Dark Age Watch

What is a dark age?

Sunday, November 05, 2006
Six Arab states join rush to go nuclear** International disintegration (proliferation) One day, all wars will be nuclear. Effective protection against nukes will be a sine qua non of humanity's emergence from the dark age.

Rolling Stone : Iran: The Next War "Even before the bombs fell on Baghdad, a group of senior Pentagon officials were plotting to invade another country. Their covert campaign once again relied on false intelligence and shady allies. But this time, the target was Iran." Wars coming soon Nothing secret about that. But the schedule has been slipping to the right for several years.

Bishop attacks 'Muslim hypocrisy': "The Muslim Council of Britain said the comments were 'not very helpful'. " Internal discohesion Come on, bishop, who is not guilty of hypocrisy? Without the human capacity for hypocrisy, society would fly apart.

Saddam Hussein sentenced to death International integration Whatever the rights and wrongs of the process, this sends a message to other world leaders that may have a difficult relationship with the hegemon: buck up, you may be next.

Friday, November 03, 2006

An image from the African dark age. A horseman of Sudan's Janjaweed Militia.

Russia preparing "asymmetric response" to U.S. missile defense "Russia is in a position to minimize the impact of Washington's deployment of its national missile defense system (NMD) with the help of effective technological solutions, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Alexei Moskovsky told Interfax-AVN."...U.S. speeds attack plans for North Korea "The Pentagon has stepped up planning for attacks against North Korea's nuclear program and is bolstering nuclear forces in Asia, said defense officials familiar with the highly secret process." Wars coming soon? 'Highly secret', eh?

Terror alert costs BA £100m "The cost of the distruptions, after the foiling of a terrorist plot brought UK airports to a standstill, is double analysts' initial forecasts that the UK's flagship airiline would lose about £50 million." Disintegration-disorganisation coupling

China Boosts Ethiopia's Capacity Building Efforts: "A team of 50 Chinese volunteers has arrived in Ethiopia to provide capacity training across several ministries, an official said on Thursday." International disintegration China continues to build influence around the world. It's all setting out the ground for the coming macrowar.

British believe Bush is more dangerous than Kim Jong-il "America is now seen as a threat to world peace by its closest neighbours and allies, according to an international survey of public opinion published today that reveals just how far the country's reputation has fallen among former supporters since the invasion of Iraq....As a result, Mr Bush is ranked with some of his bitterest enemies as a cause of global anxiety. He is outranked by Osama bin Laden...but runs close in the eyes of British voters: 87% think the al-Qaida (leader) is a great or moderate danger to peace, compared with 75% who think this of Mr Bush." International discohesion Successful empires are run on a combination of hard and soft power, and according to this survey, America under its current management is quickly running out of the latter. Outside of the wilds of central Idaho (or 10 Downing perhaps), not too many folks are lining up to elect America hegemon these days.**

Two-thirds of teenagers too fat to be soldiers In Britain "Increasing levels of obesity and resultant health problems reduces the number of young people able to join the services", warns the National Audit Office, parliament's independent watchdog. It points to research by the army last year which showed that only a third of all 16 year-olds would pass the body mass index set for all recruits to the forces....It paints a picture of an army, navy, and airforce struggling to cope with the demands placed on them in Iraq and Afghanistan, with no end in sight to a tempo of operations more intense than military planning chiefs ever envisaged." And further: "It also reveals that the army found that 42% of parents would be less likely to encourage their children to join the army..." International disintegration ahead? In America the military also sees parents as a major obstacle to recruitment. A militarily unfit and unwilling population will force Western Powers to either curtail their imperial operations, or hire their soldiers from foreign (barbarian) peoples - with well known results.** See also UK armed forces are understaffed, with rising numbers of personnel quitting early

Italy crime spree blamed on amnesty "Italy's centre-left government was facing an outcry yesterday over law and order after figures emerged linking a wave of gangland murders to a mass pardon rushed through parliament soon after it took office....According to the latest figures, more than 24,000 convicted offenders have been freed under a measure approved by parliament at the end of July. The pardon was intended to ease overcrowding in Italy's jails." Internal disintegration**

China to Buy Su-33 Fighter from Russia "The initial two fighters will be tested on land airfield first and then on an aircraft carrier. China’s Dalian Shipyard is currently refitting the ex-Soviet Navy aircraft carrier Varyag which China acquired from Ukraine in 1999." International disintegration ahead? Will China end up as an awe-inspiring challenger to American hegemony but eventually incapable of establishing its rule over the rest of the world? Many believe the heyday of carrier operations is coming to a close. Germany was a late-comer to the international power struggle and while it invested heavily in the construction of mighty battle ships, the Royal Navy discovered the value of the aircraft carrier just in time to retain its edge. Today, the command of outer space is becoming increasingly critical (The question asked is not solely based on this news story and the comparison with Germany.).

Faking it as a priest in Japan "People like the dress, the kiss and the image. Japanese Christians make up only 1% of the country, but now about 90% of weddings are in the Christian style." internal discohesion, rather than international cohesion.

Taiwan service for US destroyers "Taiwan has formally commissioned into service two US-built naval destroyers aimed at boosting the island's defences against any attack from rival China." International cohesion-integration coupling? Or is the US "arming the barbarians"?

Alcohol now Finland's top killer "Figures for 2005 released by the state statistics agency showed alcohol killed more people aged 15 to 64 than cardiovascular disease or cancer...Alcohol consumption in the Nordic country has risen steadily over the past 20 years, correspondents say." The costs of internal discohesion?

Gangs turn Naples into battleground "There have been seven deaths in five days. These latest two murders were retribution, say police, for the killing of a rival gang member several days earlier...Privately magistrates blame the government. In August, 8,000 inmates were granted early release, to ease the pressure on the overcrowded prisons." Internal disintegration To be fair, Mafia have been a reality in Italy for decades.

Thursday, November 02, 2006
Great Britain? We want our independence, say most Scots "The majority of Scots favour breaking away from the rest of the UK and embracing independence, according to a poll on the eve of the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union between Scotland and England." Internal discohesion

Paris airport bars 70 Muslim workers "More than 70 Muslim workers at the main airport in Paris were today stripped of their security clearance after authorities claimed they posed a risk to passengers. A number of those affected, who work at Charles de Gaulle airport, are alleged to have taken part in extremist training camps in Afghanistan or Pakistan." Internal integration-discohesion coupling

Iran test fires dozens of missiles in "Great Prophet" exercise "The tests came two days after US-led warships finished an exercise in the Gulf that Tehran described as "adventurist." "We want to show our deterrent and defensive power to trans-regional enemies, and we hope they will understand the message of the manoeuvres," said General Yahya Rahim Safavi, the head of the Revolutionary Guards, in an apparent reference to the US and other Western powers." Wars coming soon See also Syria has denied White House claims that, together with Iran and Hezbollah, it is planning to try to topple the Lebanese government.

2 foreigners kidnapped in Nigeria "Armed gunmen seized two expatriate oil workers -- an American and a Briton -- during a raid on a Norwegian oil services ship off Nigeria's southern coast, officials and the oil company said Thursday. The two were seized before dawn from a vessel belonging Oslo, Norway-based Petroleum Geo-Services, said company official Christopher Mollerlokk." Expanding world

BBBritain is 'surveillance society' "The research says surveillance ranges from the US national security agency monitoring all telecommunications traffic passing through Britain to key stroke information used to gauge work rates and global positioning satellite information tracking company vehicles." Internal integration Surveillance is not going to go away. Freedom from oversight by the political authorities has decreased over history. Extensive surveillance may be what is needed to make civilisation viable again, as the vulnerabilities of our high-scale societies have recently been revealed. Nevertheless, a dark age may lie in the way as institutions and attitudes readjust. See also, Half of antisocial behaviour orders are breached by teenagers, who regard them as a “badge of honour” among their friends, according to a critical report published today.

Somalis learn to follow the law: "A few months ago, Mogadishu's chaotic roads were ruled by red-eyed, open-shirted militia, speeding along in their technicals - the open vehicles with anti-aircraft guns mounted on the back - weaving from one side to the other to avoid the potholes. Today, one of the world's most dangerous cities has been tamed: law-abiding men and women motor along without a gun at their side, keeping steadily to the speed limit, and not daring to swerve for craters." African dark age/internal integration Note that this face of Islam is just a phase. It is not how Islam has always been, nor how it will always be. However it may be what is needed to restore order to Africa, so that a civilisation can begin to grow.

From Velvet to Fringe in Post-Soviet Central Europe "Skinheads rioting in the streets of Budapest, populist twins running Poland and a far-right party that once made Western Europe shudder becoming a part of the government of Slovakia. Well into their second decade since the collapse of Communism, many of Europe’s newest democracies are struggling with weak governments and polarized societies — and worrying their Western neighbors that they may become the problem children of the European Union." Internal disintegration-international discohesion coupling A depressing report on the present situation in "New Europe". Of course, America has been allying itself with the political and "economic" elites of post Soviet Central Europe in an attempt to disrupt its orderly and cohesive incorporation into the European Union as part of America's longer term strategy of preventing the EU from ever emerging as a serious geopolitical rival to world American hegemony. Meanwhile, Central Europe can be expected to behave like Poland did before WWII - write large. It will seek to avoid submission to either its western neighbor or to its eastern Russian neighbor, by forming an alliance with a distant "third power" whom it believes can come to its rescue: America now, Britain and France then. Naturally, it will (can) offer next to nothing to the hegemon in return for its calculation that the hegemon will act on its behalf for its own geopolitical reasons. This strategy works, however, only so long as the western power (Germany then, the EU now) lacks the will, and so long as the Eastern power, Russia, lacks the strength, to extend domination over this traditionally chaotic part of the world. (No wonder Poland has been reacting hysterically, America too by the way, to the building of a gas pipeline from Russia to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea, effectively by passing Poland.) It will be interesting to watch how this dynamic plays out in the 21st Century.**

Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Alcohol now Finland's top killer "Figures for 2005 released by the state statistics agency showed alcohol killed more people aged 15 to 64 than cardiovascular disease or cancer...Alcohol consumption in the Nordic country has risen steadily over the past 20 years, correspondents say." The costs of internal discohesion?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Hot-air production and emissions of gobbledygook reach a new high "Britain’s politicians are tackling climate change by producing historic levels of gobbledegook...David Miliband says that what our future really depends on is his climate change Bill...“Climate change is the greatest long-term threat faced by humanity,” he said. “It could cause more human and financial suffering than the two world wars and the Great Depression put together.” If that won’t get you out there buying energyefficient light bulbs, then nothing will...The climate-change bureaucracy is growing exponentially. In his statement yesterday, Mr Miliband told us about a new Public Private Partnership called the Energy Technologies Institute. Then there is a new joint task force on biofuels (its acronym is REEEP, which sounds suitably grim). Plus there is another new partnership to help to fund something called the “Energy Investment Framework”. The Chancellor is going to host a conference next year to “kick off the partnership”. But the really big news is that there is also going to be a new committee." Internal disorganisation More vetoing economic progress. The industrial revolution would never have got started with today's fretting and fussing. The future of humanity is not here on this tiny planet where we happened to be born. Technological progress will take us and our industry out into space, where worries about climate change will become totally irrelevant. As we move through the Kardashev-1 barrier, we will become able to control the world's climate anyway. However, initatives like this ensure that we must first go through a dark age, shutting down technical and economic growth, until we rediscover what is truly important.

Egypt turns to Russia, China over nuclear energy International disintegration For a generation now, Egypt has been allied with the United States during which the hegemon has remained the predominant power. If, however, we are entering a transitional phase, we should expect smaller states such as Egypt to reassess their great power associations, and begin casting about elsewhere for opportunities to secure their future wealth and stability.

Fears over huge growth in Iraq's unregulated private armies "A huge increase in the number of unregulated private military and security companies operating in Iraq and Afghanistan is driving concern about the lack of regulation and constraints on their activities." International disintegration Classic mercenerisation. See meanwhile The American military has not properly tracked hundreds of thousands of weapons intended for Iraqi security forces....(they include rocket-propelled grenade launchers, assault rifles, machine guns, shotguns, semiautomatic pistols and sniper rifles)

Monday, October 30, 2006
'Al Qaeda school' attack: 80 dead Intern(ation)al discohesion