“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."

Monday, September 22, 2014

US air war begins in Syria

The US military and partner nations from the anti-ISIS coalition have launched the first attacks on Islamic State targets in Syria, the Pentagon has confirmed.
The airstrikes against the Islamic State targets are currently underway in Syria, according to a Pentagon official.The strikes on targets in Syria reportedly involve a mix of fighter, bomber, and tomahawk land attack missiles.
"I can confirm that US military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL (ISIS/IS) terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles,"Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.


  1. U.S. Central Command @CENTCOM

    U.S. military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria.
    9:38 PM - 22 Sep 2014

  2. U.S. Central Command @CENTCOM

    Given that these operations are ongoing, we are not in a position to provide additional details at this time.
    9:39 PM - 22 Sep 2014

  3. "You Americans may someday long for the day when Saddam was still in power."

    Quote from an Israeli General whose name I can't recall.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. On the night they hanged Saddam, I did a post that it was a mistake. Saddam’s last words were to curse the Persians.

    3. The day ain't today.

      It is Israel that prefers al-Qeada, not the US.
      Saddam kept pushing the 3 million barrel a day production limit. He should have known better.

    4. I recall that.

      I think I will go get some more wine..............


    5. If anyone were to Google He da ho Bob's alleged quote of an Israeli ...

      One would find that the only place it was ever stated, was here.
      There was no Israeli General who ever said that.
      He da ho Bob has lied to us all, again.

  4. Two U.S. defense officials identified the partner nations as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. One official described them as “full participants” in the airstrikes in Syria but did not give further details, saying it was up to those countries to fully disclose their roles.

    Residents of the northeastern Syrian city of Raqqa — the Islamic State’s self-declared capital — reported news of large explosions on Twitter and said repeated passes from military aircraft were clearly audible.

    The United States was planning to attack as many as 20 Islamic State targets in the operation, which would mark the biggest single day of attacks since the military began striking the jihadist group in Iraq on Aug. 8, according to a senior U.S. military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss details of the planned operation.

    The targets of Monday’s operation included buildings occupied by Islamic State leaders and the group’s training sites and arsenals, according to the U.S. military official, who said drones were also involved in the attacks.

    President Obama and other U.S. leaders had all but promised in recent days that they would order airstrikes against Islamic State strongholds in Syria. The jihadist movement — which the CIA estimates has up to 31,000 fighters at its disposal — controls much of eastern Syria and has used its bases there as a springboard for seizing territory in neighboring Iraq.

    But in ordering the attacks, Obama also thrust the U.S. military directly into Syria’s devastating civil war, something that he had steadfastly tried to avoid since the country began breaking apart in 2011.

    Obama was on the cusp of ordering U.S. military strikes in Syria a year ago to punish President Bashar al-Assad after strong evidence emerged that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians. Obama backed away at the last minute, however, when Syria agreed to an international plan to destroy its massive chemical weapons arsenal.

    This time, the Americans’ target is not Assad, who has managed to cling to his seat in Damascus, but the Islamic State, a one-time al-Qaeda affiliate that has exploited the chaos in Syria to attract a huge flow of recruits, weapons and money.

    The Islamic State also represents a mortal threat to Assad and has beaten back his forces on several fronts. The Obama administration has said repeatedly it would not cooperate with Assad in any way, even though the two sides now share an enemy.

    As a result, it was unclear how Assad’s armed forces would respond to unauthorized intrusions into Syrian airspace by U.S. warplanes.

    The Syrian government has some of the most formidable air defenses in the Middle East. Obama had publicly warned Syria in advance not to interfere with any U.S. operations against the Islamic State, saying the Pentagon would respond forcefully. In the end, U.S. military planners said they expected Assad would stand down and allow them to attack Islamic State targets freely.

    Craig Whitlock covers the Pentagon and national security. He has reported for The Washington Post since 1998.

    1. While the Zionists are not amongst US partners.
      What some have called the 'best' US ally in the region, is not on board when we go to war.
      Nothing strange there, the US has gone to war, this is the third time in the region, the Israeli have never been with US.
      Their own actions give lie to the idea that they are an ally.

      The Israeli only strike at Assad's Army
      Because the Israeli government, it prefers al-Qeada. Ambassador Oren told us so.

  5. So much for the "Rat Doctrine".
    Seems like the Conventional contingent is still in the saddle.

    Doubt there are any local forces there, ready to exploit these strikes.
    Sound, Smoke and Fury, put not a 'Game Changer', no ground taken, nothing gained.

    Wonder what Assad and his staffers are thinking ...
    How much coordination, if any, had there been prior to entering Syrian airspace...

    1. Kerry had just met with the Iranians, could have been there coordinating the safe passage of our aircraft.

    2. I was also wondering who on the ground would be supported by these bombs being tossed around ?

    3. I do not think anyone on our side is there, Ash.

  6. They're probably kind of hoping that they get lucky, and catch old Al Baghdadi in one of those spots.

    1. The FSA will benefit, to one extent, or other, by these strikes.

  7. VOA

    Kerry: IS threatens entire Middle East

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the strength of Islamic State finances and the size of the area under its control make it a more dangerous threat than al-Qaida. In an interview with MSNBC television Monday, he said the Obama administration is determined to prevent that threat from reaching the United States.

    "We learned with al-Qaida you cannot leave this extremist cultism ungoverned spaces to plot what they want. They are dangerous to every country in the region, and you cannot have a challenge to the norms of international behavior, the rule of law, to states and leave it unchallenged," he said.

    U.S. airstrikes in support of a ground offensive by Iraqi forces are pushing Islamic State fighters back toward Syria. Kerry told MSNBC there are no plans for such U.S. ground forces in Iraq as "this is a fight for the region."

    "Every country in the region is deeply threatened by this. And that includes Iran, includes Lebanon, includes all of the neighborhood," Kerry said. " And it is absolutely fair and appropriate for the world to expect that that region will fight for itself."

    According to a senior State Department official, Kerry provided an update on efforts to build an international coalition to degrade and destroy IS during a meeting with U.K. Foreign Secretary Hammond Monday morning. In advance of Obama’s meeting with Prime Minister Cameron later this week, they also discussed contributions from both the U.S. and the U.K. as well as countries in the region.

    The official said they also compared notes on the ongoing P5+1 negotiations and Kerry debriefed his meeting with Foreign Minister Zarif yesterday. The men also discussed Ukraine and the importance of fully supporting the cease-fire and the full implementation of the Minsk agreements as well as ensuring access for the OSCE monitors.

    New IS threat against coalition countries

    Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani Monday told the group's followers to attack citizens of the United States, France, and any other countries that join a coalition against the militants.

    Kerry is in New York to continue building that coalition after traveling last week to Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt.

    He discussed those efforts Sunday in separate talks with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif as well as Monday in meetings with U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal.

    1. If the ISIS threatens the entire Middle East, why is Israel not with US?

    2. " And it is absolutely fair and appropriate for the world to expect that that region will fight for itself."

      Except for Israel -

      Ambassador Oren was speaking the truth.

      Israel prefers al-Qeada
      ISIS is al-Qeada.

  8. News sites are slow getting up details.

  9. From another source, this is a monster attack.

  10. BY PAUL VALLELY – 25 AUGUST 2014 Belfast Telegraph

    It seemed like a good idea at the time. Thanks to the immediacy of television, innocent civilians in Syria were writhing from gas attacks before our eyes, with the blame laid on their own government.

    Yet despite a red line having been crossed by this use of chemical weapons, the international community decided against air strikes on the Assad regime.

    Instead we encouraged two oil-rich Arab states, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, to continue arming rebel groups to oust the ruthless dictator in Damascus. Now, thanks to those weapons, one of the groups has grown into the Frankenstein's monster of the so-called Islamic State whose brutal fighters have swept through Syria and Iraq, crucifying and beheading like a deadly inhuman tide.

    Saudi Arabia has been a major source of financing to rebel and terrorist organisations since the 1970s, thanks to the amount it has spent on spreading its puritan version of Islam, developed by Mohammed Abdul Wahhab in the 18th century.

    The US State Department has estimated that over the past four decades Riyadh has invested more than $10bn (£6bn) into charitable foundations in an attempt to replace mainstream Sunni Islam with the harsh intolerance of its Wahhabism. EU intelligence experts estimate that 15 to 20 per cent of this has been diverted to al-Qa'ida and other violent jihadists.

    The only other official Wahhabi country is Saudi's Gulf neighbour Qatar, which is, per capita, the richest country in the world. It likes to paint itself as a more liberal and open version of the Muslim sect. Its newest and biggest mosque is named after Wahhab, but this is the fun, football-loving version.

    The Qataris are Barcelona's shirt sponsors, the owners of Paris St-Germain and, albeit amid allegations of dodgy financial footwork, will host the 2022 World Cup – to which, to the horror of their Saudi neighbours, women will be admitted. In Qatar, unlike Saudi, women are allowed to drive and travel alone. Westerners can eat pork and drink alcohol.

    There is no religious police force or powerful class of clerics to enforce morality. Qatar's Al Jazeera television network stands in contrast with the region's state-controlled media, and the Qataris are investing in the West, including the Shard, Harrods and big chunks of Sainsbury's and the London Stock Exchange.

    But that is not the crucial difference. Where the Saudis tend to support restrictive strong-man regimes like their own across the Arab world, the Qataris, throughout the Arab Spring, have backed grassroots Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The tiny country has given $200m to Hamas, which is constantly firing low-grade rockets from Gaza into Israel. It is more open-minded towards the Shia Muslims of Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon, whom the Saudis see as enemies. It even has good relations with the Taliban.



    1. {...}

      And it has been the biggest funder of the Syrian rebels, with sources in Doha estimating it has spent as much as $3bn in Syria alone – 70 military cargo flights were sent in the past two years – in an attempt to develop networks of loyalty among rebels and set the stage for Qatari influence in a post-Assad era. Riyadh sees its tiny neighbour – "300 people and a TV channel", as one Saudi prince dismissively said – as a troublesome and dangerous gadfly.

      The result of all this is that Qatar and Saudi have channelled funds, arms and salaries to different groups in Syria. Until last year they were creating rival military alliances and structures. But their efforts at discrimination have been in vain. On the ground the rebel groups have been porous, with personnel switching to whichever was the best supplied. Fighters grew their beards or shaved them off to fit the ideology of the latest supplier.

      Many moved to whichever group was having most success on the battlefield. Key Qataris and Saudis felt it didn't matter as long as the result was the fall of Assad. But eventually two of the most extreme groups began to dominate, and eventually one of them, Jabhat al-Nusra, lost dominance to the other, Isis – the ruthless and potent force which has declared itself the Islamic State.

      Only towards the end have the funders realised the error of their strategy. The Qatar government has stemmed the flow of funds. At first it believed it could change the ideology of those it funded once the war against Assad was over. But now it realises it was creating a sleeping monster, as the Saudis had done when they financed the Taliban to fight the Soviets in the 1980s.

      In April, the Saudis sacked the head of their intelligence services, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who had been responsible for the details of arming the Syrian rebels. His blunders led to the massive empowerment of the kind of grassroots Islamism which is the greatest threat to the Saudi claim to be the leader of global Islam because of its vast wealth and its custodianship of the holy city of Mecca.

      They have left it too late. The genie is out of the bottle. Some funds continue to flow from wealthy Qatari individuals and from conservative Saudi preachers collecting funds through their television shows. But the terrorists of the Islamic State, who were earning $8m a month from a Syrian gas field where they have established robust logistical lines, have added a further $1m a day from the half dozen Iraqi oilfields they have seized. Worse still, the conflict in Iraq has solidified into religiously defined ethnic identity lines.

      As Washington has now realised, the Islamic State will have to be stopped militarily. But real progress to re-civilise the cradle of civilisation which was Mesopotamia will require countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar – as well as the West, Iran, Israel and Syria – to make some hard decisions about the hierarchy of evil and where their greatest enemy lies.

      Paul Vallely is visiting professor in public ethics at Chester University

  11. Iranian sources

    The United States and its allies have started airstrikes against the ISIL terrorist group in Syria, the Pentagon says.

    "I can confirm that US military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement issued on Monday night.

    He added that the head of US Central Command, General Lloyd Austin, decided to launch airstrikes inside Syria on Monday "under authorization granted [to] him by the commander in chief.”

    "We will provide more details later as operationally appropriate," Kirby stated.

    The ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, control large parts of Syria's northern territory. ISIL sent its fighters into Iraq in June, quickly seizing vast expanse of land straddling the border between the two countries.

    US President Barack Obama has authorized airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria, but has ruled out US boots on the ground in a combat role. The United States has already conducted some 174 airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq since mid-August.

    Last week, Congress approved Obama’s plan to train and arm the so-called moderate militants in Syria to tackle the threat of the ISIL terrorist organization.

    The Pentagon plans to train and arm 5,000 militants in Syria as part of the Obama administration’s long-term strategy to confront ISIL.


  12. September 22, 2014, Monday/ 17:52:26/ TODAY’S ZAMAN / ISTANBUL

    President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's planned meeting with a World Jewish Congress (WJC) delegation was canceled at the last minute.
    The meeting was canceled after the WJC delegation wanted to reschedule the meeting, which was originally planned to take place on Monday morning, the private Doğan news agency, citing sources from the Presidency, reported. Erdoğan and the WJC delegation had been scheduled to meet at 10:45 a.m. in New York.

    Erdoğan arrived in New York on Monday for the 69th United Nations General Assembly, held the same day. A delegation consisting of Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Environment and Urban Planning Minister İdris Güllüce, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi and EU Affairs Minister Volkan Bozkır is accompanying Erdoğan during his visit. He is expected to hold a number of meetings with world leaders on the sidelines of the UN assembly.

    Turkey was among the most outspoken critics of Israel for its recent military operations in Gaza. Erdoğan adopted harsh rhetoric against Israel and even accused the Jewish state of "barbarism surpassing [Adolf] Hitler." The New York-based American Jewish Congress said Erdoğan has become the world's "most virulent anti-Israeli leader" and demanded that he return an award given to him a decade ago, which was given partly for his efforts to broker peace between Israel and Palestinians. Erdoğan had said he was “pleased" to return the award.

    In spite of his previous statements, the US-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed Erdoğan’s voicing of his commitment to the safety and security of the Jewish community in Turkey; it remained dissatisfied with Ankara's criticism of Israeli actions in Gaza during the recent conflict.

    Erdoğan will also meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday and address the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Turkish presidential website. Aside from the WJC, Erdoğan will also hold meeting with the archbishop of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern Diocese), Khajag Barsamian. He will deliver a speech in a conference organized by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). President Erdoğan will leave New York for Turkey on Sept. 25.

  13. Possible other participants are Qatar, Australia, and Great Britain.

  14. This is a Diplomatic Grand Slam.

    1. We will see when the dust clears.

    2. I don’t see it. If it is a successful attack, ISIS will just go local and wait till people get sick of US airstrikes.

  15. According to RT, the only western power is the US.

  16. What a mess! And we are now in the middle of it--again.

  17. I don’t see how this ends well, or ends.

    1. The "Day" ends with a bunch of virgins gittin' bizzy.

    2. It was not ending well or ending at all, as it was.
      The status que was unacceptable to US.

      Our allies in the region are on our wing.
      Those countries in the region that are not with US, are against US.

      Betcha Assad gave his consent.
      There is no downside for him to do so.

  18. The Iraqis just lost another military base to ISIS and cannot account for 300-500 missing. The only ones who seem to have a fight in them are Hezbollah, The Mahdi Army, Quds force, Kurds and Iranians. If you want to win a war as opposed to fighting a war, fight with those that will fight:

    BAGHDAD — The army base in Iraq’s western Anbar province had been under siege by Islamic State militants for a week, so when a convoy of armored Humvees rolled up at the gate, the Iraqi soldiers at Camp Saqlawiyah believed saviors had arrived.

    But this was no rescue attempt. The vehicles were driven by militants on suicide missions, and within seconds on Sunday the base had become a bloody scene of multiple bombings.

    On Monday, a day after the attack, five survivors — including three officers — said that between 300 and 500 soldiers were missing and believed to be dead, kidnapped or in hiding. Army officials said the numbers were far lower, leading to accusations that they were concealing the true toll.

    If the survivors’ accounts are correct, it would make Sunday the most disastrous day for the Iraqi army since several divisions collapsed in the wake of the Islamic State’s capture of the northern city of Mosul amid its cross-country sweep in June.

    In any case, the chaotic incident has highlighted shortcomings in an army that the United States has spent billions of dollars training and equipping, and it has further undermined the force’s reliability as a partner as President Obama expands airstrikes into provinces including Anbar.

    1. Wonder where the survivors were?

      If still at the fort, they did alright, held the base.
      If they are somewhere else, then that would not be the case, would it?

    2. Five battalions had been stranded at the base without supplies for six days after Islamic State militants seized a bridge that was the last access route to the camp. Soldiers said they were forced to boil water from a muddy stream and had been running low on ammunition when the bombings occurred.

      “We lost control,” Hashem said after crossing territory controlled by the Islamic State to reach another army base. “We couldn’t gather to retreat. Some are dead, others stayed.”

      He said retreating soldiers had abandoned their vehicles and were traversing enemy territory in small platoons.

      “Some are still crossing. They are walking through the trees and houses trying to hide from the insurgents.”

      In a statement Sunday night, Iraq’s Defense Ministry confirmed that it had lost contact with some of its “heroic soldiers” during operations in Anbar but did not give numbers. It vowed to continue to “clean every inch of land” of militants.

    3. 5 Battalions??

      3,000 + men?

      We'll see.

    4. Same report says At least 820 soldiers were stationed at Camp Saqlawiyah in Anbar province, ...

      So the reporting is chaotic, to say the least.

    5. It's Chinatown, . . . . . er, Iraq, Jack. :)

    6. There's more ...

      A solider who remained at Saqlawiyah, and who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the news media, said when reached by phone that just 50 or 60 soldiers were still at the camp, stranded with no vehicles. He put the number of suicide bombings by vehicle at three.

      “We don’t have enough ammunition here to defend ourselves,” he said. “Maybe we can last a day.”

      They held.

    7. There are Iraqi troops that will stand their ground, not abandon their post.

      Probably going to abandoned by their government, but ....

    8. So, what you had, there, was a massive "car bombing."


      something . . .

  19. Idaho BobMon Sep 22, 10:01:00 PM EDT

    "You Americans may someday long for the day when Saddam was still in power."

    Quote from an Israeli General whose name I can't recall.

    If anyone were to Google He da ho Bob's alleged quote of an Israeli ...

    One would find that the only place it was ever stated, was here.
    There was no Israeli General who ever said that.

    He da ho Bob has lied to us all, again.

    1. Bullshit.

      I remember it distinctly,

      It didn't make google then.

      Saw it on TV.

      I doubt that I could find it was something like ten years ago.

      I thought at the time that the fellow might be 'prescient' -

      a word you don't know.

      He was a mid level General in the IDF.

    2. You were probably doing rat at the time.

    3. Find it, post it. The reference, the link.

      You are a lying piece of shit.

    4. Your mind is mush, Bob. This is just another piece of proof.

      You 'remember' what did not occur. Read what was not written.

      If it had been, it'd have been recorded. It could be found.

    5. You are losing it, Bob.
      Or you are lying, it is one or the other.

      Tell us which, or shut your fucking trap.

    6. Go to bed now, rat.

      You need white light, soft music, melodies, and handcuffs, and a safe quiet place to sleep with a warm blanket and milk.

    7. You are a liar, Bob. or your brain mush, either or.

  20. Syrian Kurdish forces fighting a bid by Islamic State insurgents to capture a key Syrian border city said Monday they had stopped one column of advancing rebels but were still besieged by the extremist group on three other fronts.

    Kurdish militia commanders said heavy fighting was raging around Ayn al-Arab, where jihadists of Islamic State, backed by tanks and other heavy armor, have seized scores of villages and forced the evacuation of dozens more.

    Authorities in the city, known in Kurdish as Kobani, were “very worried” it could still fall to Islamic State, said an official in the nearby Turkish town of Suruc.

  21. I would like to know what all you fellows thing we should do - or not do - in Iraq/Syria at this time.

    Put it in writing, please.

    I have given my Presidential Address to the Nation.

    Support the Kurds.

    And you....................??????

    1. think, not thing

      third bottle.....

  22. Ash?




    All you Generals, now is the time to actually give some ORDERS.

    1. You're an idiot when you're sober. Now, you want advice "after the 3rd bottle?" Of wine?


      bomb'em again, tomorrow; those 500 lb'ers don't cost much.

    2. General Rufus has spoken.




      WHY should we be doing this, Rufus?

      Why not put the First Airborne Division on the borders of Kurdistan?

      That might lead to something.

      You were telling me days ago we should not - could not - even use any air power.

    3. Why not let them all fucking kill one another.

      After all, Quirk has told me in no uncertain terms that 'humanitarian intervention' is off the discussion board.

      I think we should protect the Kurds.

    4. You were babbling about "carpet bombing." Nothing remotely similar to what we're doing.


      To kill as many of the bastards as we can.

      What's complicated about that?

    5. That should be 'General Quirk'.

    6. He lies and dissembles, does not remember what he wrote just a couple weeks ago.

      He did advocate for 'carpet bombing', now he has forgotten, that.
      What he advocated for, Obama is doing, striking ISIS.

      Obama, would be Bob's hero, if he were not a Black man.

    7. Rufus, I made a mistake in language.

      I think we should support the Kurds.

      I admit I got all struggled up in the idea of clit cutting.

      I do not like that idea.

      It was an emotional reaction.

    8. It's about the oil, bubba. All it's ever been about. All it will Ever be about.

      It's a simple word. 3 letters

      O. I. L.


    9. Moron.

      There is no oil in Syria.

  23. .

    Drip. Drip. Drip.

    Has now simply become

    Trickle. Trickle. Trickle.

    You don't have to be a military genius to have predicted this would happen. You don't even have to look at recent history.

    If your stated goal is to defeat ISIS, you can't do it by waging a holding pattern in Iraq while two thirds of ISIS continues to pillage and rape next door in Syria.

    At this point, it should get interesting in a rather deje vu sort of way.

    Trickle. Trickle. Trickle.


    1. You have not answered my simple question. General Genius.

    2. .

      What was that question?

      I've been caught up in the excitement of war and I must have missed it.


  24. .

    General Hyperbole: Okay, bomb'em again, tomorrow; those 500 lb'ers don't cost much.

    I doubt our military worries about how many bombs we drop. Everything is relative when its other people's money you are spending and, face it, unlike many of our allies, we are unlikely to run out of ammo any time soon, still...

    How much does a US military bomb cost?

    That depends largely on the size of the bomb, but for a GP 500lb HE bomb, maybe 25,000 USD.

    Actually, the above overstates the cost considerably. A general-purpose 500 lbs iron bomb (no guidance) such as a Mk 82 costs under $300 each. Dumb bombs are dirt cheap, as they consist of little more than a simple metal shell filled with a common explosive filler, and a simple fuse.

    Other common bombs such as napalm, incendiary, white phosphorous, or the like are slightly more expensive, but not drastically so.

    Guidance packages which are bolted on to iron bombs can costs considerably more, however. The GBU-12 package for the above 500 lbs bomb costs around $19,000.

    Specialty bombs such as the MOAB, thermobaric (fuel-air), ICM (improved conventional munitions) or the like can be rather expensive, even without a guidance package. They quickly run into the 10s of thousands per bomb.

    Cost of a Hellfire missile: $58,000

    $300 per doesn't really sound like much. On the other hand, how many 'dumb' bombs do you think the US is dropping in Syria? Doesn't look quite as spectacular as a smart bomb taking out a building when you see it on a YouTube video.


  25. .

    500 lb. bombs?

    We are told this little tussle represents 'military history being made' before our eyes, that this operation is the new face of war.

    Funny, I thought military history was made with every war that is fought, big or small. The definition of the word history would seem to make that inevitable.

    No doubt the US, as the most potent fighting force in the world, will use the level of technology available and appropriate for the job. However, one has to question how much 'military history' can or will be 'made' against what has been described here as 10,000 to 30,000 'throat cutting psychopaths' with no navy or air force and who, at least to this point have shown, limited if any anti-air capability.

    New technology? If you've got it its possible you will use it. I say possible only because there is some technology you might not use, especially in a war against an insurgency.

    But 500 lb bombs. How many have we seen dropped in Vietnam? Smart bombs? We've all seen them taking out Iraqi tanks and airplanes on the ground in YouTube videos of Desert Storm. Hellfire missiles? They are ubiquitous. Surprised we haven't seen them taking out protesters in Ferguson. Drones? Heck, Bush was using them in Iraq before Obama was. But we have helped retake seven villages. Impressive except while the US was helping accomplish that the same 'throat cutting psychopaths' took 60 new villages within a few days in Syrian Kurdistan, 21 of them in a single day.

    A new type of war? Looks like the same shitty little war I have been watching for most of my life. You enter for humanitarian reasons and then you stay. You win every battle until you declare victory and go home leaving the detritus of war in your wake and leaving history to judge your level of success if any.


  26. .

    If this war takes as long as predicted, Obama will eventually have to go to Congress for authorization. It will be interesting to see if the objectives have once again morphed and expanded. I expect there is a fellow in Damascus that has a keen interest in the answer to that question. As a matter of fact, I would imagine there are people in various other capitals around the world as well as in the UN who will be interested.

    Maybe, I should buy some popcorn. This has at least the potential to become a more interesting war than some thought possible.


  27. No no no -

    What ORDERS would you give tonight, General Quart?

    No more fucking around.

    YOU are in COMMAND.

    1. And, there is no pop corn, you old fraud.

    2. Shit, even General 'Bombay' Rufus answered better.

    3. (Holy Mary Bless us now and at the hour of our death)

    4. .

      Finally, got around to opening that third bottle of wine I see.

      You're drifting, Obumble.

      No, no, no to what, or are you merely politicking for a healthy diet?


  28. The US and its allies have carried out at least 50 airstrikes against the Takfiri militants operating inside Syria, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) says.

    According to the UK-based group, the air raids were launched in northern and eastern Syria late on Monday, targeting militants from the ISIL and the al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra Front, the DPA reported.

    The SOHR said that at least 20 strikes targeted ISIL “headquarters, checkpoints and bases” in the city of Raqqa as well as on its eastern and western outskirts.

    Thirty strikes were reported on the Deir Ezzor Province in eastern Syria, which borders Iraq, while Al-Nusra Front’s positions also were struck in the Aleppo Province.

    At least eight civilians and seven Takfiri militants were killed in the attacks, the group said.

    On Monday night, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement that US army and “partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles.”

    US media reported that the Arab countries of Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had joined in the attacks.

    Raqqa is ISIL’s main stronghold in Syria. The terrorists also control most of Deir Ezzor Province further east, as well as sections of Aleppo in the north and Hasakeh in the northeast.

    The Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement released early on Tuesday that Washington had informed Syria's permanent envoy to the United Nations that strikes would be launched against the ISIL terrorists in the Arab country.

    Many ISIL members have been trained by the US in Jordan and Turkey to destabilize the Syrian government. The terror group sent its militants into Iraq in June, quickly seizing vast expanse of land straddling the border between the two countries. They are said to be enjoying support from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.