north of Baghdad, police said. Gunmen killed a man in a separate incident in Mosul, police added. The reason was unclear.
BAGHDAD - Gunmen attacked two minibuses carrying civil servants in the electricity department of Baghdad, killing four and wounding seven, police said.
NEAR KUT - A roadside bomb exploded beside a fuel truck wounding its driver in an area near Kut, 170 km southeast of Baghdad, police said.
KIRKUK - A member of the Arab Consultative Assembly, a gathering for Arab tribes and political parties, was gunned down in northern Kirkuk, 250 km north of Baghdad, police said.
BAGHDAD - Seven people were wounded, including three police commandos, when a car bomb targeting a U.S. patrol exploded on Zayouna district, eastern Baghdad, police said.
BAGHDAD - Nine insurgents and 25 suspected insurgents have been detained by the Iraqi army forces in the past 24 hours in different areas of Baghdad, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
BAGHDAD - A suicide car bomb targeting an Iraqi army patrol exploded on Palestine Street, northeastern Baghdad, wounding two civilians, a police source said.
BAGHDAD - Gunmen shot at an Iraqi Army checkpoint in the northern outskirts of Baghdad, wounding five, including one civilian, an Interior Ministry source said.
NEAR TIKRIT - A roadside bomb went off near a bus carrying Iraqi soldiers, killing 20 of them and wounding 13 near Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad.
BAGHDAD - At least 10 people were killed and 22 wounded when a car driven by a suicide bomber exploded near an army patrol in the mainly Shi'ite Karrada district of Baghdad, a source in the Interior Ministry said.
MUQDADIYA - Seven people were killed and 15 wounded when a car bomb exploded beside a police patrol near a hospital in the town of Muqdadiya, 90 km northeast of Baghdad, police said.
BAGHDAD - A civilian was killed and another wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in northeastern Baghdad, police said.
BAQUBA - The bodies of three people were found in Baquba, 65 km north of Baghdad, police said.
KIRKUK - Two policemen were killed and another wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their patrol in the northern oil city of Kirkuk, police said.

That was as of about 4 pm Baghdad time.

Buried at the bottom of all of that, but perhaps more significant in many was was this..

Oil pipeline in Iraq a shamble

In Afghanistan..

Three Britsh Troops Killed. First Nato Casualties.

And, of course in Lebanon (sorry Somalia, I'm pressed for time, but I'm thinking of you... promise.)

It now appears that the military had no information on rockets launched from the site of the building, or the presence of Hezbollah men at the time.

(h/t to Mike@ Born at the Crest of the Empire)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the fight against Hezbollah will continue until the group no longer poses a threat.

Olmert has just signed a contract with what is referred to as "resistance." Essentially, all Hezbollah needs to do to get a win is to pose a threat. Well, if you are heavily armed, numbered in the thousands (and growing... quickly) and determined so help you god, you could probably hold out for quite a while and pose a threat. He didn't even say a big threat.

What these three conflicts have in common is that they are essentially wars of resistance, the civil war in Iraq notwithstanding (it does not preclude itself from being used as an example here by virtue of this).

The Arab parties in these conflicts are unablle to win any kind of military victory in the classis sense. What they are left with is resistance. In all three cases, an inferior force remains a threat and a problem that no one seems to have a solution for.

The urge to resist an occupying force is largely overlooked by the great military minds. They say things like, "if they would just come out and fight like men!" Well, I don't think that is a logical response for those who would resist. These calls to "come out and fight like men" harken back to the doomed English Imperial soldiers and their suicidal formations. Essentially, guys, the gloves came off a long time ago. You can complain all you want, but it doesn't change the situation on the ground.

The greatest challenge in military conquest is occupation. However this is often overlooked. Empire after empire has been bogged down by enforcing their rule in far off lands. What has been largely overlooked in the twentieth century is the inevitability of resistance after an occupation takes place. The assumption is made that once the battle is won, the fight ends. But rarely does history confirm this.

I wonder what would have really happened if Germany had won WWII. Do you really believe that we would all be speaking German? Would German soldiers disarm the citizens of the United States? Now, I'm just guessing here, but if German motorcades were rolling through Nashville, at least somebody would be taking shots at it. It happened in Prague and 2 top SS were killed. They eventually flooded the terrorists out of the basement of the church where they were holed up. I found it interesting that even the Germans found it repulsive to throw a bomb into a church. The church is still there, and not in bad shape aside from a few bullet holes.

I sincerely doubt that the Germans and the Japanese could occupy the United States. We are too proud, and too well armed. We think of that as a good thing. (Wolverines!) Pride would require that we resist any foreign power who would try to enforce their laws on us. Like all of those who were occupied in WWII, I'm sure the Americans would do everything they could to try and disrupt the plans of the occupying force.

Why do we expect that it will be any different for anyone else now or in the future?

We are seeing absolutley classic resistance in the form of guerilla warfare. A military man would call it low-level activity and in strict military tearms, he would be right. But guerilla warfare is actually the most active form of resistance. Low-level resistance includes things like disinformation, work slowdowns, and minor sabotage. What we are seeing now is resistance in full-bloom. Those waiting for the "real war" to start are going to be very sorely disappointed. This is it.

Resistance is above all things, patient. Guerilla movements have held out for decades, over and over again, throughout history. The Shi'a are essentially resistors who lived in exile and subjugation for centuries but never gave in. They live to fight another day.

And yet our leaders fail to accept that this will be the result from occupation nearly every time.

No one wants foreign troops in their country. People will, as a matter of course, summarily dismiss any notions of disinterested intervention with few exceptions.

Resistance is persistance. Pride and persistance. It is like water. It is relentless. It is in all of us.