KIA:WIA Ratios – Conjuring With The Dead And Ignoring The Wounded

Millions of words have now been written about the numbers of Tamil civilians killed during Sri Lanka’s victory over the Tamil Tigers in May 2009; probably more words than the millions of bullets fired during the war. But something didn’t ring true.

Missing from this civilian casualty toll inflation is any mention of an immutable fact of warfare: the ratio of dead to wounded. This was first analysed in a groundbreaking study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 1999, which examined casualty ratios in wars from 1940 to 1988. The study showed that the number of people wounded is at least twice the number killed and may be 13 times as high” depending on the conflict type, weapons used and other factors.

Applying this ratio to Sri Lanka’s civilian casualty numbers during the last stages of Eelam War 4 shows a truly appalling misuse of civilian casualty numbers by international humanitarians, whose jaundiced view on Sri Lanka’s victory has led them to disregard basic mathematics, statistics, facts and logic.

Bullshit Amplifier Detector

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How Do You Solve a Problem Like Mohamed?

The UK has a Jihadi tourism problem. Since 2001 young Jihadis holding British passports have been quietly slipping out of the country to spend their gap years gaining valuable combat experience in hot and dusty places around the world. If they aren’t killed in action, they return home (as UK passport holders they can’t be denied re-entry to Britain) helping to spread the Jihadi gospel in cold, wet Britain and plan acts of ‘home-grown’ terrorism. Since they’re UK passport holders, they can’t just be executed abroad or quietly kidnapped and imprisoned by US forces. What to do?

The solution was simple, elegant, legal and lethal.

The Home Office says: “Citizenship is a privilege not a right. The Home Secretary has the power to remove citizenship from individuals where she considers it is conducive to the public good.”

The Home Office says: “Citizenship is a privilege not a right. The Home Secretary has the power to remove citizenship from individuals where she considers it is conducive to the public good.”

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“Search Interrogate and Destroy” – Hard COIN for Hard Times

In late 2012, workers digging foundations for a new wing in Matale Hospital unearthed partial skeletons of more than 150 people. Of the various theories that sought to explain how this mass grave came to be, the one that most people instinctively thought might be true was that this was the final resting place of victims of death squads from 2nd JVP insurgency, which from 1987 to 1989 almost brought the Sri Lankan State to total collapse. The counter-insurgency (COIN) campaign, which in turn destroyed the JVP had few equals (except perhaps the 1990s Algerian counter-insurgency campaign and the India’s anti-‘Khalistan’ counter-insurgency in the Punjab) for its ruthlessness.

Mass grave being excavated in Matale Hospital, 2012

Unlike today’s COIN warriors who use seemingly benign terms like “Fight, Secure, Build”, Sri Lanka’s COIN warriors used the more honest, Search, Interrogate and Destroy” to characterise their brutal, blood-stained and ultimately successful campaign to crush the JVP.

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Ruckzug to Neu!’s “Pastoral Psychedelicism”

 “Boy, to put Neu! into words –  the drummer was playing in a way that when you listened to it, allowed your thoughts to flow; allowed emotions to come from within and occupy the active parts of the mind, I thought. It allowed beauty to get there. The guy had somehow found a way to free himself from the tyranny of stupid of blues, rock – of all conventions that I’d ever heard. Some sort of a pastoral psychedelicism.”

Michael Rother on the “Hallogallo 2010″ Tour © Jon Pareles

Is there any higher praise than Iggy Pop, describing Neu!’s achievements and influence while opening a coconut with an electric drill?

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Sri Lanka’s Civilian Deaths Bingo

The civilians killed in the last months of Sri Lanka’s bloody, brutal and comprehensive victory over the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) can’t find peace, even in death. The exact number of civilian deaths ranges from 1,000+ (Government of Sri Lanka – GoSL) to 7000+ (UN) to 20,000 (The Times) to 40,000 (various international human rights organisations) to a ludicrous 150,000+ (LTTE supporters).

‘Choose the number that best suits your argument’ is how Sri Lanka’s Civilian Deaths Bingo is being played. The latest UN report has increased the Casualty Bingo number yet again, this time to 40,000. But there’s an unexamined aspect of the last battle – what is an acceptable level of casualties in a hostage rescue operation?

Prabhakaran practicing the Human Shield Manoeuvre

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Could Jimmy Savile Fix It for the LTTE? WTF?

“Now then, now then, now then boys and girls..”

Guess who attended the World Tamils Forum (WTF) Conference in March 2009?

If Sir Jimmy and Prabha had lived long enough, they could’ve swapped stories about children.

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Taming The Tigers – Sri Lanka Airforce’s finest hour

SLAF squadrons involved in Eelam War 4

During the years of ‘peace’, from 2002 to 2005, the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) completely overhauled its operational doctrine, weapons systems, training and combat effectiveness, and despite some bitter setbacks made a decisive contribution to the final defeat of the hitherto-invincible LTTE, who for over 30 years had fought to carve out a separate state in Sri Lanka. How did this happen?

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