Erdogan’s Game

Billboards the day after the failed Turkish coup– “rule by the people” has been changed to “rule by Allah”.

Its astonishing to me the amount of study lavished on failed western attempts to interpret the Mysterious East (yes, I’m studying Said’s Orientalism).  But a lot of Said’s carefully crafted analysis is wholly applicable to 21st century problems.  For example– the West was gobsmacked to find out the Arab Spring wasn’t really about embracing secular democracy, but more of a muslim revolution embracing representative theocracy.  So I guess I should have been expecting all the Erdogan hatred boiling up across the web– another rejection lol!

Does anyone actually think Erdogan’s plan was to nurture secular democracy in the wake of an assassination attempt and a failed coup?  Secular democracy doesn’t even work well in the richest country in the world.   I am going to offer a simpler and more straight forward explanation of Erdogan’s actions– using game theory and evolutionary theory of culture.  Erdogan’s strategy here is devoted to a single goal– avoiding the Morsi treatment– where a democratically elected president was overthrown by a military dictator who was subsequently unconditionally embraced by all western “pro-democratic” leaders.

In a parliamentary system its quite difficult to degrade the Nash equilibrium into a two-person zerosum game.  But surely Erdogan has been watching the US closely, where the elegant Nash equilibrium the Founders set up has devolved into Sinner v Sinner Tit for Tat, because the republicans began playing 2person-zerosum when Obama was elected.  The advantage to Erdogan of switching to a presidential system is not just consolidating power– a presidential system forces a two party system.  This is what fundamentalists do (Boyer 2001)– burn the middle ground and force moderates to choose a camp.  In Turkey Erdogan’s AKIP will become one of the two–  the secular kemalists will be forced to ally with kurdish separatists and PKK linked “terrorists”.   The turkish military and police have been trained to view the PKK as the major cause of disruption of order– Erdogan is sticking the separatist kurds onto the kemalists.  (Erdogan didnt fight ISIS until he was forced to. ) And Erdogan has been stoking the fires of nationalism and patriotism in a campaign very similiar to Trumps MAGA– using historical references and past glories.

Currently AKIP is larger than the kemalist and kurdish parties combined.  Turkey is 99.3 % muslim– citizens become registered muslims at birth.  The failed coup empowered Erdogan to purge gulenists from executive branch, military, judiciary, and academe.  And then there’s the 2 million syrian (mostly sunni) refugee problem.  Dont look for Erdogan to lose power anytime soon.

I wish Edward Said and Scott Atran could have had long discussions instead of Said and Hitchens.  Surely science is a much better way to get around Orientalism.  And we need to figure it out pretty quickly– muslims are about to be one quarter of the global population.  Its not possible to destroy an idea with bombs, and majority muslim states will inevitably have some form of representative islamic government.  Like Dr. Atran says here:

So which do you prefer?  Erdogan or Baghdadi?

Flash Terror and Emergent Leaderless Resistance

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Pulse Nightclub, aftermath of Orlando Shooting.

I first heard the term “leaderless resistance” in an Edward Snowden tweet which was immediately disputed by a claim that leaderless resistance always failed.  I actually think Anonymous, OWS, 4chan and lulzsec are examples of successful leaderless resistance– not directed leaderless resistance, but emergent.  Another strong example is Palestinian found-weapon attacks.  I think Dr. Atran and I are talking about two distinct types of LR.

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Dr.Atran’s piece on Nice– “The Durability of Chaos” again falls back on Idarat al Tawahhush for explanations…this is not entirely wrong.  It is part of Nājī long game strategy to push states from “the state of vexation and exhaustion” to “the state of ripeness” with the death of a thousand cuts– bleeding the treasury and population support with endless unwinnable foreign wars and pinpoint flash terror events destabilizing the government at home.  Dr. Atran’s Paris analysis proposes the same themes– “The War ISIS Wants”.

But it is important for the American citizenry to understand that there are two broadly different types of strategic jihad– open front which is carried out in muslim lands and the covert or cellular jihad described here in Setmarian:

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The two types are independent– and designed to be carried out in parallel.  It is a mistake to propose a linkage like US is trying to do– that increased cellular jihad (lone wolf events) is caused by IS losing territory.  Hassan Hassan covers that beautifully in this article “Is the Islamic State Unstoppable”? Cellular jihad is baked into IS design which continues to adapt and evolve.  Nājī–

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I would like to propose a third type of strategic jihad– emergent leaderless resistance or “flash terror”.  This type is self-organizing so there is no digital surveillance footprint– and we can only guess at the trigger event.   It is impossible to pre-identitfy the attackers before the event.  And the trigger is not “outside inspiration”– the trigger seems to come from a RL event.  In San Bernardino the trigger appears to have been a workplace party.  In Orlando some sort of homophobic episode.  For the Tsarnevs the trigger may been just the intersection of desire and opportunity– they were planning for an attack when the Boston Marathon presented a fusion of time and place.  The actors seem to have to been preparing for some eventual terror event by stockpiling weapons and materials– and then some catalyst triggers the act.  Flash terror also seems to inform non-islamic events– Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora theater shootings, Colorado Springs abortion clinic, Umqua Community College, Dylan Roof, Munich MacDonalds.  Palestinian knife attacks/car attacks.  The common denominator is spontaneity– emergence.  I would also include the two recent cop killings in Dallas and Baton Rouge.  Interestingly both those events have multiple common traits in inspiration and execution: young black ex-military vets inspired by the Sterling and Castile murders.

These attacks are increasing even as organized jihadi-front style attacks are decreasing.  Adaptive exploitation.  And that isnt even the worst part.  Demographic shift and increasing global digital connectivity insure that incidents of flash terror will only continue to rise.  And the lone wolves or “flash terrorists” are undetectable by the Security State, whether Israel, US, Germany, Brussels or France until the event.

I do not believe jihadi front attacks are in permanent decline.  Because there is a resupply tsunami of fresh recruits coming from North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa until mid-century.  What US is doing isn’t working…IS has a long term strategy– US simply doesn’t.

A new phenomenon of flash terror is giving bayah after the attack has begun, or leaving evidence for IS to claim the attackers as a soldier of Allah.  Like Ansbach.

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Setmarian again.

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This is a global revolution.  And it has only just just begun.




Generational Warfighting and the Qualgrist Protocol

I basically learned to read by immersion in comic books and science fiction.  Not even of my own choosing– my older brothers’ cast-offs and hand-me downs.  So in the current frenzy to “understand” the genesis and evolution of the Islamic State the natural analogies my brain serves up are science fiction ones.

One of the most isomorphic is the theme of resistance modelled by Richard Morgan’s Quellist insurgents in Woken Furies.  Obama and the Western governments do understand the core problem, even if no one talks about it, preferring instead to spout chest-beating happytalk and wishful thinking.  The proximate causes of the “Arab Spring” are regional youth population demographics fueled by social media and global internet connectivity.  And regional youth population demographics are increasing over the next 50 years.

If you, dear reader, are interested in the genesis of the Islamic State please avoid the Brookings/Carnagie-Mellon flaks and grifters and instead read Dr. Scott Atran and Abdel Bari Atwan.  Dr. Atran is the cognitive anthropologist and behavioral scientist who gets invited to brief the UN on Islamic State youth recruitment, ideology, doctrine and design.  Abdel Bari Atwan is a regional arabic journalist and author whose fine book, The Digital Caliphate captures the best contemporary description of the Islamic State that I’ve read so far.

The Islamic State is a complex adaptive system and there are many environmental and historical currents that play into its global rise, but I’m going to focus on youth recruitment and population demographics and how those two forces combine to create a powerful generational fighting cadre– multidimensional in the sense that it is fixed in the past, present and future.

Morgan’s Takeshi Kovacs Universe is a place where the constraint of limited lifespan has essentially been removed by technology.  Most humans (except for religious objectors) get fitted with a cortical stack that can be infinitely repeat-decanted into genetically engineered and vat-grown “sleeves”.  As one would expect, the oligarchs are extremely old and extremely evil, not to mention massively wealthy.  On Harlan’s World there was a rebellion termed the “Unsettlement” against the rule of the First Families– and the asymmetrical warfare protocol ginned up by the Quellist Black Brigades was the most fiendish creation ever.  The Quellists took volunteers from their ranks to submit to germline engineering–to create a sort of “genetically encoded insurgency”.

“It’s a genetic weapon” she said clearly.  “In the Unsettlement there were volunteer Black Brigade cadres who had their DNA modified to carry it.  A gene-level hatred of First Family blood, pheromone-triggered.  It was cutting edge technonology out of the Drava research labs.  No one was sure if it would work, but the Black Brigades wanted a beyond-the-grave strike if we failed at Millsport.  Something that would come back, generation after generation…

Anyone carrying the modified genes has an inbuilt instinct for violence against Harlan family members.  It’s like the genetic fear of snakes you see in monkeys.  The pheromonal make-up that goes with Harlan blood triggers the urge.  After that, it’s just a matter of time and personality–in some cases the carrier will react then and there, go berserk and kill with anything at hand.  Different personality types might wait and plan it more carefully.  Some may even try to resist the urge, but it’s like sex, like competition traits.  The biology will win out in the end.”

Political commitment at the cellular level… a weapon that can never be turned off as long as there are descendents to reproduce it and spread it.  See the analogy to political Islam, to salafi-jihadism?

Abu Bakr al Iraqi inspired this post with his TL… the idea that revenge is carried down through generations.  That is the cellular level commitment– revenge/qisas/justice.  Sure, the olds will agree to geld Islam like the West wants– their attachment to dunya, their hostages to fortune, their families and material possessions… but not the youth.  And when there are 100s of millions of youth– you only need to radicalize a percentage.

Generational warfare is part of Nājī doctrine.

As for the second trap, it is to put (America’’s) armies, which occupy the region and set up military bases in it without resistance, in a state of war with the masses in the region. It is obvious at this very moment that it stirs up movements that increase the jihadi expansion and create legions among the youth who contemplate and plan for resistance,(even though) these forces had previously been present and well-established while the people slept right next to them and sensed no danger.  Likewise, it began to become clear to the American administration that it was being drained;that the ease of entry into more than one war at a time was mere speculative words suitable only for paper; and that the remoteness of the center from the peripheries had a profound effect on its ability to end the wars.  All of these results grow more serious day after day. Praise be to God for all eternity.
Every empire falls when its reach exceeds its grasp.  It is the grasp of regional youth demographics that America has lost.  It’s mindboggling to contemplate the existance of a billion youth in Africa in a mere 25 years from now.  And America has no idea how to fight generational warfare– bombing and droning certainly don’t work.  The CVE and CT programs targetting muslim youth are recognized to be abject failures.
One of the regional emergent phenomena is the recent rise of “leaderless resistance” attacks in the West Bank.  Much like the descendents of Morgan’s Black Brigades young men just wake up one morning, buy a knife and start stabbing jews or get in their car to drive to work or school and instead drive it over some jews.  This is impossible for the Israeli security state to deal with– these young men have no security risk fingerprint.  Its spontaneous and unpredictable.
Nājī postulates that half a million mujahids will accomplish the goals outlined in Management of Savage-Chaos.  In regional demographics this seems doable.  A billion unemployed youth in Africa, over half from the Sunni muslim belts of North Africa and Subsahara, certainly seems capable of providing Nājī’s youth cadres.
On the assumption that we need half a million mujahids for our long battle until it ends as we wish (by the permission of God), the possibility of adding this number from a nation of one billion people is easier than adding them from the youth of the Islamic movement who are (already) polluted by the doubts of the evil shaykhs. The youth of the nation are closer to the innate nature (of humans) on account of the rebelliousness within them, which the experiences of the past decades confirm for us.
Among Morgan’s genetically altered insurgents the environmental trigger for the enhanced genes is a commoncold style virus spread in the general population.  But the environmental trigger that switches on violent jihad is far more insidious and widespread– it is injustice acting on the natural human tendency for revenge/justice/qisas.  Any youth is a carrier for the revenge/justice/qisas complex.  It just needs to be switched on.  Like Bacon said, “Revenge is a kind of wild justice”– he recommended secular law repress it.  But how much more powerful is the idea of harnessing natural human genetic tendency in the service of Allah?