Terrorists and the Ocean, Terrifying and Gentle

The Mali town that was just recaptured described the Islamist invaders as both terrifying and gentle. Sure. They used gentleness to get what they wanted and then they resorted to terror when gentle did not work. No, as any Sailor will tell you, only the ocean is truly both terrifying and gentle:

Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara is said to have broken his own world record for the largest wave surfed when he caught a wave reported to be around 100ft off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal.

Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara is said to have broken his own world record for the largest wave surfed when he caught a wave reported to be around 100ft off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal.

Yes, Garrett McNamara just set a world record with the above swell. Swell.

Timbuktu a Ghost Town?

Timbuktu, in northern Mali, has been rendered a ghost town by the Islamists, leaving the residents with no electricity or drinking water for more than three days. Winning hearts and minds should not be difficult for the French forces there. Logistics, on the the other hand, should be challenging. As municpal elder Moctar Ould Kery (no relation to John) says: There is no water. The people have left and the Islamists too. It’s a ghost town.

RIP Lieutenant Boiteux, Pilot Down in Mali

The fight against jihadis is a worldwide effort. So, I must wish the family of French pilot Lieutenant Boiteux (from the 4th helicopter regiment special forces) peace and courage during this trying time. The brave helo pilot was killed in Mali today, during a hostage rescue attempt against an Islamist group there. . .

From Here to Timbuktu

If you wondering how garden-variety jihadis behave when they take over a region, this section on Gao in Mali is quite telling, especially the part on the economics:

Gao, a city of 100,000 people, has become a lifeless place since the Islamists took over. It was once a stopping point for tourists traveling to Timbuktu, but now the roadside stands have disappeared, bars and restaurants are boarded up and music is banned. The new strongmen proclaim their creed on signs posted at street corners, written in white Arabic lettering on a black background, that read: “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.”

To make matters worse, garbage collection has been suspended, leaving waste to rot in the streets at temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). Around 400,000 people have already fled the Islamists. Most who have left represent the better-educated parts of the work force, like the engineers who kept the power plant and waterworks in operation. Foreign aid organizations are gone, as are government officials who were in the process of implementing a new road construction program.

“Gao is a dead city,” says Allassane Amadou Touré, a mechanic, as he drinks tea in the shade. He is unemployed, like many in the city, and says that Gao’s economic output has “declined by 85 percent” since the spring.

The Islamic police have become the city’s biggest employers. Ironically, their headquarters are on Washington Street in downtown Gao. From there, the armed police officers, most of them young men who are little more than children, are sent out into the neighborhoods to drum into residents what is considered “haram” and “halal,” or pure.

The jihadis have a headquarters on Washington Street in downtown Gao?

Time for Liberty?