One of the popular sections found in many local newspapers in the United States, used to be the "Crime Report" or "Police Blotter" that listed the crimes and police calls during the past week.
Today, in our global world, newspaper headlines and the blogs have taken on the same persona. A laundry list of crimes seem to have crowded war and economic woes off the front pages. To illustrate that point are the following stories. John Robb, author of the book Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization, had this to say about Mexico in an interview with Danger Room, Inside the Brave New War, Part 1 » . "Groups like the Zetas are fighting a war to make Mexico ungovernable. They are taking stuff right out of the Al Qaeda in Iraq handbook. Video Executions. Beheadings. Assassination. Weakening the state. It’s the same as Iraq but in Mexico." Robbs thesis is.
That the shift from state-against-state conflicts to wars against small, ad hoc bands of like-minded insurgents will lead to a world with as many tiny armies as there are causes to fight for. Our new enemies are looking for gaps in vital systems where a small, cheap action—blowing up an oil pipeline or knocking out a power grid—will generate a huge return.
Much of the news below mirrors the scenarios that Robb predicted. The question is how the nations and people of the world unite to confront this new threat.
As we review our version of the "World Police Blotter" we begin by visiting Galrahn of Information Dissemination who writes this about the latest in confronting the pirate threat in the Horn of Africa.
His take on China being urged to join the fight.
I think that might be the smell of maturity. Just one more interesting footnote in what looks to be an evolving PLAN maritime strategy in the second part of 2008. They really are poised for a breakout into the blue next year. It will be interesting to watch, not just what they do, but how we react.
More.....PLA General: We Should Fight Pirates
And his comments on the the UN moving against piracy.
Yesterday (Dec. 2, 2008), the U.N. Security Council unanimously passed UNSCR 1846. From our perspective, the most significant aspect of this resolution is its inclusion of the Suppression of Unlawful Acts (SUA) clause. This clause, based on the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, provides an immediately available instrument for logistically effective consequence delivery applicable to 78% of the world's States (those nations who have signed the Convention).
Not to be left out the Washington Post's Peter Fromuth offers this.
Somali pirates hijack another boat -- or two or three -- every day despite the best efforts of the U.S. 5th Fleet, NATO, Russia, India and others. This is not new; pirates have been frustrating the mighty for at least 2,000 years -- since snatching Julius Caesar, then ransoming him for 50 talents, and leading Alexander the Great on a wild goose chase around the Mediterranean. As the U.N. Security Council grapples with Somali piracy, its members are in venerable company. Read the rest...Fighting Pirates - Washington Post opinion
Mumbai continues to lead with stories like the following.
President Asif Ali Zardari says his government has no concrete evidence of Pakistani involvement in the attacks, and American officials have not established a direct link to the government. But as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice landed in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, on Thursday morning, pressure was building on the government to confront the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which Indian and American officials say carried out the Mumbai attacks.
Read the whole story...Mumbai Attack Is Test of Pakistan’s Ability to Curb Militants - Jane Perlez and Somini Sengupta, New York Times
And as noted in an earlier post. Death closer to home should sweep away all concerns about pirates and Indo/Pak conflicts. My post Bloody Thanksgiving Weekend was no sooner posted when news came in that Tijuana suffered 37 murders over this past weekend.
The article by William Booth, in the Washington Post begins.
MEXICO CITY -- The death squads of the drug cartels are killing in spectacularly gruesome ways, using the violence as a language to deliver a message to society.
Increasingly, bodies show unmistakable signs of torture. Videos of executions are posted on the Internet, as taunts, as warnings. Corpses are dumped on playgrounds, with neatly printed notes beside them. And very often, the heads have been removed.
When someone rolled five heads onto the dance floor in a cantina in Michoacan state two years ago, even the most hardened Mexicans were shocked. Now ritual mutilations are routine. In the border city of Tijuana, 37 people were slain over the weekend, including four children. Nine of the adults were decapitated, including three police officers whose badges were stuffed in their mouths.
Note the same words used above, by John Robb, Video Executions. Beheadings. Assassination. Weakening the state. It’s the same as Iraq but in Mexico."