Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Last straw? (Score 1) 452

ISIS may have come to the fore because of the vacuum, but don't make the mistake of thinking these groups are all the same.

They are not.
Particularly in this case.

ISIS is an outgrowth of Al Qaeda in Iraq.
But it's worldview is fundamentally different.

AQII was an insurgency.
ISIS is not.

ISIS began attacking Bashar Asad's forces in Syria, but not because they supported the rebellion, but because it was to them the beginning of the building of the caliphate they believe in. And that's also were they first began alienating people as they also attacked other rebel group, or basically anyone who didn't support their quest for the caliphate.

Then they began moving into Iraq, again to seize the territory they believe to the sacred caliphate. They moved fast, taking advantage of the fact it always takes the west time to organize any sort of response. But they haven't made any progress since we've started engaging them in combat. They are actually losing now, as they have alienated everyone in the area. Everyone is fighting against them.

And they aren't waging an insurgency, but open conventional warfare.
And because they are outmatched in terms of training, equipment, and numbers, that has led to their momentum being halted, and them losing ground.
But they don't seem to case because they don't believe they can lose. So that also so far show no signs of converting to an insurgency. This isn't like the Taliban, who prior to our invasion was essentially the ruling party of Afghanistan, in charge of everything, but once we showed up they gave everything up and melted away, blending into the population to fight an insurgency.

No, ISIS is instead intent on meeting us and our coalition head to head.
And as long as they continue to do so, they will continue to lose, their horrific videos and social media propaganda not withstanding.

Comment: Re:Last straw? (Score 1) 452

again: we've bombing them since September.
and they are actually losing at this point because they aren't running an insurgency, but instead conventional combat tactics. which leaves them very susceptible to our superior tech, training, and numbers.

remember: there actually aren't that many ISIS fighters.
what they got, they got through surprise and the time it took us to organize a response.
and they are all over in Iraq/Syria with no way or means of attacking the US let alone getting here.
They aren't interested in fighting an insurgency or committing terror attacks because they truly believe their eventual victory has been ordained by God, therefore they have been fighting us, the Jordanians, the Kurd, and everyone else in open combat. Whether that will last, remains to be seen. But for now, they are not a threat outside the region they've claimed for themselves, and they are losing.

Comment: Re:Last straw? (Score 1) 452

There is actually a growing consensus not only that Chamberlain did what he could, but that he also doesn't get enough credit, especially since a good bit of the common knowledge of the war's history came from Churchill himself and his books, who not only didn't like Chamberlain but had little reason to give him any credit (and was rather fond of giving himself a lot of credit*). The worldwide depression had hurt everyone, the Brits included. England wasn't ready for war. And Chamberlain wasn't "just an appeaser". So while he declared "peace in our time", which I honestly see as little more than basic politicking, he also upon his return began gearing up for the coming conflict. Chamberlain is the one that began the rebuilding of England's military and industrial forces, and if he hadn't done that when he did we may very well have lost England.

(*this is not to overly denigrate Churchill who was an exceptional wartime leader. but there is a reason he didn't stay in power long after the war.)

Comment: Re:Jerri (Score 4, Insightful) 452

One thing is different this time though.

ISIS is dumb.
And because of that they are actually losing. No really. They are trying to use media and social media to prevent this image of them as this scary and violent group, but it's both backfiring, turning everyone against them, and a mask for for their losses.

They're aren't fighting an asymmetrical battle. They have essentially discarded or ignored the basic playbook of the past few decades. They are attempting to engage us in traditional and conventional methods, rather than an insurgency, which is why we, and the Jordanians and Kurds, are beating them back soundly. ISIS hasn't made or kept any gains since late September, when they lost their initial momentum the had built up through surprise and the time it took us to organize a response.

But then ISIS also isn't like the other militant groups in the past.

This is a group of True Believers.

They truly believe they are the inheritors of the caliphate, and that their victory is assured by God. And that belief has lead them to (so far) forgo an insurgency and instead fight conventional battles, conventional battles in the open in which they are getting stomped, because they are utterly assured of their eventual victory. And then there's the apocalyptic aspect of their beliefs. And that they are so violent and crazy that even Al Qaeda doesn't want anything to do with them; that they are alienating all their potential allies, turning friends into enemies (which is one BIG reason why we need to keep the RWNJ's from getting their way and turning this into a "war on islam" instead of a "war on extremists"...ISIS WANTS it to be a war on Islam).

This group may eventually realize that they are going to fall apart and be destroyed unless they change their tactics.
But again, as a group of True Believers who doesn't accept the potential to lose as a real possibility, that change may not happen.

Comment: Re: Authority (Score 3, Informative) 226

by dywolf (#49157369) Attached to: As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

once again: you are wrong about independent agencies.
we've been through this at least a dozen times.
Congress absolutely has the power the to delegate, the same as the President does.

Just as no one could ever reasonably the President to personally oversee the enforcement of the entire body of law without delegation, no one could ever expect the Congress, 535 people, to personally be experts at every single topic and perform all necessary oversight. It take an entire agency to keep an eye on Wall Street, the SEC. It takes an entire agency to study the environment we live in and forge compromises between the needs of the public and the needs of industry, the EPA. I could run through the entire list, but there should be no need.

The only people who argue the point are unreasonable people who think a return to the agrarian society run by educated scholarly farmers envisioned by Jefferson is still a real possibility, ignoring all else that has happened in the past 200 years. The Constitution doesn't explicitly state that Congress can delegate, but it doesnt explicitily state a lot of things that we take for granted. The Founders were a lot of things, and varied a lot in ideology and opinion on strong or weak the government should be. But one thing they were not was stupid. And the idea that they expected us to adhere to the document like a holy writ verbatim for eternity was not part of the plan, as evidenced by the many clauses and phrases that are vague generalities and obviously exist solely for the purpose of expanding on the parts that are spelled out.

Parts like (and this is not an exhaustive list) the 9th Amendment, the process for amending the document, and most relevant to this topic, the Necessary and Proper Clause, also known as the "basket clause". Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18:

p>The Congress shall have Power ... To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

IE, whatever it takes to run the country and enact the peoples will, they can do. Case closed.
And there was a case, and it wasn't recent. McCulloch v Maryland, in 1819, a time when many of the Founders were themselves still alive, if not for much longer. And in that case the Courts established quite clearly that:

"First, the Constitution grants to Congress implied powers for implementing the Constitution's express powers, in order to create a functional national government. Second, state action may not impede valid constitutional exercises of power by the Federal government."

as indeed it must. Explicit powers are no good if they cannot be implemented due to the technicality that the prerequisites were not also explicitly stated. Again: the Founders were not stupid, but to take the opposite interpretation, an interpretation you seem to believe, is to imply that the Founders were in fact stupid.

No line available at 300 baud.