“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ms Rice yesterday - Iran and Syria would be invited to a "neighbours meeting" to discuss efforts to stabilise Iraq.

The US aircraft carriers were placed in the Gulf, yet generals of varying amount of star power, started discussing more modest goals for US objectives in the Iraq War. The surge began. Iranian weapons were previewed as proof of Iranian involvement. We speculated. Patriotisms were questioned.

Bloggers blogged and blogged.

That was then. This is now, and I might add, now is not that far away from then.

Yesterday, Secretary Rice said,
"I am pleased to announce that we are also supporting the Iraqis in a new diplomatic offensive: to build greater support, both within the region and beyond, for peace and prosperity in Iraq," she said. "We hope these governments seize this opportunity to improve their relations with Iraq and to work for peace and stability in the region."

This was from the Voice of America and posted and commented on at the EB:
Bush Administration Says No Plans to Attack Iran
By Michael Bowman
18 February 200
The Bush administration is reiterating that it has no plans to go to war with Iran, despite concerns over Iranian weapons filtering into neighboring Iraq as well as the country's continued nuclear program in defiance of the United Nations. From Washington, VOA's Michael Bowman reports.

There have been many discussions on here and other sites that Iran and Syria are key to stability in Iraq. There was a difference of opinion about either a military option or a diplomatic one. Reading between the lines, it appears that the enthusiasm for a military option by this Administration is waning.

Now it is tea time.


  1. I feel sorry for those that will not learn to be sceptical of politicians. Those that mistake individual thinking for lack of patriotism. Those that think our masters and rulers are smarter than us.

    I was in a store the other day, and watched a Viet Nam Vet, fattened and balded by years, still in the wheel chair he first sat in as a young man with a fresh face. Two legs gone, half an arm missing, pushing a cart. Most people pretended not to notice but they all looked and some stared.

    I am not sure what they saw. I know what I did.

    I gave him a wink and he gave me a smile. i have a feeling we shared sympathies on politicians.

  2. When it comes to a “political horizon,” the problem is not that the Arabs cannot see a Palestinian state, but that they can see a Jewish one.

    When it comes to government and politicians, Deuce, it is our DUTY to question them. This is, of course, how the American system works. It's about time people remember that fact.

  3. I read this in the NYTimes:
    My reaction:
    This admin is more FOS than ANY Turkey.
    The English language shudders at the loads of shit piled on by this pathetic crew.

  4. Medal of Honor
    Maybe the EB Patrons should go give M Simon a thank you for posting this?
    "On the morning of November 14, 1965, Major Crandall's unit was transporting a battalion of soldiers to a remote spot in the la Drang Valley, to a landing zone called X-Ray. After several routine lifts into the area, the men on the ground came under a massive attack from the North Vietnamese army. On Major Crandall's next flight, three soldiers on his helicopter were killed, three more were wounded. But instead of lifting off to safety, Major Crandall kept his chopper on the ground — in the direct line of enemy fire — so that four wounded soldiers could be loaded aboard.

    Major Crandall flew the men back to base, where the injuries could be treated. At that point, he had fulfilled his mission. But he knew that soldiers on the ground were outnumbered and low on ammunition. So Major Crandall decided to fly back into X-Ray. He asked for a volunteer to join him. Captain Ed Freeman stepped forward. In their unarmed choppers, they flew through a cloud of smoke and a wave of bullets. They delivered desperately needed supplies. They carried out more of the wounded, even though medical evacuation was really not their mission.

    If Major Crandall had stopped here he would have been a hero. But he didn't stop. He flew back into X-Ray again and again. Fourteen times he flew into what they called the Valley of Death. He made those flights knowing that he faced what was later described as an "almost unbelievably extreme risk to his life." Over the course of the day, Major Crandall had to fly three different choppers. Two were damaged so badly they could not stay in the air. Yet he kept flying until every wounded man had been evacuated and every need of the battalion had been met.

    When they touched down on their last flight, Major Crandall and Captain Freeman had spent more than 14 hours in the air. They had evacuated some 70 wounded men. They had provided a lifeline that allowed the battalion to survive the day.

    To the men of la Drang, the image of Major Crandall's helicopter coming to their rescue is one they will never forget. One officer who witnessed the battle wrote, "Major Crandall's actions were without question the most valorous I've observed of any helicopter pilot in Vietnam." The battalion commander said, "Without Crandall, this battalion would almost have surely been overrun." Another officer said, "I will always be in awe of Major Bruce Crandall."

    For his part, Bruce has never seen it that way. Here's what he said: "There was never a consideration that we would not go into those landing zones. They were my people down there, and they trusted in me to come and get them."

  5. Trish, when I wake in the middle of the night, I try and put on my howdy doody face and find something whimsical. I find a declining ability to stand reading or listening to the apologies and the wishful thinking.

    I am sure there must be a cartoon network on the internet that works for those desperately seeking mirth. Try as I may , I always find Murtha in its stead.

  6. The big bad M.
    Marine Corps Col., retired.
    A stalking horse for Mr Baker & Company. A person that can be dumped on, for not toeing the old Administration line, first.

    The reality on the ground says it all, now. Perhaps those more aggressive with the lives of others, those fighting a Clash of Civilizations, or those that believe the US is at War with Islam just fail to admit to seeing that reality.

    A rejected reality that does not fit their psychic projections or perceptions. That reality is defined in a word "BASRA" which has become the "Success Standard" for the War on Terror. Well, success as now defined by Mr Bush, Mr Cheney & Ms Rice, anyway.

    I could go find the quotes, they are all there on the Web, but what the hey, either one believes the Administration and what they say or one belives they are liars.

    Success in BASRA, that now sets the Administration Standard.
    Thanks for nothing, Mr Baker, I always knew you would show the Administration the "light of realism".

    Baker-Hamilton, the road map to peace. Peace in our time.

  7. Shock of shocks, people.
    This just in....
    The Iranians and Syrians are helping their allied factions in Iraq to destabilize the US efforts, there.

    They provide Sanctuary and Support


  8. Of course they could, bob.

    The level of Iranian activity is very LOW, compared to a War.
    Just arming a few resistance fighters. Like the US did in Afghanistan, when the Soviets were there.

    The US was not then at war with the Soviets, nor the Afghani.
    Just using the ISI as our proxy.

  9. the more we talk of peace, the more we talk getting alone, the more we say no plans for war...

    the more i'd suggest the iranians to start collecting sand bags....

  10. please let's remember the USA begging for a deal, AS THE CARRIERS WARMED UP...

    I remember my biggest fear was that saddam would actually comply with our generous peace overtures....

    the iranians, hezbollah, hamas, syria cannot back down..

    they will not...

    they can not...

    so the question will be WHEN we decide to swat...

    i'd say 90-120 days..

    not sure if it is covert or overt...

    not sure if it's israel doing our dirty work..

    but the guys we can call the "black hats" will not BACK DOWN..

    the BEAUTY of hamas, hezbollah, iran is that you can TAKE THEM at THEIR WORD.

    a world without the great satan, and the little satan...

    Now if the great and little satan understand this...

    MAYBE we as SATAN should show them SATAN aint impodent....

    personally I do have a thing for sand heated to 2200 degress.....

  11. No doubt of that, occ.

    Those fellows ain't messin' around, they are taking it deadly serious.

    They are not escalating the play, in their view, anyway. But I've seen that timeframe cited before, by others, over the past four years. 120 days and counting.

    In 120 days we may attack a warehouse, in Iran. An aspirin factory or two. Lighting a fuze in Eurabia. The question
    "Is Paris Burning?" no longer referencing a piece of history from WWII.

    Bomb them until they bust?
    I do not see the Bush, Bandar, Kissinger, Baker Team making that move. Maybe I'm wrong, but there is no precedent for Team Bush behaving so out of character.

  12. were not going to do something until they do something and they're not going to do something until they can REALLY do something. (sorry for the sophistication).

  13. A nasty, mean, exFederal prosecutor, whose friends and peers were killed on 9-11-01, who turned down Saudi blood money, that guy could pull the trigger, maybe.

  14. What is, is.
    What is reality?
    It sure as Hell ain't the pianist and the phoney Texan attacking Iran!
    Get Real!
    6 weeks ago the cowboy said we'd never talk.
    Now the pianist says since we're neighbors let's be friends.
    FDR 1944:
    Let's talk to our neighbors, Japan and Germany.

  15. Iran is possibly in preemption prevention mode now and may be fighting to win control over the 4th dimension: the resource of Time.

  16. War with Islam? Perish the thought. Oh, there have been some disputes over the past 14 centuries, to be sure, but war, never. As soon as Muslims are given back their lands in the Philippines, Thailand, China, Russia, Africa, Western Europe, Israel, Detroit…, they will be model international citizens. Never again will they know war.

  17. We know the nature of Iran, Hesbollah, Hamas, al-Qaeda, the Wahhabists and the sundry other Arab and Muslim organizations and states. But apparently, our so-called allies in the west refuse to acknowledge that nature. A summit presents the opportunity to show who the reasonable parties as well as the unreasonable and irrational players. Iran is working toward nuclear and ICBM capability and the Europeans are getting more nervous about their intentions. The US must allay their fears about our intentions and at the same time strengthen the alliance in anticipation of the day when action must be taken. The summit could be a step along the way in isolating Iran as well as laying the groundwork for Arab cooperation in the future.

  18. DEBKAfile on the topic -

    ...The military, naval, air and amphibious strength the US has built up around Iranian shores speaks louder than words. Iran has countered that signal by placing its army and the elite Revolutionary Guards Corps on full war footing since September 2006.

    Israel, the third element in the war equation (or first, according to the London Daily Telegraph), is in the middle of a concentrated series of combat training and war games. Field officers and troops have been told, contrary to the evaluations submitted by Israel’s intelligence agencies to the government Sunday, Feb. 25, to be ready for a major flare-up on more than one front in the summer.

    The answers to the pressing questions of if and when America will attack Iran may turn up in the grey areas between US-Iranian-Israeli military preparations and the events in Iraq, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, or between the American war preparations and the quiet haggling over terms going forward with Tehran far from the cameras.

    Some of those confidential exchanges were held during the US secretary of state’s three days in Jerusalem from Feb. 17 to 19, when she led an unprofitable initiative to revive the Israel-Palestinian peace track. They continued Feb. 20 in Amman, where Rice led a US-Arab intelligence summit. That week was devoted to the next stage of the military vice the US had clamped down on Iran, but also to the hush-hush diplomacy which Saudi Arabia has been designated to lead.

    In Amman, the US secretary met was a whole galaxy of Arab decision-makers and intelligence chiefs: the two top Saudi security officials, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, national security adviser, and Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, head of the General Intelligence Presidency, as well as a string of secret service chiefs from various Arab countries, Jordan’s King Abdullah and, finally, an off-the-record encounter with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, whom she had met a day earlier at a three-way meeting with Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert.

    According to the official communiqué, the US secretary met in Amman with the heads of the secret services of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates – nicknamed the Arab Quartet.

    For one thing, a deputy of CIA Director General Michael Hayden, described as the agency’s No. 2, was present. So too were the US military intelligence chief in Iraq and Washington’s Security Coordinator for the Palestinians, Lt. Gen. Keith W. Dayton, as well as the head of the United Arab Emirates’ intelligence services, who is known as Emir Muhammad, and the head of Jordan’s intelligence services, Gen. Muhammad Zuaibi. There, too, was Egyptian intelligence minister, Gen. Omar Suleiman, alongside high-ranking officials of the Kuwaiti and Moroccan secret services.

    The importance of this US-Arab intelligence summit was quickly appreciated in Tehran. No sooner had the participants dispersed Tuesday night, than Iran’s national security adviser, Ali Larijani, was on a special plane to Riyadh and closeted with Princes Bandar and Muqrin to find out what was next on the agenda of the secret exchanges Washington is conducting through Saudi mediation.

    There is no knowing at this moment where these hectic war preparations by the US, Israel and Iran - joined by Syria, Hizballah and the Palestinian Hamas - are leading. Neither can the prospects be weighed of the floating Saudi effort to halt or curtail Iran’s advance towards nuclear armament. However, a rogue factor must be taken into account: an unforeseen military or terrorist act against US targets in Iraq, against Lebanon and Israel - or a clandestine operation inside Iran -may well overload the delicate balance of terror and tip the crisis into dangerous waters.

    The outcome would depend on who pulled the wires of such a provocation. Intelligence leading to Tehran would pile up more pressure for an American answer in kind. If it led to Syria, Hizballah or Hamas, Israel would face a hard decision, in consultation with Washington.

    The standoff at this stage has too many unknown and changeable elements and is therefore too volatile for responsible predictions one way or the other.

  19. For DEBKA not to know, and admit it, now that's something.

    The balls in play,
    the centrifuges cascade.
    Seems little time for delay.

    The Europeans "know" the Iranians, as do the Chinese and the Russians.

    There is no one to "show", that does not already know.

    Basra shows the way forward, listen to the Team. The Rial on the streets of Iraq, not to worry.
    The Iranians opening Banks, all for the good.
    Iranians building airports and infrastructure, just being a good neighbor.

    To win the War in Iraq, according to "Plan" empowers Iran in the War on Terror. If, that is, Iran is in the focus of the War on Terror, otherwise, it just empowers Iran.
    Vis a vie the old status que.

    But that was evident from the beginning, Mr Bremmer saw it, clear as day. The US course did not change, regardless, we were fighting Wahabbists, then.

    The counter insurgency in Iran, started to late, IMHO, if it's started at all. But DEBKA says that could be a trigger, in itself.

    The Sunni Bloc & Peacekeeping Force, just over the horizon.

    Pakis on the Golan?
    Now that'd be somethin' to talk about, bet it already has been.

  20. I read the latest Chris Hitchens piece a few days ago, think I linked to it, but westhawk discusses the piece.
    He picked one of the best lines by Hitchens to quote:

    "Twenty or even 10 years ago, it would have been inconceivable that the historic left-right divide in British politics could have taken this form. Old leftist friends of mine from the 1960s are now on Labor's front bench and staunchly defend the overthrow of Saddam Hussein as a part of the noble anti-fascist tradition, while dyed-in-the-wool reactionaries are warning against American hubris. I keep having to pinch myself.

  21. Doug said, 6 weeks ago the cowboy said we'd never talk.
    Now the pianist says since we're neighbors let's be friends.

    Talk just like the Iraq Study Groop report said we should. Six weeks was long enough for the ISG to sink far enough into the background that Bush could start claiming its recommendations as his own idea. This is how the federal government works, folks.

  22. ash, you around?

    See where the ICC handed down some indictments in Darfur. The Government in Sudan will not hand them over, nor try them there.

    Who serves the Warrants, now?

    That has always been the purpose of Courts, to project the power and protection of the State amongst the people.
    If there is a World Court, how does it project power over the States? Who is the Sheriff?

    Because without s Sheriff, the Rulings & Indictments are nothing but words on the wind.

  23. DR,

    The Hitchen's piece was a good one. As to the quote you cite, not only must I pinch myself, I must remind myself that these are all "public intellectuals".

    Never have so many been indebted to so many for so little.

  24. "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!"
    ___Andrew Jackson

  25. Right you are, Ms T.

    Mr Baker and Kissinger, whispering in Mr Bush's ear.
    Prince Bandar out on the frontier.

    The Wahabbists have nothing to fear.

  26. A little makeup and old "Stiff as a Board" Gore will be remarketed as "Old Hickory" redux.

    It's only that the elite "Clintonite" wing of the Party backstabbed Al, not giving him a chance at a rematch with W, like Andy Jackson had with John Q Adams.

    Those Clintons... does the US really need 24 years of consecutive two family rule?

    Shades of Old Rome indeed.

    Takes an Oscar winning populist, enviormentalist, from Tennessee, one that's always been against the Iraq War to lead the Democrats and the Nation back from the backwaters of nepotism.

    Gore against Rudy,
    War or Retreat,
    we'd have the debate.
    No one can campaign to continue the War on Terror, and win, better than Rudy.

  27. Any other Republican candidate and the Sauds win, the others will all listen to the "experts", old Rudy, he may not.

    That's the best there's going to be, if this "War on Terror" is existential.

    Clinton or Gore, there won't be a war. Not for while, anyway.

  28. DR,

    yeah I'm still rattlin' about.

    I've been trying to follow the events around the recent indictments handed down by the ICC and I've never argued that enforcement wasn't a problem. The ICC will be pretty damn useless without any type of enforcement which is one reason why I urge that the US support it and help to further develop its mandate. Heck, Rule of Law is a good thing and the US should be onside.

  29. In the short term, no, not really.
    It could cause some unfortunate cultural changes, but less so, for me, than the influx of immigrants has already caused.

    At the moment the Mohammedans seem to be fighting amongst themselves. Bill Roggio has graduated to the WorldwideStandard @ the Weekly Standard, and discusses it there.

    In the long term, if US and Western skull duggery cannot defuse the radical Mohammedans in the short & medium terms, then yes, there will eventually be an existential war.

    When that happens though, that's a bit to foggy for me to see.

  30. So, ash, you think the US should go and try to serve those Warrants?

    I see at BC where one the fellows was promoted:
    A Reuters blogger notes that one of the men the ICC has symbolically indicted over Darfur has been promoted to Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, where he now has power over the very people he has persecuted -- as well as supervision over foreign aid.

    If it was Sheriff Joe, he'd serve the Warrant, here in Maricopa County.
    In Sudan, how many men do you propose the US send, to arrest the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs?

    Or can the Mohammedans just thumb their nose at Western mores, again?

  31. In May 2002 it was reported that studies in a Boeing simulator complex show that the Su-30MK can defeat an F-15C “every time” by using a combination beyond visual range (BVR) attack with an AA-12, followed by a close approach and attack with an IR-guided AA-11. The Su-30 penetrates the F-15’s Doppler radar net because it can rapidly dump speed to zero relative to the F-15, then attack from below and accelerate away.

    Similar tactics, say the analysts, would not work against an F-22 or F-35. The maneuver also requires great pilot skill, of a level very rare outside leading Western powers.

    It is also possible that the test is set up to justify purchase of the F-22 and F-35 along with various new air-to-air missiles. Critics point out that the maneuver will also not work against the F-16 and F-18, since with their smaller radar signatures they are not so vulnerable to the BVR portion of the attack.

    SU-30MK Story



  32. Given the Bush administrations abhorrence of the ICC and the screw ups in Iraq I'm guessing they'll successfully thumb their noses. It would be nice to see Mr. Bush say to the Europeans in particular, 'hey, look, ICC indictments in Darfur - if you pony up some force to serve the f*cks we'll sign the treaty and add some muscle too'. I don't see it happening though...maybe the next administration will push that rock up the hill a ways...

  33. There is only Rule of Law when the law is enforced.
    Just as US Immigration Laws are implemented in regards the law abiding, but unenforced against the law breakers.

    That is not Rule of Law, but anarchy.
    Same holds true for unserved ICC Warrants, it mocks the Rule of Law, instead of strengthening it.

  34. DR:
    I think the precipitous moment for the world wide castrophe will be when Iran has nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them across continents. It wouldn't surprise me if the missile capability comes before the nuke.

    If anyone knows what the real timeframe is they aren't divulging the info. Anywhere from 1 to 10 years is what I've heard. Somewhere in the bottom third of that range seems reasonable to me.

  35. One reason why I don't like or trust international courts. The International Court of Justice ruling on the Israel Security fence.

  36. It could be bad, but they will not have many, missiles or warheads, regardless.

    It would be most serious for Israel, but, for most of the World as Katrina and Chernobyl have proved, fallout is not that bad and losing a city is but a road bumb on the road to Civilization.

    The proposed Iranian nuclear threat not existential to US, not militarily.

    The biggest threat to the US that I see is a multilevel transNational asymentric attack on the oil infrastructure. That could be crippling, but could be overcome with time and sacrifice.

  37. whit, what part of the ruling do you have a problem with? The fact that the fence encloses about 10% of the West Bank seems to form the bulk of the problem and not the existence of a fence per se.

  38. Remember Bob, we came out of the little ice age at the end of the 18th century and its been warming ever since. Glaciers were melting before the industrial age really kicked in.

    Look at what overeacting to previous scares has cost us. Rachel Carson's hysteria killed more people than global warming. Dire warnings of overpopulation have driven down the replacement birth rate of western countries while having no effect on the third world. In the early days of the Environmental movement the threat was from a coming Ice age. The global warming meme is now climate change so that either way, the watermelons can claim that they were correct. If you read the IPCC carefully, it has never made the ourtrageous claims the watermelons are hysterical about.

  39. Ash:
    I don't remember the particulars but when the ruling was published, I read it carefully and thought that the court engaged in some outrageous overreach much as the US Supreme Court did when it ruled that battlefield combatants must be accorded the improper section of the Geneva convention.

  40. Report: Iran Preparing to Put Satellite in Orbit (Jan. 26)

    "A reconnaissance satellite of reasonable performance should weigh about 300 kilograms"

    "Once Iran learns how to put 300 kilograms into earth orbit, it could adapt the satellite launcher into an ICBM that could drop more than 300 kilograms anywhere in the world."

    During March?! They were ahead of schedule on this, so..... Don't be shocked if a lower end estimate of the bottom tenth is the reality (<1 year).

  41. sam
    Would it not be less expensive to modify the F-15's radar, rather than build an entire new fleet of aircraft?

    To counter this specific threat.

  42. Ed,

    For sure. Looks like it's only the F15 that it can beat.

  43. Sam, your F-22 post -
    Wed Feb 28, 05:01:00 PM EST

    You will be very interested in the article at Aviation Week -

    Raptor Scores in Alaskan Exercise
    Jan 7, 2007

    The U.S. is currently unwilling to sell the F-22 to allies such as Japan and Australia due to the secretive nature of its advancements.

    There are still some computer glitches when crossing datelines.

    speculation or ability?

    ....the F-22 radars are designed to accept modifications that would focus their beams to produce HPM energy spikes powerful enough to disable cruise, anti-aircraft, air-to-air and emitter-seeking missiles?

    ...F-22 and combined operations with platforms such as the MQ-9 Reaper, X-45 UCAVs, and B-2s
    due to advancements in the area of 'Intelligent Controls for Unmanned Vehicles' and 'Small Aircraft Adaptive MANETS ?

  44. F-22 sounds like the deal. What's a MANET?

  45. But if an update could keep the F-15 competitive for another cycle, we could skip the last generation of manned fighters.

    Think of the savings there.
    Swarms of unmanned fighters flooding the skies.

    Airborne Terminators!

  46. 1)...A MANET is a collection of computers, or nodes, participating and cooperating in a computer network. Information is communicated between nodes via a wireless link.

    Oct 1, 2003
    By David Hughes
    ...The ideas behind network-centric operations continue to percolate at the Pentagon, think tanks and universities. In this report, Aviation Week & Space Technology Senior Editor David Hughes talked to some of the leaders involved in the net-centric effort, and a few skeptics who see flaws in this new approach to warfare. In addition, the report spotlights a few examples of net-centric systems and how one aerospace company has organized itself to support this new direction in the market. The concept of "swarming" is another idea related to net-centric operations that's explored, including how it might change warfighting, the design of networks and the way large numbers of unmanned aerial vehicles are operated on the battlefield.

    When the "lessons learned" study comes out, he said it will probably show there's a ..."new air-land dynamic"--that is, a "sweet spot" in the relationship between land and air warfare that results from a tighter integration of the two. Good sensors networked with good intelligence and disseminated through a robust networking system accelerate combat on an order not seen before, he said. In World War II, the front moved just 10-12 mi. a day, unlike in Iraq where the advances were rapid over a "noncontiguous battlefield" without front lines. "This new behavior flows from the information advantage you create for yourself," he said.

    Phase 2 Testing Completed For Centralized Controller For Unmanned Air And Ground Systems
    DFeb 27, 2007
    ...Lockheed Martin has conducted the second phase in a series of tests of a new centralized controller device for unmanned air and ground vehicles. During the tests, Lockheed Martin demonstrated control of three different unmanned systems with its second-generation prototype device.

    ...Also applicable to satellite swarms, see discussion here related to missile defense

  47. panama ed,

    re: unmanned fighters

    For shame, man! Don't you realize that what you suggest would put thousands of people, wearing profanely undersized flight suits, out of work?

    Next, you will say the heavy, mounted knight is passé.

    Is nothing sacred?

    Oh, the F-22 A (that’s for attack, you know?) is cheap at half the price!

  48. Caution!!! Great minds at work.

    Gates, Pace Call on Congress to Fund IED Research

    Here’s some free advice for the distinguished public intellectuals at DoD: after extensive anecdotal research I can confidently predict that if the US military brain trust will STOP releasing the guys caught setting IEDs the problem will proportionately decrease. Of course, it is possible that my betters at DoD, like the NYT, are puzzled by the correlation between increased prison population and the reduction in street crime.

    Sometimes it does take a village. There is no evidence, however, that a village of idiots makes much difference.

  49. Earlier,

    "allen said...
    Think about this for a minute:
    Tokyo had 1st winter without snow on record+

    Wed Feb 28, 03:41:00 PM EST"

    Winter in Japan, as the rest of the hemisphere, will NOT end until 20 March.

    Al Gore is not alone.

  50. trish,

    re: How many guys caught setting IEDs have been released?

    I don't have a clue. But I am sure you would agree that, to save American lives, one is too many. Right?

  51. The goal of a network approach is to decrease the time between identification of a traget and elimination of it.

    It is not the sole domain of the air force, but an integrated approach between services or
    ...the emergence of near-real-time information sharing as a source of warfighting advantage.

    For example, networking platforms with special operations forces (SOF) are extremely important. The extent to which ground-based SOF are able to share precision information with command and control aircraft and fighter, bomber and attack aircraft is unprecedented in military operations. It represents an order of magnitude increase in information sharing over what has been previously demonstrated anywhere in the world in combat operations.

    From a previous post at EB -
    The U.S. Air Force is installing Sniper XR targeting pods on some of its B-1B bombers. The latest generation of these pods contain FLIR (video quality night vision infrared radar) and TV cameras that enable pilots flying at 20,000 feet to clearly make out what is going on down there. The pods also contain laser designators for laser guided bombs, and laser range finders that enable pilots to get coordinates for JDAM (GPS guided) bombs. Safely outside the range of most anti-aircraft fire (five kilometers up, and up to fifty kilometers away), pilots can literally see the progress of ground fighting, and have even been acting as aerial observers for ground forces. These new capabilities also enable pilots to more easily find targets themselves, and hit them with highly accurate laser guided or JDAM bombs. While bombers still get target information from ground controllers for close (to friendly troops) air support, they can now go searching on their own, in areas where there are no friendly ground troops.

    For Special Forces teams...the new pods are very useful, for the teams often operate deep in hostile territory, and they can use the bombers overhead to hit designated targets, but also ask the warplanes to look elsewhere in the vicinity, in areas the Special Forces troops cannot see, but where they suspect enemy troops are.
    - Thu Jan 18, 02:19:00 PM EST

    see also...
    Lockheed Martin To Supply Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod For Harrier GR9 Aircraft
    Feb 28, 2007

    The Sniper ATP's advanced capabilities and interoperability between multiple platforms give commanders flexibility, and will allow the RAF Harrier to provide air cover for a broad array of coalition missions. Additionally, the Sniper ATP permits pilots to detect and identify weapon caches and individuals carrying armaments while remaining outside jet noise ranges.

  52. For all these months, the uncouth at the Elephant Bar have gotten along famously without a twerp grading spelling. Wouldn’t you know who would be the first?

  53. “‘We keep releasing them and we fight the same guys over and over again,’ one U.S. military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Inside the Pentagon last week. ‘It’s negligent. It’s culpable negligence.’
    Given the billions of dollars the Defense Department has spent on countering roadside bombs -- an insurgent weapon of choice that has increased in lethality over time – ‘how about [if we] stop releasing the guys who are putting them in [the ground]?’ added this official, betraying rising anger as the U.S. death toll in Iraq creeps toward 3,000. ‘How about that?’”
    “The officer with multiple Iraq tours cites complaints from ‘our soldiers and Marines about repeatedly picking up the same shooters [and] IED-layers.’
    ‘I have heard from the field that they have been seeing an influx of previously captured insurgents returning to their areas,’ reports an Army officer with prior Iraq experience.”
    “During a one-year period between June 2005 and June 2006, approximately 16,770 Iraqi prisoners were processed at the theater level and about 11,100 were released, according to Lt. Col. Keir-Kevin Curry, a Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman. The figures do not include those taken into custody but set free at lower unit levels, without being sent up to theater-level detention for potential Iraqi prosecution.”
    “Releasing killers
    In fact, the Iraqi court system has released some of the nation’s most-wanted killers over the past year, several officials noted.
    On Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) raised the issue during Robert Gates’ nomination hearing to replace Donald Rumsfeld as defense secretary.
    He cited a recent Marine Corps Times article reporting ‘that one guy, known as ‘the beheader,’ had been released, [and] another serious bomber had been released, and already his signature bombing technique had reappeared in the community.’”
    For the incredibly dense

  54. Allen,
    So much has transpired under this half-arsed admin that would have had the right calling for Clinton's head, had it been on his watch.
    Sadly, many are still not willing to face reality and admit it.

  55. How many guys caught setting IEDs have been released?

    better question, how many guys caught setting ied's were strapped down to said ied's and exploded with a live pig duct taped to thier body?

  56. i am getting tired of being mr stupid nice satan...

    now i am NOT advocating genocide...

    but if you catch a couple of islamists with grenades, sneaking to launch an attack.. shove a grenade up his ass and pull the pin..

    but if you catch an islamic nutjob with a bomb belt, wrap his head with it and set it off...

    but if you catch a terrorist with a knive... cut off ears and fingers and send him back to the inbred bastards that sent him...

  57. what is "occupation"

    You are so delicate and sensitive; I am envious.

    One question though, what did the pig ever do to deserve that fate?

  58. Bobal,
    Rush had a longtime NASA atmospheric expert on the phone this morning:
    As he points out, CO2 and other things they get hysterical about play only a very small part in the Greenhouse Effect Play:
    WATER VAPOR is the overwhelming factor, and it tends always to be a stabilizing, rather than long term destabilizing force.
    Ice ages come and go, no matter what man does.

  59. Such a downer, better to not discuss that, allen.

    It's Skull duggery when preformed by a Skull and Boner, like JFKerry or George W.

  60. While I would love to be able to quote the exact number of bombers caught and released by the United States in Iraq, I cannot. Additionally, I cannot present the number of snipers and run-of-the-mill malcontents caught and released by American forces operating in Iraq. I cannot, because the United States government does not track these arrests and paroles. As with many things governmental, there is self-serving method to the apparent madness.

    For instance, if the number of insurgents in Iraq is estimated at 5,000 and the number of arrests for insurgency is 16,000 in a given year, then, the rate of recidivism must be astronomically large. Otherwise, the United States government is clueless as to what it faces. In either event, the administration is left looking hopelessly inept. By not officially tracking arrests, it is supposed the administration thinks itself protected from criticism.

    Oh, despite believing that this administration could not organize a fu*k in a whorehouse, I support war against Islam on all fronts. One does not have to approve of the management of the First Crusade to applaud the effort.

  61. Finally, connecting the above topics in relation to IEDs -

    ...The Navy already announced that a second aircraft carrier has been deployed to the region. On board is to be the third squadron of EA-6Bs equipped with the latest Northrop Grumman ICAP III electronic attack system. It is designed to identify and locate enemy emitters and jam signals that can be used to remotely detonate explosive devices (AW&ST Nov. 7, 2005, p. 33). The U.S. Air Force's EC-130 Compass Call electronic attack aircraft are being used in Iraq to detonate explosive devices along convoy routes. It also was used earlier in the decade as a testbed for the Suter programs, which evolved into a system to invade enemy communications networks.

    Now being readied for operations are capabilities previewed in the U.S. Navy's Trident Warrior operation of late 2005 to find and exploit enemy emitters. Both L-3 Communications' Network-Centric Collaborative Targeting (NCCT) system and operational versions of the BAE Systems-developed Suter communications network exploitation system are being rushed to support Iraq operations (AW&ST Jan. 23, 2006, p. 49).

    "Suter finds the doors that have to be opened," an Air Force official says. "It's a continuing series of initiatives emphasizing integration of ISR [Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance], space and information operations to defeat threats of special concern."

    The location (within a few hundred feet) and identity of enemy emitters-- radios, low-power cell phones and satellite phones, as well as other devices used for command and control and detonation of explosives--can be determined within seconds by fusing the data from three NCCT linked electronic surveillance aircraft, manned or unmanned. Plans are to have UAVs or manned aircraft nearby that can deliver weapons or guide ground teams to the emitter's location within minutes.

    A series of Suter programs explored the ability to pipe data streams--embedded with specialized algorithms--into enemy communications networks without being detected. The portals into the network are found by precisely locating antennas (as aiming points for the data streams) whether they are part of an air defense system or a hand-held communications device linked to others in an ad hoc tactical network for a small insurgent team.

    "In the ISR world, there will be more and different things we will try out," says a senior Navy official. To the surprise of acquisition officials, many of the capabilities developed for the Navy and Air Force will see their first, extensive operational use in support of the Army, he says.

    At the heart of the effort will be unmanned and manned aircraft networked to a greater degree than ever before. However, that doesn't mean a large number of UAVs will be shipped to Iraq even though they are available. The bottleneck is in the U.S. There the shortage of "cockpits" and aircrews (located at Nellis AFB, and Creech AFB, Nev.) needed to fly the unmanned systems operating in Iraq and Afghanistan is the limiting factor.

    Those monitoring these programs say there will be additional UAVs deployed, including some new designs; but primarily changes will involve improved ISR capabilities for existing UAVs such as the Global Hawk and Predator. Another thrust will be the addition of improved network-centric warfare systems that, by linking the output of many platforms, can provide wider coverage and better situational awareness for the ground troops.

    While unmanned aircraft will sometimes carry weapons, the primary thrust (at least initially) will be to focus on beefing up the ISR payloads on UAVs while relying on manned aircraft to provide precision delivery of weapons.

    "The Air Force has lots of strike capability, but not enough [ISR] collection," a Pentagon official says. Therefore, the need for linkages between manned and unmanned aircraft and operators on the ground will be "a driving emphasis," he says.

    What's being batted back and forth in Pentagon planning circles is whether to use the advanced electronic surveillance capabilities of the F-22 Raptor

  62. panama ed -
    "Would it not be less expensive to modify the F-15's (radar), rather than build an entire new fleet of aircraft? To counter this specific threat."

    ...An advanced concept, pioneered by BAE Systems' researchers, uses light to multiply the speed and power at which HPM pulses--powerful enough to destroy enemy electronics--can be produced without the need for explosives or huge electrical generators.

    Researchers predict leaps of 10-100 times in power output within two years. That advance could push the beam-weapon technology far beyond the 1-10-gigawatt limit of current tactical-size HPM devices. Long-standing industry estimates are that it would require a 100-gigawatt pulse for a few nanoseconds to disable a cruise missile at a useful range.

    1)BAE Systems is not alone in the chase. 2) Northrop Grumman and 3)Raytheon are also building distributed array radars that can produce air-to-air and surface-to-air HPM weapons effects, contend longtime Pentagon radar specialists.

    In particular, the F-22, F-35, F/A-18E/F and newest.....F-15 radars (the answer to your question panama ed) are designed to accept modifications that would focus their beams to produce HPM energy spikes powerful enough to disable cruise, anti-aircraft, air-to-air and emitter-seeking missiles.

  63. sam,

    Well, the girl has taken a stand, hasn’t she? Like liberals in general, she hasn’t thought through her position.

    ___If you are “Liberal A”, who posits the war was viciously started on trumped up intelligence, then, you are saying that Germany knowing and maliciously started a war with Poland in 1939. That being the case, George Bush and his subordinates are war criminals, deserving of death.

    ___If you are “Liberal B”, who claims the war was begun on faulty intelligence and, therefore, is one big mistake, then, you are saying that Americans must stop fighting forthwith, save for purposes of orderly immediate withdrawal.

    Of course, no liberal politician yet has been willing to make either case with all that each implies.

  64. elijah,

    You're making my dick hard.

  65. The new power-sharing deal between the rival Fatah and Hamas movements, reached in Saudi Arabia earlier this month, only pledges to respect past peace deals, falling short of the international conditions.

    Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah says the deal is the best he can get from Hamas.

    While the U.S. and EU have reacted with skepticism, Russia has been more positive about the power-sharing deal.

    Furthering the Dialogue

  66. elijah,

    Your posts are fascinating, despite my complete inability to appreciate even the basic physics contemplated.

    As a general rule, I support useful research. That research cited by you certainly meets the bill.

    In the instance of IEDs and those who set them, I apply Occam's Razor: one Marine + one bullet = one less bomber.

  67. "one Marine + one bullet = one less bomber."

    H&K 416

  68. with regards to russia...

    small fact: With an area of 17,075,400 km², Russia is the largest country in the world, covering almost twice the territory of the next-largest country, Canada

    We should announce to the world the right of self determination of Chechnya, and that all means that the palestinians use should be used against russia asap.

  69. elijah,

    re: H&K 416

    Sweet! Now, I'm starting to get a rise. Guns, girls, and booze - who says men are hard to understand?

    Wouldn't you love to try one of these if someone else picked up the cost of ammo?

    Metal Storm Weapons: Million-Plus Rounds Per Minute

    Although relatively inelegant, this bad boy could have naval applications, I could imagine.

  70. Lawmakers did not describe what Mr. Cheney said about his visit, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, indicated that Mr. Cheney's briefing helped solidify bipartisan agreement on next steps in Afghanistan. "We're not likely to end up in a big partisan fight over what needs to be done in Afghanistan," Mr. McConnell said.

    The Iraq war was not discussed, Mr. McConnell said. Mrs. Pelosi called it "a good start to a dialogue with the president that had been absent, quite frankly.

    She said it was a "stark contrast" to relations over Iraq. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said he is "concerned about" the spring offensive coming in Afghanistan.

    Cheney Briefing

  71. Proceed cautiosly...

  72. Sam,
    Carl Levin, of all people, asked if we had any military options to be used against Syria should they be found to be aiding our enemies!
    (I guess news takes a VERY long time to seep into skulls in DC)

  73. allen,

    Should be called called metal swarm. Damn, that thing looks like the saturn missile batteries I used to buy from the fireworks stands as a kid. You're right about the naval application. Be a good replacement for the Phalanx.

  74. In referencing the new Golan armored vehicle, a writer at LGF used a phrase I just found so completely and quintessentially American it just has to stay in the lexicon:
    “I hear the mounted cannon can fire off 70 smokin' virgins in under 3 seconds!”
    Is that great, or what?
    Israel to Supply Armored Vehicles to US Marines in Iraq

  75. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin’s proposal to revise the original Iraq war resolution so that U.S. troops would be confined to support missions rather than actual combat with the enemy is just as dishonest as Pelosi’s resolution ‘‘disapproving’’ of the current surge — a surge that, by the way, appears to be working. Levin would subject our armed forces to a slow, bloody defeat, by constraining the scope of allowed action of troops in the field.

    The Senate voted unanimously to confirm Gen. David Petraeus as commander of forces in Iraq, knowing he was appointed by the president to carry out the ‘‘surge’’ plan of Petraeus’ design. It is beyond irresponsibility that the same Senate now conspires politically to deny Petraeus the ability to carry out his mission.

    The Bush White House owes its commander in Iraq far more forceful, pro-active political support through speeches, press conferences and whatnot than it has provided. Vice President Cheney, sadly, seems to be the only senior official capable of speaking plainly about the issue.

    Need Support

  76. bobalharg,

    re: light

    Astronomy was one of several things that reconnected me to Judaism. Specifically, the properties of light as understood in the present and how those properties are applicable to the Jewish creation myth.

    Having repeatedly exhausted myself attempting to ferret out the significance of light in other mythologies, I have concluded that none approach the simple, plain physics described in Genesis. That text speaks to what could be called a "Big Bang" of light. No anthropomorphisms, no heroes or heroines, no creatures of nature, no gods and demigods battling away, etc., just the simple statement, "Light be!" And the Universe came into being. No other mythology comes remotely close to describing Einstein's conceptions.

    All said, it seems to me that the anonymous scribe laboring away on his parchment in the 12th -15th centuries B.C.E. captured the essence of the mind of our modern age, so far as light goes. It is truly a unique melding.

  77. Allen said, ..."Light be!" And the Universe came into being. No other mythology comes remotely close to describing Einstein's conceptions

    Uh, Einstein didn't believe the universe ever came into being, he believed in an eternal steady state universe and he even put in a finagle factor called the "Cosmological Constant" to balance the expansion which his own theory predicted. This expansion was verified by Hubble in the 1920s and by tracing it back in time, scientists arrive at the "Big Bang".

  78. The sight of thousands of distant galaxies reinforces the idea that the universe is filled with billions of galaxies. Unfortunately this area won’t reveal anything to the average backyard telescope.

    The best images can be found in books or on the Internet.

    Ursa Major, or the Big Dipper has held a special place in the minds of many cultures throughout history. Modern astronomers find the boundaries of this constellation to be filled with clues to understanding the universe.

    Familiar Sight

  79. bobalharb,

    Pardon my spelling error. And thanks for a beautifully written response.

  80. How come for us it is 1 o'clock, and for Allen 8 o'clock?
    Mysterys of the Universe.

  81. Arg, now I am caught at 5 in the timewarp.