Saturday, January 31, 2009

Training?



This is coolbert:

Here is another idea on how to provide American troops with realistic training. Real-world training, NOT your mundane “canned” exercise!

Place this one in the category of “strange but true”. See other blog entries of a similar nature such as Noah’s Ark, foo-fighters, ball lightning, Flying Dutchman! Para-normal phenomenon for which their is a military connection.

[this particular idea gotten from listening to the Michael Medved radio talk show. An idea Michael did not properly appreciate and had no time to discuss.]

Search for Bigfoot. The supposed eight foot tall humanoid creature lurking in the forests of the American northwest/British Columbia.

[Humanoid generally is defined as having the appearance of a human, i.e., two arms, two legs, torso, head! Upright walking on two feet!]

A creature, believed by some to exist, perhaps exist, or maybe a hoax, a fairy tale to many, an illusion without foundation! If existing, NOT a “missing link”! A distinct species unto itself,

A controversial subject, the Bigfoot, it being hard to imagine that in 21st century an eight foot tall ape-like, hairy creature could exist on the North American continent and not be known or acknowledged by modern science.

Tracks, hair, scat, “nests”, appearances of an ephemeral nature, continuing from the time of the original white settlers and even occurring in American Indian legends. BUT NEVER CATEGORICALLY CONFIRMED! NO DEAD BODY, NO CAPTURED SPECIMEN, NO SIGHTINGS BY TRAINED OBSERVERS, ETC.!!

Other crypto-creatures such as the Bigfoot are purported to exist. The Wild Man of China, the Mokele-mbembe of Gabon, etc.

The search for a Bigfoot would provide excellent training for special operations units and perhaps even similar military units of nations friendly to the U.S.!!??

Special Forces, Rangers, Navy SEAL, Marine Recon, etc. Small units [less than half a dozen men] surreptitiously entering into a remote area, setting up, again, surreptitiously, a hide-spot, hoping to glimpse and photograph a Bigfoot!! Sustaining themselves in a rough environment for an extended period of time, practicing camouflage and concealment and operational techniques in a manner so that even a wary and elusive animal cannot detect them!!

Results gleaned from trained observers are generally accepted as having much greater veracity and credibility? This is so?

One mission of deployed surveillance teams would be set up and employ wildlife “capture” cameras. Devices that have been used successfully by naturalists the world-over to “image” elusive and wary “critters” seldom seen by man in the wild.

Trained tracker-teams too. Small units, the personnel of which are trained man-trackers. Move through dense wooded areas, once more, surreptitiously, attempting to “cut-sign”, find the tracks or indications of a Bigfoot, following the creature if possible. You may even want to import Dayak woodsmen from Borneo, skilled trackers, to assist the special ops units in the “hunt”. A lot of valuable skills and techniques could be learned, abilities honed to a fine level!!

[there is NOT an element of danger here? The Bigfoot is reputed to rather pacific by nature, elusive, shy, avoiding humans, etc. NOT a killer or aggressive in any manner. Stumbling across a Bigfoot would NOT pose a danger to the troops?]

I also would not preclude the use of CSAR [combat Search And Rescue] units in the search for Bigfoot. Using sophisticated imaging devices [NOD, IR, etc.], spy-in-the-sky satellites, drones, personnel trained to find the proverbial needle-in-the-haystack!!

CONSIDERATION SHOULD BE GIVEN IN ADVANCE TO THE POSSIBILITY OF CAPTURING A BIGFOOT FOR STUDY BY THE USE OF ANESTHETIZING DARTS OR SUCH!!

There is precedent for this sort of thing? Special operations military units used to confirm or deny para-normal activities? Reportedly, the British SAS, a number of years ago now, in response to the appearance of CROP CIRCLES in an area where access was supposedly tightly controlled, deployed surveillance units, covertly, in an effort to determine the origin and means by which the crop circles were created. Never heard anything further regarding the matter.

There is too, the novel “Almost Adam”. Describes an incident where a British troop [an Indian national serving in the British army], occupying a hide spot in the Rift Valley of Kenya, hoping to espy Mau Mau insurgents, instead observes a pair of proto-human hominids, half-human, half-ape like creatures, missing links still in an evolutionary stage as mankind was 500,000 years ago. Hominids the existence of which was unknown to modern science.

[recall too from long ago my blog entry on the kouprey. Wild ox of Cambodia. Almost extinct in the wild. Soldiers operating in the remote and extreme wilds of Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos during the Second Indo-China War would on very rare occasions stumble upon the kouprey! A once-in-a-life-time-event for the participant!]

With regard to the existence or non-existence of the Bigfoot, the jury is still out?

NO specimen has ever been found, dead or alive, brought back to civilization for study, Frank Buck style!

An eight-foot tall, hairy, humanoid creature did exist in prehistoric times. Gigantopithecus. Bigfoot is a surviving member or related to the extinct species?



Traffic on the U.S. interstate highway system has yet to claim a Bigfoot as a victim. An individual, crossing and getting hit by a vehicle and killed. This has not happened!

However, whether a Bigfoot would be “discovered” or not is so much a concern rather THAN THE TROOPS WOULD UNDENIABLY RECEIVE REALISTIC TRAINING!! That is the whole point!!

UNDENIABLE!!

coolbert.

March II. [Conclusion]

This is cooolbert:

Please keep in mind the blog entry dealing with the fifty mile hike. Marine officers once a year expected to complete a fifty mile hike, to be done in three days, carrying gear.

Especially so during the Napoleonic black powder era, units of "foot", [infantry] were required to march long distances as a matter of course. Obviously and intuitively so, "foot" meaning just that! Marching to battle!

The march of the British Light Brigade [43rd Regiment of Foot, the 52nd Regiment of Foot and the 95th Rifles] prior to and during the Battle of Talavera is the thing of legend. Talavera. Peninsular War - - Spain - - English versus French occupier! An entire brigade of foot [infantry], encumbered as they were, covered sixty-two miles in twenty six hours, NOT, however, arriving in time for the battle, and then HAVING TO MARCH FOR AN ADDITIONAL FIFTEEN HOURS SUBSEQUENT!!

The cadence, the marching step, for British light infantry is faster than the normal troop marching speed of one hundred twenty [120] paces per minute! [about 3 ½ miles per hour!]

Examples of such a faster cadence would include:

* Royal Green Jackets [RGJ] march at 140 steps per minute.

* Durham Light Infantry [DLI] march at 160 steps per minute.

[In each case, one step being two and one half [2 ½] feet long [76 cm.]]

Both RGJ and DLI traditionally functioning in the role of riflemen, skirmishers, pickets, etc. Light infantry [Light Brigade] NOT normally deployed as other troops of the black powder period. NOT fighting in closed formations of densely packed troops firing a massed fusillade with muskets. Carrying the specially designed Baker rifle. Issued in particular to the light infantry in furtherance of their unique mission.

[soldiers as portrayed in the TV series, “Sharpe’s Rifles”!]

In the case of the Light Brigade, to cover 62 miles in a twenty-six hour period would mean walking [marching] at a pace of slightly less than 2 ½ miles per hour

My assumption here is that the march was more or less continuous for the entire twenty-six hour period. NO breaks for meals or the ordinary ten-minute rest per hour generally prescribed for an infantry unit during an extended march.

This is eminently possible? For troops, unencumbered with impedimenta, carrying only a rifle [musket?], ammunition, and possibly bayonet, this does seem as “DO-ABLE”!

In the case of the Light Brigade, the troops WERE NOT stripped of all but the essentials, rather carrying the full combat and existence load!?

One would suspect that such a pace is possible for seasoned, experienced, and conditioned troops. Hardened veterans, enlisted and officers both, who know how to push themselves to the limits of endurance and beyond when necessary.

NOT ONLY hardened, experienced, seasoned, conditioned troops, but under the command of an officer, Craufurd, generally felt to be a harsh taskmaster. A commander given over to the lash when he saw fit.

Covering such a distance would be even more remarkable given that Talavera occurred on July 27th, during mid-summer, in Spain, a time of the year very hot and dry!

I am curious to know:

* What percentage of troops fell out on the march and did not arrive on the battlefield [in the aftermath of Talavera] with the brigade? Generally speaking, a soldier unable to keep up the pace and falling out during a forced march to battle would be in great peril. Alone, subject to assault and murder by marauders, irregulars, or just plain criminal attack! Emphasis on “staying together as a unit” is for GOOD REASON!

* To what extent was the APPROACH of the Light Brigade appreciated by the French commander and part of his battlefield calculations? The mere presence of a unit on the battlefield, even if not committed or capable of combat, can drastically change plans, calculations and perceptions! The potentiality of reinforcement [for or against or the total lack of] is something a commander must at all times consider

Regulations be damned too! It is the lot of a soldier that he may have to forgo food, water, be cold or hot, exhausted, without sleep, devoid of any creature comforts, MARCHING TO BATTLE IN A MANNER WITHOUT LET OR SURCEASE SHOULD BE EXPECTED FROM TIME TO TIME AS PART AND PARCEL OF THE SOLDIERS’ LOT!!

This is so!!

coolbert.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tsuji.

This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog:

"Hey coolbert, I was just reminded of a post you had made in this blog (or maybe it was the one you maintained earlier) about the ranking system of a Japanese Admiral (I think) of allied soldiers against the Japs themselves.

Do you have any idea where you got that from?"

The reader is referring to the Japanese Colonel Tsuji.

The man who even as a relatively junior field grade officer, had contacts and operated within the most highest and rarefied echelons of the Japanese military and civilian command structure, before, during, and after World War Two.

During that period, it can be said with some accuracy, Tsuji was Japan and Japan was Tsuji??!!

Was the Chief of Staff of the Malaya operation [1941]. Saw extensive combat experience on all fronts in the Pacific theatre during WW2. Wounded thirteen times or such??!!

Was a prolific writer on all things military, even after the war. Wrote after-action reports for the U.S. military based upon his experiences.

Devised a rating scheme for the various combatants he had encountered on the battlefields of the Pacific theatre. Just in terms of FIGHTING ABILITY, Tsuji's rating system was as follows: [#1 being the best!]

Japanese - - #1, Chinese - - #2, Russians - - #3, Ghurkhas - - #4, Americans - - #5, Australians - - #6, British Indian Army troops - - #7. English - - #8.

For a person who was an extreme nationalist and chauvinist, you might well expect Tsuji to have rated the Japanese as #1!! How "fighting ability" is specifically defined I just cannot say.

Tsuji, as mentioned in my previous blog entry, disappeared in South Vietnam under mysterious circumstances and never was seen again. A case never solved!

coolbert.

March I.

This is coolbert:

"We do it not because it is easy - - we do it because it is hard!!" - - JFK inaugural speech.

"'I smoke about a pack a day, and a few cigars, and I drink an average of 15 10-ounce glasses of beer every evening, except on weekends, when it's more.'" - - Marine officer participating in a fifty mile hike.

[a Marine officer describing his life style in such a manner today would be promptly cashiered from the service??!!]

President Obama, just recently having taken the oath of office and now serving as Chief Executive, has already signed and promulgated some executive orders. Some of which have a definite military dimension to them.

Here is - - from the era of over forty years ago now, during the Presidency of John F. Kennedy, a fad, also the result of an executive order originally signed by Theodore Roosevelt, that took the nation by storm and was all the rage in some circles. A fad which also had a definite military dimension to it.

The fifty-mile hike.



"The 50-Mile Hike Phenomenon
A Look Back at the New Frontier of Fitness
"

"Kennedy (or someone else in the White House) had discovered a 1908 Executive Order from Theodore Roosevelt that all Marines should be able to cover 50 miles in three days and for the last half-mile double-time 200 yards, rest 30 seconds; double time 200 yards, rest 30 seconds and sprint the last 200 years to the finish line as proof of their fitness. Because the records showed that some officers in 1908 had covered the course in one day, the challenge was to see if the present military were as fit as those of 1908."

"On February 12, 1963, 34 officers led by Brigadier General Rathvon McClure Tompkins, 50, limping from an old shrapnel wound, marched all day. The order called for the officers to wear helmets, pistols and a light pack, adding another 25 pounds to carry the distance. The fastest time was recorded by 2nd Lt. Marty Shimek, a long distance runner, who completed the march half running and half walking in 9 hours and 53 minutes."

The fifty mile hike was all the rage in the time of the young, vigorous, athletic President Kennedy!

A fad, however, not totally understood by the lay public. Carried to extremes in a manner it should not have been!?

The criteria for Marine officers to complete a fifty mile hike ONCE PER YEAR was a regulation in effect since 1908, but almost never actually implemented or enforced.

A hike - - fifty miles in length - - to be accomplished:

* Over a THREE DAY PERIOD!

* While carrying gear. ["wear helmets, pistols and a light pack"]

A hike - - a march - - of fifty miles is not a problem if done over a three day period? To do the same in ONE DAY is expecting a lot from most people? And to encumber a civilian with an amount of gear as expected to be carried by a Marine officer is absurd!

This sort of stuff got carried away to an extent. High minded idealism in the extreme. To be physically fit and able to hike fifty miles in a single day is not a bad idea, but only FOR THOSE PERSONS PROPERLY CONDITIONED AND HAVING SOME PRACTICE TRAINING AND THE MENTAL WHEREWITHAL TO MARCH [HIKE] SUCH A DISTANCE. Especially if the expectations and desire is to complete the entire distance in one day.

I can only assume that there were a lot of folks who ended up with foot, ankle, knee, or back injuries as the result of attempting the fifty mile hike and not being properly prepared for the ordeal.

coolbert.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

BASH II - - "Sully".

This is coolbert:

BASH. "A bird strike (sometimes birdstrike, bird hit, or BASH - Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard) is a collision between an airborne animal (usually a bird or bat) and a man-made vehicle, especially aircraft. It is a common threat to aircraft safety, and has caused a number of fatal accidents."

The man who piloted the Airbus into the Hudson river, saving the lives of all on board, is a NATURAL?

Chesley Sullenberger III. "Sully"!



A pilot, more correctly, A FLIER, who first learned the business of aviation from his experiences as a glider pilot at the Air Force Academy.

Learned to FLY in the most basic and rudimentary of aircraft, without power, developing a skill set that has served him well throughout his career.

Again, a NATURAL!! Demonstrated marked ability from the get-go! The type of man the Academy is looking for but rarely finds!

"During his tenure at the Academy, he was selected as one of around a dozen other freshmen who were enrolled into a cadet glider program, and by the end of that year he was an instructor pilot. In his graduation year, he received the Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship Award, which is given to the top flier in each graduating class."

A FLIER as opposed to a pilot!!

The U.S. Air Force Academy runs "the largest glider operation in the world"!! The basic and most rudimentary instruction in flight and piloting is taught by learning how to fly a glider [sailplane]!!

"Soaring occurs at the Academy on a year-round basis. The program is the largest glider operation in the world. Its mission is to form the foundation of cadet exposure to military aviation, build character, and help motivate cadets toward a career in the United States Air Force."

"Retired aviation technology professor [Purdue] Charles Holleman also said Sullenberger's experience as a glider pilot may have given him an edge in landing his crippled Airbus A320 jet safely in the Hudson River.

NO - - it was the edge that gave "Sully" the marked advantage that he and all those passengers needed. IT was the edge!!

[the manner with which that Airbus had to brought to a successful landing would have required a reaction that would have been counter-intuitive? Put the nose over and place the aircraft into a dive, even without power? Build up speed by doing so, place moving air over the wings, allowing the pilot, "Sully" to guide the aircraft to a controlled landing.]

Bravo "Sully"!!

coolbert.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bully?

This is coolbert:

Bad press?

"Israeli PM in war crimes pledge"

"Any Israeli soldiers accused of war crimes in the Gaza Strip will be given state protection from prosecution overseas, the country's PM [Olmert] has said."

The Israeli Prime Minister, Olmert, is taking great pains to assure those Israeli troops just recently involved in the incursion into Gaza, that they will be protected from prosecution for war crimes. Foreign entities, Belgium for instance, may issue warrants for the arrest of Israeli troops and demand extradition? It is possible!!

The Israeli military is accused [by some] of perpetrating war crimes in Gaza! Crimes to include:

* Use of excessive and disproportionate force in a populated area.
* Use of white phosphorus [WP] in a populated area.
* Disregard for the safety of civilian vehicles [ambulances for instance].
* Use of “diabolical” weaponry that causes unnecessary suffering [DIME].

How would and does the Jewish nationalist, the Jewish troubadour, and the Israeli general officer look upon these accusations?

Here are some interesting quotations and song lyrics [historical and otherwise] that express the true sentiments and feelings [??] of “the Jewish nationalist, the Jewish troubadour, the Israeli general officer” regarding the alleged “war crimes” as perpetrated by the Israeli military:

1. Zeev Jabotinsky. Jewish nationalist:


"We constantly and very loudly apologize... Instead of turning our backs to the accusers, as there is nothing to apologize for, and nobody to apologize to . . . Isn't it long overdue to respond to all these and all future accusations, reproaches, suspicions, slanders and denunciations by simply folding our arms and loudly, clearly, coldly and calmly answer with the only argument that is understandable and accessible to this public: `Go to Hell!'?" - - Zeev Zhabotinsky, 1911

And here, thanks to Bob Dylan, a/k/a Robert Zimmerman:

2. Bob Dylan. Jewish troubadour:

"Well, the neighborhood bully, he's just one man
His enemies say he's on their land
They got him outnumbered about a million to one
He got no place to escape to, no place to run
He's the neighborhood bully.

The neighborhood bully he just lives to survive
He's criticized and condemned for being alive
He's not supposed to fight back, he's supposed to have thick skin
He's supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in
He's the neighborhood bully.

The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land
He's wandered the earth an exiled man
Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn
He's always on trial for just being born
He's the neighborhood bully.

Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized
Old women condemned him, said he could apologize
Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad
The bombs were meant for him. He was supposed to feel bad
He's the neighborhood bully.

Well, the chances are against it, and the odds are slim
That he'll live by the rules that the world makes for him
'Cause there's a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
And a licence to kill him is given out to every maniac
He's the neighborhood bully.

Well, he got no allies to really speak of
What he gets he must pay for, he don't get it out of love
He buys obsolete weapons and he won't be denied
But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side
He's the neighborhood bully.

Well, he's surrounded by pacifists who all want peace
They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease
Now, they wouldn't hurt a fly. To hurt one they would weep
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep
He's the neighborhood bully.

Every empire that's enslaved him is gone
Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon
He's made a garden of paradise in the desert sand
In bed with nobody, under no one's command
He's the neighborhood bully.

Now his holiest books have been trampled upon
No contract that he signed was worth that what it was written on
He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth
Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health
He's the neighborhood bully.

What's anybody indebted to him for ?
Nothing, they say. He just likes to cause war
Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed
They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed
He's the neighborhood bully." - - Bob Dylan "Neighborhood Bully" Lyrics.


3. Rehavam Zeevi. Israeli general officer:

"Let them quake. And let them call us a mad-dog nation. Let them realize that we're a wild country, deadly and dangerous to everyone around, awful, crazy, capable of suddenly going nuts because they murdered one of our kids - - even one! . . . that if they shoot one of our ambassadors, or even a consul, or even the attache' in charge of stamp collecting, we're capable of starting, suddenly, just for the hell of it, before breakfast, World War Three." - - a quote I can reasonably infer to have been spoken by Rehavam Zee'vi.

Whoa boy!!

Take it for what it is worth. You be the judge. Arrive at your own conclusions. These attitudes, these sentiments, these comments, song lyrics, etc., are really indicative of how MOST of the Israeli populace regards these most recent accusations of “war crimes”?

coolbert.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

DIME.

This is coolbert:

"Brother, can you spare a DIME?"

Alarming headlines in the aftermath of the Israeli Gaza incursion:

"DIME: A New Horror"

"Gaza doctors say patients suffering mystery injuries after Israeli attacks"

"Is Israel Using Banned and Experimental Munitions in Gaza?"

Horror - - mystery - - experimental!!

A new cause celebre' among those of the far left? [Dr. Mats Gilbert, for instance, is a member of the Norwegian Communist party.]

A new weapon, causing insidious and vicious wounding to victims.

A new weapon - - DIME? Dense Inert Metal Explosive.

"Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) also called a dime bomb, is an experimental type of explosive that has a relatively small but effective blast radius . . . an explosive material . . . and small particles of a chemically inert material such as tungsten. It is intended to limit the distance at which the explosion causes damage, to avoid collateral damage in warfare."

"Upon detonation of the explosive, the casing disintegrates into extremely small particles . . . The HMTA powder [tungsten alloy] acts as micro-shrapnel which is very lethal at close range (about 4 meters or 13 feet), but loses momentum very quickly due to air resistance, coming to a halt within approximately 40 times the diameter of the charge . . . Survivors close to the lethal zone may have their limbs amputated (as the micro shrapnel can slice through soft tissue and bone)"

DIME weaponry, as dropped from Israeli aircraft. DIME warheads carried on the newly developed and now deployed GBU-39 bomb?



"The GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb (SDB) is a 250 pound (113 kg) guided bomb that is intended to provide aircraft with the ability to carry a higher number of bombs. Most US Air Force aircraft will be able to carry a pack of four of these bombs in place of a single 2,000 lb bomb"

Right. The collateral damage caused by one 2,000 pound being dropped on a target is just stupendous. If you are targeting a jihadi adversary who is hiding in a residential area - - you will successfully kill him with one 2,000 bomb, but in the process kill A WHOLE LOT OF OTHER FOLKS WHO ARE IN THE VICINITY AND ARE JUST BYSTANDERS! You crack the egg with a sledgehammer, so to speak.

These small diameter bombs, more can be carried by one aircraft, allowing for greater versatility and response, while minimizing collateral damage. Kill that one specific targeted person and limit the lethality to the approximate area of the detonation!

"You can't say that civilization don't advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way." - - Will Rogers - - New [Duranty] York Times, December 23, 1929.

coolbert.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gitmo - - Closing.

This is coolbert:

Another executive order just signed by President Obama is directing the DoD to plan for the closing of the Guantanamo detention facility within one year.

Resolve the "problem" of housing and detaining the captured jihadis. Or should I say accused jihadi?

Most of these jihadi bad guys will end up being released - - but not necessarily to the lands of their native origin. Those particular nations DO NOT want them. That approach has been tried already. European countries that were critical of President Bush will be willing to accept without qualifications the detainees? Each and every EU member nation will have to accept a fair portion of those folks released?

This has all to be worked out.

Protocols, procedures, legal charges pending against those persons accused of having perpetrated the 9/11 attacks are going to be a sticky point? Surely NO ONE is suggesting that the four or five detainees in custody at Gitmo thought to have a hand in the 9/11 attacks will be RELEASED??!!

What to do with those "accused" 9/11 villains? Try them in American court? That might be difficult, considering that the "accused" were purportedly water boarded!! Evidence obtained by coercive or hostile interrogation will not be permissible in an American court? What to do with the handful of 9/11 planners and enablers then?

For those many hundreds of jihadi already confined at Gitmo, and whose release will not be imminent but nonetheless forthcoming, there is the anachronistic policy in wartime of PAROLE available to the American authorities. A PRACTICE AVAILABLE TO BUT NOT USED BY THE U.S. MILITARY IN OVER 140 YEARS!!

"the release of prisoners based on prisoners giving their word of honor to abide by certain restrictions."

Parole is '[t]he agreement of persons who have been taken prisoner by an enemy that they will not again take up arms against those who captured them, either for a limited time or during the continuance of the war.' The U.S. Department of Defense defines parole more broadly. 'Parole agreements are promises given the captor by a POW to fulfill stated conditions, such as not to bear arms or not to escape, in consideration of special privileges, such as release from captivity or lessened restraint.'"

Parole of captured combatants [note I have not said unlawful enemy combatants] was a method used widely by both sides in the American Civil War. Get the jihadi in residence at Gitmo - - prior to release - - to sign a pledge, a promise, NOT to participate in further jihad as a condition of their release!

I am also taking into account the Islamic practices of taqqiya and kitman. Lying, prevarication, dissimulation, mental-reservation, etc., are permissible under Islamic law under certain circumstances. Signed pledges and promises as a condition of parole will be meaningless to the jihadi?

But, don't just allow the detainees to be let go scot-free without getting SOMETHING in return. Even a basically worthless piece of paper will be better than nothing!

coolbert.

BASH I - - Grille.


This is coolbert:

Who has not heard of the most recent bird strike incident? A commercial jet airliner, upon take-off, flies into a flock of birds [geese], ingests several birds [ingest, that is the correct term!!] causing shutdown in both engines! A potentially catastrophic situation that came to a most fortunate end, the entire complement of passengers and crew being saved, emerging from the landing on the Hudson River unscathed.

Almost a miracle!! First the plane is in the air. Then flies into the bird flock [geese?]. Then the birds are ingested into the engines [2 engines]. Then the engines cutout. Then the pilots REPORT SMELLING COOKED BIRD!! Then the dead-stick [?], powered down landing into the Hudson, safely so. Amazing?

The military too has a keen interest in preventing and mitigating bird strikes.

Also referred to as Foreign Object Damage [FOD]! Measures to prevent items, bird and otherwise, from being “ingested” into a jet engine [not to minimize the danger to propeller driven aircraft either].

FOD can include all and any objects beyond a bird strike. To include, but not limited to: paper, nuts and bolts, pieces of tire, small animals, twigs, branches, wind-blown objects, etc. AND IN TIME OF WAR, BOMB-DAMAGE [CHUNKS OF CONCRETE] TO THE RUNWAY ITSELF!!

Here is a military combat aircraft that has incorporated into the basic design a means to combat FOD! The Soviet/Russian Su-27.



An integral titanium grille, covering the jet engine air inlet, provides FOD protection. A grille, in place, only when in the take-off mode [landing mode too?]! A grille made of a strong but very light metal, preventing serious engine ingestion. Mitigates and minimizes, maybe even totally eliminates [?] the possibility of catastrophic engine failure from FOD!!



THAT TITANIUM GRILLE ALLOWS FOR THE Su-27 TO OPERATE FROM AN UNIMPROVED AIRFIELD IN TIME OF WAR!! THIS IS A BIG PLUS?!

It should be clarified that the titanium grille can be and should be in place only during take-offs and landings? Cannot be used at altitude when the aircraft is at high speed? Will distort the airflow into the engine inlet in such a manner that engine efficiency and actual operation will be compromised. Catastrophic engine failure and shutdown can occur when the plane is at high speed - - and with the grille in place?

coolbert.

Al-Marri.


This is coolbert:

President Obama, too, has now issued instructions that the "case" of the captured jihadi Ali al-Marri is to be examined and resolved with all due speed!!

Al-Marri, a legal U.S. resident, but NOT a citizen, has been deemed by ex-President Bush to be an unlawful enemy combatant. Locked in the brig ever since a few days after 9/11.

The case of al-Marri is most interesting in that he re-entered the U.S. on 9/10/2001. One day before the attacks on WTC and the Pentagon. Was a sent agent ["sleeper"] embarking on a terrorist mission of some sort? An obvious [???] Al Qaeda "sleeper" whose mission would be to facilitate further terrorist attacks WITHIN THE U.S. At best - - A SPY!! At worst - - a trained terrorist - - part of an organization whose goal is to kill millions of Americans.

Categorized as an unlawful enemy combatant based upon the prior ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of the World War Two German saboteurs.

German saboteurs, agents of a hostile foreign power in a time of war, dressed in civilian clothes, conducting a sabotage mission. Captured, tried, found guilty, AND EXECUTED!! All within a period of TWO WEEKS!! Tried, found guilty, and executed, all at the behest and insistence of President Roosevelt.

IT SHOULD BE KEPT IN MIND THAT THESE GERMAN SABOTEURS, AT THE TIME OF CAPTURE - - HAD DONE NOTHING WRONG!! Were caught before they had the time to commit a single act of sabotage.

Resolving the case of al-Marri will more than likely result in HAVING TO LET THE MAN GO!!?? Al-Marri can probably be charged with mail fraud [credit cards] and being the unregistered agent [??] of a foreign power? But other than that, what else can he be tried with?

And even if convicted, he has already been in the brig for seven years now. To "resolve" his case, he will be released based upon time served! And then what? He is a legal resident of the U.S. Continued residence is an option?

I hope someone has thought all this through? The legal case of a person WHO CAN BE ONLY CATEGORIZED AS AN UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT, A SPY, A TERRORIST, IN A TIME OF WAR, WILL BE "RESOLVED" BASED UPON A PLEA AGREEMENT OR SOME SUCH THING??

I MUST BE GETTING OLD!! Eric Holder considers the U.S. to be at war! So he testified under oath. But that is not his true sentiments? I AM GETTING OLD!

[Ali too prefers the "Salafist" look. The full beard with neck hair, and the long hair, emulating those Arabs of the time of Muhammad! Islam is not just a religion, it is way of life, regulating even tonsorial habits]

coolbert.

Interrogation.

This is coolbert:

“In this type of war [the anti-terrorist war], the single best form of intelligence will be the hostile interrogation” - - Shlomo Gazit, AMAN - - Israeli military intelligence.

President Obama has just signed an executive order outlawing all forms of coercive interrogation techniques. TO INCLUDE WATER BOARDING.

The CIA, for instance, will now be limited to conducting interrogations of captured terrorists using ONLY techniques as outlined in the U.S. Army field manual for interrogations. Techniques designed to be used against prisoners-of-war [POW]! POW as captured on a conventional military battlefield.

Nineteen such interrogation techniques, utilizing psychological methods SOLELY, are contained in the field manual. I had thought there were ONLY seven or eight such psychological techniques available to army interrogators? Perhaps the manual has been updated and new approaches adopted since I last did military service?

“[the] 19 techniques . . . eschews harsh questioning practices . . . all rely on psychological approaches and prohibit interrogators from making physical contact with suspects or using force.”

[U.S. Army interrogators are told [?], have been told [?], in training, that in 90 % to 95 % of the cases where psychological methods of interrogation are used, the “POW” will “give it up” more or less right away!!]

Well, no shouting, screaming, touching in any manner, threatening [only in verbal manner] by shaking a fist, or anything like that anymore on the part of an American interrogator? Restraints? Forbidden too? NO more playing rock music to jar the hearing sensibilities of the Middle Easterner? And let the guy [POW] have a break to go to the bathroom if he says he needs to? This is the kinder, gentler approach? Am I being flippant and sarcastic here?

MY PERSONAL PERCEPTION IS THAT THESE INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES, BASED UPON PSYCHOLOGICAL TECHNIQUES ONLY, ARE DOOMED TO FAIL WHEN USED AGAINST THE DETERMINED JIHADI!!

INTELLIGENCE GLEANED FROM INTERROGATIONS OF CAPTURED JIHADI IS GOING TO BOTTOM OUT AT NEAR ZERO!!??

AND TOO, BE VERY WARY OF THOSE JIHADI WILLING TO TALK AND “SPILL THE BEANS”! PROBABLY FOLKS SPREADING DISINFORMATION INTENDED TO FOOL THE AMERICAN INTERROGATOR AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST!!

The jihadi, captured, is NOT like an ordinary POW! The jihadi has mentally prepared himself for death, even hoping to die!! Psychological methods will almost never work with these bad guys. You will not “break” them, THEY WILL “BREAK” YOU!!

And please do not think that you are going to impress the jihadi or change HIS perception of you by according him decent and fair treatment. HE WILL EVEN DESPISE YOU EVEN MORE SO THAN HE ALREADY DOES! THE DETERMINED JIHADI HAS MADE HIS MIND UP LONG AGO THAT YOU THE AMRIKI ARE NOTHING MORE THAN A COCKROACH TO BE TROD UNDERFOOT WHENEVER THE OPPORTUNITY AFFORDS ITSELF!!

Again, these comments of mine might seem to be flippant, sarcastic, unwarranted, etc. But this IS my perception! Good luck interrogators - - you will need it!!

coolbert.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Collapse!

This is coolbert:

Alarming headlines! [it seems like almost all headlines are more or less "alarming"!]

"Military Report: Mexico, Pakistan at Risk of 'Rapid and Sudden Collapse' "

"In terms of worst-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico,"

"Pakistan, in the event of such a rapid collapse, would be susceptible to a 'violent and bloody civil and sectarian war' made more dangerous by concerns over the country's nuclear arsenal."

"The report says a collapse in Mexico seems less likely, but . . . A collapse within the United States' southern neighbor would also 'demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone.'"

Sudden, precipitous, uncontrollable, societal collapse. A total break-down of all law and order, restraints, and governmental control. Chaos of an unprecedented nature, spiraling in directions that will develop in a manner unfavorable to the U.S. Collapse that will occur for a variety of reasons, suddenly, spreading like the proverbial wild-fire?

Worst-case scenarios, the potentialities for the United States being apocalyptic in nature. Worst-case scenarios for which there would be little amelioration possible. In both cases, an ounce of prevention will be worth A TON of cure. But what is that "ounce"? In both Pakistan and Mexico, the slightest little "cold" or "sneeze" can start an avalanche rolling down hill for which there will be no stopping!!

In the case of Pakistan, a no brainer! Atomic weapons falling into the hands of Islamic fundamentalists. Persons possessed by an intense hatred of all things "western". A hate that "clouds all reason"!

[concerns over atomic weapons falling into the "wrong hands" is obviously why the Pakistani General Kayani has been named one of the fifty most powerful persons in the world.]

In the case of Mexico, also a no brainer! Mass migration of displaced persons across the U.S.-Mexico border by the tens of millions?! Border states and further environs will be subject to "invasion" by desperate refugees, "invasion" that will SURELY HAVE "serious implications"!

During the the last two years in Mexico, the low-intensity warfare being fought between the various Mexican governmental entities and the gangs of the drug-narcoticos has claimed the lives of 8,000 persons. The drug-narcoticos now possess [and have possessed for some time], the numbers, the wealth, the organizational ability, the weaponry, the utter ruthlessness and determination to fight the Mexican military and police, THE DRUG-NARCOTICOS EMERGING VICTORIOUS MOST OF THE TIME!!

That Mexico may suddenly collapse as a nation-state is a scenario that most Americans will find difficult to believe? That the possibility of such an event actually transpiring is just not something people are willing to contemplate, so disastrous will be the consequences!!

Please recall to that the Mexican drug-narcoticos have had for some time a substantial capability within the borders of the United States [devoted readers might want to read the entire seven-part series of blog entries on the subject]. A capability that astounds many. These villains are not some penny-ante bunch of thugs that just so happen to have M-16 riles at their disposal. Evil-doers that can wreak a lot of havoc at will, in an almost casual, leisurely manner. In case of the worst scenario for Mexico, the drug-narcoticos, emboldened as they will be, will not feel restrained to limit their activities but will spread northward at an ever increasing pace!!

[personally, I would also consider Saudi Arabia to be a nation also in danger of "going-under" in a precipitous, sudden, and uncontrollable manner. With ramifications for the ENTIRE WORLD that would also be of an apocalyptic nature!! This too is something, a sudden collapse Saudi, that is greatly desired by the jihadi!]

Worrisome indeed.

coolbert.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Black Death?

This is coolbert:

Hot flash intel - - CiC eyes immediate. [Commander in Chief [CiC]]

Here is one, that if true, you want to place in the category of: "OH SHIT, OH DAMN!!"

"the purpose of terror is to terrorize!!" - - V. I. Lenin.

Thanks here to Robert Spencer and JihadWatch.

Confirmation [??], that the jihadi of the Al Qaeda persuasion, is not only contemplating the use of biological agents, but has actually obtained samples [??] of deadly biological toxins and is experimenting with same!! Alarming headlines!!

"Al Qaeda bungles arms experiment"

"an area sealed to prevent leakage of a biological or chemical substance had been breached, according to the official."

"'We don't know if this is biological or chemical,' the official said."

"The story was first reported by the British tabloid the Sun, which said the al Qaeda operatives died after being infected with a strain of bubonic plague"

"40 Al-Qaeda Terrorists Killed….by The Black Death"

"40 members of AQLIM (al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb), the largest Al-Qaeda group outside the Middle East have died by the Black Death."

"The plague, responsible for the deaths of an estimated 75 million people world wide during the 14th century, swept through the AQLIM training at a forest camp in Algeria, North Africa, and was only discovered when security forces found a body by a roadside."

First the story is carried in a British tabloid, then in the more [??] reputable Washington Post, then a body is found, an autopsy done, the disease confirmed?

In this particular case - - bubonic plague!! The Black Death!! A scourge from medieval times that is going to make a comeback - - thanks to evil doers!?

Experimentation that has gone awry?? Killed a number of the jihadi villain through their own carelessness?

And, too, perhaps caused an infestation that is SPREADING, through ignorance and just plain ordinary callousness.

The most virulent and contagious form of the disease is the pneumonic plague. Spread by coughing and sneezing, sputum and such, from person to person, NOT from a flea bite!

During the Middle Ages, it is estimated that about 100 million Europeans were killed by the Black Death!! DISEASE, RATHER THAN WAR, HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE BIGGEST KILLER OF MANKIND, BY FAR!!

If these reports are true, it does definitely indicate and only serves to confirm in the minds of persons such as myself the determination and desire of the jihadi devoted to and who have pledged allegiance to Osama to kill Americans by the millions, as they have stated. Use weapons of mass destruction to achieve their goals, what ever the cost, the civilian being the target, in a purposeful, deliberate, and malicious manner, with a depraved mentality - - premeditated!

EVEN IF - - THE JIHADI - - IS NEVER ABLE TO OBTAIN NUCLEAR WEAPONS - - OR USE CHEMICAL WEAPONRY OF THE HYDROGEN CYANIDE VARIETY - - OR EVEN BE ABLE TO OBTAIN AND WEAPONIZE AND RELEASE BIOLOGICAL TOXINS OF A LETHAL NATURE - - AND DO SO MASSIVELY - - THE INTENTION AND DESIRE IS EVER PRESENT!!!

And an intention and desire, that if coming to fruition, WOULD BE RELISHED BY THE JIHADI!! NOT ONLY KILLING MILLIONS, BUT ENJOYING THE SPECTACLE!!

President Obama, welcome to the real world - - and GOOD LUCK!!

coolbert.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Odds!!

This is coolbert:

Here are two military aviators from the World War Two [WW2] era that beat the odds in a fashion that is just incredible:

1. Kirk [Krekor] Kerkorian. American pilot. Ferried newly built Mosquito two-engine aircraft from Canada to England. Did so flying the non-stop route, via the north Atlantic, “riding” the Iceland Wave. Completed thirty-three missions of this sort [ferrying aircraft] when the odds were only one in four [1:4] that a single crossing could be made in this fashion [non-stop, via the “Iceland Wave”] successfully. “Blasted” across the Atlantic at near jet transport speeds, and doing so IN A PLYWOOD AIRPLANE!! Fancy that!

[the Iceland Wave is the jet stream? Believe this to be so, but not exactly sure. Air-currents, moving at high speed and at high altitude? Kerkorian was a civilian flying on contract during this cross-Atlantic mission, but flying a military aircraft into a combat zone. It that sense he qualifies as a military aviator in a general sense.]

The odds against Kerkorian completing thirty-three missions [ferrying] of this nature were:

73 billion billion to one!! That is 73,000,000,000,000:1!! 1/0.25^33.

2. Guy Gibson, VC. English bomber pilot, commander of the world-famous “Dam Busters” Squadron. By the fourth year of the war [1943], Gibson had completed 174 missions over Germany. This at a time when only one in five [1:5] American bomber aircrews were able to survive twenty-five missions. Twenty-five missions at the time was the magic number, an aircrew being returned stateside, their combat tour having been fulfilled.




The odds against Gibson surviving 174 combat missions over Germany were:

78 thousand to one. That is 78,000:1. 1/0.2^7.

Here with comments from a man [John M.] that knows statistics, an actuary, an informed evaluation of these odds: [particular emphasis here on the 73 billion billion to one figure!!]

A. That would be correct if the trials (flights) are independent, or in
other words the odds of the first flight were one in four and the odds
of each of the next 32 were also one in four. There was no learning from
a successful flight or any other improvement that helped raise the odds
of success on subsequent flights.

B. Since independence of the trials would mean one chance in about 73,000 trillion, it seems that either the trials were not independent, and each success greatly increased
the odds of future successes, or the odds were much better than one in four all along, or he was better than the average pilot, or a combination.

C. The one in four was probably subjective or based on a small sample of pilots (who maybe were less skilled than he was?)!

And - - again from John M.:

"I tried an experiment with just 10 successful flights. It seems that for even just ten successful flights if the flights are independent and the odds always one in 4, the odds are one in 1,048,576. This means that it is still 50% likely that you could have 725,000 guys try to do it and all would fail."

Thank you John M.

And here too, from the Suvorov book, "Inside The Aquarium":

"Do you realize that in the last war [WW2] there were two categories of pilots in our air force [Soviet]? Some, the minority had dozens of enemy planes to their credit, while the other, the majority, had practically none . . . The statistics of war make very painful reading. The majority spent no more than nine hours in the air before they met their end. Fighter pilots were shot down on average on their fifth sortie. With the first category the opposite happened: they carried out hundreds of sorties and each of them spent thousands of hours in the air . . . . In between those two categories of wartime pilots there was absolutely nothing, an abyss. There was no link between them, no middle class. Either an ace, a hero, a general, or a lieutenant, shot down on his first sortie. Nothing in between." - - Soviet Major-gneneral of the Air Force Kuchumov.

It should be clear that Kerkorian and Gibson were best termed NATURALS? Persons with a instinctive flair for aviation. Top-notch pilots way above average in ability using measured audacity and mastery of the calculated statistic to accomplish where others could not!!

For each and every one of those ferrying flights across the Atlantic, as a civilian contract employee, Kerkorian was paid $1,000. That was a princely sum at the time? The tidy sum saved by Kerkorian during the war years was the “seed money” used to finance a subsequent entrepreneurial career! Kerkorian, still alive and active at an advanced age, is one of the richest men in the world!!

Guy Gibson, VC, unfortunately did not survive the war. Was killed-in-action, evidently, when his bomber aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed? Of Gibson, it is said:

"For some men of great courage and adventure, inactivity was a slow death . . . Facing death had become his drug . . . He had pushed his luck beyond all limits and he knew it. But that was the kind of man he was…a man of great courage, inspiration and leadership." - - Barnes-Wallis.

Indeed!!

coolbert.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Commentary - - Again - - Impedimenta.

This is coolbert:

Baba is right?

The American counter-insurgency paradigm for Afghan is bound to fail?

"par·a·digm - - n. - - One that serves as a pattern or model. A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline."

A paradigm that calls for winning the "hearts and minds" of the people [the Afghans]. This was the same paradigm that did not work so successfully in Vietnam?

A paradigm that recognizes that counter-insurgency is a battle best described as being 80 % political and only 20 % military.

A paradigm that calls for action on the part of a central government to "win the hearts and minds" of a dubious or neutral populace.

"Winning the hearts and minds" usually accomplished by what are euphemistically called civic action programs.

Programs to include [but not necessarily limited to]:

* Guaranteeing universal suffrage. [also holding free and fair elections]
* Building roads and bridges.
* Building schools. [providing education to BOTH boys and girls!]
* Building medical clinics and hospitals.
* In the case of Afghan, plowing under the poppy crop and providing an alternative cash crop. [no one is ever able to suggest what alternative crop can provide the same income for a destitute Afghan farmer, living from hand-to-mouth.]

ETC.

A strong central government "providing" for the populace. Win the support of the locals and turn them against the insurgents. This is the paradigm. A MODEL OF GOOD GOVERNMENT BASED UPON THE WESTERN MODEL! A paradigm doomed to failure in Afghan?

According to the late Zahir Shah, the last king of Afghanistan, this is not the way to rule the Afghan people. Zahir, referred to reverentially and affectionately as Baba [Father] by his people, in an interview, decades ago, with the National Geographic magazine, was most clear and concise on this issue!

Zahir Shah was quoted [I am paraphrasing here] that: "The Afghan people are a pleasure to rule. To rule successfully in Afghanistan, you basically have to do NOTHING!!"

For any ruler in Afghan, the key to success is to allow your sixteenth [16th] century people to lead their sixteenth [16th] century lives unmolested. Do not bother them with program, ideas, policies, etc., that are part of the "western" concept of good government.

THE BIG FOOTPRINT WILL NOT WORK IN AFGHAN!? RATHER, EXACERBATES AN ALREADY TENSE SITUATION!!??

This is correct? I fear it is so! Rather than helping the situation, the "western" model of good government will not work in the Afghan counter-insurgency situation. The "surge" as envisioned by Obama will do no good!?

I hope for the best, but fear the worst. This I have said before.

[taking action, "doing something" is a marked aspect of the American character. Doing NOTHING is alien to the American mentality. If I were to tell you, the devoted reader, that more damage was done to the enviroment by the clean up of the Alaskan Exxon Valdez oil spill than was done by the oil spill itself, would you believe me? More damage was done by cleaning up the mess than was done by the mess itself! True! But to suggest to do NOTHING is definitely un-American and alien to the American thought process!!]

coolbert.

Crash!

This is coolbert:

Here are three persons, celebrities from the entertainment business, dying in airplane crashes during World War Two [WW2]. Plane crashes directly related to the war effort, one crash totally explainable, the other two mysterious in nature, even to this day!!

1. Carole Lombard. American actress, at the height of her popularity in 1942. Enjoying a successful career, devoted to the American war effort, doing "her bit" by participating in war bond rallies.



"When the US entered World War II at the end of 1941, Lombard traveled to her home state of Indiana for a war bond rally. Just before boarding the plane, Lombard addressed her fans, saying: "Before I say goodbye to you all, come on and join me in a big cheer! V for Victory!" . . . After refueling in Las Vegas, Flight 3 took off on a clear night. However, beacons in the area had been blacked out because of the war, and the plane was 6.7 miles (10.8 km) off course . . . the plane crashed into 'Double Up Peak' . . . southwest of Las Vegas. All 22 passengers and crew were killed."

Because of wartime regulations - - the normal beacons used by domestic aircraft for navigation were turned off, the pilot, flying into a mountain, all aboard, including Carole Lombard - - killed.

2. Glenn Miller. American big band leader. Also "doing his bit" for the war effort, leading his band into "overseas" venues, as a morale boosting venture. Again, as with Carole Lombard, an entertainer at the absolute height of popularity, without question a major personality!



According to General Jimmy Doolittle: “[...]next to a letter from home, that organization [the band of Glenn Miller] was the greatest morale builder in the European Theater of Operations.”

Miller, meeting an untimely death under mysterious circumstances that are controversial to this day:

"On December 15, 1944, Miller . . . was to fly from the United Kingdom to Paris, France, to play for the soldiers who recently had liberated Paris. His plane departed from RAF Twinwood Farm, in Clapham, Bedfordshire, but disappeared over the English Channel."

"Miller's plane may have been bombed accidentally by Royal Air Force aircraft over the English Channel after an abortive air raid on Siegen, Germany. One hundred and thirty-eight Lancaster bombers, short on fuel, jettisoned approximately 100,000 incendiaries in a designated area before landing, per standing orders. The logbooks of Royal Air Force navigator Fred Shaw recorded that he saw a small single-engined monoplane spiraling out of control and crashing into the water."

OH MY!! Glenn Miller killed by friendly fire! Could very well be!

3. Leslie Howard. English actor, most famous for his role portraying Ashley Wilkes in the move, "Gone With the Wind"! The death of Howard is even MORE controversial! Killed while involved in "secret" work, all the while purportedly on a "goodwill" mission as an entertainer?



"Howard died in 1943 when he was returning to England from Lisbon on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines/BOAC Flight 777. The aircraft was shot down by a German Junkers Ju 88 over the Bay of Biscay. It has been rumoured that Howard was engaged in secret war work at the time"

"the Germans were almost certainly out to shoot down the plane in order to kill Howard himself. His intelligence-gathering activities (while ostensibly on 'entertainer goodwill' tours), as well as the chance to demoralise Britain with the loss of one of its most outspokenly patriotic figures, were behind the Luftwaffe attack"

"Howard was traveling through Spain and Portugal, ostensibly lecturing on film, but also meeting with local propagandists and shoring up support for the Allied cause. The Germans in all probability suspected even more surreptitious activities . . . A book by Spanish writer José Rey-Ximena called 'El Vuelo del Ibis' ('The Flight of the Ibis') claims that Howard was on a top secret mission for Churchill to warn Franco to keep out of the war."

THERE WAS ACTUAL PERSONAL ANIMUS DIRECTED AT HOWARD FROM THE UPPER ECHELONS OF THE NAZI REGIME? HOWARD WAS JEWISH AND AN OUTSPOKEN ENEMY OF THE NAZI!! THE ORDER TO KILL HOWARD WAS GIVEN FROM THE HIGHEST LEVEL!!??

Howard would have been working for the propaganda division of SOE [Special Operations Executive]? Whatever records regarding Howard and his "war work" are still highly classified to this day? Entertainers have many international contacts and can move freely from one nation to another, hobnobbing with upper-class types, having access and entre' to elements of society where few others do?

coolbert.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Commentary - - Impedimenta.

This is coolbert:

Here from a comment to the blog:

"highly trained and highly specialized SF teaming up with the Afghan army [Northern Alliance] and using air power to rat out the tallies [Taliban]."

"As I recall from a documentary I saw about Army SF, they operated as 12 man teams at the basic level and lived in very spartan conditions in sparsely constructed operating bases."

I do recall all the moaning and groaning from the military pundits and television "experts" in the days after 9/11. The realization was that the U.S. military would have to go into Afghan in a major way to root out Osama and his Taliban confederates. And the folks that "know" what is going on said it would take the U.S. military THREE MONTHS JUST TO GET STARTED!! And then the winter weather of Afghan,especially in the mountain passes, would make things so treacherous that no conceivable military operations would be possible. I do remember this all very well.

It took only three weeks for the American Special Forces [SF] teams, a total of about two hundred troops [200 men] period, [British SAS and other national special operations forces too] to link up with the Northern Alliance and begin operations.

Mil-ops using B-52 bombers based in Diego Garcia dropping JDAMS from 40,000 feet one moment, cavalry charges by the Northern Alliance forces the next being routine!!

Within weeks, the Taliban had been routed, Al Qaeda was on the run, and Kabul was safely in friendly hands. This WAS ALL TOTALLY UNANTICIPATED!!

Those so-called "experts" not only were wrong, they looked very silly in the process!

The SF troops also adopted, very controversially, Afghan national dress, complete with those large pantaloon trousers, baseball caps, and BEARDS as all part of the deal. Living rough, driving around on 4-wheel motor-cycle like ATV, sans creature comforts of any type, and doing quite well [just as SF are supposed to do].

There was even a widely publicized photo of a SF troop, riding horseback, complete with sunglasses, participating in a celebratory match of buzkhashi, the Afghan national sport. SF knew what to do, and did it well.

Personally, I consider that period just after 9/11 to be a very high point of American military history. What was thought to be very difficult if not downright impossible, was done with panache', aplomb, and all those other French words and terms that are so appropriate.

"panache' - – noun - - 1. a grand or flamboyant manner; verve; style; flair"

"aplomb - – noun - - 1. imperturbable self-possession, poise, or assurance."

SF too, not providing the enemy with targets. Moving constantly, the SF troops the aggressor, not being the hunted.

"Make the enemy bleed, make him keep his head down, make him wonder where you are coming from" - - G.S. Patton.

coolbert.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Taliban - - Ghazni.

This is coolbert:

"Afghanistan, the land that swallows armies, of ancient rifles in the hands of men as hard as mountains."

"The Russian army had hundreds of thousands of troops here and lost. Now it's the Americans" - - a Taliban fighter.

More very depressing headlines from the Afghan front:

"In Ghazni, Taliban have little to fear" - - January 12, 2009.

"In Ghazni province, at least, the Taliban militants are not frightened fighters skulking in caves, sneaking out to ambush and then scurrying off to another mountain hideout. They live comfortably in the farming villages where many of them were born, holding territory, recruiting and training new troops, reveling in what they see as God's gift of inevitable victory against heathen foreign occupiers."

"'In the early days [2001], there were many spies, so we had to move around in small groups,' Ahmadi said. 'But now we are in groups of 300 or 400. We have no problems.'"

Taliban hard-core units, now numbering company and even small battalion sized units are roaming around the Afghan countryside, foot-loose and fancy-free!!?? This cannot bode well!

And Ghazni too is NOT far from Kabul. These Taliban villains have the upper hand now, and know it. Ghazni was of course the capital of the great Afghan conqueror, Mahmud, from 1,000 years ago now. Ancient traditions die hard in Afghan. Memories of a long-ago past that are still alive and fresh in the mind of the Afghan? "We conquered the Russians and others way before them." "These Americans are no different than anyone else and are next on the agenda!"

From bad to worse in Afghan? That is NOW!!

coolbert.

Mission Accomplished?

This is coolbert:

Here from the last news conference at the very end of his Presidency, according to George Bush the Younger:

"Bush's final press conference: 'Mission accomplished' was a mistake"

QUESTION:

"when you look back over the long arc of your presidency, do you think in retrospect that you have made any mistakes? And, if so, what is the single biggest mistake that you may have made?"

PRESIDENT BUSH:

"Clearly, putting a 'mission accomplished' on a (sic) aircraft carrier was a mistake. It sent the wrong message. We were trying to say something differently, but, nevertheless, it conveyed a different message."

NO!!

The President was NOT trying to say something different, and did not send the wrong message.

"Mission accomplished" was not a mistake. In the context, "mission accomplished" meant, at the time, AND CORRECTLY SO, an end to military activities in Iraq at corps level and greater.

Victory had been achieved over the Iraqi military, Iraq had been "liberated", the despotic regime of Saddam deposed. All this was done and done with panache', in an admirable fashion!!

As defined, a cessation to military activities at corps level or greater, mission - - was accomplished!!

That banner was correct, and unashamedly so!!

Do I have dissenters??!!

coolbert.

Impedimenta!



This is coolbert:

Here is a disturbing headline courtesy of Mc Clatchy:

"U.S. Marines find Iraq tactics don't work in Afghanistan"

"Marines newly arrived in Afghanistan are discovering that the tactics they learned in nearly six years of combat in Iraq are of little value in their new war — and may even inhibit their ability to fight their Taliban foes."

Impedimenta slowing down the U.S. forces to include:

* "Mine-resistant [MRAP] vehicles are too slow"
* "body armor is too heavy"
* "heavily armored Humvees can't take the difficult Afghan terrain"

Roads, and use that word advisedly, are almost non-existent in Afghan. Those roads that do exist are unlike the semi-well developed road system of Iraq. Afghan roads are mere paths, or sandy, poorly developed dirt trails! Maybe in some areas, maybe many areas, NO ROAD EXISTS PERIOD!!

And the U.S. troop, wearing the fighting load, is too heavily encumbered to be able to keep up with, much less catch the fleet-of-foot Taliban adversary. Especially in mountainous terrain! Your average-everyday-run-of-the-mill Taliban wears the turban, a heavy wool cloak, those pantaloon trousers and slippers, carrying only an AK or a RPG, AND THAT IS THAT!!

For combat Afghan-style, we need the stripped down soldier? Sans kevlar helmet [wear the cloth cap], no body-armor, a minimum of ammo, low-quarter Converse-type canvas sneaker!!??

Stripped!!

Any Afghan vets like to comment??!!

coolbert.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Surprise?

This is coolbert:

Who has not seen the movie, "The Deer Hunter"?

One of the best movies of all time? I think so. Made a big impression at the time [1978], winning Academy awards for Best Picture and Best Director. Had an outstanding cast, De Niro, Walken, Streep!

A war movie, but MUCH MORE than a war movie!

And established Michael Cimino as a director of repute.

The career of Cimino - - after "The Deer Hunter" - - never seemed to go anywhere! For whatever combination of reasons - - after "Deer Hunter" - - nothing more of consequence from the man.

Cimino did seem to have all the right credentials to work as a director of the highest repute. An artiste' with the right background and qualifications!

"He graduated from Yale University, receiving his undergraduate degree in 1961 and his master's in 1963."

AND TOO, A MAN PERHAPS UNIQUELY QUALIFIED TO DIRECT A FILM DEALING WITH THE VIETNAM WAR!! SO IT WAS PRESENTED BY THE MAN HIMSELF!!

From the wiki entry regarding the military service of Michael Cimino:

"Military service"

"During the production of The Deer Hunter, Cimino had given co-workers . . . the vague impression that much of the storyline was biographical, somehow related to the director’s own experience and based on the experiences of men he had known during his service in Vietnam. Just as the film was about to open, Cimino gave an interview to The New York Times in which he claimed that he had been 'attached to a Green Beret medical unit' at the time of the Tet Offensive of 1968."

BUT, PERHAPS, NOT EXACTLY SO!?

This claim of Cimino resulted in some acerbic comments being made by certain cinematic moguls:

* "Universal Studios president Thom Mount commented at the time that 'I know this guy. He was no more a medic in the Green Berets than I’m a rutabaga.'”

[it is worth noting that allegedly Cimino DID NOT claim he was a medic in the Green Berets. He did say [?] that he was a medic attached to a unit of Green Berets.]

Further more:

* [a reporter was able to] "corroborate that Cimino had done a stint as an Army medic, but also discovered that the director had never been attached to the Green Berets, and that his active service – just six months in 1962 – had been as a reservist who never deployed to Vietnam"

Michael Cimino - - was a fully qualified and trained combat medic? BUT DID NOT SERVE WITH THE GREEN BERETS IN VIETNAM! Cimino was an army reservist during the whole time of the Vietnam War, and strictly that, NOT serving in-country, as they say? Perhaps, trained with Special Forces designated personnel who were beginning the initial stages of becoming qualified as a Green Beret medic. At the time, to become a Special Forces medic, you first had to complete the army basic combat medic course.

To that extent, Cimino served with Green Berets and was attached to the same unit? That 1962 date would fit in well with the period between graduations for baccalaureate and masters degree!

[thanks to Rich J., a Green Beret medic from the period for the clarification on the details regarding medic training!]

More than a little embellishment on the part of Cimino? You decide!

coolbert.

Moustache!

This is coolbert:

"when Hitler was a still a political upstart, he [Hanfstaengl] advised him that his patch of a moustache was unattractive and that he should grow it wider; to which Hitler replied, 'If it is not the fashion now, it will be later because I wear it.'" - - [Ernst Hanfstaengl] recalled [in conversation with] in 1923.

Referring here to the "toothbrush moustache". As worn by Adolf Hitler. Was not fashionable at the time prior to Hitler assuming power, but became fashionable in the years AFTER Hitler assumed power.

"The Toothbrush moustache (also called Hitler moustache, Charlie Chaplin moustache or 1/3 moustache) is a bushy moustache, shaved at the edges, except for three to five centimetres above the centre of the lip. The sides of the moustache are vertical rather than tapered."

"The style is now unpopular in the West due to its strong association with Hitler."

And, not ONLY in the west too. NOT favored in China either. Japanese soldiers too during WW2, bent on conquest and atrocity, also wore a version of the "toothbrush"?

"In China a trimmer version of this moustache is viewed as a stereotype of Japanese people, especially of Japanese soldiers from the Second World War."

Including Hitler, here are some of the major players in the Third Reich who emulated the "fashion statement" of Hitler and also wore a "toothbrush"! Sought to ingratiate by imitation? A poor choice, I must say!




A. Hitler.



Kurt Zeitzler.



Heinrich Himmler.



Oskar Dirlewanger.



Sepp Dietrich.


Some comments about these various individuals:

* NOT necessarily lick spittle fawning toadies. NOT merely YES men but often persons with strong personalities of their own.

* Ernst Hanfstaengl was a very early supporter of Hitler and National Socialism. A personal confidant in many regards. During World War Two [WW2] defected to the Americans and provided some interesting intelligence and insights into the behavior and personality of Hitler.

* Dietrich was the man called "Hitler's favorite soldier!"! I am not sure if that is good.

* Zeitzler was hand-picked [by Hitler] to succeed Halder as the German Chief of Staff. Jumped way over the heads of many senior and more experienced general officers to assume command. Took over the German Army at a bad time, when defeat became apparent and Hitler became more and more adamant and uncompromising in his [Hitler] decisions.

* Dirlewanger was a certifiable sociopath who led a unit comprised of certifiable sociopaths. A mad man leading a band of mad men!

"The style is now unpopular in the West due to its strong association with Hitler."

And, will be, more or less - - forever? I would think so!

coolbert.