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Tuesday January 31, 2017
· Trump Week 2: first diplomatic victory Editor will later take a moment to explain the Muslim ban furor, but first, Trump has his first foreign policy victory: Saudi and UAE have agreed to work toward safe zones for Middle East refugees. Obama didn’t want safe zones because he was worried about policing them and the potential for collision with Syria, Russia, and so on. Without the zones, refugees had no choice but to strike out for Turkey and Europe if they could, or suffer terribly in place if they could not. They were creating chaos in Turkey, Europe, Jordan and so on.
· This is a major breakthrough, and it cannot have happened unless there are moves taking place for a Syria settlement. We can guess something is happening because Trump has said: Read my lips, no more foreign interventions to push our ideas on the world. For that alone Editor was willing to put up with a lot of Trump missteps at home; as a defense/international security, this in his opinion, was the biggest crisis the US was facing. No more foreign interventions means we are no longer want to overthrow Assad of Syria. Some liberals may start recriminations about America betraying its ideals; but look, gang, nowhere does it say American ideals means it is our duty to bomb everyone into becoming a democracy.
· Because we don’t want to fight China and Russia, what this democracy-by-force biz meant is picking on small countries that couldn’t fight back. Editor was/is all for it. But US has clearly demonstrated it has no will to be successful, so we may as well forget about it.
· Okay, back at the ranch Its taking time for the establishment and the media that Trump is a master of misdirection. How many of us realize in his first week he has moved to reverse the America-led drive to globalization, which a YUGE change, because we’ve been freaking out about the Muslim ban thing. Today or Thursday Trump will throw another smoke grenade by announcing his Supreme court nominee, and everyone will be going Freak Freak on that, distracting us from who knows what change he plans. Please note Editor is not commenting on is globalization a good thing or a bad thing.
· So, the Muslim ban. It applies to 7 countries for 90-days, and the refugee ban, for 120-days. Editor must be honest with you: he does not believe everyone in the world has an unrestricted right to come to Europe or the United States. A great many Americans are very worried about this. And the broad policy of legal immigration is equally creating stress. And a lot of Americans are scared by Islamic terror. It’s no sense pointing out how half the terrorist incidents in America have been done by US citizens. That’s just making Trump’s point, because if had restricted immigration, those folks wouldn’t have become US citizens. Duh!
· People go on about this is not American and that is not American. Please, people, we need to give that a rest. Like any country, America has opened or closed the tap to suit its national needs. Between 1924 and 1964 or so, immigration was tightly controlled. What Trump is doing IS American; in fact, it’s what every country does. America offered to take your poor and oppressed when the country was empty and the world population was 1-billion (1800) and the US population was 5-million. US population is 325-million building to 500-million; world is 7-billion building to 9+ billion. Ed rests his case.
· Was the ban properly done? No it wasn’t. It was so inefficiently done Trump would have been fired in the private sector. But that isn’t his point. His point is I said I would change everything in 30 days or 100 days or whatever. And he has.
Thursday January 26, 2017
· Mr. Trump builds a wall After nine-years in in India, in 1979, I decided it was time to go back to the US. I lost residency in the time I was away. Two choices. (a) I had my Social Security documents, and knew everyone at the Embassy. A visa was a simple matter. Totter over to the US, give my passport to the family’s immigration attorney, start working. Problem: since I had no intent to return, I’d be lying to visa section. Not good. (b) Ask my mother to change her citizenship – she had been settled in America for 19-years – and have her apply. Those days married sons and daughters of US citizens had almost no waiting period. Obviously, you cannot restart your life in America with a lie, so it was Plan B. For various reasons my mother did not change until 1989. So I landed up at age 46 instead of age 36 and among other problems, ran into the age thing. Its just been one problem after another. So did I regret sticking to being legal? Obviously not. The law is the law; there are never acceptable reasons to break it. If you’re in danger of life, maybe. I was in no such danger.
· Without being racist or nativist or whatever, I have a right to demand that immigrants come legally. I’m told there are upwards of 500,000 illegal Indians here. Obviously I don’t want them deported unless they commit a serious crime. Obviously I don’t support the deportation of a Spanish-born wife and mother who has lived here illegally for years, just because she was driving after two drinks too many – this is a big news item in our area because the woman is an immigrants right activist. What about her two children and husband? But how can I support a policy of refusal to enforce immigration laws?
· The New York Times, among others, consistently says walls don’t work. Clearly the police cannot end crime. Should we disband the police? Armies don’t stop wars. Should we disband armies? Public health does not stop people from dying of overweight, alcohol, drugs. Should we disband public health? Emissions control don’t end emissions. Should we end environmental controls? The NYT is supposedly the top US newspaper, but can’t think straight. In Obama’s time, 2010-2014, 2-million people were deported. So why was he not cursed and spat at? He was only following the law. Yes, walls don’t work if you don’t patrol them. So patrol them. They don’t end illegal immigration but they mitigate it.
· Don’t we have bigger problems than illegal immigration? Of course we do. But illegal immigration is not because we don’t have the money. It’s because the capitalists need to lower labor costs to fatten their profit. If illegal immigration were stopped and illegals deported, where would Congresspeople get their nannies, cooks, house cleaners, drivers, and gardeners?
· A white liberal friend accused me of being racist for saying I support a wall. I told him he was being racist: if you support illegal immigration, why is the rest of the world being shut out from America because they can’t get here? What about the 100-million Indians, 100-million Africans, 100-million Muslims, and 100-million South Americans who would come here if they could? Either follow the law, or change the law to permit free immigration. Arrive at New York, Washington, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, San Diego, San Francisco, Kansas City, Chicago and so on, your passport is stamped: ‘Allowed to permanently reside and work in the US, no access to public social welfare for 10-years.
· I said when I was teaching, my Latin kids would call me “Roberto” – Ravi = Robby = Roberto. Since he was George, he could be Jorge. His wife was Stephanie, she could be Estafany. With 400-million more people of color in America, white privilege would die, and we could also be so cozy together.
· Over the top? Sure. But so was George – er, Jorge.
Tuesday 0230 GMT January 24, 2017
Work situation slightly better, expect once a week. These should be done by May.
Tuesday 0230 October 18, 2016
Back again. Coursework required writing day and night, could not manage to keep up Orbat.
· The extent of the US’s failure to train the Iraqis first became evident in mid-June 2014, when out of the blue Islamic State almost made it to the gates of Baghdad. So the US again trained the Iraqis, aided by several other nations. The results are evident in the force moving on Mosul. IS has 5,000 fighters. Iraq has 120,000 including Peshmerga and Shia militias. The latter will not enter the city for fear of their taking sectarian reprisals, but will form an outer-cordon.
· In addition to this 24-1 edge, Iraq has the benefit of unlimited US airpower, including B-1 and B-52 bombers, several US high-accuracy guided rocket batteries and artillery, and most of all, a complete picture of what is happening on the ground.
· So why 120,000 fighters on Iraq’s side? Because other than the Special Forces and the Special Police, the Iraq Army still cannot fight. In Tikrit, Ramadi, and Fallujah, the special troops did the fighting with the Army acting as an auxiliary.
· In the new war, the foundation of US strategy is to use special forces, ISR, targeted airpower, all supporting local force trained by US/Allied forces. This has not worked in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Somalia. Has it worked in Syria? It hasn’t for the last five years. Rebels are making against IS, but Syria/Russia have dominance over their battlefields, other rebel groups almost as nasty as IS are heavily engaged, so is Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Shia militias from all over the place, and Turkey. Editor’s guess is that US backed rebels are still not going to make a difference. And not to forget, after Syria/Russia whack IS, they will get after other rebel groups including US -backed ones. Simply out, US is going to lose big time in Syria too.
· How does one get US to see the only way to end the mess in Middle East/North Africa/East Africa is to use American troops? One doesn’t, because the US is completely blind to the shortcomings of its preferred methods to fight the wars of our time. To say the US is militarily arrogant is an understatement because it refuses even to learn from its own mistakes.
· The frightening thing is that since 1965, the US has taken to lying to itself about its total failure to achieve strategic results. First Gulf 1990 was a tactical victory, and with 1-million coalition troops plus 2000 first-line combat jets against which Iraq had no defense, it couldn’t have turned out otherwise. Nonetheless, as can be seen from the total mess Iraq is in today, it was a strategic failure.
Sunday 0230 September 11, 2016
· Hilary, what’s with you? Some background. Hilary’s 10-points plus post-convention bounce has evaporated. If you’re pro-Hilary, you say she still has a 3-4% lead and that’s more than enough to throw the Electoral College to her. Remember, American elections are usual quite close, but because of the College’s peculiarities, even a 1% lead is enough for a decisive College victory. We’ve explained this before, if anyone is interested, we’ll cover it again. 3-4% lead is pretty gigantic in terms of College votes.
· Trump’s supporters say 3-4% is within the margin of error, so Donald and Hillary are tied. Remember, if the margin of error is 3%, Hillary could fall anywhere between +3 to -3 if the mean. So Trump could be 3-points ahead.
· That’s the background to what Hillary just said, that half of Trump supporters are “deplorable”, meaning racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic, and many are not even American. This an odd thing to say, particularly if you are trying persuade Trumpers to become Clintonites. Now, Trump – as the say in India – gases a great deal, and when he runs his mouth, it becomes independent of his brain, and he says the first thing on his mind. That’s one reason so many like him, BTW, but that’s another story. Hillary is a very practiced, very smooth, and very clever lawyer. She’s renown for her precise choice of words, and her self-control.
· Though she quickly apologized for her comment, it’s obvious that’s what she really believes, and by letting it skip, she shows she’s angry and resentful. The reason, we are told, is that she can’t believe she is not 10, 15, or even 20-points ahead of the Donald.
· And there lies her problem, which she shares with Obama, and many intellectual liberals. In short, “if you don’t agree with me, you’re a moron”. The arrogance is breathtaking, and shows why she does not in the least understand why she’s not doing better. Americans are fed up of liberals telling them what is the right thing for you and I to feel. Worried about uncontrolled immigration? You’re xenophobic. Question the assumption that women are a downtrodden species needing unlimited protection for an unlimited time? You’re sexist. Express unease over transgenders using the school bathroom of your choice? You’re homophobic. White voters favor you? You’re racist.
· Just call everyone a name, and you know longer have to deal with their viewpoints. Everyone does that, including the right wingers. But see, folks, you and I are not running for president. You and I are not claiming to be the “good” America. People have had it with being told, for decades now, that only the elite know what’s right if you want to be called an American.
· Hillary will say Editor is xenophobic, even though he’s an immigrant. But he obeyed all laws to get here and stay here. Law is the foundation of America. You cannot have people starting life as Americans by breaking the law.
· If Editor had daughters, he’d be worried about boys who say they’re girls using the girls bathroom and locker room. So he’s homophobic?
· Editor is worried about men are now being treated in schools and colleges: they’re falling behind in almost every academic field. Editor has sons, and he’d like to let Hillary know: when you call me sexist at a time when every man is in danger of being labelled a rapist, and when you never seem to have anything to say in your speeches about men’s issues, I’m not the sexist, it’s you.
· Editor is non-white, but whites were and still are the majority, and they have legitimate concerns at how life has changed so rapidly for them. I’m colored, and I’m sympathetic to the plight of whites, particularly the huge number of poor ones, who don’t seem to exist in Hillary’s universe. Hillary, be very careful before you call me a racist. BTW, my last 27-years in America have been spent in colored majority areas. I get startled when I see white people in the street of a gentrifying area that I knew as colored. Not sure if that’s a racist trait.
Tuesday 0230 GMT September 6, 2016
· Philippine President Duterte On the one hand, Editor sympathizes with Duterte’s frustration about the rising drug + crime problem in the nation. As is happening elsewhere, some particularly vicious synthetic drugs are making the problem worse. Duarte’s solution is simple, and viscerally satisfying: everyone, including the police, should simply shoot drug dealers and drug addicts.
· Now, Editor is not a liberal when it comes to crime. In the first part of 18th Century England, about 200+ offenses attracted the death sentence, including for pickpocketing and writing a threatening letter. Many folks subjected to Internet abuse today would heartily back death as punishment for the latter. As would Editor. Why fill up jails at a taxpayer cost of $30-40,000/year, sometimes for life? Hang the dang fellow and get it over with, says Editor.
· Nonetheless, what’s happening in the Philippines creates problems. The police subcontract the killings if they don’t feel like doing the job themselves. Editor read about a young woman with a husband and child who gets paid $50/hit, and she’s already done six she admits to. One problem is that once you start as a subcontractor, the police don’t let you quit. This does not seem right. Another is: how do we know the drug addict/criminal was – er – terminated because he was unable to pay graft? How do we know that someone owes you money and you tell the police that person is an addict/criminal and you’re happy to kill him free of charge? Don’t worry, say the police, we know who is a druggie and not. Strangely, Editor does not feel reassured.
· Today the police/public are executing drug crime folks. Tomorrow it could be something else like political protest. Pretty soon, everyone is killing everyone else, which hopefully will solve the drug problem, since everyone will be dead and the children will die because there’s no one left to look after them.
· That aside, Mr. Duterte is creating problems for the United States. The other day he publicly he said the US ambassador was “a gay son of a bitch”. Editor would gladly see Mr. Duterte hung for offences against the English language and lack of knowledge about biology. First, it is not possible for a human to be the son of a bitch. Second, “gay” simply means happy, merry and the rest. Who gave the man permission to appropriate a perfectly useful word? True Duterte did not start this usage, but as a president of a nation he is obligated to avoid murdering the English language. Now he has called Mr. Obama “the son of a whore”. Defamation, at the very least, because there is no indication the senior Mrs. Obama was a whore. Bad manners too, you will say, but look, us Americans are not particularly well mannered to begin with.
· Editor thought Mr. Obama is so liberal he couldn’t be insulted, and would respond with a “everyone’s point of view is valid”. Instead our president refused to meet Duterte in Laos and said: “Clearly, he’s a colorful guy, I always want to make sure if I’m having a meeting that it’s productive.”
· Here Editor gets into another problem. However much Mr. Obama may think the presidency is about him, so he is allowed to forgive Mr. Duterte’s abuse, the Philippines president has just collectively insulted the United States. We can call Mr. Obama what we want because he’s OUR president. A foreigner does not get to curse our president and by extension the whole country.
· Editor thinks Duterte should be declared persona non grata, and among other things be forbidden to fly through US airspace. His personal banking matters should be investigated, and his accounts seized if they are in any way related to a US bank. The US embassy and consulates should be withdrawn, as should all US aid and military assistance. No air or sea vessels that touch Philippine waters or air space should be permitted to operate in US space. The US should sanction Mr. Duterte for human rights abuses, and refer him to the International Criminal Court. And so on.
· Mr. Duterte will of course, threaten to sell his sorry behind to China. Let him, and let’s see how that goes.
· Before we became an imperialistic power, we had a flag and a motto that featured a deadly snake and the words “Don’t tread on me”. In other words, leave me alone or die. Not a bad motto to resurrect and act on, don’t you think?
Monday 0230 September 5, 201
“India messes up another critical defense purchase…”
· …you wrathfully inform your Significant Other. She ignores you, gives a ladylike yawn and contemplate if she should have another Margarita, and examines her toes to see if the nail polish is chipped, and debates if another color might be more exciting. You admonish her “The defense of India is going down the tubes and you’re worried about chipped nail polish?”
· At which she languidly gestures at her depleting glass to hint that a refill is required, and says: “What’s your point, darling? The defense of India is always going down the tubes. Give me some real news. I’m particularly anxious to examine the new Clinique eyeliners for the fall.” At which point you almost explode with annoyance. But you don’t explode, because you realize she is absolutely right. You think: Maybe I should see if the new eyeliner colors suit me. It’s a more productive activity.”
· And indeed, so it is, and really it is more productive to look at eyeliner. After all, Indian males have worn it forever, and the new metrosexual man has finally caught on to what we Indians knew all along, that male eyeliner can be sexy.
· On the off chance you really care about Indian defense, Editor will explain the latest fiasco. We order two ISTAR aircraft from Raytheon, which is big in the business, and which will make us one of the very few nations to have this type of kit. What is ISTAR? Defense analyst Vivek Raghuvanshi quotes an official: “It is the central airborne platform that has state-of-the-art communications and sensors, along with advanced analytical capability to achieve real-time targeting capability in the battlefield and operational environment. It also networks with other sensors, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, to build a common picture for effective targeting. This information is fed to ground commanders for effective decision-making."
· At which point you want tell your SO: “Not tonight, my dear, I have a headache”, except it is only 11 AM. Luckily, you have the old, reliable Editor to explain. Suppose Pakistan is moving its 1st Armored Division under the cover of a dark and stormy night, with the objective of surprising you with an attack where you least expect. Well, it doesn’t matter how dark and stormy the night, an ISTAR aircraft will pick up the movement and alert Army HQ, the theatre commander, the corps commander, and the division commander what is going on. If we pay extra, the information can be sent to brigade as well. Each command level will see exactly what the ISTAR aircraft sees. The acronym, by the way, stands for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition Radar. You can now see that amazing as the capability is, the aircraft does a whole lot of other things. It intercepts enemy signals, and it tells the ground commander exactly which weapons he should use for a counterstrike, and where he should aim them – exactly. If this was not enough, the aircraft maintains a two-way feed with all reconnaissance platforms – satellites, aircraft, UAVs, helicopters, and army ground reconnaissance vehicles. It not only sees what those multiple platforms see, it can direct them to change position for better results, uses its own and platforms countermeasures, and tells the other platform where exactly to launch weapons. It does all this automatically, the crew only set the parameters required by commanders.
· In short, it does everything except get you at date with Olympic hero Shakshi Malik. First, there’s about a hundred thousand men ahead of you. Second, do you really want to date someone who is strong enough to tie you into a package and put you out for garbage collection because you weren’t sufficiently entertaining?
· So, forget two, we really could use fifteen given the length of our hostile land borders. Of course, there’s the cost, $1-billion for two.
· You really can forget the two, because the purchase is stalled. Not by the Finance Ministry, which has done more to cripple Indian defense than all our enemies put together. By the Indian Air Force and the Defense Research and Development Organization. They’re arguing about who gets to do the evaluation. The IAF says it’s the user, the DRDO says only it has the technical expertise. Meanwhile, in true saintly style, the Ministry of Defense has stepped aside, saying there is no point to the acquisition unless the two organizations decide who is to do the job.
· It seems not to occur to MOD that it is supposed to resolve the issue and do right now. It also does not occur that the IAF is the user, it has to be satisfied first. Apparently MOD doesn’t know what the word “leadership” means. You now see that instead of worrying about just the eyeliner, you should be looking at Victoria’s Secret to decide which punk panties to order. Shouldn’t you first ask your SO? Of course not, silly. They’re for you. Being a metrosexual is a better use of your time than worrying about Indian defense.
Tuesday 0230 GMT August 30, 2016
· Readers haven’t heard from Editor because this week has been one of those life-changing inflexion points. Namely, Ed has started writing his doctoral thesis. It’s not the writing that’s taking time because he has the thing written out in his head and it has to be only 100,000-words long, maybe 90-days in all. The problem is the references. For example, Editor and everyone knows – or should know – that President Kennedy did not trade US missiles in Turkey for the Soviet ones in Cuba. The 15 missiles were vulnerable to a Soviet strike; they were obsolete before they were deployed. The US already had nine missile submarines commissioned, just one operating in the Mediterranean sufficed to replace the Jupiters. At least on the missiles, JFK gave nothing away. As for the political side, the pledge not to invade Cuba, hello people, the US had no intention of invading Cuba in the first place. That’s why the Bay of Pigs things. So JFK made no concessions there too.
· There no big deal here, all this stuff has been known for decades. So the two paragraphs Editor need to write should have taken five minutes. Instead they took four hours. Why? Well, a doctoral thesis requires everything to be referenced. This is going to take time because a single reference for each point is not good enough. If that was the only issue, Editor could have done it one hour. The problem? Once you turn Editor loose on something like this, he can’t help but keep researching more and more detail.
· For example, where was the need to find out that nine SSBNs were commissioned by end-September 1962? Where was the need to remind oneself when Polaris subs became forward basing at Holy Loch, UK, and Rota, Spain? Where was the need to find out the submarine squadron numbers? Why go into why the Soviets were worried about the 15 Jupiter missiles on Turkey but had nothing to say about the 30 in Italy and the 60 Thors in the UK? Why does Editor need to know what the ranges of Thor, Jupiter, and Polaris were? Why refresh memory on ranges of Polaris A1, A2, A3? Why note the names of the nine commissioned boats? Why refresh memory on the first five boomers that were constructed by adding 130-feet midsections (the missile magazine) to existing attack subs under construction? Does Editor, for the thesis, really need to know how many Polaris test launches took place before the missile was declared operational? How is it of any relevance to the 1962 crisis to check on why the Navy rejected shipboard versions of Army and Air Force missiles and choose to develop its own? Does one really have to go over the stability of the liquid-fuel missiles versus the solid-fuel times, not to mention launch times? Is it necessary to compile a list of the Thor/Jupiter squadrons and wings? Or to check on which bases they were deployed? Before Polaris, the US Navy mounted Regulus on conventional submarines: but is there any need to go into the history of Regulus and how the extended version was cancelled in favor of Polaris, and check which submarines/surface ships carried the missile and how many?
· No need at all. But Editor was young when Regulus, Thor, Jupiter, Polaris were deploying, and it was a comfortable journey down memory lane to visit old friends. And he did learn two things he never knew. One, the US sea-borne deterrent was deployed as early as 1956. It is not as if Polaris emerged out of nowhere. Two, the entire Polaris program from start of development to operational deployment took just 48-months. Where have those Americans gone?
· Meanwhile, Editor was just getting into Matador and Bomarc when he got stomach cramps because he hadn’t eaten in six hours. When he looked at the clock and realized how much time had elapsed, it was a big shock to realize he had got only a quarter of the work planned for the thesis done.
· Editor knows he is weird. But you see, you need people who can see all of defense as an integrated whole. This is what makes Editor different from other experts who may well know much more about particular areas. But you can see this is not helpful when writing a doctoral thesis. And BTW, when Editor ate and returned to the computer, he was all set to research the Italian Polaris program and refresh his memory about the early 1960s rumor that US would give merchant-ship mounted Polaris to South Africa. Then he caught himself and said “What the heck are you doing, Moggy?” [Moggy is Editor’s alter ego with whom he has internal conversations.]
· So, it’s just one week. Hopefully Editor will get it together and return to the usual rants…argh! Fingers are typing South Africa and Polaris into the search bar, Editor has lost control…
Tuesday 0230 GMT August 23, 2016
· India’s meaningless threat on Balochistan and the Northern Areas The Prime Minister’s statement that if Pakistan continues its interference in Kashmir, we can interfere in Balochistan and the Northern Areas is puzzling. The response to a threat can be a threat: “If you hit me, I will hit you back.” What we’re doing, however is “You are hitting me, I can hit you back.” This not only makes no sense; it makes us look weak. If we can hit back, why aren’t we doing so? After all, Pakistan has for 29-years engaged in a low-level war against India using proxies directly supported by the Pakistan Army. Three decades of war later, the best we can say is “I can hit you back”? So exactly when will we hit Pakistan? After the war has gone on for half-a-century? A hundred years? When shifting plates make the continents reunite into Pangea? That’s about 300-million years from now.
· The first real sub rosa intervention since Independence was made in 1971 by India against East Pakistan. Earlier, we had half-heartedly supported the US in delivery of miniscule quantities of arms to Tibet rebels, and China had responded with tiny quantities of aid to our North East rebels. 1965 was not a clandestine attack on Kashmir by Pakistan; it was an open invasion, and we responded in full force.
· The important lesson of supporting liberation movements we learned in 1971 has been firmly ignored by India. By May 1971 Pakistan had beaten the rebels and was turning its problem in East Pakistan into our problem by ethnic cleansing. That is why we had to go to war in full force. Mrs. Indira Gandhi drew the wrong lessons from the war – it is near impossible for insurgents to win against a ruthless state without external military support. She thought we could now incite Sindh and Balochistan to revolt. To be fair, our support was so limited we need not have bothered. In the event, the Pakistan Army destroyed the Baluch rebellion. A key tactic was poisoning water wells in this desert province – that’s ruthless. The Sind intervention, at best only marginally worsened a law-and-order problem that already existed and continues to exist.
· Pakistan struck back by supporting the Khalistan insurgency. Please to note how India defeated the rebels. It killed them and their supporters. The Indian criminal justice system was too weak to permit a law-and-order approach. We acted as we would in war: you’re a non-uniformed combatant or a supporter, you are shot. End of story. That’s ruthless, and it worked. Failing in the Punjab, and inspired by the successful mujahedeen tactics in Afghanistan, Pakistan now turned its attention to Kashmir. For reasons too complex to discuss here, we have been unable to act ruthlessly, and here we are, three decades later, and still at war. But has Pakistan won a single square kilometer of Kashmir? No. Because it cannot, just we could not win in East Pakistan without sending in the Army. And there’s no need to remind ourselves of Sri Lanka, where our boys decided not to listen to us. They turned against us and beat us. We sensibly quit, because we weren’t willing to pay the price.
· So now we return to Balochistan and the Northern Areas. If we are to “get real”, what precisely could we do? The short answer: nothing effective. The Northern Territories have a thinly spread-out population of 2-3 million. For six months of the year the weather is brutal. It’s very easy for the Pakistanis to control the area because any armed opposition will be dealt with as was the case in Baluchistan: insurgents, actual and imagined, will be killed. We had a chance in 1984 and 1986-87 to take the Northern Territories and solve that problem. We chickened out. End of that story.
· In Balochistan we face three unsurmountable problems. We have no way of creating sanctuaries because there is no land border. Iran will never tolerate an independent Pakistan Balochistan because its own eastern province could secede to join the new country. Last, the Baloch people are tribal, each group has its own interests. The province is also home to Pushtoons with their own ideas, and Sindhis. Many Baloch live west of the Indus. And never underestimate Pakistan’s ability to bring in large numbers of Punjabis. This is not a Bangladesh waiting to happen.
· So our threat to retaliate in the Northern Areas and Balochistan is empty. There is only one long-term solution to the Kashmir problem: war to recover POK and to evict the Chinese from Ladakh. Chances of this happening are zero. Idle talk has no cost. It also achieves zero results.
Monday 0230 GMT, August 22, 2016
· No comparison between China and India Shashi Tharoor, intellectual, international civil servant, and parliamentarian, made a valid comment the other day in the South China Morning Post. It is time to stop pairing India and China in comparisons. Tharoor’s observation was provoked by China’s 70 medals at the 2016 Olympics, versus our two. The People’s Republic of China was not, by any definition, a sport powerhouse when it began attending the Olympics in 1984. In nine summer games, it has won 201 golds, and 473 medals overall. India won 1 gold and 14 overall in the same games. China’s achievement has resulted from sheer determination, national pride, and organization.
· A characteristic of ours is that we are immune to national shame. It does not matter to us if we win or lose, we’re pleased just to show up. For us, the past and the future have no meaning. To have a place to live, three meals daily, family, community to share our joys and sorrows, and physical security is all we need. We wake up in a hopeful mood, and if we have our minimum needs, we go to sleep satisfied.
· Expanding from Tharoor’s point, it’s time to stop comparing ourselves to our nemesis China. The Olympic medal count may seem a frivolous comparison, so let’s take per capita income. In 1980, India and China had roughly the same GDP and per capita income. Today the Chinese have over four times that. That is one reason their defense spending is four times ours, which means there’s no military/strategic comparison between us. We are so far behind that we are not even eating their dust.
· Another comparison: the Chinese built their double-track 1150-km railway from Golmo to Lhasa in 52-months, at an altitude of 4000-meters; half laid across permafrost which melts in the summer and freezes in the winter. By comparison, our single-track 345-km line Jammu to Srinagar will realistically be complete in 2024, 41-years after construction began.
· More: China has five times our power generation capability, 1.5-Terawatts vs 0.3-TW, and six times our coal and steel production. This is my very rough estimate after they reduce over-capacity. Six times our vehicle production. 8 times our forex reserves. And so on.
· Now, we can sit here till the cows come home and die of old age and are sent to the glue factory making excuses for ourselves. In a competition, no one cares about the why. Performance is the only acceptable indicator. Or as Star War’s fake Taoist philosopher says, “There is no try, young Luke. Do or not do.” We are enlightened because we don’t try; we just don’t do.
· Obviously we should relax and recall our past glories, as is our habit. Perhaps we could make an effort to explain what happened to our indoor plumbing during the Indus River civilization period. Somehow that plumbing migrated westwards so that the developed nations have it and we don’t. It’s a great mystery. BUT: we did have it first, and that’s all that matters.
Thursday 0230 GMT August 18, 2016
· Black rage against the police After the Milwaukee riots, we asked our Twitter readers if they could explain what was going on. A 23-year old black male with a notable rap sheet and his friend were subject to a traffic stop. The 23-year old ran, chased by a 24-year black police officer. As nearly as we understand, the suspect ran into a fenced area, turned around with a gun in his hand, and raised it against the officer. This is apparently in camera. The officer shot first, suspect died. Milwaukee blacks decided to riot and loot; despite the sensational press reports, it seems to have been a limited affair.
· One reader who is well-studied on the matter told us that while white police shooting blacks makes for a better rallying cry, black folks essentially hate ALL police. Ironic because black folks are victimized at much higher rates by black criminals than is the case for other races. There are reasons for this “we hate cops” attitude; perhaps we can discuss it another day.
· Before writing this short comment, a few things. First, Editor has stopped using “African-American” because we are dealing with Americans. We don’t call whites “European-Americans”. If it is okay to call white Americans white, same applies to black Americans. Second, the figures we’re giving are from standardized 2013 FBI sources There are problems with the figures, and there are problems with using them selectively. So we need to make the caveat that they are bald figures for arrests only. Nonetheless, they are good enough for generalizations, as long as we don’t try and make more of them. According to the 2010 Census, 64% of the US is white, 12% is black or African American, 16% is Hispanic, and 8% is other, mainly Asian. Complication: Hispanics are counted as white by the FBI. To avoid confusion, we will look primarily at black arrests in selected categories. This avoids the issue of better legal representation for whites and so on.
· Total= 28%; Murder=45%; Robbery=56%; Aggravated Assault=34%; Violent crime=38%; Sex Trafficking=41%; Drug Abuse = 30%; DUI=13%, Liquor Laws=15%; Drunkenness=16%. This is overall, under-18 Violent Crime=53%; Murder=54%; Sex Trafficking=62%; Gambling=89%; Drug Abuse=24%.
· Whichever way we want to look at this, the black arrests are way out of proportion to the population. Incidentally, alcohol violations are more-or-less in line with the population; and black juvenile drug arrests are lower than in the overall black population.
· When black violent crime is three-times as high as the population, it is difficult to argue that discrimination is at work. Whites who commit murder, robbery, aggravated assault are hardly let off because of their color. Moreover, if you are of lower socio-economic status, regardless of your color, you will get treated more roughly by the police unless you touch the forelock and kiss police officers’ butts. If you are rude or non-compliant to police officers, regardless of color or socio-economic status, you are in big trouble.
· Given the figures, since black folks are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crimes, they are going to have greater contact with the police, especially in predominantly lower-income neighborhoods. This is a fact of life that has to be faced. And obviously, then, black folks are going to be hassled more by the police, regardless of the color of the police. Blacks say they want more respect from the police. The police say they want respect from citizens, period.
· Is there a way of de-escalation? Yes, by retraining the police and restoring community policing. The militarization of the police is the worth thing to happen. When police are frequently on foot, when they make face-to-face contact with the populace, when they get to know people and regard them as human beings, the community will also de-escalate. Other measures are also needed. For example, an arrest on the spot for wrong-doing is not always necessary. Nor is the whole handcuffs routine. As in the UK, offenders can be given a ticket to appear at the station house. Of course some will not show up. But if the police know the community, and have the trust of the people, they will find the no-shows who can be dealt with severely. And so on.
· Which deescalates the police-black folks’ anger. But it does not resolve the disproportionate serious crime rate. For that black folks have to take responsibility.
Wednesday 0230 GMT August 17, 2016
· Article on why Washington’s basic understand of Iraq is faulty The article is a lengthy one, and you should read it yourself. If we summarized it, you’d miss the nuances, which is exactly what the author says US is doing. From War on The Rocks
· If you read Western media outlets, including War on the Rocks, you might think that most of the problems in the Middle East can be traced to Sunni disenfranchisement, especially in Syria and Iraq. The broader Western debate about the ongoing civil wars in the Middle East is plagued by a false understanding of sectarian identities. Washington elites imagine a broader Sunni sense of identity that does not exist outside the confines of Saudi Arabia and territories held by jihadist groups. This has the malign effect of encouraging polices that add fuel to the fires consuming Syria and parts of Iraq. Alongside this narrative exists another that portrays Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces as bloodthirsty sectarian militias engaged in constant abuses against Iraq’s Sunni Arabs — but this is simply not the case.
· Similarly, these same voices describe the Syrian government as an “Alawite regime” that rules and oppresses Sunnis. However, Sunnis are heavily represented at all levels of leadership in Assad’s government. The territory it controls at this point in the war and at all points past is majority Sunni. And the Syrian armed forces are still majority Sunni. Alawites may be overrepresented in the security forces, but all that means is that they get to die more than others. It if it is an “Alawite regime,” isn’t it odd that includes and benefits so many non-Alawites?
· Here is Editor’s problem. First, he finds the political side of Iraq-Syria hideously boring. When he encounters an academic article on the subject, his brain freezes. Second, being in Washington he is too close to the way this town functions and in some case unable to see the forest for the trees. So he knew Washington goes on and on about Sunni disenfranchisement in Iraq, and this is, of course, a truly absurd line of thought. Until 2003, the Sunnis had ruled for 400 years. After Iraq was formed from the three Turkish governorates of Mosul, Baghdad, and Basra, the population mix was 60% Shia, 20% Sunni, 20% Kurds and others. Its more complicated than that, but for easy memorization one has to reduce facts to the basics, The Sunnis oppressed the Shias, and badly. They oppressed the Kurds too, but the Kurds rebelled, and by the time Saddam rolled into power, he agreed to a certain degree of autonomy for them.
· So as far as Editor was concerned, the Shia-Sunni trouble after 2003 was because the Sunnis refused to accept their day was done, and because the Shias had to have their revenge. As far as Editor was concerned, it was for the Sunnis to make their peace with the Shias, not the other way around. So Editor vaguely heard Washington bleating in the distance about how the Sunnis had to be included, and paid it no mind. Washington is full of strange ideas.
· As for Syria, Assad Senior was a butcher, and no one including Editor liked him. Editor’s dislike carried over the Assad Junior, but once the US started its familiar game of trying to overthrow him in favor of democracy, Editor knew the game was over. After all, this is the pattern we saw in Iraq and Libya. The US has proceeded from one stupidity to another in Syria, so any sensible person learns to forget about Syria. Whatever the solution, US doesn’t have it. So the above article’s analysis on Shia-Sunni relations in Syria was a completely new angle to Editor, and it certainly gives one much drink for thought. (No one thinks with food, one just goes into a coma, so Editor thinks it’s time to change the metaphor. The drink is, of course, Diet Pepsi.)
· Editor’s view on what US should do have been repeated many times. Ally with the Shias, destroy the Sunni regimes because they are the source of global terrorism. They are our enemies, not our friends. We don’t need them anymore because we have all the oil we want. Oil has been at the center of our interest for 80-years, time to come up with a news script. Yes, after the 1956 Suez crisis our objective was also to keep Soviet Union, but USSR is gone now. In any case, how does it matter who controls the oil? They have to sell it to anyone who wants to buy it. Why are we protecting the terror-loving Sunni regimes?
Tuesday 0230 GMT August 16, 2016
· We’ve defended Hilary, time to defend Trump A state prosecutor in Ukraine has found a ledger saying $12.5-million was paid by Ukraine’s former pro-Russia President to the gent who run’s Trump’s campaign. So, given Trump’s fondness for Putin, “troubling questions” are said to be raised. May we suggested those troubled ingest a large dose of Isofgul? In America they call it Metamucil – the Indian product is far superior by the way, and it’s a powerful laxative. The trouble will be over the next day.
· More seriously, the Trump campaign manager is a professional, he did consult for the ex-President, and as long as the money has been reported and taxes, there is no issue. Trump was nowhere around when all this happened; moreover, saying Trump likes Putin, ex-Ukraine Prez was backed by Putin, the assumption we need to be “deeply concerned” is a non-sequitur. Moreover, the campaign manager denies he took the money, and there’s no proof. Other entries in the ledger have folks signing against their names, there is no signature.
· Meanwhile, of course Hilary would not be in this situation because she arranges the foreign money for her foundation herself. There’s confusion about if her and Bill’s foundation is under FBI scrutiny. There were reports it is, then the FBI chief said it is not, now a senior unnamed official says it is. Who knows. These are Orwellian days, when lies are sold as the truth.
· We’ve said before: no one expects anything from Trump by ways of morals. He’s a businessperson and not expected to have any. As for Hilary, unless its proved she’s murdered someone herself and buried the body herself, none of her supporters care. Actually, there is such a panic about Trump that right now Hilary could appear in public with blood dripping from her hands and no one would care. If she says she’s done in Bill, that will get her a million votes at least.
· Editor’s good humor about the election has returned. He hopes Hilary wins, because then the flames of revolution will be reignited big time. Right now, because of the Trump thing people are running to Hilary’s side crying “Save us!”. If she wins, she will be judged on her own merits and all the anger will be on her.
· Meanwhile, don’t ask Editor what Trump is up to. Nothing much, it appears. He’s on the campaign trail, but it’s becoming increasingly unclear if he actually has any interest in what he’s doing. There’s no new insults, for one thing. Of course, it’s hard to get any real enthusiasm/outrage going after his attacking the courts and the Muslim family whose son died at Fallujah 2004. It’s hard to top that. BTW, don’t be sure his comments cost him votes! Lots of people hate the courts for their liberal agenda; and one Muslim soldier dead in America’s service does not give a pass to all 1.6-billion. Trump clearly has a chip on his shoulder because he didn’t serve, but then you have to remember after the draft ended 40-years or so ago, the vast majority of us have not served either and have no intention of doing so.
· Editor is ready to serve as long as he can pay his mortgage, but there have been no recent invitations from the President to join the service. What can Editor do at age 70, you ask? He can replace the entire Joints Chief of Staff. How? By playing with model trains and taking naps with his teddy bears. He at least won’t do any harm to America unlike the lot that have been around the last 15-years.
Monday 0230 GMT August 15, 2016
· US Next Gen Spy Plane TR-X Read something other day: the aircraft will a skin changer. See concept drawing of TR-X for a concept pix, always keeping mind the US habitually plays games with its black aircraft. There zero assurance that this is what the plane will actually look like.
· For now, officially, TR-X is a concept aircraft because the USAF – it is said – cannot run the U-2 and Global Hawk programs as well as afford the TR-X. Straightaway the Baloney Meter hits 100, because U-2/Global Hawk cannot penetrate high-density air defense environments. TR-X is a completely different type of aircraft because it is supposed to flit across Russia or China without being seen. TR-X will use many existing systems from the U-2/Global Hawk programs, the skin and electronics will be futuristic, but it’s not going to cost much more to operate (perhaps even less – this is Editor’s guess) than the existing mix. Incidentally, it will have both manned and unmanned versions. It will come into service in the middle of the next decade, which really means 2030, which means it will start replacing the U-2s. So there’s no question of a third program and we’re not sure why Lockheed is even talking like that.
· Now, we haven’t had time to spend the 10-15 hours’ time researching what precisely a skin-changer does. It’s not the same thing as wing-changer That typed of aircraft will have the ability to change the shape of its wing as needed to reduce fuel use in different flight modes. That’s what birds do and so will a wing-changer. The skin-changer has to do with the ability to change the stealth skin to cope with different types of defending radars. Perhaps one day soon radars will change their operating frequencies as needed, so that you won’t need multiple types of radars. (Someone please check; they may already be working on this.) The obvious way this will be done is to use electric currents to activate different types of cells in the skin, like a chameleon can change colors to blend in with different environments.
· This leads Editor on a short tangent: we’ve already discussed adaptive camouflage, which – IIRC – is some way down the R&D path. This is different from the broken camo that we’ve talked about, probably in the Twitter feed. That uses computer design to create camo which is then painted on the tank or the ship, presumably by a computer-controlled spray painter. The Chinese are going big on this. Adaptive means chameleon. And, as readers know, they’ve already the Cloak of Invisibility for stationary objects in R&D. Editor cant swear is its reached the D stage yet, there’s just so much one can study with all the other study and work one has to do.
· A skin-changer aircraft will give a huge boost to the stealth attacker. And about time. US stealth is still very effective, but counters are being worked on (mainly by the US) and its time US was working on taking the game to a whole new level before adversaries start reducing US stealth ability from 95+ % it is now to something like 80% or less.
· Incidentally, it’s said the TR-X will not be invisible, but hard to hit. We don’t know what that implies. Obviously flying at 70,000-meters or whatever this plane will do it has more time to react to threats, and obviously it will have enough ECM to choke a T-Rex, but when a SAM is coming at you at Mach 5, and you’re tootling around at Mach 0.8 or less, that extra height may not help.
· Meanwhile, just to remember, the SR-72 proposed by Lockheed is another plane altogether. T = Tactual, S = Strategic. SR-72 will be a Mach 6 and may well have the ability to launch a couple of missiles – say to get Saddam before he left the restaurant where he was eating that you heard about. BTW, according to media, U-2 can see land mines/IEDs other systems may have missed. Now that is really something.
Friday 0230 GMT August 12, 2016
· Trump and the Art of the Joke Washington Post says that many Trump statements are jokes that fail because he doesn’t set them up properly (C1, August 11, 2016). Okay, fair enough. The thing is, either you have already built a reputation as a jokester, or you have to give a hint that you are about to tell a joke. In the first case, if you are known for your jokes, you can arrive at the mike and say with a straight face: “The moon is made of green cheese” and people know you’re joking.
· But if you are not known as a yuk-yuk man, and Trump is not, how is the audience to get you’re making a joke without the clue? President W. Bush had, believe it or not, a great sense of humor. It was of the preppy kind. Since most Americans are not preppies, understandably people had no idea what he was saying. Since Editor, must to his everlasting shame, is a preppy, he never had any difficulty with Bush jokes. And of course, to tell the audience “this is how you tell I am joking” ruins the effect.
· You could always tell Bush was making a joke when he got self-deprecating. Even if you aren’t a preppy, anyone should get that, and its particularly a British style.
· Alas, Donald never gives a clue. He does not say “this is the last time I swim to play golf in the UK; because thanks to global warming, the water is too darn hot”. Or something. A device Editor often uses is “when I was standing with Wellington at Waterloo”. You’d be amazed how many Americans don’t get I’m joking because they don’t know Waterloo was two-hundred years ago. But still, it’s a clue. (On the other hand, maybe Editor does look old enough to be standing with Wellington at Waterloo; in which case the joke is on him.)
· So maybe Trump is joking when he repeats that Obama is behind the creation of Islamic State, and Hilary too. Making a joke no one gets, however, is pointless. If Trump added “He and Hilary are also responsible for extinction of the dinosaurs”, it would help.
· Whatever WashPo may say, Trump is quite a smart cookie. Moreover, he’s a New Yorker, and they have their own biting/sarcastic sense of humor. If Trump was joking, he would let his words show that. Editor does not think Trump is joking, unless we’re going to say he’s making fun of his own supporters. But why would he do it? It’s simpler to believe he knows exactly what he’s saying. True or not, the allegation sticks. While WashPo righteously moans “there he goes again, proving he’s unfit for office”, Trump people are saying “Tell it like it is, Donald!”
· Remember, the meme that Obama withdrew too soon from Iraq and lost the gains we’d made is already in people’s minds. Who, at this point, remembers – or knew - that the Iraqis wanted the US to leave. They refused to approve immunity for US troops, which pretty much meant goodbye, Iraq. Who remembers – or knows – that Islamic State is a reincarnation of the hard core Sunni opposition the US crushed? Who knows, or care, that the Iraq Shia government turned its back on the US’s efforts to reintegrate the Sunnis into the new setup. We could go on and on, but the point is, except for a few loonies like Editor and a few people like our readers, no one cares, and no one wants to care.
· It is just so much easier to accept what Trump is saying. This is not a joke, it’s highly skilled agit-prop. Do we start holding our heads and saying “OMG! Hitler is back?” We shouldn’t, because everyone does it, including the Democrats and Apple. Its standard American advertising techniques, and our lads make the communists and fascists look like pre-schoolers.
Thursday 0230 GMT August 11, 2016
· Wikileaker Assange all but says murdered DNC staffer was source of Hilary e-mails Its being said that he’s hinting, but if you read excerpts from his TV interview, he really is saying it. https://t.co/yGWZXaAB5V Then there’s speculation the murdered Democratic National Committee staffer was planning a chat with the FBI. None of his possessions was taken, so folks are saying it can’t have been a robbery, it must be a hit by the Clinton side.
· Caveat Editor has no idea about this case. If one is going to follow up on every murder in Washington DC Metro, one would do nothing else. And again, Editor is not defending Hilary: he would rather vote for a dead haddock than for the young lady. But also again, either one writes propaganda or one writes analysis. We’re not in the business of writing propaganda.
· That said, as of this instant Editor sees nothing at all to indicate this was a Clinton side hit. That nothing was taken is, as of now, of no significance. From NBC-News this is known Victim was walking back home and shots fired were heard at 0419; patrol police also heard and responded immediately; victim died in the hospital. He was bruised at several places on his body, and was shot twice in the back. It is speculated a struggle took place, the shots in the back indicate he was running away. Is this consistent with a targeted murder? In Editor’s opinion, no. It sounds more like a robbery gone wrong. But Editor is only guessing at the most plausible hypothesis based on what is known. As of this point we need not invoke Hilary and Company. If something comes up, Editor will be the first to change or confirm his hypothesis.
· Meanwhile, the point here is not the truth. Given the way media and people work/think, this does not look good for the Hilary side. This also does not look for all the media who jumped in screaming “Russia Dirty Tricks! Russia trying to influence US presidential election!” You could say it is Russia but Assange is opportunistically hanging this on the staffer to protect the Russians. You could also say it was Bugs Bunny on a carrot rage: the man had no carrots so Bugs killed him.
· As for US media alleging foreign intervention in its precious election, Editor has just one word: Morons. Do these folks really not know that the US has a long history of intervening in elections and opposition movements, and still continues to meddle as necessary?
· Re that: Editor’s firm belief is that the US should meddle when needed to defend/further our national interests. But there should be an accounting for the people responsible for interfering when things fail because of their incompetence. Americans are big on fixing responsibility for failure by classroom teachers, and they should. The same responsibility should be fixed for failing corporate leaders, politicians, media, bureaucrats, generals, everyone. Re. politicians, punishment by voting out is no punishment. For one thing, this is uncommon. For another, how is being voted out a punishment? Walking the plank with arms bound in shark waters is a punishment.
Wednesday 0230 GMT August 10, 2016
· Dear US Government, next time you send me a bribe can you may sure it’s at least $1-billion? With the 10-yr Treasury bond yields at this time, I figure after taxes and inflation, I will get $24,000/year, so it’s not as if I’m being greedy – but I do have to pay my mortgage. Thanks
· Hilary Haters: Relax. She had nothing to do with the Iran N-scientist going down He defected for a short time in 2009, went back, most likely they threatened his family, he was arrested and put away. Iranians don’t need Hilary’s emails to decide he’s guilty. They’d have got that out of him in 24-hours flat. In case our young readers want to know how things are done fast, you don’t torture the guy. You line up his family in front of him without a word and shoot one of the kids. Then you say “Please confess, or we’ll shoot another one.” You start the discussion with one member lying there. No need to complicate matters like US does. Anyway, please add this to your list of Useful Things to Know When I Become a Counter Spy. No thanks needed – its Editor’s moral duty to help the next generation.
· Disturbing story on US Missile Defense Agency https://t.co/IbqDloAdsr tell us that US over the last 10-20 years has spent $450-million/year on ABM R&D, now it’s down to $150-million. US has 4 steps in its weapons development process: Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation. Because of budget shortfalls all around, to keep steps 3 and 4 going, US MDA has been reducing R&D. This is insanity because stuff we’re now putting into T&E depends on the last 20-years of R&D. At some point the feed from R&D slows to a dribble, and then in the 2020s and 2030s you get hammered because you have nothing to Test and Evaluate.
· Folks complain we’ve spent $100-billion+ in the last 15-years and what have we got for it? Well, what do you think you’re going to get when the US Government insists you do the job the hardest way possible, which is hit an incoming warhead travelling at 7-km/second with a defending warhead? Who thought up this nonsense? Actually they had no choice once US and USSR signed the Test Ban Treaty decades ago. The best way to do the job is to use a neutron warhead. This has a kill radius of kilometers, and it can be done in ways that it doesn’t fry your own defensive radars and electronics. Instead we are demanding 1000-times great accuracy.
· Defense of the US is the highest priority that the Government should have. Massive Assured Destruction is not a workable doctrine because the Government has no moral right to tell enemies: we won’t protect our country, so you can be sure you’ll kill 100-million of us, and be reassured we won’t start anything. Where is the Government’s authority to do this, particularly when key elements have their own cozy setups to ensure they survive? Aside from someone acting madly, accidental launches can happen. The simplest way to do this is to repudiate Test Ban and test the needed warheads. Folks say – we can simulate them with our exaflop computers; no need to test. Please, people, have some sense. Someone tells you: “we have this manned spaceship, our simulations show it worked, so off you go.” Are you going to go? Even if you are, does anyone have the right to risk 100-million Americans dead because Government has simulated ABM N-warheads?
· Wait – is Editor saying the limited missile defense systems we deploy against accidental or madman launch don’t work? Of course they work! But we need to step up testing by ten-times and deploy much denser systems so as not to take chances. Oh, you can’t do it, folks say, because the other side will just add more missiles. So because anti-tank defenses can stop our tanks we should stop building tanks? Because enemy air defenses can shoot down bombers, we should stop building bombers? Because folks are going in auto-crashes we should forget about making cars safer? People, please start thinking.
· Editor is not saying an ABM defense using neutron-warheads alone solves the problem. But it makes the job much easier. Meanwhile we can continue developing defenses for the 2040, 2060, 2080s. If folks think spending the needed $25-billion/year on ABM is too much money, wonder what they’ll think if someone drops 3 x 200-KT warheads over our 10 biggest cities.
Saturday 0230 GMT August 6, 2016
· Why Editor is silent on The Donald It’s because he’s confused. He wanted a revolution, but he didn’t foresee it happening so rapidly. He thought Bernie and Donald would be squashed flat under the Establishment’s Size 18 shoe and become more repressive. That would stoke the fires higher. You know what happens when a liquid is heated in an airtight container. After a point, no matter how strong the container explodes.
· Well, it didn’t. Bernie got squashed under Hilary’s high heel, but the only she will survive is by appropriating much of his left agenda. She is starting to recalibrate, as the Americans so pithily say. Her term should be interesting because she is deeply compromised neo-con spawn of Wall Street. She will have to satisfy her paymasters. But if she dissatisfied the Bernie wing, come 2018 and there will be trouble. All of the House and a third of the Senate will be reelected, and could find herself hogtied into ineffectiveness so badly that she will be a 2-year president.
· Donald made it through, and we guess that at this time no one is more confused than himself. He has also shifted the GOP to the left. They, like Hillary, will have to stay shifted, or get chopped in 2018. But what about the campaign, my friend Donald? It seems more and more that he doesn’t really want to be Prezi.
· Now, Editor could be falling for the same propaganda from the liberals that he was warning readers about through the primaries. Maybe DT’s supporters don’t give a hoot about what he says or does. Maybe they don’t care if he makes sense or if he’ll be able to govern. Maybe they are functioning in the true revolutionary spirit of “Burn, Baby, Burn”. And that’s good. But Donald had a good chance against Hilary. Now pollsters are giving the lady a 15% lead. This is Huuuuuggggeee. Why are you throwing it away, Donald? Why not win and abdicate in Pence’s favor? You’d make your point in a good way.
· The only way Donald can now win is if he has something really big on Hillary. And no, pulling out Hilary’s birth certificate saying she’s born in Mars Robot Factory #5 won’t work. Even Editor does not care. No one has every confused Hilary with a biological person, and that’s okay with everyone.
· Incidentally, the Melina visa scandal? There is no scandal. Allegedly she did not get her US work visa until 1996, and the famous au natural pix were shot in 1995. But there is no law that says that she can’t get pix taken of her, even if she made money. There’d be an income tax question, yes. That’s a separate issue, if she was paid and if there’s a record of it. INS is not going to open an investigation of her B-1 visa if all that’s involved is a foto-shoot.
· On the other side, we’ll talk later of the $400-million delivered in cash to Iran for the release of US hostages. But what’s that got to do with Hilary? Nothing. You want to impeach Obama, good luck with that. There will be a detailed record of the payment as a claim settlement. As for the cash: good grief people, have some sense. The banks were barred from making payments to Iran. In any case, if you were Iranian, would you accept a cheque from the US? You’d be mad to. Nothing to see here, move along.
· Dear Americans are you aware that a society functions as long as we put in at least as much as we take out? When we start taking out more than we put in, then society depletes and collapses. The depletion has been going on for decades, and unless we wise up, this country is going to collapse. Oh no, impossible, you say. Why? There are collapsing countries at all times. Why should we be immune?
· Okay, you say, what precisely is Editor talking about? This. A 23-year-old black mother is killed by police in Baltimore County, Maryland, and her 5-year old son is injured. Naturally, since Americans are no longer capable of thinking, social media goes into its templated cry of “police kill black woman over traffic ticket”.
· This lady was driving without a rear license plate, required in Maryland. Instead was a cardboard sign that declared no one had the right to stop her. Well, surprise! The police stopped her. She refused to get out of the car – they have no jurisdiction to enforce laws she doesn’t like, and among other things, she told her 5-year to bite the police. Well, all this changed what was simply a vehicle misdemeanor into a criminal case. She did not show up in court, so the police went to her house. Her male companion, who was also wanted, peacefully came of the house with one child and that was the end of that.
· Our lady, on the other hand, sat on her sofa with a shotgun pointed at the officers, and said multiple times if they didn’t leave she was going to kill them. This lady has been described by her family as “feisty but respectful”, and had so many virtues that we should be grateful an angel descended to earth to be amongst us.
· The officers spent seven hours negotiating. At some point they fired one shot, she responded, they killed her. And bam, social media and regular media light about yet another police murder. In this case, however, that is so absurd an accusation that a whole bunch of people immediately jumped in, attacking the standard black template being rolled out.
· Let us replay this scene with a white man pointing a shotgun at officers, repeatedly saying he was going to kill them if they didn’t leave? Seven hours of negotiation? Please don’t make Editor laugh. The SWAT boys and gals would have arrived within half-an-hour, several hundred rounds would have been fired, and good-bye white man. This story would have been two paragraphs.
· Oh, did we mention our lady was live streaming the show, and people were writing in telling her not to surrender?
· So are we supposed to have one set of rules for black folks and another for everyone else? Black folks must have blanket immunity from police, who must obey those threatening them with guns? It’s okay for black folks to drive around in an untagged vehicle and declaring that the police have no right to stop them.
· Here’s a little story about a white friend of mine, a lawyer. She was driving around Montgomery County Maryland with expired plates – just forgot to renew her registration. The white police stopped her. Not only was she not allowed to drive home, she got a $1000 ticket and had to reregister before. Let us imagine my friend, instead of quietly cooperating, had started to yell and shout, refused to get out of vehicle, told her kid to bite the policeman and so on? She’d likely been clubbed, handcuffed, and thrown in jail till her husband arrived with a bail bond. Our county police are educated, and have impeccable manners. But if you start throwing verbal poop at them and resisting, then the gloves are off, and the police don’t care if you have orange skin or green skin or purple skin.
· Folks of every community know they have to follow police orders, even if they think they have been wrongly stopped. They know they have to show their hands when ordered. They know if they are having a bad day, its not clever to take it out on the police, who are not your sainted mother or father that never hit you no matter how foul your mouth.
· This is what Editor means when he says putting into society. We agree to obey laws, else there would be anarchy. But if we’re going to sit around, getting outraged every time a black person is involved with the police, automatically swearing their family member is the most sweet-tempered person around so the police must be wrong, we are degrading society. The police do do lots of bad things, and they should be punished if found guilty. But no one has the right to demand a free pass because they’re black.
· Editor has lived in America for close on 40-years. Only once has a police officer been rude, and that too was in Boston in the 1960s where if you looked at a police officer funny, you got a beating. And hey, who used to get the most beatings? The white street kids because they acted “feisty”.
· Now here is the weird thing. No black person the Editor knows would disrespect a police officer of any color. Why? Because they are educated and well brought up. Editor includes his students. Now, plenty of his Hispanic kids would talk back to the police because they’re into being macho. Many are in gangs, and it is mandatory to talk back at the police and take your rough handling – just as it was the case with the white street kids in Boston 50-years ago.
· No one has the right to create mayhem and violate the rules, and when pulled up, saying they’re being discriminated against. If Americans can’t see this, well, then that that for us. Please notice Editor said Americans. Because increasingly you’ve got everyone acting like a one-person interest group.
· Since we’re on the subject, let’s talk about sexual harassment at work. The chairman of a big media network was fired the other day because a subordinate accused him of harassing her. And he did. But as long as she was getting her way with him, as long as he helped her advance her career, she had no complaint. It is only when her show began suffering bad ratings and he gave her less important work to do that she started screaming sexual harassment. This lady is also taking out of society more than she’s putting in because she is a whore. Nothing wrong with being a whore, it’s an honorable profession. Editor would love to be one, except he has no looks and no talents in other mandatory areas. So Editor is not condemning her for being a whore. He is condemning her for taking her payments for years, and then turning around and saying her customer raped her.
· We could go on. Like a family who sued our school system for failing to provide a special teacher for their son’s special needs. The county school system tried and tried, but no one wanted the job. The offered recruiting bonuses. No one wanted the job. When the parents sued, their case was “it’s not our problem no one wants the job, YOU HAVE TO find a teacher or we want damages.” These were highly educated professional parents. Yet they had no compunction is costing the rest of us county residents hundreds of thousands in legal fees despite the county doing its best. Had they won damages, it would have been more money on our tax bills. They lost, because as far as Editor knows the law says “reasonable effort”, not “at any cost”.
Tuesday 0230 GMT August 2, 2016
· Hilary, why do you just keep doing this? So now Assange has released Libya cables (we can’t figure if its first batch of the Clinton server, or a second). In the cables, there is proof you did know that Libyan arms seized after the fall of Gadaffi in 2011 were being sent by the ship-load to Syrian rebels. Where they met the usual fate of US arms to the rebels, which is Islamic State grabbed them, either in battle, or in cash sales to IS by our rebels. So why did you say you didn’t know about this?
· You do realize there was absolutely no need to fib? This was not your program. It was okayed by Mr. Obama and the National Security Council. You signed off, as you were expected to. The NSC is not a democracy. You either agree, or you go look for another job. No blame attaches to you – or to anyone else, because this is how things are in wartime and in insurgencies/counter-insurgences. BTW, reader Ivan Bajlo from FRY has been telling us the story about the high volume of Serbian arms that has been flowing to the Middle East, some of it inevitably landing up with IS.
· As there is no rational reason to lie about the Libya arms, we see no choice but to conclude that you lie as a habit, about anything where you think you might look bad. This inevitably leads to another conclusion: you cannot think rationally about your own best interest.
· Does Editor think this makes you unfit for the Presidency? No. When we are in a race to the bottom with two nominees that has there been any other choice the electorate would reject (both of you),
· Moreover, while Editor is most unhappy you are the likely winner, that is because you are a neo-con and owned by Wall Street and other vested interests. You are the face of everything that is wrong with this country. But Editor is not talking about his likes and dislikes. He is simply talking about facts. When your enemies twist facts by saying you were responsible for Benghazi, Editor has repeatedly brought out the facts to show you had nothing to do with it. Editor does not get selective about facts to make a case. So we are not criticizing you for the sake of some political agenda.
· Hilary and Benghazi: Reprise 631 Since many of our readers DO blame Hilary for Benghazi, Editor has to explain once again. Once the crisis broke, Hilary has nothing to do with decisions, and neither did Obama. The decisions were made by the US military, and they were absolutely the right decisions. We’ve explained why, many times over, please don’t make us say it again.
· Hilary was nominally responsible for the security of diplomatic installations. We say nominally because as a matter of reality, she does not get to say much to say about the subject. She is not the expert and decider on this matter. She has people to make these decisions. If some grossly egregious error is made on her watch, yes, she is morally required to offer her resignation. But the security of the “embassy” was not an error by her subordinate officers. It was sensibly decided that the consulate could not be protected – all the western consulates were leaving. The consulate was to be shut down in a few weeks. In any case, no business was being transacted there: US diplomats had left. A couple of DSS and local personnel were around to see the place was not occupied by squatters and so on.
· The ambassador had no business being there. Why can’t the US media understand this? Why cannot they understand he skipped out of Tripoli without informing his Chief of Mission, who would not have let him go had he known? This is not the Army was an officer says “I’m off, taking two of my guards” and no one can stop him. There is only one person responsible for what happened at the consulate and that is the ambassador. What happened at the CIA mission had nothing to do with State. The ambassador came, as everyone knows, on personal business, wholly unprepared for trouble.
· Even the Editor, who is invariably the last person to know what’s happening, knows this. Everyone knows what that personal business is. So why is Editor not saying what that business was? Because the person telling him said it was not be repeated – even though everyone knew.
· People, let Benghazi go. Okay, it’s fair to keep it going if you’re a politician. But we are not politicians. There’s plenty to attack Hilary on. No need for you and me to attack her on false grounds.
Friday 0230 GMT July 29, 2016
· Yesterday was seismic for the Euro Project “At root was a failure to grasp the elemental point that currency unions with no treasury or political union to back them up are inherently vulnerable to debt crises. States facing a shock no longer have sovereign tools to defend themselves. Devaluation risk is switched into bankruptcy risk.” So says an IMF report .
· In the event you are still awake, Editor will do his best to put it in simple terms that even he can understand. IMF is saying that the basic assumptions of the Euro Project were wrong. At which point, those of our readers who do understand fiscal and monetary policy will say: “Aaaaaaand?” Meaning this was obvious to many Americans and Europeans from the start. Yes, folks, but you’re missing the significance of the story. The IMF has admitted it was wrong and its policies towards Greece, among others, have not just not worked, but were positively disastrous.
· “The attempt to force through an "internal devaluation" of 20pc to 30pc by means of deflationary wage cuts was self-defeating since it necessarily shrank the economic base and sent the debt trajectory spiraling upwards.” Meaning the Euro boys and girls failed Economics 0.5. We’re not saying they failed something as basic as Econ 101. They were so brainless, they didn’t get anything right at all.
· On top of which, and this will bring cries of joy from Americans who don’t trust international organizations, huge and arrogant bureaucracies with no loyalty to anyone but themselves, or highly centralized global mechanisms, the IMF was riddled with cliques who had no idea what they were doing but were yet keeping information from other parts of the IMF, so that there was no check on them. In short, the Best and Brightest failed us – again. We hear Bob Dylan singing in the distance “When will they ever learn?”
· But while Americans can take deep satisfaction at this IMF mea culpa, they should keep in mind we have asylums full of mad economics people ourselves. They have reached the stage where they have no prescriptions for the American people, except that manufacturing jobs can pay only $9/hour to remain competitive, and that a minimum wage of $10/hour will kill the economy. In short, American workers, who once were the richest in the world, must be reduced to the level of serfs for the American economy to function.
· All Editor is saying is that if our Best and Brightest can come up with nothing better, we need to ask: “What good are they?” Globalization was supposed to work like this: we’d buy China’s toys, they’d buy our jet aircraft. Except – and this has been obvious for 15-years to anyone with a pulse of one beat a minute – it hasn’t worked out that way. Look at these figures Between 2001-2013, we gained 0.7-million jobs by exporting to China. But we lost 3.7-million jobs to China. What is the matter with these people?
· And don’t they realize that as Chinese wages rise, the Chinese and our “multi-nationals” are shifting to other low-wage Asian countries? And that after Asia has per capita incomes similar to China, the jobs will shift to Africa and South America? So we have to wait until the other 6-billion people have increased their incomes before we can pay our own people decently? But the US economic elite’s earnings have not stagnated. In fact, the elite is making more money as a percentage of GDP than at any time since the 1920s. So the elites should grow fatter and we, the people, must grow thinner?
· Now there’s no point in turning around to Editor and asking: “Well, what is your solution?” Editor is not an economist. All he sees are increasingly improvised masses. The elite said: “Trust us”. We did. And what happened? Here’s what happened in Editor’s case: he’s working on his 8th degree, and the best he can get is 180-days of work at $100/day, which is $75 after deductions, as a substitute. And at that some local counties refuse to hire him as a substitute in the first place!
· Editor’s story is hardly unique. Look what’s happening to lower-middle white America: no jobs, no future, only way to get through the day is to drug/drink yourself to unconsciousness. Already many professional jobs are being outsourced: architecture, law, medicine, engineering design to name a few. Pretty soon even upper-middle-class America is going to have to take major paycuts.
· While Editor does not have an economics solution, he does have the Stalin solution. Stalin told his generals: if you fail, don’t bother coming back. Die at the front with your dignity intact. Else I’ll shoot you. If all these bright people insist in leading us, and fail, they should be made to pay the maximum penalty. That will definitely “encourage the others” into doing their job.
· Yo, elites! Get a hint. The rise of Trump shows you that whether they have a solution for the economy – for your job – they do have a solution for those of you that keep getting fatter while we far worse and worse. That solution involves bamboo shafts and pitch.
· Still don’t get it? The shaft is for your head after you been relieved of 8-inches of height. The pitch is to coat your head so that its preserved for display for a few months. You know, just the encourage the others.
Wednesday 0230 GMT July 27, 2016
· Washington in the summer Why does stepping out for a few minutes late summer afternoon have to be a near death experience every time? The air conditioning in Editor’s hoopity (1999 Suzuki) has been bust for many years, requires a fresh recharge ($50) each year. Some years one can’t afford that. Just going to 7-11 or CVS around the corner leave Editor wondering if he is going to make it back to the car or should he just lay himself down on the pavement and quietly die. Then just standing outside the house for 3-minutes early morning or late evening leads to such a fit of the sneezies that one has to scrape one’s brains off the trees, all of which are 60+ feet. And then we have SecState Kerry saying that air conditioning is more dangerous than Islamic State. Please throw him out of his office, shut the air conditioning, and FedEx him to Islamic State. Editor’s problems have nothing to do with Global Warming. Washington is just plain miserable in the summer, which as far as Editor concerned runs from April to October.
· Slight correction on India purchase of US howitzers It’s the M-777, not the M-198, which is no longer production. Editor knows that, but the heat is befuddling him. M-777 is 4-tons versus 7-tons for the M-198 and can be operated with a minimum crew of five as opposed to nine. Not that crew is the big issue for India unlike for US. A new version of M-777 is underway, at under 5-tons it has a range of 70-km. These days a battery fires a couple of rounds at a time because of the GPS rounds. You don’t need the barrages of the past. Editor misses them, but the sad reality as we know from World War I is that you can line the guns wheel to wheel and fire away for 10-days, but if the enemy is well dug in, a monster barrage will have little effect. In World War II, it was known for US to provide one artillery battalion per infantry battalion, from division, corps, and army artillery. Now days, of course, you have close air support, rockets, and tactical missiles, plus any number of UAVs and helicopters for AOP duty, Counter Rocket-Artillery-Mortar weapons, radars and other sensors galore so it’s a whole new game.
· Also, India says its needs 500 more M-777. Truth to tell 2000. Since its taken at least 10-years for the M-777 deal – and not one operational gun has arrived, the requirement is likely to take 200-years.
· South China Sea as PLAN’s ballistic missile submarine bastion We’ve been reading that one reason China is pushing so hard on excluding other navies from the South China Sea is that it needs a bastion for its SSBNs. This is definitely a thought, but we should not forget its not just the SCS wants exclusive control of, it’s all the water west of the 9-dash line. This would be a first, essential step in getting the US Navy out of the West Pacific. Yo, Beijing! Not to worry, we’ll get ourselves out. Back in the 1970s, we used to deploy forward three attack carriers with 7th Fleet and two with 6th (Mediterranean). Now we have one each with 7th and 5th Fleets (latter is Indian Ocean). So that’s a 60% reduction. Just be patient, and we’ll bring it down to one.
Monday 0230 GMT July 25, 2016
· Donald and 538.com We were told to look up this site as apparently it has more political scientists and statisticians per square centimeter than anywhere else in the world. In short, they Donald the short-end of 2:1 odds against Hilary. Now, normally Editor would not argue. He does have a question. With the Brainy Ones so discredited through this election season, should we be trusting more Brainy Ones? The paradigm of American politics has been changed by Sanders and Trump. Can folks used to operating with the comfortable old paradigms be trusted to switch rapidly and accurately to another, earlier unforeseen, paradigm? For example, Bernie’s people are not accepting his withdrawal. He’s withdrawn because he doesn’t want Donald to won. But remember, Bernie is an independent, not a Democrat. He had to join the Dems because everyone is still embalmed in the 2-party syndrome. But suppose he accepts the Green Party invitation to head the Greens. Suppose he pulls in 10-15% of the vote. Then what happens. Remember, the Greens are renegade Democrats. They’ll pull no votes from Donald. But they could from Hilary.
· Wait a minute, you say. The other day you were crowning Hilary, even though you’ve shown a lot of sympathy for Trump because basically you’re an anarchist at heart. Now you’re saying maybe it isn’t such a sure thing for Hilary? See, if you do intel assessments, you have to keep changing the assessment as new data comes in, sometimes twice a day, sometimes more frequently. The commander needs the latest. So we spoke before the Greens said “Come Home, baby” to Bernie.
· More India updates from Prasun Sen Gupta (a) the Indian press reports of a third tank regiment for Ladakh are wrong; (b) the Chinese are indeed reacting to the Indian buildup, he’ll have some details next month but we have to hold off on sharing until he gets a chance to put it on his blog; and (c) the Northeast India road we discussed is a show-case for the new India-Japan strategic cooperation against China. Any suggestion that the Army or the Government are having second thoughts about this road are planted stories. Prasun has not yet discovered who may be behind them.
· More news from multiple sources. India has decided on a desert version of the ROK K-9 tracked SP howitzer. MOD has sent a $800-million request to the Cabinet for 100 guns. Except this is 30-years too late, Editor has no problems with the choice of K-9. Okay, it’s not as fancy as US’s M-109A7 Paladin, but that’s $10.5-million for the gun alone. The K-9 price includes lots of other stuff including GPS rounds. Editor’s problem is the number. 100 is five regiments, which brings us up to about 1/4th of Pakistan’s SP 155mm US inventory, aside from what they might be getting from PRC. Our requirement right now is 600 gun. Why can’t the stupid government place one order at one time, even if only 100 guns are fully funded? Why this pussy-footing?
· So it is with the 7 regiments of ultralight 155mm US M-198 guns we’ve finally signed for. That does not suffice for even two mountain divisions. So it is with the Israeli contract to convert our 1000 130mm field guns to 155mm. One hundred have been converted. Yes, yes Editor knows there was bribery and corruption. Here’s a gently polite suggestion to the Government. How about we tie you with your nether parts backwards to a 155mm barrel and fire a single round? The resultant hole will be large enough to shove the bribery and corruption to where the sun don’t shine, as the always elegant Americans say. Hang the people who took the bribes. Why are you making the Army suffer for your corrupt bureaucrats? What is the matter with you? Are you working for Pakistan/China by crippling our military modernization? There seems to be no other logical explaination.
· Then we have the Dhanush medium gun. It’s based on the Swedish F-77 155mm Bofors gun, heavily upgraded by Indian designers. We bought 400 decades back, which was just a starting order. Maybe 250 remain in service. Why has the Government placed an order for just 100? India needs to reequip 220 or so field regiments. That’s 4500 guns. So what if the Dhanush is not perfect? You keep upgrading it with each successive batch, and when you’ve upgraded the inventory, you start rebuilding/upgrading the first guns. US M-109 basic design has been in service for 54-years. Oh yes, Homeland Security magazine tells us we are short 83% of the advanced rounds required NOW. Gaaah.
Thursday 0230 GMT July 21, 2016
· A good rant wasted Indian defense journalist Prasun Sengupta writes to tell us our information that the Indian Army is objecting to the Northeast India west-east road (1500-km) is incorrect. We’ve sent a message to the author if the original article, asking for clarification. Though we saw the article in UK Daily Mail, apparently the author writes for a Delhi media organization.
· Prasun adds that the Ladakh road Shoyk-Daulet Beg Oldi road in Ladakh – another project stalled for 53-years – will be completed to the Deep Sang Plains south of DBO this year, and the final stretch to DBO by 2022. This led Editor to some hair-pulling, because the road has reached the plain and construction is much easier, but he’s decided to let this go. When we say “road” we mean a proper 2-lane blacktop, you can with some difficult motor to DBO across the plain. It’s very hard going, though, seriously shortens the life of tactical vehicles.
· By next year, India should add another tank regiment to the two now in Ladakh, making 132 T-72s. These are the rebuilt/improved version with night-fighting capability. Together with a BMP battalion, this is the equivalent of a PLA tank brigade. It remains to be see how the Chinese react to India’s buildup (now five brigades versus the decades long previous deployment of two brigades). Just to remind readers, the Indian buildup was provoked entirely by repeat Chinse incursions in Ladakh. India had even reduced the Ladakh garrison to one brigade, 114 at Chushul. 70 Brigade at Demchok went to Northern Ladakh for the Kargil War 1999 and India left it there until recently.
· Just goes to show PRC is not as smart as it thinks. Ladakh was a quiet sector all these years. The Chinese began pushing to put pressure on India for a final settlement that would leave China with everything it wants and India with nothing. The Chinese correctly assessed we Indians are total cowards and would not retaliate. But even a mongrel dog used to being kicked from one side of the street to the other can bite back.
· To the extent Chinese overaggressive actions have led to the addition of four Indian mountain divisions, at least 7 new independent brigades (including two raising), and more planned, China has increased the threat from India by 50%. That’s smart diplomacy for you.
· Mind you, the civilians are suffering severe runs to the bathroom. Two more divisions are held up because the Government doesn’t want to provoke China. And each time we take that position, the Chinese come and kick more sand in our faces. Delhi cannot understand that the ONLY thing the Chinese respect is force. We knew that in 1950 and subsequently, but since we are a nation of lions led by field mice, there it is.
· Meanwhile, China continues to systematically box us in, on 360-degrees. Only thing we can do now is threaten to double the number of methane ejecting cows, and cause Chinese temperatures to rise by 5-degree F. Deterrence by methane ejecting cows. Low tech, takes time, not as compact as nuclear weapons, but it should work well.
Tuesday 0230 GMT July 19, 2016
· Editor is having a nightmare – but it’s the middle of the day and he’s wide awake. In his nightmare, he’s reading that the Indian Army doesn’t want the North East lateral road through Arunachal Pradesh. In fact, they don’t want the civilians to have it because it could create complications in the event of war with China. Why? Because it could facilitate Chinese troop movements in case of a war!
· So obviously it’s a nightmare, and to end it, Editor needs to go to sleep. But wait! This is on Editor’s computer and it’s an article from UK Daily Mail This is no nightmare, it’s really happening. BTW, Editor knew about the plan for the road and thought it was fifty km from the border and maybe that’s why the Army is freaking out – years and years after the plan was made, which it should have in 1963. The map makes clear: except for Tawang, the road runs so far south of border that it enters the Assam plains after leaving the mountains, and maybe 55% actually runs south of the Brahmaputra River! This road is a fraud, it does nothing for the Army’s West-East road mobility, strategic or tactical! It is primarily for civilian development!! (we’re running out of exclamation marks, we’re so angry).
· But wait: it gets worse. The 130-km section in service, is simply part of the upgrading of the Tezpur-Towang road, which is north-south road, not even a west road. Tezpur is HQ IV Corps, and the road is the primary line of communication for its 3 divisions. A single road is absolutely inadequate for a corps. Someday, when the Pole Star is no longer Polaris, but Alpha Cephi, India might build a rail line from Tezpur to Towang, at which point yes, we will have a proper LC. Alpha Cephi becomes Pole Star in 5500-years. Yo, India, is that enough time to build the rail line? Oh, okay, 7500 AD is when you expect to get the survey done and the plans delivered to the Environment Mistry for clearance. Oh, okay, at least that’s a plan.
· So if the Army/MOD is worried about the PLA using the proposed road, the Army has already conceded pretty much all of China’s claim line. Is this the Army’s plan, to fall back on the Brahmaputra before doing what? If the Chinese reach the river, the war is over because they have no further claims.
· And are we entitled to ask: what has happened to Indian IV, III, and XVII Corps? Have they been overrun, all eight divisions? Have the three reinforcement divisions from the west been overrun? If so, why he assumption they have been overrun? Aren’t we supposed to have thrown back the Chinese offensive and begun our own counteroffensive so that we’re fighting in China and not in India?
· In fact, Editor would like to know, whose great idea is it to concede the offensive to China in the first place? Doesn’t the Army realize once you’ve done that, you’ve made your own job very difficult because the enemy has the initiative? Yes, in the Western Desert and in Russia falling back to absorb the enemy’s advance before counterattacking was a reasonable strategy. Because the defender had hundreds of kilometers of ground to give up. The North Koreans could do it because the Chinese entered in force with 30+ divisions and saved the bacon. Otherwise, the allies would have been at the Yalu and there’d be one Korea today. Pakistan can fall back 100-km in the Thar before counterattacking because there’s not much happening in the Thar.
· But can India conceive of giving up 50-100 km of territory to Pakistan before starting to fight? Obviously not!
· What we should be doing is to strike first if it looks like war is unavoidable. We plan to do against Pakistan. So are we just big fat chickens who get frightened when anyone says the word “China!”. The truth is, that is the exact case. We are scared to death of China.
· If we weren’t we’d building a 4-lane highway 50-km south of the China border. That way we can shift brigades and divisions into different valleys as needed. We should also have 4-lane roads north south through each major valley. That way we could feint at one place and attack at another. We could easily shift reserves if we get into trouble.
· It is now fifty-six years after the China War. And we still haven’t got our roads built, forget our railings.
· Why don’t we just accept China’s deal to give up Ladakh in return for their agreement that Arunachal is ours? While we’re at it, why don’t we give Kashmir to Pakistan? Here’s an even better idea: why don’t we swear fealty to the Middle Kingdom and give up our independent foreign policy? Oh yes, give the Chinese access to our naval bases and the right to station rapid reaction forces. And accept China’s protection against Pakistan.
· That way we don’t have to worry about roads. We can simply disband our entire armed forces. Hey, Ministry of finance, that’s $50-billion a year you’ll get for subsidies so that the ruling party wins the next election. Look how many problems Editor has solved for his country in one go? Just mail his Republic Day highest honors to his house. Are we all good, now?
Monday 0230 July 18, 2016
· Sultan Erdogan of Turkey We’ll keep this short. (1) Sultan Erdogan is an enemy of the US. (2) He is a dishonest enemy unlike the Chinese or IS, because he gets all the benefit of our protection while daily stabbing us in the back. (3) The US, as usual, and as happened with Pakistan, implementing a Turkey policy run by such morons that one must fear for the very safety of the US. (4). Sultan is a fascist and a personally corrupt one at that. (5) This coup stinks.
· So since the first four points are no secret, let’s talk about the coup. Here we must acknowledge lively discussions with Ivan Bajlo, Joe Joseph, and Patrick Skuza, as well as many URLs by them, sent to us.
· The coup is either a false flag operation, or was scripted by the Keystone Cops on seriously large and strong spliffs (as in all marijuana joints), with each spliff being so large, it takes a 60-ton crane to hold it to your lips. And these gents never exhale: they only inhale. You get our point.
· Before we say it has to be false flag because no one would be stupid enough to stage such a moronic coup, Editor has to tell you that you cannot believe how stupid people can get. So we’re not making a judgement, just recapping the facts as known. Maybe better evidence will emerge.
· You normally start a coup by capturing the national leader. Sultan Erdogan’s location was known. The plotters sent 25 soldiers to capture him. But the coup was already before they arrived. Erdogan scrammed and made it to the local airport where his Gulfstream IV waited. So first, who sends 25 men to capture Erdogan, who probably has a personal security twice that, not to speak of hundreds of police protecting him? Second, who forgets that his plane is at the airport?
· Next, Erodgan’s plane is protected by two F-16s; the whole circus is on radar. Two coup F-16s intercept, paint the defenders and presumably the Gulfstream, yawn and say: “Nothing to see here, move along” and return to base for donuts. You can read all about it on Reuters, from a military source http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-plot-insight-idUKKCN0ZX0Q9.
· Now there is really no sense in going on, except to note that an ex-airforce colonel organized the whole thing, allegedly. Wow. What a coup. One ex-colonel.
· All we need to keep on mind that possibly Turkish intelligence set up this anti-regime colonel and other officers to do the deed by telling him the military was behind the coup, and here was his chance to play his part. So it could be both a false flag and a Keystone Cops operation.
· Erdogan’s first act: arrest one third of the country’s judges include 11 Supreme Court who have been standing in his way on the Prezi-for-life business, and 34 of the 500-odd generals. Remember Erdogan already moved against the generals; the courts threw out most of the arrests, but those generals were out in the wilderness.
· Meanwhile, Erdogan’s Labor Minister accuses US of being behind the coup – clear indication of which way the wind will blow. And the US-based self-exiled cleric, said by Erdogan to be behind everything, says he is willing to be extradited to face charges. It seems possible he understands the US will not protect him, because we are steadily moving up from licking Erdogan slippers to other parts of his anatomy. America, the most expensive whore in the world, offering its services for free. How Gulen plans to avoid a “heart attack” in custody remains to be seen, and how he expects a fair trial, is beyond us. Erdogan will not let foreign observers intervene – he already has established this pattern. Now, it’s true Erdogan did not harm the Kurd rebel leader, Occlan, who is in his custody. But then presumably Erdogan does not want a couple of million armed Kurds descending on him.
· Also meanwhile, the US/West is squeaking “Erdogan, don’t stage a coup.” Too late: He has had his coup rolling for years. No one had anything to say that because he was elected “democratically” How you can do that with the press crushed, the judges and police thrown out, and so on.
· US squeaking mode: trying to fart after drinking soda from cans opened last year. There is no way Erdogan can hear us from 6000-miles away. Not to speak of the sound-proof ear protection he is wearing.
· There you are, my American friends. This is your ruling class. We’ve said before: you figure out how to do them. Editor is too old. Besides, people who must get 8-hours sleep with their four Teddy Bears and four soft pillows don’t make good revolutionaries.
Thursday 0230 GMT July 14, 2016
· Now the US is definitely in trouble so deep, it’s hard to see how it can get out The cause of Editor’s alarm is not Islamic State, or China, or Putin. It’s a little old lady of 82. “Huh?” you say. This not any little old lady, but one who is probably the most little old lady in the land. That’s Justice of the US Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsberg. What’s she done?
· Seemingly not much. She has relatedly slammed Donald Trump. Now, Editor knows many of his readers don’t like Donald and probably slam him all the time. But see, you all are not Supreme Court justices. For one such to enter the political arena during a presidential campaign is a very dangerous thing. In the US, the Supreme Court is one of the three primary institutions of the government under the checks-and-balances thing, which is the foundational principle of American democracy.
· Judges do have ideological views, and they push these views in court. We nonetheless rely on the judges to be impartial, to not let their views interfere with their court deliberations. Justice Ginsberg is a brilliant jurist, and Editor for one believes that if tomorrow a case involving Donald arrives before her, as for example happened with Gore vs Bush 2000, that she will indeed be impartial.
· That said, however, what Editor thinks is entirely irrelevant. Remember the old aphorism “justice must not only be done; it must be seen to be done”? Nowhere is this more important than in the apex court. This court has power over every single American. This is not a metaphor. It’s just plain fact. For a judge, the public perception of her/his impartiality is paramount. After all, the Supreme Court has no armies and fleets to enforce its will. Its power is moral, not physical. If people can’t trust the Supreme Court, this country may as well be Venezuela.
· For many Americans, the court is already too ideological in its decisions. We hope a reader who is a lawyer will explain this to us, but the basic argument is: Is the role of the Supreme Court to strictly interpret the constitution, or is it to interpret in a manner that the judges think it should be interpreted? This is a hugely complicated matter. Tens of millions of words have been written pro and con. We are not saying we know the answer. What we are saying is that the country is already quite divided about the court. For Justice Ginsberg to throw additional gasoline on the fire by outright preference for one candidate over the other is going to just make things worse.
· Most of the public is focused on the baffling reason for Justice Ginsberg’s intervention. You see, it’s not just that she’s ultra-smart. She’s the in the 0.000001% of smart. She knows she shouldn’t be saying these things. So why is she saying them? We’ll come back to this in a moment.
· Editor’s concern is different. In America today, we have no restraint on our flapping mouths. Everyone, from the least educated to the most educated feels qualified to comment on everything, and does. Self-control is despised. Being honest and authentic is more important than self-control and moderation in speech. The problem is, there’s no objective standard on what is honest and authentic. I feel it, so its honest and authentic, and of you don’t go by my definition, you’ve forfeited your legitimacy and I can now ignore you. Its moral relativism run amok. Moral relativism is very fashionable today. But the reality is a country of 320-millions cannot function if we each believe our view of right and wrong – based on our feelings, to boot – is the only right one.
· Its frankly horrifying to see Justice Ginsberg falling to this level, or at least seeming to fall to this level. It’s a near-final proof that America is toast.
· Now, anyone with an IQ of 75 (Editor just makes the cut) knows why the justice said what she did. She feels the very fact of Donald’s candidacy is a sign of great danger. She feels she is alerting us all to the danger by using her very considerable authority to ring the alarm. She sees it as her duty, and she feels it’s so vital to the survival of the Republic that she’s prepared to sacrifice her fine and brilliant career.
· Fair enough. But there is a correct way of doing this. Which is to resign and campaign against Donald and for Hilary. By speaking from her chair, she is undermining the very country she is determined to protect. Her idea of right is right, and any rational person should see that. This is how totalitarianism takes root. This is how you get Hitler, Mao, Stalin. I’m right, and if 50-million have to be sacrificed to prove my point, so be it.
· In these difficult times, is this what we want for our country.
Wednesday 0230 GMT July 13, 2016
· A short update Editor is frustrated at not knowing where the time is going. He is at his computer the whole time, leaving only to mow the lawn or pick up survival supplies from CVS, which is next door and has the Editor’s basics: milk, ice-cream, oatmeal, cold cereal, pasta, parmesan, ketchup, peanut butter, jelly, chocolate, and diet pop. That is all he eats; it takes him 15-minutes/day prep-time, ten minutes to wash dishes, five minutes for a shower, 8-hrs sleep. Two hours for reading hard copy material, three minutes spent in feeling sorry for himself, and ALL the rest of the time is at the computer. He has not earned a penny since April 23, because that was his last day at school. Neither has he kept current on the blog because there never seems to be time. Sometimes he wonders if he is not actually dead and waiting for the Devil to get Editor’s place ready – dang it, Editor reserved the place 40-years ago and it’s still not ready? What kind of pathetic service is this, Mr. D? On the other hand, is chocolate permitted in Heck? Maybe someone from another dimension is stealing Editor’s work so that he works and works and works, but never gets to complete the work or get any material benefit from it. You know, like whoever steals socks from the dryer.
· So can we now please stop talking about the police targeting young black men? New York Times quotes a young black professor at Harvard to say (a) Yes, even when compliant, blacks are handled more roughly then whites, but a greater percentage of whites are shot by police compared to their population percentage than blacks.
· Before we get on this, can our black friends at least acknowledge that the police come in all colors, so we cannot put pure racism as a cause? To be honest, many “Black Lives Matter” folks are careful to say “police” and not “white police”. But many do not and we get cries of racism. Also can we get our black friends to accept that since 74% of folks killed are not black, their focus only on black lives is partisan and divisive? They are in effect saying “Black Lives Matter More Than Others”. How is this defensible? On one hand, they are saying that society does not value black lives; on the other hand, they are saying that only black lives have value.
· The entire argument rests on one statistic: blacks are 13% of the population but 26% of those killed. So there must be discrimination. BTW, apparently only 40% of violent crimes committed by blacks are against other blacks, 60% are against other races. The same sources says that there is a huge drop in 10 years of blacks committing ANY violent crime against whites. Ten years ago, blacks committed 7-times the crimes against whites than the other way around. Now its dropped to 2.5-times. But still, if someone wanted to, they could say that blacks a are racist because they disproportionately attack non-blacks. “We can also calculate how often criminals of each group choose victims of other races. As indicated below, when whites commit violence they choose fellow whites as victims 82.4 percent of the time, and almost never attack blacks. Blacks attack whites almost as often as they attack blacks, and Hispanics attack whites more often than they attack any other group, including their own.”
· Okay, Editor knows that some of our readers of all races are screaming “But you haven’t accounted for this, or that, or the other”. If you pay Editor, he’ll be happy to deal with your objections. This, however, is not Editor’s field, so he has to spend much more time in research. Editor accepts that for every statistic there is a counter-statistic. His only purpose in bring this up is that you cannot look at the 13% to 26% statistic in isolation. You have to find out what percentage of violent police encounters are with blacks.
· Please, folks, restrain your anger at what Editor is saying long enough to see that he has talking about violent crime. So there’s no point in talking about disproportionate sentencing for, say, drugs. Editor has told you the reason for that, first brought to his attention by his then 9th grade youngster. He said when white kids are drinking or drugging, it’s usually in their safe suburban homes. The black and Hispanic kids are more on the street and therefore more vulnerable to police attention. This is NOT racial discrimination; it is economic/class discrimination. This also applies to stuff like good lawyers and so on. If anyone has an idea to get rid of economic/class discrimination, Editor will be very happy to listen.
· Want another head-splitting statistic? Black are 13% of the population but commit half of homicides. Yes, murders are only one violent crime. But you cannot say blacks are being discriminated against here, because police can’t ignore white people committing murders. The same source, quoting DOJ says: “From 2011 to 2013, 38.5 per cent of people arrested for murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault were black.” How can this be discrimination? Police can’t be selective in violent cases – and that’s assuming ALL police hate blacks, even black police.
· Now here is another statistic that will grieve you immensely. Violent crime by black is highly disproportionately committed by young people, 15-34. So it is just a fraction of the black community at fault. So going on about slavery and poverty and so on is totally irrelevant. BTW, do we have stats for crimes committed by poor whites.
· And here is something we hope will give readers pause. Editor cannot quote stats because had he investigated at his school, he would have thrown out on his ear and possible even be subjected to legal action. His school when he worked there was 47% Hispanic, 27% black, 14% white, rest Asian with a very few American Indians. If you’ve guessed that Hispanic students created the most trouble in and out of school, you’d be right, but not because of the percent population. An Asian kid getting into trouble was almost unheard of. The white kids sometimes got into trouble. The black kids were about the best behaved black kids I have worked with my 27-years in Washington (including non-school jobs). But my Hispanic kids? Lord have mercy. Yes, the majority were very well behaved. But I’d guess they were in trouble twice as much as everyone else put together. Look at the Montgomery County murder stats and you’ll see what I mean. Of course, Hispanics are one ethnicity but can be of any race.
Sunday 0230 GMT July 10, 2016
A different perspective on policing today
By Patrick Skuza
· While I don't have statistics or references, I do have thoughts on current policing. I think that the root of the problem lays in the law we use and to what extent we think others have a right to interfere with human intercourse. The root word for police is policy. Police enforce policy, not law. The law consists of three basic concepts- you may not hurt others, you may not take or destroy others property and you may not defraud others in business dealings. What we have today in place of law is commercial code. Everything is an economic crime and every person is a business entity. Reread Citizens United, you will find that the court ruled that humans are companies too, or they would not have jurisdiction over you.
· In the olden days, one was sworn in as a Peace Officer and had to post your own bond in order to hostage your behavior. In order to get a lawman to arrest somebody, someone would have to swear out a complaint under oath. Nowadays, you are a Law Enforcement Officer with no discretion allowed (the very definition of an Officer) whose bond is paid by your employer naming the employer as the insured. Thus protecting the hiring corporation and officers from accountability in civil cases. A complaint over the telephone today is enough for felony charges and no one has to be questioned and truth is not required. Since the 1930's US law allows for private police forces. Railroads and mining companies commonly have sworn police officers in their employ.
· With the history of ever expanding of statues and Acts, the officer lost his duty to the Law and really has become nothing more than a hired gun under the color of law. The police and courts today are tasked with an impossible job - to force society to behave the way lawmakers want them to behave. They are forced to involve themselves in matters that historically were a personal matter. Up until the late 1940's, in the south particularly, if one's wife left you for more than thirty days, the Sheriff could arrest and return your wife to you. You were under the contract of marriage. Lawfully you had to perform. Of course, today, performance has been tossed out and it is a mere accounting of wealth.
· The United States was founded with the common law heritage of adversarial argument. It was purposely formed with argumentative tension.
· This tension exists between the People and the government also. Since 1917, the government has been operating on the premise that the People are in rebellion. This is subtle, but it turned the outlook of government to a more forceful and overarching way. This is needed in a highly regulated economic system. It also took policing from a Lawful position and converted them to no more that soldiers under civilian orders. In the olden days, an Officer could arrest his employer and it would have been heard by the judge at least. Since the introduction of semi auto pistols by police forces in the 70's, the armament and training has been quite militaristic.
· The Officer is trained to take control of his immediate area. Some forms are socially effective other, are scripted to allow for the "continuum of force" doctrine. It is this doctrine that has done so much to separate police from the People. It is simply might makes right, for it allows for the hostile mindset pervade all that they do. I have eye witnessed in my local court, the state and police admit video and audio evidence with missing or just claim the recording devices were inoperable....and then admit audio evidence from the same officer for a subject that happened a few hours later.
· Once again, the elites and police are crying that they are heroes and saviors. They are not. They are hired guns to carry out the government policy of the day. If they rush in and save you from a burning car, it is because of the officer's own volition, policy states that he should not risk himself and cause the employer to pay out more than his salary. It is not his legal duty to save you, it is to save the city corporation from damages.
· As long as this mindset within the government holds, there will be no peace. They do not want it. We are ALL the enemy too them.
Friday 0230 GMT July 8, 2016
· Two shootings of black men by a white officer We put on Twitter the following: US police shootings: Ed has every sympathy for both victims. But when police detain you, you do not resist arrest, particularly while armed (Baton Rouge case). In 2nd case, you do not say you have a gun and keep reaching into your pocket when officers say "don’t move" (Minnesota).
· An experienced and highly credentialed social worker with over 20-years of experience of working with the black community responded on Facebook. “In the two recent shootings I didn't see anybody resisting arrest. Did I miss something?” Editor responded as follows.
· The Baton Rouge victim was struggling with them to the point they tased him and it had no effect. They were told by the 911 caller that he was armed. His still standing after taking a jolt that would drop a steer would serve only to alarm the officers more. BTW, he had an extensive record - not that that justifies a death sentence. Rule Number 1 with the police, no matter what your color: don't argue; dont abuse; and do not resist. You and I know this. Everyone knows this. US cops, unlike UK ones, are not trained to handle people fighting back. There's all kinds of other differences too, such as US cops (regardless of their color) are justifiably scared they're going to be shot.
· The Minnesota guy correctly told the policeman he had a concealed weapon. But even when the cop told him not to move, he put his hand in his jacket to get his documents.
· My issue is this. About 25% of people killed by police in 2015 are black; 40% are unarmed. 75% are not black. The police come in all colors. I don’t have the figures, but white people are killed cops of every color. So are brown people. In Freddy Gray's case (Baltimore) four of the six cops were black. (a) We cannot make this exclusively about white cops shooting black people. (b) the black community would make a better case if they showed outrage at other killings of non-black people; after all, white people show solidarity with black people.
· What we have to do in America is retrain the police. For example, they have to be taught that a person running away, even if he has murdered someone, is not a threat to the officer and cannot be shot. They have to be retrained to shoot with non-lethal effect. In the US if a cop fires to disable instead of kill, he has violated the rules and if someone goes wrong, he will be blame for jeopardizing the safety of others. Etc. etc.
· The American people demand different things. They want tough, immediate action against violent criminals. But they want restraint and compassion even in the face of provocation. They do NOT want to give up their guns, and use them often enough. They do not want to pay taxes so that enough cops are available for each 911 calls. Often these calls or street calls are handled by a single officer. When I was a kid, the cops were huge. In New York they walked in threes. No one was mad enough to mess with them. And if you did, and got beaten, no one was concerned. Look at the Montgomery County cops now. So many of them are women, or short men. They couldn't intimidate a drunk chicken.
· I do not buy the "Baltimore effect", that murders are up because cops are afraid of acting. At this point there is no evidence of the cause and effect. Nonetheless, the anecdotal evidence that cops are intervening less in general makes sense. I could go on until the cows come home and are sent to the glue factory. for example, some decades ago RAND came up with a study that single cops in a patrol car could more effectively police an area for the same money. Great. So now cops don’t have a buddy. There's no one to help them if they get into trouble. And there's no partner to stop them if they do something wrong.
· Readers, please send in your thoughts. If you have statistics, we can all learn from each other.
Thursday 0230 July 7, 2016
· FBI Chief appears to have made the right decision under law This whole thing is making Editor feel quite sat upon. Why should he have to do research for something that doesn’t interest him in the least? Does he not have better things to do? Actually, he doesn’t, but still, he could have. In some alternative universe as least. Here goes.
· 18 U.S. Code § 793 - Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information is the name of the law covering Hilary. It has been correctly said that Section (f) does not say anything about intent. But the foregoing Section (a), (b), (c), (d), and (e) clearly require intent. So far Editor’s research indicates that Section (f) cannot be read in isolation because the law is going on and on about intent.
· It has been suggested to Editor he study court rulings on this law, and also consult the guidance given to US Attorneys on bringing cases. Moan, groan, whinge, and whine. Why me, Lord? If Editor found this stuff easy he’d have become a lawyer and be charging $800/hr for advice. Actually, probably he would be just as broke. But he might have been rich. So Editor is going to do the above Friday, first free day he has.
· Meanwhile, we amplify our comments yesterday about FBI not bringing case that are rock solid. Apparently it isn’t that simple. For us laypersons to just read the law as written and infer there’s nothing more, would be absolutely wrong. The law as written by Congress is just the start. There’s decades or a couple of hundred years of interpretation of the law by courts. I.e., the matter of precedents. That is not something you and I can go into because we’re not trained lawyers.
· Now, we can argue ad infinitum about FBI director doing unusual things. For example, if FBI decides not to bring charges, there’s no big announcement. Here was a big announcement. But see, the director would have gotten slammed either way. By doing things the usual way, he would have ended up twisting up the next election. He has provided certainty when there was no need for him to have said anything. He took a major burden on himself but he did it for the country. He should be thanked and not reviled. BTW, he has a record of doing what his position requires him to do – sort of national Prosecutor-in-Chief – without fear or favor. So maybe we should be cautious in accusing him of playing politics.
· Letter from a lady voter on Hilary The request is for Anon. “Stop joining the crowd of Hillary haters! She is totally innocent. People have had her in their sights for years and years, under a microscope, looking for something to find, and she has proven time after time that she is innocent of any wrongdoing. Frankly, I think it's plain and simple misogyny -- nothing more. She is sloppy, but not illegal. Nobody in recent generations has been examined as closely as she has....and they keep trying to hang her but it won't stick because there is no “there” there.
· Editor’s response Doubtless there is misogyny at work. Editor can speak only for himself. He’d already said in South Asia we are quite used to strong women voters. He has also repeatedly defended Hilary on the Benghazi accusations, which from a military and technical view are without justification. He has defended – or at least sympathized – with her about the Old Turkey Albatross, aka Bill. We’ve shared our suspicion he is trying to sabotage his wife.
· At the same time, if we accept our reader’s argument, Hilary has shown repeated recklessness. She has never been charged. But time and again she acts like a typical Boomer lawyer type. What the Boomers have done is ditch ethics, and instead substituted the motto: “If it isn’t illegal, we’re allowed to do it”. That’s not just Hilary, it just about everyone else. Same thing with Hilary servers/devices. She repeatedly ignored the rules her own State Department has regarding classified information. And just about everything she said in her defense was untrue.
· Okay, Hilary’s supporters will say, you’re blaming her for lying and you say nothing about the Donald? There’s a reason Editor does not speak ill of the Donald and it has nothing to do with conventional thinking. This country is at a dead end. It needs a revolution. If the revolution is not done peacefully, it will be done violently. Hilary is status quo, not revolutionary. Donald and Bernie are revolutionary. Either of them would do as Prez.
· Would they not bring chaos as Prez? Yes. That’s the point. You can only build the new by breaking the old. Much suffering ensues in the meanwhile. But it cannot be done elsewise. The longer we put off the revolution, the worse it’s going to be.
· Jesus told us to listen to the children. Our children are demanding change. We’re not listening to them by electing Hilary.
Wednesday 0230 GMT July 6, 2016
· Hilary Walks We had told readers months ago she would not be indicted, not from some hunch of ours, but because People in the Know told us. So now that she’s walked, why should Editor care? Well, because he didn’t think the thing would be so openly done. He thought FBI would take its time making a case, which can mean years if the matter is complex, that the FBI would recommend indictment to the Attorney General who would either say no or hem-haw until the next president came in.
· Instead, Hilary gets a 3 ½ -hour interview on a non-working day, Saturday, and by Tuesday 1100 the FBI Director says there’s no case he can make. How can this be? FBI has to work on her statement, more investigation has to be done in the light of what’s she said, lawyers have to go back and forth, then a decision is made. Weeks are required. And BTW, FBI has cleared her the day before she goes with Obama on a campaign visit, where he says she is the best-qualified candidate ever. He knows this how? She’s been a senator some, and a SecState some; she’s better qualified than the Donald, but the best-qualified ever? Has she ever been the governor of a big state, say for 2-terms? That’s a good qualification but even that is not the best. Anyway.
· First, an explanation of how the FBI works. In 2010 it had a conviction rate of 93%, quite typical, of whom 81% were jailed This is a staggeringly high rate. How does the FBI do it? By bringing only those cases it is sure it can win. And an absolutely incredible 97% of its wins are plea bargains The reason for this is that the FBI has unbelievable power behind it. It can’t get you directly, it will grab someone else and toast his toes in a legal sense until he agrees to testify against you. FBI is relentless.
· So you could say that the FBI wasn’t sure of its case in HilaryGate. Except it was. One of the things it found that 110 or so of the emails on her server were classified at the time they were sent/received. She cannot claim as she so piously said that the material was subsequently classified. Another thing: she set up the server right out of the starting gate. Another thing: she clearly must now – with her qualifications – that you cannot conduct official business on your own account without permission. This was never sought. Yet another thing: when you are asked to hand over your emails, you cannot decide which ones are not relevant and wipe them. That’s called destroying evidence, a jailing offense in its own right.
· The FBI Director said he found no “reasonable proof” that Hilary had any intent to do wrong so he was giving her a pass. How on earth can he exonerate her on the basis of intent? When you break the law, intent has nothing to do with it. Intent can factor in sentencing or the particular charge. For example, I kill someone. There’s at least four levels of intent that Editor is aware of. First, second, voluntary manslaughter involuntary manslaughter. In this last, I have zero intent, but my action led to someone’s death. Here’s a layperson’s guide to intent.
· Moreover, FBI Director blasted Hilary for being “extremely careless”; said “multiple” servers and mobile devices were involved, not just one; said that the classified material should not have not been where it was found; criticized State for its lax security culture and so on. With the multiple servers/devices, Hilary’s behavior was continued violation of rules and regulations. Not one person, not a single one, told her she was in violation? Multiple devices, multiple years, and this was unintentional? And obvious State was lax; with their chief ignoring the rules why should they follow them? As chief, their violations are on her.
· Hilary’s response is to say her action was probably not a good idea (or words to that effect). And that exonerates her?
· Now, people, let Editor be frank (he’s actually George, but for this article he’s Frank). He’s not so enamored of Donald that he wants Hilary disqualified from running or serving. He thinks Hilary is about the worst thing that is going to happen to America, but even he can’t say she going to be worse than Donald. But why should little people have their lives destroyed for violating some of the regulations she did, while she gets off free? This not right. It has nothing to do with her being a woman. Who on earth cares? In South Asia we are used to strong women heads of state (Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh has two of them).
· At a time when this country is so divided on the issue of class and privilege, FBI Director has not done the right thing which his super-lightening action. He should have let it go on, if the result was it dies a natural death, that’s fine. Why is Bill getting a pass for his little chat with the Attorney General? Had you or I done it, we’d be hauled up to prove we didn’t use undue influence. You and I say “we chatted about our grandchildren” and we’re going to be believed?
Tuesday 0230 GMT July 5, 2016
· Hilary at it again Hilary’s closest aide, Huma Abedin, was deposed. She said the then SecState often put her daily schedule into the burn bag. So, you say, what’s the big deal? Why not get rid of the schedule when the day is over?
· The problem is that under US law, official documents belong to the people. They cannot be destroyed. They have to be filed. They become historical records which we, the people, can request under the Freedom of Information Act unless published. The government can release them or not, depending on the content. They can release parts of the document you want. If you don’t like the Government’s response, you can go to court. So on and so forth.
· Nonetheless, no matter how trivial the document, it does not belong to Hilary. So once again, she’s shown to do exactly what she pleases, the law is for the little people. Then she wonders why so many people don’t trust her.
· BTW, on Hilary’s server, she/supporters say “well everyone gets email on their personal computers”. This may be true. But if I run a red light and my defense is “everyone does it”, you know exactly what’s going to happen. It’s not an acceptable excuse under the law. That’s all there is to it. And, as we’ve said earlier, everyone doesn’t run their own server.
· Anyhows, America. Looks like she’s going to be your next Prez. You deal with it. Editor has his own problems. But the elite has to understand: it’s this continual shady dealing that is driving the public nuts. Back before hypermedia, we didn’t know what the elite was doing. Their wrong actions were not being constantly rubbed in our face. Times have changed. Standards expected of the elite, particularly our leaders, are so high that no one of quality wants to be in public service. Likely these standards are unmeetable. But again, this is y’alls problem. Mortgage is due in a few days. Fortunately, someone needed some work done and were kind enough to pay up front. So July is okay. August? Who knows. That’s too far away to even think about it.
· Fallujah You’ve heard that hundreds of IS pickups – US says 450 – left Fallujah in a convoy, and attacked by the US and Iraq. A third were destroyed. Simultaneously, a convoy left Ramadi, also a large number of pickups. What it was doing there, Editor has no clue, because Ramadi was supposed to be cleaned out months ago. This also was attacked.
· So you have US officials piously wondering, “what was IS thinking? They know we see everything; how did it think it could get away with a mass movement?”
· Sigh. Would it hurt the Americans to tell the truth for once? Why does everything our officials say have to be a lie or a conditional truth. Editor knows what happened. If he knows you can bet your left white sock that everyone who has a heartbeat knows, because inevitably he is the last to be clued in. The Iraqis cut a deal with IS to let it leave. Iraq does this all the time. Either the US wasn’t informed and it attacked the convoy, with an Iraqi gunship joining in for show, or the Iraqis welshed.
· Either way, why this fake “we don’t understand IS”? Oh yes, US, pious as always, says “we didn’t attack the vehicles we thought had women and children”. Really, you can assure us of that? Of course you can’t, and of course civilians would have died.
· But that’s okay. It’s the enemy. Every pickup was a legitimate target. Why get this holier than thou attitude? Why bring it up at all? Why not shut the fat lips? If some journalist asks “Are you sure you didn’t kill civilians?” why can’t US say “We don’t know. We were targeting the enemy, not civilians. If some or many got killed, we’re sorry, but perhaps IS should not shelter behind non-combatants. We cannot afford to let the fighters get away. War is heck.” Instead, if it turns out civilians died, the world press will get after the US with the “Liar Liar” thing.
· That’s the way things are today. Why tell the truth when you can lie?
· Oh yes, belated July 4th. Why do people need all these holidays? Editor has to work 365? Why are others having a day off and having fun? Grumble. Whine. Complain. The only holiday a person needs is the day of their own funeral.
Sunday 0230 GMT July 3, 2016
We’ve been terribly relaxed about updating, and the reason is these days Editor doesn’t have a regular routine. Much of his time is being spent in applying for jobs, something he is just not good at. Then there’s a bit of tutoring to be done, for pocket money, but that plus travel-time kills half the day. Then there’s the usual two college courses, and the odd consultancy that comes by. So Editor is not using his time productively.
· The Bill in the china shop Poor Hilary. We don’t like her, but you still have to feel sorry for a woman trying to make her way up in the world when she’s married to a blithering idiot. One is often forced to wonder: is he trying to sink her chances because he cannot stand the possibility she could succeed without him? Mind you, he has been helpful to her. Her solid primary wins in the South are due entirely to nostalgia for Bill, who – it has been said often enough – was America’s first black president. To that we can safely add, America’s ONLY black president. But for him, she might not have won by such big margins in the south because, you see, no one really likes her.
· Bill’s latest attempt to sabotage Hilary came the other day, when he and US Attorney General Lynch were both visiting the same town on the same day. Their planes were parked adjacently, sensible from the view point of security. Well, Bill learns she is in town too. So he postpones his scheduled departure, and after she boards her plane, he lightly leaps up her stairs and stocks her with his presence.
· We know this was no conspiratorial meeting because a reliable source on Lynch’s security detail says she was taken aback at his magical arrival from la-la land or wherever it is he hangs out between the blonde of the morning and the blonde of the evening. (Yes, editor is wildly jealous, but he has never Begrudged Bill his Bimbos. Indeed, Editor believes his pension should include a Bimbo Of The Day, because he really is a decent fellow who was a decent Prez.) If the object was to conspire, why do it in broad daylight when conversations over private telephones would offer more privacy.
· By his rash action, Bill has royally shafted Hilary and has completely compromised the one person Hilary needs on her side, i.e., the Attorney General. Earlier, Lynch could act to delay or refuse a Hilary indictment. Now she has no choice but to stand aside, and indeed she has said she will go by what Department of Justice wants. And the DOJ, being the DOJ, wants a big feather in its cap. And who better as a feather than the next Prez of the United States?
· Now, none of this means that Hilary is going to get indicted. Even if she is, she is not going to be tried before she becomes Prez, after which she gets to appoint her own AG. The Republicans will hound her with enquiry after enquiry as they did Bill/Hill during the 8-years of his presidency and lately Hilary on Benghazi. So what? Has GOP noticed that each time they play this “Get Hilary” game they lose? They’ve done it so many times that even if they have a case, Hilary supporters will not change their mind about her. They have already dismissed ServerGate as persecution.
· In a way this is not good for America. What Hilary supporters don’t seem to understand is that the question of how sensitive is the material on her server (which she scrubbed as much as possible) is not the issue. The issue is 2-fold. First, she is not allowed to receive or dispatch ANY emails that have ANYTHING to do with Government business unless she uses servers for which the Government has given her permission. She did not get permission. She has broken the law. Perhaps people feel it is a slap on the wrist offense, at worst. The punishment is irrelevant. She could get no punishment at all but she is guilty of breaking the law, No ifs and buts and maybe and therefores.
· Second, it does not matter a fig whether the emails had sensitive material or not. The law is not a democracy where issues are to be decided by popular vote. The Government can take a copy of the Washington DC telephone white pages, mark it secret, and that copy becomes a secret. It does not matter of there are 250,000 other copies out there. It is not for you or me to say “but the directory is no secret!”. That may be, but that copy is, and that’s all there is to it. Doubtless at trial a jury can rule that possession of the copy is not enough to warrant punishment. But for that to happen, there has to be a trial first.
· Bill has made Hilary look bad, he has shackled Lynch. What is she supposed to when the former Prez of the US invites himself into her cabin? Throw him out because she is overseeing an investigation of Bill’s wife. And you can see where we are going with this. It does not matter if Bill and Lynch had a cozy discussion about knitting and Hilary did not come up directly or indirectly.
· The man is a loose cannon. He needs to be exiled to Gitmo, with an endless supply of Bimbos – we don’t need to inflict cruel and unusual punishment on him. One shudders to think what he will do once Hilary is in office. We wonder, will he use Hilary’s map table for his trysts as he did for hers?
Thursday 0230 GMT June 30, 2016
· From Shawn Dudley: Analysis of Dr. Shelly Rigger’s discussion on Taiwan Dr. Rigger is a specialist in Taiwan-PRC relations. We sent Shawn Dudley the discussion as he too is interested in the issue. This is what he writes.
· The basic gist of Ms. Rigger's article is that newly elected Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen hasn't changed anything in relations between the ROC and the PRC, and in referencing the 1992 Relations Act she basically provides a somewhat ambiguous framework for maintaining the status quo. Taiwan's economy and society is sufficiently healthy enough to continue to function as a "virtual" nation state (much in the same way that Kurdistan does today, and to a lesser extent Palestine) and so has no need to force the issue on their own. The author of the article points out that the 1992 Relations Act effectively admits Taiwan is part of China, although how that's defined is completely unstated and open to interpretation.
· Former Taiwan president Lee Teng-Hu, who not incidentally is Tsai's political mentor, had once suggested that the solution to the cross-strait crisis was the formation of a "Chinese Commonwealth," where the One-China principle could still be played out among a loose federation of sovereign states that would include not only China and Taiwan but all of the Chinese diaspora such as Singapore and Mongolia. This solution gives the Chinese the face-saving it needs to maintain its nationalist principles, while still allowing for full independence for nations like Taiwan, combined with a common cultural and economic network where states share resources and work in a common direction, not unlike the British Commonwealth which itself is a sort of "imperial consolation prize" for the UK but also an important linking of like-minded states.
· (This 2003 article from the Taipei Times lays out the framework for such an arrangement: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2003/04/02/0000200544/1)
· In my opinion, the trouble with this is that China doesn't want a consolation prize, rather it would just have the empire it thinks it deserves. I'm in the minority regarding the issue but it's my strongly held opinion that China is sure and completely committed to a military takeover of Taiwan in the near future barring an acceptable political solution (which I define as one in which the pro-independence DPP plays no part in Taiwan politics at all), and its recent activity of "island building," pushing naval and air control over the China sea, the expansion of its Marine forces and amphibious capabilities as well as the deployment of an aircraft carrier are all harbingers of the campaign to come. With political disruption in one of Taiwan's key allies (the United States) and an all-too-conservative defense rebuilding effort by the Japanese there's a window of opportunity opening for the Chinese to force the issue. Tsai and her government shouldn't be arguing about the '92 consensus; they should be handing out M4 rifles to their population as they might actually need them soon.
Tuesday 0230 GMT June 28, 2016
· UK vote to leave EU Read this article from UK Daily Mail https://t.co/VyoXtOmViQ Article says that according its Brussels sources, UK is not going to leave.
· Comment from an Informed Person on UK Telegraph article saying Parliament will vote for a “soft exit”, meaning UK gets to keep to the good parts and jettison the bad parts. Of course, the Euros are saying following the rules or leave http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/06/26/parliament-must-decide-what-brexit-means-in-the-interests-of-the/ Below we give the Informed Person’s informal reply. This person is clearly not in favor of REMAIN, but is an outsider and therefore more impartial than most Brits.
· “The Telegraph is in the Remain camp (they support the neoliberal policies of the last 30 years). The Gini index is very interesting, BTW. This is from 2015 on distribution of wages in Europe. EU as a whole is 0.346. US is 0.4. UK is 0.404, making it the most unequal EU country and more unequal than the US which is saying a lot. You should confirm these figures for yourself. There may be different findings with different studies.
· “Scotland's response has a thick political aspect. Blair negotiated a watered down devolution in return for EU membership for the UK thereby convincing the Scots out of complete devolution because there would be a check and balance from the EU over English control. Now that that could be gone, the Scots are reverting to their former position. Also, BTW, Blair promised a referendum for choosing to join, particularly with Maastricht and he reneged repeatedly, and essentially pushed membership without a popular consensus.
· “Boris Johnson is a weasel. For him to suggest that immigration should not be affected essentially puts him in the neoliberal camp as well. He has shown his true colors. An opportunist who looked to dislodge Cameron and who is now back-pedalling because his bread like virtually everyone else's in the establishment is buttered by the very corporate interests who are looking to expand austerity, reduce services, privatize governmental services and force wages down. (Ed: this is the EU recipe, it has not worked, and likely will never work because EU is suffering from lack of demand: wages are too low for people to spend much beyond the minimum.)
· “There are no good men left in public service anymore. Aristocrats are supposed to act out of noblesse oblige. These guys are as greedy as the nouveaux riche. End Times, indeed!”
· Editor’s comment Editor is reminded of what his grandfather used to say. “Don’t give leader jobs to those who want them: wanting disqualifies them. Find the capable person who is hiding lest he be called on and draft him.”
Saturday 0230 June 25, 2016
· What does it mean to leave the EU? That isn’t Editor asking. That’s the top Google about the EU after the vote, within 24-hours. The next four, in order: What is the EU? Which countries are in the EU? What will happen now we’ve left the EU? How many countries are in the EU?
· Do you see the problem? The Brits vote to leave, but apparently a whole lot of them, Leave or Remain, lacked a clue as to what the facts were. Unfortunately, Google is not telling us how many enquiries there were, and without that figure we can’t really tell what percent of Brits were clueless in the Kingdom. Nonetheless, the thing sounds ominous. You can, of course, ask why anyone should expect the Great British Masses to be properly informed when there’s no evidence that most folks in the world think before doing.
· Many complex reasons have been given for the events, and Editor thinks it would be pretentious for him to pretend he has a complete understanding. Nonetheless, three things struck him. One, the public did NOT want to hear any more pontification from the experts. They’ve had it with the experts. Two, the Brits feeling a loss of place. Three, the observation that those who have money voted REMAIN; those that don’t have money voted LEAVE. Anyone note the correspondences with what’s happening here? They’re not exact, but the same sort of general idea is playing out here.
· Editor hates experts and feels one with those who feel the same. You will never hear Editor claiming he is an expert. All he says he’s been studying his subject for longer than anyone else. The subject being all aspects of national/international security. Plenty of people have spent more in this area or that area. But overall? Editor feels comfortable making that claim, at least among folks who publish. Privately he will concede that the more he learns the fewer conclusions he feels justified in drawing. At the same time, it’s not a good idea for folks to take major decision like UK did without a decent knowledge of basic facts.
· Loss of place. People have a certain tolerance for change. Exceed it and folks start going crazy. That’s what was happening after the UK expanded rapidly after the fall of the Soviet Union. The Brits are not going nuts about Muslims and things. They’re going bats because of the huge influx of white foreigners. In the US, we at least lay the rules for who comes and who doesn’t. Under EU rules, I can move to any EU country I want, and live/work there. This is so obvious a point we needed waste time on it.
· Haves and have nots. That’s pretty straightforward, too. If you’ve gained from the EU – London, Scotland, Northern Ireland, it’s a good thing for you. If you believe you’ve lost – everyone else – it’s a bad thing for you. The mistake the elite made is because the current system was good for them, they gave no thought to the losers. Ring any bells about our situation back here?
· Editor’s prediction as to what happens next? UK will rejoin after the number of New People exceed the Old People. The New People feel no discomfort about rapid change because that’s all they’ve known. They feel European first and British second. To them the crazy mix-up of people in the UK is normal – and desirable. So all in all, this exit thing is just temporary.
· Last, please to remember that large numbers of LEAVE perfectly well understand the benefits of the EU. They just don’t want the guff that comes with the benefits, such as Eurocrats who tell them what to eat, wear, behave, and even what to think. Once the EU gets rid of its elites telling people what to do, and permits folks diversity within a united Europe, lot of people – not just the Brits - will be okay with the EU.
Thursday 0230 GMT June 23, 2016
· India get more FDI than China in 2015 Its always nice to hear some encouraging news about the old country, though it and Editor parted ways 27 years ago. Last year foreign direct investment was $68-billion to China’s $57-billion http://www.defencenews.in/article/India-attracted-more-FDI-than-China-in-2015-4537 The thing with statistics is they must always be analyzed in context. China’s GDP is perhaps 4.7x ours, so the $68-billion is quite impressive. Interestingly, Pakistan got $18-billion FDI, and our economy is 7x theirs. So they did even better than we did.
· Truthfully, Editor’s primary concern with India’s GDP has to do with defense, and here – as we’ve noted before, the government’s habit of steadily reducing the percent of GDP for defense is making nonsense of our expanding economy. We’re down to 1.7%, from about 3% in the 1980s. At the higher figure, we’d have $30-billion+ more for equipment each year, and we wouldn’t be in the terrible condition we are. It surpasses understanding that we so blithely assume we’re not going to be fighting anyone anymore.
· Back in the Age of European Chivalry, folks used to maneuver their armies like chess pieces and limit their fighting to the minimum. If one side found itself out maneuvered, there was no last man last bullet baloney. You gave in, shook hands, and came back another day. The whole point of warfare, even today, should be NOT to fight. That’s because once you choose the fight option, the complications multiply exponentially. The law of unintended consequences kicks in. You can win the war and still lose. Two examples are US in Second Indochina and in Second Gulf.
· So look at the US. No one in their right mind wants to pick a fight with the Americans because, if they go all out, there is no hope of defeating them. And this is because the US maintains forces out of proportion to the threats. Take, for example, the F-35. Why exactly does the US need 2400 of these aircraft? By 2035, when numbers reach that, together with F-22 and the new fighter, whatever it looks like, US will have more 5 Gen fighters than the rest of the world put together. That’s apart from all the cruise missiles, bombers, network synergy and all that. The reason for the excess is to make sure no one even thinks of taking on the Americans. Ditto the 10 giant aircraft carriers. Aside from the smaller deck carriers used for the Marine Corps, US has 1-million tons worth of carriers. In a few years, when China has four, it will have 250,000-tons worth. It may be decades before China gets to 10. But the same principle is at work: not just superior force, but overwhelming force.
· This is something India has never learned with respect to Pakistan. We try and maintain a small edge and feel pleased with ourselves. But we’ve seven times and the people and seven times the GDP. Now that we have to assume a 2-front scenario, we can hold off China in the north with 12 divisions and have 26 for Pakistan. The problem is, after Pakistan finishes its long-delayed new raisings, they’ll have at that many if not more. Long-delayed because Pakistan hasn’t had the money. But PRC has finally figured out its far cheaper and more efficient to contain rising India by giving Pakistan a few billion dollars’ worth of military aid each year, than to worry about us themselves. Even if Pakistan gets only two more divisions, they’ll have 24 against our 26. With China backing them for the first time, are they going to get intimidated by us. No, they’re not. This is why continue poking us. They know even if we attack them, we don’t have the force needed to decisively defeat them. This is what happened in 1999, and in 2001-2002. And we know it, which is why in 2008 there was no talk about retaliation for Pakistan’s Mumbai attack.
· So here we are, seven times more GDP, and we have no military options vis-à-vis our long-time adversary. How does this make sense? It doesn’t, and what’s really amazing is the Government of India doesn’t care. It’s happy just offsetting Pakistan. So essentially, we’ve crippled ourselves, Pakistan hasn’t had to do anything. The Pakistan problem should have been resolved decades ago. Instead, 70-years after independence Pakistan remains a huge threat.
· Are we going to have to wait another 70-years before we sort out the Pakistanis? Editor, for one, is not holding his breath.
Wednesday 0230 GMT June 22, 2016
· Strawberry Moon, Summer Solstice So someone sent Editor an article saying that June 21 would be the summer solstice and also a strawberry full moon, and all kind of weird things would happen. Now, you have to just say “weird things” and “astronomic phenomenon”, and you have Editor’s full attention. Needless to say he is almost never outside after dark because once at his computer he has no experience of time passing. For the first time in the entire year, he was invited for dinner (second time that anyone has invited him for anything), so when he returned home, there was the full moon. To him the moon looked seriously dirty and in need of silver polish. Of course, he’s almost color blind by now. He stood outside for 10-minutes waiting for something weird to happen. Nothing did, except the usual every night weirdness of ghosts and people wandering around aimlessly (Editor lives on a dead end street of eight houses, in standard reality people don’t want wander around aimlessly at night). Just the usual Night Company.
· BTW, not trying to spook anyone, but where does this “quiet night” thing come from? Night is like rush hour at Grand Central, there are so many spirits and things and creatures of every size and shape and from every dimension milling around. The Night Company has its noisy conversations on a different frequency. Day, indeed sunlight itself, blocks the sounds. The night sounds are always there, just you can’t hear them.
· So now someone suggests London should exit from the UK if UK leaves EU Reason? Allegedly economics. London produces some ungodly high percentage of GDP relative to its percent of population, and it would do better as a free city. And so on. http://www.theweek.co.uk/uk-news/60388/could-london-declare-independence That just shows how little folks in UK have to fill their free time. First, what is the connection between UK leaving EU and London leaving the UK? Second, if we’re going to go on economics, you’ll have to split the City from London, because then the City has a much higher per capita than the rest of London.
· Next, doubtless this has something to do with talk of Scottish secession. They call it the United Kingdom because its composed of four nations, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. All won by England thanks to conquest. Most of Ireland pushed off after a civil war, splitting because the religious minority did not want to live in Ireland. One supposes by some torturous reasoning one could say Scotland is its own nation - separate parliament, considerable autonomy, own language and so on. Of course Scotland, like every other place on earth, was itself unified by force from several smaller entities. So what legitimacy does Scotland have to force former entities to stay? Anyway, the point about London is that it is not a separate nation, it is the capital of a nation. So where does secession enter into it?
· What about India? Simple. Us Indians are anarchists by nature, each of us feels no compulsion to follow any rules we don’t like. There is no reason India should not – by modern thinking – constitute 500-600 different nations. Except every time that has happened, foreigners have conquered India. So if we’re all separate, how do we defend India? Same thing with London. Does London want to maintain its own defense forces? Mercenaries, like city states of the past? Where’s London’s port? Why should the rest of England permit London control of the Thames and so on? Not to forget: many of the Italian city states started expanding into kingdoms, to be unified as late as 1861. Germany itself is a recent nation. Does not seem a good idea for the traditional German states with a common trade policy to start breaking up.
· Long-term the solution is simple When we become individually autonomous machine intelligences we can all go off on our own to all corners of the universe and be truly by ourselves, answerable to no one. How will we pass the time? By creating our own universes to keep us amused.
· Wait a minmin - Doesn’t Brahma already do that? Dang. Editor thought he had an idea he could patent and make money off.
Monday 0230 GMT June 20, 2016
· The world these days is an excruciatingly boring place In the US, we are going nowhere any time soon. People are so polarized there is no agreement on the simplest things. Americans no longer seem to want to inspiring things. The battles of the day are becoming more and more absurd. For example, there is a Minnesota college where 97% of the students are female. Yet they are seriously protesting the “rape culture” of the college after a student was assaulted. How can you have that culture when only 3 of 100 students are men?
· In the US, a man and a woman can go to her/his dorm room, get smashed out of their minds, make out, get rid of their clothes, and climb into bed to do whatever people do in bed without their clothes. The woman can still claim rape the next morning because while she came to the room willingly, got drunk willingly, made out willingly, went to bed willingly, she did not consent to actual sex. The boy has to stop when she says stop. Even if she did not say stop, she can claim she was too drunk to consent, so its rape.
· Then we have our marvelously brilliant president. After the Orlando massacre, Donald Trump calls Mr. Obama out for refusing to call the incident what it was, Islamic terrorism. Mr. Obama angrily struck back, demanding to know how using those words helped. May we ask Mr. Obama a question? How did his totally meaningless, totally formulaic, totally passionless speech to the nation help?
· So the other day someone was asking what our rush to get to Mars? Why do we want to thoughtlessly pollute it with our bugs? Okay, so if there’s Martians there we’ll need to reconsider everything, but why are we worrying about Mars microbes getting contaminated? Life on earth began when our pristine environment was polluted by stuff from space – at least that’s the current story, tomorrow they may have a better story.
· Then there are those who ask why the rush for Mars when we haven’t solved a jillion earth problems? So that’s why humans explore, because they’ve done everything that needs to be done and now we can go in? Aside from the spirt of exploration, if we solve all our problems why go anywhere?
· Columbus to Isabella: “I wanna find the Indies”. Isabella to Columbus: “Why? Have we solved our problems in Spain?” Columbus to Isabella: “Coz I’m gonna make you rich.” Isabella to Columbus: “Fool, why didn’t you leave yesterday?” Is that good enough reason to go to Mars?
· Elon Musk wants us to go to Mars because he wants an alternative habit should something really bad happen to Earth, like a bolide 10-km or even 100-km across. His point is valid, even if technologically it's must simpler to nudge the bolide off course than to go to Mars. But: note to Elon. If the threat is destruction of Earth, say by whatever the follow-up to N-weapons is, you have to factor in the real possibility that someone will say: “Why should the people on Mars get to survive when we’re dead? Zap them too.”
· That’s Broken Back Warfare. Darn nearly everything is gone in a giant nuclear exchange, but we need to whack everything the enemy could use to recover. It’s for this reason the US targeted India – and everyone else – in the event of nuclear warfare. Not that India was a threat, but no one should be able to use India to recover. Mind you, the targeting plan, which allegedly had 40,000 targets, was never fulfilled because there weren’t enough warheads.
· Extend this further, and you get the well-used sci-fi meme of robots continuing to battle endlessly over a destroyed earth.
Friday 0230 GMT June 17, 2016
· Letter on Orlando killer from Reader Vladimir I have an issue with "Omar Mateen is not a jihadist because he s gay/drinking alcohol, not strict etc. " type apologia. I have seen this from very knowledgeable so-called moderate Muslims peddling this fallacy.
· The main attraction to those who have philosophical inclination to violent jihad is that this the ONLY assured route to Jannah which bypasses God's verification on Judgement day.
· So a conservative Muslims can merely be a passive cheerleader of jihadism to pass Judgment. There is no need for him to throw away his family's safety. He is already in the God’s good books by eschewing vices and by being pious.
· An impious person, however, needs a short cut to bypass hellfire. His guilt can drive him to take the shortcut to heaven.
· Editor’s comment Just as a By The Way, in the West we have people so unmoored from reality they say “You say Islam is a religion of violence. What about Christianity and the Crusades? What about the Protestant Revolution? What about American fundamentalists who say gays will go to hell?” Hmmmm.
· Let’s start with the gays. In case no one has noticed, American fundamentalists don’t go around killing gays as a state or a personal policy. Surely there are murderers of gays. But AFAIK there are no preachers urging Christians to kill gays. That would be incitement to violence, a criminal offense. Moreover, saying as a defense: “God wants me to kill gays” will not get you off in court. It’s the other way around: religious Christians will use Jesus’s message of love and tolerance to justify acceptance of gays.
· Next, the Crusades. The ideological reason for the Crusades was to liberate Christian holy places under occupation by Islam. The Marxist reason was likely the wish to get some quick cash. The Crusades were 800+ years ago. Looting in the name of God was acceptable. It still is, look at Big Business and its God, the Almighty Dollar. But Jesus’s doctrine enjoins violence for any reason. There is no manner in which the New Testament can be interpreted as saying it is your duty to kill infidels. The Koran, under many interpretations does say it is your duty.
· Then, the Reformation. This is not something the Editor has studied in any detail, so he’s going to confine himself to saying the Christian religious wars lasted 120-years off-and-on, and ended 350-years ago. The Shia-Sunni split has had Muslims killing each other for 1300-years.
· For the Editor, this whole Islamic Fundamentalism business has nothing to do with our moral superiority. Editor gives Zero Hoots about who is right and who is wrong. Its comes down to the very basic issue: he believes in live and let live. He doesn’t want to enslave anyone to his will. But if someone is unwilling to let Editor live and let live, he has to kill the other guy first. If Editor is beset by moral doubt, if he doesn’t fight back to his utmost ability, he doesn’t deserve to inherit the earth. He’ll worry about heaven later, particularly as his one-way flight ticket says: “Hot Place Downstairs”. Hopefully all the bad women will be there too. Editor may even get a Saturday night date. But with his luck, he’s not counting on it.
Wednesday 0230 GMT June 15, 2016
· NY Post quotes Obama ““we need the strength and courage to change” our attitudes toward the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. http://nypost.com/2016/06/12/obama-says-we-are-to-blame-not-islamic-terrorism-for-orlando-massacre/
· Excuse me, please, Mr. President. Who is the “we” who need to change our attitudes? Are you saying we’re to blame 49 people died at the hands of a gay Islamic fundamentalist? Oh, sorry, you didn’t know he was gay? Read this, Mr. President: http://nypost.com/2016/06/13/shooter-used-to-visit-orlando-gay-club-use-gay-dating-apps/ He was married for 3-months, his wife thinks he was gay. His father called him gay. The gay place he shot up was a regular hangout. He used gay dating apps. And so on. Does this information on its own merit prove he was gay? No, because no one has come forward to say they were his boy-friend. Still, Mr. President, possibly you know better than us, but we’d assume if you weren’t gay and hated gays, you wouldn’t spend your time with gays and trying to pick them up. Or does that Giant Mind of yours tell you else? If so, please do educate us stupid, low IQ people that happen, to your great sorrow apparently, to be the citizens you govern.
· Are you, by the way, implying we somehow pushed him to the fundamentalists? You want us to take responsibility for that and say he was in no way responsible for what he did? There are three million Muslims in America. Do you see them going mad and killing folks because we are under attack by fundamentalists and are fighting back? Or do you believe that if only we had been nice to them they would be nice to us? How are you being logical or even sane when you blame us and not them? When you blame gay haters for the killing when the killer was gay? Or are you saying he was afraid of coming out because he thought gays are unacceptable, couldn’t stand it anymore and went on a killing rampage. Well, his Dad may not have accepted his gayness, but apparently plenty of other people did.
· Also BTW, Mr. President, why is Editor reading press reports that this man was so full of hate, rage, alcohol, and threats that there were several warnings about him but nothing was done because the authorities were worried about accusations of profiling? Also BTW, this gentleman pledged himself to Islamic State but drank until he was crazy and belligerent. Mr. President, do you know what IS would do if engaged in public drinking under IS? You’re right. He’d be eight inches shorter. This man hung around with gays, for which IS would kill him in all sorts of inventive ways, but we Americans are the ones who need to be more accepting of gays?
· Another question. Has it occurred to you how typically modern American you are by making this shooting all about you and your feelings? You, sir, are part of the sickness that afflicts our land. The shooting was not about you or me or anyone else except the victims. If you have any respect for the victims, can you and other behaving like you keep yourselves out of it?
· Another question. Do you not sicken yourself by giving the same speech again and again every time there is a mass killing? What purpose are you serving? What are you proposing to do to stop the killings? The truth is, you cannot do anything. As such, your words stink of hypocrisy and self-service. You are not the nation’s conscience, you don’t get to tell us how we should react, you don’t get to lecture us, you have no right to grieve on our behalf and no right to show us how morally superior you are.
· Please just can it and leave us alone.
Tuesday 0230 GMT June 14, 2016
· SR-72 We’ve been discussing hypersonic aircraft. The SR-72 is a Mach 6 strategic reconnaissance aircraft, and of course something like that can be developed into a bomber too.
· So we need to go back a little ways. Readers will recall that the famous U-2 (1950s) became vulnerable to the Soviet SAM-2. U-2 chugged along at something over 400-mph but flew very high, 20,000-meters and up where it couldn’t be reached by Soviet interceptors or missile. Except in 1960 one was shot down by a SAM-2 over the USSR, and another one, also by a SAM-2 over Cuba in 1962. Though it could no longer be sent into high-threat areas, U-2 served for many decades and still does science work.
· Obviously a replacement was needed, and that was the A-12, a trisonic speed aircraft. The A-12 morphed into the SR-71 (mid-1960s). SR-71 hummed along nicely at Mach 3 and none were lost in combat. Then in the 1980s the SR-71 was phased out, according to a Wikipedia article this was because the USAF was not using it but folks like CIA, DIA, NASA etc were and USAF didn’t see why it had to care for and feed the beast. Some aircraft were retained and reactivated for the Balkans, but by 1998 it was goodbye. SR-71 flew at Mach 3 and 24,000+ meters, and was loaded with ECM, but if it needed to evade it could step up its speed. Even the MiG-25 Foxbat couldn’t catch it.
· Naturally the question arose: how could SR-71 be retired without a replacement? There had to be something else. Please to note that satellites don’t replace aircraft for reconnaissance. Satellites take time to shift to new flight paths, they are very fuel limited, and exist in limited numbers. Aircraft are far more flexible. The something else was alleged to be the TR-3 and/or the Aurora. The difficulty with TR-3A, TR-3B, Aurora etc that there is no confirmed information. Not just does the US keep changing designations of black projects, it has a habit of trying out many different designs, none of which might actually become operational. For example, TR-3 is supposed to be a flying triangle. But some folks have claimed seeing flying triangles at 35-knots or so, and there is no conventional jet aircraft that do 35-knots. Others have said these stealth planes are not reconnaissance, but stealth transports. Some have suggested the triangles are flying radars of some kind.
· So all this stuff is speculative. The SR-72 is not, because Lockheed has announced it, says it is in development, with a reduced-scale model to fly in 2018 and full operational service by 2030. Nonetheless, Lockheed does not claim the aircraft has been fully funded. So perhaps it is one of many concepts using data from the several experimental and test hypersonic vehicles flown by the US. Perhaps Lockheed is giving a false timeline, and SR-72 is ready now or about to be. After all, in a black program no one is going to announce “today Lockheed has been declared winner for a Mach 6 ISR aircraft that can be flown manned or unmanned”.
· Meanwhile, no one seems to have the foggiest idea of what X-37 does except it can stay up for 6-7 months and even (third flight) for 22-months. Fourth test flight was launched in May 2015 and is still in orbit. USAF says it’s not a weapon. But then why did it go from NASA to DARPA to the USAF?
Monday 0230 GMT June 13, 2016
· CIA Chief says redacted 9/11 report pages will show Saudi innocence https://t.co/zyNbIeQf8f Okay, so why were the pages redacted in the first place? Moreover, are we supposed to accepted CIA’s word that the pages are exactly the same as their originals? Fifteen years is a long time in which to fix inconsistencies, edit out embarrassing stuff, and produce a “genuine” copy. Still further, is it a coincidence that the redacted pages are being released now, when there is a bill before Congress to permit 9/11 survivors to sue Saudi?
· Is it also a coincidence that the Saudis have said if the bill passes they will sell their US bonds to the amount of $750-billion? If the Saudis are pure as oil they mine, shouldn’t they demand the report be released. And BTW, how come US Treasury claims Saudis have $117-billions of Treasuries when Saudi is talking $750-billion? So the remaining bonds can be in other undisclosed accounts, but why are the Saudis doing that? A little getaway money in case the House of Saud falls?
· Not to get diverted, but the bulk of that $750-billion is not Saudi’s money. It belongs to everyone who bought Saudi oil, including the US. It is proceeds of racketeering which is illegal in the US, at least. The racketeering comes from the cartelization of Mideast oil to artificially boost prices. Editor’s suggestion is the US should seize that entire $750-billion. So people like China will get upset. Why should US care? What are they going to do with their bonds, sell them? To whom? US could always offer to buy them back at 10 cents to the dollar. Just incidentally, as of end 2015 US had $15-trillion of Treasuries, of which $6-trillion are held overseas. https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS22331.pdf
· Is Editor sounding too much like Trump? Not to worry: Editor thought of this years ago before Trump starting talking about defaulting on our debt.
· New Russian hypersonic glider First it was the Chinese saying they had a hypersonic glider that would be delivered by a missile and come in so fast no ABM defense could catch it. Now it’s the Russians, claiming the same about their new YF-74. See https://t.co/INqcl9n9xw
· Sputnik.com, the very interesting Soviet web-paper, got egg on its face by showing a pix of the US’s SR-72. Hypersonic is usually Mach 5 to Mach 10. NASA calls anything between Mach 10 and Mach 25 as “high hypersonic”. That got Editor thinking. Mach 10 is less than 4-meters a second. But ICBMs arrive at 10-meters a second. So why exactly is a hypersonic glide vehicle flying at – say – Mach 10 invincible? After all, US ABM system is supposed to zap ICBM warheads entering at, very roughly, Mach 25. No one says that’s easy. It’s very hard. But it can be done and US gets better every year.
· The other thing Editor started wondering about: why exactly are China/Russia crowing about their super-weapon? US X-43 hit Mach 9.7 seven years ago, for 12-seconds. 2010-14 US X-51 Mach 5 was tested four times. The last time it flew for 270-seconds. The program was concluded and the research will be used for new aircraft. Further, in 2010-11 the US flew two tests with a Mach 20 vehicle. The first was unsuccessful, the second lost contact 9-minutes into a 30-minute flight to a target 7700-km away. NASA decided not to stage further tests as it had the data it wanted; and the research was folded into the Prompt Global Strike program along with another program Advanced Hypersonic Weapon. AHS had one successful 3700-km flight at about Mach 7; a second test failed.
· Further adding to the irony of “invincible weapon”, the Russians sat their S-500 SAM has an anti-hypersonic capability. It is designed as an ABM, with a plan to deployed five batteries by 2020 or so and then another five. So why all the Russian posturing and bluster about US Aegis Europe threatening the strategic deterrent? Russian ABMs don’t threaten the strategic deterrent?
· What’s particularly annoying about all this is: why is out being left to Editor to point out these things? Why is Main Stream Media not doing its job of countering Russian/China propaganda with the facts? Editor gets paid zero dollars day, MSM people have fat salaries most of us can only dream off. Get off those fat batooties, people, and do some work!
Friday 0230 GMT June 10, 2016
· Back to Penetrating Counter Air Yesterday’s point was that contrary to widespread belief, the US manages to successfully hide many parts of its defense capabilities. Since PCA is required by 2030, we can reasonably assume that its individual components are well into development.
· Today when you think of any weapon, it has to be thought of as one part of a system, especially if you are dealing with the US. The point of a weapons system is that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. So PCA is not some super-secret aircraft. There is no one aircraft, but many types. Moreover, the aircraft are simply the weapons carriers. The real killer will be the missiles carried by different types of aircraft.
· First up, we need to permanently forget about the Battle of Britain, Korea’s MiG Alley, and all that sort of thing. Dog-fighting is totally yesterday, perhaps even the day before yesterday. All this recent discussion about an F-16 outmaneuvering an F-35 and therefore the F-35 is a failure is complete rubbish. First, as we’ve discussed in the blog, the F-35 was just one of the first flying porotypes without its special paint, special electronics, or the special pilot helmet. It flew a restricted profile to test its abilities in certain modes against a dissimilar aircraft. Second, in real life, the F-16 or F-15 or Russian or Chinese stealth will not see the F-35. That does not mean the F-35 is invisible under all conditions. So yes, a Luftwaffe Eurofighter did score against an F-22. But to think this is going to happen with reasonable frequency is a bad idea. Warfare is about exchange rates, and while the US will definitely see many F-35s and F-22s splashed, the US will still have thousands of aircraft after the adversary has run through his.
· Third, the reason there’s no more dog-fighting one-on-one or two-on-two or whatever is that the fighter is just one component of a system. Consider one thing: push your fighter to past sustained 10-gees, two things will become mush: your brain and the fighter. Yes, an F-15 airframe can sustain a lot more than 10-gees for some seconds. Yes, a pilot does not immediately lose consciousness the second he hits or exceeds 10-gees. But we have to talk sustained for air combat, not a couple of seconds or even ten. That’s why if you want your pilot and plane back intact, you want to keep 9-gees as an absolute maximum.
· Enter the air-to-air missile. Why do you want to stress the pilot and the fighter when the missile can pull 40-60 gees and flying at Mach 3. We’re not talking about the defender evading such a missile, which is a very complex business but can be done. We’re saying now days you let the missile do the work. Add to it stuff like 180-degree boresight – F-35 can fire a missile while flying in the opposite direction and the missile will turn around to chase the target. Add to that stuff like autonomous targeting. Add to that a missile with 200-km and more range. Add to that stealth for the missile. Add to that loiter capability. You could as well as load up an old Dakota DC-3 as a missile platform as use a $150-million fighter.
· Aha, you say. But how is the Dakota to penetrate enemy air space? And right there you have the penetrating part of PCA. The platform could be a new production F-22. It could also be a B-21 which would carry a fat load. It could be a fighter element of two aircraft of which only one will be manned. It could be entirely unmanned stealth fighters. There is no need to have a traditional 6th Gen fighter. We don’t want to complicate this discussion by saying 6th Gen development will stop. It wont. But elements of 6th Gen technology could be in use much faster. For example, the 6th Gen engine (already in development) will have greater range and other tricks.
· BTW, the new penetrating platforms could well, at some point, have directed energy weapons. No one is going to evade a laser beam. And will have cyber-attack capabilities
· In any event, a bunch of B-21s or new production F-22s or whatever will not just sail through the blue by themselves. The aircraft are systems. And they will be part of bigger systems. Some components: AWACS, EW aircraft, satellites, including last-minute launch of mission specific satellites, long-range SAMs, land- and sea-based, land attack missiles, cyber-attack and cyber-defense up the wazoo, EM weapons and on and on.
· This requires not just colossal amount of money – hundreds of billions, it requires a raft of cutting-edge technologies that are constantly been developed, deployed, redefined, redeployed and so on. The Russians are out of this game for good because they don’t have the economy anymore. The Chinese have money already – 4% of current GDP would give them $400-billion annually. But if there’s one thing we can be confident about. When it comes to war technology no one is going to beat the Americans because it is one thing they are really good at. In any case, but 2070 we’ll have Artificial Intelligence robots doing the fighting. Some say it will be sooner. It could, but simply having a prototype is different from reequipping your entire military.
· BTW, the US wants its UAV operators eligible for combat medals. Allegedly it’s the stress. Excuse us, when did soldiers get combat medals for stress? And how can the non-stop threat of imminent death or maiming on the battlefield be compared with the stress of sitting in a comfy chair in a safe, weather-conditioned bunker? But that’s Americans today for you.
Thursday 0230 GMT June 9, 2016
· Another puzzle: USAF’s PCA concept We can no longer talk about a 6th Gen fighter, replacing F-22, because that concept’s obsolete before a single 6th Gen prototype flew – unless it’s a black program in which case anyone’s guess is good. Instead, we now talk about Penetrating Counter Air. That tells you nothing, right? And that’s deliberate.
· US is supposed to be a land where all the military information you need is leaked all the time and is available on the web. For decades Editor has been saying the US engages in massive deception regarding its military. One of the ways it does that is to release endless reams of low-level information that you can spend your life chasing and still have little clue as to the reality. The real information remains hidden.
· Here’s an example. Younger readers won’t remember Sprint/Spartan, which was an ABM system that was operational only for a very short while in the 1970s before both US/USSR decide to limit ABMs. It accelerated from zero to Mach 10 in five seconds, and reached its intercept altitude of 30-kilometers in 15-seconds. That’s 100 gees. You think that’s fast? Wikipedia reminds Editor that US developed a 400 gee interceptor for last ditch interception at 6000-meters. That’s what fast means. Of course, this is in the golden age of US weapons development, 1940-70, when the US actually made things and iPhones and Starbucks were not the center of our lives.
· Sprint (Spartan was the long-range interceptor) had a neutron warhead, and since at worked at such a low altitude, you weren’t going to end up frying your satellites and so on. Wait a minute, you say: you’re going to kill an incoming warhead with a bunch of neutrons? Well, seeing as the tactical neutron warheads were designed to kill formations of 40-ton battle tanks, a missile warhead would be like tissue paper. Remember, the idea of the neutron bomb was to kill people, not destroy physical stuff by blast. This was needed because if US used tactical nukes in Central Europe against a Soviet tank offensive, it would end up destroying Germany to save it. Understandably, the Germans were not too keen on that.
· Anyhow. Fast forward 40-years, and US now equips its ABMs with hit-to-kill warheads. The interceptor warhead actually rams the incoming missile warhead to destroy it. You’ll doubtless have another “wait a minute “moment. The interceptor warhead is supposed to find a warhead coming in at 10-meters a second (36,000-kmph) out in the big open space above our heads and whack it mano-el-mano? How is that even possible? Incidentally, the hit-to-kill warhead is very rapidly maneuverable to counter incoming maneuvering warheads. That makes the job even harder.
· Okay, so the US says that’s what it does. The question is WHY? How does this make any sense? Why not just use a neutron warhead which gives you a kill radius of hundreds of metersl in Spartan’s case tens of thousands of meters? It is said that Sprint/Spartan was withdrawn because Soviet maneuverable warheads made it obsolete. Okay. That problem is resolved now because the hot-to-kill warhead goes a-dancing and a-prancing. So why not use neutron warheads. True, there was a 30-year treaty not to deployed ABMs. The treaty expired in 2002, US refused to renew, end of treaty. But, you will say, there’s a test-ban treaty, so how are we going to test the neutron warheads. By using petaflop computers, among other things.
· So does the US have a backup plan to use neutron warheads? Let’s just say it would crazy not to, especially with other folks like DPRK, Iran, China, India fielding ICBMs. You can have an accidental launch, a rogue launch, a small-number missile launch and you’re going to rely on a hit-to-kill warhead requiring exquisite precision? Makes no sense. What aiming for hit-to-kill allows you to do is to make very sure your 300-meter diameter neutron warhead will kill. That’s for a missile like Aegis or THAAD BMD. The big fat missiles in Alaska can carry bigger warheads.
· So what is the point of this long digression? That the public does not know the good stuff to do with US defense.
· And the point of the above point? US wants the PCA business by 2030. Which means a whole lot of things have already been done that we don’t necessarily know about. We’ll discuss PCA tomorrow.
Tuesday 0230 GMT June 7, 2016
· Indications of US defenses/plans against PRC anti-carrier missiles Mr. Ronald O’Rourke, who is the US Congressional Research Office expert on the US Navy, kindly sent us this.
· Another potential oversight issue for Congress concerns the Navy’s ability to counter China’s ASBMs. Although China’s projected ASBM, as a new type of weapon, might be considered a “game changer,” that does not mean it cannot be countered. There are several potential approaches for countering an ASBM that can be imagined, and these approaches could be used in combination. The ASBM is not the first “game changer” that the Navy has confronted; the Navy in the past has counters for other new types of weapons, such as ASCMs, and is likely exploring various approaches for countering ASBMs.
Breaking the ASBM’s Kill Chain
· Countering China’s projected ASBMs could involve employing a combination of active (i.e., “hard-kill”) measures, such as shooting down ASBMs with interceptor missiles, and passive (i.e., “soft-kill”) measures, such as those for masking the exact location of Navy ships or confusing ASBM reentry vehicles. Employing a combination of active and passive measures would attack various points in the ASBM “kill chain”—the sequence of events that needs to be completed to carry out a successful ASBM attack. This sequence includes detection, identification, and localization of the target ship, transmission of that data to the ASBM launcher, firing the ASBM, and having the ASBM reentry vehicle find the target ship.
· Attacking various points in an opponent’s kill chain is an established method for countering an opponent’s military capability. A September 30, 2011, press report, for example, quotes Lieutenant General Herbert Carlisle, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for operations, plans, and requirements, as stating in regard to Air Force planning that “We’ve taken [China’s] kill chains apart to the ‘nth’ degree.” In an interview published on January 14, 2013, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the Chief of Naval Operations, stated:
· “In order for one to conduct any kind of attack, whether it is a ballistic missile or cruise missile, you have got to find somebody. Then, you have got to make sure it is somebody you want to shoot. Then, you’ve got to track it, you’ve got to hold that track. Then, you deliver the missile. We often talk about what I would call hard kill—knocking it down, a bullet on a bullet—or soft kill; there is jamming, spoofing, confusing; and we look at that whole spectrum of operations.
And frankly, it is cheaper in the left-hand side of that spectrum.”
· To attack the ASBM kill chain, Navy surface ships, for example, could operate in ways (such as controlling electromagnetic emissions or using deception emitters) that make it more difficult for China to detect, identify, and track those ships. The Navy could acquire weapons and systems for disabling or jamming China’s long-range maritime surveillance and targeting systems, for attacking ASBM launchers, for destroying ASBMs in various stages of flight, and for decoying and confusing ASBMs as they approach their intended targets. Options for destroying ASBMs in flight include developing and procuring improved versions of the SM-3 BMD interceptor missile (including the planned Block IIA version of the SM-3), accelerating the acquisition of the Sea-Based Terminal (SBT) interceptor (the planned successor to the SM-2 Block IV terminal-phase BMD interceptor), and accelerating development and deployment of the electromagnetic rail gun (EMRG), and solid state lasers (SSLs). Options for decoying and confusing ASBMs as they approach their intended targets include equipping ships with systems, such as electronic warfare systems or systems for generating radar-opaque smoke clouds or radar-opaque carbon-fiber clouds, that could confuse an ASBM’s terminal-guidance radar.
· Editor’ note. Pretty simple and straightforward. Notice the bit about “deception emitters”. We’ve been talking about that, making a Task Force appear where it isn’t. The stuff about the carbon fire and opaque smoke to deflect radar guided missiles is new to us, and we don’t know quite why, because we knew about the special smoke decades ago. “Left-side of the kill chain” means kill it before launch or just after. The SM-3 BMD interceptor readers know about; the Block 1 has a range of 2500-km. The Sea Based Terminal interceptor is the Standard 6 missile which is both an ABM and a SAM. We haven’t yet got an estimate for the range, but based on the weapon its replacing, range has to be more than 250-km; we’re guessing 500-km. 1800 are in process of being deployed to the fleet. Though its described as a last-ditch weapon, with the EM rail guns come in and with the laser weapons, there will be two more lines of defense. Right now we don’t know how powerful the ship-board laser will have to be because there won’t be more than 1-2 seconds at most to kill the warhead. Seems to us something bigger than a 100-KW laser will be required.
· We wants readers to know all this because then you’ll realize why the US spends so much money on defense. All this stuff is expensive as all-heck and requires top-of-the-line technology. It takes decades of R&DTE and deployment at each step.
Friday 0230 GMT June 3, 2016
· Liar, liar, pants on fire In the battle for Fallujah, you have two sets of liars. The first, Baghdad, lies without subtlety. After announcing it had surrounded Fallujah in a ring of steel, it now turns out Fallujah is far from surrounded http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36430911 Okay, so what’s new? Hasn’t this happened a zillion times before? The Iraqis think that because they’re Arabs, it’s okay to lie as a matter of course. It is not okay because you do it enough, you can’t distinguish the reality from the fantasy. You lose credibility. Okay, you say, what’s new here? We all know Baghdad has never had any credibility. Why is Editor getting upset?
· Let’s step back a moment and enumerate the balance of forces. IS is supposed to have between 500-1200 fighters inside the city. But that was the original estimate. Just the other day the US said it killed 73 in air strikes. The after that the Iraqis said they had killed 75. This is without the daily grind of air, artillery, and other attacks. Using Indian Army rules, which are much more restrictive than the US Army’s, one dead means two wounded. India does not count men who return to combat from the Regimental Aid Post within 72-hours. At least it didn’t a while back. 150 killed in the two incidents above mean 300 wounded. Which means at the lower edge of the IS fighter count, they’re all wiped out. At the highest end they’re suffered 33% losses, at which points units start losing cohesiveness. But now add casualties from the several other days of fighting, at the minimum IS should have taken 750 casualties, which means it should be over.
· Now, on the Iraqi side we’ve got amazingly accurate US airpower, B-52s with Fuel Air Explosive bombs, US rocket troops, more UAVs than God knows what to do with, and so on. The locals have 30,000 fighters, divided equally between the army, the federal police, and the Shia Iranian militias. Why is this not enough to finish the battle right sharp?
· The Iraqis are saying it’s because they want to minimize civilian casualties. Please, people, you’re giving Editor a tension headache. The truth is you don’t give one tiny little darn about the Fallujah civilians. They’re Baghdad’s mortal enemies, Sunnis. Neither does the US. It certainly didn’t care when it was bombing the heck out of Kobani, Syria. And nor should it. The object is to win, and fast.
· Editor will tell readers what’s happening. First, the Iraq Army is not fighting, and it has not fought in any meaningful sense since the US reorganized. The US effort to train the Iraqi has failed – for the umpteenth time, and our military has been lying its fat butt off about how it is successfully training the Army. Yes, the second Big Liar is the US military. Editor has said this again and again, in every battle, and the US military just continues lying. Second, the Shia militias are being held back for the reason they usually are: they will kill every Sunni they can find, combatant or not. Wouldn’t you, considering what Iraq’s Sunni rulers did to the Shia and what IS has been doing to Shia civilians? They are not fighting. The Federal Police are just that: armed police. They can do second-line duties and that’s it.
· So who is fighting? It’s the Federal Counter Terror police, of whom there are unlikely to be more than 1500. They have done almost ALL the fighting in Anbar. But there’s just so much they can do because they’re so few. And BTW, why are they fighting? Because they are sworn Sunni killers. They’re doing what they live for – and again, we don’t blame them one bit.
· But even these fellers are very tired. They are relying on US airpower and they’re doing their best to minimize their casualties by avoiding risk. And again, Editor can’t blame them. How much more can you expect them to do?
· Remember Fallujah 2004? The Marines and Army went in man-to-man and they killed and captured the 3000 defenders. Sure, they weren’t staging bayonet charges. They cleared Fallujah by blowing up every car, ever house, every structure, street by street, block by block, and district by district. It was a six-week battle. Where are the Iraqi forces to go in street by street? And you cannot blame the Shia militias for not doing that. They aren’t trained for this, nor are they defending their shrines.
· Look, people, at some point Fallujah will fall because the IS will withdraw. They might even lose Raqqa and Mosul. But they will be back. Only the US can do the job of clearing Mosul. The US doesn’t want to because President Nobel Prize has said that massing US forces to do the job is stupid. Okay, so US has made it bed, and it can just darn well spend the next 50-years in the Mideast doing the same thing again and again. But remember: as in Afghanistan, the Iraq insurgents live in their country. If you’re not willing to go and kill them all, guess who is going to quit first. So why bother?
Thursday 0230 GMT June 2, 2016
· President Obama embarrasses the US again by calling for a world without nuclear weapons. No, this is not the embarrassment that comes from his random free-floating fancies, as happened at Hiroshima when he wanted us to use the occasion of his visit as an opportunity to raise our collective consciousness. That was a doozy: so Sixties, but those folks at least an excuse: they were smashed out of their minds on drugs.
· The Big O this time embarrasses because of his grating naiveté and lack of historical knowledge. Is he aware that at the end of WW2 the US offered to unilaterally relinquish atomic weapons provided the rest of the world did the same? And guess what the USSR’s reply to that was? Their own A-firecracker. Followed by the UK, followed by the French, followed by China, followed by India and so on.
· The moment passed, it cannot return unless we create One World because (a) there is no trust; (b) fool-proof verification is impossible if someone is determined to cheat; (c) smaller powers facing larger ones will not give up their arsenals or their options; and (d) we need to protect ourselves should unfriendly aliens show up. And no, we are not talking of Mexicans busting through the border, but real aliens.
· Let’s consider this alien business With all the thousands of exoplanets already discovered, and likely hundreds of millions if not hundreds of billions or hundreds of trillions of others waiting to be discovered in our galaxy alone, saying there are no aliens so we don’t need to defend ourselves is probably not the best idea we’ve had.
· Some say that the aliens will be much more advanced than us and so resistance will not be feasible. Okay, but if a hundreds persons armed with machineguns and rockets attack your house, resistance will also be futile. Should you then throw away your guns? (In Editor’s case, his imaginary gun.) That is not the nature of human beings.
· As for the aliens being so powerful that our weapons will be useless, consider this. In 1934 Leo Szilard came up with a feasible theoretical concept for creating a nuclear chain reaction. Just eleven years later the US used atomic weapons in a war. These days you cannot get a toilet seat designed and approved in eleven years. Given the exponential rate at which human knowledge is growing, it is impossible for us to even conceive of what we could do in a hundred years let alone a thousand. Let’s not underestimate ourselves in the death and destruction department.
· Others have said that a spacefaring civilization would be so highly evolved that it would arrive peacefully and act only to help us. Giggle. Just like we arrived in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Australia only to help the natives.
· Readers, be sure to keep your personal N-weapon wrapped warmly in its pink blankie, and give it lots of hugs and smoochies before putting it to bed for the night. You never know when you’ll need it.
Monday 0230 GMT May 30, 2016
Conversation with “Shipkiller” on random US Navy topics
· Do the DDG-51/CG-47 classes have main battery missile reloads? No definite answer given, but they can be reloaded at sea, with difficulty. Up through the flight IIA Burkes they have the gear.
· “On VLS CGs (the first flight used MK26 launchers) the canisters would be received from the Ammo ship via STREAM rig to the port sliding padeye and then moved fore or aft along the main deck using dollies on both ends and sailors pushing. Obviously sea state is a limiting factor. The VLS launcher had a folding crane occupying the same space as 3 cells which unfolds and picks up the canisters to put them in the cells. The ship would have a full outfit of all the dollies, slings, brackets, etc required.
· “The big issue would be the complexity and limitations of trying to reload while underway. Pier side it's a several day evolution to on load or offload a ship load out, so you can imagine that underway it would probably take much longer.
· “The built in crane was not capable of loading the Mark 21 VLS launch canister for the SM-2 Block IV rounds, or the Mark 14 canister for the Tomahawk, as both of these were several tons too heavy for the crane. The cranes are have been removed during overhauls and the 6 cells freed up by removing the cranes (one in each launcher group) were of far more value.”
· Does Zumwalt have MHD drive “The Navy wishes that had an operational magnetohydrodynamic drive.”
· Why were only 3 Zumwalt built? “The 3 DDG1000's turned out to be too expensive (and a bit too much over the top for the rather conservative Navy Brass to swallow). They will be test beds, show the flag & flagships for Non-Flat top (CVN/LHA) battle groups.”
· Russia claims Zumwalt cannot be stealthy due height and size “Stealth reduces the radar cross section, making long(er) range detection harder, it doesn't make it "invisible" to sensors. That being said, the ever swinging pendulum of defense vs. offence is not in Stealth technologies favor anymore.
· Why does US Navy say Zumwalt is for littoral operations, given its size? “They are "blue water" ships and are not going to be used in the "Littoral" (rather nebulous term ~200 NM or so off the coast)”.
· Thoughts on the LCS “frigate”? “In my opinion, the LCS is a complete waste of time & effort. Poor survivability, under gunned, too expensive & cranky (even with additional crew added, they are completely over tasked). I'm thinking the Navy had the "Flower" class corvette in mind (aka torpedo catchers) but forgot the cheap and expendable part. Might make a good artificial reef.”
· What makes the Burke DD-51/CG-47 the worlds’s “most survivable warship”?
· “The Burkes are for a modern warship, very tough & the most capable surface combatant in the USN, and likely the world. But like any post WW2 ship, it isn't designed to take multiple heavy caliber shell hits, or in this day & age, Anti-ship missiles (or SAMS in surface mode, or even a heavy anti -tank round (c.f. Milan II [Sitting in the Adriatic post breakup of Yugoslavia, ATM armed Helos kept me up at night.]). Such a hit = mission kill, many hits = swimming with the fishes!”
Friday 0230 GMT, May 27, 2016
Friday 0230 GMT, May 27, 2016
· Dear McDonald’s The other day a former CEO of yours said that proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, “was nonsense and would lead to “job loss like you could not believe””. You will have to substitute robots for humans. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/25/former-mcdonalds-ceo-threatens-replace-employees-robots That’s Economics 1, which yours truly flunked, but even he understands that rising labor costs will be substituted by machines.
· Of course, you are bluffing about using robots to replace $15/hr workers, but at some point, unless wages are permanently suppressed, and as machines get cheaper per unit as more are made, your prediction applies.
· 42% of US workers make less than $15/hr (median wage) http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2016/03/28/how_many_workers_earn_less_than_15_per_hour.html I don’t know if you aware, but $15/hr really is the minimum needed to live in most of the US. Be happy to explain it to you another time. If you have dependents, say a parent or a wife with young children, then of course $15/hr doesn’t work. But I agree with you: where in the Constitution does it say a person is entitled to earn enough to live, forget about dependents. There’s no need to get married and have kids, as for elder care, old people can just sit in the armchairs and drool away till they die.
· So what this comes down to is the US economic system cannot assure 42% of its workers a living wage. An immediate result of this is that folks cannot afford the products you and your brothers bring to market. If robots were economical at $15/hr, then in addition to the unemployed and underemployed, some 55% of folks would have no jobs. How are you going to make a profit, then?
· There’s another aspect to this which I suspect you don’t understand. If only 1 in 2 workers have jobs, how are you going to keep them on the reservation? You cannot. There will anarchy as the have-nots attack (a) your robots and establishments; (b) you and yours. Do you think the police, private security, and the army are going to stand and risk their lives for you? Not only will there be a 50% chance that they themselves have unemployed, desperate family and members, 100-million jobless will simply overrun 5-million protectors – remember, a goodly number of those 100-million are armed.
· So these folks will have to be bought off. That could mean a 70% tax on you and yours. It could be more. That being the case, why not avoid the tax by paying folks more so they don’t feel the need to put your head on a stake after they’ve guillotined you, your wife, and your children. Can’t happen here? Think again. Also please remember that goodly number of those with jobs will also join the mob, because it’s the right thing to do.
· But wont 70% tax rates, like, destroy the economy? Our most prosperous times were in the period 1940-70. Tax rates were, like, 80%, 88%, 94%, until in the latter half of the 1960s, they went down to 70%, about 30-percentage points higher than today. http://taxfoundation.org/article/us-federal-individual-income-tax-rates-history-1913-2013-nominal-and-inflation-adjusted-brackets
· Mr. Ex-CEO, don’t look at me for an explanation. I’m not the one earning tens of millions of dollars/annual. I’m not as smart as you. You explain, and I’ll listen.
0230 GMT Wednesday May 25, 2016
· More on DDG 1000 Zumwalt Okay, Editor got 15-minutes off today to do some real research. Two things we forgot to mention. Despite size of 16,000-ton, the ship has a crew of just 158 or so. That’s including the aviation detachment. And that’s half the crew on the DDG-51 ships. So clearly the ship is automated to an unprecedented degree. That has Editor wonder: what about damage control? That’s when you need humans. In case of combat damage, do the crew just seal off the damaged part of the ship and carry on as if nothing happened?
· The second thing is that the ship has an electric drive, as will the next generation of US missile submarines. So the ship is much quieter and there’s no mechanical parts, critical for protection against submarines, and simplifying maintenance. We haven’t yet figured out if the electric drive is the same as a MHD. If so, you get a very maneuverable ship capable of throwing hard turns. Critical for self-defense.
· Two new things we learned. First, the 20 x 4 missile VLS cells are arrayed peripherally around the ship. This is another damage limitation feature, allowing the ship to keep fighting. Second, we’d mentioned the ship has 72-MW of power. This was bothering us as it didn’t seem to be enough to maneuver as well as fire the railguns and lasers. Answer turned out to be simple: there’s 58-MW of reserve power for the weapons. Moreover, the ship is networked not just in the electronic sense as we’d assumed. Power can be distributed between different uses as the tactical situation requires. Slow down, and more power can be sent to the weapons. Which then raises the question: can more power be supplied to propulsion. BTW, we look suspiciously at the stated 30-knot speed We suspect its higher.
· You see the problem Editor was whining about? You learn one thing, and there’s more 10 things you need to find out. The one thing Editor has not been to learn: since these are experimental ships, what’s the follow-up design? You need to start these things 10-years earlier, and that’s assuming you’re happy with the performance of the experimental systems.
· The Bill Cosby business Okay, let’s start by agreeing the man is a major creep. Big time creep. There’s may be about 58 women have come forward to say they were assaulted by him, usually after being drugged and unable to give consent. Then there’s the matter of his now saying that at some point his studio would weekly send 5-6 models presumably aspiring, to – er – service him.
· Nonetheless, Editor would like to be the Devil’s Advocate here. Notice, not play the Devil’s Advocate which would not be truthful. Editor is going to say stuff that will doubtless upset many women. So be warned. Stop reading and evacuate to a safe place, or be prepared to be harmed.
· First, is it moral or ethical to bring up stuff that happened up to 50-years ago? The older the case, the harder it is for the defendant to prove his case, or even recall whom he had gotten together with. The more it becomes a case of “she said”. It becomes hearsay. This is not right no matter how you look at it.
· Second, would Cosby’s actions sound as bad if he simply gotten the women drunk? After all, that’s the way it used to be in Cosby’s time. Still is, and people use drugs too. Let’s not go into this, because you’ll be asking how does Editor know. Look, to witness things is not to have participated in them. That’s all the Editor will say. This is not an equally-opportunity thing because if a lady gets a man drunk, he won’t be able to – er – perform.
· Third, when women hook with a famous person, or even with a not famous person, how can they say: “I was incapacitated and could not give consent”? Once up in the man’s room ready to party, by which law does it say that at ALL times, the woman has to be complete charge of the encounter, and if any time she says “stop” the man has to stop? Why are you there with him in the first place? To read the Bible? You have already given consent if you are alone with him.
· Last, when the lawyer for some of the women, a well-known “feminist”, has repeatedly said “He needs to set up a $100-million fund to compensate these women”, we come to the heart of the matter. It’s about blackmail. Someone you hooked up with got you intoxicated and took advantage of it. You are so damaged that you hate to hide it until this lawyer and others trolled you to come forward. If the women are really insistent on justice, let them declare any damages they gain will go to charity. If the lawyers are so insistent on justice, let them say they will do the same thing.
· Then Editor is completely on your side. He has total respect for you. Otherwise, sorry, the women are not much better than this man. Who is pretty low, but that’s the world of famous men – and women.
0230 GMT Monday, May 23, 2016
· Spent 4 hours updating Italy today and need another four to finish. Most annoyingly, the Italian Army website was giving 404s every time we tried to get into real detail. So we had to temporarily use Wikipedia, and this is such an unprofessional thing to do – even if the Wikipedia author had also used the official website. Now after updating fully, we’ll still have to find official sources, so this may require another 4+ hours. So we’ll end up spending 12+ hours on something we’ll never make an Euro cent on.
· Did we ever mention that actually we have another separate site altogether for the professional stuff? Not to worry, no one else does, including prospective clients. Most of the time Editor himself forgets it’s there. Also not to worry: this website will be available free as long as you have an organizational email, such as a dot EDU. After 16 years of trying to make this into a working proposition where at least our contributors and Editor gets paid something for the work, Editor has given up and is going to give it away free. Folks like Jane’s will simply copy the stuff verbatim and make money on it, what they heck, at least ordinary folks will get to see the material without being held hostage by Jane’s and so on. And of course, out stuff is very much more detailed than Jane’s.
· Wait, if it’s that good, why aren’t we selling? Jeez, you all are as naïve as Editor. A couple of Editor’s friends he approached who are retired from marketing took a look at things, free of charge. The problem? Jane’s has a brand, we don’t. So even if Jane’s idea of an orbat for the French Army consists of listing the brigades and their regiments, whereas we have it down to companies, people are not going to going to buy our stuff.
· Again, you’ll say, wait another second: they have to take one look at your stuff and they know it’s far better. Why would they not buy it?
· This puzzled Editor for many long years. Remember our young friend the critic who was after Editor to put this enterprise on a professional basis? He said something terribly profound though he didn’t realize it. He said that people don’t want to sit there going through reams of papers staring at figures. They want context, they want explanations. So we’re going to pull back a little and tell you what’s Jane’s World Armies is actually about. This we found doing a little – ahem – investigating from within Jane’s.
· It’s simply advertising. The World Armies thing is just an excuse for the advertising. That is done in two ways: actual ads, and material that gives a tyro general contacts for folks who want the goodies advertising. Now, get this: the contacts are easily found on the web. That is where Jane’s gets that information. They are not the real contacts, for which you pay arms dealers millions of dollars. As for the truly sad, uninformative, banal, and sterile analyses of each world army, any of our readers could produce them for an army with which they are familiar. Jane’s is not going to waste money on paying for real orbats because its clients wouldn’t know what a real orbat if it smacked them on the tushie. Jane’s is a brand. You cannot afford to NOT buy it because then you show how ignorant and déclassé you are. Additionally, very cleverly, Jane’s has split the book into many, many different books, which are simply gorgeous ads for the manufacturers, and use the performance figures given by the manufacturer.
· We don’t want you to think that’s all Jane’s World Armies is. Its brilliantly thought out to give a big return at very low cost for HIS, the parent company.
· When Editor learned this and more – a dense 40-page report – he went: Gasp! How can people not WANT to look at pages and pages of figures! Editor could spend his whole life doing just that. At this point, we need to turn from the world of reference books to the world of the – er – looney doctors. They’ve been very kind and helpful to Editor in their attempts to get him to be “normal”. It apparently takes a highly deranged personality to do what Editor does, and keep at it day and night, decade after decade. But what about intelligence types?
· Editor knew many of them. Here’s the thing. They’re in intelligence because it’s their job. They specialize. They come to office and they read and research and look at reports, and put their unique thing down. They go home. A very few are obsessive. But none as obsessed as Editor. None of them covers the whole world. So there will be someone sitting in the US DIA who knows everything to be known about – say – Indian tank regiments. But not only has s/he little interest in other countries’ tank regiments, s/he are not allowed access to anything out of area.
· Moreover, if you give Editor one fact, he immediately wants to know 10 more about that fact, and then he wants to know 10 more about each of the ten. Though Editor focuses primarily on defense, he’s like that about ALL facts. The other day, he saw something on the Australian scram jet. He had to go back and look at the X-15, to see if the Ozzies had broken the X-15 record. They had, but the Ozzie thing is unmanned; X-15 very much holds the record for manned. Okay, so why not move on to something else. Editor starts going through X-15 test flights. Then he finds he’s rusty on the X-planes of when he was young, and he knows little about the latest ones, except numbers and very approximate performance characteristics. So he starts reading up history and more up to date stuff. Then – and you’ve guessed this – he has to go back and see what the Germans were up to on such high speed aircraft. Not much, the technology was just getting conceived. But then he has to look up the rumors on Germany’s anti-gravity plans. He’s just settling down when there’s a phone call from the telecom provider saying he’s 2 months overdue on his bills and unless he pays in 7-days they’re cutting his service. Editor is angry at being interrupted but has to grit his teeth, look at his account, finds he’s been paying monthly but has been forgetting to click the Submit button.
· So, sorry to bore you on this, but half-way people are not as crazed as Editor. All he has do it make a slight change to the Italian Ariete Brigade (add a reconnaissance regiment, delete a tank regiment) and the next he knows he’s reading the World War II history of the 132nd Ariete Division.
· The sum of it all is that what Editor wants to do is not saleable. So might as well give it for free.
· Okay – wait, you’re asking what it would cost to build a brand? His marketing friends said $3-5 million as a first tranche, they’d work for free till there was a profit, which might be in 5-years and it might not. That’s just for building the brand, not for operations, and every year more tranches of money…
· Bother. Time to go back and see what happened to the Tridentina and Julia Alpine Divisions in the Russian campaign. These are the last two Alpini brigades left in the Italian Army. How can you understand the 2016 brigades unless you go back to 1942? And that’s just the start…
0230 GMT Sunday May 22, 2016
· A short discussion of USS Zumwalt DDG 1000 We won’t bore you to sleep right at the start by going through the history of the design. Suffice it to say it originated from the Destroyer 21st Century which was to be the follow-on to Burke class missile destroyer which is the work horse of the US surface combatant fleet. Sixty-two are in service, more building, and the earliest units under refurbishment. Though called destroyers, they fill-load at almost 10,000-tons and cost a cool $2-billion each. The same hull is used for the CG-47 cruiser class. We’d have to refresh our memory to tell you why the same displacement ship is both a destroyer and a cruiser, so we’ll let that go for a moment.
· Destroyers are the navy’s jacks-of-all-trades. There’s basically nothing you can’t use a destroyer for. So it’s always nice to have as many as possible. The Burke DDGs were built to be the most survivable US warships ever, and again, we’d have to recheck what makes them more survivable than the other.
· Instead of the 32 Zumwalts originally programmed, just three are in the class. That is why the destroyer costs a whacking $7-billion. One of the great mysteries of life is why the US reduced the class so drastically. Saying cost escalation makes no sense, because when you go down from 32 to 3, you for sure will get a huge cost escalation. The best guess Editor has heard is that these are now seen as essentially as a test class. The US Navy is usually forthcoming about its plans, but there is no indication as to what the next real destroyer class will be, but we can reasonably assume it will use the same hull.
· So what has changed in naval warfare that the US is using its 21st Century destroyer class as test-ships? Obviously something big is expected to happen. We can only guess, because from the start the US Navy has been tight-lipped about the Zumwalts. First, please to note they displace almost 16,000-tons full load. The US Navy’s later World War II heavy cruisers (Baltimore and subsequent classes) were – if we remember correctly what we were told – reached almost 18,000-tons. So there is a lot of space inside. But what is the space filled with? Right now, apparently not all that much. What exactly is the US Navy working on that will fill the ship? Don’t know.
· We must tell you the Russians have been making fun of the ship, saying how can something 16-stories high be stealthy, and how it has such a pathetic armament, just 80 missiles and two guns. Tut tut. Surely know by now that US ships carry reloads. Given how much more cubic volume the DDG 1000s have compared to the DDG-51/CG-47s, it is likely that they can pack 300+ missiles with ease. One version of the ship was designed for 500 missiles.
· Now, the Russians are right to ask how such a big, high ship can be stealthy. We certainly don’t know. Stealth coatings normally operate by absorbing radar emissions. The ones used on aircraft like the B-2 are delicate, to put it mildly. But warships operate in environmentally harsh conditions. All those hundreds of salt water hitting the ships in bad weather, and the spray in regular conditions could not be good for coatings. Which is why stealth warships are shaped to scatter radar emissions, not absorb them. DDG-1000 must absorb them as well as scatter them. One of the oddities about the ship is that for all its size, it is designed to operate for extended periods in littoral waters. There has to be some trick to hiding it when its operate close to shore.
· Back to the guns. They’re obviously Electro Magnetic rail guns. The ship has 78-MW of power; we kind of suspect it is or will be more. Plenty of power for the EMGs and beam weapons. Given the amount of space, there’s plenty of room for a couple of thousands of 155mm (8-inch) slugs. We say slugs and not shells because there’s no explosive. No need, because the 20-kg slug has a velocity of about 8000-kmph, and the gun fires 10 per minute. Whatever that slug hits, ship, missile, or hardened shore position the result will be a very big ouchie. Missile? Yes. Because the velocity is so high it can be used against missiles.
· For the rest, the ship carries 3 MQ-8 Firescout UAV and 2 UH-60 type helicopters. This beastie is used for ASW as well as normal scout missions, and it is very reliable. On one test it flew 10 sorties lasting a cumulative 24-hours. It should be able to carry a lightweight torpedo but we don’t know if that is planned.
· There’s a lot more to this ship than at first sight.
Saturday 0230 GMT May 21, 2016
· US Army disgraces itself at NATO tank shoot This news is enough to depress anyone who naively believes that our country is great. https://t.co/573zpmRgaR The US and five West/Central NATO countries had a shoot-out at the Grafenwoehr; the US team, apparently from 3rd Mechanized Division failed to place. PzBn 7 from PzBde took first; 1st Danish Tank Battalion took second, Polish 34th Armored Cavalry Brigade took third. No one seems to know which position the US took. Or maybe no one wants to know.
· By the way, the US got to field two platoons. Everyone got one. Why? No idea, but we had twice the chances to get it right. As only to be expected, Popular Mechanics, which carried the article, tied the performance to a statement made by some general the other day that since we’ve been fixated on counterinsurgency, we’ve lost other skills.
· Really? How many tank battalions went to Iraq or Afghanistan? True some army mechanized and artillery battalions were used as infantry in Iraq, but we left almost 5-years ago. So what is our excuse?
· The Germans can’t even get a brigade into action, but they trounced us. And the Danes: nice people, but as far as Editor recalls they have precisely 1 battalion worth of tanks (4 companies). And the Poles? For heaven’s sake, they were using some hybrid tank of their own. The Germans used the Leopard A6, the Danes the Leopard A5, the Americans M-1A2s. (By the way, Shawn Dudley reminds us that the Danes are considered very competent.)
· Now, look, there are all sorts of factors here we don’t know about. Did the US send its best crews, or were the platoons from the rotation brigade in Europe? Did the US crews train for the competition? The last shoot-out took place in 1991. Has the US Army stopped taking these things seriously? On the other hand, the US Army/Marines are the last to see armor combat, in 2003 and some actions subsequently. Was this a conspiracy for the Army to get more training money: this is most unlikely. And so on. But notice Editor is talking like a sports journalist, making excuses for his fave team. In combat the only thing that matters is: are you alive at the end of the fight or are you dead? Relying on the adversary to be even more incompetent than you are doesn’t seem like the best idea.
· Some years ago, US National Guard tank battalions were getting 22 main gun rounds a year. This was, needless to say, totally unacceptable. Has the same thing been happening to the regulars? How many rounds to Marine crews get? Etc etc.
· By the way, who won the US Army/Marines/Canadian forces 2016 competition for top tank gun? Here’s the winning crew: 1st Lt. John Dupre, insurance adjustor; Sgt. Curtis Bowen, delivery driver for Pepsi; Spc. Brandon Sinor, senior at East Carolina University; and Spc. Phillip Hill, aspiring police officer. Our foreign readers will likely go: “Huh?”, but the American readers will know this has to be a National Guard crew. In this case, according to Fayetteville Observer, from 1/252nd Armor, a North Carolina unit http://tinyurl.com/z7mp3wo. Yes, yes, Editor is perfectly aware that Guard crews are more stable than regular crews because they spend years together, but these fellows achieved this on 22 rounds/year?
· When Editor was young (okay, okay, when he was younger) he had a sticker: America Love It or Leave It. Looks like it’s time for a new sticker: America Get It Together or Get Out.
Friday 0230 GMT May 20, 2016
· Dear Hillary The latest Rasmussen poll (May 19) shows that you have a lead of 11% among women, but Donald has a lead of 22% among men. I wonder what your thoughts on this are. Now, I know polls are problematic. Among the problems is that they are only a snapshot in time. Given the nature of the 35,040-quarter-hour per year news cycle putative reality can change very quickly. Another problem is each poll creates new reality. So, no need for a long discussion on this, just wanted to let know that though at 122 my IQ is a lot less than yours, I do understand we should avoid paying much attention to polls.
· Now, since I do not move in your elevated circles obviously I cannot have your opinion. My guess is that you will blow off this gap and say that men cannot accept a strong woman. I always feel this standard comeback by women is a bit odd, but let’s not digress. My experience after 26-years back in the States, is the 5% of women you belong to consistently put down men as savages that need to be castrated so that insecure you can feel safe. Unsurprisingly, you have a disproportionate impact on the media, so us men feel constantly demeaned.
· An example. The other day George Will wrote in the Washington Post about a case in which two college students had consensual sex. A young lady saw marks on her friend’s neck and asked if she had been assaulted. The student no, everything was consensual. End of the matter. The school decided she was assaulted and too intimidated by her boyfriend to say so. So acting on her behalf the school suspended the boyfriend until she graduates.
· Men identify you as the sort of woman who would lead the inquisition to burn the boyfriend to the stake. They don’t hate strong women. They hate women who believe their primary function in life is to make themselves victims of men, and use victimhood as an excuse to suppress men.
You go on and on about you as the champion of women. So what about the men who constitute 49% of the population? You’re not going to be our president too?
· So I will stop now and leave you to gasp in shock and anger at the crudity of men, me being one of them. In truth, I could give you a 100,000-word thesis to make my point. First, however, nothing I say will change your mind. Second, why do I need 100,000-words to state something as obvious as: “the sun rises and the world is bathed in light; the sun sets and the world is bathed in darkness”. Duh. (Sorry: men are middle-schoolers at heart. But you know, most women don’t want men who are women with different plumbing. Double Duh.)
Thursday 0230 GMT May 19, 2016
Okay, off-track as usual, but for a reason. Editor has been furiously applying for online adjunct positions; no chance of a proper job at school (too ancient), and subbing was pushing him further into debt. Yesterday we were about to update when 2 more job openings arrived and that took 3-hours.
So where is Part II of the misadventures of Orbat.com? We’ll get to it, meanwhile some interesting things have been happening that might interest you.
· The US election seems to have taken a strange turn Editor is speaking from intuition, but then as he has said many times, you cannot be a good military/intel analyst (or a good anything) without intuition. Intuition is not a mystical thing. It is simply picking up clues unconsciously that nag at you until the light-bulb goes off. No, Editor did not say “off” by accident. Sometimes you see things better in the dark when there’s fewer distractions.
· The first weird thing is that while Hilary is getting a $1-billion war chest ready, Donald has still refused to provide an address where folks can send him money. Newt Gingrich said the other day, only partly in jest that Donald has gotten $2-billion worth of free publicity. And you will notice he continues to get freebies. Tuesday he did a 20-minute interview with Megan Kelly, the aggressive Fox lady whom he abused and humiliated and bullied. You can bet folks were watching that instead of Hillary, if only because Ms. Kelly is an eyeful. Donald and she had a very public reconciliation – carefully staged by both sides. They are now Best Friends Forever. And you can bet Ms. Kelly will be talking a lot to Donald. If this continues, Donald will go into the final round without being beholden to big donors. Hillary is owned by big donors
· The second weird thing is that Hillary won Kentucky – a southern state – by less than 1%. Hillary has a lock on the Democratic South because of the black vote and because Bill is still recalled nostalgically. He was, after all, America’s first black president. Yes, of course he’s white. But he understood the black soul far, far better than Obama who in his soul is a white northern intellectual. Bernie is pondering a recount request. Meanwhile, Bernie won Oregon. He will never catch up, but he is fighting for his principles and people love him for that. Hillary, sorry to say, has no principles. Also meanwhile, the public is suffering from Hillary exhaustion. She’s been in the news since 1992, and she has nothing new to say. Americans like new, and they like being entertained. Hillary is not entertaining.
· The third weird thing is that Hillary has just said she will put Bill in charge of economic policy – harking back to Bill’s decade which is remembered for prosperity. Are people so foolish that they don’t realize now is not then and there is nothing Bill can do? But that isn’t our point. Many are disturbed by the thought of the First Husband in the White House because he can’t get his zip closed. But even that is not our point. When Hillary was First Lady she got charge of Health reform, in which she has no expertise, simply because she was Mrs. Bill. Equally, Bill will be in charge of economic affairs not because he has expertise, but because he’s Mr. Hillary. This is all quite below board.
· Meantime, the pyswar on both sides is in full swing. all the old stories about Bill’s Bimbos are running around again, especially about his mistress of many years who lives next door and is known to the Secret Service as the Energizer. Y’all smart enough to figure that out. This not a Bill’s Bimbo. This is a serious relationship. Then a former BB is saying Bill told her Hillary is a lesbian, and stuff is coming up about Huma and Hillary, and Monica saying Hillary hit on her and so on, and Hillary not wanting any kids until Bill persuaded her they needed kids for their career, this being America and all.
· Now look, people, it isn’t anyone’s darn beeswax what Hill and Bill’s private deal is. It’s their marriage. But this is America. We all sin with great gusto, but we want our public figures to be perfect in every respect including picture-perfect marriages. How this is going play out, Editor can’t say. He thinks it won’t play out, Hill’s core constituency doesn’t give two darns. In fact, this lesbian thing will get her extra votes. But – as has been pointed out to Editor, neither side is going to win on the core. It’s the 28% undecided. If 1-2% are put off, that could sink the ship.
· The ex-Bimbo is saying Bill isn’t a good lover, but for heaven’s sakes, even Editor’s raccoons who live in his backyard know that. Makes him more human. Oh yes, Bill would don Bimbo’s black nightie and prance around the bedroom playing his saxophone. What a guy! Editor would vote him just for that. But how is this going to play out with Hillary’s feminists? No difference says Editor, but it can give independents movements of sea-sickness.
· Hillary has fired a pathetic broadside against Donald, bringing up his links with a Russia builder who has mafia ties. The problem is, its established Donald under oath said he had no knowledge of the man’s criminal links. BTW, this same man was reporting on mafia/crime people for the FBI – at the same time. The man promised to bring Donald business, never did. Editor does not see how this compares with a black nightie clad, prancing, president playing sax for his naked girlfriend d’jour. Besides everyone knows that the New York City construction biz is owned top-to-bottom by crime syndicates. You don’t want to pay, they don’t play. Your building does not get built.
· By the way Mrs. Trump, young as she is and imperfect as her command of English is, is apparently very canny. You can get her to talk, but you can’t get her to reveal a thing. Think about this a second: who do you prefer to see every day on the White House news: Mrs. Trump or Mrs. Clinton? Before the Hillary lady supporters start attacking, here is Editor’s response: oh please! All men know they are shallow and sex obsessed. The feminist ladies can scream all they want and intimidate men to silence, they cannot change what we are and what we think. So there.
Tuesday 0230 GMT May 17, 2016
· Now one of our young friends is scolding Editor about Orbat.com. He hates the splash page – “amateurish”. And he says Editor nothing to promote World Armies, prefer to sit there and curse the darkness instead of lighting a candle.
· Now, our young friend creates a dilemma for Editor. He is very fond of young people and is happy to indulge them. And young people are the future. They have energy. They have drive. They have ambition. Without youngsters there would be no progress. The world would stagnate itself into stasis. This is why Nature doesn’t let us live forever. The deadwood needs clearing so that new growth can take its place. Nature dictates we either grow and adapt to changes, or we reach an evolutionary dead end.
· So how to tell the young friend: hey, I’m twice as old as you, and don’t you think I know what you’re saying? Don’t you think I’ve tried everything? What’s the point of being old if you haven’t tried everything six different ways and failed?
· To clear up a simple matter, the splash page. Somethings Editor does well. Somethings he doesn’t know how to do. For example, one of his professors who works for Department of Homeland Security wants a paper from Editor about DHS’s central role as national security civilian lead agency on cybersecurity. Well, till El Professore told Editor the task, he had no idea that DHS has anything to do with cybersecurity. But: no problem. 60-hours (one week in which he went to work five days), the paper is ready, 15-double-spaced pages, 110 references. Not only does Editor cover DHS’s role, he discusses the effort of the military cyber agencies to take the role away from DHS; identifies the major threats; makes a case that cybersecurity may be impossible for human operators; and that the only solution may be AI. Which then creates another issue: when AI becomes so much smarter than us, why should it let us rule the world? Pros and cons of AI cybersecurity controllers discussed etc etc Professor gives Editor a 97% and its done.
· Now see Editor try and put together his new lightweight battery-powered lawn mower. He cant push his normal gas powered mower around anymore, $72 for the new one, which Editor cannot afford, but if you let the grass grow too high, the city comes in without permission, mows it for you and presents you with a bill. That money covers about 1.5 mowings. In the spring and summer the grass needs to be cut twice a week. As they say, do the math.
· So the manual says it should take less than 10-minutes to assemble the mower. After all, there’s four parts and one screw. Editor’s granddaughter could do it in 5-minutes – without looking at the manual. It takes Editor 8-hours. Of course, he has to let it go and do other things because his vision is blurred and his hands are shaking with the effort. Aside from being blind and clumsy, what other problem does Editor have? He cannot read manuals. No ifs and buts, candy and nuts, no Christmas all year round. Being learning disabled, Editor can put 10,000 discrete piece of data into a coherent whole – by hand, no computer. But he cannot read the one-page manual.
· So, Editor completely understands his young friend’s complaint with the front page. And Editor is exceedingly fed up of people telling him: it takes ten minutes to set up a clean, sleek web pages; the instructions are right there, a 10-year old can follow them to get a professional page. Hello? Does anyone understand he is not 10-years old and he cannot read instructions?
· Okay, on to marketing World Armies. Editor is a total victim of the old American prescription: work sincerely, give value to your customers, and you will succeed.
Monday 0230 GMT May 15, 2016
· Denmark choses F-35 over Typhoon & Super Hornet The Danish selection process is something the Indians could benefit from. The Danes looked at what they needed for a specified capability, not just pulled numbers out of the air. Then they analyzed how many aircraft of each kind they needed for that capability. Super Hornet came in 38 aircraft, Typhoon at 34, and F-35 at 28. Then they did a 30-year life-cycle costing – and released it for the world to see. Taking the F-35 cost at 1, Super Hornet was 1.5, and Typhoon at 2.
· Please to note: (a) no discussion of is this plane better or is that plane better, in terms of parameters that were not, AFAIK, revealed; only planes that met the requirement in the first place were permitted to compete. (b) complete transparency with an accurate estimate of costs; not like our French friends, who like our Russian friends don’t believe in offering a fair price. They bid low, and then just keep increasing the price the further the production gets. No playing games like we did in an underhand bid to get the performance specs of the F-16, which we had no intent of buying. (c) Rafale was NOT considered. Readers can derive their own conclusions from this.
· Re. F-16, it is a very magical airplane. When offered to us, its old and unwanted. When given to Pakistan, it becomes such an invincible bird that we are ready to freeze our burgeoning relationship with the US over 18 aircraft. So, Government of India, please do tell what’s so special about F-16s painted in PAF colors? Is India so frightened? Is it so moronic? Is it incapable of any rational thought? Yes, yes, yes. Then people wonder why, when in 1980 our GDP was the same as China’s, do they now have four times our GDP?
· Thoughts on Kalki, and on Christ’s second Coming
· We like to say that China has no rule of law, government/developers just walk in and beat the heck out of anyone refusing to accept the pittance the government offers until they leave. This is true. But is that the only reason China has 4x our GDP? Hardly, it might be just one of 10 major reasons. Can Government of India explain to its people why Indian farmers resist land acquisition so fanatically? Here’s a solution, GOI. Try paying the farmers market prices plus hardship-to-move costs. What our democratic, law-abiding government does instead is try and pay a fraction of the price the land is worth, subsidizing capitalists at the expense of farmers. Isn’t the Chinese system of force in effect doing the same thing, cheating the poor for the benefit of the rich?
· At least the Chinese are honest about what they do. And they get people off the land in weeks, whereas it takes us years. Is offering our farmers a fraction of market price adherence to the rule of law? So, as usual, we are not only hypocritical, we are also inefficient.
· The US has the best possible system. Thanks to manipulations by its political elite, the Americans have made robbing the have-nots to enrich the already rich perfectly legal! Thus, Hillary may spend $1-billion on her presidential campaign. The people who give her big money are not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. Reasonably, they demand a return. That return is that they as the rich get even more money.
· Is this not horrific corruption? Well, not legally. No one is breaking any laws. Of course it is immoral and unethical. But who among the American elite cares about morality or ethics? In that respect, Indians are far superior to Americans who insist India is corrupt. We are. But at least we admit it. We don’t moralize and act superior. It is unbearable to have so utterly corrupt a ruling class as we do in America, and then have the Americans lecture everyone else.
· In the Year of Our Lord 2016, there is no reason – not one – that even one person on earth should be without food, proper shelter, education, medical care, and dignity. Yet we live in a world drowning in misery because rulers everywhere (most of the developed nations excepted, obviously not the US) seek power at all costs.
· So, the obvious question: when will Kalki, and Christ, return to earth to punish the unjust and reward the just? There are days Editor thinks Kalki, and even Christ with his infinite mercy, are not going to come. They are so disgusted with us that they have decided to let us continue suffering.
Friday 0230 GMT May 12, 2016
· Hill & Bill took “at least” $100-million from Gulf oil sheikhs This figure is based on document research carried out by https://t.co/CMhYXxC5wq OK, H/B work hard for their money, and there’s nothing wrong with lobbying and providing access. Editor’s not begrudging them their money.
· But then Hill has come out strongly against fracking, and in her campaign speeches vows to shut down US fracking. So this could be because she is an ultra-green. But it could be because she likes the green as in $$$. This is not lobbying/opening doors. This is large-scale bribery and corruption. BTW, was she SecState when some of these “donations” were made?
· What Hill is doing is very wrong. For 40+ years the US has paid the price for the OPEC cartel. For 40-years we’ve been running a huge chunk of our foreign policy on the need to secure oil. Then these oil sheiks benefiting from high oil prices turn around and give their money to global terrorist, and the US has to send hundreds of billions more fighting the terrorists.
· US is adjusting fracking for a price of $40/bbl instead of $80+ when the boom started. The US has become the world’s swing supplier and is on its way to eliminating oil imports, except for technical reasons. This makes a huuuuuge positive impact on our energy security, the balance of payments, and the economy.
· Not to forget the developing nations of which India is one. The catastrophic rise in oil prices near crippled the Indian economy, and has retarded growth untill prices starting coming down in 2014-15. Not to speak of even poorer countries.
· To destroy fracking because a bunch of camel bandits have given you $100-million is a traitorous act. If the price doubles to $80/bbl because of the loss of fracking output would cost America near $300-billion/year and prevent energy independence until fusion becomes widespread. When will that be? Don’t know. No one else seems to know either.
· Look, we know Hill/Bill are ethically challenged. It may be impossible to catch them on legalities because they are very good at legalities. That’s the reason neither is a convicted felon. They are no different from the rest of the elite. But just because something is legal or borderline doesn’t make it ethical. Check on Bernie/Donald. There is a massive revolt against an elite that is clueless about ethics. Does Hill think she will get away with more of the same? Does she think she is safe until 2024, or even to 2020? When these revolts start, nowadays they get out of hand in months.
· We want to close with explaining something we have discussed before. When we speak of oil sheiks, we’d like to note it takes 2-to-tango. The global oil majors have conspired with the oil states from the very start in 1973 to steal from ordinary folks. Fracking is against their interests. And when we say interests, we’re talking trillions of dollars. Frackers broke OPEC because they are very competitive wildcatters. They had no interest in maintaining the cartel. But now, Editor hears, big hedge funds are buying distressed fracker assets. You all had better prepare yourself for the eventuality that the point may soon come that when the oil price rises, the frackers wont be able to return to the market. So oil prices will keep going up. Until they are so high that the frackers can get new pools of investment and crash the cartel again. By then we’ll be a few trillions poorer. And Hill/Bill $100-milion richer. Is this trade fair?
Thursday 0230 GMT May 12, 2016
· So we missed updating yesterday, despite being at home the whole time. That’s because we were thinking about many things. Among them was the news about gravastars. https://t.co/R9my0aZfdx According to the News Scientist article, gravity waves, long predicted, were found earlier this year. It was thought they originated from two black holes merging. This may still out to be the case, but some extra-smart boffins said the gravity waves could have come from a yet-unseen gravitational star. This beastie is as dense as a black hole, but instead of collapsing under its own weight, it is kept inflated by dark ages. And it doesn’t have an event horizon. All that means is that it is not pulling in light which never emerges again (except it does, but us simple-minded folks have to keep things simple-minded).
· It occurred to Editor for the thousandth time, as it must also have occurred to readers, that this astrophysics business is really weird because folks hypothesize something, look for it, and find it. So you have to wonder: are we creating the gravastar from our thoughts. This is different from imagining the beastie. Our thinking it up materializes it as a physical object.
· If you’re familiar with Indian philosophy, this is hardly a surprise. The person we call god (Bhrama the Creator) creates an infinity of universes each infinitely small time unit, out of his dreams. We can do the same thing. Here’s Editor’s theory. You can’t do it by standing in the middle of the street shouting “I believe!” because the reality of the other 7-billion people negates the attempt to create. In fact, even if all 7-billions of us joined together to believe, we still won’t create anything.
· Why so? Because the universe (all universes) is a mathematical creation. This is not Editor’s own theory, there’s hordes of brilliant folks we say that. And the math has to be pure math. We’ve been trying to read Brian Greene, one para at a time, as well as David Deutch, Roger Penrose, and of course, Max Tegmark. We have to read each para ten times, and by the time we get to para 10, we’ve forgotten what’s on para 1.
· Educators know this phenomenon well. They call it laddering. Before climbing the next step, you have to be able to see what’s coming in the context of what we already know. You can give Editor 500-pages of military data, and he will absorb the whole thing with full comprehension, because his brain is wired that way. There’s nothing anyone can tell him about the military that he won’t instantly understand. But Editor’s brain does not do a thing when dealing with abstractions. His youngest, on the other hand, could read a monograph Hawking wrote for the general public, and get it all in one go, at age 8. So of course he has no use for his intellectual abilities, whereas people like his old Dad plod along like Sisyphus. Okay, that’s for another time.
· Brian Greene says that our universe is constructed of a handful of numbers that have absolutely no value. A 1-kg ingot of steel has a value: it is – isn’t Editor brilliant – 1-kg of steel, with mass, density, volume, measurable qualities and so on. But the number that make our universe have nothing attached to them. They’re just numbers. In other words, pure math. (This is different from the six constants, which had any of them been minutely different, would have resulted in our universe not being created. Those are measureable things.)
· Okay. So Editor was thinking, as a scholar he should be free to peruse this line of thought. It would require only 3-4 years of study and he could create a broad framework for further exploration. But here’s the thing. In India, he could live modestly, say like a married graduate student, on $100/month. He spent maybe 30-hours of work a month to earn that by writing. The other 330 hours were free to study, debate, read, and so on. In the US, it really is the other way around. Editor gets 30-hours a month for pure study.
· Us thinker types need either a wealthy family, or a wealthy wife/girlfriend, or a patron, or the state to support us. Do people think the artists, musicians, writers, philosophers, historians, scientists of yore had to toil 12-hours a day farming or whatever? No. And neither do today’s lot. They get grants from the state or foundations, or university jobs, or think tank work, so they can meet bills. That is not a world Editor has been able to enter. Moreover, in America if you take money you have to pay the piper, not – with a few exceptions – study what you want. Sure the creative lot back in the day were at the beck and call of their patrons. Someone wants a painting of his wife. So at least you get to paint and improve your technique and get fame. You’re not doing yardwork or whatever to pay the bills.
· What fame is there is substitute teaching, or even taking multiple degrees? For the latter Editor at least gets to study. But it has to be what the course tells you to study. Moreover, only a handful of professors are confident enough to let you choose term paper topics of your own choice. Editor has two such professors this last term, unsurprisingly, it has been the most productive term of his 60+ semesters – and he actually learned something. Anyway, the spaghetti and ketchup are calling. Its 1853 EDT almost 90-minutes past dinner time.
Tuesday 0230 GMT May 10, 2016
· The Donald Confounds the GOP and the media again. We’d told readers a while ago that The Donald is a sheep in wolf’s clothing. But this we mean that he is not a brutal fascist conservative, but a liberal Democrat running under false colors. Two days ago, rather tentatively for him, that he didn’t see how folks could live on $7.25 minimum wage, and that he didn’t see what was wrong with rich people like him paying more taxes. The GOP establishment is having more conniptions, vowing Anyone But Donald, and continuing to play right into his hands. And the media is devoting 90% of its campaign time to trashing him, again playing right into his hands.
· Editor has to make his usual demurral again. Much as he is against Hillary because she is part of the anti-democratic, power-crazed, contemptuous of ordinary Americans, money-at-all-costs elite, Editor still doesn’t see a way for Donald to the White House. But that’s not we’re discussing here.
· Our point is that Trump has played the GOP establishment and the media for fools, and even Editor is astonished how stupid they are being. Our point about the media is too sophisticated for the media: Trump from the start has been getting more free publicity than any candidate in recent times has. Without paying a Mexican dollar, he has made the election all about him. Media is so clueless that it doesn’t realize how much ordinary people hate its pretentiousness. It doesn’t realize that every attack on its worst enemy makes him stronger. Listen, if the media doesn’t STILL see this, then it is even stupider than Editor thought. And mathematically that is impossible.
· Now, there are some even in the media that are coming to realize – not that they’re giving Trump free publicity and sucking up the oxygen, leaving Hillary blue in the face, they can’t realize this – but that the Donald’s oratory style is exactly suited to what the masses want. Hillary will give you a 10-point answer to a simple question; Donald will say “Trust me”. It’s not the masses are dumb, it’s just they now hate intellectuals so much, they don’t trust a word Hillary says. When refuting Donald, Hillary will give complex point after complex point as if she at a Yale debate. Donald will say “that’s stupid”. One anti-Donald media person actually said the other day, what’s wrong with a using a 10-cent word when it works better than a dollar word. It’s not the masses are stupid, it’s the intellectuals that are stupid. Oratory is a completely different medium from Intellectual Speak. This media person gets it.
· As for the GOP, doesn’t it understand that the majority of American people can’t stand its conservative wing, which is all about the rich getting richer, all about prejudice, and all about the have-nots-can-look-after-themselves, they just need to get back into their ghettos so that we don’t have to look at them? Doesn’t GOP realize that there is a huge revolt against the fixer establishment that controls politics – that includes Hillary – and the GOP’s attacks on Donald are, again, playing into his hands? This anyone but Donald movement smacks of backroom dealing and an attempt to rig the election. It makes him a hero, it makes them into villians.
· Meanwhile, who said the other day that he loves Hispanics and tacos are his favorite food, and said this on Cinco de Mayo, the most important secular festivals for Mexicans? It was The Donald. A suddenly very wise person said the other day: Donald’s supporters know he is not going to deport 11-million Mexicans. But now that he has established himself as the ordinary American’s champion, they don’t care. They know he has to say these things to get elected, but they are confident if elected he will deliver for them.
· BTW, just another example of out of it the intellectuals are. People are saying, how can he win after insulting women? No. No. And No. He’s insulted a certain type of woman, the Hillary type of woman. Further, after 35-years of being hammered and demeaned by militant women, there are a whole bunch of men who will vote for him no matter what.
· Editor knows his Euro friends are saying: Editor is mad; the Americans are mad. Run for your lives. Look, it’s almost impossible for outsiders to understand this country. For the last 25-years he’s been seeing how ordinary folk are getting angrier and angrier. It’s easier for an outsider to see this as well the complete corruption of the ruling elite. Editor is only the messenger.
· Sorry about that.
Monday 0230 GMT May 9, 2016
· Indian Army joins IAF on refusing more Akash SAM Akash is a SAM-2/SAM-3 replacement that took 30-years to develop. India’s Defense Research and Development Organization was in charge. Hailed as a great success, the Army ordered an initial 2 regiments with 4 more planned, and the Air Force an initial 15 squadrons, equal to five Army regiments, with more planned. Editor’s guess is the Air Force could probably use 15 more squadrons. Akash is used for air base defense; and in the Army’s case, possibly in its air defense brigades – Editor is not clear on this.
· Army has for some time refused to take more, and the Air Force too. A competition for a foreign replacement was quietly staged, and allegedly Israeli Spyder is the winner, according to Japan’s Nikkei https://t.co/ZrQdTRJgYd .
· So now we arrive at a conundrum. India has, since the 1950s planned/built is own weapons. The official doctrine is that we must be self-sufficient in weapons. Editor has his own thoughts on this, but since it’s the orthodox doctrine, lets continue with that. The problem is that if you don’t give your own weapons a chance, if you are forever sabotaging your own programs in many ways, then we’ll never build our own industry.
· There is no doubt that our DRDO is deeply at fault. Like most Indian government organizations, it is phenomenally ineffective. Reasons are many, Editor has always singled out three. No Indian science/engineering student of top merit will work for the government when s/he can get 10-20 times the salary in the US. DRDO has been consistently starved of funds and its financial planning is worse than Editor’s. Editor has zero finances and always has lived hand to mouth. Last, when to get the materials a researcher needs takes months for items that can be procured overnight, and years for items that take months to get in the US takes years in India, who has the time for this nonsense?
· The DRDO says the armed forces keep changing requirements (true), never seem to know what they want (true), and are looking for the slightest excuse to buy foreign (true). The armed services say DRDO never delivers on time (true), DRDO and public sector production factories do sloppy work (true), and the products are never to specs (true).
· Before we continue, here are two Twitter replies to Editor’s post of the cancellation. One by Evolved Troll warns us that most defense acquisition news in the press is planted. True. Another from Kamal Meena says: “When has Indian army accepted local arms? Be it Arjun tank or anything else, they find some flaw to order from outside. Then they accept cutting edge technologies to come out of India. When after 10-15 years of work they order barely 36 arjun tanks, that too after push by government, what do they expect? Their short-sightedness is harming the long term prospects of the nation. Only Navy understood this long back, and will be in very good position, especially going ahead.” All true.
· To this Editor adds: Indian defense journalists are, barring some first-rates ones in the new generation (anybody born 1960 or latter is new-gen to the Editor, the worst in the world. With the exception of the American journalists. These, however, are so bad that statistics requires their dismissal as being outliers residing no closer than Alpha Centuri. Honesty alert: if Editor had managed in these last 26-years of his return to get a journo job, would he be this critical? Yes: but only in his mind.
· So with these caveats, the Nikkei Japan article identifies a specific problem with Akash: it takes 8-9 seconds to acquire a target, vs 4-5 seconds for Spyder. Army says this is insufficient time to defend assets on the border. We could get into a big discussion on what this means, but let’s not. If Army stations its 25-km SAMs so close to Forward Line of Own Troops, we hope it realizes that under no conditions will the Air Force provide close air support, because Army missilers will put IAF fighters at great risk. Next what happens when enemy fighters release their glide munitions well back of the border? Last, the attacker is either going medium altitude enroute to a target inside India before slipping to 100-meters off the deck, or if attacking army assets on the border, is already at 100-meters. In the first case, the SAM battery on the border has ample opportunity for a tail shot. In the second case, you won’t know anything about his arrival before he blows you up. Does it matter Akash takes 4-seconds longer than Spyder to acquire?
· Now, of course it is nowhere near as simplistic as we’ve made out. Nonetheless, our points are valid. If you disagree, please do write. It’s also not as simplistic because Akash may well have other flaws, such as ECM/ECCM. But then how are we ever to get up to speed at home. The Chinese accepted inferior local made weapons for decades before they got their own designs up to – say 0.4 of equivalent western stuff. Another three decades and they may be upto 0.8. That’s good enough.
· Why not 1.0 equivalence? Because in this century, at least, no one is going to overtake the US in weapons design. This is one of the few things the US is still really, really good at, with a 30-year R&D lead.
Saturday 0230 GMT May 7, 2016
· The astonishing arrogance of America’s Ruling Elite This is not a story about what a phony the US President is. It’s a story about how arrogant the ruling elite is. Editor would like our foreign readers to look at http://www.businessinsider.com/ben-rhodes-obama-foreign-policy-interview-2016-5 because it will help explain why the masses, of all political colors, are starting to revolt. The arrogance has nothing to do with a particular party. Liberals as well as conservatives have no hesitation in telling the “American people” how to act and what to think.
· The link will take you to a story about the President’s Deputy National Security Advisor – there must be more than one. This gentleman is 38-years old and has a Masters of Fine Arts. He is a failed novelist. So is Editor, BTW, and he doesn’t even have an MFA. So there, wise guy. After 2001 he decided he wanted to write about foreign policy, and boasts he knew nothing about it. Yet he he is, according to the New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/08/magazine/the-aspiring-novelist-who-became-obamas-foreign-policy-guru.html ,the second most powerful person shaping American foreign policy. The second being the President. Are you starting to see one factor that might explain the complete disaster of our national security policy these last seven years?
· Anyways, the reason the gentleman is in the news because if a disarmingly frank interview he gave where he explained how he had tricked the media, and thus the American people, into accepting that our President had made an honest deal with Iran: cap/reduce your N-program, we’ll lift the embargo. But our President knew all the while that he was lying to the media; and was able to pull off his manipulation thanks to the plans hatched by his Deputy NSA. There is is a clear implication that this manipulation is a hallmark of this administration.
· Before anyone gets the wrong idea, Editor is not criticizing the President for lying. Nowadays ALL presidents lie to get their way on foreign policy. While Editor absolutely is against the deal, there are good reasons to have gone forward. There is much more involved than just the N-factor. Editor, of course, has repeatedly said that the administration has absolutely no idea of what it is doing in foreign policy anywhere.
· What Editor is saying: look at how brazenly this man tells how he manipulates the media and the American people. He believes he must do this because the media and the people are too stupid to see their own interest. How are such attitudes going to go over with the people? They wouldn’t have known the truth unless he told them, thus undercutting the administration. Not smart. BTW, like his boss, this man believes – and says so that neither the media nor the experts know a thing. BTW, this may well be true. But does it serve anything except the man’s ego to say it out loud? He must really have a low opinion of everyone bar himself if he can loudly taunt them that he has played them for fools.
· What is the media doing about his insults? Nothing. Because it really doesn’t know anything excerpt what its fed. Always been the case. America has the temerity to complain about Putin’s fixed press. But at least Putin is honest about he’s done. America really believes it has a free press! The media’s failure to react – perhaps we are wrong and it will react later, but don’t count on it – just shows intellectually corrupt this part of the elite is.
· Anyone seeing why people vote for Bernie and Donald, crazy as the two appear to the elite? They don’t care who Bernie and Donald are. All they know is they are tired of the elite.
Friday 0230 GMT May 6, 2016
Thursday 0230 GMT May 5, 2016
· Iraq Thank goodness for http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2016/05/series-of-deadly-operations-named-after-fallen-islamic-state-leader.php else we’d have no clue what exactly is up with IS in Iraq. Readers may have noticed media reports that IS has been launching several attacks in Iraq, all of which – according to Kurd and Iraq media – have resulted in heavy losses for IS and victory for Iraq/Kurd forces. Long War Journal has the advantage of reading IS and jihadi media, giving a more nuanced picture.
· Editor’s problem is this – and he’s talked about this before: why is IS making these frontal attacks and losing scores of men for temporary gain. Temporary in most case means a few hours until US airpower gets into the act. Okay, so we know these are disruption attacks to throw the not-happening Mosul operation off-track. But it is not a good idea for IS to do anything except infiltration mortar/rocket attacks at night, and then getting out before US counter-fire arrives. Road ambushes are also useful – hit three straggler trucks and immediately withdraw. Snipe at Iraq forces and withdraw. Mine roads and then withdraw. Note the Editor’s emphasis on “do not and leave”.
· Editor is unsure how quickly US can react, but certainly IS should have 30-minutes to do their thing and get out. Given the number of aerial assets the US has, arriving in a convoy of pickups and staging a conventional assault is really not a good idea. The last 10-kilometers have to be on foot, and exfiltration on foot, both conducted in twos and threes with a lot of hiding. There are other ways of doing this. For example, bringing single trucks from different directions, setting up mortars, firing 30 rounds from each mortar (2-minutes rapid fire), and high-tailing it. IS has an advantage because there are Sunnis everywhere and they can get good local intelligence and even guide-ins etc. etc. Many techniques can be used. We could discuss this for hours, but its unnecessary because all Editor suggests is standard guerrilla tactics.
· Editor can see two problems with his suggestion. One, perhaps IS is still thinking of itself as a conventional army, using hundreds of pickups to race through villages and town where sleeper cells are coordinated to rise up. Two, being a guerilla is darn very hard work, because 99% is training and prep, repeated rehearsals, repeated self-critiques, correction, rehearse again. May take a month or more to plan/train/rehearse a single 5-minute attack, perhaps more if food, water, and ammunition has to be moved and hidden within reach of the target. IS had an advantage because there are Sunnis everywhere and they can get good local intelligence and even guides.
· Going back to Problem One, if IS is unwilling to adapt rapidly, then it’s going be a dead duck. In the past it has adapted. For example, it has been using tunnels to hide. But now anything approaching a conventional operation is out of the question because the US has finally got out of its Tiptoeing in the Tulips mode – at least regarding air surveillance and attacks. Agreed that IS feels it has to stage spectacular attacks to gain recruits. (a) there is nothing spectacular in becomes bits and pieces of bodies scattered around after US airpower has visited. (b) 5000 hard core guerillas for these attacks is adequate.
· As for Problem Two, IS’s style of fighting – as is everyone else in the region – is to fight a couple of days, relax for a 3-4 weeks with the slaves, and then go out again. This is brief spurts of hyper, doped-up activity followed by long rests. And it’s okay for conventional war. But not for a guerilla war. As we said, guerillas have to work very hard. If IS doesn’t get that, it has to rely in the Iraqi inability to fight and incompetence. It has to rely on the turmoil and divisions creating by factional politics. Mind you, this is enough to hold the Iraqi Army/Shia militias/Peshmerga/Christian militias for a couple of years.
· Now, if the Government in Baghdad collapses, as seems inevitable, this too will buy IS time. But time to do what? IS has to have a plan and execute it. Right now we don’t see that happening.
Wednesday 0230 GMT May 4, 2016
· The State of the DisUnion The US now advances into reconnoitered terrain. Trump has vanquished the GOP establishment. With Cruz opting out after losing Indiana by a big margin, Donald’s path to the general election is clear. What does all this mean for the US, particularly as Bernie looks set to defeat Hillary in Indiana?
· Bernie cannot be the nominee, but that he has gotten this far means the Democratic establishment is taking a huge thrashing. Bernie won the popular vote in several states but not the delegates, adding to the conviction among many that the Democratic party process is rigged. It actually is rigged, deliberately, because after the 1968 convention mess the party decided to cripple its left wing. Okay, so it succeeded and continues to, but we have a whole lot of people saying they are part of the Undemocratic Party and they’re not going to accept it anymore. Trump in large part got to where is because GOP had become a caricature of a caricature. The Tea Party forced the GOP so far to the right that Republicans had to react.
· But Hillary is the “model” Democratic candidate: right gender, experienced, articulate, brilliant advisors, moderate, cash up the wazoo, and so on. Except she could not beat the perception she is dishonest, because she is dishonest and totally sold out to the status quo elite. If she wins the election, Bernie’s Revolution will only intensify. People will vote for her because they don’t want Trump, but so many people truly dislike her. The young demand honesty and authenticity. What’s remarkable about the Bernie supporters a lot of them are far from young.
· The “American People” have simply had it with the exiting situation. Bernie and Trump are post-ideological. Personally, if Editor had a say, he’d abolish the political parties, for every elected job people would get a ballot in which they would list their first, second, third choice and let the dice fall as they will. He would also make voting compulsory: the argument that you interfere with my right not to vote is ludicrous. You can always check “None of the above”. Living in a democracy doesn’t mean you have only rights and no duties. In a democracy your duties must come first. But how the current situation plays out over the next 4 years will have to be seen. Why four and not eight? Because Hillary, as she always does, will surely do something really dumb. Besides people who don’t want her are not going to be converted by four years of her. They will hate her even more. Oh yes, anyone wanting to run for office would be disqualified. The people will choose, the winner will be drafted and jailed if s/he refuses to go.
· Aside from questions about the existing electoral process at all levels, Americans should face the reality that neither do they have a free press, nor is the elite accountable to anyone. Someone has to study why the press consistently mocked Trump, the polls mocked him, and yet he won. You and I know this. Does the elite know this and will it democratize? Seems unlikely. In which case there will be blood.
· There is apparently some mighty media poobah named Michael Kinsley. Don’t know who is, have nothing against him. But a few days ago, he said that he didn’t know a single person who would vote for Trump. That’s how out of touch the elite is, that how the elite will not relinquish power until forced.
Tuesday 0230 May 3, 2016
· All you need to know about why there’s trouble in America It’s rare that a single metric can explain an entire situation. Inflation adjusted average hourly wage 1973 - $21.92; 2016 - $21.37 In other words, American workers are making 55-cents less than they did 43-years ago. Bloomberg Business Week, p. 19, May 2-8, 2016.
· More on Moqtada Sadr His followers occupying the Green Zone came prepared for a long stay. Instead, after 2-days he told them to leave. Why? Sadr was a fire-breathing radical until he went into Iran exile. His patron wanted him to go because Sadr was threatening to tear Iraq apart. He was thought too young and with insufficient religious training to rule Iraq, which is what he wanted. In 2011, as the Americans left, he returned, and had been quietly organizing his supporter. He acts like a moderate nationalist, focusing on corruption, and a member of the established determined to bring peaceful change from within. Editor thinks this is dissembling. We all become calmer as we grow older: Sadr was just 30 when the Americans invaded. Editor’s feeling – subject to changed information – is that while playing the moderate is what he needs to do to become top Iraqi statesman, he as much of a revolutionary as before.
· So, for example, he has come into the Green Zone to “help” PM Abadi fight corruption. He has said nothing about wanting to replace Abadi because it is way too early. But what he is really doing is “helping” Abadi get toppled, all the while saying power is the last thing he wants, he is in it just for the people of Iraq.
· Sadr knows Abadi is not going to change a thing. Why would Abadi, cronies, opposition, and predecessors, who have gathered together to loot Iraq for 13-yeats want a change? Especially a change that will see them dangling at the end of Sadr’s hanging noose. Parliament already abandoned ship as soon as Sadr, supported by others, camped in the Green Zone. Does anyone think Parliament is going to reconvene just so it can be taken prisoner by Sadr? No.
· As readers know, the Green Zone is the most tightly guarded fortified area in Iraq. Somehow the Americans have missed the irony that the US Viceroy’s compound was taken over by the “government” of Iraq when the Americans relinquished power. But the Iraqi people did not miss the irony. So you will ask, how come Sadr and Company, just a few thousand (if that) got into the Green Zone, without a single casualty inflicted by Iraq security forces? Why did the security force not hold the demonstrators from trashing Parliament?
· Sadr actually entered the Zone at the end of March. The Iraqi general in charge of the Zone kissed Sadr’s hand as he let him in.
· So now we’re clear about what’s going on? Our Vice President was in Baghdad last Thursday, praising Abidi. Earlier, our President opined that he wanted Mosul to fall by year’s end.
· Well, you know, all of us want lots of things. Speaking personally, Editor wishes his house and student loans were paid off, that he had a nice friend to live with him, and that he earned $50,000/year. The difference between Editor, along with most of us, is that we can tell the difference between actualities and fantasies. Too bad our elite has no clue and is stuck with their one-gear fantasy car.
Monday 0230 GMT May 2, 2016
· America, be sensible for once: support Sadr, junk your clients No, Editor is not tripping. He means exactly what he’s saying. For 13-years America has supported the corrupt elite of Iraq. Their rule is ending because the people have had enough. Our first instinct will be to maneuver to keep Abadi in power; since that isn’t going to work, we’ll try whoever has the most support among that same corrupt elite. Because we deploy such outsize power, likely we’ll be able to keep this person going for a while. But he too will fall because Iraq is at an inflexion point.
· To understand background of what Editor is saying, understand was born as a revolutionary power. The established regimes feared and hated American ideology, but because America was very week and 3000-miles away it could be ignored. Except what America represented was an idea, and ideas are easy to export and hard to kill. Thus the French Revolution, then the inevitable counter-revolution. But by the start of the 20th Century developed countries were becoming democratic. Came 2nd World War, and US insisted that the colonized world must be freed and permitted democracy. This was very revolutionary indeed, because democracy was something the natives were supposed unable to handle. Unfortunately, with the exception of India, this happened to be the case. There is a reason for that.
· The US became locked in an existential war against Communism, and of a sudden, US ceased being a revolutionary power and became a reactionary one. US became the greatest counter-revolutionary power the world has known. Dozens and dozens of new countries that the US could and should have helped to democracy were told it was okay to become anti-democratic if that would keep communism at bay. Meanwhile, the communists were even more busy in suppressing democracy wherever it sprouted. Ironically, the self-styled revolutionary states were even more reactionary than the US was.
· In Editor’s humble opinion, the US slipped within a few years to a reactionary state because as of 1945 we ruled the world. We had a big empire to protect. It needn’t have been that way. Editor is not blaming anyone. It was a great shock to us when Stalin incorporated Eastern Europe into his empire, the Chinese communists seized the mainland, China/DPRK attacked Korea; China/local independence groups attacked Indochina, and Soviet subversion spread like a cancer throughout the world. We did not, perhaps could not, understand the communists were reactionaries, interested only in creating tyrannies much greater than the world had seen. The correct answer to reaction is revolution, not our reaction.
· Two simple examples. Suppose we had recognized Ho Chi Minh was a nationalist first and a communist last. Suppose when he asked us for help to free Indochina from colonial rule, we had quietly got the French out, and helped him build his country. We would have had real influence with him, and a much better chance of moderating communism. Instead we opposed him and he grew stronger. Take Castro as another example. Supposed we had helped him, as friends we would have been much better placed to influence him. But because we opposed him, he got a free pass to rule for 55-years ago. We are now doing with Cuba and Vietnam what we should done decades ago.
· None of this would have been easy. But it was a heck of a lot harder to oppose these new young revolutionaries. Editor is going to say something that will sound strange to many readers. We are the ones who started this political revolution business. So it was very, very hard to fight our own ideas of democracy, law, and justice. It would have been much easier to fight communism by allying with the 3rd World rather than by opposing the 3rd World.
· Now we’re going to skip several steps and go to Iraq. We overthrew a brutal tyranny. Sadr the Nationalist, freed from the tyranny, fought us. We fought back because we believed he was a creature of Iran. Luckily for us, his patron told him to stop – else the war would have gotten much worse – and told him to go into exile and study. Grow up and then come back. That’s what he did after we left. His patron said it was not time for him to take over, so he sat quietly.
· Now look at this. By refusing to side with Sadr the Revolutionary, and deciding to side with the reactionary Iraqi elite, we only increased Iran’s influence on him, and we put Iraq back into a new Dark Age. We will never understand how much the Iraqi people have suffered since we overthrew Saddam. Now, however, the Iraqi elite is tottering because of Sadr – of course are simplifying, there are other revolutionary forces. But Sadr can put 120,000 armed men into the streets. Western analysts thing he has lost his military power. He hasn’t. He remains top dog.
· Note he is still playing the obedient-to-Najaf moderate. He’s left the Green Zone, having made his point: the corrupt elite must go. We’ve made our peace with Iran, and its work: the moderates are in a 3-1 majority in the new Parliament. Was it all our doing? No. But it’s easy to guess if we had we not lifted the embargo, those mullahs would still be in charge. America showed young Iranians we’re not their enemy. And because the young Iranians wants the same thing young Americans, they are our natural allies.
· The only way America can cleanse itself of the rottenness our elite had imposed on us is to have our own second revolutionary. And the only way we can regain our global stature is to support other revolutionaries. Hey, the European people might even overthrow their own elites – who badly need to be put down. Not saying US and European elites follow the same ideology.
· Humans want to be free but everywhere they are in chains. America, you broke those chains 240-years ago. Okay, so we did not do a perfect job. But we were the first and set the example for the world. Let’s be the revolutionary leaders once again.
Sunday 0230 GMT May 1, 2016
· Editor NOT advocating for Trump Folks, some of our overseas readers are asking why we’re advocating for Trump, who appears at most times to be an escapee from St. Elizabeth’s Lunatic Asylum. We are not advocating for anyone! We’re merely noting the reasons for the rise of Trump, predicted by Editor the minute he said he’d run. The same thing applies to the rose pf Bernie Sanders. We don’t say much about him because he is not as entertaining as Trump. We do correct wrong information about Trump in the same way we correct wrong information about anyone or anything. For example, it’s not helpful to say he’s a madman. BTW, there’s plenty of Democrats who say the same about Bernie. Trump is secretly a liberal Democrat, like Bernie he is advocating for the voiceless and the left behind.
· Editor understands perfectly if that’s not what you’ve heard, because the US media is completely out of touch with its own country. And Europeans in particular must admit they’re against any American presidential candidate who does not think in the same terms as Europeans do. If y’all spend time seeing how badly fractured and how angry upto 80% of Americans are, and why, you’d see Trump and Bernie are not the least bit crazy! Now since we’ve been discussing this for years, no point in boring you with yet another explanation.
· Editor’s instinct is that at this time, polls giving Trump and Clinton neck-to-neck do not accurately predict November. Clinton will win (subject to no sudden changes in situation). And this will be the worst thing for America (besides Cruz winning) because Hillary is the Status Quo. This what 80% of Americans no longer want. Yes, the world will be very comfy with Hillary. But what America needs right now is someone who understands the 80% and expands the space for them so that they do not feel disenfranchised. She cannot do this because she has no idea what’s going on with America. American leaders surround themselves with yes-people, the media is totally sold out to the 1%, Hillary is a one-percenter. If she comes in, the status quo will become entrenched, people will become more convinced they have no voice, and the longer this goes on, the greater the chance it will start and end in violence.
· So who are we suggesting. Either Bernie or Trump is fine. Of course it will be a total mess if either of them becomes Prez. It is ALWAYS a mess when the deep status-quo gets busted. But from there will grow the seeds of a new America. When will this happen? Haven’t the foggiest idea! You can never tell how revolutions work out.
· But wait, you will say. The American Revolution worked out nicely. But it didn’t really – anyone remember the Civil War? Moreover, back in the day there were 2.5-million Americans. They were not demanding fundamental changes, they simply wanted the right to vote – No Taxation Without Representation. There were huge differences between folks from Day 1. It didn’t matter because there was a whole continent to exploit and settle. You didn’t like what your government was doing, you could move. This is metaphorically, because moving was very hard and Editor bets most people did not. But at least they could. At least if you worked hard you could have a much better living than at home in Europe.
· That’s all gone now. The lower third of Americans are not making it at all. The next third are in a precarious state where they can lose everything in an instant. Of the remaining 33% who do have a decent life by today’s standards, 95% are deeply worried. Only 5% of America thinks it’s all good. Editor is just throwing out these percentages instinctively based on what he sees. For example, the US Government says only one of seven American is poor. But then the government defines the poverty line as $12,000/year for a single person is $24,000/year. Take just one fact: in Editor’s region a safe and decent day care would take up half that money! Sure the government gives supplementary payments. But they don’t cover your rent (forget mortgage). In Washington Metro, a one-bedroom in the projects is $800/month. You get a good quality used car that will last you 10-years, and your car note will be $350/month. No one is talking about food, utilities, clothes, car operation, as yet. We could go on.
· But then why do 60% of Americans say they are happy most of the time, and 80% say they are satisfied? We’ll explain this another time. One reason is thanks to TV, cheap beer (not so cheap now), pharmaceuticals, and illegal drugs, we are quite numb most of the time. But despite the mass tranquilization, anger and despair bubble through. These days its much worse because Americans have suddenly realized they have no voice at all in running their country. And because the 1%, who earlier used to leave adequate food for the 99%, now take half of everything for themselves. And they each year they want more and more.
Thursday 0230 GMT April 28, 2016
· Venezuela To save energy, Maduro first declared 4-work-day/week. Now government will work on Monday and Tuesday. https://t.co/xgGksIypNU First, what’s the big deal? The government doesn’t work anyway except to give handouts. Second, why is this joker still in power? Because he has packed the Supreme Court, which is the only authority that can sack him before the end of his term, even if a referendum calls for Maduro to go. Supreme Court will simply declare the referendum illegal, Maduro’s militia will block. Army – as far as Editor knows as of right now - will not depose him, though there is talk and negotiations going on
· Will the world’s “revolutionary” fascist government and intellectuals change their tune about the Maduros who seem to rule everywhere? No. Because, you see, Maduro says the US is taking action against him as if it has declared war. It’s all US’s fault. If people were to give up that meme and instead understand they have to take responsibility for themselves, they would vaporize in shock.
· Two points. In contrast to its West Asia/North Africa policy, the US has played its hand in Venezuela flawlessly. It hasn’t intervened. It let Chavez and now Madura choke themselves. This, incidentally is the foreign policy the much-despised Trump wants. And he is right to want it, because we are incompetent wherever we do intervene, we truly make the situation 10-times worse. Next, the current President’s plan to make the world love us was obviously going to fail. The US is Number One, it can sit in its corner and talk to no one, it will STILL be the most hated power in the world. If you’re going to be hated no matter what you do, better to thrash people and be feared. Right now even the imaginary rabbits in the White House shrubbery don’t fear the President.
· Of course, it’s very hard to fear the world’s sole superpower when that superpower’s leadership tells the military that its first priority is to eliminate sexual harassment and to go green.
Tuesday 0230 GMT April 26, 2016
· US Army’s 10 priorities sent to us by reader Mile Thompson. In order:
Prevent Sexual Assault
Balance and Transition the Army
Champion Soldiers, Civilians and Families
Continue to bolster Army activities in the Asia-Pacific region
Ensure personal accountability on and off the battlefield
Tell the Army Story
Implement Army Total Force policy
Prudently manage reset, modernization, research and development
Strengthen the defense of Army networks and build the Army cyber force
Strengthen installations through effective energy solutions
· Er – any mention of um, like, fighting? Preventing sexual assault is first priority, not winning. Championing Soldiers, Families, Civilians is third. Telling the Army Story is sixth. Renewable energy is tenth.
· Warning: All those relying on US as a security partner: LEAVE NOW. Make other arrangements, including reconciling with enemies. Apply for interstellar migration. Just get the heck out of your US partnership.
Monday 0230 GMT April 25, 2016
· Iraq: More Lies from the US Military Editor is unsure why he bothers about this anymore. Madness, they say, is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results. By this definition, Editor is quite mad. He keeps writing about US military lies about Iraq, and gets nowhere. Yet he cannot stop himself from writing again, and again, about exactly the same thing. His writing is reactive: he totters along in a coma, then wakes up when another amazingly untrue story is put out by the US military. Come tomorrow, he will be in a coma again. This is becoming a Pavlovian reaction. Far away Editor hears the words “new claims by US military on Iraq”, and he starts drooling and salivating, going “Woof” and goes into attack mode. This is quite sad. The rest of the time the world is busy walking all over Editor, and he does not care. He’s so used to it that most of the time he doesn’t even know that armies are marching over him, each man taking care to deliver a stomp without breaking stride.
· The outrage d’jour is a story from US Central Command appearing on April 21, 2016 about the Iraq 9th Armored Division training for the Mosul offensive. We’re ready to go, says an Iraqi soldier, now all we need is the right equipment. The story says that 1600 men have received and trained with their M-16s rifles. Now they need 125mm tank main gun ammunition. http://www.centcom.mil/news/news-article/dunford-observes-iraqi-armor-exercises
· Now, on the same day there was a story in the Washington Post which at first sight seems to be plagiarized phrase for phrased from the CENTCOM press release. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/04/21/u-s-visit-highlights-obstacles-to-an-iraqi-offensive-on-mosul/ Except it is not plagiarized, because the Washington Post received the same briefing. The correspondent, Missy Ryan, has absolutely no way of getting around herself without the US military. To do that is to dice with death – and the dice are loaded against her or any correspondent wanting to do independent reporting. And naturally one doesn’t want to bite the military hand. You won’t be allowed back next time.
· Nonetheless, Ms. Ryan manages to slip in an interesting fact. “ But many from Kadhim’s unit, recruits both young and old, have only a few weeks in uniform after being pulled from civilian work to reinforce the battle against the well-armed extremist group.” So this is how the US trains and equips Iraqi divisions after 1 ½ years back in the theatre. A civilian academic from Washington is quoted as saying the US has managed to train and equip several divisions, but the training is still too slow. Pray tell, kind sir, which are these divisions? Are you referring to 7, 8, 9, 15, and 16 Divisions? Pity, because then the US has massively failed. None of these divisions can fight. Training is going too slowly after 1 ½ years? Can you tell us, sir, why this is so? To save you the embarrassment, Editor will tell his readers that the Iraq Army loses its new soldiers as fast as it recruits. The reason is simple: no one wants to go to heaven or to die. The Iraqis enlist, hang around for a while, then when they’re asked to do some real work, they say “adios”. Editor doesn’t blame them one bit. Why should Shia soldiers fight for Sunni Mosul? Because the US wants it? Sorry, not good enough the Shia’s will say.
· The cruel reality is that even the 72nd Brigade, that has been training for over a year, and has western advisors up its wazoo, has made no progress in the very lethargic advance on Mosul. The Iraq Army knows it cannot do the job, but the US won’t listen. The Peshmerga, as far as Editor can discern, has only one brigade at the front, and this brigade does want to fight anyone except if attacked. All it wants is American money. Can’t blame them. That’s all Editor wants too. But killed for a few bucks? You gotta be kidding! Some Shia militias are willing to fight, but letting them into Mosul where the hated Sunnis are, is probably not a good idea. Then, of course, once Mosul is liberated a several-way war begins among the victors, all of which have different claims on the city.
· Now we could go on pointing out absurdities from the two articles. But here’s one from CENTCOM. One battalion of the 9th Armored Division began training a month ago. “The men train on four T-72s, two M-1 Abrams tanks and in three BMPs”. That is a company’s worth. Now of course you don’t train using your main equipment, to save wear and tear. But if this is what the base has to train a battalion – perhaps even the whole brigade, then no one is going anywhere. What is more, the training is 4-weeks. Four weeks for an armor unit? At the end the men are going back to Taji, the divisional HQ. Hey, what about Mosul? The men haven’t fired the main guns as yet – no one can find the rounds. There are 415 western trainers present, which is a whacking lot. US has been training this division for about 15-months and it’s still recruiting? And why the M-16s? What’s wrong with the AK-47s which some of the men are familiar with and which are much easier to maintain in the desert?
· What is going on?
Sunday 0230 GMT April 24, 2016
Usual exam time problems
· China wants India to meet it half way on border issue Editor is unsure whether to admire the sheer effrontery of the Chinese or ask India to launch an offensive to show them what half-way should mean to India. Since the entire Indian leadership will drop dead of shock at the prospect of going to war, admiration is the only option left to Editor.
· China’s proposal is not just old wine in new bottles, but rotgut in virus-infected plastic cups salvaged form the Delhi landfill at a depth of 200-meters. Ever since it completed the seizure of the Aksai China in 1962 it has been telling India that it wants to meet us half-way: we give up our “claim” to Ladakh, and they will give up their “claim” to Arunachal, This has been going on for 54-years. Don’t the Chinese understand that no means no? Why do they keep insulting India’s intelligence by trotting this dead, straw-stuffed nag out at a regular intervals?
· Oopsies! No, they aren’t insulting our intelligence because we demonstrably have none. Plus, its always possible that 30-years from now when they have a GDP of $40-trillion and a defense budget of $1.6-trillion to our $10-trillion and $150-billion that we will get scared out of our pink panties and agree. Except what they’re asking now isn’t what they’ll want in 2046. They will want our complete subjugation. So Editor has to take his words back and instead say the Chinese are being their usual persistent, steady selves.
· One of the really hilarious things about the Chinese position on the border is that they say they didn’t sign the McMahon Line accord, and in case they were a subjugated power so unable to give consent. Okay, and did India sign that accord? No! It was signed by our overlords who claimed India by right of conquest. Talk about subjugation. So how come we have to stick by what our masters forced on us, and the Chinese say they never agreed?
· The next hilarious thing is this business of the Chinese claiming they have the right to territory not just on their side of their watershed, but all the way down to the river. But how did they get to the mountain crests of the Indus Range in the first place? They attacked and took the territory up to the crest of the Indus Range, and then attacked again to claim Indian territory down to the Indus bank. We’re simplifying, of course, but that’s the truth of the matter.
· So now since we are sitting on the Northeast mountain crests, obviously South Tibet north to the Yarling Zangbo (Bhramaputra) belongs to us.
· That would be a nice point to start negotiations. Let the Chinese evacuate all Tibet and we’ll agree to demilitarize Tibet. By the way, Editor is talking about Old Tibet, not what the Chinese call Tibet after snatching several hundreds of thousands of square kilometers from Old Tibet.
· While we’re at all, time for them to leave the Indian Ocean and we’ll recognize their claims to the China Seas. What? What’s that you’re saying – we have no claims to the China Seas? Wrong. Editor has in his possession documents and maps dating from 4000 BC showing that the great India explorer Bozo the Clown laid claim to South East Asia and the China Seas. He went ashore to the Changbai Mountains on the China-DPRK border and did a giant, very satisfactory poopy, erecting a monument to establish his claim.
· Oh come on, you say, don’t be absurd! Hello people! An archeological exploration and DNA evidence will show the mountains are made of Bozo’s single giant poopy. India’s claim based on documents/maps with India is more – er -substantial than Chinese claims to the China Seas and Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean and Old Tibet than the Chinese claims. And of a higher quality, too, so there, Beijing.
Thursday 0230 GMT April 21, 2016
· Iraq Okay, Editor promises to behave himself today. Sometimes he just gets into a Woody Allen mood. If you’re familiar with Mr. Allen, he finds something of interest and goes off into a riff. Editor is the same. The difference is that people consider Mr. Allen brilliant, and he gets the girl as well as money to make his next movie. Whereas people consider Editor – odd. So he gets neither the girl nor money for his next movie. Just a lot of readers giving silent stares and shuffling backward to put room between him and readers.
· So yesterday Editor wanted to discuss President’s Chinese Water Torture strategy for defeating Islamic State. Drip. Drip. Drip. Wear them down drip by drip. Send 50 troops. Learn it’s not working, send 75 troops to reinforce. Learn it’s not working, send 200 more. That doesn’t work, so let’s try 50.
· Needless to say, this is an utterly futile strategy. Moreover, please to remember: we have a population of 322-million. And a GDP of $18-trillion. So it’s not as if we are on the same position as Luxemburg, which on a very good day might get 2 rifle companies into the field. As we have said before: piddling around like this simply gives the enemy time to adjust. What we did wrong in Second Indochina was the drip-drip. Our mistake was not sending 550,000 troops in 1965 and crushing the enemy before he adapted. We did not make this mistake in First Gulf, the Coalition send nearly 1-million troops to do the job. We made the mistake again on Afghanistan and Second Gulf.
· We keep making the same mistakes again and again because we are mentally challenged. We have an intellectually corrupt and brain damaged leaders/national security elite. Some people won’t read the Editor because of this kind of language. It’s not “constructive”. Okay, so can these people tell us what we should call people who have had us in Afghanistan for the 15th year running and we still can’t say we’re winning. What should we call people who trained the Iraqis for 7-years only to have them totally collapse at the first real sign of a fight against a bunch of lightly armed irregulars in pickups, for heaven’s sake? What should we call people we have had us retrain the Iraq Army for over 18-months, and not one single regular brigade can fight! Meanwhile, our leaders just go on lying, and lying, and lying about the terrific progress we’re making. Editor calls these folks intellectually corrupt morons, starting with the C-in-C and down. If someone has a better name, please do tell.
· The reason for Editor’ wrath this time if the news the US is sending 200 more troops because the Mosul offensive is going nowhere – and that is according to the Iraq Army itself. They’ve said they cannot do the job. Next year, maybe. Could easily be 2018. Could easily be never.
· One HIMAR rocket battery is apparently among the reinforcements. This makes three by the Editor’s count, and his information is spotty because its just so futile to keep track. There’s a Marine medium howitzer battery, but this might now be two. These troops are not counted because they are there “temporarily”. Also the Apache AH-64 company at Al Asad in Anbar is going to the Mosul offensive. We have no clue if these attack helios have been used or if their role has been only to protect Al Asad. And best of all, we are now going to station advisors at brigade and battalion levels. We suspect there’s some heavy semantics here because US advisors ARE in combat. Without their boots on the ground, of course. This is clear evidence that the Iraq brigade is STILL useless.
· As for the Mosul strategy, let’s not get started. It’s the usual fevered opium dream that afflicts our national security. It makes no sense because it relies on the optimum cooperation of at least half-a-dozen parties. This is no way to fight a war. All this foolishness is necessary because we wouldn’t send 75,000 troops to Iraq in 2014.
· BTW, do our leaders understand that Chinese Water Torture wont work if you inflict on ourselves. Drip. Drip. Drop. America is going nuts, not the IS. And with Hilary, look forward to another 8 years of Moronism. We weren’t supposed to cry for Argentina, so that’s okay. We need to cry for our country.
Wednesday 0230 GMT April 20, 2016
• Germany intends to ban provocative advertising because it upsets a certain community, much of which seems to have recently arrived in the guise of refugees. Of course, there are millions of Muslims already in Germany, but while some may still cling to “traditional values” – men dominate and women are subjugated – provocative advertising did not seem to be an issue earlier. The German government seems to think its job is to appease a minority even if doing so tramples modern European values. https://goo.gl/p3Ln6m . There is some weird thinking going on about how incidents like Cologne New Year’s Eve would not happen if women did not provoke men by being women. Next thing you know the German will be banning advertising featuring naked animals. That’s way more provocative to the visitors than semi-naked women.
• That Chancellor Markel is on some space trip of her own is now widely accepted. We told readers a while ago she will not change course. She needs to be replaced. What amazes Editor is the relative passivity of the German public including the women. Editor suspects that the Germans are so shocked they still haven’t been able to process recent events, but that anger is building. But has this anger reached tipping point? Only way to find out is go to Germany. Alas, Editor doesn’t have money to go anywhere, particularly now that end-of-school is about 8-weeks away. No pay check until later in September. In any case, if Editor did go, he’d want to learn why the German military has lost not just its mojo, but its reason for existence.
• US in Iraq: Drip-drip-drip One thing Editor finds truly baffling is the amount of white guilt that our President is burdened with. We could have told black folks in 2008 that Obama is not black, but white, but what would have been the point. On top of this white guilt that renders him paralyzed is his pacifism. Editor has and time and again that he has nothing against pacifism. It is noble, and amazingly difficult to do especially for America. But Obama needed to say this back in 2008 instead of doing a bait-and-switch, so we could have judged him on his merit. So what if he lied, people will say, all politicians lie. True, but no one respects lying politicians. So why should Editor respect Obama? Just because he’s black? But he isn’t black. He’s white. BTW, Trump for all that he is reviled, has openly said he is all for America to mind its own biz.
So why does Editor have his panties in a twist? BTW, that’s
quite painful if you’re a guy – the ladies should stop complaining
about their pantie problems. Okay, the ladies will say, who told you
to wear panties instead of boxers? Exactly. No one has. But then who
told women to wear panties instead of boxers? Besides, wearing
panties is all about Men’s Liberation. It’s about breaking gender
stereotypes. It’s all about choice. Women who disapprove of men
wearing panties and the whine about the pain a wrong move can
inflict pain should give us men sympathy instead of snickering at
us. So those of Editor’s lady friends wanting to know what to get
him for Christmas, its panties, silk, trimmed with Belgian lace. Not
the red ones – that’s too bold a statement. The pink ones will do
better. Of course, the ladies will point out that Editor has NO lady
friends. That’s women for you. They give any excuse to avoid a date
and then mock Editor. One lady actually said: “I have to clean the
leaves of my plants”. Editor says: “how long does it take?”. She
says “Hours and hours. I spray water on each leaf and then brush it
off, one drop at a time.” Jeesh. And, of course, you’ve guessed the
end already. Monday morning one the male teachers is smirking about
what a great weekend he had – with the teacher Editor asked out.
Women are so shallow. Just because this gentleman is a 6-foot hunk
in perfect condition and all muscles in the right place – he doesn’t
have to flaunt the muscles because he’s so built his shirt and pants
start tearing by about Second Period to the barely contained drools
of the ladies. Get that?
that? He’s barely contained in his clothes and so is the excitement
of the ladies. Including the girl students and some of the boy
students. Because of that he should get the dates? Just because he’s
a third of Editor’s age and has money to spend he should get the
dates and Editor should be ignored? Just because the teacher drinks,
loves night clubs and can dance beautifully and doesn’t go home at
9PM because it’s his bed-time, means he should get the dates? Hello?
Can he give a three-hour discourse – without notes – on how the
British helped Pakistan secessionists suppress the people’s will to
join India in the North West Frontier Province and give the province
to Pakistan? Can he talk intelligently for an hour on why the US
Marine shift of a rifle squad from 14 men to 13 was a very bad idea?
Can he tell how Editor figured out 35-years ago that the maximum
silent running speed of the then-secret SSN 688 class submarines was
26-knots, more than twice that of the latest Soviets boats. Women
are so shallow. And then they criticize men for being shallow and
only interested in how a woman looks. People, people, if that upsets
you, date Editor because he’s so blind he can’t make out at
10-centimeters what the lady looks like. Oh, in case you ask, he
prefers his ladies wearing plaid boxers in the Campbell colors.
That’s a big turn on. OK,
so the ladies will say "But the Scots never wore boxers or any
underwear at all." True, true. So ladies wanting to date Editor:
take a hint. This last remark alone shows how senstive Editor is
about ladies' feelings.
OK, so the ladies will say "But the Scots never wore boxers or any underwear at all." True, true. So ladies wanting to date Editor: take a hint. This last remark alone shows how senstive Editor is about ladies' feelings.
Tuesday 0230 GMT April 19, 2018
· Praveen Swami gives Editor a new perspective on Kashmir In case you’d rather spare yourself Editor’s rant on Kashmir and skip to a perceptive piece by one of India’s new journalists, go to https://t.co/napTZbmS5B [BTW, Praveen might dispute the label of “new” since according to Wikipedia he is 47. By new Editor is indeed praising Praveen's his wisdom given how young he is; more than that, Editor means Praveen is one of the new breed for whom the paradigms of us oldies have no meaning.
· The usual clarifications, this time made more urgent by a reader who is so young, he actually thought Editor is a pacifist! You leave India for a short trip to the US (that’s just 27-years ago), and the youngsters start getting these strange ideas about one. (a) Partition 1947 is illegal under the UN Declaration of Human Rights, which India signed in 1944; Britain signed it too; as such it had no moral or legal right to force on India. (b) Pakistan is in illegal secession from India. (c) It is the duty of the Indian Government to end this secession. (d) Peaceful means are best, but that is not going to happen, so war is the only option.
· That out of the way, a bit of background on why Editor found Praveen’s analysis enlightening. Editor is primarily a military analyst, and while he has a broad knowledge about the contexts in which each nation’s military functions. As such, he finds the politics of a situation not just very difficult to understand, but amazingly dull. For Indian politics, use Knuth’s Up Arrow notation, say a minimum of 5 Up Arrows. As far as Editor is concerned, Indian politics is really that complex, in part because Modern Indian History is at least 1000-years old. So, as far as Editor is concerned, the best way of dealing with Indian politics is to give it The Big Ignore.
· What Praveen has done is to make Editor realize two things. One, the problem of Kashmir today comes from Islamist fundamentalism – of 100 years ago. Readers may not know this, but apparent “real” Muslims don’t consider Indian Muslims as true Muslims. Our Muslims are heretics. Only reason Editor knows is that 30-years ago, his friend the Pakistan military attaché –a fundamentalist – explained it to him. Editor thought the problem of Islamic fundamentalism in Kashmir was a recent phenomenon, coming from the growing fundamentalism creeping in form the Mideast and Afghanistan. Not so, apparently. Incidentally, Editor learned only last year that Islamic fundamentalism arose in India and moved West.
· From this Editor makes his own conclusion. Because Islamic fundamentalism is anti-democracy, and the fundamentalists run the show in Kashmir, everything India has been doing since the mid-1980s to restore democracy in Kashmir has failed and will continue to fail. What happened earlier, 1947 to – say 1985? Very complicated. Editor gives it the Big Ignore. Praveen will explain this to you.
· Two, Praveen explains that institutions in Kashmir right down to the family have been destroyed by decades of insurgency. He notes this is what often happens when people have been in conflict too long. Editor has long believed that, that’s why you have so many wars in the world just go and on. Look at Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq as examples. There’s no one left to make peace. This also explains, to Editor, the utter US failure in the Mideast. The minute US packs up, all the rifts which we band-aided over, reopen. We hope readers now understand why Editor says US must occupy Mideast for 50, 100, 200 years as necessary.
· So, to bring this to a close before our readers start banging their heads against stone walls to knock themselves out, just to escape Editor’s rant, here is what Editor has concluded. Nothing written below has to do with Praveen’s thoughts and his excellent article.
· (a) There is no possible manner in which Kashmir can be peacefully resolved. Editor has known this for years. Any peaceful solution is to destroy the rights of non-secessionist citizens of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh who, Editor believes, are in the big majority.
· (b) To make any accommodation with the militant Kashmiris is essentially to hand over a part of India to folks whose sole idea is to kill everyone who doesn’t agree with them, and then to kill all those of their own people who are insufficiently orthodox.
· (c) Long-standing position of Editor: the Kashmiris are not to blame for the situation. Only the Government of India is, because from 1947 onward it has been too soft, too lazy, too non-confrontal to do what is needed.
· What is needed? Step 1: recover Pakistan Kashmir. 2: recover Pakistan. 3: recover Indian territory under Chinese occupation. Can’t be done? Wrong, sir. In 2014 showed in detail that all that we lacked was will.
· Last, us humans are simply too stupid to live in peace. We have to be forced to live in peace – the civil police are just an example. The only way we can live in peace is if the state immediately kills all those who would disturb the peace. Only when the inflexible rule “kill and you will be killed” is applied impartially, without emotion, without exception, will we have peace. No proportional response. That only encourages killers.
· And we can have democracy only if we have peace. So, Government of India, Mr. Modi, kindly have at it.
Monday 0230 GMT April 18, 2016
· Saudi, America, and hypocrisy Readers may be surprised to know that while Editor wants the vaporization of the House of Saud and the other Gulf monarchies, he has absolutely nothing against them. For him its simply what serves American interests, and this lot does not, if they ever did. They are two-faced enemies of the United States and they deserve an expeditious end.
· Editor’s real venom is directed toward the American elite, which would rather grow rich off Gulf money than protect America. The Gulf monarchies are lying, poisonous snakes, At the same time, given what has become the new normal for the American elite, it has to be admitted in fairness that our elite may be well-ahead of the Arabs in this lying, poisonous business. After all, Americans are much smarter than the camel drivers, and as such we can do a lot more lying while assuring ourselves that we bide by American values. Not to get all semantical about this, but lying, cheating, selfish exploitation of America are the elite’s new values.
· The ordinary people of the Gulf are enslaved and exploited by their elite, as we Americans are enslaved and exploited by our elite. Big difference though: the monarchies pay their citizens to keep their mouths shut, our elite keep ordinary Americans shut while taking our money. To this extent the Gulf monarchies are far more moral than we are.
· Now wait a minute, readers will say. Why is Editor talking like an Italian anarchist? Isn’t he supposed to be ultra-conservative? He is. But here’s the problem. America was born as a revolutionary state. Its duty to the world was to export revolution to every part of the globe. Because true American values – think back to 1776 – are the true values that all humanity is entitled to, spreading the gospel is not just our duty as God’s Own Country, it is the ONLY way to save the world. That’s ultra-conservative, not anarchist.
· No need to analyze how America, from being the revolutionary state of the people, became a reactionary state of some of the people, with the rest of us relegated to slavery. The elite finds its more efficient to pay us something rather than look after all of our needs as the efficient slave-owner with an eye on his profit. What is more, before 1970, to keep us placid the slave-owners did create conditions allowing many of us serfs a reasonable chance to be modestly rich, and a tiny number to actually join the elite. This was a very clever strategy and full marks to the old elite.
· The post-1970 elite, however, became so greedy that for all practical purpose it got richer and richer, while we serfs – relatively - got poorer. The tools for keep us narcotized include Prozac, alcohol, drugs, lotto tickets, food that rots our brains and bodies, pornography run amok and TV – especially cable-TV. To this we can add computers and smart phones. No need to have one of five citizens enlisted as informers; no need for the secret courts, armed police on every corner, courts that find 99% of defendants guilty, and the gulag. Our federal criminal justice system is just superb at winning cases and jailing people at a higher a higher rate than any other country. Our gulags are not in Siberia, they are set in the beautiful American countryside. Etc etc – no need to wax lyrical, this is well trod ground.
· The upshot of this unending economic repression is that the serfs are rumbling. It’s going to get to the stage where there won’t be enough police to jail us all, nor prisons to hold us all. Plus what the elite forgets is that it uses “trustees” – the criminal justice system – to keep us suppressed. The trusties, however, are us, they aren’t the elite, and at some point the overseer realizes where he belongs – and it isn’t with the elite.
· Now, Editor is not saying this is a sure thing. Editor said from the start that our elite is much, much smarter than those crude Arabs rulers. They merely come for you/your family in the middle of the night, there merely beat you till you “confess”, and they don’t much care if you are dead or alive at the end of the process. In the court your sole choice is to throw yourself on the mercy of the judges, because you have condemned yourself by your own words. They keep their people quiet using overt force and lots of it. The only one that can call them out and get them to change their way is America, except our elite is right in bed with the camels alongside the Arabs.
· So, for all their evil ways the Arab rules are, at least ruthlessly honest. What is mine is mine, and that’s everything. Kiss my butt and I’ll throw you decent money. Speak against and you’ll rue the day you were born.
· Our elite is hypocritical. It looks you right in the eyes and gives you the Talk about America, the land of opportunity, justice, law, rights and all that stinky camel dung. That’s why Editor cannot hate the Arab elite, but can hate ours.
Sunday 0230 GMT April 17, 2018
· A little story of how the world has changed So Editor’s New York niece buys 2 opera tickets (expensive things). But shortly before the show, her guest calls to say she won’t go because she’s had a fight with her boyfriend who is leaving her. Now, some ladies rejoice when their boyfriends leave them, but apparently my niece’s is rather attached to the boyfriend, who is a horror and mean to my niece’s friend and who needs to meet a runaway dump truck in the street. Each to her own. So now what to do. Niece gets a bright idea: she calls another girlfriend, who calls another girlfriend, who appears in time for the show, and she and niece get along like houses. So all is well. But please note: niece’s girlfriend is in New Zealand. The girlfriend’s girlfriend is a Kiwi mining engineer who happens to be visiting New York. Young people will wonder why Editor is going “Amazing!” but if you’re older, you will see it is pretty amazing. People halfway around the world may as well be in the same neighborhood. Talk of the hive mind.
· Meanwhile, Editor can’t text, and wouldn’t text if he could. He has a refurbished $15 flip phone he keeps in the car. Last time he tried to add a few minutes the operator was asking him to give his cell number, except Editor doesn’t know it. It’s never on, no one calls him anyway. He’s not sure why he has, except it is useful to call Triple AAA or to call school is he is stuck in traffic – often right at the school, BTW.
· So the other day he’s babysitting a class as the teacher had an emergency and had to leave. Ten students, they’re working on computers. He notices one young lady, a 9th Grader newly arrived at the school tussling with one of the boys. Editor heaves his ancient butt off his chair and goes over. The boy is trying to keep the girl from grabbing his phone. Editor tells her to get off the boy, but she keeps at him saying “Let me have it, I must have it, give it to me!” Editor tries to calm her down, gently saying it’s his phone, not hers.
· “But he gave it to me! I want it back! Now!” So Editor asks the boy what’s going on. He says her phone is dead, and he lent her his so she can make a call, but she’s had it for well over half-an-hour and he wants it back. The girl responds with the “But he gave it to me! I want it back! Now!” routine, and she’s grabbing at him again. If a boy was doing exactly the same thing to her, he’d be in big trouble. But of course these days the girls are innocent and the boys are all savage rapists.
· Editor told young lady to sit or he’s have to call security, she couldn’t have her hands on a boy who didn’t want her attention. BTW, Editor is the only person at school who is equal to both genders in that respect. He has NEVER EVER heard a male or female teacher tell a girl to take her hands off a boy. She sits, but her face starts melting in anguish because she doesn’t have a phone. “Can’t you at least give me a charger?” she says wretchedly. Well, Editor doesn’t have one, and the other kids’ chargers don’t fit her phone. Editor feels his pants pocket and find he does have his phone. He gives it to her with the admonishment she can make one short call, as Editor has to pay ten cents a minute. She looks at the phone in astonishment, makes a quick call, and then wails “This phone does nothing! How can I use it?!!”
· Editor and his phone are both hurt. Okay, so the phone doesn’t recite the Pledge of Allegiance during morning announcements, but it does its job. How is it the phone’s fault that all it does is call?
· So Editor, to keep the young lady calm says he will give her a note to a teacher whom he knows will not mind having his class disturbed (its art, so everyone is moving around anyway doing their thing), and she can ask for a charger. More wailing: “But I need a phone now! I can’t go to another class, it’ll take too long!” and she dashes off to chase the boy all over the room. I get him to give me the phone for temporary safekeeping, so she goes grabs another boy demanding his phone. He is not the gallant type and he shoves her away, pretty hard. How can I reprimand him when she’s the aggressor? I go to the hall to call security. The end-of-class bell rings and this girl is not my problem anymore.
· Of course the kids are not supposed to have phones out in class. Many teachers do enforce that rule. But as a sub with different kids every class, every day, Editor has to pick his battles. He doesn’t take a phone away except in extreme circumstances, always soothingly tell the student s/he will for sure get it back at class end, and Editor will not take this any further.
· Editor wonders if those folks in the business of making and selling these gadgets realize the effect they’re having on the children/young people. Apple and Samsung and whoever are pushing drugs that are as addictive as the controlled substances. Young people have NO short-term memory anymore, forget long-term memory. And they’re attached to their cell phones in the same horrible way they’d feel if they were attached to drugs. The phone gives them a high, but they subconsciously realize they’re addicted and they don’t feel good about themselves.
· Did Editor says something about the Pledge? No one except Editor stands any more. And he’s not even American except in his heart. Thank you so much Supreme Court. Respecting your country is now an option. Soon after you do that, people chose the option of not standing. Those who want to are intimidated by the silent majority. Well done Supreme Court.
Saturday 0230 April 16, 2016
· Syria As foretold by everyone, there is no more ceasefire, and everyone is busy bashing up everyone else. The US approach, that a ceasefire will lead to talks that will lead to a peaceful resolution, is deeply flawed.
· We are quite baffled as to why the US has gone this way in Syria when it knows full well that the way it bought peace to FRY was not negotiations, but whacking the Serbs for as long as was necessary to convince them they could not win. After the wars were over, US had successful peace talks. Whenever Serbia acted pushy, US bashed them again into line.
· Where is there a similar situation in Syria. Assad forces, aided by Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah averted defeat and are on a series of successful offensives. US-backed rebels are getting more money, more trainers, more arms, and air support. Okay, so it’s all kind of on a pathetic scale, defying the simple principles of war – a mistake not made by the Russians, which is why they had successes to the shock of the US. US assumed the Russians would fight like the US. Whoever thought that up needs to be marched out on the parade ground, his $200 shirt ripped off, he expensive writing tools ceremoniously broken, and be marched off to Syria without his shoes and without his Starbucks. Any fool knows you don’t mirror image the enemy. US is past being fools, so they mirror images, and go “OMG! The Russians are playing by their own rules and not ours! Treacherous untrustworthy fellows.
· Back to the US rebels, they’re still alive and its apparent the US is going to keep them on life-support so they are not get wiped out. The US has had good success with the Syrian Kurds, which is going to destabilize the region further. Editor is all for this, let the whole rotten cesspool be drained for good. But of course, that’s not what US is doing, its trying to get back stability. If US is so keen on stability, best it side with Assad.
· The Gulf States and Turkey continue keeping their clients going despite heavy blows administered by the Assad side and the American-backed Kurds. Their clients are Islamists who are America’s mortal enemies. All these Gulf regimes need to be overthrown, and Turkey has to be broken up, as also with Iraq. The entire last 100 years of western fiddling has to be undone and a new Middle East (including Yemen) created on ethnic lines, enforced by the US military for the next hundred years – or two hundred, whatever it takes. But of course we are not going to overthrow the Gulf States/Saudi, which basically own a big chunk of our corrupt elite. When it comes to readiness to be bribed, the only difference between us and the 3rd World is that we demand more money. But the 3rd World is far superior ethically: we know we are corrupt. The US moralizes as if everyone else is except the US. It’s the hypocrisy Editor can’t take.
· There will be no resolution. BTW, no one is so exhausted that they will agree to a peaceful situation. The killing in Afghanistan has been going on for 37 years; no one has quit. Syria is only 5-years on.
Friday 0230 GMT April 15, 2016
· Editor is alternately angry and depressed about USS Cook incident Okay, so Editor has been spending a lot of time in the last few years trying not to take it personally when US makes a laughing stock of itself. It’s hard to let go, because Editor belongs to the generation when it was OK to be patriotic, indeed, it was expected. So then we have the USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) incident day before in the Black Sea, and India finds himself getting furiously angry. When he calms down, he gets depressed.
· In short: three Russian fighters, two for sure Fencers, the third likely to also be, make attack runs against our destroyer, one of which come comes 10-meters off the deck. US Navy complains the Russians are being “unprofessional”. Washington has its own vocabulary. What “unprofessional” really means we will not do anything about it, and so have resorted to stupid name-calling. We are sure Putin is so hurt by our word that he has curled up in fetal position, with a corner of his pink blankey in his mouth a la Linus of Peanuts, and is refusing even to respond to the siren calls of Ms. Wendy Deng.
· A word on the destroyer. It is part of four with Desron 60, forward-based by 2014 order at Rota, Spain. All four are being reconfigured for Aegis BMD, and are intended to bolster our missile defenses (and Europe’s too) missile defenses in case Iran does something naughty. The Russian recovery of Crimea (we refuse to call it an invasion, you can’t invade something that has belonged to you for donkey’s years) doubtless added urgency to the plans, and periodically one of the Rota destroyers have been sailing around in the Black Sea to reassure our “allies” – think Austin Powers – that we are there to protect them because they can’t be bothered to protect themselves; and to tell Moscow that we really, really are not wimps.
· Given that the US Navy has shrunk to the point all of it will fit in a large pond, it’s quite remarkable the US can spare four DDGs for Rota, but then an Iranian missile landing on London or the capital of the Free World would have pretty remarkable results. Of course, the inane, braying jackasses who run our country will jump to tell us: but these ships are so much more capable than the previous ones. Doubtless soon we will be down to one warship in the Atlantic, and one in the Pacific, but OMG, there will just be SO capable. And surely unmanned, except for one most junior lieutenant who we can blame when things go wrong.
· OK, so Editor is obviously in a cranky mood. You’d be too if you’d read what SecState Kerry had to say: we’d be justified in shooting down the Russian aircraft. 30 lashes with a limp noodle, Mr. SecState. So why didn’t you? Because you, your government, and your Navy are punks. Its that “talk talk you worry me to death” thing that we’ve gotten just so good at. In real life where the wouldaas, shouldaas, and couldaas are recognized as unacceptable excuses, the SecState is just so mean because he’s beating Putin with a flower, every hour. Read where US Russia experts say thar the Rus will “likely” get away with it. “Likely”? How about sure to?
· Where does this “unprofessional” thing come from? In 1972, US signed an agreement with USSR on protocols to avoid incidents at sea. The morons who came up this idea didn’t understand that (a) you’re putting your inferior enemy on par with yourself; and (b) an agreement to reduce the chance of accidental fights firmly lays bounds on what YOU can do to your enemy if he decides to play silly buggers.
· Putin, it is said, was upset that a Polish helicopter was on board USS Cook, and was signaling the US to stay out of the Black Sea. Are we really supposed to care what he’s signaling to the point of giving him a justification? NO. The only signal that USS Cook should have given was to fire to kill. That’s the only way to stop Putin from playing his games, which he repeatedly gets away with. We’re so noble because we didn’t respond because of a 1972 agreement that Putin is violating? The only way Poots will get the message is if you ram it up his tail pipe. Instead we’ve sent him the message: “Do it again, you sweet unprofessional thing, we get so turned on at the sight of your naked, strong body.”
Thursday 0230 GMT April 14, 2016
Comments on yesterday blog rant by Editor, from his young friend
We promised you balanced and
you’re getting balanced. He has requested “Anon”. Of course anyone
who knows him can tell immediately because he has a unique style. To
repeat: he is not a journo, has deep sources and understands them.
Unlike most journos .
· Just a few comments, and no major objections to your blog post.
· Let us dismiss all talk of a U.S.-India alliance in the formal sense. Alliances are passe. Democracies cannot follow through on alliance commitments (see, for example, how the parliamentary debate in the UK on Syria turned out). There is no appetite in the U.S. to support India as an ally, and vice-versa.
· Neither are there clear quid pro quos. If the U.S. continues supporting the Pakistan military in ways that compromise India's security (e.g. supplying F-16s), India will rightfully not cooperate on other areas that may matter more for Washington. Nothing gives Indian officials greater pleasure than saying 'no' to Washington, so much of the concern in many quarters that India is being 'entrapped' is simply not justified. After all, after all the heavy lifting by the U.S. to grant India a nuclear exception at the NSG (and it was a *lot* of diplomatic capital that was exerted), India did not shortlist American fighters in the MMRCA competition nor ensure a nuclear liability bill that benefited American companies. So, again, I would not worry about India being strong-armed or coerced into doing something by the U.S.
· The purpose of peacetime defence cooperation today is manifold, but a major one is to give options for planned or unplanned contingencies. These need not be specific contingencies, but - in an age of nuclear weapons, professional diplomats and lawyers, and a global media - what is required is an array of options to meet various circumstances. What I mean is, we may not be operating under a specific plan to have U.S.-India joint collaboration in the event of Chinese adventurism (as in 1962), but rather facilitating ad hoc cooperation if - and only if - both sides think it beneficial. Thus, it could be something as anodyne as humanitarian relief operations following a major natural disaster. It could also be something more sensitive, involving China, Pakistan, or another actor.
· India's list of priorities for defence planning and management are manifold. We need better threat assessments and contingency plans to address these threats (something you have been involved with in the past, with good results that were not adequately heeded). We need to rethink how we allocate budgetary resources for defence modernization. 'Make in India' is not a defence modernization plan. We need to think about how to split staff and command functions in the services (a permanent chairman, chief of staffs committee is *not* the solution). The Kargil Review Committee raised some of these issues 17 years ago. PM Modi's speech to the combined commanders conference last year also laid out these challenges very well, and it is encouraging that these problems have been appreciated at the highest levels. But only when we have solutions in place for all of this can we assess, with any clear idea, when and how to best collaborate with the U.S. Until then, all of this is either tactical or groping in the dark.
· Editor’s comments Now notice how different this from Editor’s style. The analyst has not called anyone a poltroon or a moron. He has expressed his very firm opinion without hurting anyone’s feelings. He has been carefully neutral between US and India and still manages to convey his heart lies with India. There’s no black and white, only diplomatically stated shades of gray. Though he is 40-years younger than Editor, he has achieved an international reputation and is big in the think tank world. BTW, in person he also very respectful to his seniors.
· Editor’s father, who was both a soldier and a diplomat used to exasperatedly keep saying: “Why can’t you be more diplomatic?” Now here’s the thing. In India, people are very tolerant of dissent, or at least to be. Editor was free to sat whatever he wanted, and being brought up in America, he exercised that freedom. That didn’t mean he did not get into continuous trouble with the Government of India because the government was not used to anyone contradicting it on defense and foreign policy. Nor did they like his habit of publishing way more hard data than the government had revealed to us sans-culottes, which was everyone not in that very tiny elite of rulers (business/corporate folks were excluded and scorned simply because they made money). BTW, the government revealed almost no data. But still, the intellectuals in the government and media and academics never once told Editor what to think and what to say. They found Editor tres amusing, even the Americans in India.
· As an example of this, the then US Information Agency invited him to a lunch with the visiting head of the agency. This worthy made the error of asking Editor of America. So Editor told him exactly what was what. At that time USIA had brought Sagan’s “Cosmos” to show at its centers. Even USIA was shocked at the wildly positive response from Indians. It did extra shows, but many, many people could not get in. So Editor told the Great White Chief that Indians did not give one issue of gas from the nether for American military might. They hated it so much they hated America. But “Cosmos” showed the true inspirational soul of America (at least as it used to be then, right now, America shows it true soul to the world and the world goes “Eeeeeewwww”). If America forewent just one fighter aircraft, and spent the money on showing “Cosmos” in a hundred Indian cities it would convert so many Indians to be for America that US Government would not what hit. Chiefy went silent and then shifted the conversation something else.
· Later Editor apologized to his host for being rude to Chiefy. Host said: “we invited you because we knew you would say what you said.”
· Okay, now imagine Editor is invited to meet with a US agency chief over lunch and says exactly what he believes about US follies in the Middle East. How far would he get in Washington DC? Nowhere. And that’s what happened when Editor returned to the US in 1989. It took him years of failing to get a single think tank job (he still has to get one) before he realized the Americans wanted him to say what they wanted him to say. No deviation from the elite’s party line. By the way, yes, Editor is a subversive and elite is very good at sensing that before he even opens his mouth. It starts with his shoes, which are $8 Vietnam shoes and at least 15-years old. It goes on to his tattered Tommy Gear key lanyard he wears around his neck – he is hopeless with keys and it’s the only way he can hold on to him. BTW, the lanyard was thrown in the YMCA trash can. The Washingtoon elite are fops. Editor keeps thinking: where do they get the money to dress like that? He wears what he can afford. People take that as an attack on their values. Which it is not, Editor has no money to dress otherwise. Oh, okay, he’s lying. Even he was a trillionaire he would dress the same because the Bible and Mahatma Gandhi speak against vanity. Editor is proud he is not vain. Plus Editor, no matter how well he behaves cannot hide his contempt for ignorant people pretending to be intellectuals. Editor will sit and learn from you no matter how young you are or how little status you have if you know what you are talking about. Another problem in America: everyone is so specialized they cannot put together one thought from two different fields. That’s not being an intellectual, its being a mildly artificially intelligent machine.
· Now, Editor really admires his young friend for holding to his core beliefs without offending anyone, and his great success in getting along. This, however, is a difference of personality...
· Okay: the inevitable happened: Editor has forgotten why he is saying all this. Its that ADHD thing. Time for meds.
Wednesday 0230 GMT April 13, 2016
· India Today we learned that the US has 80 (as in eighty) dialogs simultaneously with India. This probably is a good way to deal with India: throw so many things at it that India goes into overload and gives in to something. You have to admire America’s patience and determination. This all being underpinned by a relentless American cadence: you want us to be nice to you; but show us what’ll you do in return. And India is listening.
· Bizarre as it may sound, until recently India believed that it had to do nothing for America. Americans should consider themselves blessed that we Indians would tell them how to run the world (to suit India, not the US). That’s all the return India thought it needed to give. Editor knows that those not intimately familiar with the Indo-US relationship 1947 onwards will find what he is saying incredible, impossible, irrational. Call it want you want, believe what you want, but Editor is telling you that really the way it was. Now Indian decision makers will actually tell you – off the record, and when they’re talking between themselves – that the American insistence makes sense, because if we want a quid, we have to give a pro.
· One thing the US has gotten is a logistics agreement with India. This was hanging for 10-years after India allowed this might, indeed, be beneficial for India. Of course, with India even a signed, sealed, and published agreement means nothing. So figuring out where something is heading is a futile business. Nonetheless, let’s assume this is a done deal. Ostensibly, it’s totally harmless. No US military personnel will be stationed in India. This simply a way station agreement. US warship has an emergency; it can now put in for repairs at an Indian base with minimum fuss because the mechanism is in place. Indian warship runs short on critical medical supplies while on anti-piracy patrol in the Western Indian Ocean, it can request help from the US. And so on. The best part? If US seeks use of our logistics help against a nation that India considers a friend, India can refuse. Goodness, how utterly gracious the Americans can be! How can we not agree to their deal?
· Editor might even be inclined to accept this deal. BUT – he suspects there is a bit more than meets the eye, and only intended to get Indians used to the idea of a Indo-US military alliance.
· Now, Editor really doesn’t like his role of Resident Cynic on India. He is unhappy at having to carry on for decades about what idiots we Indian are. But where is the choice. America is doing us no favors by allowing us to opt out if US is against our friend. The same thing will apply to the US. So when we want assistance against Pakistan, the US has the right to opt out too. Next, if this is just a plain vanilla, low-level mutual help agreement, why has India insisted on an opt-out? Obviously because it doesn’t want US using our bases for offensive operations against a friend. But if the US target is not our Best Friend Forever, then by this agreement we have to let US use our bases for operations.
· Wait a minute, you say. This is a logistics agreement. Where did offensive US operations come from? Good point. That’s why we’ve been saying the US camel has gotten his nose under India’s tent. Who knows how this agreement evolves? Government of India is not going to show its citizens the agreement.
· One thing, though, readers can agree with the Editor. If India gets into trouble with China, then the bases permit a smooth arrival of American help. With the logistics secured, a US fighter wing can arrive and be in action within 24-hours. Store a brigade worth of equipment, and it gets the Americans into the fight that must faster. Not that we need a brigade, but it will make a big statement. Store millions of gallons of fuel, stores, and ordnance for the US Navy, and American carriers won’t have to keep rotating out to replenish.
· Readers can legitimately ask: but does Editor know all this for a fact? He does not, because he’s never going to get to see the agreement. He is arguing backwards: if there’s an agreement in the first place, it can only be for the purposes he’s suggesting.
· Now, mind you, India expects US help if the going gets tough in the North. But then let India say it has in fact prepared for US military intervention, which implies a military alliance. And then when in return the Americans want something for us, say air and surface anti-submarine patrols, we can hardly say no.
· Editor sees some readers are still skeptical. So he’s going to do something he never does. He’s going to send this article to someone for their comments. This person is the grandson of Editor’s mentor, western trained, but very nationalistic like his grandfather – who made Editor into an Indian nationalist, BTW. He’s very young, but deeply knowledgeable and balanced, with real contacts among the Indian ruling government elite. If he says Editor’s analysis is butt-backward, we’ll publish his comments immediately we get them.
· Fair enough?
Monday 0230 GMT April 11, 2016
· New US initiatives on India Part I Editor should clarify that having grown up in the US and having spent half his life in the US, including making it his permanent home, he cannot be categorized as anti-America. He has even gone on record as saying world peace is possible only under an American aegis. Nonetheless, Editor is getting heartburn about the new US initiatives on India.
· The big one is to continue its 10-year push for joint bases with India. We are told the Government has accepted the idea, but still not figured out how to make the proposal a reality, given the history of the country’s opposition to America (1947-1980 or so), and now rising nationalism. Previously we opposed the US because we perceived ourselves as weak, and didn’t want the US to replace the British in becoming our new colonial masters. Now the younger generation could say: “India is a rising power, why do we need so close a military cooperation with America?”
· On the one hand, this proposal makes sense. We are scared out of our underpants about Pakistan and China. No sense in Editor shouting from the rooftops that we have nothing to be scared of, we can look after ourselves. It’s a psychological problem, not amenable to cure by large – and unwanted – doses of facts. The US puts the joint bases proposition as simple access, to help each other out and to train together. But obviously there’s much more to it, the US is soothingly selling us a medicine on which we will get hooked.
· This agreement would more closely bind US and India together. We are already allies, this would make us military allies. The US would greatly reduce to equate India and Pakistan, with a very clear declaration for India. (US, incidentally, has been wooing us for years on these lines). With the US in India, we could shrug off the China threat and relax. Indians have so little self-confidence, having a Big Brother to look after our security threats would make us very happy.
· The first problem Editor sees is US foreign policy. The US is going through a decades-long decline in its ability to deploy an intelligent, consistent, and calm foreign policy. As the continuing war on terror shows, US no longer knows what its own interests are, and has replaced a steadiness with impulse. When Editor becomes impulsive, no one is hurt but himself. But when US gets that way, like a giant supernatural creature, its thrashing around destroys everything around with zero consequences to the US.
· The US is losing ground worldwide, to the Islamists, to Russia, and at an alarming rate to China. It has become so weak it cannot even smack DPRK over the constant provocations and insults bestowed on us by the Littlest Kim. US calls this a mature response, BTW, which just shows how far removed the US is from reality. Meanwhile US income distribution has become so skewed towards the top 1% that Americans are getting worked up to resort to violence against their own establishment. This trend will accelerate when Bernie and Donald lose, and Empress Hillary comes to power for 8 unbearable years.
· At home, the US is falling apart because people don’t want to pay taxes. Corporates have cut back on R&D, the military is shrinking, the infrastructure is in tatters, the US continues to churn out generation after generation of academic duds, poverty is seen everywhere, social media has made us mindless and our children unable to focus for more than 8 seconds at a time! The family structure has been almost destroyed. Though series crime is down compared to the 1980s and 1990s, because of instant media the people’s sense of being unsafe grows. Medicines sold in India for a dollar sell in America for a hundred times as much. There is no safety net should you lose your job, older people are almost unemployable, the scourge of alcohol and drug abuse, and the extreme grip pornography has, is all leading to a deterioration of community values and social life. The US Army needs 70,000 a recruits a year, but has trouble finding them – in a country of 315-million! – because our youth is so physically and mentally unfit.
· Editor can go on, but his point is: why does India want to ally with a declining and loser power?
· Tomorrow: why would America want to ally with a loser like India?
Thursday 0230 GMT April 7, 2016
· An apology for a 2-day absence during the week These apologies have become a ritual since Editor decided to spend more time on his studies. He is sorry to report that the extra effort he has been putting in, 5-10 hours a day, is not paying-off. Same old high Bs and low As, so that a single disaster can push a grade down to a middling grade. At that, both professors have been giving extra points for the hard work.
· As you know by now, Editor’s favorite Bernie Sanders thrashed Hillary in Wisconsin and is well ahead in New York. He still can’t win the nomination because he doesn’t have the super-delegates, a delightfully undemocratic device the Democrats came up post 1968 Chicago to stop the left wing of the party from winning the nomination. His other favorite Donald Trump lost Wisconsin to Ted Cruz; a loss that should not have happened. Donald didn’t realize his campaign had reach an inflexion point, and that he had to start sounding statesmanlike. His plan was to do this once he got the nomination. We know because he’s said so – there’s nothing deceitful about Donald. Instead he continued his verbal slanging to the point the GOP, who hates Cruz more than the gent in the red satin suit who resides in the Hot Place Downstairs, began really panicking and decided that at all costs Donald must be stopped. In New York, his home state, Donald has 52%, Kasich 25%, ad Cruz 17%. So hopefully Donald will Zip The Lip and not ruin it for himself.
· Back in Libya a shaky unity government has been formed and the Tripoli regime has resigned. We’re not clear on what the Benghazi wing is doing. The unity government was a pre-requisite for western intervention. Once the west is committed, everyone will be back to their factional fight, and it will not be so easy for the west to withdraw to put new pressure on the factions. Interventions are not like taps to be turned off-and-on. They are complex affairs. They tend to force a change in the existing balance of power, and the side that gains gets less inclined to keep its word. So there’s a lot of fun ahead, and we may expect the US will continue to lie its head off about what’s happening.
· In Iraq, the special forces have entered Hit, which IS is contesting in an apparent change in tactics. We’ve been telling readers that ONLY the police and army SF are fighting, the rest of the Iraq Army “trained” (think Austin Powers) is about as useless as it is possible to get, after 18-months of US training. This Dirty Big Secret is now apparently no secret. People are openly saying what Editor has been saying.
· That’s not going to stop the military brass from continuing to lie about how effective the Army is. The lying and the media’s willingness to go alone has gotten to the stage that Editor no longer heap the blame at the US Government’s door. If American citizens weren’t so Attention Deficit, they would know by now they have been consistently lied to about the effectiveness of US trained local forces since 2004. Mind you, Editor himself did not catch on until 2008 or 2009. He makes no excuse except to note that those with information no longer beat a path to his door (that stopped when he left India 26-years ago), and he has to figure things out using intuition. The intuition is based on very tiny clues and inconsistencies in the media accounts.
· Kashmir and Cricket For at least 45-years Editor has given his government a simple solution to the Kashmir problem, now about to enter its 8th decade starting in 2017. Take back Pakistan into the Indian Union and there is no more Kashmir problem. Yes, Pakistan will not willingly return. Force is required. The minute you say we Indians have to exert ourselves, everyone shuts down. In Editor’s case, believe it or not, in 45-years not a single person has challenged his solution: they refuse to dignify it with any reply.
· Editor was thinking about this after he heard the news of new trouble in Kashmir. The Indian cricket team was defeated by someone or the other, and some local Kashmiris at a college cheered. Cricket is India’s secular religion so unsurprisingly, the non-Kashmiri students got angry, and clashes ensued. The Government of India and the Kashmir State Government immediately went into the Chicken-With-Head-Cut-Off mode and is busy assuring itself all is under control. Pity no one believes them.
· The other day some stalwart of the new “nationalist” government said that since Muslims love Pakistan so much, India should send them over the border. Sigh. Bang head against rock. People, people, we cannot do that. Pakistan is in illegal secession from India. Pakistani Muslims and Indian Muslims are Indian. Indian Muslims were converted by invading Muslims at the point of the sword, and millions were killed because the invaders liked killing. But all these people, including the invaders, became Indian. They’ve been around for centuries.
· By what ethics do we expel our own Indians because they are of a different religion? Besides which, has it occurred to anyone that expelling Indian Muslims legitimizes Pakistan, and Pakistan’s secession? When the US split in 1861 did the north send all slave holders to the south? No, the north reconquered the south. Yo, India, get a grip, please.
Monday 0230 GMT April 4, 2016
· Earth to White House: Houston, we have a problem…See, Editor does not like beating up on Obama twice or more a week. It looks like piling on. The problem is that there really is a problem with what Obama says and the way he behaves. So not to comment could equally open Editor to charges of reverse racial discrimination. And, Editor has to admit, such a charge would be true. It’s not that Editor cares that Obama is black, because he’s not. He’s white because his mother was white and he was brought up by white folk. The reason is Editor has black friends, and their feelings would be very, very hurt if he did pile on to Obama.
· It’s like OJ Simpson. At the time Editor was working a black school with a black faculty, bar two white teachers. Between themselves, the black teachers would blast OJ. But the day the judgement came down, a white teacher allowed she was very upset. The reaction from the black teachers was so cold that you’d think the glaciers had rolled back over Maryland. They were angry, and voluble. Editor didn’t bother pointing out the contradiction, because he knew the answer: “We can attack OJ because we’re black, but she can’t because she’s white.” Now, no matter what color you are, and how illogical this formulation is, you can understand it because of the history of black in the US.
· Conversely, what is Editor to do? We have a commander-in-chief who has pretentions to being an intellectual, when he’s about as intellectual as a college freshperson. He is arrogant beyond words, and has created more cesspools for the US than any President in the last hundred years or maybe even more. He has reduced America to the status of a mangy, one-eyed, two-legged cat, and created a situation where we are a laughing stock – Putin, China, Iran, and DPRK just to name a few. We’re not a laughing stock to much of the world: they merely spit at us and mock. And you cannot NOT criticize Obama because his foreign and military policies are so uniquely his, because he listens to no one – because he’s so bright, you know.
· The other day, the French Prez aka Le Flannery, i.e., Pudding Face to his citizens, was in Washington. Though he speaks perfect English, as is the custom he spoke in his own language, French. He used the words “Islamic Terrorism”. His translated speech’s video was put up on the White House site. Then someone realized the Word That Can Never Be Uttered had been uttered. So the two words were deleted from the audio track. Then the media began thrashing Obama/White House. So the WH claimed it was a technical glitch, and the audio was restored. http://nypost.com/2016/04/02/white-house-doctors-video-to-remove-islamic-terrorism-quote/ A technical glitch for just the two words Obama attacks anyone who uses them.
· At this point, most of us are begging God to please take us now, even if – as applies to Editor – it’s to the Hot Place Downstairs. That the WH would censor an allied President’s words to suit our Prez’s faux political correctness, is just so unbelievable that even Editor does not know what to say. This is same thing that our Prez routine attacks China for. Sure, cutting out two words compared to China’s censorship is hardly worth mention. But editing the state speech of an ally? The Euros would be livid except they’re busting the guts rolling on the floor laughing, mocking America. Once again, our Prez reduces our country – his country, too – to a status well below that of Peter Seller’s satirical Duchy of Grand Fenwick (“The Mouse That Roared”.) Then to blandly lie about it is just plain unbearable.
· What does one do with a Prez like this? Couldn’t he have said “my staff, respecting my sensitivities, over-zealously censored the two words. I take responsibility, and I apologize for disrespecting my honored guest”.
· See, Obama represents not just himself, but the US of A. He seems still not to have gotten the second half of the concept. He’s the smartest man he knows. The concept is too complicated for him to get.
Sunday 0230 GMT April 3, 2016
Editor has set a record: in 9 days at home (Spring Break) he has been to the library twice, CVS once, driven 3-miles, walked 0, and had brief phone conversations with three people. Rest of the time it’s been work, but sadly the equivalent of 2-days of productive work was lost because he was trying to watch operas on U-Tube while working. Curses.
· Even people seen as crazy can have good ideas, but the problem is human tendency to type-cast. In India this is an issue our Prime Minister faces. 99% of his ideas are excellent, but his inability to denounce Hindu extremists on the right wing of his party has cost him support of very many Indians. You can’t praise Modi for anything, because you’ll get swamped with hate mail. Equally, you cannot criticize him for his bad ideas or failure to implement, because his supporters will also swamp you with hate mail.
· So it is with Mr. Donald Trump. If you are an old fashioned American without politically correct pretensions, almost everything he says is sensible, even though he has to speak in overwrought terms because that is the way we now engage in discourse. So it is with his random prognostications on America’s international relations and military policy. The establishment has delegitimized him by labelling him psychotic, and we don’t owe it to him to listen carefully to what he is saying.
· The thing is, why exactly would the establishment listen to him anyway, given that he wants to destroy it? Editor, for one, has been repeatedly told that if he wants to be accepted by the Washington establishment, he has to learn to speak in its language. But, you see, if Editor was to do that, he’s would accept the establishment’s values, which with regard to international and security policy he believes are just completely wrong. This is not an opinion, because Editor has supported the establishment view for 50-years, and based entirely on the evidence of repeat failure, changed his mind only in the last few years.
· Unlike Trump, Editor does not want to destroy the establishment because the establishment serves a critical role in the stability of a nation. We cannot live in a state of permanent revolution such as communist theorists wanted – well, the radical ones, at least. If we did so, we’d become mental patients very quickly and our country would become a giant asylum.
· BTW, Editor is quite aware that real radicals believe it already has, and he is sympathetic to that point of view. Nonetheless, to be a human is to be mad, so it doesn’t help much to say we live in the Giant Looney Bin. Lunatics we all may be, but one has to live life, and it doesn’t help to run around screaming “We’re mad! We’re mad! And therefore we don’t have to bother about our lives!” Crops have to be grown, bridges have to be built, and so on, according to rules laid down by consensus reality. All we can do is reject consensus reality without uttering a word, and go on working as if we really consensus reality. Which is what almost all of us do anyway, even if we don’t admit it to ourselves.
· Back to Trump. He said two totally factual things the other day. One, why should we have to live with the risk of ducking under our school desks and kissing our behinds goodbye just because Japan, Taiwan, and ROK have to have a nuclear umbrella? Yes, there are reasons why we provided and continue to provide nuclear umbrella even at the risk of our own annihilation. It has to do with maintaining power. But think of this a minute: is it a productive process to maintain power at the risk of being wiped our ourselves when we can still be the most powerful on earth without that N-umbrella?
· Next he said that our allies do not bear their fair share of the collective defense burden. How is this absurd or crazy? Anyone with the least knowledge knows this is absolutely the case. We spend 4% of our GDP on defense (actually more, the official DOD budget is a Big Fat Lie), but Germany and Japan spend 1%. Editor for one does not mean to imply that if these two and others spent 4% we could cut back. We cannot. But with 4% for Europe and Japan etc, these countries could truly be our first line of defense. Please someone explain why we should be their first line of defense so that they can spent more money on lattes?
· Simple sense has not stopped the establishment from running around in circles, flapping our arms, and screaming “Trump is crazy! Trump is cwazee!” What does this say about the stablemen? Aren’t they the crazy ones and Trump the sane one?
Friday 0230 GMT April 1, 2016
· US President blames retiring CENTCOM leader for misleading him about Islamic State The story is at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/mar/30/white-house-faults-decorated-us-generals-handling-/ The story behind the story is that the President gave an interview to a monthly magazine in which he blamed his intelligence people and the CENTCOM commander for downplaying the IS threat. The implication is that had this not been the case, the President would have acted differently.
· The problem is that the general denied he made any such remark. Moreover, the US Secretary Defense who, like his resigned predecessor has an unfortunate predilection to tell the truth, has said he is unaware the general made such a remark and advised the media to contact the White House if they wanted further discussions on the matter.
· Further, the President has to deal with an uncomfortable matter. This same general took the last US troops out of Iraq, but warned the President that 20,000 had to stay behind because Iraq could not handle its own defense. So how does the President explain that away, and on what justification does he say the same general blew off the IS threat?
· So basically we have a situation where the SecDef is calling his boss a liar and backing his general. This is such a rare occurrence in Washington that the now disintegrated planet between Mars and Jupiter must have reassembled itself and gone on to win Dancing With the Stars. The previous SecDef loyally held his tongue despite his huge disagreement with the President, and spoke only after he resigned. The current SecDef openly broke with the President the other day when he said he was planning more troops for Iraq. Now he has plainly implied his boss is a liar. He can speak his mind because with 11-months to go before his presidency ends, what exactly is the President to do? Fire the current SecDef and take a huge hit to what remains of the President’s credibility? This does not seem an appetizing option.
· The President’s story about his intelligence misleading him is really peculiar. Because there is about 2-tons of evidence that intelligence repeatedly warned him about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and Iraq, but the President didn’t want to hear about it. Moreover, we thought the US has a National Security Council. The President should be taking the considered advice of the NSC to whom the heads of his intelligence report. Its most odd of the President to blame folks en passant and randomly. And does the President decide his strategy on an off-the-cuff comment by the theater commander (which was never made)?
· If this true, the President loses in two ways. One, he paints himself as a hideously incompetent commander-in-chief. Two, he gets the nation’s opprobrium for publically blaming a subordinate commander – behind that commander’s back. If what the President says is true, when it became true by the fall of 2014 that IS was a serious threat, why did he not fire his intelligence folks and his general for giving wrong advice?
· What the President does not seem to understand is that his citizens are absolutely fed up with the non-stop lying he and his political class have been inflicting on us. His “political class” includes just about everyone except for Sanders and Trump. This nation is so strung out about the establishment’s lying eyes that if pushed further, it could easily explode and that’s not going to help anyone. It does not help that the almost-certain next President has a consistent history of lying and skating on very thin ice in the matter of trust.
· Why on earth does the President go on about “no boots on the ground” when American forces are engaged in an air and ground war in Iraq and Syria? It’s no longer “advisors”, it’s SF raiding teams, and Marines engaged in the lead up to the battle of Mosul. And this after 1 ½ years lying to us about the great progress made in reconstituting a new Iraq Army and how our intervention in Afghanistan was so successful. Why do we have to learn through round-about ways that the Libya intervention was – as some of us knew – regime change and nobody in Washington gave a hang about “peaceful” dissenters who were being killed? The country would still have backed Obama-Clinton on Libya had they told the truth. We’re telling the truth in Syria, that its regime change, is anyone getting upset about this?
· Aside from the lying, what standard is the President for the young and the old in our country by acting like a slimy, immature 6th Grader and saying “he made me do it, blame him, not me”?
Wednesday 0230 GMT March 30, 2016
We’re postponing Part II of yesterday’s rant as we’ve already covered much of the ground earlier
· Since 2010 terror attacks and deaths increase by 10x This on an annual basis, so right now we’re seeing 30,000+ dead against 3000 dead in 2001 https://t.co/K2Dir8dSH7 But not to worry, folks, the Government tells us we are willing the Global War On Terror. And the Government would never lie to us, right? Right? Someone say something!
· This is just the kind of news that will delight those who have been saying that our war against terrorism is simply creating more terrorists – another meaningless meme that is popular in the west. So it’s easy to forget that likely 98% of the incidents and deaths are outside the west, and we’re including Israel and Turkey in the west.
· Here’s a statistic for our readers. If the west hadn’t resisted the Axis in World War II and just given up, instead of 80-million dying of all cause (including famine deaths), the number would likely have been 10-million that – almost all due to the genocides unleashed by Hitler. So you could say by resisting the Axis the west brought about 70-million unnecessary deaths. Take that a step further, and you could make a case the West committed the gravest war crime in history.
· Makes no sense, of course. And neither does the proposition that by fighting back in the GWOT, we have created more terrorists and worsened the problem.
· It is nonetheless true that had we not militarily intervened in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen the death toll from terror would be very much less. Why? Because the Middle East dictators ruled with an iron hand and no terrorism was possible. We thoughtlessly (in retrospect) overthrew the dictators and unleashed chaos. Just a reminder: until a few years ago Editor enthusiastically supported these interventions. He was totally taken in by the liberal American doctrine that says it is our duty to make the world better and to do that we have to kill folks we deem the bad guys.
· Does this mea culpa mean Editor has changed his ways? Not one bit. Editor has always believed we can have peace on earth only if it is a Pax Americana, and he believes it even more strongly today. What he didn’t count was the complete failure of American will, and a slide into vast deeps of self-indulgence and immorality. (At which point our liberal friends say “thank goodness for this slide”).
· Back to the GWOT. Suppose you get sick and the doctor prescribes 10 days of medication. She insists you must take all of it or (a) you will not heal; and (b) the illness will return in stronger force. So you take five days’ worth and stop. The doctor turns out to be right, because the disease returns with the little buggers all bulked up and raring for a fight. Would it be correct to blame the medicine for not working? No.
· So it has been with the GWOT. We went in half-heartedly with insufficient force, withdrew at the earliest, and created conditions which let the disease of Islamic fundamentalism come back stronger. Our mistake is not that we started it, but that we did not finish it. Since we keep doing this, obviously the enemy is just going to get stronger.
Tuesday 0230 GMT March 29, 2016
· Two useless memes on terrorism: Part I A meme is a “cultural item repeatedly transmitted” http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/meme . A synonym is “buzzword”, and we can adapt that, for purpose of our discussion, to “buzzphrase”. When you realize that we can spend a few months debating “what the meaning of ‘is’ is”, a la Billy Horn Dawg, you can see why we need buzzphrases. Even simple ideas can be quite complex, and if we are to get on with life as opposed to sitting there dissecting words and ideas with an electron nanoscope , we need some way of simplifying concepts into memes.
· The danger is that after a while the form of the meme gets mistaken for the substance of complex concepts. Our use of the meme becomes a lazy way of expressing trite ideas, freeing us from the necessity of stopping to think: “what exactly does our meme mean?” Our instant press is particularly fond of memes because (a) they take up very few words, something important for those writing speeches and articles and press releases; (b) they spare the writer the need to hurt his head by thinking.
· As an example, a favorite buzzphrase of President Obama is “this does not represent American values”. You hear it a lot when the President opposes the idea of immigration controls, and it is intended to cut off those who disagree. After all, how can anyone be against American values? But what our President doesn’t seem to realize, what’s against American values is the never-ending torrent of immigrants. In the past, when America has believed itself inundated and threatened by immigration waves, it has turned off the tap, or at least reduced flow to a trickle. Then the immigrants assimilate, the economy grows, and we turn the tap on again. So our prenaturally intelligent President, the Maharaja (King of Kings) of intellectuals, gets things totally confused by using the buzzword.
· Two completely useless memes in the Global War On Terror that come up maybe 10 or maybe 100 times a day are: “If we crack down the terrorists win”, and “our failure to integrate immigrants has led to them turning to terrorism.”
· Let’s look at “if we crack down the terrorists win”. What exactly does this mean? On practical terms, it means that if we blindly adhere to our values – in this case a liberal, just, and democratic polity – we lack the tools to stop the terrorists and they win. Which is the exact opposite of what the meme users are saying. A simple question: Could we have kept America united if we had stuck to our values? After all, secession was not a crime. A bunch of folks voted and decided they didn’t want to be part of the US of A, so they tried to leave. The same way as the settlers in the Northeast left their European homelands because they did not feel free to live their life as they wished.
· Now, of course, next to the paramount economic factors promoting secession – and it always is Follow le Dineros (Marx), Northerners believed slavery was wrong (we’re not going to get into the hypocrisy bit) and were doing their best to make the new states slavery-free. Eventually that would have turned the balance in Congress against the South, and the non-slave states would have voted – democratically – to ban slavery. So the writing was in the wall for the South, and they exercised their legal right of secession. So the North abandoned its own democratic values to forestall a greater evil that would have torn this country apart.
· War itself is by definition the greatest degrader of human rights. But if one is to survive, one must fight wars. One must accept the lesser evil to combat the greater evil.
· Back to the phrase “if we crack down the terrorists win”. Has it occurred to people that the terrorists despise those values we fear we will lose if we crack down on them? They are winning because we WONT crack down. That doesn’t convince them to adopt our values. It convinces them we are weak and deserve to die. This is true of the Euros more than us Americans, because we’re different. If what was happening in Europe happened here, we’d democratically vote for martial law. As it is, the 9/11 attacks led Americans overnight to accept the greatest loss of our freedoms seen in peacetime.
Monday 0230 GMT March 28, 2016
· Is the US running out of clowns? For the last 2-months, a CIA Syrian militia has been skirmishing with the Pentagon-supported Syrian Democratic Front. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-syria-militias-us-cia-islamic-state-20160326-story.html This latter, by the way is 80% composed of Syrian Kurds who want their own homeland, so there’s nothing particularly Syrian about it. Much of the remaining fighters are Arab groups the US has artificially put under the SDF umbrella to give it politically correct diversity.
· The Chicago Tribune says that until recently, the CIA militia was in the west and Pentagon militia in the east. But Assad’s Russia-backed gains have come in the west, and since the Russians have been bombing the CIA militia, it’s been weakened to the point the SDF are pushing them around.
· And BTW, the Pentagon, after its hilarious failure to stand up a true Syrian resistance army, is trying again. It will, of course, fail again because few real rebels fulfill US requirements to be democratic and anti-Assad.
· Please note that Editor, aside from some severely muted mockery, is not getting agitated about this latest fiasco. When ineptitude in the Mideast has become the US’s default position, how can one get upset? Next, the expectations of the American people concerning their government’s capability to win have fallen so low that the public is not agitated. It’s not agitated because it doesn’t care enough to get worked up. Failures no longer anger Americans because they know from 15-years of war experience that America now knows only how to fail.
· Our foreign readers know by now that the great majority of the American people have lost faith and trust in their government. Trump and Sanders represent the sheer, raw anger that Americans feel toward their government. Since Hillary is most likely to win the election, and she is part of the establishment, this anger is only going to grow.
· Yet, Americans used to trust their government. We are told that internally, the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King, combined with externally Second China began the destruction of this trust. On top of this, 1970 marked the high point of an equitable chance of a decent life for the average American. Yesterday George Will writing in the Washington Post told us that the average American male has gained nothing, money wise, since 1969. That’s 46-years. Since 2000, the great bulk of economic gains have gone to the top 1%.
· This economic stagnation for the common man has destroyed any remaining trust and faith in the government. Here’s Editor’s point: President Bush did his part when he went to war with Iraq over the alleged WMDs; and President Obama has done his part by persistent failures in the Middle East/North Africa.
· Worse than the failures are Obama non-stop lies. Believe it or not, Editor is not anti-Obama. It’s just that anyone gets sick at being lied to. (a) We intervened in Libya to “save Gadhafi from killing his own people”. Now it is admitted – as if people didn’t know already – we went in for regime change and royally botched it up. (b) We won in Afghanistan and Iraq and so could draw down our troops. Except the minute we did that, we started losing, but woe to the military people who dared say we were losing. (c) We encourage the Egyptian revolution, only to see the fundamentalists take over, which any child in diapers knew would happen, so now we’ve stop by as a dictatorship even worse that Mubarak’s has taken over. (d) we intervened in Yemen, and its is totally Snafu-ed. (e) We went into Syria for regime change and keep making claims of great progress, when the actual situation is far, far worse when Dictator Assad ruled. (f) We had to return to Iraq because the wonderful Army we trained fell apart at the first sign of real pressure. Now we claim we are making great progress retraining the Army, when everyone knows we are failing once again. (g) Then our President told us “no boots on the ground” in Iraq, except there’s 5,000 troops there and we are fighting on the ground in addition to airpower. Everyone knew Mr. Obama’s strategy of having daily sexual intercourse while preserving his virginity wasn’t going to work, and now his SecDefense and JCS have asked for more troops.
· All through these last 7-years Mr. Obama has steadfastly refused to change course, just to protect his non-existent reputation as a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Does he really think his massive egotism is not noticed by his citizens? Does he really think we have not noticed he has totally shredded any credibility and good will he had on his inauguration?
· And Editor has not even gotten to our defeats in the China Seas, the failure in Ukraine, the failure to stop the growth of Islamic fascism, the loss of Turkey from the ranks of the democratic nations, the horrible economic conditions and insecurity in which the majority of Americans live while people like Apple work like crazy to shaft Americans even further, the constant harping in how the police treat black folk without giving a darn how they treat disadvantaged folk of every color. When we have been in a situation where trust in government has been corroding since 1963, all that Mr. Obama has achieved is chewing even bigger chunks of the weakened pillars that hold up America.
· Purely BTW: Editor completely supports Mr. Obama on Cuba. First, its hypercritical to pick on Cuba while we are BFFs with the great tyranny in the world today, China. Second, our Cuba policy has failed for a remarkable 56-years! Why do Cuban-Americans think continuing isolation will work? Why do they think that the problem lies with the Castros and when the last one dies Cuba will become a democracy and give back the confiscated assets of the white Cubans who lost when Fidel took over? Don’t they understand it is the collective wish of non-white Cubans the white Cubans never return? If we didn’t change course, the apparatus the Castros built would have remained in place. The one thing Obama does right has people whaling on him.
· To answer out first question: no, America is nowhere near running out of clowns. This misery will continue.
Sunday 0230 GMT March 27, 2016
· Syria says takes 1/3rd of Palmyra Yesterday alone the Russians flew 40 sorties, enabling the government to continue its advance. Remember, the Russians simply bomb everything in sight. This kills civilians, yes. But it also prevents IS from safe haven among civilians. Those Americans who say carpet bombing does not work are abysmally ignorant. It works very well – the Communists suffered their heaviest losses on the Ho Chi Minh trail, which was subjected to very heavy carpet bombing by B-52s. We’ve discussed this before: the NVA lost 800,000 men missing, largely on the trail, because after the B-52s had done their runs, dropping 90-tons in boxes about 3-miles by 1-mile, there was nothing left to permit IDing the dead. Editor is unsure if carpet bombing is needed, so just saying.
· Back in the old country there’s another silly spy story going on. An Indian former naval officer who took early retirement and now wanders around the world selling things gets himself arrested in Balochistan, Pakistan’s province that borders Iran. The Pakistanis say he has admitted spying for India’s Research and Analysis Wing. This august agency is the Indian equivalent of the CIA and even has a paramilitary wing. Except the paramilitary are elite Army units. Sort of like when the Army’s Special Forces came under CIA command for operations. And RAW’s charter allows it to work domestically as well.
· Well, frankly, if someone was beating Editor to within an inch of his life, he would admit to anything, including that he’s from Mars and hasn’t had a date in decades. Young would-be spies already know this: you must have a full-feature cover story worked out, but if you give the interrogators your story right away, they’ll think you’re lying and beat you anyway. But is this gentleman actually a spy? Hard to say, except that the Government of India immediately acknowledged he was an Indian citizen and a former naval officer. In these situations, the Indian government usually admits nothing. This is actually a good strategy, because you avoid getting yourself caught in inconsistencies. Had it been up to Editor, his government statement would say “we don’t know who this person is, and we’ve checked, the passport is fake.” If there are to be negotiations, it should be done while staunchly publically insisting this gentleman is not anyone we know.
· Now, while Editor is sure our younger readers would love Editor’s thoughts on this story, he really has no clue. Even if he did, he suspects this an insignificant affair.
· The only contact he’s ever had with RAW is when, about 15-years, he was very casually asked by a friend of a friend of a friend if Editor would permit his youngster (then about 15) to work on a hacking project. This targeted Pakistan intelligence agency slush bank funds stashed in the Gulf. Editor said no, because said kiddo was a US citizen, and the US Government frowns on its citizens engaging in hacking foreign intel agency bank accounts without its authorization. Plus, though in all the books the spy is a double, triple, quadruple agent, in real life, working for A and B without telling them both you work for the other is unethical. Alas, when you are honest, no one is happy.
· Also back in the Old Country, the Indian Army is shocked, shocked to learn Pakistan is using social media to cultivate/entrap/honey trap Indian military personnel. The Army has banned its men from using three apps. We’re not quite sure what’s going on here. You can’t ban people from social media using their own computers/phones because you don’t have control over that. India is not China. So has the Army persuaded the Government to block these three apps? Won’t work, either, because there’s a zillion more. Then there’s also those encrypted apps.
· Why do you want ban apps anyway? Carefully educate your personnel in your “office” cyberpolicies, bust those who don’t follow rules. By the way, this also will not work because when someone is in lust or in greed there is no way they’re going to scared into compliance. No one seriously believes they’ll be caught if they’re careful.
· Presumably the Indian Army knows this. So after a lot of thinking, Editor has come to the tentative conclusion that all the Army is saying is to be careful about revealing information on social media. “Hello all, this is me moving with my unit to XYZ”. That kind of thing.
· Not that the Indian Army should bother because in today’s world, when everyone has mobile phones and computers, secrecy has become much more difficult. The US has long since known this, which is why it gives out 95% of the information, allowing it to focus on protecting the 5% that’s important. Has to be said, nonetheless, Indian military has gotten much more open in the years since Editor left, and it’s all to the good.
Saturday 0230 GMT March 26, 2016
· Belgium Adding to yesterday’s rant about the problems with Belgium’s internal security apparatus, we are told that one reason the Belgian authorities remained steps behind the terrorists is that the Muslim waters in which the terrorists swam refused to talk to the police. Editor hopes readers better understand his point on the Muslim community. If they do not cooperate, they are aiding and abetting their country’s enemy. They are collaborators. Which means they don’t deserve any sympathy.
· Again, Editor is NOT singling out Muslims. He would say the same about any other war regardless of the religion of the combatants. Religion has nothing to do with the matter. Enemies of the state are enemies regardless of their religion or lack of it.
· We keep forgetting to mention this despite being told many times, mainly because the point is obvious. People keeping telling Editor how can he talk about wartime norms when there is no declared war. Sigh. Editor knows this. But just because the West doesn’t want to accept it is at war, does not mean there is no war. For one thing, Islamic fundamentalists have declared war. That the West hasn’t reciprocated shows only that it is very foolish indeed, with the survival instincts of a deer caught in the headlights. Editor has said ad nauseum that the West cannot win this conflict if it persists in treating it as a civil law-and-order problem.
· Look at some of the ironies. We pointed out one the other day, the Norwegian mass child killer, who complains his rights in jail are being violated even though he has a 3-room cell. Which BTW is better than what 80% of the world has by way of accommodation. Here’s another one: under EU law, France cannot give its terrorists jail sentences of longer than 30-years because its inhumane. Readers already know there’s not death penalty. That the terrorists are killing thousands of people is not reason for an exception in Euro law. Okay, it’s their law and we respect it. All we’re saying declare war and try the terrorists under military law and hang them.
· Instead we have instances such as British coroners investigating enemy deaths and bringing murder charges against their own troops for illegal killing. Including this one http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/12107164/British-sniper-investigated-for-not-shouting-warning-in-Iraq.html Fridays this Iraqi insurgent would wait for prayers and then fire RPGs at a British outpost. One day when he was getting ready to fire an RPG, a British sniper saw his chance for a clean shot and nailed the RPG guy at 1200-meters. The British coroner wants retrospective charges against the sniper because no warning was issued to the enemy fighter. You’re in the middle of a war and you’re supposed to give an enemy combatant warning from 1200-meters away even though the enemy is getting ready to fire?
· Are we to suppose that the British SAS sniper who killed 5 suicide bombers leaving a factory with 3 rounds will now be indicted? http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/sas-sniper-kills-five-isis-7007524 No warning here. Moreover, just because men are wearing heavy coats in hot weather doesn’t prove they are suicide bombers. So one fellow’s vest blew up killing two others. But that was after the event: the shooter can’t prove he knew in advance before he fired. The British have 1500 such investigations pending.
· And this is the British, BTW, who are supposed to be sensible. That braying sound you hear across the Atlantic are the British coroners. That giant sucking sound you hear are the brains of the British population flushing down the toilet.
Friday 0230 GMT March 25, 2016
· The problem of Belgium We’ve been assuming that the problem of Jihadis in Belgium has arisen because of its secular liberal humanism – same problem as most of the EU. In this system, I must invite people to live in my house who share few, if any, of my values, but I must adapt to them, and not them adapt to me. If I don’t adapt to them, I am racist. If I insist they earn their own way or leave, I am Hitler’s brother. If I object to their efforts to undermine me in my own house and to take it over, I am exclusionary. Editor is speaking as much of other Euro countries such as UK, France, the Scandinavians, the Germans, and so on as much as the Belgians. Editor is truly baffled as to how this trend took root and is now strangling these countries, but that discussion must wait for another time.
· In the last 2-3 days, it has been suggested to Editor that while broadly his reading has merit, in Belgium’s case there is more to the matter. At no point is Editor assuming he is anything more than an educated layperson. His blunt way of putting things is will deeply offend Belgians, who are so politically correct that even as their country is on its way to extinction, they must futz around the edges of what’s happening and not offend anyone – especially not their Muslims.
· In short: in the last 20-years, Belgium is no longer a country. It doesn’t even have a national political party! Much of the country does not really want a breakup, but is prepared for one.
Belgium has 11-million people, of whom – very roughly – 6-million are of Dutch descent (Flemings), 3-million are French (Walloons), a tiny minority is German, and the rest are other places.
· If a divorce takes place, the French want to join France, the small German population wants to join Germany. Much of the country has French or Dutch roots and ties, and should a divorce happen, they want to join their parent countries. In that event, some parts want to join Germany. What happens to Brussels, probably the most international region of all? In such a setup, the most low-conflict solution is for it to become the first international city state in modern Europe. Okay, you say, but what about the Flemings?
· Here’s the crazy part. The majority Flemings are the ones who want to leave. BTW, Belgium was formed only in 1830. Before that it was part of the Netherlands. Just like the Mideast and African states where the boundaries were drawn to suit the colonial power and unwilling groups forced to live with each other, there has been unhappiness about this one state with two nationalities. As early as 1942 FDR was aware of the problem and proposed a division after the war. So with all this confusion and separatism going on, there is a very serious problem in safeguarding the safety of Belgium in this new war against Islamic fundamentalism.
· In the contest of terrorism, please to note that Brussels has six separate police forces. Then it has the federal police, military intelligence, civilian intelligence, and a CT unit. So far the mayors of Brussels’s 19 boroughs have refused to unify. And also, the Belgians are very seriously under-resourced for this new threat.
· Once you know that, you don’t need to know more about Belgium, despite any number of warnings and intelligence from other countries like the US, despite knowing they were going to be attack again, could not stop the terrorists. As a microexample, we are told that the authorities surrounded the residence of one of the men who staged this most recent attack. But they couldn’t move in because Belgian law bans raids between 10PM and 5AM! Jolly civilized, but not what is needed at wartime. The nice gentleman somehow learned he was surrounded and escaped via the roof before 5AM. Keystone Cops? Nah, the Three Stooges.
· To add further mirth and hilarity to the situation, the police are fixated on investigating an orgy engaged in at a police station while Brussels was in lockdown. Soldiers billeted at a police station invited two policewomen upstairs where the soldiers lived, and the ladies had a nice orgy with 8 of the servicemen. Well, good for them, and what do you expect when you’ve got young people of both sexes thrown together in an – um – society of relaxed morals? As long as they’re getting personal on their downtime, Editor view is that the authorities have more important things to worry about, like the next set of attacks.
· More attacks there will be. Now the Euro authorities are saying there are 400 Islamic State operatives scattered throughout the zone. We’ve seen what five of them achieved in Brussels earlier this week. And surely more than the 400 are enroute.
· To stop this means you have to cauterize the infection at source. A million troops, 25-years, and permeant occupation of the Middle East/North Africa might be adequate, it might not. Restoration of national border controls in the EU. Clearing the Muslim ghettos, if necessary by expulsions of tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, even if they are citizens. Close patrolling of urban areas where anyone suspicious is stopped and taken in for questioning. Etc.
· Human rights violations by the authorities? You betcha! Horrible downer for citizens? Double betcha! Terrifying, permanently scarring experience for good Muslims? Triple betcha! Massive expansion of jails and preventative detention? Absolutely!
· Euros don’t want to live like this? Fine. Then just die quietly.
Wednesday 0230 GMT March 23, 2016
· Belgium So the plan for today was a nice, short article on China’s railway expansion in Tibet. Took a lot of research, and Editor thought it might be useful to someone. Plus the expansion is tied up with the matter of China stripping away Nepal from India, which changes the geostrategical balance, though no one in India cares about that. Just because Nepal is a Hindu nation and virtually a mountain extension of India, we’ve assume there’s nothing to worry about, no matter how we treat the Nepalese. Well, they’ve just sent in their intent to divorce us in favor of China. Thanks to the mindless foolishness taking place in Brussels, Editor is forced to get into yet another utterly meaningless discussion about terrorism in Europe, and he’s getting quite resentful because the Euros are wasting his time.
· We don’t need to recap the details. It suffices to say that after the Paris attacks last November, and the killing of terrorists in Brussels, both countries picked up enough evidence that they know more attacks were imminent. Because of the danger, there some curtailment of individual rights. The aim was to give the state more powers to better fight the terrorists. But this was done gingerly that it made no difference. Brussels was on full alert for another attack; it came; and there was nothing anyone could do about it.
· Editor knows full well the Euros will not agree what he’s been saying and will say again. And a surprisingly large number of Americans, as epitomized by the Apple cryptography think, will not agree either.
· Here is the matter in one simple sentence: the west is at war, and to win wars you have to do many very unpleasant things. You cannot fight a war pretending this is a police problem that can be solved while continuing to give primacy to a very high standard of individual rights.
· An example is the gentleman captured a few days ago in Brussels. He is being handled on a strict legal basis, so much so he is being permitted to appeal his extradition to Paris. He is a French citizen who has declared war on France. Now, he’s not going win his case. But Belgium still has to go through a farce because of his individual rights.
· Now, please pardon Editor for his grave ignorance. He didn’t know in war anyone has individual rights, particularly not an enemy saboteur. Editor thinks this man has no right to appeal to anyone. He has to be drained of information, and shot.
· Quelle horror, the Euros will say. These Americanes, they are just savages. Fair enough. But is it not time the west, which includes us Americans, understood that the liberal, humanist society can function only if everyone follows agreed on rules? When you have declared enemies, who have repeatedly said they are at war with you, and will use any means to kill you all, women, children, the old, the strong, everyone, you can no longer talk about the enemy’s rights?
· This is the most infuriating thing about this war, aside from the west refusing to acknowledge it is at war. There is so much blah, especially from our Great Leader, on the lines of “I don’t want to hear any anti-Muslim clichés”, that it turns a normal person’s stomach. Excuze us, Great Leader, is it Hindus who are killing you? Christians? Mormons? Buddhists? No, it is a small fraction of Islam, manifest in the Wahabi and Salafi and other illegitimate schools of the faith.
· Aha! Great Leader will say. “But that’s exactly what I’m saying! You cannot condemn an entire religion for the wrongs of a few!”
· Sigh. Sonny boy, who is condemning an entire religion? Certainly Editor isn’t. This war uses a religious cover; but it has nothing to do with religion. It’s simply a power grab such has gone on since we formed social groups. What Editor is saying is that current laws in the west do not permit the kind of harsh response needed to root out the rot and burn it.
· Editor is not saying: “Enact laws that single out Muslims.” Can you tell from looking at a person dressed as the rest of the people in a country that s/he is a Muslim? Obviously not!
· What Editor is saying we need national states of emergency giving the authorities full power to do what they must. Yes, innocent people of all religions will suffer. This happens in every war.
· A rough analogy. What if in World War 2, ethnic Catholic Irish of British nationality, had decided that they will not help the government in any way against the UK’s enemies? By the justifications used today to excuse Muslim inaction, the Catholic Irish had every reason not to cooperate, considering how brutally they had been treated by England for centuries. Would anyone have been talking about the rights of the Catholic Irish who declared themselves neutral, and turned a blind eye to their own who were subverting the UK?
· Obviously not! Because it isn’t a matter of religion, it’s a matter of country. If there are Muslims living in the west, either citizens or non-citizens, who feel their religion supersedes their loyalty to the state, they need to leave. As a start, the Muslim ghettos of the west have to be cleaned out, and every mosque funded by folks like the Saudis needs to be shut down, their clerics expelled.
· Editor is least interested in: “but we have no jobs, we’re discriminated against, blah blah blah and blah.” Kids, no one enslaved you and brought you to live in the west. You came voluntarily. The Eurostates give you the same generous benefits everyone else gets. You are not victims. If you feel you are, get out. In America, the only ones who can claim victim status are those descended from slaves. The rest of us? Editor says same thing he did 50 years ago in another context: “America: Love it or Leave it.” BTW, this applies equally to companies like Apple.
· Simplistic? Obviously! But unless live is reduced to its simplest elements, how can one win a war within?
Tuesday 0230 GMT March 22, 2016
· Editor blows it on India’s acquiring the Tejas fighter A close friend who knows more about the Indian Air Force than the Indian Air Force, and more about Hindustan Aircraft Ltd., the Tejas’ manufacturer, than the company has poured a ton of cold water on Editor’s impassioned plea for the IAF to quit whining and just get the indigenous Tejas fighter. His basic point is “what Tejas fighter?”
· Now, since Editor knows nothing about the manufacturer, he’s not blaming himself for making the mistake, particularly as his friend very rarely voices an opinion or answers emails. He thought of checking with the friend, but knowing he was unlikely to get a reply, bashed on regardless.
· The long, middle, and short of it is that there are no Tejas fighters. HAL hasn’t made anything except six Limited Series Production types. But didn’t the media say it had delivered the first production aircraft from the initial batch of 20 (a second batch of 20 has also been ordered)? Well, actually no. The company took ship LSP-6 and repainted it. This might have happened back in Stalin’s time, when if you said “Boss, we couldn’t do it”, and maybe if Stalin was in a good mood he’d let you write a last letter to your family before having you shot. Editor has no idea at all why HAL has done this. No one is going to shoot the company’s executives. Maybe we should start, but then we’d have to shoot so many people in India for extreme incompetence we’ll run out of bullets. Scratch that idea.
· Meanwhile, as you may have gathered from the western and Russian press, the joint Indo-Russian stealth FGFK is going nowhere. The Russian Air Force doesn’t want it because it doesn’t work. What that does to India’s $5-billion for 50% of the R&D costs is not explained. Its already clear we cannot afford aircraft like the Rafale and Typhoon. The only solution is to contract with Saab to deliver 24 J-39s annually from its domestic production, and build an India factory with a private Indian corporation for an additional 24/year more. This will never happen because to begin with the government won’t sanction the money.
· There are discussions going on turning the J-39 into the Tejas; the Swedes are willing to manufacture in India and to help us with a new medium fighter. If this happens, the Swedes will simply take a Grippen and write “Tejas Mk II” on it. By the way, our friend tells us that Indians plans for a Tejas Mk II are also going nowhere.
· Editor is so sick and tired of India’s defense equipment problems. On top of which these rants are of little relevance to most of our readers. We need to discuss something more meaningful, like the expansion of Starbucks in Oceania.
· Promised for tomorrow: a slightly more interesting piece on China’s expansion of its Tibet rail network. It would be wrong to say that India is doing nothing about this, but to say we are proceeding at a snail’s pace is to insult snails. And we are about to lose Nepal to the Chinese.
Monday 0230 GMT March 21, 2016
Spring Equinox, briefly glimpsed by Editor from his window, and had to immediately drop the blinds, the shock of seeing the outside world was just too great. Another 60-hours spent entirely inside.
· Turkey, the EU, and refugees One reason Merkel of Germany may be hanging tough on letting refugees into Germany is that the EU has reached a deal with Turkey to choke off the flow. The details are at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/18/eu-deal-turkey-migrants-refugees-q-and-a
· Turkey is to take refugees that came through the country to the EU, with the exception of 40,000 trapped in Greece. These will be admitted. The 2.7-million in Turkey will stay there in refugee camps, EU will give a bit less than $7-billion for them; since that is less than $300 per refugee, obviously more aid will be given. Needless to say, even after this border closing two days ago, refugees are still arriving in Greece.
· What does our good buddy, old pal Erdogan get in return? Officially a visa relaxation for Turks wishing to travel; to the EU, and reconsideration of Turkey’s bid to join the EU. In reality, Turkey will get Fat All. It cannot meet the conditions of the EU charter to become a member, and as long as Ergy Baby is around, it won’t. End of story. Sure, some well-off Turks will find it easier to get EU visas, perhaps some will be pre-cleared or something.
· A sane article about the Su-35 vs western fighters Editor first wants to say he puts no stock in these paper comparisons. Until you fly planes against each other you don’t really have much of a clue what they do. Further, the aircraft’s performance is just one part of the system, which includes training, logistics, electronic air support and a whole bunch of other factors. No one is going to square off in combat like Snoopy and the Red Baron.
· Nonetheless, at http://hushkit.net/2016/03/17/su-35-versus-typhoon-analysis-from-rusis-justin-bronk/ we’ve seen the first sane analysis of the Su-35 versus western fighters. Editor was getting quite sick of the “sky is falling” screaming from western bloggers who had the Su-35 defeating everything. The article says the F-16 is no match, which should really read “no match except under special circumstances. No surprise here. The F-15C would be in trouble within visual range because Su-35 is supposed to be extremely maneuverable in the dog-fight role. Editor says “let’s wait and see”, but prima facie this seems reasonable. Of course, now we have the F-15E. Typhoon wins in most cases, but within visual range both aircraft kill each other. F-22: anyone who thinks they are going to get close to one has to be on the Good Stuff. F-35 is also hard to get close to. Rafale: bit disadvantaged compared to Typhoon, but that might be the Brit in the Brit writing the articles. No mention of F-18E.
· What about the J39 Gripen? This is interesting. Gripen is a light fighter and absolutely not in the same class as the others. Western pilots make fun of it, but apparently the Swedes have built in so by way of electronic measures that it has an uncanny ability to sneak up on people.
· This brings us back to the Dumkoff Brigade, aka the United States. It was supposed to build 750 F-22s. On that basis the US would have nothing to worry about for decades. Instead they built 187, and we’ve heard all kinds of plausible reasons why reopening the F-22 line cannot be done. For example, all the jigs and the tools and what not were crushed, not even stored. Such brilliance as the US demonstrates these days is very hard to beat.
· Of course, the US has its ace-in-the-hole, a 6th generation manned stealth fighter made by Lockheed under a black program. NOT a UCV, which is interesting, since everyone was predicting an end to manned fighters. Lockheed has given just a few hints. Of course, the danger is that the Dumkoff Brigade gets loose again and destroys another cutting edge program. No need for anyone to defeat us, folks. We do it all by ourselves, to ourselves. We don’t just shoot ourselves in the foot, we shoot ourselves in the head, too.
Sunday 0230 GMT March 20, 2016
· Iraq government says IS has withdrawn from Hit district, where government forces are staging an offensive and ironically creating 30,000 refugees. This is supposed to be IS’s trademark. Doesn’t look like IS actually engaged government forces. Meanwhile, government says two brigades have arrived in Ninawa province, en route to Mosul. Think 2,000 troops, not 5,000. Let’s see what we see.
· So what is IS up to? It minimally defended Tikrit, skeedadled from Ramadi rather than fighting it out, and now seems to be doing the same at Hit. The guess it is saving its strength for a big offensive in Syria, where it’s been under increasing pressure.
· Just a suggestion for IS from Grandpa Ravi, if they don’t mind. Saving strength for a big offensive is fine, but you can’t put it off indefinitely because you lose momentum by just hanging around, and you hand the initiative to the adversary. Beyond a point waiting is counter-productive, and Grandpa suspects that point is now months in the past.
· Further, since Ramadi Grandpa’s intuition has been acting up. He’s thinking there’s some serious problem brewing. Not good for IS, great for government. Maybe the Syria front is absorbing too many resources, we don’t know. But if IS want’s our opinion, do a Tet in Baghdad. Though Grandpa has been complaining for months y’all don’t soldier properly, and it’s not at all clear you have the organization, planning, discipline to do a Tet.
· Syria Some clarity is emerging on Russia’s withdrawal from Syria. Most of the aircraft have gone, the ground troops/advisors very much remain. Putin says he’ll be back in hours if needed. Editor rejects the theories of others on why Putin de-escalated, such as Ukraine and Syria is too much for him. No, there’s hardly anything going on in either case. Money is running out, its being said. Also no, because Putin’s interventions have been El Cheapo. The embargo is hurting, some say. Maybe. But Putin’s ratings remain in the stratosphere, and personally Editor doesn’t see much of an issue if Russians are not getting Danish cheese. Besides, there’s smugglers.
· No. The only things that makes sense is that Putin wants to be back at the party with the West. He’s missing western approval and wants to sit at the table again. How better to do this than to say: “I’m proving I’m for a negotiated settlement.” If this point is true, in our opinion its bad. You can be loved and walked over, or feared and respected. Obviously the latter is best, particularly since no one in the west can love a dictator.
· There’s one other consideration that might play a role. Putin may understand something the oil-Arabs still don’t get: the days of expensive oil are gone for at least 20 more years. The minute the price goes back up, the US frackers will be rolling back into production. US has already started to export hydrocarbons and the fracking decline has been nowhere as steep as it should be. Now with oil-prices up to $40, the frackers will be ramping up with their new technology. It might be possible that Putin realizes money is going to be short. Sorry, correct that. Russia has lots of money, but a ton is lost to corruption and inefficiency. Maybe Putin is thinking he needs to grow the economy instead of merely pumping more oil and digging more commodities out of the ground.
· This last is speculation on our part, and so far we haven’t heard anything to prove the case. Not that we know much of what goes on with Russia.
Friday 0230 GMT March 18, 2016
Buy the Tejas fighter
It may not be the best, but is the best India can afford
· Is India’s Tejas I fighter a failure or a success? Both. If we go by the Indian Air Force’s specification, Tejas fails. But if we go by the level of technology mastery India has achieved, the aircraft succeeds. The IAF’s rejection of the Tejas on grounds of not meeting requirements is a red herring, invalid, and irrelevant.
· The IAF has forgotten that it has never operated with top-of-the line fighters. In 1949 the Vampire entered IAF service, at the same time as the next-gen F-86 started with the USAF. The Hunter was inducted around 1956, the next-gen F-100 was already in US service. The MiG-21 arrived in 1965, but the US F-104, a much more advanced aircraft, was in service in 1960. The Su-7 entered IAF service in 1968, but the very much more advanced F-105 entered service in 1958. The MiG-23 arrived in service in 1980, the far superior F-16 entered service two-years before. The Mirage 2000 entered our service ten-years after the F-16 operationalized. The MiG-29 came into our service in 1985, the F-18 in 1983. We got the Su-30 in 1990, but the F-18 was a match for it. We will get our stealth fighters later in the decade, yet the USAF’s F-22 entered service in 2005. Even with Rafale, had it come through, we’d be 20-years behind the F-35.
· We have always behind the curve on the most capable aircraft, and obviously so: we have never had the money, quite aside from political factors. We made do with what we could afford. There was no question of the best. Yet of a sudden the IAF is rejecting Tejas I because it is not the best. Does the IAF realize that if it got Rafale, it would still not be the best but an entire generation behind the F-35? We immediately need 20 fighter squadrons to fill our 45 combat squadron requirement. Including attrition and war wastage reserves, that means 500 aircraft. At Dassault’s current life-cycle cost, that is $150-billion+, four times India’s current defense budget. And once Dassault had us hooked, the price would rise inexorably.
· Next point: what IAF requirements does Tejas not fulfill? The engine and electronics are world class, if only because they are imported. The airframe is as good as what anyone not in a position to buy western fighters can get. Agreed, the Tejas is not a Typhoon or a Rafale. But it is not supposed to be! Tejas is a replacement for the hordes of MiG-21s we had/have. Agreed, the Swedish J-39 is a beautiful plane and as a fighter likely has better performance than the Rafale. But 500 J-39s will cost $100+ billion life cycle. Do we advertise for sugar daddies to buy it for us? Because we surely cannot afford it on our own! We could, if the Ministry of Finance and the government would wake up and allot a proper percentage of the GDP to defense. Can anyone count on this happening? It would be foolish to assume so.
· An analogy. I need – really need – a new PC to replace the El Cheapo $300 model with 4GB RAM that I have had for years. My productivity takes a serious hit every single day. I need an Apple Mac Air costing $2500. But can I afford that? No way. So I bash on with my $300 PC, and use a $164 Chromebook for my laptop. There’s no need for further discussion because there is no way I can do better. My whining on about my “requirements” is of zero interest to anyone. Ditto IAF and Tejas.
· Admiral Gorshkov, the father of the modern Soviet Navy used to say: Better is the enemy of good enough. This seemingly simple formulation is, in reality, deeply profound. IAF, please tattoo this backward on your forehead so you see it every time you look in a mirror.
Thursday 0230 GMT March 17, 2016
Okay, we’re back. Nothing bad happened, just too much work.
· Trump on the roll Readers know Rubio dropped out, and this will probably help Cruz. According to the polls – though what good they are remains unclear – many Rubio supporters will back Cruz, so there may be less vote splitting at the convention. Conversely, however, Kaisch – who we are told is a genuinely nice guy – having won his home state will stick to the race like a leech, so the votes are going to get split 3-ways anyway.
· We were warned today by a Washington insider that we should pay no heed to the formulas the media and GOP elite keep making up to prove to themselves that Trump can still be stopped. This is a fantasy which GOP has fallen into because it cannot face the reality of Trump’s success. So basically the insider says to think in terms of a Donald-Hillary show down in November, and Donald is likely to lose. Aha, Editor said craftily, but you just said to ignore the polls, they say Hillary will win. You keep saying how unreliable they are, and how different polls give different results, and how people’s opinions seem to change by the day. So couldn’t Trump win?
· The insider said that only about 1/3rd of Americans are GOP to begin with. A third are Democrats, and 1/3rds, regardless of their official party affiliated, are undecided, possibly till the day of voting. Some Democrats may well vote Trump. An equal number of Republicans, however, may well vote for Hillary. Also, without Sanders in the Final Two, a whole bunch of Democratic folks are going to declare a plague on Hillary and Clinton and just not vote. Same thing could happen on Trump’s side. Trump could win if he gets out the vote bigger than Hillary. Insider reminds us that Hillary has a first-class machine in this “get out of the vote” business, and it has delivered solid results for her so far. No reason to think that will change.
· So just in case Hillary wins, Editor tottered over to the Canadian Embassy, without discussing his age. They said yes, we have a serious teacher shortage in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Atlantic provinces. But, they said, you’ve been to Canada often and you know why these places are teacher-short. They’re inhospitable most of the year, in the boonies, life is isolated, and we guarantee you that you will have less of a chance getting a date on Saturday than you have in Takoma Park, Maryland. Sounds almost like they don’t want Editor but as the Canadians are wont, are too polite to say so directly.
· On to Germany A young person with an Indian name emailed us a pithy and on-point commentary, explaining in just two paragraphs why Merkel will not change course on immigration, and how this will end. We thought it was perfect as a lead-in on Merkel, but due to Editor’s general klutziness, he ant find the message. If the young person sees this, please send again, Editor did promise to run it.
· There seems to be general agreement that Merkel will stick to her open-door plan. This despite the anti-immigration AfD, a party just 3-years old, now having won seats in 5 of Germany’s 16 state parliaments. The word is that her coalition ally who could dethrone her doesn’t want to. So all that can be said is that unless Merkel changes courses, things will reach a point where she will have to change or be out.
· Here’s Editor’s take. This young lady honestly believes it her duty to God and Country to atone for the horrible sins of her forefathers, the Nazis, who created major refugee problems in the run up to, and during the Second World War. She is willing to atone till the last German left standing. She believes, as does Pope Francis, that it’s not worth saving Western civilization if that means refusing people sanctuary from persecution. How many are actually economic refugees is irrelevant. BTW, Editor does wonder: over the last several decades, black African folk have also suffered terribly at the hands of their national elites, with millions dying in civil wars, ethnic cleansings and the like. So does Merkel care about black-hued people who don’t have the opportunity of escaping and landing up in Europe? Guess not.
· Next, please note which country is taking the brunt of the refugee problems. It isn’t Germany. Its poor Greece, which can barely feed itself. When it came time to show some generosity to the Greeks for their past economic mistakes – which were hardly due to the common person’s fault – she not only got blood from Greek stones, she made them sing Deutschland Uber Alles and salute.
· Last, please consider Germany took in 1-million refugees last year, and Merkel has said she is willing to continue taking in 1-million each year. We’ve speculated that perhaps she sees the refugees as a solution to Germany’s population shortage. If so, then why not set up a merit immigration system such as Canada and Oz? Why destroy the culture of your own country? 1-million a year for five years is like the US bringing in 20-million folks belonging to a religion that is not particularly comfortable with western values. It is like bringing in 80-million into India, and about the same into China. How does any of this make sense, that the rights of Germans whose ancestors have lived there for 2000-years and longer count for less than those folks for whom Germany has no responsibility? Will Merkel insist that the sins of the fathers be visited on the 3rd, 4th, 5th generation, or does she think that the sins were so horrible they can never be atoned for? If so, just offhand, what about the sins of the Russian empire during the period 1919-1992?
Monday 0230 GMT, March 14, 2016
Editor is giving readers a break from his rants by presenting a real
article by a real journalist. Readers should be so lucky every day.
Why the Maharajah Has No Clothes: How The IAF's Fighter Procurement Became A Self-Made Nightmare
Reuben F. Johnson
Correspondent for IHS Jane’s and Weekly Standard
The statement recently by IAF vice-chief Air Marshal B S Dhanoa that the force is spiraling down into the Mother of all Replacement Crises cannot be a surprise to anyone who has watched India's procurement soap opera over the past 10 years. Yes, someone is finally saying the the emperor (or the maharajah if you are in India) has no clothes. It is just sad that it happens after so many years of the IAF and MoD running this programme known as the Medium-Multirole Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA) programme. I have been in the business of military aerospace for more than 30 years now and I can confidently say that no procurement exercise that I seen in that entire career has caused more damage to the relations between a potential customer (in this case India) and the world's largest aerospace firms as the M–MRCA. No tender I have ever watched play out has done more to damage the reputation of these institutions and make them appear to devoid of integrity in the eyes of those same aerospace firms as this one has.
Much of what I am going to say will not be new to my colleagues in the Indian aviation and defence press corps, many of whom I have the greatest respect for. They could easily write the same words here that I am about to, and most likely with even greater detail and accuracy. But, I have also observed what sometimes can only be described as the boundless arrogance on the part of the IAF and MoD leadership – an arrogance that often leads them to dismiss what other fellow Indians have to say about their poor performance. Perhaps in order to achieve the desired impact these words need to be written by someone like me who is outside of India, which in itself is quite unfortunate.
In order to explain what I mean there are several points that should be elaborated upon, which I will attempt to do here.
1) To being with, no nation in the world – not even Australia – outperforms India in the act of "paralysis by analysis." I hear this complaint from everyone, everywhere about the agony of trying to do defence business in India and how every procurement stretches out ad inifinitum. Procurements run on and on for years and for no apparent reason other than to satisfy the egos of senior Indian officialdom and to allow the army of clerks armed with more rubber stamps than there are goats in Afghanistan to justify their existence. The procurement system is stuck in the 1920s - paper files moving from office to office and no electronic transfer of information. One wonders that if Dante were alive today is it possible he would include the Indian defence procurement system as a previously unknown tenth circle of hell into his writings.
The consequence of procurements that run on forever with no end date – at least not ones than anyone pays any heed - is that the number of suppliers you can choose from shrinks dramatically. Regardless of whether it is something as big and expensive as a fighter aeroplane or as small and cheap as a box of screws does not matter. The choice of suppliers becomes severely limited to those companies who have the financial wherewithal to keep coming back to India over and over and over and over and over for years on end. The consequence for India is a much lower number of potential options for the Indian military. The companies left still willing to do business in India will be those very few who can afford to load this kind of very expensive and labour–intensive marketing operation into their overhead costs. Which means India is going to be paying huge prices. It also means that some of the most inventive, value-for-money bidders like nations from the former USSR and Warsaw Pact who are very familiar with the Russian equipment that India uses just do not bother bidding. The opportunity cost for making Generals and Colonels feel important and allowing clerks to pretend that they are being industrious is unimaginable.
2) People no longer trust that the RfP process in India will be carried out with even a shred of legality. The RfP for M-MRCA was ambiguously worded and who could win how and where and on what points in the RfP where they had what might be a competitive advantage - this was impossible for the bidders to sort out. In the end, the discriminators that were in the RfP and which the bidders were told were so important did not mean anything. Programme costs – particularly life-cycle costs – were supposedly the most important factor in the selection process, to the point where if you followed the RfP to the letter there was no way that a two-engine aeroplane could win. A single-engine aeroplane was ALWAYS going to be cheaper in terms of the cost of the aircraft over its service life. So, the IAF pitched everyone out of the competition by coming up with completely dishonest reasons for doing so - and leaving the two most expensive aeroplanes (France's Rafale and the Four-Nation Eurofighter) as the only ones left in the bidding.
3) The people in the MoD and IAF who were part of the selection process are seen by those companies who participated in the tender as worse than dishonest - and cowardly to boot. The Lockheed Martin people who worked on the bid in India were furious at the fact that after spending $60 million in India the message that notified them that their F-16 was out of the competition was a one-page fax sent to the ODC at the US Embassy in Delhi. The fax informed the ODC that BOTH the F-16 and F/A-18 were being disqualified from further consideration. No one in the MoD had the professional courtesy to send a message directly to either LM or Boeing. LM then asked, which is a standard request around the world, to have a de-brief from the Indian Government on where the F-16 failed to meet the requirement and why it was not shortlisted in the final round. The answer LM received from the MoD was "NO," we cannot be bothered. Then LM were told that de-briefing those firms who have not been down-selected or have lost a competition is "not part of our process." Not part of the MoD's process??? The M-MRCA was the first time India tried to ever buy a weapon system in an open, competitive, civilised manner. The MoD DON'T have a process because they have never done this before, so this answer seems like a very convenient, but not terribly clever, excuse.
4) The sum total consequence of these first three points is that every country that participated in this tender – even the Russians – have said "we will never compete in an open tender in India ever again." So, the ability to secure a lower price, better terms, more tech transfer, etc – all of those benefits of running a commercial tender - are gone for India because no one is going to go through a process like the M-MRCA ever again. After this experience not one company I have talked to believes that an Indian tender like the M-MRCA would ever be run in a transparent and ethical manner.
5) One of the most onerous demands of the M-MRCA's RfP were the requirements for technology transfer, which is easy to understand given the size of the procurement as it was originally planned - 126 aeroplanes plus options for 63 more. The problems it that there is no ability within the state–run Indian defence industry to absorb the level of tech transfer that the RfP called for. It was literally an impossible mission. When the Rafale finally "won" the tender, the position of Dassault and the other French firms that produce the Rafale was that they were prepared to come through on the tech transfer issue, but they could only meet the RfP targets by dealing with Indian commercial firms like Tata, which the government would not accept. So, technology transfer is apparently only considered to be acceptable in India if it is with enterprises that are not capable of processing what is being offered.
6) One also has to ask the question of how the M-MRCA ever got turned into the circus that it became. If you are willing to use Old Testament genealogy, the reason that the M-MRCA programme ever came to be was because the IAF needed a MiG-21 replacement. The aircraft that was supposed to replace it, the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), turned out to be a colossal failure and a black hole of Indian taxpayer's money - hence the need to look for a foreign alternative. But since the idea was to replace a single-engine, lightweight fighter that was cheap to fly and maintain with something similar, how is it that the aircraft competing in the tender ran the gambit from the tiny, little single-engine Saab JAS-39 Gripen all the way up to the big, brawny twin-engine Eurofighter – with every size of aircraft in between those two extremes also included. In all, six fighter types – two single-engine and four twin-engine models. This is a clear sign of a process that became one completely bereft of discipline. The procurement also became more about how much information on foreign aircraft types India's untrustworthy, too-many-in-number and out to kill one another intelligence agencies could suck out of the firms bidding on the M-MRCA. Neither of these are great confidence builders for those wanting to do business with India.
7) The one aeroplane that could have provided the IAF with the number of aircraft it needed AND could have come close to fulfilling the objectives of tech transfer and industrial engagement was the F-16. I am not saying that because I am an American or because I am sympathetic to this programme. The fact remains that the F-16 had the least-challenging use of composites in its air frame and so this aircraft could have been put into production at some place like Nasik with very little investment required. The large number of F-16s flown by other countries would have been a captive market for India to become a regional or even worldwide service and support centre for other nations' aeroplanes. It could have kept HAL plants busy for many years. But the F-16 was, of course, not shiny or new enough or expensive enough for the IAF's white scarf-wearing fighter pilots, so the decision went for the Rafale. The Rafale is an extraordinary aeroplane, and one of my favourite fighters in the world, but it is light years in performance above the requirement of a single-engine lightweight fighter and simply unaffordable in the numbers that the M-MRCA called for.
8) India now has a couple of choices. One is that it can continue on this insane course where there is always a law or a procedure or regulation or act of parliament or agreement or another stamp required on a form or some other official restriction that makes it impossible to get anything done anywhere that makes any sense. Stay on that course and the IAF is going to end up flying a ramshackle fleet of Russian kit plus LCAs that will not give the Pakistanis a second thought and will have the Chinese laughing. The Russian link is a road to nowhere and the flagship 5th-gen Russian programme, the T-50, that India is in a programme with Russia to develop in an Indian version is a joke. One of my colleagues in Moscow told me recently that the T-50 is probably the only fighter ever that is going to cost more money and deliver less in terms of results than the LCA. There is no future in this partnership for India and Russian industry is dying more by the day. India needs to stop being a place where every important government process is a hand-made, on-paper, wax seals and quill pens process and move itself into the 21st century. If it ever wants to be able to hold its own against China in the future its destiny lies with the West. I hope that it can make those transitions, but in order to do so many entrenched bad habits will have to be done away with – and done away with soon.
Sorry for missing yesterday – midterms exams on
· And then US establishment wonders why folks are unhappy with government The other day, the exit polls for the Michigan and Mississippi showed that an unbelievable 90% of voters there were angry or dissatisfied with the US Government. Below is a representative of why they might feel disenchanted.
· US Attorney General, US’s highest law enforcement officer, has sent to the FBI papers where she asks if a case can be made against climate-change deniers. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3485864/Attorney-General-Loretta-Lynch-considered-taking-legal-action-against-climate-change-deniers.html Huh? On what grounds, considering many scientists question the accuracy and fairness of the data, or have different views on what causes global warming? The article has a Congressman giving his idea of the grounds. Prosecution under the Racketeering Act, for fraud, such as was done against the tobacco companies. The fraud was that the tobacco folks withheld evidence from their own research that smoking was linked to lung cancer, to protect their profits. So what corporations are withholding evidence of climate change, exactly?
· But why bother with racketeering charges. Why not just send human-made climate change scientists straight to the stake, as the Church threatened for Galileo unless he recanted his heresy that the earth revolved around the sun. And why not pass laws that make illegal any dissent from the Government’s position on science, including automatic burning sentences for the dissenters.
· Is this what Americans pay taxes for? Don’t think so.
· Bill’s bimbo Ms. Paula Jones resurfaces with the comment that the truth about Bill’s women would destroy Hillary’s political career http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/03/08/exclusive-paula-jones-the-truth-about-bills-women-would-destroy-hillarys-political-career/ Ms. Jones was called to a hotel room in 1991 when he was Governor of Arkansas and driven there by a state trooper. She was scared when Mr. Clinton came on to her. She did not know what to do. She felt threatened when he told her not to tell anyone what happened; which according to Ms. Jones is nothing, since she bolted.
· Ms. Jones believes that since Mrs. Clinton claims to represent women, she should be held accountable for not taking the side of the accusing women against her husband. But may be ask a question. What was going on in Ms. Jones’ mind when the state trooper asked her to visit Mr. Clinton in a hotel room? Did she think he wanted to consult her about the governance of Arkansas? About her metaphysical beliefs? Her views on the unfolding Iraq crisis? How stupid does she think Americans are?
· Readers know Editor is far from a Hillary fan. At the same time, how is Mrs. Clinton responsible for her husband’s tomcatting? And how is she responsible that adult women went of their own choice to keep Bill company? Why should she take these women’s side just because she has set herself up as a campaigner for women’s rights, along with many other issues? How does Paula Jones become Mrs. Clinton’s problem because Ms. Jones could not resist an invitation to tryst with the governor?
· Is that what feminism is really about? Mrs. Clinton was harshly judged by “feminists” when she refused to leave her philandering husband. Editor thought feminism aimed to give women the same rights as men. One right is for the woman to choose whether she will divorce her husband for his affairs. If she chose to stay, how is this anyone’s beeswax. This is not feminism, it is fascism, where an elite tell the rest of us what to think, to say, to believe. You see the link with the US Attorney General and her wish to punish scientists who don’t agree with her.
· Is it feminism to hold Mrs. Clinton responsible for her husband’s sins?
· And last, what exactly is this “truth” that’s being hidden about Bill’s affairs that of revealed would destroy Hillary? That he had 20 tawdry affairs instead of 10? That he fathered illegitimate children? What has got to with Hillary running for US president???
· By the way, Editor was a great supporter of Bill until the day Bill announced that he did not have sex with “that woman”. This was mean, vicious, a horrendous humiliation of a young woman whose only crime was to fall for the President. Bill showed that day he was not a gentleman but just another crude yahoo, devoid of manners, honesty, and honor. A gentleman does not kiss and tell. Nor does a gentleman publicly humiliate someone he has kissed just to save his sorry butt.
Wednesday 0230 GMT March 9, 2016
· Egypt student will leave US after threatening Trump You can read the story here https://t.co/HaLKpqtl84 We gather the gentleman is in the US for flight school or flight engineering school. On his Facebook he posted (we summarize) that he was prepared to serve life imprisonment for killing Trump, and that the world would thank him for it.
· Hmmmm. What makes him think he would get life? If Editor recalls correctly, 38 states have the death penalty, 12 don’t. But the Feds can seek a death penalty even in a non-death-penalty state. See http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/node/6394 re the Boston bomber: “Formal sentencing by the judge took place on June 24, 2015. Because Massachusetts does not have the death penalty, the judge was required to choose a state with the death penalty to determine the manner of execution. The judge chose Indiana, site of the federal death row, where the 3 federal executions in the modern era have taken place.”
· We don’t know for a fact that if this gentleman killed Candidate Trump he would have committed a federal crime. But we think he would, because Trump is under federal protection at this time. Further, because the gentleman is a Muslim and has said he is angry at what Trump has said against Muslims, you could get the makings of a terrorist crime. We leave this question to those better educated; please do let us know if you have a factual take on it.
· Obviously we cannot give high marks for this gentleman’s intelligence because he apparently does not realize that a really-for-life sentence served in isolated circumstances is worse than a death sentence.
· So one thing that has annoyed us is the gentleman’s lawyer, who says the authorities had no right to detain him, that he was being targeted as a Muslim, and that he would become a poster-boy for those who hate America. You can read about the case at http://egyptianstreets.com/2016/03/02/egyptian-student-who-threatened-trump-on-facebook-to-be-deported/ It appears the government dropped the charge of threatening Trump. Instead they said his university had cancelled his enrollment, so his visa was no longer valid and he was subject to deportation. The lawyer says the university was pressured. Does he have evidence? In any event the university reinstated his enrollment. The government is under no obligation to restore his visa, but that’s apparently what’s happening. That is why the student will leave in July and not immediately.
· So let’s look at this another way. A foreign student who is a guest in this country makes death threats against a key public figure, and his lawyer says his detention is illegal, and he is being targeted as a Muslim, and the Muslim world will be inflamed?
· Consider for a moment if this gentleman was back home and had made a threat, say against his President. Being detained would be the least of his problems. We can tell what the Egyptian authorities would have done to him in the 1960s, but we wish to spare your delicate sensitivities. Besides, we are told the authorities have become considerably more – er – creative. The routine beatings, sometimes several times a day, the broken bones, the waterboarding, the electrical shocks are still there, but more has been added.
· The Egyptians would torture him for months because that’s what they do, but not because they’re sadistic. They would want to be sure they have every last person with whom the gentleman has had contact. And they would subject them to the same treatment to be sure they have everyone associated with these individuals. At the end of it, the government might hand him. Equally, they may decide to save themselves the trouble and simply shoot him.
· So isn’t it a bit strange that he thinks he can make facile threats in the place he is a guest, whereas he would never do it at home?
· And what is this business about letting him reenroll and restoring his visa? Has the university and the US Government lost their collective little minds? May the Editor point out that were he convicted of a crime which has more than 365 days sentence, even if does not serve a single day, he can be deported despite having lived here (this time around) going on 27-years, and having his entire family here?
· Will US Government kindly explain what it is doing?
Tuesday 0230 GMT March 8, 2016
· Syrian Kurd rebels open mission in Russia This is, of course, a major development. Editor has been wondering from the start of reports that Russia was helping the Kurds – same fellas that we were supposed to own – as to what in heck’s name was going on. How did the Russians make such quick, easy progress with our ally? After all, we have been giving the Kurd rebels money, weapons, training, advisors, and air strikes, and the Russians walk in to undercut us with snap of their fingers? Are we Americans really such morons?
· Readers will respond: “Editor, you have been telling us for years now that yes, we are such morons. What is your problem, then?” Well, of course a lot of the moron bug infection is at work, you can see the results in Syria and Iraq. The we’d mess up with the Syrians was inevitable, given we have no deep knowledge of the region. Correction: we do, but Washington systematically connives at keeping people with real knowledge out of the decision-makers’ circle. Why? Because the knowledgeable people bring inconvenient truths that systematically destroy our pet ideas du jour. Washington rejects knowledge because otherwise it would be forced to realize we shouldn’t be embarking on such stupid Middle East ventures for the last 25-years. Yes, 1991 was a brilliant military victory, but El Stupido in geostrategic terms. Editor, like all of us, was dazzled by 1991 and 2003, so much so he wasn’t even thinking geostrategy. He was definitely part of the Moron Brigade at that time, simply because he had whacking loads of military knowledge but little geostrategic knowledge about the area.
· All this said, it still didn’t explain how we let ourselves outfoxed by the Johnny-Come-Lately Ruskies. This paper at https://t.co/ARa3O8sdfH explains how come. The Rus are not the come lately – they’ve been in this game for 200 years! When one makes a fundamental mistake in reasoning due to lack of knowledge, it’s necessary to do a detailed review of how come Editor didn’t get this: after all, he knew about the Crimean War and the Ottoman Empire. But he didn’t put anything together or research because there seemed no need for it. Besides, Editor is supposed to be a military analyst, not a geostrategic one.
· To summarize the paper: Since the rise of Russia, it has been colliding with the Ottoman Empire, the young newcomer fighting to diminish the older, established, status quo power. Turkey is the successor of the Ottoman Empire. So there is nothing at all new here, it’s the continuation of a struggle as old as our nation. The Russians, during this time, have been supporting sedition and insurgencies in the area. And – hold on to your hats – they have for very long seen the Kurds as natural enemies, because the Kurds for ages have been suppressed by the Sunni Ottomans.
· The aberration is not the Russians won over the Kurds, but that we did, albeit temporarily. The Kurds are still our friends, but let’s just say we’re being relegated to the status of minor allies. Those screams of rage you hear are the Washingtoons yelling “Not so, Moron Editor!” Okay, that would be the zero W-Toons reading the blog, but you get his point. What can Editor say. He’s not a trained professional so he cannot prescribe medicine for the W-Toons. As Editor keeps saying, we all have out our fantasies. You already know Washington’s fantasies, and the Edtor’s. He leaves it up to you decide whose fantasy is more realistic. His, obviously.
· The reason this Rus-Kurd kissy-faces has blinded us is because we were NOT thinking about the Rus when we went into Syria. As far as we were concerned, we’d caged the bear and almost made him into a paler version of us Americans. No one expect the bear not just to bust his cage, but to come stomping down into his old stomping grounds. Editor knew Russia was rebuilding its military, but based his estimates of their global power on their mingy GDP – now less than India’s BTW. It didn’t seem realistic to assume they had a chance against us. Little did Editor realize that we’d tied ourselves up in 10-kilometers of duct tape, leaving one arm free so that we could shoot ourselves in the head every 15-minutes. Is Editor angry about this? You betcha. No one likes to see the best country in the world destroying itself.
· Nonetheless, it must be noted that in supporting the Syrian Kurd fighters, the US is being sensible. These spritely chappies have been hammering IS, with Russia suppling the primary firepower. Now, since the Syrian Kurds are actually the same as the Turkish Kurds whom we say are terrorists, isn’t this going to upset Turkey? Yes, and when it comes to a choice between supporting our “ally” Turkey from disintegration and whacking IS, which is owned by Saudi and Turkey plus the junior subalterns the Gulf states, obviously we have to whack IS. Turkey is no longer an ally, but a direct enemy, even if a good part of Washington is not prepared to declare it an enemy. Turkey’s been playing a double game, supporting IS while pretending to be out friend. Well, we’re also playing a double game, supporting Kurd separatists while using Turks bases to what the IS.
· Long term implications of the Kurd mission to Russia? Too early to say, but there are indications. Russia has sold the idea of an autonomous Kurd area within Syria to Assad. We are not wrong when we say Assad will never compromise. After IS and Turkey etc are taken care of, his rule reestablished, and his economy revived, he will go after the Kurds. Well, maybe not. The Russians are pointing out that the Kurds will rip Turkey apart and keep Assad’s nemesis in check.
· And because Erdogan is such a moron, he’s cooperating by destroying Turkey all by his little ownsome.
Monday 0230 GMT March 7, 2016
· Erdogan and Zaman Zaman in the largest opposition media group. So it was perhaps inevitable that the government has taken it over and now it is pro-government. Now, you may wonder how Erdogan is getting away with his increasing repression. The answer has to do with Turkey’s peculiar position in Europe. Despite years of negotiation, it is not yet a member of the EU. So the sources of pressure are limited. The US has no interest in sanctioning Erodgan. It has enough problems in that part of the world, as it is.
· To be approved for EU member, a country has to meet 35 conditions. For a quick look, Wiki is a good source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acquis_communautaire Two of the conditions concern human rights. But since Turkey is not a member, it is not legally bound to observe EU principles and laws in this respect. Yes, Turkey as member of the United Nations has very serious obligations to human rights. The problem, as always with the UN, who is going to enforce Turkey’s obligations? Particularly when the US does not want to involve itself.
· The UN is not a world government. It can act only by consensus. To imagine that the bulk of UN members have much interest in sanctioning Turkey over human rights when this will set a precedent for them to be sanctioned is laughable. Plus, two of the five permanent members of the Security Council are opposed to the UN enforcing human rights. No surprise that China is the most vehement.
· Editor recalls that when Jimmy Carter became US president in 1976 and decided to change US policy on human rights, Editor saw the dawn of a new era in a world that had for so long seen overwhelmingly large numbers of dictatorships and authoritarian/totalitarian states. There is a reason the US had accepted these states. It was in a state of existential war with communism and allies had to be accepted on an as-is basis. This was sad because the US is the original revolutionary state, but then war forces all of us to compromise our principles for the sake of survival. Indeed, a large number of countries began transitioning to democracy. Then with fall of the Soviet Union, a whole bunch of other countries became free. The future looked bright.
· Alas, there is a sickness innate in human beings, that they wish to oppress others for their own, personal advantage. Freedom may be the natural state humans aspire to, but the denial of freedom by the rule of a few over many also seems to be a natural state. In India we too had our brush with authoritarianism 1975-77, and the darkness has again begun to diminish the light.
· We forget that it was not written in the stars that Indian democracy would be restored. Mrs. Indira Gandhi was at heart a democrat. She was prepared to resign in 1975 when found guilty by the courts of electoral misconduct, but was persuaded by her son Sanjay to hold fast. It was her decision to restore democracy in 1977, because she hated the notion of being authoritarian. BTW, Editor finds it amusing that many accuse our current government of wanting authoritarianism. Compared to Sanjay, who was a true fascist, the current government is a bunch of meek lambs. People forget so easily, but then as someone reminded Editor the other day, most of India was not born in 1975. Had Sanjay survived, we might easily be living – for example - as Venezuelans lived under Chavez, or as Iranians still live, or Zimbabwe, or so many Islamic countries.
· Today folks like Erdogan are again the norm. Corrupt in every pore, he seeks to become a totalitarian ruler. He already is an authoritarian. Many countries have managed to remain democratic. Some like Pakistan have valiantly restored it, though Pakistani democracy is a vulnerable thing. Yet, every day it endures, it grows stronger. The rise of totalitarian Islam has not helped, particularly when few Muslim countries were inclined to democracy to begin with. No one mentions Putin because he benefits from the bigotry of low expectations. Really, what does one expect of Russians? Certainly not a democratic society, they’re just one step above the African savages.
· This brings us to the dilemma the world faces with regard to the United States. Almost universally, the world wishes the US would leave it alone. But when their security is threatened, they expect America