Dark Age Watch

What is a dark age?

Saturday, January 27, 2007
Dear Readers
Recent changes in Blogger to a "new, improved" version mean that we are no longer able to log in and post updates to this page. I (MW) have tried a variety of remedies, including creating new blogs, but after making one post I get caught in infinite loops of being asked to log in. The bottom line is that Blogger no longer works. We have already had to abandon the original page because that stopped working after our ISP made changes to its software. It seems that the dark age watch service will finally have to cease transmission, having been stymied on all fronts. (Of course, I am not completely telling the truth, since I am posting this comment. However, to get to this editing page required a convoluted series of steps, which I cannot even remember exactly. I did it once, and thought "aha!", then tried to reproduce it but kept going round in circles again before I finally found the route back in. To go through such a laborious process for every post is simply not viable.) Just take it as a sign that the dark age has actually arrived, and the "coming dark age" page is finally redundant.
In accordance with the phoenix principle, the dark age site will reappear in a new form a few weeks from now. If possible, notices will be posted on this and/or the original page. Otherwise, you may find us through Google.
Marc Widdowson (for the dark age team).

Friday, January 26, 2007
Film calls Nanjing massacre 'hoax' A Japanese filmmaker has announced plans to make a documentary saying that the "rape of Nanjing" in 1937, in which China says 300,000 civilians were killed by Japanese soldiers, never happened.

Tehran's Influence Grows As Iraqis See Advantages When Fadhil Abbas determined that his mother's astigmatism required surgery, they did not consider treatment in his home town of Najaf, in southern Iraq. Instead they joined a four-taxi convoy of ailing Iraqis headed to Iran.

Intelligence Brief: U.S. Moves to Regain Leverage over Iran: "According to the report, the 'best-case scenario for Iran is that the U.S. military is forced to withdraw from Iraq, leaving Iran with a dominant sphere of influence over a Shi'a-dominated Iraq or a breakaway Shi'a mini-state in the south, and that Iran is able to achieve nuclear weapons capability. Were this outcome to occur, Iran would be the dominant power in the Persian Gulf, displacing the United States.' Iran's worst-case scenario, according to the report, 'is that the United States or Israel launches a preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear complex, possibly associated with American military efforts at regime change.' In the two years that have passed since the report's release, developments have clearly moved in a direction closer to Iran's best-case scenario." International disintegration (wars coming soon).

Thursday, January 25, 2007
Georgia says it foiled uranium sale "Georgian special services have foiled an attempt by a Russian citizen to sell weapons-grade uranium for $1 million (508,000 pounds) in the Georgian capital, a senior Interior Ministry official said on Thursday." International disintegration avoided Rumours of sales of nuclear materials, or even finished nuclear weapons, to rogue states and terrorists groups have been circulating since the late 1990s. Russia is awash with nuclear equipment and its controls are weak. It would be remarkable if none has yet leaked out. One day, nukes will be an everyday part of life and mobile phones will have built-in geiger counters, as today they have cameras.

Russia, India build on energy ties with new reactors - washingtonpost.com "Russian President Vladimir Putin sealed a deal on Thursday to construct more nuclear power plants in India, as Moscow moved closer to its long-term Asian partner through lucrative energy and arms agreements....Putin met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday...and will be guest of honor at India's Republic Day celebrations on Friday....Russia has also expressed an interest in helping build a pipeline to transport Iranian natural gas to India and Pakistan (!)....Russia is also interested in working with India to develop a fifth-generation fighter, while the two sides signed a deal on Wednesday to jointly design and build a transport aircraft. India's Defense Minister A. K. Antony said plans to buy at least 300 Russian T-90 tanks, as well as fighters and military helicopters, were also discussed." Seems the Bush administration rushed legislation through the US congress lifting restrictions on nuclear trade with India just in time for India to conclude an impressive nuclear trade and arms deal with Vladimir Putin, whom the Indians apparently do not regard as an international pariah as certain Western governments and media sources have attempted to cast him. Let's take a look at this: Russia's been a long time friend, America tends to be a meddling irritant to many of its "developing world" trading partners. Russia's in the neighborhood, America's a half a world away with its military bogged down in Iraq among other places, and it's population and political opposition set against further military involvements. America has a habit of stirring up trouble for everyone in the area, which allows Russia to appear like the region's paragon of responsible stability. And perhaps most importantly, while Russia owns the greatest natural gas reserves in the world and is busy constructing throughout central Asia and around the world what some have termed the OPEC of natural gas, America sports trillions of dollars in international debt which its financial elite says doesn't matter. International discohesion/disintegration coupling (changing differentials of cultural and political power).

Strike turns to riots as Lebanon is 'shut down' in struggle for power: "The protest descended into rioting between pro-government and opposition supporters, leading to the worst violence since the largely Shia and Christian opposition began a campaign to topple the US-backed government more than seven weeks ago." Intern(ation)al disintegration The "Shia opposition" - backed by Iran, which is desperate to distract the US from its planned assault on the country.

US military unveils heat-ray gun "The beam has a reach of up to 500 metres (550 yards), much further than existing non-lethal weapons like rubber bullets...The weapon could potentially be used for dispersing hostile crowds in conflict zones such as Iraq or Afghanistan." Intern(ation)al integration ahead? Possibly, but then the crowds of the future may contain some nasty surprises. Western militaries will not be immune to societal decline. There has never been and never will be such a thing as an unsinkable ship, particularly not if you're cruising in the shallow-waters of a dark-age.

Ford hit by record $12.7bn losses "Ford has reported a loss of $12.7bn (£6.5bn) for 2006 - the biggest annual loss in the struggling US carmaker's 103-year history." Internal disorganisation The decline of America's car industry continues while there seems to be no evidence that new, equally powerful loops of organisation are being created.

India and Russia in nuclear deal "Russia will build four nuclear power reactors in India under a draft deal signed by their two leaders in the Indian capital, Delhi." International organisation implying innovation but also international disintegration (levelling of the playling field)

Georgia and US foil uranium plot "A Russian man who tried to sell a small piece of weapons-grade uranium has been arrested in Georgia, officials say...Experts at the US Department of Energy examined the sample and concluded it was powerful enough to fuel part of a nuclear weapon." International integration

Wednesday, January 24, 2007
China relaxes its one-child policy "Most of the population - 52.9per cent - are permitted to have a second child when the couple's first child is a girl. A further 9.6 per cent of Chinese are permitted two children, regardless of their gender, while 1.6per cent - chiefly Tibetans - have no limit." Pro-organisation Our working hypothesis of "accelerated decline" rests on the assumption that Asian societies might quickly develop the sort of overheads (e.g. big government and huge social welfare costs) that have become a feature of mature western societies. The fact that China's rigid one child policy, which would imply a rapid ageing of its population, is being relaxed therefore represents a move away from such a course. On larger time-scales population growth has always been associated with better living conditions.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
View of US's global role 'worse' "The view of the US's role in the world has deteriorated both internationally and domestically, a BBC poll suggests." Internal and international discohesion

Is this the end for Abu Sayyaf?: "[W]ith the recent deaths of two senior Abu Sayyaf leaders, analysts are wondering whether the group might now be a spent force. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo recently said a "mortal turning point" had been reached in the fight against this shadowy organisation. " Internal integration

Bush to call for 20 percent cut in gasoline use Internal disorganisation Expanding US? Living worse. Forward to the middle ages.

Break-up of Iraq inevitable: "It is becoming increasingly likely that some form of break-up will be the fate of the nation-state of Iraq." Intern(ation)al disintegration

Crackdown 'nets 600 Sadr forces': "About 600 fighters and 16 leaders of the radical Shia militia, the Mehdi Army, have been captured by security forces in Iraq, the US military says. " Intern(ation)al integration

Civil servants vote for walkout "Thousands of civil servants have voted to strike in a long-running dispute over job cuts, privatisation and pay." Internal disorganisation The lifestyle of its public servants is a keen barometer of the health of a civilisation. Declining public service pay means growing corruption and falling standards. It is inevitable though due to the massive expansion of the public sector.

Kidnapping, India's new growth industry "With about 102 kidnappings for every million residents, Delhi's abduction rate is even higher than in Colombia, the infamous kidnapping capital of the world, where 83 kidnappings were reported per million people in 2001." Internal disintegration It may be a transient phenomenon, but one thing looks certain: India is not likely to act as a bastion against the coming dark age.

Ethnic Cleansing in L.A. "But while the Latino gangs' racial terror campaign is not new, gang experts and law enforcement authorities say the intensity and frequency of anti-black terrorism is now escalating, as the amount of turf in Los Angeles claimed by Latino gangs continues to increase rapidly." Internal disintegration

Commuters revolt over crowded trains "An unusual band of rebels - business people, civil servants and office clerks - risked a fine or jail yesterday by refusing to pay for their commuter journeys. Claiming that the service in the Bristol and Bath area was so poor that it was not worth paying for, scores of passengers boarded their usual trains brandishing spoof tickets." Internal discohesion More of this is on the cards as millions, who were raised in the affluent and morally liberating 80s and 90s, will see their hopes dashed during the economic crises of the future. Few will fight for the system once it will appear to be on the verge of collapse. Possibly related: Ship's scavengers ignore police

Madrid clashes over Latin gangs "About 1,000 Spanish youths have clashed with police during the night on the edge of the capital Madrid. The youths said they wanted to take on criminal gangs of Latin American immigrants who they complained were dominating their neighbourhood." Internal disintegration The state's monopoly of force being questioned

Monday, January 22, 2007
India's space hopes soar: "India's space agency said on Monday an orbiting capsule had been successfully returned to Earth, marking a major step towards the development of a highly-prized manned space programme." Innovation (pro-organisation) Humans are not destined to remain on this little planet which happens to be our birth-place (which is why environmentalism, global warming etc. is so pointless and irrelevant). One of the main products of our present dark age will be the move into space.

Gunbattle in Central Indonesia Kills 10: "An anti-terror squad raided an Islamic militant stronghold Monday in central Indonesia, touching off a gunbattle that left nine suspected fighters and one officer dead, the local police chief said. " Internal disintegration

Scheme to widen M1 gets under way: "Work to widen a stretch of the M1 motorway in South Yorkshire has started as Highways Agency engineers try to ease journey times across the county." Pro-internal organisation This will make the world shrink, in opposition to much current transport policy, which seems designed to obstruct traffic and slow it down.

China welcomes Vatican initiative: "China has welcomed the Vatican's new move to resolve their differences, calling it 'a step forward'. The Vatican had called for an end to past misunderstandings after a two-day meeting in Rome to review Church strategy towards China." The dark age watch site previously identified this story as representative of international cohesion. Internal discussion has suggested that may be a naive view. It could also, for example be indicative of international disintegration, reflecting the growing cultural power of China (in the sense that, as China becomes stronger, the domination of one actor [the US] diminishes).

Iran’s strongman loses grip as ayatollah offers nuclear deal "IRAN’S supreme leader is considering a change of policy on the country’s nuclear programme in an effort to defuse growing tension with the West, according to senior sources in Tehran. Alarmed by mounting US pressure and United Nations sanctions, officials close to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei favour the appointment of a more moderate team for international negotiations on the supervision of its nuclear facilities." International integration? Deception is part of the eastern way of war.

SAS unit moves to London in terror fight "The basing of a unit from the elite special forces regiment “in the metropolitan area” is intended to provide the police with a combat-proven ability to deal with armed terrorists in the capital." Internal (dis)integration Military planners have identified large cities as a key battlespace of the 21st century. The above mentioned move illustrates the rising preoccupation with questions related to internal security in western societies. While some people suspect sinister totalitarian designs we believe that, ultimately, these concerns highlight the government's waning authority.

Czechs give go-ahead for US 'son of stars wars' base "The Czech government has announced that it wants to host a large US military site for the Pentagon's much-criticised missile shield system, confirming for the first time that Washington had asked Prague for permission to build a radar site for the national missile defence programme." International integration The hegemon expanding its global footprint. From what we can read in the news, populations in Eastern Europe appear less opposed to an American military presence than people in East Asia.

Warning for Muslim WPc who refused to shake Met chief's hand "Sir Ian Blair personally congratulated all 200 recruits at a ceremony in London last month, but shook hands with only 199 after the woman specifically requested that she should not be required to do so, apparently for religious reasons." Internal discohesion Changing Britain