Sunday, January 29, 2006

Blogs, politics and feedbacks in OODA loops II

US politics from the cheap seats and Daily Pundit again.

US domestic politics - interesting how? Interesting as the avangard case of internet influence, and of course the US as the worlds only superpower, whose globe shaping foreign policy (implicit, as well as explicit - it can be observed in opposition sometimes) is the product of internal politics meaningless elsewhere. 5% of voters in Florida swing votes because of local issues (crime? social security? policy towards Haiti? whatever!), and we get to occupy Iraq, or not. US domestic politics is the tail that wags the dog as far as 200 other countries are concerned, including Latvia. So - interesting.

James Lileks in Jewish World Review writes
But the pestilential keyboard pounders had best realize they're just screaming to the choir. Persuading the middle means acknowledging that the opposition is not composed of subhuman Moorlocks who hope global warming drowns coastal-dwelling gay stem-cell researchers. People on the right may be wrong, but it's quite possible they don't actually want a fascistic corporate state where the elite tour the country in giant hovercraft, vaporizing Wal-Mart labor organizers with microwave rays.
humorous, but Daily Pundit responds with Middle Me This....
So tell me again: What is so admirable about this middle, and why should people who actually know what they are talking about, are not afraid to form, hold, and express opinions, are willing to act on them and who, in general, take the time and make the effort to become what the Founders would have considered good citizens take a back seat to the Brobdignagian mob of mopes, dopes, goofuses, doofuses, and rubes that make up "the middle?"

Why is smearing "Duh, I dunno" in crayon across your forehead considered a badge of honor?
So not only are the Left insane, but swing voters are a pack of losers. There is no point preaching to the unconverted, because they are obviously clueless (since they have not converted already). Heaven knows where that leaves actuallly considering opposing arguments based on their merit, or of objective viewpoints. So, a blogger in danger of dissapearing up his own OODA loop. But how important are bloggers?

The Washingtom Post writes Blogs Attack From Left as Democrats Reach for Center. Not immensely coherent, but the radicalising influence of the left wing blogs is laid out. Is this part of a wider trend, where the internet allow the radicals to direct party events (as opposed to the old days they were merely embarrassing minor speakers at rallies)? Couple this to the selective input potential of blogs to close political wing OODA loops and thereby drive those same wings into extremism.

If the democratic system works, extreme closed parties should be rejected by voters and collapse electorally. If not we get ... democratically elected governments with radical policies and closed OODA loops. Examples : Nazi Germany, Milosevic Serbia, Mugabe Zimbabwe and now Hamas Palestine.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Operation Iraqi Freedom team VI awards

The fine lads of 1st Company /2nd Infantry Battalion received their campaign medals today from the defence ministress. Bravo, well earned. Sadly, the sort of event that Latvian MSM completely ignores as a matter of routine.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Latvian muslim nazis on LGF ....

An unrelated google search made looking into the glorious history of Latvian peacekeeping in former Yugoslavia turned up a most unexpected find. This old (2003) post made on Little Green Footballs called Arab Nazism: Then and Now, which links to an frontpagemag article of the same name which states :
The SS indoctrinated these Muslim fighters, variously called Trawniki men, Hilfswillige, Hiwis, or Askaris, at training camps or "Ausbildungslager" in towns such as Trawniki, Poland. The Askaris, who generally hailed from the Ukraine and the Baltic states....
Ah, how could we miss that the Trawnikis and Hiwis of WWII were mainly Latvian and Ukrainian muslims! Utterly laughable to anyone with even a passing clue of course (could the article be a parody???? LGF presents it straight faced)

But the LGF comments bear reading as well. The horror, the horror. Crass and aggressive ignorance at its finest. Baltics and Balkans, Lithuanians or Bosniacs whats the difference anyway? :D.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Just a flesh wound.....

The milnet version
A Latvian soldier and Iraqi civilians were injured in Iraq in separate incidents and Iraqi security forces found a bomb in Fallujah, U.S. military officials reported.

The Latvian guard was injured by small-arms fire today in al Kut when unidentified gunmen fired at an observation post in the Multinational Division Central South area of responsibility. The guards returned fire.

The wounded soldier was transported to a military medical facility, where his condition is stable.
Stable? Just a flesh wound to the upper arm, a clean puncture apparently.

Interesting trivia : he is the first Latvian soldier to be injured by actual gunshot during 10 years of peace support operations. There have been many various injuries, several much more serious, but this is the first actual operational bullet wound.

Media watch : for reasons I do not understand, this relatively trivial incident has been widely mentioned in the international news, and overreported in the Latvian news. Maybe it was a slow day for bad news from the front (MSM! hack! spit!), but then again MoD also made an overly large song and dance of the whole business to begin with.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Blogging and incestuous feedback in OODA loops

Daily Pundit has an interesting bit on blogs and polarization following on from BELTWAY BLOGROLL - The Rise Of Blogs. Daily pundit fastens onto a most interesting statement
Blogs, she added, tend to attract like-minded people -- and ones who are "slightly more ideologically extreme than the general population." The end result: "The Internet is exacerbating political polarization."
While Daily Pundit sees this polarization as true, but the reation as (well) reactionary, and concludes
Was this polarization a bad thing? I think not. Of course, I'm considered something of a polarizing force myself. I don't mind. In fact, I'm proud of it.
It has a different perspective from the OODA loop angle. If blogs allow people to selectively filter the news according to the own personal prejudices, and the virtual nature of the internet insulates those same indivisuals from personal reality checks, isn't it inevitable they will get inside their own OODA loops by incestuos amplification misdirecting orientation?

The existence of Incestuous Amplification shapes one's Orientation by naturally distorting the Observations feeding that Orientation. (The observer sees what he wants to see rather than what is.) When this happens, the Decisions and Actions flowing from that Orientation become progressively disconnected from reality. This process pumps dysfunctional behavior into the OODA loop which then becomes magnified as the effects of the disconnected actions are fed back into the Incestuously Amplified Orientation. As any student of nonlinear dynamics or evolution knows, this kind of positive feedback loop can produce confusion and disorder and ultimately degenerate into chaos or extinction, if the organism becomes disconnected from its environment. Any hint of Incestuous Amplification is therefore a bright red flag." - The View From Mount Olympus Seen from the Cheap Seats
Applied to politics via selective blog reading this would of course inevitably lead to polarization, and more extreme responses and irrational behaviour as opposed to reasoned debate. Regularly reading US liberal vs conservative blogs, I am always struck by the conviction of both sides that the other are not merely wrong in their beliefs, but actually insane. Come to think of it the Gore/Bush political cirus was most of the way there already. Its reminiscent of Israel-Palestine politics, where both accuse CNN of being stooges for the other side. It suggest that at least part of the divided US political camps are already well inside their own OODA loops. So it IS already happening ... one wonders where this increased polarization will lead. It suggests collapse of one or the other political party (if the democratic system works properly), but what if the symptoms are more widespread in the population than just the hard core political activists?

The new electronic media allows fragmentation of popular belief as opposed to the norming effects of the traditional media (and moreso outside the US where the state media is important). More traditionally the boundaries between communities and seperate information spaces have been made by language, geography and religion, but in the virtual world people can easily compartment themselves. Will such a e-seperation leak into the real world, is blogging part of a slippery slide to balkanization?

I'd much rather be watching this fascinating process (both unprecedented and unpredicted, and unpredictable) unfold in a country that wasn't so damn important.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Iraq as tar-baby

Stars and Stripes has published a letter expressing a most excellent grunt's eye appreciation of the situation (noticed first on the HNN blog).

The BLUF in Iraq

The bottom line up front (BLUF) is this: If the United States leaves Iraq before the job is at least 90 percent done, it would be catastrophic on a biblical scale (“War based on a lie,” letter, Nov. 28). First, you would have civil war and ethnic strife. Then would come the genocide — if I offended anyone, I apologize; I meant “ethnic cleansing.” After all that, another Taliban-style regime would take hold. Then another “coalition of the willing” would have to be assembled and we would be right back in Iraq.

Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture. What would have happened if the U.S. had prematurely come home during World War II? This is no easy task. It takes time to force change on people.

Personally, I hate this country. I hated it the first time I was here. I will despise it and most of its ungrateful people until the day I die. Regardless of the reason we are here — weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein’s alleged ties to al-Qaida, or whatever — the BLUF is that we are here and have a job to do.

Staff Sgt. David J. Wallach
Forward Operating Base Summerall, Iraq

Friday, January 06, 2006

Some awake but others still sleep

The Latvian print media has awoken and noticed the OIF rotation (barely) - a day after the local Russian and Chinese medias.

Speaking of awaking, has still not published any of Lind's commentaries since On War #139 - C'est la Guerre. Guess it was too hot for them, even a milporn site like has its political correctness tolerance limit.* Their loss.

*Of course the U.S. Marine Corp’s Liman von Sanders failing to heap adulation on the US military at every opportunity may have contributed.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Latvia rotates infantry company in Iraq

The Latvian infantry company has successfully finished its tour in Iraq with the Polish (in Al-Hillah with the Polish Multinational Division Central-South). Many plaudits and no casualties, despite working outside the wire daily.

One of the local Russian language newspapers of course made it front page news, complete with the dodgy headline "Raid on Iraq" and a rather out of date picture of agressive looking Latvian soldiers waving M-16s. While actual Latvian news sources have virtually ignored this event, it was picked up by a Chinese news outlet. Strange, no?