Oakes

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About Oakes

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  • Birthday 04/05/1987

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  • Interests I like beautiful objects. I like to create them. Negative people upset me.
  1. Happy Birthday to Oakes

    WOW guys, thank you. I can't believe I celebrated my 18th birthday on this forum, and now I'm 21! I know I've been silent for a while, and I regret that. My life has been really tumultuous lately, both in good ways and bad. I'm happy to say, though, that I passed just about all the hurdles to get into the FBI honors internship this summer. In fact, my polygrapher said the only question I seemed nervous on was whether I've taken money from my family members Oh, I actually didn't drink at all on my birthday - I never really had a desire to. I just spent the last few nights debugging software instead. Nerdy, I know.
  2. DOCTOR ZHIVAGO

    I remember randomly deciding to watch this movie some time in high school. Since then I've watched it many times. I'm not smart enough to judge it for its historical and philosophical merits, but I love it on a purely aesthetic level. Have any of you seen the making of the movie? Apparently when Lara was kissed by Komarovsky as they were riding together, she wasn't told he would do it so as to make the surprise on her face more genuine. Heh.
  3. Here's the newsletter where he makes the announcement. It's at the very bottom... http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=21184 Oh and Phil, what do you mean by the current link to my video?
  4. Newt just informed me that I won the contest. Yay!
  5. Microsoft Surface

    I hope they integrate that technology into tablet PCs and smartphones (like the iPhone). Beyond that I think they should make glasses that overlay that on any surface you look at, so you can use an entire wall as a workspace (without the expense of a digital wall). The future is beautiful.
  6. The "blowback" theory

    Yeah this is a good point, and you could actually make the same argument about Vietnam. Regarding the Russians, I actually have a boxed DVD set made by the War Department which explained that the Russians were most successful when they led the Nazis into their cities and fought block-by-block warfare. I'm sure the Red Army played a major role, not to mention the grueling Russian winter which defeated many invaders before then (like Napoleon). It's interesting how many times the Russians have followed the same strategy: burn down the crops and wait for the winter to come. Come to think of it, I wish I brought that boxed set to my new apartment. I figure it's public domain so I might put some clips online the next time I come home.
  7. The "blowback" theory

    As an aside, I always thought Ayn Rand opposed the death penalty because of the risk that we are wrong. You make an intriguing counter-argument to that. I may be completely wrong about her views so if anyone would like to chime in (although admittedly it's a bit off-topic) that would be fine.
  8. The "blowback" theory

    Sorry for the long wait in replying. I finished moving and just got a couple hours to reply. One of the issues I've noticed with internet conversations is that we start arguing points on a quote-by-quote basis, which tends to make discussions disintegrated and endless. I'm going to try re-integrating the points together to make things easier for ourselves. So this post is directed towards everyone. I'm going to again try to summarize your views in my own words. Anyone is free to comment on mistakes I make in doing so. The overall motivation for jihadists is not a positive aim but rather a nihilistic desire to destroy the good because it is good. They will create more immediate excuses such as foreign intervention (à la al Qaeda), and they may use jihad for petty aims like extortion (à la Abu Sayyaf), but attempts to quell these motivations are concrete-bound and ineffective because they fail to address to root cause of evil. People initiate force when they observe weakness in their enemy, so addressing that root cause means convincing them that we are not weak. As such, attacking Iran or Saudi Arabia is not an attempt to destroy any particular money trail, which are world-wide and often impossible to track down, but rather to convince jihadists around the world of this fact. The first thing I look at to validate any political viewpoint is history. Kurt provided some very interesting examples where non-governmental guerillas were beat through total war, so I will have to look into them. When I suggested guerilla warfare has been successful, I was thinking along the lines of the Revolutionary War, the Russian insurgency against the Nazis, Lawrence of Arabia, Mao's rebellion in China, the Mujahideen against the Russians, Vietnam, and present-day Iraq. I suspect some will argue that the final two involved a superpower reluctant to wage total war, but I'm not sure about the others. On the other hand, I found an example that greatly backs up Kurt's argument, which in honesty I must point out: the Philippine-American war, in which we fought Filipino guerillas in 1899-1902. Take, for example, the following passage on pg. 214-215 of The Philippine War by Brian McAllister Linn (my bold): I should also note that pages 220-221 has a very interesting collection of quotes from American generals in the conflict, such as Samuel B. M. Young who said "the judicious application of the torch is the most humane way of waging such a war." Even Col. Arthur Murray, who upon arrival stated he was opposed to burning towns and villages, changed his mind a few years later when he said "If I had my work out there to do over again, I would do possibly a little more killing and considerably more burning than I did, though I was accused by Gen. Otis in his report of doing possibly more burning and killing than was necessary." With this in mind, it's pretty clear that total war can beat guerillas, so I will concede that point for now. The next step is to take these examples, which show how total war can squash local insurgencies, and conclude that an equally total war can demoralize individuals on a large scale (like the world-wide terrorist groups). Betsy made the point that they are motivated not by our perceived evil, but by our perceived weakness. I'm interning in a police department right now and that certainly rings true for domestic crime - the whole basis of deterrence theory is that we stop crimes by convincing the criminals that they will not get away with it. Historical analogies and cross-field analogies are good tools for making integrations. I'll need more time to ponder them more but if anyone would like to comment on anything I've said, please do so.
  9. The "blowback" theory

    I used the word "annoyed" in a humorously understated sort of way. In reality I think they would probably want to kill us and drag our bodies through the streets, to be completely frank. I want you to convince me otherwise, but I need more than broad abstractions about how evil can only exist by the sanction of the good. History shows us that motivation is destroyed by attacking the enemy's weakest point. For states, that clearly means their cities. They are the economic lifeblood and the source of encouragement. We need to be careful about transplanting this notion to an enemy unified not by a government but by an idea. When jihadists see Mecca fall, they don't see a loss in industrial capacity (they need none) nor a loss in spiritual encouragement (they have a billion and they're world-wide). They will see the holiest site on the planet being desecrated and will respond with the mother of all riots unprecedented in scale and bloodlust. I am open to changing my mind, though.
  10. The "blowback" theory

    But this didn't answer my question. I would like to know how nuking Mecca will stop terrorists from harming us. In what way will it detract from their motivation?
  11. The "blowback" theory

    This is an important point. Why would the vaporization of either of these cities stop a Canadian Sri Lankan or Turkish muslim from laundering their money to terrorist groups?
  12. The "blowback" theory

    But isn't our interest ultimately to prevent terrorist attacks, not to annoy people? I'm not getting how nuking Mecca will stop Faheem or Muhammad from strapping bombs to their torsos. As an aside, I don't recall ARI ever advocating it either.
  13. The "blowback" theory

    I agree with this statement, so the issue now is to figure out how to show that strength. The reason I hesitate to believe that crushing Mecca or any other city will do this effectively is that they are spread world-wide and thus don't rely on the support of any particular group of people. I hear the Tamil Tigers are using the internet to facilitate donations from Sri Lankans in Canada of all places. I do, however, believe that identifying the enemy as Islam and being brutally honest about its evil would be a good first step.
  14. The "blowback" theory

    Thank you again for your thoughts, Kurt. You certainly do write a lot. =) My question to you, though, was whether you thought the islamic terrorist groups relied on the support of Iranian and Saudi citizens. My understand is that the get support from everywhere, including citizens in developed countries like the UK and US. Do you believe that a nuke on Tehran or Mecca would scare all of these citizens into ceasing their money laundering?
  15. The "blowback" theory

    John Lewis has given a lot of historical references to draw a similar conclusion - I believe he has also invoked the Greco-Persian wars and the Punic wars. It's clear that the key to any victory is destroying your enemy's will (i.e., motivation) to fight. In wars against states, that means destroying cities, as they are the source of industrial capacity, tax revenue, and moral encouragement. However, as I alluded to earlier, al Qaeda is a decentralized organization getting both financial and spiritual support from all around the world, with no clear primary benefactor nor geographic capitol. So the only important question is what is their motivation, and after analyzing their nature how do we best destroy it. I know I've brought this up before on this forum, but I am again questioning whether their stateless nature makes the solution different than these traditional examples.