Blog Smith

Blog Smith is inspired by the myth of Hephaestus in the creation of blacksmith-like, forged materials: ideas. This blog analyzes topics that interest me: IT, politics, technology, history, education, music, and the history of religions.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Iraq Begins to Stand on its Own Two Feet

A summary of the past week in Iraq implies that the Iraqi government, and the performance of Iraqi security forces is improved. Notably, Salah Hassan, a senior member in Ansar al-Sunna, Iraq's Islamic state, surrendered in Kirkuk. Importantly, Coalition forces, mostly Iraqi, cleared previously held Mahdi areas--Al-Najibiyah, Al-Makkal, Al-Ashhar, Al-Zubair and Qarmat Ali. In sum, 571 Mahdis were killed, 881 were wounded, 490 were captured, and 30 surrendered in 7 days. To reach this point, representatives from Maliki's Dawa party and the Badr Organization traveled to Qom, Iran to lobby the Qods Force to get Sadr to cease fighting. In Iran, the representatives met Brigadier General Qassem Suleimani, commander of Qods, and the foreign special operations branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.

I could still see the situation quickly turn into a Lebanon type of situation but for the first time Iraqi security forces really stood toe-to-toe with Mahdi and held their own.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Historians Weigh in On Iraq

Historians may disagree on the politics--right, left, or center--but something like

a consensus amongst these academics would imply that most historians feel that the U.S. will be in Iraq for quite some time.

Is Iraq the New Lebanon?

A brief summary of anti-Mahdi efforts is impressive enough for Iraq since it has, at least temporarily, stunned Sadr. The synopsis includes: since Tuesday 358 Mahdi killed, 531 wounded, 343 captured, and 30 surrendered. Coalition forces killed 125 Mahdi in Baghdad, Iraqi forces killed 140 Mahdi in Basrah. From March 25-29 Mahdi had an average of 71 fighters killed per day. 69 fighters were captured per day, and another 160 wounded per day. The Coalition inflicted higher casualties than major combat against AQ in 2007. The US killed 14 Mahdi in Baghdad during separate engagements. Iraqi forces killed 4 Mahdi and captured another 30 in Babil.

Iraq with Sadr loose could be another Lebanon and if Maliki calls off the dogs now that Sadr has asked for relief, this would be a mistake. The government should keep the pressure up and press the attack until weapons are turned in, although Sadr has stated that he does not to give up his weapons.

Rogue Scanner

I've reviewed network tools with some suggestions but Rogue Scanner may be a better way to find out whether your network has any intruders on it. Before running this program you can assemble a list of every PC and device on your network. Thereafter by deploying RogueScanner you will have a list of every device on your network, including routers, printers, PCs and items. The IP and MAC addresses are listed but even more it investiages even further to find additional information such as whether the device is a workstation, printer, server, router or PC, as well as the manufacturer and model number.

You can then compare notes between your list and what the program finds with the list of devices that you know are safe and secure. If there is something that does not look famaliar then your system has been compromised.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Basra: At the Worst, Same as It Ever Was

Today's violence is more of the same and there is no clear-cut result to the day's activity at the very least. On the other hand, despite the typical mainstream Western press which misses the boat nearly all the time, the Mahdi militia is experiencing heavy losses. The Western press appears to report stories based on what it would like presented, rather than reporting what actually is occurring. Thus, Mahdi is really being tested severely, rather than Basra being a test of the admittedly fragile Iraqi government. To wit, since fighting started Tuesday 347 Mahdi Army fighters were killed, 531 were wounded, 343 were captured, and 30 surrendered. Coalition forces killed 125 Mahdi Army fighters in Baghdad alone, while Iraqi security forces have killed 140 Mahdi fighters in Basra. While estimates of the Mahdi Army is debatable, most analysts postulate the Mahdi between 40,000 to 60,000. Since an estimated 1,000 Mahdi fighters were killed, captured, wounded and surrendered, the Mahdi has an attrition rate of 1.5 to 2.5 percent over the past five days. That attrition is a significant attrition.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Apple Easiest to Cherry Pick

For only two minutes work Charlie Miller, an analyst at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE), a Baltimore-based security consultancy, walked away with $10,000 by hacking into a MacBook Air. The easiest exploit of the three options was the Mac OS X. The MacBook Air was running the current version of Mac OS X, 10.5.2, with all the latest security patches applied. The other two computers included a Sony Vaio VGN-TZ37CN running Ubuntu 7.10 and a Fujitsu U810 notebook running Windows Vista Ultimate SP1, were also up to date and fully patched.

Basra Analysis

The current move on Basra was inevitable. The Iraqi government, if it is to govern at all, must at some point demonstrate that it is viable, or it should be replaced. The Mahdi militia is either stronger than the Iraqi military and police elements, or it is not. The Basra fight should show us either way. Secondly, if the situation does not go well militarily, the Coalition is available to bail out the Iraqi government military. The Mahdi militia has been moot during the period of the voluntary cease fire. Thirdly, if military analysts have been savvy up to this point, it could be up to the U.S. military to wipe out the more adept members of the Mahdi militia. If they have been really clever, then Basra is a ploy to draw out, and eliminate, the rogue Mahdi elements.

With these three elements in mind, and in any case, the Basra case will be revealing.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

AbiWord: Free and Lite and Easy

One of the most frustrating aspects of computing really should be one of the simplest. Where can a guy find simple, free word processing software? Either word processors are too expensive or software is incompatible with other versions. Enter AbiWord which may change all that.

I use NoteTabLite for most of my wordsmithing but word processors are more difficult since they don't always play nicely with each other. AbiWord seems to do the trick for most common uses.

For the most straightforward word processing tasks such as manipulating images AbiWord is the freebie to use. The GUI is simple and uncomplicated. It does have enough features to do more complicated tasks, without making word processing terribly complicated. I generally need a few things such as adding page numbers, date and time, and this tool includes these additional features.

The free program requires a Windows 2000 or Windows XP OS.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sarkozy Does Not Make a Crowd

Nicolas Sarkozy has moved France closer to the U.S. and the question today as he visits Britain is whether he can perform the same feat across the English Channel.

Among the issues that Sarkozy wished to address are energy, immigration, as well as security and defense.

Sarkozy hopes that the EU can be strengthened with the participation of the British.

I already noted here that Sarkozy has made an Afghanistan pledge. He plans to add additional French troops to the effort.

Sarkozy stated: "We cannot afford to lose Afghanistan. We cannot afford to see the Taleban and Al Qaeda returning to Kabul. Whatever the cost, however difficult the victory, we cannot afford it. We must win."

Until Sarkozy, France and the U.S. have often been at odds, and Sarkozy added in her comments: "I perfectly understand that Britain should wish to keep its special relationship with the US, but that doesn't stop Britain from taking its rightful place in Europe."

I don't think three is a crowd. At this point, I see no reason why Britain and France can not contribute more to the Coalition.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Obama's Taxes

How much did Obama make last year?

On their 2006 tax return, Obama and his wife, Michelle, earned over $991,000 in 2006 and paid $277,431 on the income.

More than half of the couple's income is a direct royalty from Obama's books--nearly $507,000: The Audacity of Hope and Dreams From My Father. In 2005, Obama earned over $1,210,000 from royalties.

The Obamas earned nearly $431,000 in wages in 2006. The Senator's salary was $165,000.

The couple also earned more than $51,000 from Treehouse Foods, an Illinois-based food manufacturer where Michelle Obama served on the Treehouse board.

Before 2005, the couple had more modest incomes. Between 2000 and 2004, they earned between $207,647 and $275,123 a year.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Non-U.S. Citizens Serve in the Military

Who would fight for the U.S. if they didn't have to?

The answer to that question is the estimated 20,500 "non-U.S. citizens"--serving in all branches of the U.S. military.

Indeed, the first U.S. service member killed in the Iraq war, on March 21, 2003, was Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, a native of Guatemala.

Active-duty non-citizens who have served honorably in war on or after September 11, 2001, may "file for immediate citizenship," according to the Defense Department.

Nearly 37,000 non-citizens of the U.S. armed forces have been granted citizenship since the war on terror began in October 2001; 109 have been granted posthumously, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Another 7,300 still have their requests for citizenship pending.

Historically, we have had immigrants in the military dating back to the Revolutionary War.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tepid Network Solutions Bows to Islamic Pressure

American hosting services can accommodate military service personnel being shot but goodness gracious they can not show a Dutch politician who was planning to release a film critical of Islam.

The tepid hosting service, Network Solutions, said it was investigating complaints on hate language. The Terms of Service excludes "material that is obscene, defamatory, libellous, unlawful, harassing, abusive... hate propaganda" and "profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable material of any kind or nature."

Dutch politician Geert Wilders says the 15-minute film describes Islam as "the enemy of freedom." If this is hate language, then we are all in trouble.

The film has effectively been silenced by protests in many Muslim countries and condemned by Iran and Pakistan.

Wilders' film is entitled Fitna, Arabic for strife or discord, usually religious.

Wilders stated that "Islamic ideology has as its utmost goal the destruction of what is most dear to us, our freedom," and in this he is correct as he stated in a commentary for the Dutch publication De Volkskrant.

Not only is Wilders on what in America should be sound 1st Amendment ground but he is proving prophetic as well.

Saudi Government Trains for Prayer

Saudi Arabia is offering to retrain its 40,000 imams, or prayer leaders in an effort to counter militant Islam. My thought here is how scary it is to contemplate that many prayer leaders trained by a state government. It almost does not matter how or what they train them in.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bombing Distinction for Germany

Graphic source: Times Online, Roger Boyes

As most of Europe has been slow to support the Coalition the war on terror increasingly comes home to roost. To wit: a clerical worker was named as Germany's first suicide bomber in Afghanistan.

Cueneyt Ciftci, 28, who was born in Freising, Bavaria to a family of Turkish immigrants, is believed to have driven a pick-up truck filled with explosives into a U.S. guard post.

German police trace him to a network that appears linked to radical Bavarian mosques and to a group arrested last September for preparing explosives to bomb Frankfurt airport.

The bomber married and had two children but more recently resigned his clerical position. His resignation seems to have been organized by Adem Yilmaz who is under arrest after police raids broke up his cell preparing for an attack on Frankfurt airport, Ramstein airbase, and other U.S. targets in Germany. The other cell members, Fritz Gelowicz and Daniel Schneider, were native Germans.

There appears to be connections between radical clergy, a mosque in Ulm in particular seems to have inspired many and the movement of preachers between Pakistan and Europe and the access to training camps close to the Afghan border have made some German Muslims regular pilgrims.

As Sarkosy has committed more troops to Afghistan, perhaps Merkel can plot a similar course. Europe should be committing more effort to security in the Middle East.

U.S. Top Spot for Iraqis

We hear in the news every day that the Iraqis are displeased with the U.S., nonetheless, the U.S. remains the top destination for refugees.

Friday, March 21, 2008

"The Real Living Culture Is Western Culture"

It may be difficult to find but there are Arab

commentators, such as Muhammad Al-Mahmoud, who make sense.

Obama Consistently Wrong On Iraq

Obama has consistently been wrong in his assessment of the Iraq war

and has differed from Senator Clinton on only one, of eighty-five votes.

Lessig to Change Congress

Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Stanford Law School, is the founder of Creative Commons and author of Code, The Future of Ideas, and Free Culture. Using a Wikipedia-style project to overhaul Congress his aim is to get lawmakers to reject lobbyist money and boost transparency. The attempt is to use Web 2.0 technology to change how Congress operates.

Lessig's new Web project is Change Congress which aims to convince members of Congress to commit to one or all of four broad pledges: to not accept PAC or lobbyist contributions, to abolish earmarks, to support public financing of public elections, and to drive transparency in the work of Congress.

Thereafter, politicians will be supplied with code to embed word of their pledges on their own Web sites. In addition, the politician's actions related to his or her pledges will be tracked with a Google mashup map and through a wiki.

Most Internet initiatives towards political reform are high-minded but most have accomplished little. The idea here is to build upon the best of Internet social and community activism with the end of substantial reform. With Congress' popularity rating in the low 20s, anything is worth a chance.

Sarkozy to Send 1,000+ Troops to Afghanistan

There are those naysayers that say the surge did not work nor that Bush could conduct diplomacy; however, Nicolas Sarkozy will bolster France's commitment with an additional force in Afghanistan of 1,000+ extra troops.

The troops are a clear expression that Sarkozy is underlining his commitment to the alliance France already has 1,900 soldiers in Afghanistan. Sarkozy stated shortly before Christmas: “There is a war going on here, a war against terrorism, against fanaticism, that we cannot and will not lose.”

Canada has 2,500 troops operating in Kandahar province in the south but had stated that it would pull out next year unless another NATO country offered to send at least 1,000 soldiers to back them up.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Obama's Passport Breached Repeatedly

Obama's passport records were recently breached although the IT system in place flagged the violation. Nonetheless, the supervisors kept quiet about the infraction.

The violators are private contract employees working for the U.S. Department of State and they have repeatedly accessed U.S. Senator Barack Obama's passport records over the past three months. Two of the workers have been fired by their employers.

However, the actions of the three separate workers, employees of two different contractors, were described by State Department spokesman Sean McCormack as "imprudent curiosity." More will unfold as the research into the breach continues.

Beckstrom the Starfish

Technology entrepreneur and co-author of The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations,
Rod Beckstrom will be named to run the new National Cyber Security Center at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Beckstrom was also founder of Cats Software and co-founder of, a company that offers an open-source wiki software system.

This may be a good appointment since Leaderless illustrates a sound point or two about adaptable cyber era organizations. If a spider's head or a leg is cut off it cannot function. However, if a starfish loses an arm—or two or three—it regenerates them, and all without brain ordering the organism.

Likewise, organizations traditionally followed a spider form. Nonetheless, nimble organizations, whether they be illicit, such as as-Qaeda, or capitalist, such as current entrepreneurial open-source companies, fall into the starfish category.

With the criteria of fighting fire with fire, Beckstrom understands the challenge of transforming traditional bound government organizations to the adaptable and nimble units of modern warfare.

Beckstrom points out that decentralization continue to change industry and society and it is a force to be reckoned with.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Audio Message Crusades Against the West

Graphic source: a propaganda site for Islamofascists, al-Sahab, the media wing of al-Qaeda.

In a voice that has not yet been confirmed to be Osama bin Laden,

the speaker whines about the fact that the EU, specifically the best-selling Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, is re-printing the cartoons that satirized Muslims who are bombing innocents.

In the continued attack upon Western institutions and other religions, the voice crusades against Pope Benedict XVI.

It may be hard to believe that Islam is the alleged `religion of peace' given the fact that the audio is accompanied with a graphic characterized by a still image of bin Laden holding an AK-47.

Sorry to hear that Islamofascists are having a bad hair day.

Graphic source: Jyllands-Posten

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Audacity of Obama

Obama derived the title of his second book from a sermon originating with his controversial pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright. If he heard controversial items from his pastor's mouth and he did nothing, or did not vote with his feet, then he does not have character for the Presidency. If he did not defend his mentor's words then he does not have the loyalty and forbearance for the Presidency. I don't see Obama gaining adherents on this issue. His credibility is lacking.

Obama represents a profound loss for this country. He consciously distances himself from civil rights. The country is clearly ready for an African-American President, but he is not representative of an individual who can move that dream forward. Timing is everything and this is not Obama's time. He is too far removed. Note how he parts company with Rev. Wright, and the civil rights movement. Obama states:

What's remarkable is not how many failed in the face of discrimination, but rather how many men and women overcame the odds; how many were able to make a way out of no way for those like me who would come after them (in the Civil Rights struggle).

Obama has only benefited from civil rights, he did not work for them.

Also, I find it interesting that YouTube plays such a significant role in the controversy but Obama knew Wright, not from a clip, as he was an intimate friend and client. He should have known better and a note to Obama, if a pastor of a church preaches "God damn America"

in a sermon, its time to leave and take your children out of there.

If that point is not enough, Obama and Wright's church, the United Church of Christ General Synod XV also passed a resolution:

concerning the conflict between Israel and Palestinians in the Middle East. . . . named `Tear Down the Wall', [which] calls upon Israel to remove the separation barrier between Israel and the West Bank. Opponents of the `Tear Down the Wall' resolution have noted that the wall's purpose is to prevent terrorist attacks, and that the resolution does not call for a stop to these attacks. The Simon Wiesenthal Center stated that the July 2005 UCC resolutions on divestment from Israel were `functionally anti-Semitic'. The Anti-Defamation League stated that those same resolutions are `disappointing and disturbing' and `deeply troubling'. In addition to the concerns raised about the merits of the `economic leverage resolution, additional concerns were raised about the process in which the General Synod approved the resolution. Michael Downs of the United Church of Christ Pension Boards (who would be charged with implementing any divestment of the UCC's Pension Board investments) wrote a letter to UCC President John Thomas expressing concern `with the precedent-setting implications of voted actions, integrity of process and trust.'

Another note to Obama, if a church votes and in a public manner illustrates anti-Semitic tendencies, you should leave, and take your children out of there.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The First Internet War

Graphic source: The masked and fearful

The new media is heavily invested in the Iraqi situation. The range of blogs runs the gamut from the approved Multi-National Force Iraq website of Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as the registered and published according to Pentagon guidelines type of blog by 1st Lt. Matt Gallagher. On the other hand, an outlaw soldier's blog exists at The Unlikely Soldier. The wide range of soldier blogs can be found at a list of soldier blogs.

But, that is not all, the enemy is active and maintains a propaganda site at the Islamic Army in Iraq blog.

But finally, not to be outdone, in order to stop offensive and objectionable content from airing on American websites the cyberwarfare slogs on at Stop the Internet Terrorists blog site.

How One Person Can Shut Down a Terrorist

I've often heard the expression "What can I do, I'm only one person." One person can make a difference. I've engaged in my share of insurgent interactions via the net but I would think the fact that terrorists use the internet, specifically American technology and sites such as YouTube, to showcase their graphically violent videos glorifying Coalition soldiers pain would elicit outrage. It has not. However, since insurgents are actively posting offensive videos, or videos aired for propaganda, as well as for and teaching and recruitment purposes there may be some who are concerned.

These concerned persons can do something about offensive videos. One such site, Stop Internet Terrorists provides a `How to.' The site states:

Our mission - remove as many of these videos as possible! Then maybe YouTube will take it upon themselves to join us in trying to preserve what our military fights for every day: Life! Liberty! The Pursuit of Happiness!

The site also provides directions:

How to Flag (tag) a Video and Shut it DOWN!

Just follow these six easy steps!

1. Click on the first numbered video listed to the right (a full list is available on the Stop Internet Terrorists site.
2. If you see "Confirm Birth Date," click on it. This is your agreement that you are 18 or over.
3. When the video appears, STOP or PAUSE it a few seconds after it has launched if you don't want to watch. If you choose to watch, we can tell you that you need a strong stomach. These videos are offensive, graphic, and very upsetting to some.
4. Just below the video, click on "Flag". This will then open another view that gives you the option to "Select a Reason" as to why you are flagging this video.
5. Then click "Flag This Video" button to the right.
6. There will be an area now right under "Flag" that will then be highlighted saying "Thank you for sharing your concerns".

Congratulations! You have just flagged your first Internet Terrorist Video!

That's it!! Now, just click the back arrow to our site and notice the video you just flagged has changed color! It's a simple tool for visually seeing what you have or haven't done.

And please, if you would, go to the second video and repeat the same process as above until all videos are done!

That's really quite simple and anyone can do it. The world does not need any more violent images than it already has and the terrorists are denied one more outlet for illegitimately spreading their message. Any time the terrorists would like to debate in an open and public forum would be fine. However, I see no reason why they should be able to take advantage of American technology and laxity in regards to denying offensive, hateful speech.

Guarded Optimism About Vital Indicators

Graphic source: The New York Times

Amidst a recent survey in which at least half of Iraqis have reason for guarded optimism about the future, the Times published a list of vital indicators. While not rosy, there are reasons to think that Iraq may have a chance to be a coherent nation again. The cost is high, the road is fraught with obstacles, but for the first time in five years, there is reason to think that events may unfold in a more positive manner.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Iraqis: Blood for Oil

In February, American troops detained Ghalib Ali Hamid, the intelligence and internal affairs chief of the Oil Protection Force at the refinery, on suspicion of skimming fuel profits and having ties to insurgents. Graphic source: The N.Y. Times

The N.Y. Times reports that the Baiji refinery "may be the most important industrial site in the Sunni Arab-dominated regions of Iraq." On a peak production day 500 tanker trucks leave the refinery filled with fuel with a street value of $10 million.

Unfortunately, many Iraqis divert at least one-third, and possibly much more, of the fuel from Iraq’s Baiji refinery to the black market. Tankers are hijacked, drivers are bribed, papers are forged and meters are manipulated. And to top it off, at least some of the money reaches insurgents who are still killing more than 100 Iraqis a week.

The American military claims that greed, far more than jihadist ideology, is the critical motivator for a majority of Sunni insurgents.

To combat the financial motivation, at least 91,000 Iraqis, many of them former enemies of the American forces, receive a regular, American-paid salary for serving in neighborhood militias.

In the Salahuddin area of the refinery for example, there were eight pre-war local gas stations, a figure that has ballooned to fifty. The reason is not economic growth but graft.

The Times reports that:

Gas stations are often built just to gain the rights to fuel shipments, at subsidized government rates, that can be resold onto the black market at higher prices. New stations cost more than $100,000 to build, but black market profits from six or seven trucks can often cover that cost, and everything after that is profit, said officials who have studied the scheme.

During last year, the Pentagon estimated that as much as 70 percent of the Baiji refinery’s production, or $2 billion in fuels like gasoline, kerosene and diesel, disappeared annually into the black market.

The insurgents have their agents at all levels, and some are the watchdogs who are supposed to oversee the operation. In February, American troops detained Ghalib Ali Hamid, the intelligence and internal affairs chief of the Oil Protection Force at the refinery, on suspicion of skimming fuel profits and having ties to insurgents.

Although Al Qaeda receives the bulk of Western attention, many in the U.S. military question the numbers and loyalty of average Iraqis for the group. In the opinion of U.S. middle-level troops, jihadist ideology is secondary to the financial incentive of average Iraqis who need to earn a living.

The other major guerrilla groups in the country are Jaish-e-Muhammad, or the Army of Muhammad, which includes ex-Baathists and former military officers, who continue to battle American forces. Some American officers consider the Islamic State of Iraq, to be a front group for Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

But other groups such as the 1920s Revolutionary Brigades and Jaish al-Islami, or the Islamic Army, have agreed to support American-financed Sunni militia forces.

The question is whether bribing former insurgents to stop attacking American forces is an effective counter-terrorism force, or whether developing a more secure economic infrastructure would solve the problem. American officers are concerned that the failure to incorporate these Sunni militiamen into the government of Iraq or find them other jobs could portend trouble.

As we might say, you have to do what you need to in order to survive.

Graphic source: The New York Times

Senators Lining Up to the Trough

McCain lost his vote to rein in pork barrel spending, a vote that both of his two major opponents, Clinton and Obama voted for, but the excessive funding continues to run away unchecked.

Clinton received $342 million in earmarks last year, ranking her 10th highest in the Senate, according to the budget watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense.

Obama in fiscal year 2008 secured $98 million in funding for Illinois projects, according to the same group. Although Obama voted with McCain, Obama indicates that he requested $311 million in earmarks for the same year.

His total requested funding was about $330 million. His average request was about $2.4 million, with the largest request being $62 million intended to modify a Boeing 747 aircraft to capture infrared images of the Earth.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Who Makes a Good Bomber?

The suicide bombers who have killed Coalition troops are estranged young men from large families outside Iraq but who are desperate to stand out from the crowd according to a U.S. military study. The question I would have of the conclusion is that it may contradict other studies which show bombers are largely better educated and more prosperous than their peers.

Saudi Arabia is the single largest point of origin. Al-Qaida is a primary recruiter.

The study profiles 48 foreign fighters who were captured or surrendered. The interrogators of the study concluded that most foreign fighters are Sunni Muslim men from 18 to 30, with the mean age of 22. They are almost always single males with no children, and tend to be students or hold blue-collar jobs ranging from taxi drivers to construction and retail sales. The majority of the bombers have six to 12 years of schooling, with very few having gone to college. Most come from families in the poor or middle-classes and have six to eight siblings.

According to the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington, 949 suicide bombers killed 10,119 people and wounded 22,995 from the beginning of 2004 until now. Data compiled by the AP through its own reporting found that between April 28, 2005 and March 13, 2008 there were 708 incidents involving suicide bombings, with a total of 14,633 Iraqis wounded and 7,098 killed.

Mohammed Hafez' study, "Suicide Bombers in Iraq," states there have been 1,800 suicide attacks worldwide since the phenomenon began in the early 1980s. Of those, more than half have taken place in Iraq.

Records seized by the U.S. military shows that 40 percent of bombers come from North African countries such as Libya and Algeria, and 41 percent from Saudi Arabia.

Now They Tell You

World Muslim leaders condemned extremism and terrorism as incompatible with Islam and proposed a high-level international meeting to promote a "dialogue of civilizations" with Christians. My only question is what has taken them so long? After so much water under the bridge, the religion of peace is much less credible than if would have been it Muslim leaders would have unequivocally condemned leading Islamist terrorists or insurgents in Iraq.

I suppose this is better late then never but I think they lost their credibility with their delay.

Leaders of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference represents 1.5 billion Muslims across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, they made their "Dakar Declaration" on Friday.

The Declaration states: "We continue to strongly condemn all forms of extremism and dogmatism which are incompatible with Islam, a religion of moderation and peaceful coexistence."

Friday, March 14, 2008

Female Warrior

A "Female Warrior" serves alongside the men and on the combat lines in Iraq.

Secrets of High School

This book is chock full of things I didn't know, aspects of the high school game that I should know, and tons of worthwhile and handy references.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bush Halves Clinton's Military Deaths

In simple statistics, Bush's Presidency has resulted in almost exactly half the military deaths as during Clinton's tenure for an equivalent eight-year period. The statistics are startling to consider but true.

Review: Technitium MAC Address Changer v4.8

I haven't commented in a while about the free Top Ten Network tools but Technitium MAC Address Changer v4.8 may be handy to protect your home wireless network against intruders. You will need to block anyone from connecting to your network except those who have network cards with specific MAC addresses. Sounds simple enough because you can set your router to block out intruders. The question is: how do you spoof a MAC address?

You can check it with this tool. You spoof a MAC address by providing one of your existing network cards a new address. This can be done with this software that lets you change your MAC address with a few simple clicks. You run the program, highlight the network card that you want to give a spoofed MAC address, click Random MAC Address, and then click the Change Now! button. Its pretty simple. It is then easy to restore your original MAC address, once you highlight it, and click "Original MAC."

Supplemental information is included about the details concerning your network cards, including the manufacturer name, MAC address, IP, Gateway, and DNS information associated with each of your network cards. It can also renew an IP address for a card, which can help fix broken network connections.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

`For Use Against Coalition Forces'

Graphic source: The Long War Journal.

Recently, the 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Army Division stopped a car in the Al Bakir neighborhood in Mosul, Iraq. After searching the car, the Iraqi Army found six improvised explosive devices (IEDs or roadside bombs). A typical IED contains the bomb, a cell phone detonator, and rocks or pieces of iron enclosed to injure or kill as many people as possible. The bomb is triggered by a cell phone call. The bombs are hidden with scents intended to foil bomb-sniffing dogs, in this instance, the bomb smelled like cinnamon. The detonator is labeled, "For use against Coalition forces." The driver has been detained and the Iraqi Army is now looking for the bomb factory.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Engineers As Jihadists

Researchers have recently raised eyebrows both within academe and in professional circles with their study noting the high incidence of engineers in jihad. One of the most well-known of course is key 9/11 plotter Ayman al-Zawahiri. The study builds on more than just one infamous example of course. In a work entitled, "Engineers of Jihad1," researchers Diego Gambetta, Nuffield College and Steffen Hertog, University of Durham, quote not only al-Zawahiri, “You have trivialized our movement by your
mundane analysis. May God have mercy on you,” but their abstract details the research. In the words of their abstract:

We find that graduates from subjects such as science, engineering,
and medicine are strongly overrepresented among Islamist movements in the
Muslim world, though not among the extremist Islamic groups which have
emerged in Western countries more recently. We also find that engineers alone
are strongly over-represented among graduates in violent groups in both
realms. This is all the more puzzling for engineers are virtually absent from
left-wing violent extremists and only present rather than over-represented
among right-wing extremists. We consider four hypotheses that could explain
this pattern. Is the engineers’ prominence among violent Islamists an accident
of history amplified through network links, or do their technical skills make
them attractive recruits? Do engineers have a ‘mindset’ that makes them a
particularly good match for Islamism, or is their vigorous radicalization
explained by the social conditions they endured in Islamic countries? We
argue that the interaction between the last two causes is the most plausible
explanation of our findings, casting a new light on the sources of Islamic
extremism and grounding macro theories of radicalization in a micro-level

At the very least, and despite the hubbub, I wanted to quote them accurately and discover what their research suggested.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Poisoning Palestinian Children

Memri, an extremist monitoring site, has documented how the Hamas
TV channel Al-aqsa has been broadcasting an "educational" programme for 7-13 year-olds called "Tomorrow's Pioneers." The show is replete with Hamas ideology and although the characters appear to be warm and fuzzy, they are anything but. The message is stridently anti-Zionist and anti-Western, lauding Muslims and conversion to Islam while encouraging holy war and martyrs. The show degenerates to a Mickey Mouse-like figure who fights a holy war.

Getty Vocabularies for All

By using an Oracle database with PowerBuilder from Sybase for the user interface a team at the Getty museum has allowed public access to their holdings. The team made heavy use of Perl and SQR (a reporting and database access language).

The tool the team built, known as the Vocabulary Coordination System (VCS), offered a single production system that allows Getty staff to collect, analyze, edit, merge and distribute terminology generated by Getty departments and contributors at other institutions.

The Getty's technical staff supports the VCS, the Getty Vocabularies on the Web, Web-based forms for the automated contribution of single records, and programs to automatically load batches of contributed data in XML format. The team also supports programs to produce yearly exports in XML, relational tables, and the Marc (Machine-readable Cataloging) format for institutions and commercial entities that license data sets.

The vocabularies average more than 900,000 searches per quarter. The vocabularies are available to the accessible to the public for free at the Getty museum.

Dutch Go Dutch

The Netherlands has shown some grit and committed the Dutch to greater development in Afghanistan. The Dutch defense minister, Eimert van Middelkoop, stated that a military solution alone will not work.

Middelkoop stated: "A greater commitment of the United Nations and other international organisations and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) is necessary to ensure that progress does not evaporate."

He continued: "Projects such as schools, health clinics, roads and power plants will not only help the economy, but also help the government to assert its authority throughout Afghanistan."

Finally, a bit of a reaction from the Coalition's European allies, and from minuscule Holland no less.

Australian and Dutch troops have been working together for 18 months in a NATO-led mission in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan, a former Taliban stronghold.

I wish them well and it would be too much to ask that France and Germany chime in behind them but we can always hope.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Note on Ferguson, The War of the World

In his fussy, The War of the World, Niall Ferguson presents a moral view of the twentieth century reviewing mostly secondary sources to declaim the savagery of the 20th century. Ferguson shows primarily how not only financial difficulties as well as economic progress, in short, economic volatility of any sort, along with decaying empires, psychopathic dictators, and social violence resulted in the wars, and the genocides of what he calls "History's Age of Hatred."

The book was widely acclaimed, Ferguson was interviewed and on podcasts, The New York Times Book Review named War of the World one the 100 Notable Books of the Year and acclaimed by many in 2006.

I am uncomfortable with his moralizing historical analysis which evaluates as much as it relates historical events. He seems to write a fuddy-duddy analysis of repellent dictators and economic troubles. One part of the subtitle, the Descent of the West, seems cloying or perhaps he means the phrase in an ironic nod to Darwin. I'm not sure.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Woman Stoned to Death

The Islamic State of Iraq swears vengeance on those Yazidis who killed a woman, Dua Khalil Aswad, who converted to Islam. In a brutal killing a crowd stoned her to death all the while filming or recording the event on cell phone cameras. The tape, which circulated on the Internet, provided graphic details of the violence but when the woman's garments reveal too much, the editors tactfully covered it up. Apparently graphic violence is acceptable to the Islamic avengers but a woman's skin is censored.

Yazidis [also Yezidi, Azidi, Zedi, or Izdi] are a syncretistic religious group (or a set of several groups), with ancient origins and comprising Gnostic core belief structure with other elements of Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Manicheism, and Islam. Yazidi do not intermarry with outsiders or accept converts. Many Yazidi now consider themselves to be Kurds, while others define themselves as both religiously and ethnically distinct from Muslim Kurds. Most of the 700,000 Yazidi reside in the North of the country. The group remains secretive even today and its teachings are obscure and may not even be fully known even to its own adherents.

Free Stanford Education

Stanford University is beginning this terrific new program in which parents with incomes of less than $100,000 will no longer pay tuition. Parents with incomes of less than $60,000 will not be expected to pay tuition or contribute to the costs of room, board, and other expenses. Under the plan, students will still be expected to contribute their earnings from work during the summer and academic year. In order to access one of the best universities in the country simply contributing their spare time efforts is not a high price to pay. This would be an incredible deal for lower-income parents and a great boost for smart, but poorer students.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Iraqi Order of Battle Released

With the new month, the Iraqi Order of Battle has been revised.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Do You Recognize the Biker?

Police officers, one of them in a hazardous-materials suit, examined the military recruiting station in Times Square after an explosion damaged the front of the building early Thursday morning. Graphic source: Chip East/Reuters.

This may well be a dry run for a subsequent attack but video reveals a man riding on a bike who set off a small bomb at a recruiting office. The accounts are frustratingly vague on how similar the attack is to previous attacks on U.S. embassies. The bomb is also similar to attacks on recruiting centers elsewhere. On 3 May 2006 for example insurgents embarked on deadly attacks in Baghdad killing 16 people at a police recruitment center in Falluja, an American civilian contractor near Nasiriya and a police officer in Baquba; on 31 May 2007 a suicide bomber killed up to 25 people at a police recruiting center in Fallujah, though the estimated number of number of dead and injured have varied.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Al Qaeda Operatives Eliminated in the North

Graphic source: Long War Journal.

US and Iraqi security forces have killed or captured 26 senior leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq's terror network over the past several weeks. Eight of those killed were emirs, or leaders responsible for "a geographic or functional area," five were cell leaders, and 13 were facilitators "involved in supporting the network of foreign terrorists, organizing the movement and security of senior leaders of the terrorist cells, or the making and use of improvised explosives and suicide vests." Those identified highlights how al Qaeda's operations have shifted from Anbar and Baghdad provinces to the northern provinces of Diyala, Salahadin, and Ninewa. Of those al Qaeda leaders identified, five operated in Mosul, two in Tikrit, one in Sharqat, and one in Baqubah, all in the north. Only two of those identified as killed or captured came from Baghdad.

Point of Contrasting Candidates, Historically

The point of contrast between today's Presidential candidates and the past could not be clearer.

For example, John F. Kennedy was interviewed on 3 January 1960 for the "Meet The Press" show once he announced he was running for President on the Democratic ticket. The interviewers are serious, sober, and ask numerous substantive questions. Kennedy is articulate, has a grasp of history, bases his thinking on sound reasons, he discusses and supports a foundation of thought on constitutional issues, and finally, he does not mince words on even the tough questions posed to him. The questions are directed at the candidate and they get out of the way. The overwhelming numbers of words come from Kennedy.

On the other hand, in a recent disagreement Obama and McCain spout off sound bites vapidly. Yet, the commentators, who dominate the issue, blather on blissfully about how the candidates have finally reached a point of policy and they seem thrilled that the disagreement is dealing with one issue, at least, seriously. Its just pathetic. They are gleefully mugging for the camera and note how exciting and interesting the debate is. They spew out an abundance of words, and no one seems to note that both Obama and McCain seem ignorant of the issue they are discussing. The commentators only seek to heighten the conflict.

Isn't it just by coincidence that the Meet the Press clip are all male interviewers, although it should be noted that the show included females as well, and the contemporary clip is all women?

And now a word from our sponsor.

In short, this is the focus, not any sort of issue or choice that a voter could consider. Its teletainment.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Saleh the Intended Victim of the Airstrike

The U.S. airstrike was in fact targetting Al Qaeda leader Saleh in the southern Somalia action. Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a senior operative for al Qaeda's network in eastern Africa, was "found, targeted, and killed" along with an unspecified number of al Qaeda operatives in the town of Dhobley along the southern border with Kenya.

Nonetheless, although news reports have run the story, the U.S. military has not confirmed Saleh's death with DNA and other forensic evidence to confirm the identity of those killed in the attack.

Nabhan is also wanted for involvement in the 1998 suicide attacks against US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The attack in Nairobi, Kenya resulted in 212 killed and more than 4,000 wounded. The attack in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania resulted 11 killed and 85 wounded. Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, al Qaeda's operations chief in East Africa, and Abu Taha al Sudani, the leader of al Qaeda's network in East Africa were also behind the attacks.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Pakistani Censorship Technically Explained

At the risk of sounding overly technical, I tried to understand how Pakistan could shut down the Internet as the government objected to what it considered disparaging to the Prophet Mohammed. Pakistan used a Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) injection. In lay terms, Pakistan changed its Internet routing information for YouTube so that requests would go to Pakistani servers, not YouTube's. But the changed information was also sent to Pakistan's own Internet provider, Hong Kong's PCCW, which accepted it and passed it along to the rest of the world. And the result was that almost instantaneously, YouTube disappeared, for you and I.

The nefarious Pakistani deed took about two hours to correct.

BGP injections won't be fixed nor will they likely be. At times it is by accident, other times spammers or hijackers are sabotaging an address. More ominously, governments keep attempting to censor Web sites, and in the climate we are in, that kind of sabotage is likely to happen more and more.

The basic issue is that for the big network providers, relations between them still runs on trust. And as long as one of them sends out routing information to the others, we presume it to be true.

IronKey Secure the Best Stick

Computerworld surveyed 7 secure USB drives and concluded that based on features, price, security, and similar concerns, the IronKey Secure was the best of the lot. The item tested, a 4GB version, also available in 1GB and 2GB sizes, is listed at $149.99 with 128-bit AES encryption.

U.S. Airstrike in Somalia May Target Fazul

With news that a U.S. airstrike hit an al Qaeda safe house in Somalia the speculation is that the launch targeted Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, among others.

I am pleased to see that the U.S. did not check with Europe for permission before launching the strike. At least I do not know that we asked for permission. This is another individual that would not be a loss for humanity to lose.

The airstrike targeted an al Qaeda safe house in the town of Dobley in southern Somalia, just four miles from the Kenyan border.

The target of the strike has not been identified, but it may be Fazul, and the military believes the strike was successful. At least eight were reported killed and six more are reported to be trapped inside the rubble of the safe house.

This is the fourth known US-led airstrike against al Qaeda operatives in Somalia since the Ethiopian operation to drive the Islamic Courts from power was launched in late December 2006.

The US targeted Fazul Abdullah Mohammad, Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, and Abu Tala al Sudani during the early 2007 strikes. Fazul was again targeted in June 2007. They are believed to be sheltering in Somalia, and one or more of them may have been the target of today's strike.

Fazul is al Qaeda's operations chief responsible for planning the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, as well as the 2002 car bombing attack in Kenya and missile attack on an Israeli airliner.

He needs to go.

The Hunters Are Now the Hunted

The word out on the Marines is that big game hunters are now providing training for Marines sent to Iraq.

Combat Hunter is the name of the program begun at Camp Pendleton which is now being rolled out nationwide. The program is designed to help Marines more keenly become aware of their senses and instincts while stalking and killing insurgents. The Marines are trained to be better observers while accumulating meticulous knowledge of their foes' habits.

This is a primal skill that with the enormous growth of technology in warfighting we may have lost.

On the one hand, the Marines are simply being re-trained to recognize our animal nature. We are animals, even if we are not nothing but animals. And two, they are trained killers anyway so they are no more likely to be a problem adjusting to normal live upon their return. These are two concerns that have been expressed but I believe them to be misplaced.

Although I may share concerns about an erosion of liberty, which I do, I don't see how developing a more lethal military to eliminate our enemies, is a problem.

Furthermore, viewing an enemy, as an animal as we are ourselves, does not lessen the humanity of any Marine. In response to this story, "Anonymous Hollywoood Blacklist Dodger" stated: "Finally an admission from an official goverment agency (the Marines) that we are in fact, bipedal, semi-domesticated, mostly hairless primates." Now, that's funny.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Friedman Tells Insurgents to "Suck On This"

Thomas Friedman, of "Flat World" fame, is interviewed by Charlie Rose while relating the "bubbles" of the '90s to his thoughts on whether it was worth it to get involved in Iraq.

U.S. Combat Deaths Decrease

Graphic source: Photo: Danfung Dennis/WPN.

Any casualties are regrettable but what can be stated positively is that U.S. casualties dropped last month.

The official U.S. troop death count in Iraq stands at 29, the third-lowest monthly casualty toll for the U.S. military since the American-led invasion in 2003. The count includes 3 non-combat deaths.

40 were killed in January, a year ago the count was 81. There has been a dramatic decrease in American troop deaths.

Although various criteria measuring violence confirms that there has been a downturn, Iraqi casualties increased which no doubt reflects the greater role that Iraqis are playing in reconstruction.

The three key factors which are widely credited with reducing violence in Iraq over the past six months are: an increase in U.S. troop levels; a cease-fire by radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia; and the decision by tens of thousands of Sunni fighters to accept U.S. funding and turn against al-Qaida in Iraq.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

U.S. Rolls in Mosul

U.S. and Iraqi security forces are removing al Qaeda in Iraq from its last urban stronghold in Mosul. Multinational Forces Iraq killed two senior Saudi al Qaeda operatives there. The two, Abu Yasir al Saudi, and Hamdan, were eliminated during a helicopter strike.

Abu Yasir al Saudi was al Qaeda in Iraq’s emir, or leader, of southeastern Mosul. Hamdan was a close associate of Yasir who helped foreign terrorists enter Mosul and led a regional anti-aircraft ring.

142 al Qaeda leaders and operatives have been killed or captured in Mosul since January in this last urban outpost of AQ.

In what is surely a harbinger of disaster for Saudi Arabia, and more importantly for the U.S. unless we cut our ties with the oppressive regime, Saudi nationals make up the largest element of the foreign al Qaeda fighters. Based on documentation found last October, 41% of foreign fighters were from Saudi Arabia. Libyan nationals accounted for the second largest group entering Iraq with about 19% of the total, followed by Syrians and Yemenis each at 8%, Algerians with 7% and Moroccans at 6%.

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Reading since summer 2006 (some of the classics are re-reads): including magazine subscriptions

  • Abbot, Edwin A., Flatland;
  • Accelerate: Technology Driving Business Performance;
  • ACM Queue: Architecting Tomorrow's Computing;
  • Adkins, Lesley and Roy A. Adkins, Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome;
  • Ali, Ayaan Hirsi, Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations;
  • Ali, Tariq, The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads, and Modernity;
  • Allawi, Ali A., The Crisis of Islamic Civilization;
  • Alperovitz, Gar, The Decision To Use the Atomic Bomb;
  • American School & University: Shaping Facilities & Business Decisions;
  • Angelich, Jane, What's a Mother (in-Law) to Do?: 5 Essential Steps to Building a Loving Relationship with Your Son's New Wife;
  • Arad, Yitzchak, In the Shadow of the Red Banner: Soviet Jews in the War Against Nazi Germany;
  • Aristotle, Athenian Constitution. Eudemian Ethics. Virtues and Vices. (Loeb Classical Library No. 285);
  • Aristotle, Metaphysics: Books X-XIV, Oeconomica, Magna Moralia (The Loeb classical library);
  • Armstrong, Karen, A History of God;
  • Arrian: Anabasis of Alexander, Books I-IV (Loeb Classical Library No. 236);
  • Atkinson, Rick, The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (Liberation Trilogy);
  • Auletta, Ken, Googled: The End of the World As We Know It;
  • Austen, Jane, Pride and Prejudice;
  • Bacevich, Andrew, The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism;
  • Baker, James A. III, and Lee H. Hamilton, The Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward - A New Approach;
  • Barber, Benjamin R., Jihad vs. McWorld: Terrorism's Challenge to Democracy;
  • Barnett, Thomas P.M., Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating;
  • Barnett, Thomas P.M., The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century;
  • Barron, Robert, Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith;
  • Baseline: Where Leadership Meets Technology;
  • Baur, Michael, Bauer, Stephen, eds., The Beatles and Philosophy;
  • Beard, Charles Austin, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States (Sony Reader);
  • Benjamin, Daniel & Steven Simon, The Age of Sacred Terror: Radical Islam's War Against America;
  • Bergen, Peter, The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda's Leader;
  • Berman, Paul, Terror and Liberalism;
  • Berman, Paul, The Flight of the Intellectuals: The Controversy Over Islamism and the Press;
  • Better Software: The Print Companion to;
  • Bleyer, Kevin, Me the People: One Man's Selfless Quest to Rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America;
  • Boardman, Griffin, and Murray, The Oxford Illustrated History of the Roman World;
  • Bracken, Paul, The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics;
  • Bradley, James, with Ron Powers, Flags of Our Fathers;
  • Bronte, Charlotte, Jane Eyre;
  • Bronte, Emily, Wuthering Heights;
  • Brown, Ashley, War in Peace Volume 10 1974-1984: The Marshall Cavendish Encyclopedia of Postwar Conflict;
  • Brown, Ashley, War in Peace Volume 8 The Marshall Cavendish Illustrated Encyclopedia of Postwar Conflict;
  • Brown, Nathan J., When Victory Is Not an Option: Islamist Movements in Arab Politics;
  • Bryce, Robert, Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of "Energy Independence";
  • Bush, George W., Decision Points;
  • Bzdek, Vincent, The Kennedy Legacy: Jack, Bobby and Ted and a Family Dream Fulfilled;
  • Cahill, Thomas, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter;
  • Campus Facility Maintenance: Promoting a Healthy & Productive Learning Environment;
  • Campus Technology: Empowering the World of Higher Education;
  • Certification: Tools and Techniques for the IT Professional;
  • Channel Advisor: Business Insights for Solution Providers;
  • Chariton, Callirhoe (Loeb Classical Library);
  • Chief Learning Officer: Solutions for Enterprise Productivity;
  • Christ, Karl, The Romans: An Introduction to Their History and Civilization;
  • Cicero, De Senectute;
  • Cicero, The Republic, The Laws;
  • Cicero, The Verrine Orations I: Against Caecilius. Against Verres, Part I; Part II, Book 1 (Loeb Classical Library);
  • Cicero, The Verrine Orations I: Against Caecilius. Against Verres, Part I; Part II, Book 2 (Loeb Classical Library);
  • CIO Decisions: Aligning I.T. and Business in the MidMarket Enterprise;
  • CIO Insight: Best Practices for IT Business Leaders;
  • CIO: Business Technology Leadership;
  • Clay, Lucius Du Bignon, Decision in Germany;
  • Cohen, William S., Dragon Fire;
  • Colacello, Bob, Ronnie and Nancy: Their Path to the White House, 1911 to 1980;
  • Coll, Steve, The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century;
  • Collins, Francis S., The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief ;
  • Colorni, Angelo, Israel for Beginners: A Field Guide for Encountering the Israelis in Their Natural Habitat;
  • Compliance & Technology;
  • Computerworld: The Voice of IT Management;
  • Connolly, Peter & Hazel Dodge, The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens & Rome;
  • Conti, Greg, Googling Security: How Much Does Google Know About You?;
  • Converge: Strategy and Leadership for Technology in Education;
  • Cowan, Ross, Roman Legionary 58 BC - AD 69;
  • Cowell, F. R., Life in Ancient Rome;
  • Creel, Richard, Religion and Doubt: Toward a Faith of Your Own;
  • Cross, Robin, General Editor, The Encyclopedia of Warfare: The Changing Nature of Warfare from Prehistory to Modern-day Armed Conflicts;
  • CSO: The Resource for Security Executives:
  • Cummins, Joseph, History's Greatest Wars: The Epic Conflicts that Shaped the Modern World;
  • D'Amato, Raffaele, Imperial Roman Naval Forces 31 BC-AD 500;
  • Dallek, Robert, An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy 1917-1963;
  • Daly, Dennis, Sophocles' Ajax;
  • Dando-Collins, Stephen, Caesar's Legion: The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar's Elite Tenth Legion and the Armies of Rome;
  • Darwish, Nonie, Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror;
  • Davis Hanson, Victor, Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome;
  • Dawkins, Richard, The Blind Watchmaker;
  • Dawkins, Richard, The God Delusion;
  • Dawkins, Richard, The Selfish Gene;
  • de Blij, Harm, Why Geography Matters: Three Challenges Facing America, Climate Change, The Rise of China, and Global Terrorism;
  • Defense Systems: Information Technology and Net-Centric Warfare;
  • Defense Systems: Strategic Intelligence for Info Centric Operations;
  • Defense Tech Briefs: Engineering Solutions for Military and Aerospace;
  • Dennett, Daniel C., Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon;
  • Dennett, Daniel C., Consciousness Explained;
  • Dennett, Daniel C., Darwin's Dangerous Idea;
  • Devries, Kelly, et. al., Battles of the Ancient World 1285 BC - AD 451 : From Kadesh to Catalaunian Field;
  • Dickens, Charles, Great Expectations;
  • Digital Communities: Building Twenty-First Century Communities;
  • Doctorow, E.L., Homer & Langley;
  • Dodds, E. R., The Greeks and the Irrational;
  • Dostoevsky, Fyodor, The House of the Dead (Google Books, Sony e-Reader);
  • Dostoevsky, Fyodor, The Idiot;
  • Douglass, Elisha P., Rebels and Democrats: The Struggle for Equal Political Rights and Majority Role During the American Revolution;
  • Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan, The Hound of the Baskervilles & The Valley of Fear;
  • Dr. Dobb's Journal: The World of Software Development;
  • Drug Discovery News: Discovery/Development/Diagnostics/Delivery;
  • DT: Defense Technology International;
  • Dunbar, Richard, Alcatraz;
  • Education Channel Partner: News, Trends, and Analysis for K-20 Sales Professionals;
  • Edwards, Aton, Preparedness Now!;
  • EGM: Electronic Gaming Monthly, the No. 1 Videogame Magazine;
  • Ehrman, Bart D., Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scriptures and the Faiths We Never Knew;
  • Ehrman, Bart D., Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why;
  • Electronic Engineering Times: The Industry Newsweekly for the Creators of Technology;
  • Ellis, Joseph J., American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson;
  • Ellis, Joseph J., His Excellency: George Washington;
  • Emergency Management: Strategy & Leadership in Critical Times;
  • Emerson, Steven, American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us;
  • Erlewine, Robert, Monotheism and Tolerance: Recovering a Religion of Reason (Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion);
  • ESD: Embedded Systems Design;
  • Everitt, Anthony, Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor;
  • Everitt, Anthony, Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician;
  • eWeek: The Enterprise Newsweekly;
  • Federal Computer Week: Powering the Business of Government;
  • Ferguson, Niall, Civilization: The West and the Rest;
  • Ferguson, Niall, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power;
  • Ferguson, Niall, The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000;
  • Ferguson, Niall, The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Decline of the West;
  • Feuerbach, Ludwig, The Essence of Christianity (Sony eReader);
  • Fields, Nic, The Roman Army of the Principate 27 BC-AD 117;
  • Fields, Nic, The Roman Army of the Punic Wars 264-146 BC;
  • Fields, Nic, The Roman Army: the Civil Wars 88-31 BC;
  • Finkel, Caroline, Osman's Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire;
  • Fisk, Robert, The Great War For Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East;
  • Forstchen, William R., One Second After;
  • Fox, Robin Lane, The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian;
  • Frazer, James George, The Golden Bough (Volume 3): A Study in Magic and Religion (Sony eReader);
  • Freeh, Louis J., My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton, and Fighting the War on Terror;
  • Freeman, Charles, The Greek Achievement: The Foundations of the Western World;
  • Friedman, Thomas L. The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century Further Updated and Expanded/Release 3.0;
  • Friedman, Thomas L., The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization;
  • Frontinus: Stratagems. Aqueducts of Rome. (Loeb Classical Library No. 174);
  • Fuller Focus: Fuller Theological Seminary;
  • Fuller, Graham E., A World Without Islam;
  • Gaubatz, P. David and Paul Sperry, Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America;
  • Ghattas, Kim, The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power;
  • Gibson, William, Neuromancer;
  • Gilmour, Michael J., Gods and Guitars: Seeking the Sacred in Post-1960s Popular Music;
  • Global Services: Strategies for Sourcing People, Processes, and Technologies;
  • Glucklich, Ariel, Dying for Heaven: Holy Pleasure and Suicide Bombers-Why the Best Qualities of Religion Are Also It's Most Dangerous;
  • Goldberg, Jonah, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning;
  • Goldin, Shmuel, Unlocking the Torah Text Vayikra (Leviticus);
  • Goldsworthy, Adrian, Caesar: Life of a Colossus;
  • Goldsworthy, Adrian, How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower;
  • Goodman, Lenn E., Creation and Evolution;
  • Goodwin, Doris Kearns, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln;
  • Gopp, Amy,, Split Ticket: Independent Faith in a Time of Partisan Politics (WTF: Where's the Faith?);
  • Gordon, Michael R., and Bernard E. Trainor, Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq;
  • Government Health IT: The Magazine of Public/private Health Care Convergence;
  • Government Technology's Emergency Management: Strategy & Leadership in Critical Times;
  • Government Technology: Solutions for State and Local Government in the Information Age;
  • Grant , Michael, The Climax of Rome: The Final Achievements of the Ancient World, AD 161 - 337;
  • Grant, Michael, The Classical Greeks;
  • Grumberg, Orna, and Helmut Veith, 25 Years of Model Checking: History, Achievements, Perspectives;
  • Halberstam, David, War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton, and the Generals;
  • Hammer, Reuven, Entering Torah Prefaces to the Weekly Torah Portion;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, An Autumn of War: What America Learned from September 11 and the War on Terrorism;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, Between War and Peace: Lessons from Afghanistan to Iraq;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, How The Obama Administration Threatens Our National Security (Encounter Broadsides);
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, Ripples of Battle: How Wars of the Past Still Determine How We Fight, How We Live, and How We Think;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, The End of Sparta: A Novel;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, The Soul of Battle: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, How Three Great Liberators Vanquished Tyranny;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, Wars of the Ancient Greeks;
  • Harnack, Adolf Von, History of Dogma, Volume 3 (Sony Reader);
  • Harris, Alex, Reputation At Risk: Reputation Report;
  • Harris, Sam, Letter to a Christian Nation;
  • Harris, Sam, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason;
  • Hayek, F. A., The Road to Serfdom;
  • Heilbroner, Robert L., and Lester Thurow, Economics Explained: Everything You Need to Know About How the Economy Works and Where It's Going;
  • Hempel, Sandra, The Strange Case of The Broad Street Pump: John Snow and the Mystery of Cholera;
  • Hinnells, John R., A Handbook of Ancient Religions;
  • Hitchens, Christopher, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything;
  • Hogg, Ian V., The Encyclopedia of Weaponry: The Development of Weaponry from Prehistory to 21st Century Warfare;
  • Hugo, Victor, The Hunchback of Notre Dame;
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