Friday, February 27, 2009

Chivalry.

This is coolbert:

For those that are interested, here is a series of entries from my previous blog, Military Thoughts, that deals with the topic of chivalry, modern and old. Even from the era of World War Two [WW2], there are some instances of chivalry? British naval personnel, vanquished in battle, on three occasions being awarded the Victoria Cross, UPON RECOMMENDATION OF THE GERMAN ADVERSARY, the latter observing and duly commenting upon!!

1. Chivalry I - - The Concept.

2. Chivalry II - - The Ideal.

3. Chivalry III - - Lewis.

4. Chivalry IV - - Saladin.

5. Chivalry V. - - The Thirty.

6. Chivalry VI - - Edward.

7. Chivalry VII - - Southerland/Sakai - - Conclusion.

coolbert.

Bangladesh.

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune today:

NATION & WORLD

BANGLADESH - - Border guards relent, end insurrection

“A Bangladeshi border guard stands inside the unit’s headquarters Thursday in the capital, Dhaka, before the mutinous border guards agreed to lay down their weapons and end a two-day rebellion. At least 18 people were killed in the insurrection after 2,000 guards opened fire on their senior officers and seized their headquarters to protest poor pay and conditions.”

The photograph accompanying this particular Tribune article shows a very sour looking “border guard”, wearing this camouflage uniform, holding his apparently loaded AK. NOT a person you want to get on the bad side of!

Some comments:

* This is typical 3rd World shenanigans. A para-military unit, “border guards”, shoot their officers, threaten the “central government, and more or less get what they want. I am not sure if the term “Third World” is still relevant? The paradigm of 1st world, 2nd world, 3rd world is no longer valid?

* I am not sure what exact border these “border guards” are guarding? That 4,000 kilometer [2,500 mile] double fence barrier between Indian and Bangladesh has more or less sealed the common border between those two countries? If anything, Bangladeshis would BE TRYING TO GET OUT OF BANGLADESH, SO GREAT IS THE POVERTY OF THAT NATION!

* 3rd World military or para-military units [such as these “border guards”] more than anything else are used primarily for internal control and repression of their own population. “Head knockers” accustomed to using force and having their way! When these guys get mad - - everyone had just better look out!!

[please do not think of these folks as being analogous to an American Border Patrol agent!]

* Bangladesh of course is the one place in the world where the British Admiral Parry contends is most susceptible to a societal and governmental breakdown that will spread worldwide. In such circumstance [societal and governmental breakdown], fully expect these “border guards” to exacerbate an already desperate situation. You can only sense the degree of indiscipline among such “troops”, “guards” that shoot their own officers and take over headquarters. If things get out of hand, there will be no controlling these guys!!

coolbert.

Nimrod.

This is coolbert:

any person living under the protection of the Queen, owes allegiance to the Queen!! - - old English law.

From Afghan - - a very troubling development.

Instances of treasonous behavior, on the part of those that DO OWE allegiance to the Queen.

"British citizens, English passport holders, persons born and bred in England, taking up arms and fighting for the Taliban in Afghan!!"

"British soldiers are engaged in 'a surreal mini civil war' with growing numbers of home-grown jihadists who have travelled to Afghanistan to support the Taliban"

British Nimrod aircraft, intercepting Taliban radio transmissions of persons speaking with discernible English accents [Midlands and Yorkshire]!

"Interceptions of Taliban communications have shown that British jihadists – some 'speaking with West Midlands accents' – are active in Helmand and other parts of southern Afghanistan"

"it is in Afghanistan that British forces are now directly facing fellow Britons on the other side. RAF Nimrod aircraft flying over Afghanistan at up to 40,000ft have been picking up Taliban electronic 'chatter' in which voices can be heard in West Midlands and Yorkshire accents . . . showing the presence of more British voices in the Taliban front line."

British citizens, English passport holders, but NOT Englishmen in the generally understood, normal, and commonly accepted form of the term Englishman! FELLOW BRITONS, BUT NOT EXACTLY FELLOW BRITONS!!

Descendants of those immigrants from Pakistan and the British Raj that have been living in Great Britain for several generations now. Muslims, young men having dual and conflicting allegiances, “radicalized” and accepting the path of jihad! Young English Muslim men, willing and able to FIGHT AGAINST the British Army and their own fellow citizenry, having decided their real loyalty lies with the world-wide Islamic community [ummah]!!

This is treason! NO OTHER description suffices. The usual penalty for treason, the world-over, is death!! However, DO NOT expect to see, as in the old days, any of these turncoats hanging from Traitor’s Gate, or having their heads taken off and stuck on a pole! Britain is now ”civilized”, being a member of the EU. The death penalty if no longer an option!

There does exist, living in England, a LARGE number of disaffected and hate-filled angry young Muslim men. The British actually do run a risk of having a Second English Civil War occur? In particular, those young Somali refugees pose a most significant risk, 10 % of them being able to field strip an AK in less than a minute while blindfolded!!

Five [MI-5] and Six [MI-6] know who these bad guys are? If and when any of the traitors ever attempt to set foot on English soil again, measures will be taken against the miscreants? One would certainly hope so!

Religion as a motivation for treason is a phenomenon NOT SEEN in England since the Elizabethan era! Chapman Pincher in his book dealing with the motivations of traitors only mentions in passing religion as a motivating factor.

Was a non-entity, AT LEAST UNTIL NOW!!

coolbert.

Chivalry!

This is coolbert:

Here is another example of chivalry in modern times.

The senior German military commander [World War One] in German East Africa, upon hearing of the death of Frederick Selous, writes a letter of apology and condolence. Regrets the death and the manner of death of so noble an adversary on the battlefield.

"General von Lettow-Vorbeck, known as 'The Lion of Afrika,' the supreme commander of the German colonial army, himself an admirer of Selous, wrote a personal condolence note, apologizing for the 'ungentlemanly death' incurred by D.S.O. Captain Selous at the hand of the German Army."

Professional military men do take this sort of stuff seriously?

Please remember the precedent of the British commander, Ferguson, during the American Revolutionary War. When having the opportunity to snipe and kill George Washington, Ferguson declined. Ferguson, in a concealed position, awaiting an opportunity to kill an American rebel, had George Washington and perhaps Casimir Pulaski BOTH in his sights. But DID NOT FIRE! Reasons given by Ferguson were to include:

* The distance was too short to consider the venture “sporting”!! [Washington and Pulaski were only fifty yards away]

* The men were officers, not enlisted soldiers. [it was not the role of gentlemen to kill other gentlemen!]

* The two men were “brave men” comporting themselves in a valorous manner and did not deserve to die!

The nature of modern warfare, impersonal, mechanized, industrialized, by-the-numbers battle drill and bureaucracy has done away almost totally with the concept of chivalry! BUT NOT TOTALLY!

coolbert.

Al-Marri Again.

This is coolbert:

The case of Ali al-Marri is finally coming to a head?

The man, a terrorist, who entered the U.S. [as a legal resident], JUST ONE DAY BEFORE 9/11, is going to go on trial.

Will be tried [?], in an ordinary civilian criminal court, on charges of "giving material assistance to a terrorist organization"!

The same charges that were levied against Jose Padilla. Charges resulting in the conviction of Padilla, Padilla receiving an eighteen-year prison term.

The Obama administration has made the decision to conduct the war-on-terror as a criminal matter? It would seem so. We are in a state-of-war [as acknowledged by the Attorney General Holder], but will fight the war as if it was a civil criminal matter?

MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, THIS DECISION REGARDING AL-MARRI [AND OTHERS LIKE HIM] HAS BEEN MADE MERELY FOR THE SAKE OF RESOLVING OUTSTANDING QUESTIONS WITHOUT REGARD TO LONG-TERM RAMIFICATIONS??!!

Al-Marri at worst is a terrorist whose mission perhaps included the mass murder of American civilians. A mission to be accomplished in the manner of the UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT [the newspapers repeatedly refer to al-Marri as merely an enemy combatant, neglecting in a purposeful way to omit the word UNLAWFUL!!]!! At best, al-Marri is an enemy spy belonging to, adhering to, and owing allegiance to a terrorist organization whose stated purpose is to kill MILLIONS OF AMERICANS!!

In either case, al-Marri is a man who merits DEATH!!

Being prosecuted in a civil criminal court, charged with "giving material assistance to a terrorist organization" will result in a punishment that will be far less than death!!

Having been locked away in a military brig for over seven years now, al-Marri, even if found guilty [and there is no absolute certainty he will be found guilty], will be more or less immediately eligible for release!! This of course is all predicated on al-Marri receiving more or less the same sentence as Jose Padilla.

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, I doubt ANYONE WOULD HAVE BELIEVED THE CASE OF AL-MARRI WOULD EVENTUALLY TRANSPIRE AS IT HAS??!!

coolbert.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Messages?

This is coolbert:

The question has been asked: "Why do the bin laden's favor such a short barreled AK??"

We are speaking here about the snub-nosed version of the AK-74. The AKS-74U.

A weapon designed as a half-measure between an assault rifle and a sub-machine gun. A weapon originally intended to be used by armored vehicle crews, etc. For some reason, a favorite companion of the jihadi Al Qaeda villainous leadership of Osama, Zawahiri, etc.

"the AKS-74U . . . in terms of tactical deployment, bridges the gap between a submachine gun and assault rifle. It is intended for use mainly with special forces, airborne infantry, rear-echelon support units and armored vehicle crews."

A weapon, too, when displayed in the background during a visual communique from Al Qaeda leadership, functions as a signalling device of some sort? Allows operational units to know that secret messages have been forwarded to recipients, placed in a "lock box" and are now retrievable?

[this is all speculation on my part!!]

A signalling system relying upon the orientation of the AK in the image, with or without magazine! The AK is placed to either the right or left of Osama. The AK has an inserted magazine or is sans! The magazine, if inserted points to the right or left. Exact placement of the various elements has significance only discernible to the initiated? Jihadi operational units know the system and can readily determine if the message "lock box" needs to be emptied!

Secret messages sent via steganography [steg]. Secret messages embedded within an ordinary-appearing image, an image placed somewhere ["lock box"] on the Internet! Steganography, a cryptographic legacy of the Victorian era [used even before that too] long thought to be passe', outmoded, archaic and not even any longer worthy of consideration, NOW enjoying a remarkable comeback!!

"Steganography is the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no-one apart from the sender and intended recipient even realizes there is a hidden message, a form of security through obscurity"

"International interest in R&D for steganography technologies and their commercialization and application has exploded in recent years. These technologies pose a potential threat to national security. Because steganography secretly embeds additional, and nearly undetectable, information content in digital products, the potential for covert dissemination of malicious software, mobile code, or information is great."

A signalling system as exemplified by the examples below:






























There was even before 9/11, speculation that Al Qaeda was using the Internet to send secret communications to operatives. And in the aftermath of 9/11, such speculation became even more of a concern.

"a captured terrorist training manual, the "Technical Mujahid, a Training Manual for Jihadis" contains a section entitled 'Covert Communications and Hiding Secrets Inside Images.'"

The 9/11 commission did look into this matter - - their conclusion being - - INCONCLUSIVE!!?? NO ONE HAS A GOOD HANDLE ON THIS??!!

Go here to see an interesting and very informative presentation on steganography, courtesy of the crypto guru Elonka.

Please note too that these various steganography algorithms not only hide the message, but most allow for encryption as well. An interceptor, knowing that an image contains a hidden message, is faced with a cryptanalytic problem as well!! Algorithms that are readily available from the Internet, freeware and shareware both!!

Personally, I am fairly impressed with the entire modern steg concept. With something like 28 billion images on the Internet, 1 billion or so being viewed daily, the task of EVEN LOCATING AND EMBEDDED SECRET MESSAGE AND DECRYPTING SAME IS NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE? Your average-everyday-jihadi has hit upon the "gold mine" of messaging that defies compromise? I fear so!

coolbert.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Abu Hamzah.

This is coolbert:

Here, thanks to the Prisoner of Joy website, a description of a phenomenon that the "true believer" accepts as fact. The remains of a fallen Islamic martyr, having died in furtherance of the faith, emitting a musk-like smell!

[martyrs in the Islamic tradition can die while fighting and killing for the faith. In the Christian tradition, a martyr is one who dies for the faith, BUT NOT taking of life!!]

"Fragrant Scent From The Body Parts Of An Al-Qassam Fighter "

"Despite being shattered to pieces, the body of an Al-Qassam [Hamas] fighter emitted a fragrant scent, and it repeated 20 days after his death."

"The family of Abdullah As Shani' was surprised at the smell of musk that dispersed inside the room where the body pieces of their son were laid"

"nothing was left out of his body except his head and chin, whereas the rest of his body parts were 'crushed” by the Israeli rocket.'"

Blown to fragments by a bomb from an F-16 [??], the body of a Hamas fighter, does not decay in the normal fashion, but rather gives off, for weeks afterward, a MUSK LIKE SMELL!! This is the remains of Abu Hamzah [nom de guerre] who died while fighting the Israeli.





I repeat here, with slight alteration, from a blog entry made a long time ago:

From Joseph Campbell's book "Occidental Mythology":

"according to the Shia, martyrs in the cause of Ali suffer only in appearance. Their true bodies are lifted to heaven, while in the hands of their executioners mere substitutes remain . . . But those of extreme Gnostic persuasion give praise that day with joy, since the martyred one could not possibly have suffered, but in his true body returned that day, to heaven, while an unknown suffered death for him on the field."

"This is really heavy stuff!!! Martyrdom for the Shia believer [this belief to some degree is shared with the Sunni also??] [and martyrdom would include being killed by Israeli soldiers], is not a real death. YOU DO NOT REALLY DIE!! Your real body is taken to heaven while an image is left behind for your enemies to behold. AND MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT, THESE HAMAS FIGHTERS ARE TRUE BELIEVERS. To them, their religion is just not a belief system, IT IS THE REAL THING!!!!"

Whisked away by the angels to heaven, in corporeal form, just at the exact moment of death, an image that emits a musk-like odor left behind for onlookers to behold and marvel at!!??

coolbert.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Al Amriki.


This is coolbert:

Here from the web site Prisoner of Joy is a communique from an American currently fighting with the jihadi in Somalia. A white Caucasian American ex-military man who has gone rogue? Never had heard of this guy before. This is really bad. You can almost forgive an idiot like Adam Gadahn for joining the jihadi cause. But this guy is different. A real threat if there ever was one. A professional American soldier of the highest quality, trained to lead into battle guerrillas/insurgents in the manner of the U.S. Special Forces [SF]!!

Abu Mansoor al-Amriki.

And a white man, a Caucasian too! A white Moor? Fighting in black Africa. With persons that ordinarily detests, despise, hates the European/American with an extreme revulsion.



"Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki (The American Mujahid In Somalia) - A Message To The Mujahideen In Particular & The Muslims In General "

"Abu Mansoor al-Amriki [the American], is an ex-US soldier who fought in Bosnia in the early 1990s. No US soldiers officially fought in the Bosnia war, but about a dozen Muslim ex-US Special Forces soldiers fought in Bosnia and trained al-Qaeda and other mujaheddin forces there around 1993"

This man is a naturalized American Muslim who served in the SF and later went bad? Or was a native born American SF man who converted to Islam and has taken up the cause of jihad with the ferocity of the zealot??

My guess is that this man sees himself as a latter-day T.E. Lawrence. A "Seven Pillar of Wisdom" man who wants to make a mark on the world and will do so by leading a guerrilla/insurrectionist/terrorist army of jihadis on the path of world conquest. So he sees himself in the mirror.

And is now too - - an excellent candidate from a Hellfire missile from a drone or an explosive fifty caliber round [raufoss] from a long-range sniper rifle.

This man is dangerous and must be brought down, and soon too!!

coolbert.

Behead.

This is coolbert:

First, consider this headline and article from "Slate":

"Decapitation and the Muslim World Is there any special significance to beheading in Islam?"

This particular article from Slate seems to suggest that the current wave of beheadings as perpetrated the world-over by persons only best described as jihadists IS NOT A PHENOMENON UNIQUE TO ISLAM!! And, indeed, beheading has been historically NOT been something that is particularly unique to Islam. A practice, taking off the head of a vanquished enemy, rather, having a final, climactic, irrevocable decisiveness to battlefield victory. A enemy and foe, soldier or civilian, being dealt with in a manner that is totally with remediation!!

Now, consider also, from only the last three days, additional headlines, thanks to JihadWatch and Robert Spencer:

"Couple beheaded in Thai south "

Sun, Feb 22, 2009 - - AFP

"YALA - A MARRIED couple were shot dead by separatist rebels in Thailand's far south on Sunday, who then beheaded the husband and left his corpse in a rubber plantation, police said."

Yala province, bordering Thailand and Malaysia. Separatist rebels - - MUSLIMS!!

This is the type of thing that really pisses you off. A married couple, probably Buddhists, going about their own business, unarmed, defenseless, "little people", murdered and then the body of the husband defiled!! This is not rebellion, it is TERRORISM!!

"Attackers behead 2 soldiers in southern Thailand"

"PATTANI, Thailand (AP) — Suspected Muslim insurgents ambushed a military convoy and beheaded two soldiers in southern Thailand on Friday in the second such attack this month, police said."

"a 10-minute gun battle broke out after the ambush, and the teams of soldiers became separated. Later, the bodies of the two soldiers were found with their heads cut off."

In both instances, Muslim killer gangs, jihadists, waging low-intensity warfare against the Thai government and the Buddhist populace of Yala province, taking heads as prizes of war, souvenirs of bloody deeds that has Koranic sanction?

Muslim killer gangs, Salafists, waging a jihad against poly-theists [Buddhists], for which no quarter is given at all. These "insurrectionists" are Salafists?

Salafists, those jihadi that adhere to the belief that Islam in the pure state has been only practiced by the first three generations of Muslims. To include the generation of Muhammad and the two subsequent generations following!!

THOSE FIRST THREE GENERATIONS OF MUSLIMS WHO WAGED WAR BY THE SWORD, LOPPING OFF HEADS ON THE BATTLEFIELD OR IN INSTANCES OF GIVING NO QUARTER TO THOSE POLY-THEISTS WHO REFUSED TO CONVERT TO ISLAM!!

Slate is in part right, and IN PART WRONG?? You judge.

coolbert.

Quartermain.


This is coolbert:

From the book "Child of Storm", "Chapter II. The Moonshine of Zikali" by H. Rider Haggard:

"'You cannot read the signs?' he said, holding it towards me; and when I shook my head went on: 'Well, I can, as you white men read a book. All your history is written here, Macumazahn . . . All your future, also, a very strange future,' and he scanned the stone with interest. 'Yes, yes; a wonderful life, and a noble death far away.'"

Zikali, the Zulu sangoma [wizard] foretells the future for the hero of the book, Allan Quartermain. A FUTURE TO INCLUDE A "NOBLE DEATH FAR AWAY"!!

[Macumazahn is the name by which the Zulu refer to Quartermain!! Means either: "Watcher-by-Night" or "One who stands out"]

"Sangoma: Whereas the Inyanga treats physical disease, the Sangoma is concerned with the psychic world"

Zulu wizards, dwarfs with magical and mystical powers, able to leave the body at will, in a trance, travel to the "other world", and divine the future. Such a person, in the FICTIONAL ACCOUNT OF H. RIDER HAGGARD, IS ZIKALI!!

The person of Allan Quartermain, the archetype of the great white hunter in Africa, exploring regions unknown and untrod by any white man prior, is patterned upon the real life person of Frederick Selous. An Englishman who in the second half of the nineteenth century, did explore and penetrate regions of African unknown to the civilized world.

"Frederick Courteney Selous DSO . . . famous for his exploits in south and east of Africa. His real-life adventures inspired Sir H. Rider Haggard to create the fictional Allan Quatermain character."

Selous, a man of vigor and ability and natural courage, DID INDEED DIE A NOBLE DEATH IN A PLACE FAR AWAY!!

Volunteered for military service in World War One [WW1], AT THE ADVANCED AGE OF SIXTY FOUR YEARS, LEADING TROOPS INTO COMBAT. KILLED IN ACTION!!

"In World War I, at the age of 64, Selous participated in the fighting in East Africa, joining as a Captain in the uniquely composed 25th (Frontiersmen) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers"

"On January 4, 1917, Selous was fighting a bush-war on the banks of the Rufiji river, against the German colonial Schutztruppen, in odds outnumbered one to five. That morning, in combat . . . he raised his head and binoculars to locate the enemy, and was shot in the head by a German sniper. He was killed instantly."

A noble death indeed for a man of sixty four years, not eschewing combat even in advanced years, under the most rugged and dangerous of circumstances!!

The book - - "Child of Storm" - - was only written - - published - - and released for to the general public - - in 1912!! Two years before the start of WW1!

"H. RIDER HAGGARD. - - Ditchingham, 12th October, 1912."

Selous in real life was Quartermain in fiction. The death of Quartermain in fiction as foretold by the Zulu wizard Zikali was indeed the death of Selous in real life!!

Truth is stranger than fiction? In this case truth and fiction intermingle in an inexplicable and unanticipated manner?

coolbert.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Watch.

This is coolbert:

"ye french and Indians had murthered ye People of Skinnechtady; haveing got into ye Towne about 11 or 12 a Clock there being no Watch Kept (ye Inhabitants being so negligent & Refractory)"


The Schenectady Massacre - - 1690. French/Indian irregulars, attacking under cover of darkness the English/Dutch settlement of Schenectady. Destroying the town, murdering or taking hostage the inhabitants. French/Indian marauders whose successful attack greatly relied upon the absence of any sort of sentry or guard!!

Watchfulness, alertness, wakefulness, vigilance are all attributes of the military sentry. Attributes enhanced by the use of stimulants [artificial or otherwise]. caffeine, yerba mate', amphetamines [??]!

It is intuitively obvious that a sentry or guard, improperly performing his duty [falling asleep] during combat operations, is a most serious offense. A crime, the punishment for [during a time of war] - - is death!! A crime, an offense, especially egregious in nature, imperiling the entire unit, a violation against the collective!!

Here from the current U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice [UCMJ]:

"ARTICLE 113. MISBEHAVIOR OF A SENTINEL OR LOOKOUT"

"Any sentinel or look-out who is found drunk or sleeping upon his post, or leaves it before he is regularly relieved, shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct"

You can receive the death penalty in wartime, for sleeping on guard duty, EVEN IF NOTHING UNTOWARD OCCURS DURING YOUR WATCH!!

The death penalty for a military man falling asleep while standing watch is an ancient "tradition"?

The ancient Romans for instance, applying their severe, authoritarian and draconian military penal code, almost always, perhaps without exception, meted out death for sentries and guards "misbehaving" while standing watch!!

"the standard penalty in the Roman legions for falling asleep while on guard duty was death"

Indeed so strict was the military penal code of the ancient Romans, Christian scholars have pointed to the "faultless attention to duty, especially during the night watch," as an indication that SOMETHING MIRACULOUS OCCURRED TO THE BODY OF JESUS AFTER HIS CRUCIFIXION!! The Roman soldiers noted for their extreme diligence would not have allowed the body of JESUS to be whisked away while under their guard!! So goes the argument, believe it or not!!

"First, consider the Roman guard the Jewish authorities so thoughtfully placed around the tomb, complete with the imperial seal (Matthew 27:62-66). The Roman guards were extremely capable soldiers. The death penalties threatened upon soldiers sleeping while on guard duty produced discipline and a 'faultless attention to duty, especially during the night watch,'"

Keep alert, keep awake, keep vigilant, or else. And drink that yerbe matte' too!!

coolbert.

Nimitz.

This is coolbert: Nimitz.

Have been watching - - sporadically - - the documentary “Carrier” on public broadcast television.

About the U.S. aircraft carrier Nimitz and a recent deployment of same.

Pretty well done program. A documentary primarily concentrating on the various roles, duties and relationships of the lower ranking enlisted, men and women both.

On the Nimitz [other naval vessels also?], a lot of emphasis is placed upon:

* Preventing racial discord. If you are written up for disparaging racial comments or actions, you are punished and made to wear a tag with a big letter “R” on it. [for racialist obviously]

* Preventing unwanted sexual misconduct between the male and female sailors.

* Proper comportment and demeanor during port calls. Drunkenness, abusive and foolish behavior strictly punished. The desire is to impress and not offend the locals, of whatever nationality.

At one point in the documentary, the Nimitz had to pass through the Strait of Malacca. On route to station in the Persian Gulf. During the transit of this ancient and famous choke point [Malacca], the crew was on special alert to ward off small boat attack.

Prevent a jihadi attack of the type that severely crippled the U.S.S. Cole. Little putt-putt boat crammed with high explosive approaches the Nimitz, detonates, leaving a gaping hole. NOT necessarily sinking the carrier, but causing enough damage to abort the mission.

Crewmembers in the old-fashioned manner manning stations preparing to repel attackers. Equipped with a variety of small arms to include:

* Fifty caliber [.50] and M60 [7.62 mm] machine guns.

* M-16 and M-14 rifles.

Additionally, attack [?] helicopters flying off the Nimitz constantly hovering and circling the mother ship [Nimitz], constantly on the watch for potential threat.

[the Nimitz needs to have several Marine AH-1 Z version Huey Cobra attack “choppers” on board? That would greatly enhance protection during such transits? I would also equip those enlisted personnel with the antiquated but still effective 106 mm recoilless rifle, firing the "beehive” flechette round. Able to send any prospective jihadi “martyrs” to the seventy-two black eyed virgins in a HURRY!!]

In addition, I would not preclude the possibility of SMALL AIRCRAFT ATTACK. A private plane or helicopter carrying a goodly amount of explosive OR EVEN BOARDERS TO LAND ON THE FLIGHT DECK, ATTEMPTING TO PENETRATE THE INSIDE OF THE SHIP!!

[a helicopter carrying armed jihadi, a squad sized element or so, equipped with small arms, adorned with suicide explosive vests, landing on the deck of the carrier and attempting to penetrate the interior of the vessel. An attack that would have be repelled by crew members of the Nimitz using small arms, boots, fists, lengths of steel pipe, etc.]

The enlisted crewmembers of the Nimitz have Stinger type peashooter shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles at their disposal?

[the former SEAL Marcinko related that one occasion, a Navy SEAL team as part of a penetration exercise, was able to land, undeterred, via helicopter, on the deck of an aircraft carrier, assault the bridge, CAPTURING AND COMPROMISING THE ENTIRE SHIP IN THE PROCESS!!]

Modern day sailors of the U.S. Navy are no longer just technologists. Have to be able to pick up whatever implement or small arm is at hand, and fight to repel boarders or attackers, and do so at a moments notice?

coolbert.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Stimulant!

This is coolbert:

From the National Geographic issue January 2005 article - - "Caffeine".

A description of a military experiment - - the goal of which is to find a "natural" stimulant - - to provide a boost for combat troops!

"Allowed just three hours of sleep in 52 hours of running, target shooting and vigilance exercises, weary soldiers in Canada's Operation Nighthawk tested chewing gum with 100 milligrams of caffeine per stick as a 'fatigue countermeasure.' Absorbed directly through membranes in the mouth, chewed caffeine goes to work three times faster than caffeine in drinks or pills."

Soldiers, deprived of sleep and put through a variety of exercises to the point of exhaustion, are given a "stimulant" [caffeine] to restore and enhance alertness and counter fatigue. Attempting to see if troops can maintain a high level of performance for extended periods of time, while getting very limited rest, given a "stimulant" [caffeine], natural in form, not addictive. An alternative to amphetamines.

Amphetamines can give a person: "a mental state of wakefulness, focus and alertness" but with very bad side effects. A more natural stimulant is desired. But "naturalness" given in what quantities and how administered is the question!

[caffeine too has drawbacks: "anxiety, jitteriness", and heart palpitations"]

Here, as researched by the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, is a possible superior alternative to caffeine.

"Yerba mate (British spelling, Yerba-maté . . . is a species of holly (family Aquifoliaceae) native to subtropical South America in Argentina, eastern Paraguay, western Uruguay and southern Brazil."

As imbibed by the gauchos of South America. A drink brewed from the leaves of the yerba mate', high in caffeine but without [high blood pressure if taken with certain other medications has been observed] any debilitating effect. NO "anxiety, jitteriness", and heart palpitations"! And also, having nutritional value as well.

"The gaucho diet was composed almost entirely of beef while on the range, supplemented by yerba mate, an herbal tea-like drink rich in caffeine and nutrients"

"Mate products are sometimes marketed as "caffeine-free" alternatives to coffee and tea, and said to have fewer negative effects."

"From reports of personal experience with mate, its physiological effects are similar to (yet distinct from) more widespread caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, or guarana drinks. Users report a mental state of wakefulness, focus and alertness reminiscent of most stimulants, but often remark on mate's unique lack of the negative effects typically created by other such compounds, such as anxiety, 'jitteriness', and heart palpitations."

"Mate's negative effects are anecdotally claimed to be of a lesser degree than those of coffee . . . Many users report that drinking yerba mate does not prevent them from being able to fall asleep, as is often the case with some more common stimulating beverages, while still enhancing their energy and ability to remain awake at will."

Yerba Mate'! The drink that does it all? Increased energy, alertness, but no side effects and you can fall asleep when you want to. Drugging the troops with amphetamines is not the way to go. Will become abused and have too many side effects to be handle responsibly. Also distort the mental processes and prevent sound decisions from being made.

[years ago at the National Training Center [NTC], U.S. Army battalions were put through two and three days of continuous field exercises [FTX] against the OPFOR. Battalion commanders thought they could go during the entire time of the FTX without sleep and remain in total control, AND STILL RETAIN THEIR FULL SENSES OF DECISION MAKING!! This was found very quickly to be not true. These commanders quite often made erroneous critical decisions in a befuddled state of bleary-eyed sleeplessness!!]

Perhaps too, some of these Zulu inyanga [witch doctors] already know about this stuff [non-debilitating stimulants] and have yet another alternative? Zulu military units did have "embedded" combat medics [inyanga] who have a formidable range of pharmaceuticals at their disposal, all enhancing the fighting ability of the troop!

coolbert.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Warbot.

This is coolbert:

Here is a program, an audio file from National Public Radio that you may want to listen to:

"'Wired For War' Explores Robots On The Battlefield"

Works best of course with a high-speed Internet connection. Much slower and takes a goodly time to download with dial-up. Worth listening to, however.

P.W. Singer, "expert" on the subject of "warbots" [war robots] is being interviewed. Makes some startling and surprising claims concerning the aspect of robotics as now being employed by the U.S. military.

Warbots are NOW an integral part of all U.S. military operations. NOT merely a curiosity but now mission integrated at all echelons and in an ever increasing manner.

Actual numbers of warbots being employed are indeed startling:

* Now over 5,300 drone [UAV/RPV] aircraft in some manifestation are being used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Compared to almost none in 2003. This includes drones used by all services, sizes, shapes and forms.

* Over 12,000 ground robotics now being in Iraq!! Compared to zero in 2003.

Furthermore, according to Singer:

* Drone pilots have higher levels of PTSD than those aviators actually serving in combat. PTSD = Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A form of combat fatigue. Pilots "flying" drones in combat [engaging the enemy with Hellfire missiles] over Iraq and Afghan, BUT DOING SO FROM A REMOTE LOCATION STATESIDE [Nevada??] are suffering psychological damage normally ONLY associated with front line troops!!

* Iraq is the first YouTube war. You can watch while not actually being there. Over 7,000 clips of combat in Iraq are circulating on the Internet.

* Robotics and computer overrides have been around for some time. Greater "machine" autonomy is ALREADY HERE! The AEGIS naval missile system is a perfect example. AEGIS will continue to operate even if the ENTIRE CREW OF THE MISSILE CRUISER IS KILLED!!

In particular, the PackBot ground robotics unit and the C-RAM are warbots that have more than proven their worth. PackBot is built by the same folks that have brought to the commercial market the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner. C-RAM has been successful in defending the Iraq "Green Zone" against insurgent mortar and rocket fire.

Personal comment regarding the use of warbots by the U.S. military:

* The jihadi enemy will regard the use of warbots on the part of the American military with contempt and revulsion? To the jihadi, it is a sign of American weakness, physical and mental, to rely upon MACHINES? The jihadi prefers a knife-fight, looking you right in the eye, up close and personal. Warbots only increase the degree of contempt the jihadi has for American and "western" society and culture!!

coolbert.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Protocol.

This is coolbert:

This particular blog entry is borderline germane. Still - - I find this to be interesting.

Just prior to the recent American Presidential election, a devoted reader [JS Bolton] to my blog asked this question:

"Would Obama pass a security check for terrorist connections, and qualify to work as an airport screener [TSA baggage screener]?"

To which my reply was: "I suppose the best answer is - - it depends!"

“Depends” upon a series of criteria and protocols as MAY exist in the hiring process and background check for an applicant.

Criteria and protocols that if positive - - may signal red flags. Red flags that send up a “don’t hire” warning.

Among those possible red flag criteria and protocols I listed: [not sure if this exists or not, only speculative on my part!]:

"* An association with persons whose names appear in counter-intelligence files [Ayers & Dohrn], or is made apparent through data-mining."

NOW, dig this particular headline. From only just AFTER the American Presidential election.

"William Ayers turned back at Canadian border"

Bill Ayers, former Weather Underground radical/domestic terrorist/self-described communist with a small “c’, was DENIED ENTRY TO CANADA.

Turned around at the airport in Toronto and told, “go home!” For whatever reason!

The name of Bill Ayers DID appear on a list of some sort. A list of persons to be forbidden entry into Canada. NO reason given or has to be given either.

Canadian authorities have a data mining/TIA [Total Information Awareness] type of system that “red flags” visitors? Some sort of list or system that spit out damning info on Bill?

Lists do exist out there. If and when Barack Obama had applied for a job as a TSA baggage screener, during the hiring process, a background check using data mining/TSA protocols may have revealed a “linkage” between Bill and Barack? Precluding employment for the latter?

[Please recall to that ELECTED officials DO NOT require a security clearance. Persons elected are felt to have been deemed worthy of trust by the PUBLIC!]

Could be!

coolbert.

Dilemma?

This is coolbert:

As devoted readers to the blog are aware, President Obama has ordered the closing of Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo [Gitmo] within one year. The status of each inmate to be decided on an individual basis? Most will undoubtedly be released. A small remnant will continue to be held and possibly tried? I have in mind those folks, being held in Gitmo right now, that were directly involved in some manner with 9/11. Those 9/11 conspirators, villains, each and every one of them, are not to be released??!!

The Obama administration is going to have a dilemma here? Trying the bad guys in a criminal court might not result in a conviction? Evidence will not hold up under scrutiny due to allegations of “torture”? And these men do not fit the ordinary profile or legal status of a prisoner-of-war? What to do with them then?

From the Chicago Tribune today:

"NATION & WORLD"

"WASHINGTON, D.C."

"'OFFICIAL' NO TRIAL FOR WAR PRISONERS"

“Harvard Law Dean Elena Kagan, President Barack Obama’s choice to represent his administration before the Supreme Court, told a key Republican senator during hearings Tuesday that she believed the government could hold suspected terrorists without trial as war prisoners.”

Dean Kagan should MORE than believe? She should KNOW? Some German prisoner-of-war [POW] during World War Two detained [being held as a POW] while ON AMERICAN SOIL, actually sued for due process. This POW had his claim to lack of due process rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court. THERE IS PRECEDENT IN THIS MATTER OF POW’S begin held without “due process”. Surely Dean Kagan is aware of this??

“She echoed similar comments by Atty. Gen. Eric Holder during his confirmation hearing last month. Both agreed that the United States is at war with Al Qaeda, and suggest the law of war allows the government to capture and hold alleged terrorists without charges.”

IT IS NOT NECESSARILY CORRECT TO SAY “AT WAR”? More correct to say: IN A STATE OF WAR? NOT a declared war, but still WAR with all the manifestations thereof. A state of war!

“Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a former Air Force lawyer, said that under the law of war, the government can say: ‘If you’re part of the enemy force, there is no requirement to let them go back to the war and kill our troops. Do you agree that makes sense?’”

Lindsey Graham is NOT a “former” Air Force lawyer. While a sitting Senator, he remains a Colonel in the Air Force reserve, a JAG officer. A legal officer and an acknowledged [??] authority and expert on military law and the Rules of Land Warfare.

“Kagan replied, ‘I think it makes sense, and I think you’re correct that that is the law.”

Again - - Dean Kagan - - THINKS!!?? I would hope she more than THINKS on this matter.

“’So American needs to get ready for this proposition that some people are going be detained as enemy combatants, not criminals,’ Graham concluded.”

Comments:

The correct term would be UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT. NOT merely enemy combatant. A person waging war while in civilian dress, not carrying a weapon openly, not wearing a uniform or badge of rank identifiable at a distance, and not obeying and following the laws of land warfare. A TERRORIST/UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT!! Again, according to precedent as affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of the eight German World War Two saboteurs.

Traditionally, a POW is held without due process or trial for THE DURATION OF HOSTILITIES!! In the case of the battle against Al Qaeda and associated minions, this is a state of war that may LAST FOR DECADES OR GENERATIONS!! PERSONS OF THE ILK SUCH AS KHALID SHEIK MUHAMMAD MAY HAVE TO BE KEPT FOREVER!!

It is really troubling that going on eight years now since 9/11, the U.S. government still has not firmly and decisively decided how to deal with captured terrorists/unlawful enemy combatants/POW’s, whatever you care to call them!! Try them in an ordinary criminal court. Try them as unlawful enemy combatants as were the Nazi saboteurs. Hold “forever” as a POW. A combination perhaps? Well, which is it?

NONE of this should be “rocket science”? This discussion is being held, but by now, should have been resolved and decided upon, a long time ago?

coolbert.

Monday, February 9, 2009

33rd ILARNG.

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune today:

"NATION & WORLD"

2 Illinois soldiers killed in poppy region

“KABUL, Afghanistan - - Two Illinois National Guard [ILARNG] soldiers were killed Sunday as they tried to help police defuse a roadside bomb in Southern Helmand province.”

“. . . officials confirmed that the two U.S. soldiers were from a police mentor team with the Illinois National Guard [ILARNG]. About 3,000 soldier have been sent throughout the country to train the Afghan police and troops in the Illinois Guard’s largest deployment since World War II.”

In those years prior to the Vietnam War, duty with the National Guard was felt to be honorable but easy duty for those that did not want to be subject to conscription. Find a soft and cushy billet in a Guard unit and you did not ever have to see active duty service. Safe and secure from the draft while doing “easy time”. It was even possible, prior to the mid-1960’s or so, TO EVEN FORE GO CONVENTIONAL AND ORDINARY BASIC TRAINING!! Training was done at the Guard unit level and considered to be acceptable!

Duty with a Guard unit now is anything but easy! Repeated deployments, combat assignments, etc. Guard units now perform at an adequate level of military expertise as required for the mission. Slackers no longer wanted or needed !

See and follow the articles and continuing reports from Kim Barker on the deployment of the ILARNG to Afghan.

From the front lines:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/afghanguard

Thanks to Kim.

coolbert.

Poppies - - Afghan.

This is coolbert:

Here is the type of civic action program THAT WILL NOT win over the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.

Military civic action that will only antagonize the Afghan locals and create a lot of resentment toward all foreign forces [American/NATO] AND THE PRO-WESTERN GOVERNMENT IN KABUL!. If they are not already hostile, will be so now. And if were hostile, WAY BEYOND MERELY HOSTILE NOW!!!

From the Chicago Tribune today:

"Anti-poppy effort draws Afghans’ ire"

"Illinois National Guard joins NATO in targeting drug crop"

“NAD ALI DISTRICT, Afghanistan - - The Afghan police drove the tractors efficiently, turning over the soil and the green shoot and within minutes destroying almost 4 acres of this country’s most valuable crop - - poppies”

“Off in the distance, a ring of Afghan and U.S. soldiers protected the police”

U.S. SOLDIERS, A CONTINGENT FROM THE ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD [ILARNG] UNIT RECENTLY DEPLOYED TO AFGHAN!!

“the country still produces more opium and heroin than anywhere else in the world BY FAR.”

BY FAR MY EMPHASIS!!

"In August, just before the planting season, the government launched a public education campaign about poppies."

“In September the government handed out wheat seed and fertilizer, paid for they British and American, to 33,000 farmers. Despite that, most farmers overwhelming opted to grow poppies.”

THE AMOUNT OF MONEY REAPED FROM THE GROWING AND HARVESTING OF WHEAT WOULD BE SMALL, VERY SMALL, COMPARED TO THE INCOME OBTAINED FROM THE GROWING OF POPPIES!!! ENCOURAGING THESE AFGHAN FARMERS TO GROWN AN ALTERNATIVE CROP WILL JUST NOT WORK??!!

This eradication program is only in the first week - - and the ILARNG troops accompanying the Afghan police are seeing HEAVY RESISTANCE OF A NATURE HITHERTO NOT ENCOUNTERED OR EXPECTED!!

“The American soldiers, who work and fight alongside the Afghans, are seeing some of the toughest resistance of any of the Guard troops [ILARNG] deployed throughout Afghanistan."

“’the resistance has been very heavy’

“Mortars, roadside bombs, rockets, small arms, light machine guns, heavy machine guns - - the eradication force has been hit by everything.”

Eradication of the poppy crop was bound to piss off the local Afghans. This was well expected! Piss them off BIG TIME!! Only in the long run going to make things much worse for the American/NATO forces.

THE HEAVY HAND, THE FORCES OF THE “CENTRAL GOVERNMENT”, THE INSISTENCE OF THE FOREIGN ELEMENT, THE “BIG FOOTPRINT” STYLE OF COUNTER-INSURGENCY IS DOOMED TO FAILURE IN AFGHAN!!??

The best way to rule the Afghan is to do NOTHING!!?? Leave them alone. Let these sixteenth [16th] century people lead their sixteenth [16th] century lives unmolested.

TURNING A BLIND EYE TO THE POPPY HARVEST AND DOING NOTHING IS THE WAY TO GO!!!???

As unpalatable as that may sound, I fear so!

And those units from the ILARNG? I have often thought the Union was saved that first day at Shiloh by a small band of farm boys from Illinois who held the line [Hornet’s Nest] against repeated and frenzied attack by overwhelming numbers of Confederate troops!! The ILARNG once again finds itself in a dire situation for which there is no easy answer or amelioration!!

coolbert.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

MSR Afghan III [Conclusion] - - Danger.

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune today:

More items regarding the Afghan MSR [main supply route] peril and the impending build-up [surge] of U.S. troops in Afghan.

1. "Plan to shut U.S. base sign of Russia’s sway"

"Krygyzstan gets $2B from Kremlin, would cut key supply route"

"MOSCOW – At a time when the U.S. urgently needs alternative supply routes into Afghanistan, the sudden announcement that Kyrgyzstan planned to shut down a vital American air base poses two new challenges for the Obama administration: Central Asian haggling and Russia’s determination to keep the U.S. out of its backyard.”

This is the Manas Air base:

“The U.S. has been operating an air base in northern Kyrgyzstan since 2001, when American troops invaded Afghanistan to outs the Taliban regime and Al Qaeda fighters.”

“Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said Russia already has told Washington it wants to provide alternative supply routes to Afghanistan.”

This is "let us make a deal stuff"? The Russians are able to impede one supply route through machinations, and then offer you to provide alternative routes. All for some sort of price determined by negotiations of course!!

2. "Russia opens supply routes for Obama era"

“MOSCOW - - The Kremlin’s decision to allow transport of U.S. and NATO supplies through Russia to Afghanistan appears to reflect its willingness to ease tension with Washington now that President Barack Obama is in office.”

“'We are ready to work on the most acute issues, such as . . . deliveries of non-military cargo.’” - - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

“In November, Russia permitted the use of its rail lines to transport supplies to Afghanistan - - but only for troops from Spain and Germany, which have amicable relations with Moscow.”

3. "With Shelves bare at U.S. bases and more troops on the way, the search is on for better shipping routes"

The shortage of basic quality of life goods at the base store at U.S. military’s Camp Phoenix is now acute. NON-MILITARY items are in short supply or non-existent! Items such as:

* "Milk is now pulled from the mess hall by 9 a.m."
* "Irish Spring Body Wash"
* "Doritos"
* "Tostitos Scoops"
* "Bayer Aspirin"
* "Most snacks"
* "half the beauty products"
* "all the adapter plugs"
* "combination locks"
* "Vaseline"

“Sensitive military goods, such as weapons and ammunition, are transported by military convoy or air, and have not been hurt by supply-route problems”

Comments:

* Non-military goods are in short supply. Interdiction by various hostile elements to the Khyber Pass MSR is hurting. BUT NOT with regard, at least so far, to military supply goods?

* Patton's Third Army during the winter of 1944-1945 suffered MORE casualties from trench foot than from combat action with the German. Patton as a remedy proposed to provide a pair a brand new wool socks per day to each troop. This proposal was rejected as being too difficult to implement. Supply routes, at the same time, however, kept the Third Army overloaded with cases of Coca-Cola and face cream [a cosmetic]!! Coke si - - socks no!!

* Those American/NATO troops in Afghan had better be prepared to march their way out of that country and find an access route to the sea if necessary. Forget the Tostitos, body-wash and vaseline! You will need good shoe leather, warm clothes, and plenty of rounds of ammo to fight your way out of Afghan. If and when disaster strikes!

I hate to sound negative, but always in the back of my mind is the British - - Kabul - - Christmas - - 1842!!

Petraeus - - get it right dude!!

coolbert.

MSR Afghan II - - Danger.

This is coolbert:

Here from the Chicago Tribune today:

"MORE ACUTE PROBLEMS FOR THE AFGHAN SUPPLY ROUTES"

"NATION & WORLD"

"Supply routes again take hit"

"Bombing, eviction threat snarl paths to troops in Afghanistan"

“KABUL - - U.S. troop in Afghanistan saw their supply lines squeezed from the north and east Tuesday after militants blew up a bridge in Pakistan”

“Attackers on Tuesday blew up part of a bridge in northwestern Pakistan’s Khyber Pass.”

“American forces stockpile enough supplies to last 60-90 days in the event that their supply chain is severed.”

And the ruler of Kyrgyzstan is making “rumblings”, “noises”, that are very distracting.

“Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s statement that U.S. forces would have to stop using Manas Air Base came after Russian said it was providing the poor Central Asian nation with billions of dollars in aid.”

The Kyrgyz want money. THEY WANT MONEY! THEY WANT MONEY! “Russian, how many billions can you give us?!” “American, how many billions MORE can you give us?!”

On one hand, the Russian allows Spanish and German military supplies to flow to Afghan without qualification. But for U.S. supplies, military and otherwise, machinations of all sorts are the order of the day. Meddling, intrigue, compromise one moment, uncompromising the next. Complicate the U.S./NATO effort and prolong the Afghan ordeal for everyone.

coolbert.

MSR Afghan I - - Danger.

This is coolbert:

"lieutenants think tactics, generals think logistics!!"

From the Chicago Tribune Monday:

"NEWS FOCUS"

"Destination: Afghanistan"

"Seeking safe supply routes"

Three times as many troops in Afghan NOW as were in 2003. The Obama administration is planning, right now, as we speak, to double [??] the number of U.S. troops in Afghan. An Iraqi-style surge to combat the rising power of the Taliban. If the supply situation to Afghan is worrisome to U.S. commanders now, how much more so will it be in a year or so??!!

Here, thanks to the Tribune, a listing of supply routes currently available to U.S./NATO forces in Afghan. The Khyber Pass route currently providing about seventy percent of the supplies needed by those fighting the Taliban.

1. PAKISTAN. Torkham/Khyber Pass: “about 75 % of non-sensitive goods bound for U.S. troops and a smaller but still significant percentage bound for NATO troops pass through the Khyber Pass, chiefly because of its relative ease and because it’s the shortest route to Kabul . . . Still, an average of 125 truckloads of goods pass through this checkpoint every day."

2. PAKISTAN. Chaman/Spin Boldak: "This border crossing is much closer to the Karachi port than Torkham . . . [but] is considered too risky to send more traffic through this route."

3. PAKISTAN. Ghulam Khan: “it is in the militant stronghold of the North Waziristan tribal agency, and no one is really using it."

4. UZBEKISTAN. Jeyretan, Balkh province: "This checkpoint borders a railway in Uzbekistan and is the largest supply route so far in the north . . . [is] run by an authoritative regime accused of repression, has agreed to allow U.S. supplies to move . . . only if relations improve with the U.S."

RELATIONS IMPROVE. THEY WANT MONEY! THEY WANT MONEY! PRESENTS!

5. TURKMENISTAN. Towraghondi, Herat province: "This is the more sophisticated transit route in Turkmenistan, but it is a long way and hundreds of miles of bad road from Kabul and Bagram."

6. TURKMENISTAN. Andkhoy: "Not many goods move through this checkpoint yet because the infrastructure is still poor."

7. TAJIKSTAN. Qezel Qala: "Poor infrastructure limits the amount of goods passing."

8. IRAN. Islam Qala, Heart province: “this border checkpoint could be the smartest alternative . . . not many goods and none of the military good move through any Iranian routes”

Russia - - Iran - - tribal areas - - poor infrastructure - - a long way - - poor roads - - too risky, etc!!

American military commanders are dependent upon and operate at the sufferance of the Russians, despotic and unstable regimes, and perhaps even governments [Iran] hostile to the U.S.?? What is all this? Petraeus must be biting his nails with worry. If he is not in the bad habit of doing so already, he will be doing do shortly?

At least in Vietnam there was Cam Ranh Bay and an outlet to the sea. The U.S. Navy could come to the rescue if need be! Afghan is totally land-locked, no access to the sea, and surrounded by nations either luke warm or downright unfriendly to the U.S.

coolbert.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Satellite.

This is coolbert:

These are alarming headlines?

"Iran launches homegrown satellite"

And from the Chicago Tribune today:

"NATION & WORLD"

"Iran rockets to space age"

"Satellite launch raises military concerns"

“BEIRUT - - Iran announced its first successful satellite launch Tuesday, a step into the space age as well a a showy demonstration of firepower amid continued concerns about the Islamic republic’s nuclear program”

“Since Sputnik, space programs have served as a way to test and showcase missile range, a fact U.S. officials highlighted.”

Iran has now joined a very select club. Nations that have the capacity to place a satellite into orbit around the earth.

That a nation acquires such a capability usually generates a lot of interest. There is a VERY SIGNIFICANT MILITARY ASPECT TO THIS EVENT? Especially when accomplished by a nation that desires atomic weaponry.

Demonstrably, the Iranians now have worldwide reach for their desired atomic arsenal!!

The combination of missiles that have an intercontinental capability [placing a satellite into orbit indicates that such a capability exists?] and atomic weaponry allows the Iranian, even if tacitly, to threaten any point or place on the planet! The threat exists, even if not specifically enunciated.

I recall very well the launching, in 1957, of the first Sputnik. The Soviet artificial satellite that stunned the American nation in a VERY MAJOR WAY!! An event that was considered to be so significant that the broadcast of the World Series had to be interrupted for the announcement to be made to the American public. Indeed, the entire nature of warfare as understood up that point [1957] was radically altered by the Soviets placing an artificial satellite in orbit around the earth?

From the Penskovskiy Papers, warfare radically altered in that:

"wars formerly began on the borders of warring countries, where troops were concentrated . . . 'If war starts now, military actions will evolve in a different way because countries have available means of delivering weapons over thousands of kilometers'"

Weapons, specifically, NUCLEAR WEAPONS!!!

"The launch doesn’t alter the region’s strategic calculus Iran has long had missiles that can reach Israel.”

NO, NOT THE REGIONAL CALCULUS!! MUCH MORE THAN THAT!! A CALCULUS THAT NOW HAS A WORLD-WIDE DIMENSION!!??

coolbert.

Tammy.

This is coolbert:

Tammy goes to Washington!!

From the Chicago Tribune today:

"NATION & WORLD"

Tammy Duckworth back in the news. A subject of a previous blog entry.

"PRESIDENTIAL DIGEST"

“Duckworth picked: Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs director Tammy Duckworth was nominated Tuesday to serve as an assistant secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Duckworth was a helicopter pilot in Iraq who lost both her legs in a rock propelled grenade attack in 2004.”

And also lost the partial use of one arm as well!!

Tammy is a highly motivated person of almost, perhaps is of - - NOBLE character. The type of person you want to serve in Washington! This is a good pick!! Regardless of party affiliation, she will do well and always have the best interests of veterans at heart. Especially those disabled and victims of combat! She is one herself, after all!

coolbert.

Eye.

This is coolbert:

Thanks here to the Chicago Tribune from yesterday.

Here is an invention, unique and amazing, that is now being used by the U.S. military in Africa. As part of winning the "hearts and minds" of the African populace.

"NATION & WORLD"

"Man has vision for helping world's poor"

"OXFORD England - - Joshua Silver, a lifelong tinkerer, was fiddling around one day with a cheap water filled lens he'd built as an optics experiment when he noticed something interesting."

"By adding or removing water he could not only change the power of the lens, he found, but he also could use it to very accurately correct his own nearsightedness."

"With this technology, you can make your own prescription eye wear."

Eyeglasses on demand for the wearer, without the need for an optometrist to make measurements and write the proper prescription to correct the vision of the patient.

EYEGLASSES NOW BEING PASSED OUT BY THE U.S. MILITARY IN AFRICA.

"The reaction from the new wearers 'is universal,' said Maj. Kevin White, a U.S. Marine Corps logistics expert who persuaded the U.S. Department of Defense to buy and hand out 20,000 pairs of the glasses as humanitarian aid in Angola, Georgia and other nations."

"White [using a Google search], turned up the self-adjusting glasses. White flew to Oxford for a look and within days had persuaded his impressed superiors to place a big order."

"'I've never seen the military move that fast,' he said."

Dig this stuff:

"in sub-Saharan Africa . . . the ratio of opticians to residents is purportedly 1 to 1 million."

WOW!!

Such "hearts and mind" projects can do A LOT of good for the people of Africa. Indeed! Even passing out tablets containing micro-nutrients too can dramatically improve the overall health of the general public in Africa. A public sorely in need of good nutrition essential to health. Simple and relatively cheap measures can go a LONG WAY to solving the myriad of difficulties as found in sub-Saharan Africa.

And win a lot of friends for America along the way. Such is the hope.

coolbert.

Worzel.

This is coolbert:

Even the obituaries can provide gist for blog entries:

Here, from the Chicago Tribune of yesterday:

"LEGACIES"

"Obituaries"

"Undersea acoustics expert"

"Physicist's work used to track submarines"

J. Lamar WORZEL 1919-2008.

"J. Lamar Worzel, the Colombia University physicist who used the emerging science of acoustics to explore the ocean floor and help U.S. submarines evade and track enemies, has died. He was 89."

An innovator, experimenter, pioneer, builder of Rube Goldberg like contraptions that worked.

Among his discoveries were:

"the early discoveries was the existence of what they called shadow zones, areas of temperature and pressure that reflected sounds to the surface rather than permitting them to pass through."

"also identified the 'deep sound channel', a narrow zone about 3,000 feet below the surface that transmitted sounds with unusual clarity."

"This discovery became the basis of the Navy's vast sound fixing and ranging program and its successors . . . installed at key locations around the globe to identify and track submarines."

Advantages as enjoyed by American submariners during the Cold War were in large measure due to the work of J. Lamar? I think so!

Thank you J. Lamar. Rest in well deserved peace!

coolbert.

Slovik.

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune of this last Saturday:

"ALMANAC"

"In 1945 Pvt. Eddie Slovik became the only U.S. soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion as he was shot by an American firing squad in France."

This entry from the Almanac is not quite correct. Slovik was executed for desertion IN THE FACE OF THE ENEMY! 22,000 troops deserted during World War Two, Slovik the only man being executed. Eddie, however, deserted his unit during combat, while "in the face of the enemy"! A much more serious crime that mere desertion. Forty such persons were sentenced to death for the more serious and egregious form of desertion, Slovik ALONE being shot.

See previous blog entries on Eddie here and here. In some circles, the case of Eddie remains a cause celebre'?

"cause cé·lè·bre' - - An issue arousing widespread controversy or heated public debate. A celebrated legal case."

coolbert.

Monday, February 2, 2009

March of the Light Brigade.

This is coolbert:

Concerning the march of the British Light Brigade toward Talavera [1809]. A march to battle, sixty two [62] miles in twenty six [26] hours being the pace.

Here with anecdotal accounts and extracts from memoirs of those English soldiers, members of the Light Brigade and actual combatants who fought at Talavera.

1. From: "THE RIFLE BRIGADE - - BY LIEUT.-COLONEL LEACH, C.B."

"The long march which was made by General Crawfurd's light brigade, with a view of reaching Talavera in time to take a part in that bloody battle, is almost universally known to military men; and it is recorded as one of the most extraordinary that the British or any other army has been known to perform. In twenty-six hours it passed over upwards of sixty miles of country, and in the very height of summer, where the heat was intense, and but little water could be procured to slake the intolerable thirst of the soldiers. In spite of these obstacles very few men were left behind"

2. From: "The Napoleonic Wars" - - the memoirs of Edward "Ned" Costello. 95th Rifles, Light Brigade.

"Hardly had Costello arrived than the Light Brigade began one of history's greatest forced marches when it left to join Wellington's main body at Talavera"

"'Our men suffered dreadfully on the route, chiefly from excessive fatigue and the heat of the weather. The brain fever [heat stroke??] soon commenced, making fearful ravages in our ranks, and many dropped by the roadside and died.'"

"Despite being light troops, the 95th still carried 70-80 pounds [lbs] of equipment, provisions, ammunition, a rifle and the blistering July heat took a terrible toll."

3. "The Talavera Campaign" - - the anecdotal account of: Lieutenant Wood of the 82nd Regiment, who was assigned to the 2nd Battalion of Detachments [not part of the Light Brigade - - but a unit that actually fought at Talavera], left a very vivid description:

". . . it was now as suddenly as intensely hot, and we had very little except the olive-trees, which we were prohibited from cutting, to screen us from the scorching rays of a sun almost vertical. This being an open corn country, we were the whole day exposed to its beams, and the ground was so exceedingly warm, that it produced the greatest number of insects I ever saw. We were infested and annoyed, beyond measure,. . . our advance continued, and the weather retained its sultry heat. Many a weary step, over many a dreary league, we dragged through the dusty way . . . sometimes without a drop of water to wet the parched and swollen tongue of the way-dropped solder -- for there were many who sunk under the oppression of this excessive heat . . . we were enabled to continue our exertions till we arrived at Talavera de la Reyna."

4. And here from the comments of the British cavalry officer Scovell as to the marching ability of the English soldiers. A commander, whose mission in part was to "police" stragglers. Troops that had fallen out during a march. Troops whose conduct sometimes left much to be desired. The comments of Scovell are dated 1813!

"The daily marches were a prodigious feat. Back in 1809, on the journey down from Oporto to Abrantes, even a stage of three leagues [nine statue miles] each day had left dozens of men straggling behind and committing every sort of outrage. In June 1813, the soldiers were frequently covering five leagues [fifteen miles] in a day and leaving few in the their wake . . . 'Our Men are marching much better than I ever saw them.'"

Comments:

* The march to Talavera [1809] was accomplished in mid-summer AND WAS A GRUELING ORDEAL!! HOT, DUSTY, LITTLE OR NO SHADE, LITTLE OR NO POTABLE WATER!!

* "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!"

In the case of stragglers, I am in part right and part wrong??!! A straggler is in danger. Falling out during a march can place the troop in great danger! IN SPAIN, IT SEEMS, HOWEVER, THAT STRAGGLERS WERE IN THE HABIT OF PREYING UPON THE LOCALS. NOT PART OF A COHESIVE UNIT AND NOT SUBJECT TO ORDINARY DISCIPLINE, THE STRAGGLER TAKING ADVANTAGE TO OUTRAGE THE LOCALS. RAPE, LOOTING, ETC!? Not behavior to endear the English to those they hoped to defend [Spanish/Portuguese].

Let us describe the march to Talevera, for both the Light Brigade and regular line units of the British Army. Bitch!!

coolbert.