Saturday, June 30, 2007

Amature Hour In The UK

While the US (and no doubt the UK) media are now in a full feeding frenzy, it should be clear to everyone that the 'terror attacks' in London and Glasgow were highly amateurish.
For starters, gasoline is not a high explosive. If we were talking 50 pounds of Semtex or the Al Qaeda standby, TATP, I would be impressed. Those are real high explosives with a detonation rate in excess of 20,000 feet per second. Gasoline can explode (just ask former owners of a Ford Pinto) but it is first and foremost an incendiary. If the initial reports are true, the clown driving the Mercedes was a rank amateur when it comes to constructing an Improvised Explosive Device aka IED. Unlike a Hollywood flick the 50 gallons of gas would not have shredded the Mercedes into lethal chunks of flying shrapenal.

The fact that "officers courageously disabled the trigger by hand" coupled with the report of the smoke in the car leads me to believe that the mad London "bomber" tried to construct a Molotov cocktail of sorts and lit a cloth fuze. Fortunately he left the windows in the car up and there was not enough oxygen to really get the fire going. Looks like the brave British police reached in and snuffed the flame.

Judging from the overreaction to this non-incident I think we can safely conclude that Osama Bin Laden will remain holed up in Pakistan and let the fear mongers at CNN, MSNBC, and FOX do the dirty business of scaring the shit out of people.

While they had the potential to some light damage, it is clear that raw anger and desperation, not professional calculation and terrorist training fueled these attempts at terror.

It should also be clear that these attacks are not being driven so much by the ideology of Bin Laden and radical Islam, but anger at the ideology of Tony Blair (and George Bush). Their incredible stupid and fouled up attempts at reducing terror has only grown it, both abroad, and at home.

My only real concern about these type of terrorist (and calling them terrorist is an insult to terrorist {if you can insult a terrorist}) is one day, a group like these idiots in Scotland, or the foolish saps who dreamed of attacking Ft. Dix, or the lost souls who formed their own religion and army in Miami (or the JFK crew), may get 'lucky' and do damage far beyond what they are actually capable of.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Abject Failure, Again

The current administration, and our leaders in the Pentagon, have again been proven to be total failures.

BAQOUBA, Iraq (AP) -- The U.S. commander of a new offensive north of Baghdad, reclaiming insurgent territory day by day, said Sunday his Iraqi partners may be too weak to hold onto the gains.

The Iraqi military does not even have enough ammunition, said Brig. Gen. Mick Bednarek: "They're not quite up to the job yet."

His counterpart south of Baghdad seemed to agree, saying U.S. troops are too few to garrison the districts newly rid of insurgents. "It can't be coalition (U.S.) forces. We have what we have. There's got to be more Iraqi security forces," said Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch.

If the Iraqi army is unable to hold the territory, and we lack the manpower to hold the territory, why are we bothering with this farce of an escalation?

Are our Political leaders so stupid that they do not understand that this is a huge waste? of course they are this stupid, this is George Bush and his cohorts we are talking about.

Are our military leaders now so spineless they lack the courage to tell the politicians in DC the results of their idiocy? It appears that they are.

What is the result of this latest display of criminal stupidity, and craven fear?

At least 12 soldiers were killed on Saturday from roadside bombings and other causes, leaving at least 31 dead for the week.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Reflection On Past Decisions, And Iraq Today

Almost 30 years ago, a nation in the middle east (OK, South Asia) was in in disarray, suffering from internal divisions, political murders, coups, and open warfare. A Superpower saw this as an opportunity, and Russia sent 80,000 men into the country to 'stabilize' it and to tie it securely into it's sphere of influence.

The locals were not amused, and the unrest continued, and in places grew much worse.

Soon the number of troops rose to about 150,000, and still the resistance grew stronger.

The US saw an opportunity. We could destabilize the southern border of our enemy, and tie down a sizable fraction of our biggest foe's army in a manner very similar to what happened to us in the 60s in Vietnam. So in July 1979 Jimmy Carter ordered the initial aid to the 'freedom fighters' of Afghanistan.

When Regan took power in 80s, the aid was continued, and by the mid 80s it was not a trickle, but a flood. Russia was trapped in it's own Vietnam, and faced many of the same difficulties we saw in the 67-73 period. Eventually Russia left, and Afghanistan was left to fight a continuing civil war that was eventually won by their religious right, the Taliban.

This group was an immediate international pariah, a supporter of international terrorism and became the eventual protector of Al Qaeda.

Another by-product of this war was the training and eventual dispersion of as many as 40,000 mujaheddin. During the war years, the lure of battle for a just cause, and the funds and tools to wage war attracted tens of thousands of fighters from across the whole of the Islamic world. They were trained by the US (by proxy at least) and bloodied in battle, and when it was over, they moved on.

There is little doubt that some of these very same US trained fighters are now involved in Iraq.

All of this as a result of a decision to stick it to the Russians. Our goal was not a terrorist supporting fundamentalist Islamic government in control of Afghanistan, our goal was not to train tens of thousands of mujaheddin, and then disperse them across the globe, our goal was not the elevation of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda to the point where the world knew who he was, but that was the end result.

That is why I have to ask, have we thought the wisdom of arming Sunni freedom fighters.

these groups have been provided, usually through Iraqi military units allied with the Americans, with arms, ammunition, cash, fuel and other supplies.

American officials who have engaged in what they call "outreach" to the Sunni groups say the groups are mostly ones with links to Al Qaeda but are disillusioned with Al Qaeda's extremist tactics, particularly suicide bombings that have killed thousands of Iraqi civilians. In exchange for American backing, these officials say, the Sunni groups have agreed to fight Al Qaeda and halt attacks on American units.

Commanders involved in these negotiations say that in some cases, Sunni groups have agreed to alert U.S. troops to the location of roadside bombs and other lethal booby traps.

This clearly show just how bad the current situation in Iraq is. We are arming the very people that we have spent the last 5 years trying to kill. In our effort to find a path to victory, we are now forced to making very dangerous alliances and aiding uncontrollable groups. The forces we are arming are not part of the government, not part of the Iraqi army, they are fighting the Iraqi government as it currently exist. These are the armies of the Sunni population who are already at war with the Shia population, who happen to control the government at this time.

critics of the strategy, including some U.S. officers, say it could amount to the Americans arming both sides in a future civil war.

This may work, desperate situations call for bold action, but I fear that the law of unintended consequences will lead us to look back on this decision, and wish we had not chosen this path.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ravelel Shows Us How To Keep Those

Bank accounts and campaign coffers full, start trafficking in drugs.

South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel has been suspended from office, following his indictment by a federal grand jury for distribution of cocaine.

He is innocent till proven guilty, but, a federal indictment is a very serious step.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sen. Graham (R-SC)

gets a little attition from Firedoglake.

They make a very good point. For a man who is said to have no ambition for a higher office, he sure gets a lot of face time with the national media.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


makes a great point.

Paris Hilton is America. Where once America was steelworkers and freedom fighters, today America is... Paris. Vacant empty-headed useless people with no conception of "reality", who mostly spend their days selling things nobody needs to people who don't need them but hey, they're neat things, so buy, buy, buy!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Gallup Confirms, The Majority Of Republicans

Are idiots.

The majority of Republicans in the United States do not believe the theory of evolution is true and do not believe that humans evolved over millions of years from less advanced forms of life.

This is a great debate to follow, and regular visits to science blogs, like pharyngula, make it fun and easy to learn.


The overwhelming stupidity of theist republicans also extends to US History

Monday, June 04, 2007

Jefferson (D-La) To Be Indicted

All I can say is what took so freakin long.

A Justice Department official familiar with the case said the indictment outlining the evidence against Jefferson is more than an inch thick and charges the congressman with crimes that could keep him in prison for up to 200 years. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Bush Administration Starts to Admit

They want us to stay in Iraq for ever.

For the first time, the Bush administration is beginning publicly to discuss basing American troops in Iraq for years, even decades to come

This should be a surprise to no one.

In other news from Iraq, after the first 3 days of June, at least14 more US troops have been killed