Worth a Look: Crane on Islam–Concise & Coherent

Worth A Look

Human Responsibilities and Rights in the Shari’ah: An Advanced Primer

Dr. Robert D. Crane

Ibn Qayyim wrote:  “The Islamic law is all about wisdom and achieving people’s welfare in this life and the afterlife.  It is all about justice, mercy, wisdom, and good.  Thus any ruling that replaces justice with injustice, mercy with its opposite, common good with mischief, or wisdom with nonsense, is a ruling that does not belong to the Islamic law.”

This introductory essay defines the highest level framework, akin to constitutional principles, and introduces various schools of fiqh or schools of thought (madhahib) that have been established by leading Islamic scholars or Imams, namely, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanbali, Ja’fari, and Zaidi.  Regardless of the school(s) of thought one may follow, the discussion of the universal human responsibilities and rights culminates in what is the essence of Islam, i.e., truth, love, and justice.


The classical five maqasid (al dururiyat al khamsah) or huquq (sing. haqq) of Al Ghazali in the 4th Islamic century were the protection of din (faith and religion), haya (life), mal (private property), karama (dignity and honor), and ‘ilm (mind and knowledge).  Later scholars, especially Al Shatibi, added nasl or nasab (family and community) and hurriyah (self-determination or political freedom).  Some twenty-first century scholars have added an eighth maqsad, known as haqq al mahid or respect for the physical environment.

Reference: COIN Dynamic Planning, Full Text Found

DoD, Peace Intelligence

Phi Beta Iota: The below material is a bit cluttered as it was built up over time as the individual pieces came to light.  The important point in our view is that each element of the dynamic planning model is an intelligence (decision-support) requirement, and the U.S. Intelligence Community is completely unable to address of of them in a tactical near-real-time neighborhood level of granularity such as Dr. Stephen Cambone knew in 2000 we would need.  This is why General Flynn says intelligence is not helping in Afghanistan.  95% of what we need to know to support this planning and operational campaign management model is available for open sources of information–multinational open sources of information.

Full Story Online

UPDATE:  Full Text Found

The Hairball that Stabilized Iraq: Modeling FM 3-24 by Brett Pierson, Walter Barge, and Conrad Crane

Phi Beta Iota: These guys were around long before the new handbook came into being, and chances are most of it was drawn from their earlier work.  This is righteous brilliant good stuff, and it is precisely the kind of thinking and leadership process that should go into Whole of Government Planning, Programming, and Budgeting, if we can ever get the Office of Management and Budget back in the business of “managing” to outcome and effect.

UPDATE: A single page of text has come available and the slides are now infamous after media discussion.  Below is the graphic used in the NBC report:

Original Briefing without Text

We thought we would add  a couiple of thoughts:

1)  Whole System thinking is long over-due for a renaissance.  We have a government that overseas is all fist and no brain or heart, while at home it is all lips and no brain or heart.

2)  If you think of the world as a three level chessboard, the bottom level is the Earth–natural resources and the specifics of the atmosphere, climate, and so on.  The middle level is the vast public, a power that cannot be suppressed in the long run.  The top level is the Industrial Era menage a plus of governments, corporations, and other institutions, all working on a zero-sum basis, none actually willing to share information or work from a shared Strategic Analytic Model to harmonize spending.

3)  The dynamic planning model, the Navy's global gaming, the DARPA efforts to “simulate” what everyone on the planet is thinking, all are the right idea executed in the wrong way: divorced from reality.  Creating a World Brain Institute with an embedded Global Game that absorbs all true cost information as it becomes available is the fastest possible way to “get a grip” and achieve non-zero infinite wealth.

New York Times on Colbert Adaptation
IO & Ground Truth Briefing
IO & Ground Truth Briefing

We're in the process of trying to track down the Army originator of this brief, which is both exquisitely focused and extraordinarily complex.

Below is a first cut–nothing more than an ugly concept for consideration, of what could become a generic approach to assuring our personnel going in harm's way that everything possible has been study to study, understand, and plan for every aspect of what we call Stabilization & Reconstruction Operations, what others call Occupations.

Event Report: 20 Nov 09 NYC Counterinsurgency–America’s Strategic Burden Featuring Nagl, Kilcullen, Sheehan, Bergen, Coll Among Others


COIN20 Trip Report
COIN20 Trip Report

21 November 2009

Memorandum of Transmittal by Robert David STEELE Vivas

Subject:  Counterinsurgency Conference Overview

Mr. Jason Liszkiewicz, Executive Director of the Earth Intelligence Network (EIN) and resident in NYC, attended the 20 November 2009 conference on counterinsurgency (speakers identified on page two), and provided me with the notes on pages 3-9.  Below is my own exploitation of these notes.

IGNORANT US POLICYMAKERS.  We have policymakers with crippling illusions about how the world is—worst ever—people in policy positions do not understand the problems they are making policy on—Congress is unsophisticated about Afghanistan; Washington-area decision-makers vastly misunderstand the enemy—Taliban is a super-bug  adapting super-fast.  This is NOT about Al Qaeda having a home base.  Congress lacks next of kin engaged.

CORRUPT AFGHAN OFFICIALS. Afghan government officials own 32% of the Palm Islands in Dubai—election was “industrial-strength fraud”—tsunami of cash (US, Saudi, others) drives corruption.  NOTE:  No Afghans on any of the panels.

US LACKS AREA KNOWLEDGE & STRATEGY. We really do not “get” the Afghanistan-Pakistan-India  context, detail, etcetera.  US “strategy” of “ten cities” is a mirror of the Soviet strategy before defeat.  Doctrine is not a substitute for Strategy.  Water (Indus River) is central to Pakistan-India relationship (Kashmir is about water).  Question NOT being asked: how do we do this without a US ground presence?  “Cheap coat of paint” approach to challenges.  “Tactics without strategy is noise before defeat.”  Saudi money, Pakistan-Taliban axis will outlast US money and US ground presence.

COUNTERINSURGENCY MANUAL LACKING. Counterinsurgency manual is not realistic and warps policy debate—the reality of poppy crops is not in the manual, not in the “strategy/doctrine”

UN, AID, NGO OOB NOT WORKNG. UN not working, its role not thought out, shortfalls in specialized everything.  Local corruption and family-political angling for contracts lead to some IED’s intended to block or redirect contract funds.  AID  giving contracts to Americans, not Afghans.  US has no ability to create ministries from scratch.  Civilian capabilities non-existent or not understood by military when they do show up.  No inter-agency planning in part because the civilians have no idea why they are there or what they should do.

LOST IN TRANSLATION. Continue to lack Pashto translators.   More Pashto speakers within NYPD than in all US forces across Afghanistan

EXIT OPPORTUNITIES. Afghan Army most respected institution in country, best fighters but worst policemen.  US ground presence makes things worse.  Solutions have to be Afghan.  Afghan population wants sovereignty and independence.  US troops simply surviving, not campaigning.

On page 10 I provide the “Lessons Learned” from my 1992 study of USMC operations.

Journal: Race, Class, Money & Truth

Collaboration Zones, Communities of Practice, Ethics, Policies, Policy, Reform, Strategy, Threats

In keeping with our new-found commitment to focus on public intelligence and leave political reform to others, this commentary provides an overview  of the political scene (including political commentary from journalists lacking any independence), and concludes that what is missing from our national dialog are integrity and public intelligence.

First, the political “terrain” of ideological conviction, borrowing from Michael Crane with permission.

Death of the Center
Death of the Center

As best we can tell, there is not a single think tank free of ideological conviction andall are also lacking in full access to all relevant sources of information, to serious processing power, and to multi-cultural analytics.

The two-party tyranny is “running on empty” and  has effectively destroyed the center, where ideas should meet, and also greatly extended the chasm between those in power (the power of the purse and the day to day operations of government) and those with knowledge (generally in the private sector, generally not being listened to by the so-called “intelligence community” that thrives on expensive secrets at the public's expense (double-entendre).

Continue reading “Journal: Race, Class, Money & Truth”

Review: The Political Junkie Handbook (The Definitive Reference Book on Politics)

4 Star, Politics

Amazon Page

Solid Four on Content, August 21, 2008

Michael Crane

The author is brilliant, and the cover quotes are phenomenal. Instead of my favorite quote for Thomas Jefferson (“A Nation's best defense is an educated citizenry”) the author uses one new to me, but I love it, “If all Americans know all the facts, they will never make a mistake.” Join that with Abe Lincoln's “cannot fool all of the people all of the time” and you have the Republic at its finest.

Reminding me of Dick “Vice” Cheney, the cover features also John Huxley's quote, “Sooner or later, false thinking brings wrong conduct.”

I list the table of contents for this marvelous (and very well-priced) huge (644 8.5 x 11 inch pages) volume. The publisher should have done this.

There are some troubling variations in the melange of what is covered for any given issue–some have Supreme Court ruling (e.g. abortionj others have pages of statistics. Standardization would have helped. Here are the topics covered, and I have not seen a finer single point of reference anywhere:

Affirmative Action
Supreme Court
Crime and Punishment
Death Penalty
Defense and the Military
Drug and Alcohol Use
Farm Policy
Federal Government
Foreign Policy
Gay Rights
Global Warming
Gun Control
Health Care
The Homeless
Political Correctness
Race Relations
Social Security
Terrorism and Home Security
Tort Reform
Miscellaneous (from Girls of Clinton–guess which Clinton–to ….

Easily one of the most exciting parts of the above are the quotes with footnotes. This is a *killer* political research book.

Following the majority of the book are lists that are alone worth the price of the book and I am using them:

Senate Scorecard (Electoral Reform does not appear in this book)
100 Differences
Why Conservatives Hated the Clinton Administration
Why Liberals Hated the Reagan Administration
Celebrities (including quotes and contributions where available)
Gore Misstatements (if McCain is a total idiot, Lieberman may be the first person in history to cost BOTH parties a presidential win)
Russell Kirk's Principles
Political Leaders of the Past
Political Talk Shows (with telephone numbers)
Lobbying and the Media
Polling Companies
Political Magazines
Political Groups
Federal Bureaucracy

The Index is cursory, another reason I left it at four despite the deep respect I have for this endeavor.

Here is the book I would like to commission from him, covering at least five parties (Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, Reforms, and of course Independents):

Infectious Disease
Environmental Degradation
Inter-State Conflict (including votes on defense budget)
Civil War
Genocide (including votes against intervention in Rwanda)
Other Atrocities (including votes against victim rights)
Proliferation (including votes for US nuclear arms industry)
Transnational Crime (should include white collar corporate crime)

Diplomacy (including votes against beefing it up)
Security (including water and food security, job security, etc)
Society (including subversion of our Christian culture)

CHALLENGERS (including Senate and White House ignorance and neglect):
Wild Cards (e.g. Congo, Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey)

I am an admirer of Paul Ray and a few others, I link to some below, but I am finding in this author real promise for enlightening all citizens, online, and exposing the platitudes being offered by Obama and McCain for what they are: empty promises with no foundation in a balanced budget or a serious (credible) story on where the revenue will come from. I for one believe that Gordon Norquist should demand a pledge to eliminate all individual income taxes and institute the Tobin Tax on all Federal Reserve transactions.

Put online, with an EarthGame(TM Medard Gabel), and all budgets online in advance of votes and without permitting secret earmarks, and we get our Republic back. Superb effort, it can be improved upon, and this needs to be done NOW.

See also:
The Nine Nations of North America
The Clustering of America
The Magic of Dialogue: Transforming Conflict into Cooperation
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders
The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Institutions of American Democracy)
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
The Bush Tragedy
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
Society's Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People