torstaina, elokuuta 31, 2006

World upside down

It used to be said that "The victors write the history". It isn't so anymore, and I doubt it has been so for a long time. Nowadays the truth seems to be, "those who write the history, win the war". Sadly, it is still the media, and not the blogosphere, which writes the history.

Military Strategy

I've been reading a little bit about military logistics lately and would like to do a lot more studying on military strategy. Sources writing on military strategy do not seem to be evading me; Amazon lists few interesting looking titles with search "military strategy".

I've read my Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, Miyamoto Musashi, Machiavelli, and something about John Boyd and his ideas. Can anyone recommend any other good military strategists one should read? Strategists, mind you, not tacticians, nor operationalists. Though the latter two, well written, are welcome too.

keskiviikkona, elokuuta 30, 2006

Hesari osaa

Minulle tuli suurena yllätyksenä tänä aamuna Hesarin tuoreita lukiessani se, että Israelin ja Hizbollahin välillä on rauha. Selvästikin lähi-idässä on tapahtunut läpimurto, josta minulle ei oltu kerrottu. Itse kuvittelin, että konfliktissa oli saatu aikaan tulitauko.

Nimensä mukaisesti tulitauko on väliaikainen osapuolien yhteisesti sopima katko sotatoimissa (kts. wikipedia cease fire). Rauha sen sijaan tarkoittaa sodankäynnissä osapuolten yhteistä sopimusta lopettaa sota ja vihollisuudet. Sekä Libanon, että Syyria ovat sodassa Israelia vastaan - olleet jo vuosikymmeniä johtuen siitä, että Libanon ja Syyriä eivät ole olleet halukkaita tunnustamaan Israelia, saati sitten tekemään rauhaa sen kanssa, toisin kuin Jordania ja Egypti.

Sammakko kirjoitti samasta aiheesta muutama viikko takaperin.

Ihmetyttää kuinka epäpätevät ihmiset pääsevät kirjoittamaan uutisia valtakunnallisessa uutisorganisaatiossa.

torstaina, elokuuta 24, 2006

Smoot-Hawley strikes back

Read this. Smoot-Hawley strikes back from the grave with a vengeance.

For those, who don't know what the heck Smoot-Hawley is, it is the law that cause the stock market crash in the Great Depression (most likely) and big part of why the Great Depression was so deep and long. With this one act, the wheels of international commerce came to a cringing halt and nothing was the same again.

keskiviikkona, elokuuta 23, 2006

Seuraava sota Libanonissa varmistui

Libanonin ja Israelin - tarkemmin sanottuna Hisbollahin ja Israelin välinen seuraava sota varmistui. YK on päättänyt, että Libanoniin lähetettäville sotilaille annetaan oikeus käyttää väkivaltaa vain itsepuolustukseen ja siviilien puolustamiseksi. Joukoilla ei siis edelleenkään ole oikeutta yrittää riisua Hisbollahia aseista, poistaa näiltä näiden raketinheittimiä, estää Hisbollahia hyödyntämästä YK-joukkojen asemia kilpenä raketti-iskuissa Israelia vastaan.

Päätös muuttaa tulitaukosopimuksen arvottomammaksi kuin paskapaperi. Kun Libanonin hallitus on jo ilmoittanut, että he eivät yritä riisua Hisbollahia aseista, eikä sillä ole mitään halua (tai kykyä) estää Hisbollahin asetoimituksia, tai iskuja Israeliin, on lopputuloksena tilanne, jossa Hisbollah jatkaa iskujaan Israeliin - tällä kertaa vain YK-joukot ovat entistä suurempi ihmiskilpi. Israel tulee taistelemaan Hisbollahia vastaan, kunhan iskut alkavat taas ja kaikella todennäköisyydellä YK-sotilaita kuolee lisää Hisbollahin ihmiskilpinä.

Seuraava kuuma sota Hisbollahin ja Israelin välillä alkanee pian. Olen pettynyt lopputulokseen, vaikkei YK:lta muuta pitäisikään odottaa.

lauantaina, elokuuta 19, 2006

Revenge!

No, not mine. Juha got his revenge by feeding me a large class of Riga
Balsam. It tastes awful and as he said, years ago, it's so awful you just
have to swallow it all with one gulp. Today, I have a hangover. Thank you,
Juha.

We also did an hour of Megazone yesterday. I was surprised that for the first half an hour game I could walk around with my knees bent really low and final scorecard said I was 5/16. Not bad, considering I never was any good in the game. During the second half, my legs started complaining, though not badly, but enough, and I ended up losing a few positions. Megazone was fun, might want to do that again later.

In the after sauna we talked about changing rules of Megazone and ended up with rules of splatterm, and our discussion also touched anarchists totally opposed to military service and then go to the woods to train how to over throw the government. Funnily, in this thing I agree with the anarchists - no, not the destroying government via revolution, but in disbanding the compulsory military service.

keskiviikkona, elokuuta 16, 2006

Yliopistotutkimuksen ongelmia


Eräs ongelma, johon itse olen moneen kertaan törmännyt kuuluu muna-kana
-ongelmien kategoriaan. Jotta projektirahoitusta saisi todennäköisemmin,
pitäisi rahoitushakemuksessa olla nimetyt tekijät projektille. Jotta uusia
ihmisiä voisi laittaa projektiin hommia tekemään, pitäisi heille voida
luvata palkkaa - mielellään vähintään vuodeksi. Rahoitusta ei saa, jos ei
ole tekijöitä ja tekijöitä ei saa, jos ei ole rahoitusta. Näppärää, eikö.

Järjestelmä toimii kohtuullisesti kaikille niille, jotka ovat jo päässeet
rahoitusputkeen, mutta jos haluaisi organisoida uutta projektia, johon
tulisi uusia tutkijoita, tilanne on huomattavasti vaikeampi.

tiistaina, elokuuta 15, 2006

Kaksi Amerikan virhettä Kuubassa

Johan Norberg on terävä, kuten tavallista ja kertoo, mitä Yhdysvaltain Kuuban politiikassa on vialla.

maanantaina, elokuuta 14, 2006

Warfare and civilians


Imagine at a time of war a soldier transporting supplies to fighting
forces, i.e. soldiers. How bad thing is it to kill a soldier transporting
the supplies, if you are fighting a war against the army he is serving?

Now what if the person transporting the supplies is not a soldier, but a
civilian? Does your answer to the question change? If it does change, if
it is worse (aka evil) to kill a civilian transporting supplies to
soldiers, then every fighting force fighting against good and decent
people should use civilians to transport supplies, because good and decent
people would not shoot civilians transporting the supplies.

What about supply depots, places where supplies are stored. If they are
located in a guarded separated territory controlled by the army and
surveilled by soldiers. Is it alright to destroy these supplies by
bombing? Is it wrong, if one is fighting a war against those people?

What then is the situation, if the people guarding the supplies are
civilians? Or does the situation change, if the supplies are stored in the
basements of multistore condos, where many civilian people live? Is it
worse, or evil to bomb an apartment building that is used as a supply
depot for army than to bomb a supply depot that is situated in a military
complex? Assuming the civilians know that their apartment building is used
as a military supply station? Assuming they don't?

If there is a difference and decent people should not do this in a state
of war, then everybody fighting against decent people is encouraged to
store all their munitions and supplies as close to the civilian population
and to do their utmost to force the conflict into where civilians are, or
to gain themselves the advantage of uninterrupted supply.

There are other reasons, why a military group might want to bring the war
to the areas where civilians will necessarily suffer and die, and they
deserve another post at another time.

sunnuntaina, elokuuta 06, 2006

Go Reuters, go ABC!

Reuters publishes doctored images of Beirut. When they are challenged, at least they are up to the standards of admitting it and withdrawing the images. Several hours later ABC uses the same doctored images for showing how badly Israel is hammering Beirut.

Afterwards somebody in the Reuters staff sends death threats to Charles Johnson, the author of LGF who pointed out the forgery. Reuters has told that they have suspended the person in question.

ps. the same person's photos about Qana disaster have been widely disseminated. The same person's photos of whom we were told that the ethics of photographers are so high that it is outrageous that anyone would even suggest that a professional photographer would go and doctor photos they take.

My suggestion: Make each professional digital camera have a secure chip with a unique public key/private key pair that is used to sign each photograph with the date and time of taking the photo, possibly a sequence number. This should be done so that nobody has access to reading or changing the private key from the card. Then whenever a photograph would be published, the publisher would also publish the original unaltered picture in a separate place where anyone could go and check that the photograph has not been tailored.

perjantaina, elokuuta 04, 2006

Interesting post

This post looks at the history of Finnish independence and some similarities to the problems Lebanon is facing. Interesting read for anybody interested in how nations are built.

torstaina, elokuuta 03, 2006

Qana disaster

I suggest people to read this, this, and this.

How do you know that the disaster in Qana was not staged? How do you know, if it was?

I'm back - olen selkä

I'm back to Finland. After a hectic weekend of partying in Chicago, the temperature never got below 28C while I was there and on Monday it was like 40C, I flew back to Helsinki through Heathrow, London between monday and tuesday night finally arriving after 5pm on tuesday. At Heathrow I had an hour and half time to switch planes, which was plenty enough to have a long chat with the sales people of world of whiskies, purchasing two bottles, tasting several other great whiskies, and almost missing my flight to Helsinki because of that.

On the Lebanon hassle, I have a wish to make; a wish that probably is on the same category as the world peace that every Miss Something candidate has to wish in a live tv-show. My wish is that we would live in a world, where Hezbollah's actions would face more opposition and be condemned more loudly than those of Israel. That demonstrators around the world would show their opinion on Hezbollah's actions and that the worlds media would show that attacking your neighboring country without provocation cannot and will not be tolerated. I wish that bad people were held up to the same standards as good people are.

But I'm not a Miss contestant and I know that my wishes will not take root in this world. It doesn't stop me from wishing, though, nor trying.