I ate my wafer...


Arming sunni insurgents...a breif note from WWII history

So, last week when I read about the recent U.S. attempts to arm selected members of the Sunni insurgency in order to harm al-Qaeda a couple of relevant thoughts came to mind:

A. Probably the best historical comparison is the German attempts to guide "Home Army" Polish resistance towards attacking Soviet allied partisans in eastern Poland. Probably inevitably, the home army (Armia Krajowa) attacked various Soviet oriented resistance groups occasionally, while using the German support to obtain intelligence information, gather weapons, and attack Germans on the side. At least as far as I know, the historical example is pretty good and relevant: occupying power supplies major resistance organisation in the hopes of attacking additional insurgent groups by emphasizing ideological differences between groups. Heck, Sadaam methodically avoided arming or supporting al-Qaeda since he rightfully believed it would rather weaken his regime than help control his Kurdish problems.

B. If we're going to mess with arming the "friendly" insurgents, we shouldn't be giving them 7.62x39mm AK's since the ammo is all over iraq. We should pick an unusual, and lower performance (i.e. sucks against body armor) weapon to minimize damage from misuse and theft and enable forensic tracking. I'd suggest pistols and submachine guns or carbines in 40SW or 45 ACP. Heck, buy 40SW Hipoints for ~$175/rifle or something like the M3A1 grease guns (still in US inventory?), but don't give them untraceable, easily resupplied AKs or other comblock weapons.


24 Hours of LeMons

So, I was flipping through a an issue of Car and Driver, having exhausted the 2 month old news magazine selection in a waiting room last week. Hilariously, although Car and Driver has a more adult (as in reading level, unfortunately not as in violence and sex) tone than most car magazines, it also has some pretty unconventional content. A pretty amusing example, which I also read in a waiting room last summer, would be the article comparing sub-$1500 diesel used cars by racing them across country.

Anyway, the February 2007 issue of Car and Driver has an article in which several C&D staffers enter the 24 hours of Lemons automobile race. The race is, quite simply, the most brilliant sporting event ever conceived. Contestants enter cars that cost less than $500 in an 24 hour endurance race that mocks the famous 24 hours of Le Mans race. The rules are simple, and hilarious, including a secret ballot vote in which all contestants vote to pick a car for destruction, either by dropping from a crane, or in a pinch, by attractive women with sledgehammers. If you win, you get $1500 in nickels. If you cheat by entering a radically over budget car, you run the risk of the even promoters electing to purchase your car for $500.

Oh, and did I mention that besides a tech inspection with officials dressed up as English barristers with wigs, there's a qualification section that includes slalom through old lady mannequins and reaction/braking testing in which event promoters push baby carriages in front of your car?

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