why can’t this man just die?

It’s generally poor form and not beneficial to your soul and the future of the human race to wish an early expiration date upon your fellow man.  But some people are so far over the line I really don’t have a problem with it.  I thus give you the ongoing saga of how serial child slave trafficker, rapist, lunatic, murderer, Dallas Cowboys fan, and apocalyptic fanatic Abubakar Shekau is somehow still alive?  Why can’t this man just die?

For those of you who believe in conspiracy theories or conspiracy theory movies or that only fifteen families are pulling the levers of planetary power, I give you this guy.  We’re so screwed up we can’t even find and kill one single guy who really, really, really deserves it.  This is how I know that if the CIA ever teamed up with Walmart and the Illuminati to put chips into all our coffee so they could get into our brains, the plot would quickly fall apart after one of the monk bagman rear ended a street cop while texting in the rain to his boss about how he left the evil plans USB drive (unencrypted) in the changing stall at the Sears while he was buying new monk-solid-white-high-top sneakers.

I mean I get it, without credit cards, smartphone chips, a desire to drink quality beer, or any plans for the future you can fall off the grid real fast.  But you’d think that eventually we’d be able to buy off one of his buddies or spot him with a drone while he’s sitting inside his 1974 Buick Skylark outside the elementary school trying to kidnap another busload full of young girls.

You know I’ve said it many times, but there’s still something to be said about solving problems with a sledgehammer up front rather than allowing things to fester.  What if the UN had put 100K troops on the ground for a month to comb Boko Haram’s jungle paradise?  They could have stayed for a month, then left the Nigerian Army (what of it actually exists) in charge once the problem was temporarily solved and hope it somehow all worked out.  Then Abubakar Shekau and all his evil buddies would have been dead, and thus not had the ability to kidnap thousands of young boys and girls to serve as child soldiers and sex slaves.  That would have been a decade ago.  He’s still here.  Great.  But hey, at least we’ve got Twitter hashtags, so whatever, we’re good.

In the meantime, I read a few weeks ago that all the fighting has basically triggered a local famine because Boko Haram hasn’t allowed a decent crop harvest in three years.  Awesome.  Check that into the Earth win column, please.  I’m sure this issue came up last night (I kept my word and didn’t watch) as Trump and Clinton traded skilled barbs about which one has an older weathered face under $1247 of television makeup.

Uh, I need to calm down and quietly drink my coffee, I think.  I’m too cynical in my cubicle.  But at least I’m leaving this job soon.  Oh yeah, for those who have been around this degenerate blog for a long time, I’m changing jobs.  Hopefully the new one I won’t hate as much as I do this one.  But either way, in the meantime?  Abubakar Shekau, kind Sir, please just die.

Abubakar Shekau.jpg

Seriously, just fucking die.

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It’s time for a new cause, and the applicable follow-up

We’re rather not surprised, or happy, that we called this from the start:

http://www.vox.com/2014/6/24/5837836/forgetting-nigerias-girls

So now that this pet cause has failed, perhaps we can get more support for our solution/pet cause, which was strangely not adopted by the world establishment: 

https://arcturusproject.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/want-to-keep-schoolgirls-safe-shoot-them-in-the-head/

bringbackourgirlstrend

Not an effective means to bring about change

Want to keep schoolgirls safe? Shoot them in the head.

We all want girls everywhere to receive extensive education. The problem is some men (not real men) are in the business of ending girl’s education because they want to live in the year 300. If you’re reading this blog, you probably think this is a bad idea. And so you desire a fair and equitable solution to ensure girls everywhere get what’s their right. Well, here’s your answer:

Shoot them in the head.

Either those men (not real men). Or the girls. Your choice. You have to pick one. Sorry.

Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban for the unconscionable crime of promoting literacy. She now tours the world advancing this cause. She’s got more balls than 95% of the male politicians in Pakistan. But unfortunately, what she’s doing barely matters.

There are millions of girls in Pakistan that wake up every day with the reality that their school could end before sundown. Yousafzai is an international star, but the Pakistani Taliban remains. The situation is the same across the border in Afghanistan. A resilient Taliban has among its broad goals a return to their enlightened days where learning how to conduct basic math was an insult to their honor (not real honor).

And in keeping with these delightful themes is Boko Haram. They have an equally emphatic goal to burn down schools and eliminate knowledge. It’s even their name. Like Yousafzai, the abducted girls of Nigeria are now a global cause. Like Yousafzai, nothing substantial is going to come from it.

The various Taliban factions, Boko Haram, and so on, all have one thing in common. They are all lunatics. You can negotiate with them all you want, but they’re not going to change their minds. When a belligerent psychopath produces a moral and physical threat to your values, and is beyond reason, you’re left with two options:

a) Ignore them

b) Shoot them in the head

For years, the world chose option (a) with regards to Boko Haram. Despite all the noise of the last week, I assure you, the planet is still choosing option (a). Want to save these girls? Don’t login to a computer program unless you’re prepared to advocate for option (b). Want to support Yousafzai’s cause? Lobby for option (b).

You hate the idea of Western “boots on the ground”. You despise war. You are the first to shout at the West when it throws its weight around in the world like a “bully”. You wouldn’t pay $4 a year in extra taxes if it meant funding a UN force in Nigeria. But you’ll get onto Twitter and tweet your support for the girls all day. Sorry, you can’t have it both ways.

If you do not choose option (b), you are accepting that you don’t really care. In this case, don’t bother speaking your mind about “your girls”. You’re just a hypocrite who likes to support causes for a while. Until you don’t care anymore, or move onto the next trendy cause that has your support for exactly twelve calendar days.

1) Push your local representative to get a UN or AU force on the ground in northeastern Nigeria. Then push for them to establish an international offensive force to comb the bush until every Boko Haram zealot is shot in the face.

2) Push your local representative to keep a small Western footprint in Afghanistan. Then push for them to make sure that Western footprint enables the Afghani security forces to comb the mountains until every Taliban is shot in the face.

3) Push your local representative to pressure Pakistan to mount offensives into Yousafzai’s homeland until every Pakistani Taliban is shot in the face.

Or, do nothing. Or, don’t care. Or, login to a social media program and generate a bunch of pointless words or hashtags. Any of these will result in more girls getting abducted or shot in the head.

Your call.

girl-school_full_600

Afghanistan circa 2012; a man with a gun will either burn down this school or another man with a gun will keep it safe

#shootevilmenintheface

Now that you’re paying attention, you can learn they’re all doomed

I’m starting to believe there is no such thing as real breaking news anymore. Instead, we are treated to old themes that the media usually ignores, but then makes new when they bother to cover. In raising these issues, the goal is to grab your brains long enough for them to acquire cash via the grasp of your eyes.

When they’re done with you, the crisis will remain, but the media doesn’t care because at that point they’ll move onto the next catastrophe and hope to catch you with that. In the meantime, the world burns on.

We’ve blogged a few times on Nigeria and Boko Haram, so I’m not going to rehash the background. If you know anything about this situation your initial reaction was probably along the lines of:

“Why is this a surprise to anybody?”

While the majority of the planet was at the mall, Boko Haram has been brutally executing young girls and boys for years. It’s just that this time they’ve decided to kidnap girls from a school instead of taking them onto the playground and shooting them in the head.

I don’t understand the new mass hysteria from either the planet or a Nigerian people who’ve suddenly decided to take to the streets in protest. It’s okay to overlook when Boko Haram burns children alive, but now that they’re in the mass kidnapping business we need to do something? Nothing about that line of thinking makes sense.

Oh, the Nigerian Army needs reform? It’s been that way since 1963. Get in line. Oh, the Nigerian government is a structured kleptocracy that is unresponsive to the needs of the people, even for the most basic of security needs? Where have you people been for four decades? Oh, at the mall, right. Sorry.

When you make it a point to disregard a problem? Don’t come back later when something ‘dramatic’ happens and then shout your outrage that the evil exists.

I’m calling this right now. How can I do that? I’m not a genius, I’m an idiot, but I just read things. At least you’re reading this. Your neighbor probably reads nothing.

a) The Nigerian Army and government are incapable of rescuing these girls

b) Negotiation is the only option

c) But Boko Haram is run by psychopaths who won’t negotiate

d) Even the most precise, expensive surveillance assets offered by the West will not locate these girls

e) If it takes France years just to find one abductee in this lawless, limitless ground, what chance do we have with hundreds of girls?

They’re doomed, friends. Life is shit. These girls have just had their lives destroyed. I recommend you either get over it, or start paying attention on a routine basis. Only when we as a planet make it a point to watch en masse will we be able to determine what we’re going to do to ensure this never happens again.

Because you know what? Next week you won’t hear a word about these girls on the news. The majority of them will still be alive, abducted, and in turmoil. But you won’t see them on the screen, because the world will have moved on. I invite you to not forget. Make it a point to stay informed. Either that, or go back to not caring. Whatever your conscience is comfortable with.

criminal evil dude

The fact that this man is smiling, tells you all you need to know about how he views our modern world and its desire to stop him

The world marches on

We spend a great deal of time destroying humanity with our delightfully, brilliant (cynical, asinine) nature. But in the end, people can really shape their future and determine their fate with nothing more than the very best trait we have as a race: the complete inability to ever substantially give up on anything, no matter how bad it gets. We’re not doomed until we accept it as inevitable. For now, we’re battling on.

Nigeria is now Africa’s largest economy. In a country so corrupt you can’t buy a bottle of water without bribing a government official the public has made it happen. Don’t believe the folks who will say it’s only about the oil. South Africa’s number one status was also buttressed by minerals. Certainly the oil helps, and is a large percentage of this, but the heart of Lagos is not just petroleum fueled towers. It’s a flourishing commercial and cultural center. Yes, South Africa’s per capita income is still many times larger than Nigeria’s, so in a sense this status is worthless. But these things matter to a country. This is legitimate and well earned.

Your government is corrupt, your allies hate you and are leaving, your enemies want to take you back to the year 300, and so when you’re asked to vote what do you do? Well, if you’re an Afghan citizen the answer is you vote. You make a statement to the world that you want a brighter future and that you’re prepared to trust democracy to deliver it for you. Based upon the results of past elections, any rational human has no reason to expect this election will deliver the promise of a brighter future. And yet there they are. Defiant, hopeful, and brave. It’s awesome to see and one hopes this time the result is different.

bravemen

“Dear Taliban, Fuck you. Signed, Free Citizens of Afghanistan”

Nigeria’s not going to make it

This post fulfills a promise I made to my military advisory council of ghosts a few weeks back.  So I guess we’re in quite the pessimistic mood lately.  We destroyed Israel a few days ago, now we’ll move on to Nigeria.

1) You can rob a country until it dies

The world’s greatest thieves don’t live in London or work on Wall Street.  They reside in mansions outside Lagos and Abuja.  Every year they steal more from one of the world’s poorest nations than bankers pilfer from the richest.  They siphon off billions each month.  Everybody knows they’re doing it.  Everybody knows who’s doing it.  Everybody knows they’re getting away with it.  The greatest mark of a successful crook is when you can rob at will and never get punished.  You can count the number of people convicted and jailed for capital corruption in Nigeria on one hand.

The breadth of corruption in Nigeria is hard to describe.  It’s beyond comprehension how vast and ingrained the evil is within the state and business community.  Generally people want to believe that folks will do the right thing.  How does this work when corruption is not part of the system, but is the system.  As currently configured, Nigeria’s government is not in place to govern, but to plunder.  It serves no other reasonable purpose.  Just ask your Nigerian neighbor who pays bribes, has no reliable electricity supply, is not safe, and drives over terrible roads.  What little filters down to the people is to appease them just enough so the government can continue to extract cash.  This trait is common within many countries but in Nigeria they’ve got it to an art.

Oil is often blamed for both creating and greasing this structure.  Yet oil is just the method, not the source, or the end.  Without oil this would still occur, the bandits would just be poorer.  So why do they get away with it?  They are in complete control.  In many nations those who govern and those who carry guns are two different aspects of the elite.  This causes competition and strife.  Nigeria’s gun carriers and pen pushers are the same people.  They work together to keep it going.  They compete with each other to reach and maintain their positions at the top, but are very good at understanding that you can’t push too hard against one another.  Push too hard and you overturn the table.  And everybody wants to sit at the table.

Why do the people put up with it?  There are no people of Nigeria.

2) You weren’t meant to be

Nigeria’s army, government, and elite are local but also essentially national.  The people of Nigeria are local only.  This country does not exist.  Its borders were drawn by colonials who had an understanding of what they were doing, but did not care.  Independence made the problem worse.  Even the British were smart enough to realize they had to keep the north and south separate.  Pulled together, they make no sense as one country.  Some African nations must deal with dozens of disparate ethnic groups to make one people.  Nigeria has hundreds.

The elite prey upon this division.  To some people, they are the champions of their tribes and ethnic kin.  When your head man has a seat at the table, he can funnel what little cash the people get to your people.  If you desire to speak up, fight the power, the elite don’t have to tear gas you.  Your neighbors will take care of that for them.  Why are you ruining things?  Without our man at the table, we’ll all be poorer.

Occasionally it becomes too much.  The thievery, poverty, and desperation boils ever as in the Delta States.  Not a problem, for the very few times where people actually take up arms there is one of Africa’s largest armies to assist.  The sons of hundreds of tribes against a few that don’t know enough to play the game.  If killing them doesn’t work, try and buy them off.  Just get them to calm down so the robbery can resume.  You don’t need to please people, or even get them to obey, you just need them to do nothing.

On the horizon, a hint of what might be.  In Lagos or Abuja where everybody is mixed together you could get there.  Where were you born, friend?  In Lagos, Nigeria.  What tribe, friend?  What do you mean?  My grandfather was born in Lagos too.  Except that this isn’t going to work either.  A united Lagos or Abuja alone cannot overturn a system so widespread.  The country is too big and complicated, even for a city the size of Lagos.  In a construct of 36 states, Lagos is one.  Lagos has a lot of people, but only 5-10% of the country’s population.  Lagos dominates the economy, but economic power is irrelevant to change when the genesis of the arrangement is not growth but the removal of wealth.

And how can a united Nigerian people in Lagos fix the country, when they’re fighting for their own survival.

delta

3) You can’t take care of yourself

One day, the largest city by population on the planet will be Lagos.  In most aspects it is already the economic and cultural engine of the continent as a whole.  If you want to see the picture of Africa’s bright future, spend a week in Lagos.  Observe the energy, the speed, the intensity; millions of people grinding their way forward.  If you’re here, you can do anything.  You can make it.

But most aren’t going to make it.  Depending on your view of the planet, you could call Lagos a slum before a city.  When this urban entity is the largest on the planet the majority will likely live in it without running water, functioning sewers, reliable electricity, or effective government.  The planet has never seen anything like it.  Even the worst caldrons in the world today cannot compare with what’s coming.  It is common in science fiction to portray the apocalypse and armageddon right before our eyes.  Where the very richest perfect specimens of humanity live within eyesight of folks still caught in the year 300.  This vision will reach its truest form in Lagos, and probably several other cities worldwide by 2090.

Even the purest government on Earth is incapable of solving these problems.  Surely one of the world’s worst will flail at the challenges this reality will produce.  Corruption is an awful thing, but when you don’t know where your next drink of clean water is coming from, you’re not ready to take a tear gas salvo.  You apparently live in a country called Nigeria, but couldn’t care less when your defecating in a plastic bucket.  You’re part of a bright future, but on your way there, you’ll pay two bribes, risk a mugging, car accident, or fatal disease all before you reach your first hour of dreary, toiling work.  If you’re lucky to have a job at all.

This is insanity, the human condition made outside knowledge.  And where madness reigns, so lunacy is born.

lagos

4) If you can’t beat these guys, you’re finished

How many dedicated individuals does it take to ruin a country of 200 million?  When you’re as fragile as Nigeria the answer is ten-thousand.  Nobody knows how many militants serve Boko Haram and its more radical affiliates like Ansaru.  I’m just going to guess ten-thousand, although I’m sure the number is far lower.  All that I’ve described as the future of much of Lagos is already present in the north.  Once the world’s richest economic zone, it is now reduced to decay and desperation by a crippled Saharan trade and a collapsed textile industry.

And so born from this sad story is a group capable of executing children on a regular basis.  Even worse is it’s done without a purpose.  There appear no reasonable goals from Boko Haram or Ansaru.  They are different from the Delta States militias in that they want nothing from the state.  Claims for an Islamic future or overturning the existing order are not realistic or achievable.  If a million in Lagos could not destroy the state, what chance do the ten-thousand have?  None, and they don’t care.  What have they got to lose?  What great life awaits them if they come in off the battlefield?

And pitted against them is what was once considered the largest and best trained army in Africa.  Except that it no longer exists, if it ever did.  You cannot ask a burglar with a gun to become a soldier with a gun overnight.  Any halfway competent army can defend schools, whole towns, the very life of its country.  This army can’t.  Boko Haram is not brutalizing the population with advanced weaponry or the backing of a world power.  They conduct their work up close and personal with light firearms, blades, and flame.

Like many times in human history, cruel, never-ending violence shall expose in the most glaring way what actually exists.  The state cannot protect let alone serve the people.  Nigeria cannot defeat Boko Haram because this government, this leadership, is incapable of it.  It is not who they are.  It is not the organism they built.  And of course, worst of all, they don’t care either.  Boko Haram is up there.  We’re down here behind mansion walls.

Thus it’ll go on.  It’s not going to stop.  Any part of it all.

boko

5) It adds up

So how does this end?  With the collapse of the country?  Shall Nigeria divide into dozens of small nations?  No actually, the country will survive.  It’s not going to come apart.  It will endure.  Maybe even slowly improve.  We’re only human, sometimes it’s all just too much.  We cannot function, but quitting is not our way.  We have to try, we have to try because mass suicide or dejection isn’t in us.  Nigeria’s not going to make it.  But they’re certainly going to try.

Perhaps the most tragic fact is that given all these circumstances, Nigeria still won’t be destroyed.  If obliterated, it could at least be rebuilt better.  Nigeria’s not going to make it.  But it will go on.  And I will pray that I am wrong.  So very wrong.

lagos sunset

Setting or rising?