How Americans Learn Geography

Big Red Car here worried and concerned about the latest bit of Al Qaeda terrorism unleashed in Burkina Faso.

Where, Big Red Car?

Burkina Faso, dear reader. Do you not know where Burkina Faso is located? Haha, you really don’t, do you?

So, let me mansplain it to y’all, grasshopper.

Here it is, y’all. Look just below Mali and there it is. Land. Locked. Poor country.

So, dear readers, there it is.

Burkina Faso (former Republic of Upper Volta) was a landlocked French colony when the European countries had a nice little collection of African colonies. The French had a portfolio of African colonies some of which had gold.

It became independent from France in 1960 and underwent a series of upheavals including a few military coups. You have to like a country which has a few coups. One chap ruled the place for 27 years.

The dominant religion is Islam though there are still a few Christians and Animism believers. You’re on your own as it relates to Animism, sorry.


On Friday night, while The Boss was watching Thirteen Hours about the attack on Benghazi, Al Qaeda unleashed an attack which killed 25 persons. French Special Forces and local troops regained control but not before Al Qaeda had concluded a successful raid.

Al Qaeda, famously, has been decapitated, decimated, and generally emasculated. Hey, you knew this, right? Guess the local Al Qaeda chapter didn’t get the memo.

The spread of Islamic extremism — Radical Islamic Terrorists, there — has begun to be a real problem in central Africa.


This is how Americans learn geography.

By following terrorists attacks we have never heard of.

By sending our Army to foreign countries, meeting their people, and killing them.

By counting the dead bodies created by non-existent, decapitated, decimated, emasculated terrorists like Al Qaeda.

Way out on a limb, goeth the Big Red Car

How about it?

Time to do something global, big, about terrorism or are you still good with the Al Qaeda is dead, decapitated, decimated, emasculated meme?

Go big or go home? Do it with the French? They’re pissed off these days, right?

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I”m just a Big Red Car but I know this shit isn’t going away by itself and it’s time to call a club a club. You?

3 thoughts on “How Americans Learn Geography

  1. “decimated, decapitated, emasculated,” excoriated, eviscerated, ….

    Yup on learning geography: Just yesterday went to the same map and looked at the little countries in West Africa and compared with what was mentioned, including Burkina Faso, in the 2005 Andrew Niccol movie Lord of War with Nicolas Cage.

    In some ways, Niccol made a good movie. The movie was about gun running. The main character in the movie, Yuri Orlov, played by Cage, didn’t exist, but likely nearly all the gun running that character did in the movie was done by one or more real gun runners. The main reasons for the gun running were (A) a lot small countries had conflicts, wanted to fight local wars, and needed weapons, especially many thousands of AK-47s, and (B) with the fall of the USSR the newly independent former Soviet states, especially Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, had huge stocks of weapons that, for some relatively modest bribes, could be shipped and sold to the small countries for their wars. Points in the movie worth considering also now:

    (1) Without such gun running, mostly those small countries would not be able to have anything much like a modern war.

    (2) The buyers were in South and Central America but, still, mostly in Africa, especially West Africa.

    (3) The wars were among groups of poor, young soldiers lead by brutal tyrants where each tyrant claimed to be a liberator of the people but was just somewhat more tyrannical than the last tyrant claiming to be a liberator of the people.

    (4) Some of the gun running was with the support or at least tacit approval of much of the US foreign policy community where the US wanted to see weapons delivered to enemies of US enemies.

    So, how did Al Qaeda get started? IIRC, sure, in Afghanistan where the US wanted to support an enemy of the US enemy in Afghanistan, the USSR. Also the UBL family made its initial money from executing construction projects funded by the US.

    Now, how does radical Islamic Jihadist terrorism get money to keep going? Apparently almost entirely from oil in the Mideast or North Africa. But, of course, there is also oil in Indonesia and, now, ISIS there also.

    How else does such terrorism keep going? Because, besides the oil money, there are a lot of poor, young, Islamic men without much to do and a lot of ambitious Islamic clerics ready to radicalize those men.

    What should the US do in response? (A) Have US intelligence gather and provide crucial information. (B) Have DHS, the FBI, etc. just do a good job at what they are supposed to do to protect the US internally. (C) Be very careful about the people we let into the US. (D) Protect the US at its borders, e.g., ports, coast lines, international airports. (E) Use our role and power in the international financial system to throttle the flows of money to the terrorists. (E) Pressure the main Islamic countries to get their clerics to calm down, have separation of church and state, and stay the heck out of politics and, especially, war. (G) Whenever US intelligence can find a location of terrorist leadership, e.g., Al Qaeda or ISIS, thoroughly destroy it with bombing; encourage other countries, e.g., England, France, Germany, Russia, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, to do the same. (H) When there is a leader, including tyrants, who are better for US interests than terrorists, don’t work to replace them with terrorists (this point may connect with the current movie 13 Hours); e.g., we would rather have Saddam, Assad, or Gaddafi than Al Qaeda or ISIS. (I) Have the US share intelligence with countries, e.g., all the industrialized world and also West Africa east all the way to the Philippines, and leaders who also want to put down the terrorists. (J) Cautiously but, then, effectively support enemies of our enemies. (K) Have US political leadership ready, willing, able, and eager to do (A)-(J).

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