Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Stories below the fold

Most of us who ignore the much repeated lies about the Iraqi problems know that much of ISIS is actually Saddam's bad guys who got away, but it's nice for Reuters to notice.

The ex-Baathists, who include former intelligence officers and elite Republican Guard troops, coalesced in 2007 — soon after the Shi’ite-led government in Baghdad executed Hussein — as a group called the Men of the Army of the Naqshbandi Order. The group’s leader is Ezzat al-Douri, who was Hussein’s right-hand man and the most wanted member of the ousted Baathist regime to remain at large since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Naqshbandi Order sought to counter Iranian influence, tap into the disillusionment of Iraq’s Sunni community and try to restore Sunni rule over the country.

Anthropology item: Tuva's Shaman rituals.

related item: Tuva's DNA links with AmerIndians.

I first heard of Tuva in this film about Richard Feynman:

BOOK about the quest

supposedly isolated, the presence of Russian, Mongolian and Tibetan words in the Turkish based language suggest a long history of interaction with other tribes.


Father Z reviews a book on Luther that notes that Luther's stress on individualistic interpretation of the Bible (to destroy papal authority) led to other cultural changes, such as the emphasis on individual freedom, and the government becoming the main authority for things, becoming more powerful because it no longer has the church as an independent authority able to oppose policies.

The rest of his column is about the holy year, but like most catholics these proclamations have little to do with my faith: I just shrug and get on with my life.


This is not good: from StrategyPage: The incredible shrinking army.

and they have an update on what is going on in Iraq.  Ramadi is being slowly cleared of landmines and hidden ISIS fighters by the Iraqi army, but most of the news in the MSM emphasizes ISIS as winning or not losing.

The real story is that urban warfare is hard, with landmines and booby traps and civilian/human shield casualties. (expect this last item to be trumpeted by the MSM next).

 Bit by bit the Iraqis learned how to deal with this (ISIS terror), not least because the Kurds had already demonstrated how resolve, discipline and vigilance nearly always defeated whatever ISIL sent your way. This shift in attitude is one major ISIL defeat that does not get much publicity but it is a big deal in Iraq where people take things like surviving ISIL very seriously.


Via IncredibleThings: invention of the year: Chip fingers.


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