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A Voice in the Dark

In AD 2101 war was beginning. What happen? Someone set up us the bomb! We get signal. What? Main screen turn on. It's you. How are you gentlemen!! All your base are belong to us!! You are on the way to destruction. What you say? You have no chance to survive. Make your time. HA HA HA HA.... Take off every 'Zig' You know what you doing! Move 'Zig' For great justice.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Why attack Iraq?

Oleg Dulin asks what made Iraq unique enough to be attacked, presuming that it was the regime that made Iraq worthy of attack.

I believe the regime was merely a single factor in a very complicated equation.

We needed to establish a bastion of democracy in the middle east, a friendly area in the heart of terrorist country, where we could rely on known allies to help us reinstate the intelligence presence Clinton gutted when he didn't understand the need for it. (I do not blame Clinton for this. I blame Clinton's advisors for doing such a bad job of explaining it.)

And that meant one of the governments currently in power had to go.

This is not a nice, friendly, happy thing to do. It is a sad fact that to install a government, you must find a country with no government -- which means you either annex land as a new country, or you chop the head off a snake. There are a lot of factors which come into play here, because you have an agenda that must be completed. And without going into too much detail, I'll summarise with this:

Iraq presented us with the best chance of completing the job. It's not an easy job, and the very nature of the job requires that we don't tell the American people what we're really doing. You have to have a certain amount of faith and trust in the nation, that they will do the Right Thing. And I think if you say "choose a mideast government to eliminate", Iraq was the right one to choose.


Lately, it's occurred to me that most of the people I respect have blogs, and I don't. So for some reason, I felt like I was somehow not participating properly in the community. People in my industry have blogs. That's just the way things are. And I got to thinking about it, and I realised that one of the major things I'm lacking in my life right now is community. I don't know a lot of people. I don't go much of anywhere or do much of anything. I pretty much work and spend time with my family. So an online community would be nice.

I don't get on well with most established online communities. After I'm on a forum for a month or two, some jerk always seems to pop up and start an argument. Then the moderators get involved, and they inevitably side with the established user that everyone knows and likes, so I end up getting reprimanded and warned and sometimes even kicked off the forum.

Usually, the issue at hand is intellect. I'm a smart guy. Sometimes people read my posts and feel stupid. Then they think I'm calling them stupid by making this post, and they take offense. So they try to post something to make me feel stupid, too, and they do a bad job. It goes something like this (based on, but not identical to, a recent situation).

CDarklock: Here's some useful code to do something frequently necessary.
Jackass: I posted code to do that months ago!
CDarklock: I looked for code to do that here, and I didn't find any.
Jackass: Use the search! IDIOT
CDarklock: I did. Here's the search I made. Run it yourself, your code doesn't come up.
Jackass: Well, you didn't really write the code you posted, you copied it.
CDarklock: It's four lines of code that have to run in that order. What's your problem?
Moderator: CDarklock, this forum does not permit personal attacks.
CDarklock: That wasn't a personal attack. Accusing me of code theft is a personal attack.
Jackass: You attacked me in another thread once! I don't have to put up with your ad hominem!
CDarklock: I did not, and you clearly don't know what ad hominem means.
Moderator: CDarklock, you have been warned. Thread closed.

The fundamental problem, as I see it, is that the moderators on a public forum don't generally enforce the forum rules against established members. So when someone calls me an idiot and accuses me of misappropriation, these are not attacks because he's part of the group. Once you're a long-term member of the community, your behavior is by definition acceptable.

The flaw is that when a potentially valuable member of the community threatens the perceived status of an existing member of the community, the existing member can skirt the rules and "fight dirty" to get the new member removed.

So the blog community might just be a better fit for me. Nobody can really tell me what I can and can't say here... well, blogger.com can, but I'd just move the blog to my own server.

I'm still debating on whether to leave comments enabled. I've read a pretty cogent argument somewhere that if you want to comment on a blog, you should start your own blog and link to the posts you're commenting on; that way, all of your thoughts and opinions are collected in one place where people who like them can read all of them at once. But it occurs to me that you might not want to blog about something -- maybe you want to be anonymous, for example. So I'll leave comments enabled for now, and make a final decision later.