Monday, September 18, 2006

Why We Fight

I have heard many people say religion is the cause of most wars, and there is some truth to that but not very much. Most wars originate over resources or for profit. Religion (or more accurately, idealogy) is often used to justify war.

For example, it is obvious to almost everyone in the world except some americans that the US is in Afganistan and Iraq because of oil. We claim that we are in Afganistan out of self-defense. However, it would be much cheaper and more effective to retaliate against Al Qaeda covertly than by invading Afganistan. However, 9/11 presented the US with an an opportunity to invade Afganistan, a strategic country in regard to the transport of oil and natural gas from Central Asia to the Arabian sea. That's why the Solviet Union spent nearly 10 years trying to occupy Afganistan. Now it didn't take much to convince US citizens that we should attack Afganistan because most of them probably felt a need for retaliation after 9/11. So in order to justify killing thousands of innocent Afganistan people in order get Osama Bin Laden, all that was needed was a documentary (which was shown on TV about shortly before the US attacked Afganistan) on how the Taliban treat women. The average american watching that documentary was probably thinking something like this: "Look at the way those bastard Taliban treat their women -- they deserve to have their asses kicked". So note that the idealogy of women rights was used to justify an attack against Afganistan -- not religion.

Now Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world, second only to Saudi Arabia. And that is what we are there for. A lot of reasons were used to justify the war in Iraq and among them were the promotion of freedom and democracy. Note that freedom and democracy are american idealogies and not religion.

US oil companies, weapons developers, and Haliburton are making a lot of money over these wars while the average US citizen is dupped by an extensive propaganda campaign into believing that the US cause is to spread freedom and democracy by gun point is noble.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Politically Incorrect Stratego Rules

Stratego is a fun strategy game of memory, bluffing and misdirection, however, it is a little simplistic. Once one person gains a slight advantage they can usually win if they are careful. Because of this I have made up additional rules to make Stratego more interesting. The additional rules make the game more complicated and also make it easier for the person with the disadvantage to win.

Now since I am an old guy, I grew up playing Stratego when the pieces were numbered with 1 being the most powerful piece and 9 being the weakest piece. The order is reversed in newer versions of the game but I will use the old numbers to describe my additional rules.

To play by the additional rules you will need to alter 2 pieces. Choose one of the bombs and one of the scouts (9s). Use a permanent marker and make a diagonal slash across the face of each piece.

1. The modified bomb becomes a movable bomb.

1.a. If a piece strikes the movable bomb it dies unless it is the spy. Even minors (8s) die.

1.b. When struck, you only have to reveal that it is a bomb unless it is struck by a minor (8) or the Spy.

1.c. The bomb can't strike. It can only lure other pieces into striking it.

1.d The bomb has to stay in the back four rows of your territory. It cannot venture into the 5th row or into enemy territory.

2. The modified scout(9) can take out bombs, but not the movable bomb.


Al Qaeda Variation

1. The movable bomb can move anywhere on the board. It can detonate itself as its move. It also detonates if a piece on the other side strikes it. When it detonates it is destroyed and all pieces next to it are destroyed (horizontally, vertically and diagonally), even pieces on its own side.

United States Variation

1. All bombs become cruise missles. They can be launched and stike any choosen piece on the opposing side, even the flag.

2. The movable bomb becomes a weapon of mass destruction. It can be launched like a missle and destroys its tarket and all pieces next to the target.

3. Only one side gets cruise missles and a weapon of mass destruction. The pieces on the other side are cowards.