Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, June 26, 2005


This is coolbert:

I see Illinois has two Senators that are willing to touch controversial subjects regarding the current war we are fighting and the methods involved.

The newly elected Senator from Illinois Barack Obama has spoken before a convention of librarians and called for the repeal of that section of the Patriot Act that allows the government to look at library records and examine the "reading lists" of patrons.

"Obama's Stand Against Patriot Act Cheered"

"CHICAGO - To the cheers of thousands of librarians, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama on Saturday called for the Senate to rewrite the USA Patriot Act to prevent investigators from scanning library records and bookstore sales slips."

As I have blogged about before, this section of the Patriot Act seems to have cut right to the bone with some folks.

"Libraries should be 'sanctuaries of learning where we are free to read and consider what we please without the fear that 'Big Brother' may be peering over our shoulder,' Obama said in the keynote address at the American Library Association's annual conference."

Is this correct?? That we are seeing here an unwarranted intrusion into the rights of Americans. Something that goes right to the heart of what Americanism is all about??

In the words of one attendee at the convention:

"librarians 'are not people who want to help terrorists,' but want to see reading lists protected from automatic surveillance."

Is this what this all about. Reading lists of library patrons??

NO!! Emphatically NO!!

What is it about then??


Again, so even the most casual of observers can understand this easily, the terrorists were using our own public library computers to communicate.

The "controversial" portion of the Patriot Act had NOTHING to do with reading lists. That was not the intention.

And when the FBI, when performing a murder investigation into 3000 Americans after 9/11, wanted to examine the computers that the terrorists had used to secretly communicate with one another, the librarians refused access to the investigators, to preserve "the privacy of the terrorists". The terrorists by this time were already dead. So you were not preserving anyone's privacy at that point.

This is absurd in the extreme.

And, it is my understanding, that since the Patriot Act went into effect, some if not most librarians have installed software on their public computers that allow a persons trail of communications on the world wide web to be stricken almost immediately anyhow. So what is the beef!!??

Steganography is a very secure and subtle form of communication. Secret messages are embedded into pictures. The pictures are then sent on the internet as ordinary e-mail. The softwares [freewares] to accomplish this are very sophisticated indeed. And very hard for the interceptor to determine if a secret message is even embedded. Additional security is guaranteed as the messages are not only embedded in the picture, but are encrypted as well, using a very secure algorithm such as Blowfish. Hard stuff to deal with.

For those of you who are interested, here is a site for steganography freeware. Try it. Pretty good stuff. Free too. Like so much of the secure encryption on the world wide web.

Read the whole article about Obama and the librarians by clicking here.


Saturday, June 25, 2005


This is coolbert:

One of the renowned Brazilian sertanista brothers Villas Boas was one time quoted on the difference between the civilized man and the barbarian. "The civilized man and the barbarian both commit the same outrageous crimes", said this man. "The civilized man, however, will attempt to hide his crime, whereas the barbarian does not."

[In this case, the sertanista Villas Boas was speaking of the last uncontacted barbarian American Indian tribes dwelling in the deepest recesses of the Amazonian jungle. Tribes that live totally devoid of any modernity AT ALL!! Tribes of stone age "savages" [barbarians] leading a totally stone age existence. [And quite often resisting with extreme violence any efforts to bring them into the modern world.]]

[The sertanista is a uniquely Brazilian profession. Men that dedicate themselves, at great risk to themselves, to contacting and establishing friendly relations with stone age peoples of the Amazon. Stone age peoples wary and not seeking contact with the outside world.]

Today, in the war between the West and the jihadi, we see the difference between the civilized and the barbarian in action. A difference that would be appreciated by the brothers Villas Boas.

I am thinking about the photographs and videos that have come out of the Abu Ghraib prison scandals, and also the photographs and videos that have come out of the Chechen war between Russian troops and the Chechen jihadi rebels [terrorists [???]].

In the case of the Abu Ghraib photographs, the offenders are shown as smiling, grinning, posing goofs. People that apparently are doing what they are doing and having a good time doing it. YES!!

But, does anyone in the U.S. approve of this stuff? Does anyone applaud the goofs?


Does anyone NOT wish those photographs were taken.

[I do believe there was a half-hearted effort to prevent the photos from Abu Ghraib from being seen by the general public and the world-at-large. An effort to HIDE!!]

NO!! NO one NOW wishes the photos were taken.

And taken for what reason?? Why compound the deed by recording for the whole world to see?

These folks seem to be just undisciplined for soldiers and totally out of control and out of line. NO leadership present or perhaps miscreant leadership present. But, NO ONE in the U.S. approves of this stuff!!

Contrast this NO response with the photographs coming out of Chechnya.

I am thinking here of the photographs of the nine Russian OMON troops captured, and subsequently beheaded in cold blooded murder by the Chechen jihadis.

And I am thinking of other photographs and video of the same sort of behavior emanating out of Chechnya.

[I refer to the Chechens here as jihadis as their mentor, until his recent demise, was a one Khuttub. A Saudi Arabian, like Osama, that preached and led while he was alive the violent rebellion in Chechnya. This Khuttub was a Wahabbi fundamentalist and a man dedicated to jihad in the form of lesser or violent jihad. And jihad to the max. Advocating the most extreme and violent acts, including what can only be described as terrorism.]

In the case of the nine OMON troops, it has been described that the bodies were put on display for the whole world to see. It may be that the severed HEADS were also put on display along with the bodies. I cannot verify this.

In addition to the nine OMON troops beheaded, Chechen "fighters" have had additional videos taken of them decapitating Russian soldiers.

And this thing has been noticed. Those Chechen perpetrators seen in the videos, are apparently in a state of GLEE. Delirious with enjoyment. Smiling, grinning, having A GOOD OLD time!! These perpetrators of atrocity are in ECSTASY!!

[Iris Chang noticed the same thing when researching material for "The Rape of Nanking". Nazi killers of Jews are grim faced. Seem to be workmanlike, but are NOT enjoying what they are doing. Japanese soldiers beheading Chinese prisoners are seen smiling, grinning, again, having A GOOD OLD time!!]

And NO effort is made to hide or suppress the photos or the videos. On the contrary. Every effort is made to circulate this stuff on the internet, for the whole world to see.

"The civilized man and the barbarian both commit the same outrageous crimes", said this man. "The civilized man, however, will attempt to hide his crime, whereas the barbarian does not." [one of the brothers Villas Boas].

Nuff' said!!??

[Please note: I would never say or even remotely suggest that there is an equivalence between making a naked man masturbate and beheading a kneeling, defenseless person. What the Chechens did is just magnitudes beyond anything that occurred at Abu Ghraib!! For me to suggest or say otherwise would put me in the same league as say - - Senator Durbin!!]

Khuttub, when slain not so long was ago, had HIS body put on display by the Russians. To show the Chechens and the whole world, especially the jihadi world, that the villain was indeed dead. His body, naked except for a loincloth, was photographed laying atop an autopsy table.


Friday, June 24, 2005


This is coolbert:

Looking at a recent issue of the "Economist" magazine the other day. A very high caliber British magazine. Appeals to a readership of presumably college level educated persons. Within it's genre', sets a standard to be equaled, if possible, but seldom, if ever, surpassed.

As part of it's contents, the Economist has a book review. And the book they are reviewing in this recent issue is a book written by an American soldier who served duty at Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo [Gitmo], Cuba. The camp for captured terrorists at Gitmo.

This American soldier was an Arabic translator who describes what he saw at the camp.

In particular, this soldier makes mention of the abuse of the terrorists. Abuse that shocked, depressed and surprised him. Abuse that he details.

This is the sort of abuse that has been ballyhooed in the media with great vigor recently. Abuse that has led SOME to call for the closing of the Gitmo facility.

This abuse has been described by some as TORTURE!!

Now, what DOES this abuse, alleged, consist of??

Were teeth pulled from the mouths of the terrorists??

Were all the terrorists fingers broken in both hands??

Was a red-hot ram rod inserted into the fundaments of the terrorists??

[Those of you with only a baccalaureate degree of less might have to look up the word fundament to know what I am talking about. Those of you that can determine the meaning of fundament from the context, the more power toward you!!]

Was an electric cattle prod used to shock the private parts of the terrorists??

NO!!! NO!!!

Emphatically NO!!!

Well, then, what sort of abuse DID occur at Gitmo??

This is what is mentioned in this book review. [And you would have to assume, at least in my mind, that this abuse MUST be among the worst that occurred. The object of the book review is after all, to stimulate your interest and titillate. Get your attention. Mundane stuff would not do!!]

As described by this American soldier, the Arabic translator, an American woman interrogator, in order to humiliate the captured jihadi, in order to make him to talk, RUBBED HER BREASTS AGAINST THE BODY OF THE JIHADI!! And that was that!!

Now, let me state this again, most clearly, so that all can understand. Abuse is defined such that:

"an American woman interrogator - - RUBBED HER BREASTS AGAINST THE BODY OF THE JIHADI!!"

Well, when do we get to the rough stuff???!!!

And this jihadi guy! Who is he?? What is he suspected of plotting to do? Well, it seems this bad boy was in training at a flight school in Arizona learning how to fly commercial airliners. Do the suicide run into another high rise building in some American city. Kill thousands in the process.

Besides rubbing her breasts against the body of the miscreant, I hope this woman interrogator did not talk dirty to the guy!!?? I would not want to hurt his feelings too much!!




This is coolbert.

I see that Senator Durbin has profusely apologized to the American people for his remarks that U.S. soldiers, when handling terrorist suspects at Guantanamo [Gitmo], were behaving in a fashion that reminds one of Nazi or communist barbarity.

What was most interesting to me is to who Dick Durbin apologized to, and how the apology was done. As was covered in the Chicago Tribune.

His main apology was directed at survivors of the HOLOCAUST. The slaughter of European Jewry that occurred over sixty years ago now. Senator Durbin was most concerned with apologizing to the survivors, and did so, as I have said profusely.

It was almost as an afterthought that he also included an apology to the American servicemen who were smeared by his accusations.


NOW, it is good that he apologized to the HOLOCAUST survivors. To compare what the terrorists at Gitmo are being subjected to as having some sort of equivalence with what those Jews who had to submit to Nazi barbarism went through is just absurd. Senator Durbin NEEDED to apologize. He shows little knowledge of the past if this is his appraisal of the situation. And demonstrates a naivete that is just outlandishly strange.

But to apologize to the American serviceman, as he did, again, as almost a tepid afterthought, this too is absurd. Again, demonstrates that the Senator DID NOT think through his apology fully!! Does still not fully understand what he said and how and why the reaction was generated to his comments.

Senator Durbin, one of the "wise men" who make critical decisions governing this country, just seems to lack in certain areas. Senators are often referred to as "solons", after the great Greek lawgiver, Solon.

"Wise men". "Solons".



Wednesday, June 22, 2005

J.R. XI - - Pro - - [Conclusion].

This is coolbert:

Extracts taken from the original article of J.R. found here.

Regarding the pros of war:

"War, what is it good for?? Absolutely nothing!!" Edwin Starr. Lyrics from a popular song, circa 1970.

"The pros.

There's really only two pros:

One, the host society may often enjoy overwhelming military superiority should an old-fashioned war involving it break out, or some other nation is foolish enough to invade or attack the host.

And two, deterrence (such as may have prevented both the USA and USSR from ever engaging in all out nuclear war during the Cold war). That's it for the clear and obvious pros."

May I offer some other possible "pros" to war!!

* The greatest literary works of mankind have been inspired by war and warfare. The genre of the epic poem. I am thinking here of such great epic poems as the "Iliad", "Beowulf", "The Mahabharata", "Manas", "The Battle of Kosovo", "The Great Cattle Raid of Cooley". Indeed, the entire genre of the epic poem in the most part seems to be built around struggle of some sort. Struggle in a sense as represented by war, and struggle in the sense of temptation or moral dilemma. Dante's "Inferno", and "Pilgrim's Progress" being just two examples of the latter.

* War offers a solution to a number of mankind's intractable problems.

I am thinking here of such conflicts as the one existing between the Jews and the Palestinian Arabs for control of what is now Israel.

Does anyone believe that in that situation, an intractable problem if there ever was one, an amicable resolution could be reached by the parties involved? The two groups sitting down at a bargaining table in 1948 and reaching a compromise satisfactory to all?? I think not. War was the only solution. NOT a final or permanent solution as has been seen. But a solution nonetheless. Without war, there NEVER would have been an Israel. I think this can be said with a very good degree of certainty.

These intractable problems are found all over the world. What was once Yugoslavia, Lebanon, and even places as far afield as Sri Lanka. Does anyone believe that Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia would exist now as independent nation-states without war? Again, I think not.

And does anyone even for the foggiest moment believe that without the American Civil War, the slaves held by the southern planters would have EVER been freed in a peaceful manner by their masters?? Consider this, slavery existed in Brazil until around 1888. And contrary to southern apologists, slavery WAS NOT on the way out as an institution in the south. Quite the opposite. After the Dred Scott decision, there was even talk among southerners of resuming the African slave trade!!

In these cases, war does seem to offer a solution to an intractable problem.

* War has also contributed to the biological diversity of mankind the world over.

Mankind has become simply a more robust species, with greater genetic diversity, through warfare. I am thinking here about the women of the vanquished being impregnated by the soldiers of the victorious. NOT a pleasant thing. But, nonetheless, something positive, of unintended consequences [??], has come of something that is considered to be inherently evil [rape]!! The Mongols, for instance, spread their genetic base literally almost all over the world. Genghis Khan is the one person who has the most living descendants [16 million].

[the jury is still out on this last contention of mine. I have consulted with a more appropriate authority on the subject of genetic diversity. I will tell you later what the final conclusion of the expert is!!]

* Finally, war has acted as a stimulus for innovation and technological advancement. Sometimes resulting in concepts that did not have fruition and applicability until maybe a century later.

"Some would list as a pro the often accelerated advances in military-related technology niches which may be spawned by lavish expenditures in this area. However, in regards to ever offering net benefits to society-at-large, such advances are far from certain in their value."

Maybe not for a century or so??!!

A perfect example of this was the development of the vacuum bottle. First invented by French scientists at the behest of Napoleon. Developed as a means for preserving perishable rations for armies on the march [an army marches on it's stomach - - Napoleon]. The vacuum bottle, when developed, did provide a means for preservation, but was not used extensively at the time. Over one hundred years later, at the advent of rocket exploration of space, the vacuum bottle was found to be the perfect way for both storing fuel and cooling the rocket upon ignition.

NOW, with regard to the above pros to war that I have mentioned. One might ask:

"Well, how much better will it be when we can write epic poems NOT inspired by war?

How much better will it be when we can solve intractable problems without resorting to war?

How much better will it be when we have greater genetic diversity of the human species without resorting to war?

How much greater will it be when we are able to create inventions that benefit all of mankind without creating the invention in the context of war??"

And this is all true!!

How much better will it be??

I would suggest that this is JUST NOT how the human species works.

"In light of all the above, it would be very difficult indeed to derive a wholly positive net benefit from excessive military spending in the area of technology advances-- or, for that matter, many other fields as well."

Again, I would generally agree with J.R., but, with as I have said before, qualifications, sometimes serious qualifications.



Tuesday, June 21, 2005


This is coolbert:

I see where President Bush is being criticized for not visiting the graves at Arlington Cemetery of soldiers killed in the current Iraq War. And also criticized for not visiting at the hospital soldiers wounded in the same war.

This is unfair criticism.

Contrary to what most folks think, it IS NOT a good idea for the President to make visits to either the cemetery or the hospitals. Most would consider this to be a merely a simple gesture of showing respect. And it would be. But, there is just too much chance of a scene being made. Recriminations, anger, emotional outbursts, etc. Scenes that benefit no one. And is only hurtful to all parties. Does NO GOOD.

I am thinking of the President visiting the amputee ward of a hospital. Angry, depressed people [an amputee for instance] will respond in an unwarranted manner. Make a scene. Yell angry words they will later regret. This can happen. The response is emotional. And with good reason. But still benefits NO ONE.

[It may be very well the media WANTS this to happen. A scene. To make a good story. That sort of stuff IS LIKED by the media.]

The archetype of this sort of thing is the famous "slapping" incident of World War Two [WW2] involving General Patton and an enlisted soldier. This episode was covered very well in the movie "Patton". Patton, while visiting a field hospital and viewing severely wounded soldiers, comes upon a man crying and weeping. A man suffering from combat fatigue, but not wounded in the conventional manner. Patton ended up slapping the man for lack of guts, shirking, and malingering. [Patton slapped another man too. This is usually not covered.]

Patton, recognized as the best fighting General the American Army had, was relieved of duty for slapping the troop. This had a marked effect upon the General's career.

This man, the troop that was slapped, later said, "I didn't want to be in the Army, I didn't want to be overseas!!".

Well, who did!! This says a lot about that troop!!

Anyhow, this incident is just indicative of the type of things that can happen when high ranking officials or General officers visiting hospitals full of wounded. Generally speaking, such visits are NOT a good idea.

Scenes and recriminations do not help the situation.

[It should be noted that just after 9/11, President Bush visited the hospital where severely wounded from the attack upon the Pentagon were being treated. It was noted that contrary to protocol, when visiting the wounded, Bush saluted the wounded first. This is a marked and unprecendented mark of respect.]


Monday, June 20, 2005

Patriot Act.

This is coolbert:

Well, I stand corrected again. I had said in my blog response to the comments of J.R. that the entire issue of looking at the reading habits of library patrons as specified in the Patriot Act was a big zero. That there had been ZERO requests on the part of the government to see what someone has been reading. Or what they have been accessing or who they have been communicating with via public library computers. The actual number of requests from the government to examine the library habits of U.S. persons [anyone living in the U.S. and under U.S. jurisdiction] was a grand total of two hundred in four years. That works out to about one request per week for a four year period. Is that excessive? And in most cases, the request was either turned down by librarians or not allowed by government officials. So this whole thing WAS over-blown, even though my initial figures were not correct. As I have said before, the villains of 9/11 used public library computers to communicate with one another and with confederates.

Well, you don't have to worry about someone "snooping" at the records of your reading habits anymore. Well, you really didn't have to worry in the first place!! Just would not happen unless you were a person of interest to the government. Much overblown and a lot of hysterical and unwarranted criticism to begin with!!




This is coolbert:

As with the Chinese, the ancient
seem to have been a civilization that
WAS NOT expansionist in nature. DID NOT
rule through military force, or did have a conquering military that
was in a constant or almost perpetual state of war.

The ancient Egyptian dominated surrounding societies, to the
extent that they existed, by strength of culture,
rather than military force. Egypt was wealthy,
technological, and advanced
in a way their neighbors were
not. Egypt seems to have preferred having what would be called in
modern parlance a "sphere of influence" . But was
NOT aggressive. DID carry out trade with neighbors
and seems to have been relatively benevolent.

And the ancient Egyptian maintained this culture continuity for a
VERY LONG period. About three thousand years,
until the time of Caesar and Cleopatra, the Egyptian maintained a
relative cultural status quo. This is most remarkable. Such a continuity
allows the observer to make reasonable and accurate inferences.

It should be pointed out that a number of authorities have
suggested that ancient Egypt was geographically
in such a manner that precluded military
expeditions by the Egyptian. This same isolation would have also
precluded foreign invasion. This is both true and not

That is not to say that there was NOT a military presence in ancient Egypt. Quite the contrary.

The famous pallete of Narmer shows the first Pharaoh [king]
subduing his enemy and uniting lower [the Nile delta region] and
upper [areas upstream from the delta] Egypt. Combining upper and
lower Egypt to form a single kingdom. And doing so using military

[In the pallete of Narmer, the triumphant King is shown standing
over his kneeling foe, ready to strike down the vanquished with a
raised war club!!].

See a picture of the pallete by clicking here.

Through war Egypt became united!!

And at other periods in ancient Egyptian history, there was
military conflict.

Ancient Egyptian around 1650 B.C. WAS conquered
and occupied by a people known as the Hyksos.

An invader moving from east to west that crossed from
what we call southwest Asia into Egypt through the Sinai.
It seems not a whole lot is known about this people.
They are described by the Egyptians themselves
as, "Asiatics, a people that ruled without Ra [the Egyptian
god]!!" It is possible that the Hyksos possessed a definite
technological advantage over the Egyptian, having chariots and
iron weapons!

Evidently this foreign rule of the Egyptian was
NOT long lived, and the Hyksos were absorbed into
the Egyptian populace, this particular invader being just a blip
on the radar screen of Egyptian history. Read further about the
Hyksos by clicking here.

[China similarly has done the same with other foreign invaders and
occupiers, these including Hunnish tribes, Mongols, etc.]

There was also a period in Egyptian history when a series of
Pharaohs WERE militarily active.

Did carry out wars and punitive military expeditions. In response
to threats against what was deemed that Egyptian "sphere of
influence". This sphere would have run from the Nile delta east
along the Mediterranean coast up into what is now Lebanon.

This DID become contested territory around the
time of Thutmose III [the Napoleon of Egypt [??]] [circa 1500
B.C.] and probably prior to that. This threat was from the Hittite
Empire, emanating out of central Asia Minor [present day Turkey].
The Hittite WAS an expansionist power and a
definite threat to Egyptian dominion. Conflicts with the
aggressive Hittite can best be described for the Egyptian as a
draw. NOT able to dislodge or defeat the Hittite,
but merely contain at best.

"Tuthmosis III became a great pharaoh in his own right, and has
been referred to as the Napoleon of ancient Egypt (by the
Egyptologists, James Henry Breasted). But perhaps is reputation
is due to the fact that his battles were recorded in great detail
by the archivist, royal scribe and army commander, Thanuny."

The son of Tuthmoses III, Amenhotep II, was no slouch as a
military man either:

"As a king, Amenhotep II's athletic abilities may have served him
very well, for within a short period after gaining the throne, his
metal would be tested. Various sources disagree on how many
military expeditions he made into Syria, and in what year of his
reign these occurred. These military actions are recorded on stele
erected at Amada, Memphis and Karnak."

Pharaohs of this period were also beset with another

These were the "Sea Peoples". Invaders, semi-
piratical in nature, coming by boat from the area of the Aegean
Sea. Perhaps Achaean Greeks of the same historical period as the
siege of Troy. Invaded the Egyptian sphere of influence and even
settled in the area of ancient Judea, becoming known as the

Egyptian art of this period DOES show the
Pharaohs from the time, to include Thutmose III, Horemheb, till at
least Rameses II, as being noble, bold, courageous warriors,
leading their troops to victory over the "invader". There are even
naval battle scenes of the Egyptian fleet defeating the "Sea
Peoples". Contrary to popular belief, the Egyptian
WAS adept at maritime activities, skill in this
area gained from constant sailing up and down the Nile for
thousands of years. Click here to see a web site about the Egyptian
navy and it's battles against the "Sea Peoples".

[Now, several comments here. One reason for Egyptian influence
extending to what is now Lebanon was to have easy and unlimited
access to the cedars of Lebanon. Cedar trees highly prized as a
boat building material. Such a material was essential to build a
fleet in a desert land!! Obvious!! It was even reported by
Herodotus that Egyptian voyagers were able to
sail around the African continent during the time of the most
ancient of the Pharaohs!! The Egyptians, as been said, were
excellent sailors. This voyage may well have occurred.

[Horemheb was a General who succeeded Aye who succeeded
Tutankhamen [Tut]. Horemheb was NOT of noble rank
but became Pharaoh in this period of military upheaval. Horemheb
appointed his "army buddy", Rameses as his successor.]

"The first king of the 19th Dynasty was the son of a military
commander named Seti. Ramesses I entered the military
service and worked his way up to commander of troops,
superintendent of the cavalry and eventually general. A short time later
he became vizier to King Horemheb. He was also Primate of Egypt,
which was the high priest of Amon, and was in charge of all the temples in Egypt.

Horemheb died with no heir so Ramesses I assumed the throne."

This Rameses established the dynasty to which belonged
Rameses II, perhaps the Pharaoh of the Exodus!!

Rameses II DID portray himself as a bold, noble,
courageous warrior.

"Rameses 'victory' over the Hittities at Kadesh was celebrated
in one of the most repeated Egyptian texts ever put on record."

This IS NOT entirely true. At Kadesh,
in battle with the Hittites, his army was nearly defeated,
Rameses almost becoming a prisoner!!]].
Read further about Kadesh by clicking here.

Following the period from Thutmose III to Rameses II, a period of
many hundred years of relative peace returns to Egypt. Perhaps the
last significant interruption to this peaceful interlude occurred
around 605 B.C. The Bible relates that at that time, Pharaoh Necho
marched north along the Mediterranean to confront and fight the
Babylonians. Once again, protecting the Egyptian sphere of
influence. First victory, then meeting defeat, the Egyptian army
fled in disarray, accompanied by Necho, who had to endure
ignominious and total defeat.

"But this position was also soon lost, when in 605 BC, the king
suffered a catastrophic loss. The son of the Babylonian king,
Nabopolassar was sent to deal with Syria. This was Nebuchadrezzar,
and he captured Carchemish from the Egyptians, and then pursued
the fleeing army as far as Hamath, where he apparently overwhelmed
them. Hence, this was followed by a retreat to by the Egyptians to
their eastern frontier at Gaza."

"Four years after this conquest Necho again marched to the
Euphrates; but here he was met and his army routed by the
Chaldeans (B.C. 606) under Nebuchadnezzar, who drove the Egyptians
back, and took from them all the territory they had conquered,
from the Euphrates unto the "river of Egypt" (Jer. 46:2; 2 Kings
24:7, 8). Soon after this Necho died, and was succeeded by his
son, Psammetichus II."

It can be seen that the ancient Egyptians were
NOT an aggressive, warlike, expansionist power.
Rather the contrary. Had extended very long periods of relative
peace. BUT did fight to protect what they felt
was theirs. That sphere of influence WAS very
important to them. If threatened, they did react.
Protectionist, YES!! Aggressive, warlike, expansionist,


Friday, June 17, 2005

J.R. X - - Con.

This is coolbert:

Extracts taken from the original article of J.R. found here.

J.R. raises some interesting points with regard to war and the cons of war.

I agree 100 % with J.R. regarding his contention that war is a bane to the economy, NOT a boon.

I disagree 100 % with J.R. regarding his contention that our military may produce a crop of homicidal maniacs that pose a threat to the society at large.

On the rest of the issues that J.R. has raised, I generally agree with him, WITH qualifications, sometimes significant qualifications.

Next, the pros of war.



J.R. - - IX - - Weaponry.

This is coolbert:

Extracts taken from the original article of J.R. found here.

With regard to the abundance of sophisticated weaponry in the world:

"Having a world awash in weapons, from hand guns and assault rifles to missiles and advanced fighter jets is simply not a reasonable way to run the planet."

The world IS awash in weaponry. And much of it is of the small arms variety. In particular, the AK-47, whether manufactured in the Soviet Union, Red China, or where ever. 100 million of them in circulation. Has had an effect much greater than that of nuclear weapons. And is only an indication of the ability of nations all over the world to manufacture sophisticated weaponry. Countries such as Brazil, Israel, Romania, Bulgaria have burgeoning weapons industry that produce in abundance highly complex weapons. Weapons that were once available to only to the armies of a few nations are now available to anyone that has the money to pay.

Nations that not so long ago could have been said to be in the bow and arrow stage of weapons development now can design and produce very high grade weaponry.

An excellent example of arms proliferation around the world
is the AK-47. I have blogged about the AK before
and how it has had an influence on conflicts ALL OVER the world.
And a whole bunch of nations have manufactured this weapon
in the original form, and a number have taken the basic
AK design and used it to create a newer and improved
version of the AK, using the basic concept of the
weapons design.

Finland is one nation that used the AK as the
basic model when adopting a new assault rifle for
it's infantry. This weapon became the
Valmet. weapon superior in quality to the
basic Soviet AK.

"In the 1950's the Finnish military recognised the need
for the new military assault rifle.
Instead of "invention of the wheel", Finns decided to adopt and
modify some of existing designs, and the proven
"gun of the big neighbour", the famous Soviet AK-47 was
almost a natural choice"

The Valmet and other Finnish high quality weaponry are
exported all over the world.

"The Finnish Valmet factory produced superb assault
rifles and machine guns for the army and still
continues to be an important supplier for
the Finnish armed forces and also
exports military hardware around the world."

Click here to see a web site devoted to the Valmet.

Israel also used the basic design concept of the AK
when developing the Galil. Also could be described
as an AK knockoff. The Valmet was used as the
inspiration for the Galil.

"Basically, the Galil assault rifle can be described as a modified
Kalashnikov AK-47 design"

Click here to see a web site
about the Galil.

"the same war [1973] showed the advantages of the
Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles,
used by Arab infantry with great success."

"The latter design, based on the Finnish Valmet
Rk.62 assault rifle (a license-built AK-47 clone),
eventually won the competition and was selected as
a new IDF assault rifle in 1973"

South Africa, in turn, used the Galil as the basis
for their own indigenous weapons manufacture.

Modified slightly for South African requirements.
But still having the same AK basic concept.

The latest South African assault rifle is the CR-21.
Looks nothing like the original AK. NOT EVEN CLOSE.
But has the same basic guts and works on the same
basic AK concept.

"Internally, this rifle is a the ol' good AK-47, or,
to be more precise - the Galil.

The CR-21 has the same "old AK" style machined steel receiver,
trigger and bolt group"

"the CR21 is based heavily on the tried-and-true Kalashnikov gas
operation system."

Click here to see a web site on the CR-21.

From basic AK, to Valmet, to Galil, to CR-21!!

Land mines too are ALREADY strewn about the world in abundance. Mostly again of Communist manufacture. And strewn in a totally callous and indiscriminate manner by the foolish combatants in a variety of nations and lands. Demining is not only dangerous, and the mines themselves of course pose a monumental danger, but the cost is just astronomical for countries that are very, very poverty stricken!!

"The USA and some other nations make a big deal about limiting the sales of things like personal computers to some states, claiming they could be adapted for war. But at the same time we sell advanced missiles and warplanes and similar items to almost everyone who wants them."

Since the end of the American Civil War, the U.S. HAS been a major producer and exporter of arms for the entire world. Arms that are highly prized for quality and design.



J.R. VIII - - Mental.

This is coolbert:

Extracts taken from the original article of J.R. found here.

With regard to political leaders having the mental fitness to have their finger on the nuclear trigger:

"as candidates for such positions are not usually screened for signs of mental illness, nor even their past records of behavior necessarily scrutinized before they take power."

Again, here I would disagree with J.R. 100 %.

It is a fact that the record of Bill Clinton with regard to the ladies was well known to the American public even before his first election. This COULD and SHOULD have been noted as a sign of a mental problem, which it very well might be in the case of Bill. A psychiatrist was quoted as saying that THIS IS a clear cut case of mental instability. Furthermore, as the U.S. President, Clinton WAS the commander of all the nuclear equipped units. By regulation, a member of the military cannot command a nuclear equipped unit if there is even the appearance of wrong doing, even if totally unfounded. And in the case of Bill, it was not just appearance, it was fact. There WAS wrong doing. I know that the military reg standard DOES NOT apply to an elected President. But from a moral and from a mental stability standpoint, Clinton WAS NOT fit to hold office.

Even more egregious was the conduct of John F. Kennedy [JFK] during his Presidency. Kennedy spoke of Fremantle as being a model he wanted to emulate. Run the affairs of the British Empire during the day, and party hard at night. This JFK did with relish and abandon. Portraying himself as a devoted family man with a beautiful wife and adoring children all the while conducting himself as a "tomcat", and doing so to the extreme, might also very well be an indication of a mental imbalance that should have precluded him from office. And this AT THE HEIGHT OF THE COLD WAR. THE MAN WHO HAD HIS FINGER ON THE NUCLEAR TRIGGER PLACED HIMSELF IN A POSITION OF BEING EXTREMELY SUSCEPTIBLE TO BLACKMAIL. OR EVEN MANIPULATION BY A FOREIGN POWER.

It may be very well that persons such as Kennedy and Clinton did and do have a mental illness that DID and DOES make them exceedingly susceptible to manipulation. Think of the semen stained dress!!

"Believe it or not, the President of the USA's annual medical examination does not currently, and never has, included even a routine psychiatric examination. Virtually all other personnel expected to endure unusual stresses-- such as FBI and CIA agents, and professional pilots-- must at minimum pass a single such exam to begin their jobs. Not so the Presidency circa 2002, even though psychiatric problems there could literally bring on the end of the world."

Well, the American electorate through voting has the final say on this matter. Supposedly. The President can still be removed from office by impeachment if he IS found to be mentally unstable. That WAS NOT an accusation leveled against Bill Clinton however.

"minimizing the power of the elite to use secrecy or censorship to shield the actions of themselves or others."

NOT merely secrecy or censorship. Obfuscation and intimidation, spin, and human attack dogs are also used to "shield" the elite. Any hint of criticism and the accuser becomes the target. Place you the accuser on the defensive. It is not so much the accused but the accuser that goes on trial. Again, in the case of JFK, the press WAS aware of his many indiscretions, but took the stance that, "JFK WAS DOING MORE GOOD THAN BAD", so don't report it [Ben Bradlee, Washington Post]. Ben was the brother of the late Mary Meyer, who JFK was especially fond of. OH, MY!!

"Run the typed or transcribed statements of a suspect through special analysis software which looks for changes in writing or speaking presentation which indicates possible falsehoods or confusion"

J.R. is speaking here about means that are available right now to determine if an elite is telling the truth or not. This may or may not help in the quest for "truth". I would also disagree with J.R. here. If I say the Iraqi has weapons of mass destruction, and believe it to be true at the time I am saying it, and later this is proven to be not true [the Iraqi does NOT have such weapons], I have NOT told a lie. I was mistaken, but I have not told a lie as a lie is ordinarily understood. Means of detecting falsehoods and lies would not work here!

People [elites] in the public arena are also excellent at speaking in grey tones, and not merely in shades of black and white. Such analysis software in all probability would be defeated in these cases where elites speak in chiaroscuro [shades of light and grey].

"The old conventional lie detection apparatus (polygraph) may be used to gather certain types of information, but is not itself necessarily an infallible detection device."

NO one suggests in the first place that the polygraph is infallible. Even the most ardent supporters do not maintain this assertion. It IS valuable as a tool. Does produce results when the questions are asked in the proper manner by a skilled polygraph operator. But should be looked upon as merely a tool,
one tool in an arsenal of tools for the investigator.



J.R. VII - - Surveillance.

This is coolbert:

Extracts taken from the original article of J.R. found here.

With regard to the modern "big brother", surveillance/1984 type society:

"But as of early 2003 we are charting the opposite course-- of implementing across-the-board surveillance upon the innocent masses of our civilian populations."

This is the belief that high technology allows the government to monitor our every activity as they have never been able before. Phone calls, credit card purchases, internet activity, etc. This IS true to an extent. But there are also a whole lot of ways the average citizen can protect themselves from unwarranted eavesdropping too. There ARE a whole host of freeware computer cryptographic software available to the average citizen that allows for secure internet usage. Software for secure e-mail, software for IM [internet messenger] chat, software for anonymous internet surfing, software for a "hacker proof" [??] PC router, and software for secure VOIP [voice over internet protocol] is available. This stuff works and in my opinion DOES give good security. J.R. is not too keen on this idea. That I know. I disagree with him on this matter. Look at these URL's for crypto freeware. Try it out and see how it works. Good stuff. And free too!!

Here are some of them.

Above is for secure internet messenger.

Above is for secure voice of high quality. VOIP.
Very high quality too. Better than your phone. I
wonder why anyone would even use the phone at all
after hearing skype.

above is for anonymous web surfing. You must install
both the tor software and the privoxy software and
configure your IE if you are using MS. But that is

Above is for free certificate to activate and use
the built in crypto features of your MS Outlook.
Almost no one knows about this.

Free Secure Email Certificates
Activate the security features of Outlook / Outlook
Express with a free Secure Email Certificate. Prove
origin of your emails, maintain integrity and make
sure unintended recipients cannot read your
sensitive emails. Worth ?19.95 - available through
Instant SSL for FREE!

These are good for a year, and then you can get free
reissue each year. Again, for free.

Above is for clipboard encryption, that can be set
up easily by the user, to encrypt and decrypt, using
the most advanced algorithms, text or files at will.
Great and easy to use. This is about the easiest one
I have seen yet, and yet, so secure to>>

The above is for a discrete hardwall router using a scrap or outmoded PC. Protects against unwanted instrusion.

What more could you want???

In particular, why did the Patriot Act include the provision for the government to examine your library records? Well, there was a specific incident that prompted this measure. It seems that librarians, in the days just after 9/11, refused to allow FBI agents to examine library computers that were known to be used by some of the 9/11 terrorists. The villains were using the computers to communicate with one another, supposedly using steganography [cryptography involving hiding a message in a picture] freely found on the web. These librarians, out of a misguided sense of what is right and wrong, impeded a murder investigation involving 3000 victims!!!

[Lo and behold. The Congress has just stricken, as we speak, this provision to examine your library records from the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was written as a "sunshine law". Meaning periodic review on a regular and frequent basis, rewriting and modifying and improving where necessary. For all of those out there mortified that the Federal government might be interested in your library reading habits, make this guess?? How often did the government exercise this option to examine reading habits of library patrons?? ZERO. That is correct!! ZERO. This was all a mirage that had folks scared in a manner they should not have. As I have mentioned, this provision of the Patriot Act was in response to the foolish and unwarranted actions [inactions] of a very small and misguided number of librarians!!!]



J.R. Part VI.

This is coolbert:
Extracts taken from the original article of J.R. found here.

With regard to the innate aggressiveness of human, specificially the male of the species:

"Human males appear to be considerably more prone to violence and aggression in general (and to starting wars in particular) than females.

Human violence at all levels is an overwhelmingly male phenomenon. Especially in terms of being initiators of violence, or acting offensively."

I have blogged extensively on what seems to be the inherent aggressive nature of mankind.

"Make it easier for women to be promoted or elected to leadership positions in business and government-- and tougher for men."

This is the belief that if women just ran the world, war would disappear. This idea was first posed to me by K.P., herself a believer in such a concept. Is this naive??



J.R. Part V.

This is coolbert:

Extracts taken from the original article of J.R. found here.

With regard to the weaponry of warfare and the danger from same:

"Even just developing, testing, and assembling things like nuclear and biochemical weapons is dangerous, generating huge numbers of fatalities, cancers, and injuries-- even if the weapons are never once used in anger.

virtually anyone who's lived in the US since 1951 has been exposed to radioactive fallout in varying amounts. 15,000 US citizens have died as one result, and at minimum another 80,000 will likely contract cancer from the effects in years to come. Some of the fallout from tests which took place decades ago continues to circle the globe."

[That figure of 15,000 deaths from fallout must be kept in the proper context. That number is of course deaths over a fifty year period. That averages out to about 250 deaths per year. That is about the same number of deaths that occur in the U.S. each year from all deaths associated with tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and lightning strikes COMBINED. I am not minimizing the effect of radioactive fallout, but keep things in a proper context!!]

Also keep this in mind. More [MORE!!!] radioactivity was released into the atmosphere by the single disaster at Chernobyl that was put into the atmosphere by all previous above-ground nuclear tests combined. We HAVE NOT see a magnum increase in the number of two headed babies in the Ukraine. Am I being sarcastic here? Yes!! But, my point is, CONTEXT!!

[Strangely enough, currently, one of the most popular recommended retirement communities in the U.S. is St. George, Utah!! St. George is directly downwind from the Nevada test site where a bunch of atomic bombs were detonated at ground level. St. George was repeatedly in the path of fallout from these detonations. The local populace of St. George is now in a mild uproar over what they believe is radioactive fallout induced illnesses and disease of a wide variety. For those retirees contemplating making St. George their home of choice, well, "happy trails to you!!"]
. Click here to see the web site put out by the St. George chamber of commerce. They unabashedly state that St. George IS the number ONE place in the U.S. to retire to!!??

"For instance, radioactivity, unexploded bombs, and mines can continue to sicken, maim, and kill both war veterans and innocents (including children) years, decades, and even generations after the conflict in which they were deployed."

"Friendly fire accounted for 17.5 percent of the 615 dead and wounded U.S. troops in the gulf war. During World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam conflict, about 2 percent of all U.S. casualties were from friendly fire"

This may not be correct! It may be that during the Vietnam War, indiscreet radio usage by U.S. forces was responsible for numerous deaths way beyond the two percent mentioned by J.R.

"tomorrow's adults will pay for disposal of dangerous war materials created in their parents' or grandparents' day, and many of the children and grandchildren of today's soldiers or civilians unlucky enough to be war participants will be plagued by various chronic diseases and forms of mental illness and other problems due to their ancestors' exposure to war-related training, toxins, and infections"

This is correct in several areas.

The use of poison gas on the Kurdish Halabja populace by Saddam has resulted in long-term genetic malformities among the newly born in that part of the world. This WAS NOT an anticipated result of the usage of poison gas.

Destruction of poison gas stocks in the U.S. proceeds with glacial slowness. Processes for destroying the poison gas stockpiles have been developed. Always seem to be in the pilot stage of development. NOT concluding the process. Part of the reason is that these depots where the gases are stored are NO LONGER located in remote areas. WERE in remote areas originally. NOW are surrounded by sub-divisions. The mere process of moving the poison gas munitions and the destruction of same places folks in the vicinity at greater risk than if the gas munitions were just left in place!!! Moving the poisons is also risky. NO easy way to deal with this stuff. Unlike nuclear munitions, poison gas munitions cannot be recycled and used in other ways. An informant tells me that the chemicals in the various chemical munitions can be reused in civilian applications. I would think the process of extracting those chemicals is too expensive to make this feasible!? My guess. Destruction is far preferable.

Click here to see a web site that gives a running tally of chemical weapons destroyed at this one specific arsenal, Umatilla. Chemical rockets in this case. This stuff, destruction of the chemical weapons, is going on.

"-- Centuries of work left for WWII bomb clearers"

"It will take nearly half a century to clear all the land mines lying in wait in onetime battlefields around the world"

You DO NOT NEED to clear all the bombs and mines. You DO NEED to clear areas where people live and work.

J.R. is correct here. It will take decades to just clean and store or destroy all the nuclear warheads and chemical weapons in American stockpiles. The designers of these weapons, especially the chemical weapons, DID NOT make any provision for their dismantling and destruction. This was NOT A consideration. It was assumed, at least in the case of chemical weapons, that the weaponry WOULD BE used. It was not! Nuclear warheads can be dismantled and the radioactive material extracted recycled for peaceful purposes or stored in a secure manner. Storage is a matter of will, not technology. The U.S., unfortunately, seems to lack the will concerning storage!

[I have personal knowledge of one area where radioactive materials were disposed of, it being decades later for the mess to be cleaned up!! In the aftermath of the original atomic bomb research, radioactive materials were buried hastily and without much, if any thought in a forest preserve area just outside Chicago. A hole was dug in the ground, the radioactive "stuff" thrown into the hole, the hole being filled in and covered by a small concrete slab in which was embedded a radioactive symbol. it was not until almost fifty years later that this radioactive debris pile was cleaned. In the decades prior to that, it was NOT uncommon to see people filling plastic jugs with well water taken from the preserve area just a few hundred yards, if that, from where the radioactive debris was buried. These folks were drinking the well water for it's healthy and therapeutic value, not realizing that a short distance away was this dangerous radioactive debris, probably leaching radioactivity into the ground water, water that they were drinking with the belief that IT WAS HEALTHY FOR THEM!!!???]



J.R. Part IV.

This is coolbert:

Extracts taken from the original article of J.R. found here.

With regard to danger from "wacko" soldiers to the society at large.

"A breeding ground for future violent criminals and terrorists
The bigger and deadlier your armed forces, the more folks you've essentially trained to be war-like and efficient killers, and take calculated (and sometimes extreme) risks-- providing maybe hundreds or thousands (or even millions) of folks with skills and attitudes which can now or later be turned against you in war, crime, or terrorism.

take calculated (and sometimes extreme) risks-- providing maybe hundreds or thousands (or even millions) of folks with skills and attitudes which can now or later be turned against you in war, crime, or terrorism."

This has been a defense offered by American pilots flying drugs into the U.S. for Latin American drug cartels. These pilots, most of whom were military veterans, many with combat service, some extensively so, in Vietnam, would say in court, "well, I did what I did, but I have an acquired taste for danger! Placing myself in danger by doing these drug courier flights gives me an exhilarating rush!! This is something I picked up in Vietnam from my combat experience. I am mentally not able to control my actions from this "illness"!!" Well folks, to me, and I think I am correct when I say this, "baloney!!!" This is an excuse to cover for what is just plain illegal greedy behavior. These pilots were almost without exception doing this [drug courier aerobatics] for the big and easy and quick money!!! They "may" have gotten a "rush" from the experience, but that was NOT the primary motive for doing what they were doing, smuggling drugs.

"Such military training/preparation may also exacerbate otherwise latent mental illness in recruits-- perhaps rendering dangerous to society and themselves folks who might otherwise have led more normal, peaceful, and productive lives."

Here I would have serious disagreement with J.R. The contention is that military training conditions a person to be much more likely to use force in the wrong situations. Furthermore, that same training makes a person that MUCH BETTER at using force when they do use it.

This is just NOT SO!! To begin with, the military is much more selective as to it accepts as a recruit. You will not get in if you already mental or show signs of same. OR, if you already have a predisposition to use violence in your past [street gang member, bar room brawler, etc!!] And if that recruit, or even a career troop, shows any signs of mental problems, that troop will be very quickly be mustered out or put in a position where they have little potentiality for doing harm. FOR THE MOST PART, IT IS VERY, VERY SAFE ON A MILITARY BASE. FOR BLACK GI'S EVEN MORE SO FROM WHAT THEY FACE IN CIVILIAN LIFE [A BLACK GI IS MAYBE FORTY TO FIFTY TIMES SAFER ON A MILITARY BASE THEN HE WOULD BE IN HIS OWN NEIGHBORHOOD IN CIVILIAN LIFE]!!


[During the first Gulf War, the MP officer in charge of the MP's for the 82nd Airborne Division was quoted as saying that, "here in Saudi we have almost no crime whatsover among the troops. Back stateside, if it was not for women, alcohol, and cars [young guys in action], we would not have any crime to speak of on post either.]

J.R. reminds me here of the stories that circulated around 1970 when masses of GI's were returning from Vietnam. The accusation was that a very high percentage of these GI's were heroin addicts. Had become addicted in Vietnam. In response, the military carefully screened the returning GI's and found the percentage of troops to be hooked on heroin to be about the same percentage as the general population in the states!! But the story persists of the drugged up GI from Nam.

It IS probably possible to find aberrations and anecdotal accounts that support the zombie/robotlike/deranged/drugged/murderous/wacko/wife beater/suicidal maniac GI legend. That is what this is. Sort of like the urban myth!! Aberrations and anecdotal accounts magnified by media who glories in such stories.

There WAS in Buffalo, NY., during the 1970's, the case of the white U.S. Army Ranger who was killing black cab drivers. Killed about six cabbies until caught. Used his ranger skills and training to kill the cabbies. The black cab drivers of Buffalo were so spooked by this guy, that for a period of time they refused to pick up single white male fares!! But, this ranger should be thought of as a real exception to the rule!! Off the top of my head I cannot think of other similar examples!

[Persons such as those employed by the South African private concern, "Executive Outcomes", or British and Israeli ex-soldiers and security types in the pay of by Latin American drug cartels may also fall into the same category as the "thrill" seeking American pilots mentioned above!! In the case of the former, these are "mercenaries" fighting in such places as Sierra Leone, obstensibly for a somewhat just cause. In the case of those in the pay of drug lords, NO SUCH altruistic motives exist. These persons, in both cases, are very few in number. The wacko soldier phenomenon just does NOT SEEM to exist as folks think it does!!].



J.R. Part III.

This is coolbert:

Extracts taken from the original article of J.R. found here.

With regard to the danger war poses to the economy:

"Beyond this, both groups may face higher taxes, lower incomes, fewer government services, and higher interest rates in future decades due to the government debts incurred to develop, manufacture, and deploy the systems, plus whatever bills come due regarding the safe disposal of related dangerous materials long after the system itself has been declared obsolete, or outlawed by more enlightened parties or times

but also reduce the potential living standards of virtually everyone, relative to what they might be in the absence of such unproductive spending and debt growth.

Defense, intelligence, and security spending all tend to exert downward pressures on the living standards of average citizens, as such spending is not as efficient or productive as other types of expenditures, in general

Average living standards for civilians in a given military, intelligence, or security agency's host nation will by necessity be lower than they would be with less emphasis on such spending.

a larger number of scientists and engineers will be kept busy figuring out new and better ways of killing people (or making their lives harder) rather than keeping them alive, or making their lives easier.

For it's a simple economic fact that military spending is not as efficient or productive as other types of expenditures in general, and so must act as an absolute drag on economic growth and progress, compared to what would occur in its absence."

Military activity is a consumer of wealth while NOT producing wealth. It DOES consume prodigious amounts of wealth in all forms while being NOT a producer of wealth. Does NOT produce a product that intrinsic value to it. This IS SO!!

"The less money nations spend on their militaries and intelligence and security measures, the more they have for education, healthcare, and other social needs-- and/or, the lower the tax burden on average citizens can be; thus is nourished greater peace and prosperity for a people, while the making war is discouraged"

This is a point where J.R. and I are in TOTAL, 100 % agreement. War IS bad for the economy. Contrary to what the average American may believe.



J.R. Part II.

This is coolbert:

Extracts taken from the original article of J.R. found here.

With regard to the danger that the human race poses to itself:

"As our technologies advance, the risk that war will drive humanity itself to extinction may rise exponentially

From everything we know as of early 2003, it appears that most (perhaps all) the technological civilizations which ever developed in our galaxy before us suffered extinction or irrevocable collapse not long after their equivalent of our own 1900 AD.

If we are to have any chance to survive the coming decades, we will have to radically reform our behavior-- and in ways we've never been able to do in the past.

According to the silence in the heavens, we probably won't do it."

There is supposed to be a period of say six hundred years [this period for the earth may have begun in 1900] where the human species may be in danger of extinction because of it's own efforts. This danger is posed from the technological challenges and advancement, and the inability of mankind to control it's most dangerous impulses. The sources of danger comes from such factors as global nuclear war, biological warfare experimentation gone awry, pollution, etc. We CAN destroy ourselves if we are not careful.

It should be noted, however, that the greatest threats to mankind in the past have been NATURAL CAUSES. Volcanoes, comet and asteroid impacts, and associated phenomenon are probably a MUCH greater danger to the human species than destruction from warfare. The volcano Toba, on the island of Sumatra, 70,000 years ago, nearly wiped out mankind!! Of 1 million humans alive prior to the eruption of Toba, only 10,000 are estimated to have been alive 1000 years later!!! As for comets or asteroids impacts, well, the consensus is that if the impact is just days away, don't bother to tell anyone!! And you cannot preclude the possibility of some sort of natural occurring disease appearing out of no where and wiping out a goodly portion of humanity!!

In addition, nuclear weapon arsenals ARE being drastically dismantled. The U.S. alone is going to put into mothballs or do away with completely about 95 % of it's atomic arsenal. It is felt that around 1000 nuclear weapons will suffice for any contingency in the future. The Russians are also acting in a similar. While it can be argued that these measures for dismantling are NOT being done for altruistic reasons, nonetheless, the atomic bomb arsenals of what was the two major world military powers IS being drastically reduced. This can be ONLY seen as a positive step!!

I have blogged on SETI [Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence]. How perhaps the only broadcast transmissions of man that can be detected by other alien species are the powerful military radars used to detect the launch of ballistic missiles carrying the weaponry of world-wide Armageddon. How ironic!!

And let us also not forget one of J.R.'s own favorites, the gamma ray burster!! A gamma ray burster occurs when a star, of enormous mass, goes hyper-nova [beyond the scale of a super-nova]. Such a star, when going hyper, gives off gamma ray emission of such intensity that it can sterilize an ENTIRE GALAXY all at once. All higher life forms go extinct all at once. There is evidence that possibly this has occurred on earth at some time in the far distant past.

The greatest danger to human beings survival in the long run may very well be from NATURAL disaster over which man has NO control. That is not to minimize the danger from man-made extinction. This DOES need to be considered and seriously so. But DO NOT overly-stress where not warranted.



J.R. Part I.

This is coolbert:

The URL below is for an excellent web site. I highly recommend it. Web site owner is J.R. Mooneyham, a man of protean talents and intellect.

Specifically, within J.R.'s web site, is a section dedicated to warfare. Below is the URL for that web page. I recommend it too.

I have extracted pertinent comments of J.R. from the section on warfare and juxtaposed where suitable with my own blog comments on the same topic. My blog comments and further appreciations in bold.

As to who this J.R. Mooneyham is, and why his comments should be perused closely, consider his background:

"Who is J.R. Mooneyham?

"He is a researcher and futurist, author"

"He is a science fiction writer, author"

He is a web philanthropist, investing considerable time towards helping everyone he can to:

Mooneyham has provided technical consultation and administration for business involved in prototyping work for DARPA (a US military research and development institution), as well as performed in various competitive intelligence roles for certain US companies/executives, in industries including the automotive and computer fields. During late 2001 and early 2002 Mooneyham served as an informal consultant to certain US military planning operations. Mooneyham also has associates/contacts who have provided technical services to US military and intelligence agencies (including the CIA).

* "prototyping work for DARPA (a US military research and development institution)"

* "competitive intelligence roles for certain US companies/executives"

* "an informal consultant to certain US military planning operations."

* "also has associates/contacts who have provided technical services to US military and intelligence agencies (including the CIA)."

J.R. Mooneyham IS a man that has the credentials to talk with authority about military matters!!

In the subsequent series, J.R. speaks about the cons [negatives] of war.

Regarding the ever escalating casualties of modern warfare:

"Terrorism is at least somewhat preferable to war
Given a choice of experiencing war or terrorism, and being informed of all the real costs and risks involved for everyone of both, it's likely the vast majority of people would choose to experience random bouts of terrorism rather than war."

The type of terrorism as practiced by today's terrorist has it's genesis in the Czarist bomb throwers of the 1880's. Persons dedicated to the overthrow of the despotic regime of the Russian Czar. These persons [Czarist bomb throwers] made a career of attacking with bombs the Czar, his close family and relatives, and other high level functionaries of the Russian government. They were unsuccessful for the most part, but not for want of trying. Operated in a manner similar to the terrorist of today. BUT!! Did not practice the indiscriminate and wholesale slaughter associated with the current day terrorist. Czarist bomb throwers took a lot of precautions NOT to kill or injure innocents. The current villains on the contrary take a malicious, almost childlike delight in causing the mayhem they cause. The more innocents killed and wounded the better!! Callous, wanton, and total disregard for human life, displaying a depraved mentality in doing so!! This is why they are so much more despised.

The current wave of terrorist now desires and wants in the worst way possible weapons of mass destruction. Given their penchant for mass killing already, it is not hard to see why the general populace is much more fearful of terrorists than they have been in the past. Weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists would have dire consequences. It IS HARD to see the terrorists, possessing such weapons, NOT USING them!!

"I use the "modern" qualification because the further back into antiquity you go, the easier it'll be to find wars which had relatively few casualties, simply because the human population was much smaller then, the armies far fewer in number of soldiers, the weapons were often less lethal, etc., etc."

Wars of antiquity tended in many cases to be less lethal as they were more ritualistic in nature. Done for reasons we might consider "quaint" today. Such as blood feuds, wife stealing, point-of-honor [punador in Spanish], cattle rustling, etc. That sort of thing. The type of warfare the "mudmen" of Papua New Guinea participate in to this day. And participation in war was restricted in many cases to those persons equipped and trained in warcraft, i.e., the kshatriya warriors of India or the warriors as mentioned in the epic poem, "The Great Cattle Raid of Cooley". To those folks being hacked up by a sword, a mattock or being shot with an arrow, war was NOT any less lethal than today. It had the same effect. You died!! What J.R. is talking about is the length of the war, the reasons why war is fought, the numbers involved, the destructiveness of the weaponry. With regard to the latter, it has only since around the time of the American Civil War that lethality began to increase at an exponential level. And has been increasing even more exponentially ever since.

"the total death toll for World Wars I and II combined, including combatants from all sides, and civilians, and deaths caused directly and indirectly by the conflicts, estimated to be around 36 million."

I have much elevated figures for the death toll from WW II alone. Upwards of fifty [50] million!! Of that figure, a very substantial amount [20 million to 30 million] can be attributed to deaths of citizens of the Soviet Union alone!! And, it should be noted that a large portion of THOSE Soviet deaths can be blamed on the actions and orders of Stalin. Stalin's scorched-earth policy in particular doomed millions of Soviet citizens living in German occupied territory to a slow death by starvation, exposure, etc. No food or shelter, medical care, etc. Soviet military losses in WW2 were also catastrophic. Around 8 million Soviet troops are believed to have been killed in the war. Again, this reflects mostly the meat-grinder aspects of Soviet military tactics and the cold, callous, and sometimes just plain obscene approach to war as ordered by Stalin. Soviet general officers were poorly thought of by their Allied counterparts as their plans were always subject to approval and modification by a man who was NOT a military man!!

"It has been only in the 20th century that mankind, with technological advancement, has had the ability to kill on such a prolific and stupendous level."

Prior to the 20th century, the largest killer of mankind was NOT war, but rather was DISEASE. Disease of all sorts killed mankind in just numbers with magnitudes just way beyond the numbers of humans killed at war. The Black Death of the 13th and 14th century is estimated to have killed around 100 million people just in Europe alone!! War time slaughter of the human species in wartime during this same period was trifling in comparison.

[There is only one exception to the above. The predacious wars of the Mongols in the 1200's created the greatest slaughter of humans prior to the World Wars of the 20th century. It is estimated that in China alone, 30 million humans were massacred by the Mongols merely to clear the land for the grazing of sheep!!!!].



Thursday, June 16, 2005


This is coolbert:

I see that Senator Dick Durbin is among some high and mighty voices that are now calling for an end to the Guantanamo Bay [Gitmo] Camp X-Ray.

The prison site where captured illegal enemy combatants are being held. The contention is that the prison, and the alleged "abuses" of the illegal enemy combatants are way out of control and the whole business has become a major source of embarrassment for the U.S. This is all occurring in the wake of the Abu Ghraib Iraq prison scandal. And the allegations of mishandling of the holy Koran by U.S. guards and interrogators at Gitmo.

The consensus among critics of Gitmo is that abuses have occurred, are occurring, and will occur unless the camp is closed. And that in addition, the captured illegal enemy combatants must be treated as prisoners-of-war under the Geneva Convention and given all the rights and fair treatment due them.

In the eyes of these critics, it is NOT a question whether or not the prisoners are being treated fairly or not. It seems NO amount of reasoning can convince these critics the prisoners ARE NOT being mistreated.

The critics make the point, have made it in the past and are making the same point now, that, "unless we treat these folks, the captured enemy combatants [and the critics for some reason always seem to NOT include the critical word ILLEGAL], with dignity and respect, we can expect our folks to one day be mistreated in the same way if they are captured!!"

The idea here is of course that perhaps one day, American servicemen will be captured in this long drawn out anti-terrorist, anti-Jihadist war, and, well, "what will we be able to expect as the treatment for our servicemen, if we have mistreated the enemy combatants at Gitmo??!!"

This sort of argument is very revealing to me. What it tells me is that these critics are either very naive or are very misinformed or are totally uninformed in a big way. A way that precludes their making such pronouncements as they have made.

Click here to see a jihadist web site that describes, "The Islamic Ruling on the Permissibility of Executing Prisoners of War".

It seems that the jihadists have already thought out in detail on how prisoners-of-war THEY capture are to be treated. Thought [the jihadis have] this topic through in the most excruciating detail and are clear, in their own minds, on the subject.

The decision on how to treat prisoners the jihadists may capture has ALREADY been arrived at LONG before Abu Ghraib and Gitmo were in the headlines.

This "jurisprudence", Islamic jurisprudence, was used as justification to EXECUTE nine Russians the rebels in Chechyna were holding prisoner. These Russians, members of a para-military police unit [OMON], were captured, and executed by BEHEADING. The bodies were then put on DISPLAY and photos of same put on the internet.

In the words of the jihadis in Chechnya, "The Russian Government has failed to respond to the Mujahideen's demand that the Russian war criminal Budanov be handed over for execution at the hands of the Mujahideen. The Russian Government was warned that should it fail to surrender Budanov, nine Russian prisoners who were caught marauding in a Chechen village would be executed.

The Russian Government has since chosen to shield Budanov and the brutal rape-murder that he committed. In response, we the Mujahideen have fulfilled our pledge to execute the nine Russian OMON special police who were in our custody. (See photographs of executed OMON prisoners)".


All of this, again, occurring before Abu Ghraib and the alleged mishandling of the sacred Koran at Gitmo.

Before, before, before!!!! These villains have made a cold, calculating decision to execute prisoners at their whim!! Make no mistake about it. The villains have no qualms as do U.S. Senators about the strength of THEIR cause. And they CAN quote all sorts of Islamic jurisprudence to justify their actions. THEY DO NOT have a problem in merely mistreating any American soldiers they capture. THEY are sure in their righteousness that execution is perfectly legal and justified. To THEM, executing you and placing your body on display is no different than crushing a maggot or cockroach underfoot!!!

See this additional web site discussing the execution of prisoners that occurred in the time of Muhammad by clicking here.

[Personal comments. I hope no one misses the point here. We in the U.S. are talking about the mishandling of the Koran and a few crazies taking pictures of naked Iraqis. These villains are talking about well thought out beheading of American prisoners and justification of same!! Please do not speak of equivalence here!!].


Monday, June 13, 2005


This is coolbert:

One area where U.S. ground forces seem to be lacking is in the area of anti-aircraft artillery [AAA, called "triple A"]. This does seem to be, to the casual observer, an antiquated, even quaint means for ground forces to defend against attacking enemy aircraft. A means that has been superseded by surface to air missiles [SAM].

It is also true that U.S. ground forces, during World War Two [WW2], Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf wars, were NOT subject to attack from enemy aircraft except for on the most exceptional and rare basis.. This sort of thing just DID NOT happen.

It seems the assumption has been made, an assumption that so far has held to be true, that American air power in wartime, whether it was from U.S. Air Force [USAF], or from naval aviation in support of ground forces, would in very quick measure, sometimes almost instantly so, rule the skies and dominate in such a manner as to preclude enemy airforces from mounting ground attack against U.S. ground forces, where ever they may be.

In the minds of the powers at the top of the military, placing any importance to providing AAA for the ground forces must just be seen as small potatoes. Just NOT something that should be stressed. Why so?? After all, U.S. planners must be thinking to themselves, "why spend money on something that will not be needed [AAA]. Our aircraft and pilots will rule the roost, where ever they are!!"

And, one might also add, U.S. ground forces DO currently have what must be seen as ADEQUATE organic defense against air attack by enemy airplanes. The Patriot SAM CAN be used to shoot down enemy aircraft. And the ground forces have the Stinger SAM. A pea shooter MANPAD [man portable air defense] that has proven TO BE very effective. Battle tested in Afghanistan with great success!! A proven winner!! What more would U.S. ground forces require or even NEED??!!

Is there a role for AAA in the current modern military??

I would have to say YES!! Unequivocally so!!

AAA is a complement to SAM's of all varieties.

[During the Vietnam War, U.S. aircraft did prove to be susceptible to AAA. At low altitudes, a lot of U.S. aircraft WERE either downed or damaged by AAA. Or if the U.S. aircraft flew higher to avoid AAA, they were targeted by SA-2 missile fire, or, became less effective in their bombing run by flying higher!!]

[There is an interesting photo in one of Dupuy's books about the Arab-Israeli conflict. This particular photo shows an Israeli tank in 1973 towing a portable ferry to a crossing point on the Suez canal. This tank pulling the ferry has accompanying it additional armor standing overwatch, infantry in M3 U.S. half-tracks, AND self-propelled dual barrel 20 mm [??] AAA. Here is perfectly illustrated the combined arms concept. And it should be kept in mind that the Israeli air force ruled the skies over Sinai in a manner that almost totally precluded Egyptian air attack on Israeli ground forces. Israeli commanders in this case were NOT taking any chances with this ferry, a piece of equipment vital to their planned canal crossing!!]

AAA can be and is effective against low-flying aircraft that may be making ground attack runs. Or is useful against enemy attack helicopters. Complements SAM of the pea shooter type or even the Patriot type. Triple A forces enemy aircraft to fly higher and use evasive maneuver. This of itself makes a ground attack less effective. Having to bomb or strafe from a higher altitude leads to ineffectiveness. Flying higher exposes the attacking aircraft to intercept and downing by Patriot type SAM.

[The main role of the Patriot as conceived was to intercept and destroy incoming ballistic missiles of the SCUD or SCALEBOARD variety. Missiles carrying a nuclear of chemical warhead. Missiles aimed at point targets such as airports, port facilities, or major headquarters. It WAS NOT conceived as being a missile to be used primarily against attacking enemy aircraft. IT CAN BE used in this manner, but is normally NOT employed in this manner or was intended to be used as an anti-aircraft missile!!]

AAA complements SAM units in that it provides targeting NOT always susceptible to counter-measures of the usual variety. SAM systems such as the Patriot rely upon radar guidance. This can be jammed. Pea shooters MANPADS such as the Stinger or the original Soviet SA-7 ARE susceptible to infra-red jamming [usually the dropping of flares from attacking aircraft]. The Stinger is much less susceptible in this regard, but still may be vulnerable to some degree against flare counter-measure. AAA can be guided either by radar OR optical means, visual from the actual gunner/operator or electro-mechanical guided.

[From my reading, the now somewhat older Soviet SA-8 Gecko possessed a dual guidance system that consisted of both radar and an electro-mechanical system. An operator on the ground had some sort of optical device he would hold in his hand and track the targeted enemy aircraft with. Point the optical device at the target and follow it's course from the ground. Additional tracking and guidance for the SAM!!].

[It may also be that the British Blowpipe MANPAD has a similar guidance. Once fired, additional targeting for the SAM can be had by an operator on the ground steering the missile with a handheld electro-optic device. This would necessitate a radio link from ground to the missile. Additional guidance for the missile, complementing the SAM's built-in infra-red sensor.]

In the past, even recently, U.S. ground forces HAVE had their own organic AAA. Ground forces WERE equipped with a Vulcan six barrel 20 mm gun that was radar guided. Mounted on the ubiquitous M113 APC. I believe this weapons system has been deemed sometime ago obsolete and has been sent to the scrap heap.

And in the early 1980's, the U.S. Army attempted to develop the DIVAD system. Divisional Air Defense. Was to consist of a Swedish dual 40 mm Bofors gun mounted on a M48 tank chassis, with a F-16 radar for guidance. So, someone MUST have thought that organic AAA WAS NEEDED for U.S. ground forces. This project went into cost overruns and DID NOT work as anticipated. This project never came to fruition or production, was experimental only, and finally relegated also to the scrap heap.

Since the demise of DIVAD, no further AAA has been contemplated by U.S. ground forces, to my knowledge.

Click here, here, here, and here to see how other nations HAVE been able to develop and field AAA quite successfully. In the case of the Russian Tunguska, this bad-boy features dual guns AND missiles both. Quite a package!!

I guess U.S. aviation superiority and the Stinger are felt to adequate for any possible future contingencies.

Is this a valid assumption??

NO if you are taking into account potential conflicts either now, or in the near or far future with Red China or North Korea. In those circumstances, you will be confronted with a foe that will possess an adequate number of high performance combat aircraft. Almost an abundance of such aircraft in the case of China. An adequate number of combat aircraft that will be able to OVERWHELM by sheer numbers existing U.S. air defenses. Ground forces WILL be subject to attack by enemy aircraft. YOU CAN COUNT ON IT!!

Regardless of U.S. qualitative edge in airframes, avionics, weapons systems, superior piloting, etc., it WILL JUST NOT POSSIBLE FOR U.S. AVIATION TO GUARANTEE THAT GROUND FORCES WILL NOT COME UNDER ATTACK!! As simple as that!!

Has this been taken into account by U.S. planners?? Are the Joint Chiefs of Staff biting their nails wondering about how to handle this problem that may arise?? I doubt it. The hope is, of course, that U.S. combat aviation WILL rule the skies where ever U.S. ground forces are deployed. NOT a whole lot more than is already at hand is required. IS this true?? I would like to believe so!! Is it better to plan better and develop and incorporate AAA into the inventory for the future? Of course!! But will it be done? Probably not!