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

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Military Thoughts VII.

This is coolbert:

Now to J.F.C. Fuller.

British military officer before and after World War One [WW1].

Had a distinguished record during that conflict. Was a controversial and acerbic writer in the years after the war as well. Was retired early in his career after reaching the rank of Major General. Did not participate in World War Two [WW2] as it was decided he had definite fascist tendencies. His lack of participation was probably to the detriment of the British.

From De Gaulle:

"But what about your best soldier, General Fuller? He was our prophet, we only followed him . . . You will find prophesized in his books everything the Germans did with tanks. I have often wondered why he is not used."

Considered to be the greatest military historian and analyst of military affairs in the Twentieth Century [according to Du Puy].

The one man who made the greatest strides in military theory since the time of Clausewitz and Jomini.

The main contribution made by Fuller was to enumerate and enunciate the principles of war.

Prior to Fuller, officers and persons aspiring to command were told to study the principles of war. But no one could agree as to what those principles were, much less to make a list of them.

Only during a period of preparation for a general European war which he felt was at hand did Fuller discover that NO list of the basic principles of war existed.

"British officers should understand 'the fundamental principles of war [which] are neither very numerous nor in themselves very abtruse.'"

As I have said, no such list of the fundamental principles existed. NO list was enumerated or agreed upon. It was up to each officer to decide for himself what was relevant and what was not.

Fuller, after intensive study of the campaigns of Napoleon, did arrive at a list of principles he felt were instrumental to the success of the Emperor.

[Fuller probably followed a regimen of study that was similar to what Napoleon did over one hundred years earlier. Study the military campaigns of the "great Captains". Find out what contributed to their success. And when there was failure, find out why there was failure. An understanding of reasons for and against success will inevitably lead to the principles as enunciated by Fuller.]

These were:

* Objective.

* Mass.

* Offensive.

* Surprise.

* Security.

* Movement.

* Economy of Force.

* Cooperation.

The British Army, in the years after WW1, adopted these principles "in toto" as their standard.

The American Army did also, with two modifications. Substituting the word MANEUVER for movement and adding SIMPLICITY and UNITY OF COMMAND for cooperation. Both these changes seem to be valid and are merited. The word maneuver being to use movement [mobility] to gain an advantage. Cooperation=Simplicity + Unity of Command also worthy.

It must also be noted that Fuller, WAS NOT able to codify a military theory as he would have liked.

"Fuller knew that there should be more content and more scientific rigor to a theory of combat [military theory] than just the Principles of War, but he never quite succeeded in formulating such a theory."

Also, keep in mind the admonitions of the friendly but bemused British Sergeant Major when observing Cadet Bill Slim [later to become a senior British commander in WW2] attempting to do exactly what Fuller was doing at the same time during WW1, namely, discover what the principles of war were. According to the British Sergeant Major, the basics of war boiled down to:

"Hit the other guy as hard as you can, as fast as you can, where it hurts him the most, and when he ain't lookin'".

Well, can someone suggest something better??!!



Military Theory VI.

This is coolbert:

From the time of Clausewitz and Jomini, there is an almost one hundred year period where little or NO additional insight was gained into military theory.

That is not to say that there were a whole host of military men that commented on military history, wrote extensively on the subject, and alluded to military theory. But these authors seem to NOT have added to the subject in a significant manner.

This list of military writers would include such luminaries as:

Dennis Mahan. American military author. Father of the later to be great military author Alfred Mahan.

"He was the first great American military theorist. He compiled his own version of maxims and rules he thought relevant to military theory in America, but he never tried to produce a theory."

von Moltke the Elder. The great Prussian commander. Presided over the Prussian Army during the time of German reunification and the elevation of Germany with Prussia at the lead as one of the world's great powers.

"an eminent historian and eminent military thinker. . . . he did little to advance military theory . . ."

Ardant du Picq. French military officer at the time of the Franco-Prussian War [1870].

"perhaps the most perceptive writer on the subject of moral forces [behavioral considerations] in war."

Alfred Mahan. Great American military writer and theorist. Son of Dennis Mahan. Concentrated on naval warfare. Demonstrated through his writings the importance that navies have played throughout history.

"He recognized and analytically employed principles, but never attempted a scientific, analytical approach to military theory."

[military leaders and statesmen of world caliber around the year 1900 would have found the writings of Mahan to be obligatory reading. As I have said in a previous blog entry, all self-respecting world powers of the period found it necessary to have vast pelagic [deep-water] navies to show the flag the world over. Germany, Great Britain, France, United States, Japan, Russia, and even the Austro-Hungarian Empire all desired and had large navies that could extend power and "reach" to all parts of the world.]

von Schlieffen. Chief of Staff of the German Army in the period 1891-1905. Formulated the famous Schlieffen Plan.

"another thoughtful, profound thinker on war, who never attempted to distill a theory of combat from his obviously encyclopedic knowledge of military history . . . "

von der Goltz. German military thinker.

"refers frequently - - if somewhat vaguely - - to the theory of war, and to its principles."

Foch. Frenchman who commanded the allied forces on the Western Front at the end of World War One [WW1]. Is reputed to have taught metaphysics [philosophy] in his "spare" time.

"He did try to think and write in scientific, theoretical terms, and there was much that was sound in his approach to analyzing military history."

Douhet. Italian WW1 military officer turned military aviator.

"was the first and most important theorist of air warfare . . . put together a coherent, consistent theory of air warfare, which correctly anticipated the dominant role of airpower in all subsequent wars [after WW1]."

Again, these men all contributed to military theory, but not advancing the subject in a big way. NOT in the manner of a Clausewitz or a Jomini.



Thursday, April 27, 2006

Military Theory V.

This is coolbert:

Jomini was a Swiss national who served in the army of Napoleon, rising to high rank.

Was a contemporary and rival of Clausewitz.

Wrote "The Art of War" based upon his observations of the methods of Napoleon.

Described by Du Puy as:

"undeniably a man of great analytical ability, highly intelligent, even brilliant".


"saw the trees, but not the forest."

DID NOT, and has not been seen, as achieving the intellectual brilliance of Clausewitz. WAS NOT a philosopher as was his rival.

"The Art of War" is written as a how-to, cook-book guide for military commanders. Replete with diagrams, algebraic equations, geometrics, etc. At the time of the American Civil War, this would have been THE book carried around by senior commanders. It is reputed the Chief Of Staff of the Union Army, General Halleck, carried the "The Art of War" with him at all times.

Consider, however, this comment of Grant on such cook-book methods to warfare:

"If men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail."

Also consider this from a web site that describes the U.S. Army of the modern era to be a "Jominian institution"??!!

Again, the writings of Jomini are a hard read. Written in an obtuse style that is difficult for moderns to understand. Here also an annotated version is desirable??!!



Military Theory IV.

This is coolbert:

Clausewitz is considered to be the GREATEST contributor to military theory as understood by the western world.

Approached war and military theory from both the cook-book, nuts and bolts aspect AND the PHILOSOPHICAL standpoint.

Clausewitz is the STANDARD against all others are judged with regard to military theory.

It is important to note that the great work of Clausewitz on military theory, "On War", was an UNFINISHED work. Clausewitz, writing the book while serving as commandant of the {Prussian military academy, passed on during a cholera epidemic before his opus magnus could be completed.

Clausewitz is undeniably a man of the most profound intellectual brilliance. This may seem to the modern world as a contradiction. That a military man can be a philosopher of the foremost ranking. Yet it seems to be true. Clausewitz, even when not serving in his pedagogical role as commandant of a military academy, indulged in all manner of intellectual pursuits beyond the military sphere. A fertile mind of intensity.

Once again, according to Fuller:

"In my opinion, Clausewitz's level is on that of Copernicus, Newton, and Darwin."

And, according to Du Puy:

"Clausewitz was an intellectual giant worth of comparison . . . with his contemporary philosophers Kant and Hegel."

However, as with most philosophical works, "On War" is a hard read. Of course, the English speaker is reading a translation from the original German. To the degree that works of philosophy can be translated without losing meaning is something that I cannot speculate about.

It would almost seem that the translation of "On War" needs to be ANNOTATED by the "experts", the "experts" being in agreement to the extent that they can be. I am not sure if this has been or can be done?



Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Military Theory III.

This is coolbert:

Napoleon offers little than his "Maxims" with regard to military theory.

[these are the merely the military maxims. Napoleon is quoted from as possessing a whole lot of maxims on a whole lot of subjects.]

De Puy states that Napoleon MUST have believed that a military theory did exist.

Other than the maxims, Napoleon DID NOT commit to writing any thing else on military theory.

Napoleon says that to become great, as he had become great, one needed to studied the battles and campaigns of the "masters". Persons from the initial era of black powder warfare that were successful. Mentors to Napoleon.

"Read over and over again the campaigns of Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Gustavus, Turenne, Eugene and Frederic. ... This is the only way to become a great general and master the secrets of the art of war."

Napoleon was of course only twenty six when he began his campaigns of conquest.

The amount of real world military experience Napoleon had at the time was meagre. He WAS NOT a seasoned veteran who had studied UNDER the masters tutelage and with time had become a master himself. He seemed to know what to do and do correctly from the start.

And again, at age twenty six.

It is hard for me to comprehend that at that age, Napoleon had absorbed and ruminated long and hard on the battles and campaigns of the masters to such an extent that he was so ready as he was. And yet, HE WAS!!



Military Theory II.

This is coolbert:

Du Puy lists twelve figures since the time of Napoleon whose writings have influenced modern [in the last two hundred years] military theory.

In chronological order:

* Clausewitz.

* Jomini.

* Mahan [Denis] the Elder.

* Moltke the Elder.

* du Picq.

* Mahan [Alfred] the Younger.

* Von Schlieffen.

* von der Goltz.

* Foch.

* Douhet.

* Fuller.

* Lanchester.

Modern American enthusiasts and those interested in military theory would add the name of Boyd.

I would add myself the name of Shaposhnikov.



Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Krag & Kris.

This is coolbert:

 "Damn, damn, damn the Filipinos! 
Cut throat khaki ladrones
Underneath the starry flag, 
Civilize them with a Krag, 
And return us to our beloved home."

[favorite saying of American troops in the Philippines during the "Insurrection" of 1900. Ladrones is thief in Spanish.]

Please go back to my recent blog entry about the Filipino Muslim [Moro] custom of juramentado.

Examine closely the photo that accompanies the blog entry. The photo of a Moro in battle dress.

This Moro is carrying a full array of weaponry. Ready to kill all enemies and take on all comers [that would include just about anyone!!].

[probably either captured or stolen from American forces!!]

To include the Krag rifle, a revolver [presumably a .38 ACP or .38 Special], plenty of ammo for both the rifle and the revolver [note the ammunition belts for both!!], and a SWORD, a Moro kris. The latter razor sharp, possessing an edge as fine as any Damascus steel. In fact, probably is made of what could only be called Damascus steel [wootz], the technique for making such steel weapons imported by Islamic traders centuries earlier.

[remember, that sword is NOT for just dramatic effect. It WOULD be used to kill you in close combat, the Moro PREFERRING that form of battle!!]

The Krag, immortalized in the little American ditty, is often referred to as a black powder weapon, but it is not. Was described as having a 30-40 caliber, meaning a thirty caliber bullet propelled by 40 grains of black powder. This nomenclature is correct, but the forty grains of powder were SMOKELESS, the older description commonly used for black powder weapons still being retained with the Krag.


Rowe & Pitzer.

This is coolbert:

Here are web sites that describe the ordeals and courage of Nick Rowe and Daniel Pitzer. Two American Green Berets that were captured along with Rocky Versace in Vietnam.

Nick Rowe survived an ordeal of five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, being subjected to the most terrible mistreatment and torture. Escaping and being repatriated to the U.S. side by his own efforts.

Nick Rowe unfortunately was assassinated in the Philippines [1989] by communist insurgents. Persons of the same ilk as he encountered in Vietnam.

What is even more unbelievable is that the Vietnamese communists, once again out of hatefulness and spitefulness, might actually had a hand in the death of Nick Rowe. At this late date, fourteen years AFTER the end of the Vietnam War, this seems incredible, but to me, again, this is something my intuition tells me IS TRUE!!

"In May 1989, U.S. Veteran News and Report reported that according to a source who had served under Col. Rowe, the Vietnamese communist also wanted him dead and very likely collaborated with the Philippine insurgents to achieve that goal.

The source who wished to remain anonymous said that prior to Col. Rowe being assigned to the Philippines in 1987, at one point in Greece while he was on assignment, Delta Force, the U.S. anti-terrorist organization, moved in, secured the area and relocated him. They had received reports that Vietnamese communist agents were planning an action against him.

'He was a target when he went over there because of his dealings with the North Vietnamese and his time as a prisoner,' Robert Mountel, a retired Special Forces colonel and former commander of the 5th Special Forces Group, subsequently explained, confirming what the other source had said. 'They had him on their list.'"

Daniel Pitzer also survived the Vietnam War, being released in a "goodwill" gesture by his VC captors. Pitzer passed away in 1995, probably having years taken off his life expectancy by the mistreatment he received at the hands of the communists.



This is coolbert:

Here is a web site dedicated to Rocky Versace. Captain, U.S. Army. Winner of the Medal of Honor for heroics as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Was a captive, endured the most horrendous captivity, and finally executed by a spiteful, hateful enemy.

Awarded, posthumously of course, the Medal of Honor, forty or so years after the fact. After much lobbying on his behalf by various parties.

The story of Humbert Rocque Versace is one of great promise cut short. Versace was a true believer and a man of great courage. A man of obstinacy for the right cause who paid a terrible price.

While reading over the story of Rocky Versace, it is the last few paragraphs that catch my attention.

"3 Aides Seized in Vietnam Battle"

"Saigon (AP) Communist guerrillas smashed a Republic of Vietnam task force after disrupting its radio communication Tuesday, and probably captured all three U.S. Army advisers with the 120-man Saigon outfit."

The three Americans listed as missing and believed captured were two officers and an enlisted medic. Stragglers returning from the rout said both officers had been wounded early in the fight--one in the head and the other in the leg.

The Army identified the three as Capt. Humbert R. Versace, Baltimore; 1st Lt. James M. Rowe, McAllen, Tx; and Sgt. Daniel L. Pitzer, Spring Lake, N.C.

A second government force of about 200 men operating only a few thousand yards from the main fight, learned of the disaster too late to help. U.S. authorities said the communist radio jammers had knocked out both the main channel and the alternate channel on all local military radios."

"communist radio jammers had knocked out both the main channel and the alternate channel on all local military radios"

Help could have arrived and prevented the three Americans from being captured, but the Viet Cong [VC] radio interceptors had jammed friendly communications to the extent that assistance could not be mustered.

As I have blogged before, communist COMINT [communications intelligence] units in Vietnam were VERY good. This is just another example of the adeptness of the VC COMINT elements and how they worked in a manner very harmful to both U.S. and South Vietnamese forces.

This was, unfortunately, a common occurrence in Vietnam. The VC seemed to just be more adept, flexible, and just one step ahead of friendly forces.

As to the treatment of Versace and his two fellow captives:

"For much of the next two years, their home would be bamboo cages, six feet long, two feet wide, and three feet high. They were given little to eat, and little protection against the elements. On nights when their netting was taken away, so many mosquitos would swarm their shackled feet it looked like they were wearing black socks."

My intuition tells me that those folks complaining about the "mistreatment" of captives in Gitmo would not be at ALL upset as to the treatment of Versace and his fellow Americans. That is just in keeping with the mentality of persons I can only characterize as "LEFTISTS". I would like to think otherwise, but just cannot.

I also have blogged before of my sentiments against awarding the Medal of Honor so long after the events is just plain wrong. Politics can quite often enter the considerations to the detriment of all involved. In the case of Versace, this is not the case. IF ANYONE DESERVED THE MEDAL OF HONOR, IT IS THIS MAN!!

[The body of Rocky Versace, to my knowledge, has never been recovered for proper burial. He is listed as Killed in Action- - Body Not Recovered [KIA-BNR]. This is again, the actions of a spiteful, hateful communist enemy. In my estimation, the locations of the bodies of those persons that were in captivity at the hands of the communists and perished [such as Versace, but others like him too] is known with exactness by the rulers in Hanoi. Just out of anger and just plain ordinary meanness are the remains not returned. Perhaps someday in the future they will be.]


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Military Theory I.

This is coolbert:

For two centuries, military thinkers in the western world have been trying to formulate a military theory.

Seemingly without a lot of success.

It would be agreed that there MUST be a military theory.

It MUST be so and has been the topic of a lot of speculation by the most eminent military minds for at least two hundred years now.

And the results of all this speculation has been a hit and miss affair for the most part. A lot of progress has been made to develop military theory, but Du Puy is most adamant that a solution to the problem has NOT been found to the satisfaction of the "experts".

According to J.F.C. Fuller:

"it is an extraordinary thing that whilst every science is run on a few definite principles, war today [1916] should be run on the dice-box of luck . . . We can predict certain events in war as surely as Darwin could in life."

Theory is defined as:

1 : the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another
2 : abstract thought : SPECULATION
3 : the general or abstract principles of a body of fact, a science, or an art
4 a : a belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action b : an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances -- often used in the phrase in theory
5 : a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena
6 a : a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation b : an unproved assumption : CONJECTURE c : a body of theorems presenting a concise systematic view of a subject "

Using this definition, #5 is most pertinent.

"5 : a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena"

It must be kept in mind that military theory is not testable.

Is the same type of "science" as is astronomy.

"You cannot test the theories. ONLY real world experience allows to see if predictions can be made and confirmed as a means of testing the theory."

"We cannot move the planets around in the heavens to see if our theories of gravity and the calculations regarding orbits are correct. We can make predictions based upon the theory of gravity we have developed and determine if our calculations of future planetary motion is correct. "

"Military theory must be approached in the same way. Develop hypothesis and theory and see in the real world if predictions based upon the hypothesis and theory are correct."

According to Du Puy, military theory as it is understood now consists of three categories, each with overlap.

These categories are:

* Political and philosophical. Concerns at the highest levels of government leaderships as to why and when to fight wars. Deals with the rationality and reasons[??] for waging war in the first place and what exactly is this thing we call WAR.

* The preparations a society makes for waging war.

* The actual fighting of the war itself.

Such is how military theory is categorized at the present time.

Keep in mind that military theory, as is all other "theories" that have a scientific foundation, is constantly undergoing change as new ideas, perspectives, data, etc., are brought to light for contemplation.



Thursday, April 20, 2006


This is coolbert:

Here is an interesting web site detailing the Filipino Muslim [Moro] "custom" of juramentado.

The process by which a Moro would gain entry to paradise by the killing of Christians in a religious frenzy.

This phenomenon is NOT new to that area. This particular article mentions juramentado being common from the time of the SPANISH pacification of the Philippine island of Jolo in 1876.

The same part of the world now infested by the terrorists of the Abu Sayyaf gang. Affiliated with Al Qaeda.

While being physically unimpressive by western standards, the Filipino people and the Moros in particular have demonstrated on many occasions that they possess a formidable fighting spirit and skill. Have at their disposal a variety of martial arts with associated weaponry that make for a deadly combination.

From the article cited above, some interesting points. [my comments in bold.]

"In waging their individual war against the unbelievers, the Moros were more enthusiastic than religious, for they violated the strict tenets of the Mohammedan faith. The Koran expressly states that before a jihad may be waged, notice of attack must be give, the unbeliever must be called to the true faith, and the attack must not be treacherously made. The rite of the juramentado, as waged by the Moros, did not fill the injunction of jihad given in the Koran itself."

"And again in Verse 60:
'God loveth not the treacherous.'"

You can argue that Osama bin Laden is in violation of the Koran himself as he has attacked in a treacherous manner.

"A Moro who had become overzealous in religious matters decided to commit, not suicide, which was forbidden, but rather an act of constructive self-destruction, to terminate his unwillingness to live. To accomplish this act and to slay as many Christians as possible, paved the way for great renown in the other world."

That same overzealousness is described as being a trademark of the Al Qaeda fanatic.

"The waist was supported by a tight band for strengthening effect. A man so bound could remain on his feet long after an ordinary man would succumb to wounds."

As with the amok, a juramentado could remain on his feet even after having been dealt a NUMBER of death blows to the body. Still keep going on adrenaline and will power.

"The juramentado could not be called insane but was under the influence of a frenzied religious excitement."

Those jury members just at this moment debating the fate of Zacharias the captured terrorist should consider this specific blog entry.

"If the enemy was vanquished in the attack and the juramentado escaped with his life after slaughtering the Christians, he passed to Paradise forty years after the battle."

The number forty appears again. Once more forty is a number in scripture that has great significance. The end of one era and the start of another.

"The utter disregard for death held by the juramentado Moro probably remains unequalled in history. In Mindanao and Sulu, we have the astounding picture of a race of men who sought death as a blessing. And with little wonder, for they were informed by the Koran:

'And say not of those who are slain in fight for the religion of God, that they are dead; yea they are living, but ye do not understand.' II, 155."

This is keeping with Shia beliefs that martyrs in the cause of Islam DO NOT ACTUALLY die. I have blogged about this before. What is thought is that at the moment of what appears to be death, an angel whisks the martyr away in coporeal form to paradise while a false image is left behind for the enemy to behold. The enemy sees a dead body, but what is seen is not the ACTUAL martyr, who is already in paradise!!!???

"but ye do not understand"

Well, true. We do not understand! YES?!


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Forty & Seventy.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to Al Nofi of StrategyPage CIC for the original tip to this subject matter.

This regards the Battle of Bassorah. An engagement of the Islamic Civil Wars following the death of Muhammad. Occurred in the year 655 A.D.

The Lady Aisha, the favorite wife and then widow of the Prophet, led an insurgent army into what is now Iraq, contesting the succession of the Caliphate [the Islamic ruler after Muhammad].

"The Battle of Bassorah, Battle of the Camel, or Battle of Jamal is a battle that took place at Basra, Iraq in 655 between forces allied to Caliph Ali and the superior forces of rebel Arabs allied to Aisha who opposed Ali's status as Caliph."

Bassorah turned out to be a disaster for the insurgent army led by Aisha.


Aisha, riding a litter atop a favorite camel, [this camel had a name, "It was named Al-Askar and was specially presented for Aisha's personal use."] found herself in great peril.

"Attacked fiercely from all around, she from within her litter, held the Quran and cried out, "stop fighting, in the name of Allah." The words ran through the retiring ranks, that "the Mother of the Faithful was in peril," and they stayed their flight to rescue her. Long the conflict raged around the camel. One after another warriors rushed to seize her standard; one after another they were cut down."

[this would be the most dangerous place on the battlefield. Carrying and protecting a standard was a place of honor and great danger. Capturing an enemy standard brought with it great glory.]

[Thomas Custer, the younger brother of the famous George Armstrong Custer, twice won the Medal of Honor in the American Civil War, on one occasion for capturing single handedly a Confederate flag. Such is the nature of capturing an enemy "standard".]

While holding the bridle of Aisha's camel, a great number of loyal followers met their end.

"Of Quraish is the Meccan tribe that the Islamic prophet Muhammad belonged to before he received the revelations of Islam.], 70 perished by the bridle. At last, Ali, perceiving that her camel was the rallying-point of the enemy, sent one of his captains to hamstring, and thus disable it. With a loud cry the animal fell to the ground. The struggle ceased and the insurgents retired into the city."

We must be skeptical in this case of the number seventy [the number of loyal followers killed while holding the bridle of Aisha].

Seventy can be considered to be symbolic. NOT a real number of warriors holding the bridle of Aisha at Bassorah.

Bassorah was a real battle, not a fictional narrative with the exception of the seventy warriors dying while holding the bridle of Aisha.

From other Islamic sources regarding the number seventy:

"‘We knew beforehand that you used to say this.’ Then his grave will be widened for him to a size of seventy cubits by seventy cubits and it will be illuminated for him."

"seventy thousand ropes, each of which will be pulled by seventy thousand angels." (Reported by Muslim, no. 2842)."

"Seize ye him, and bind ye him, And burn ye him in the Blazing Fire. Further, make him march in a chain, whereof the length is seventy cubits!"

"According to the Mohammedan authority, Syed Ahmed Khan, Mohammed was the seventieth descendant of Ishmael through his second son, Kedar. In the Word of God [the Word of GOD in this sense includes the Old and New Testament as well as the Koran], certain numbers carry significance; and among them is this number, seventy. Seventy is a composite number, consisting of the product of seven and ten. Seven is the number of perfect or dispensational fullness, while ten is the number of worldly completion."

In the modern appreciation, along with seventy two [72] black eyed virgins to be supplied in paradise to the one who is a martyr in the way of Islam, seventy [70] close relatives will also be given special dispensation for entry into Heaven. So the martyr for Islam is told and believes prior to his death.

Aisha, even in defeat, as the head of the insurgent army, was treated with great respect.

"The best house in Basra was given up to her and there she was waited on by her own adherents. Not long after, she left with a retinue of 40 maids"

Again, we can be suspect of the number forty [forty maids]. Forty in scripture is also a number of great significance. Indicates the end of one era and the beginning of a new age!!

The use of the number forty as the number of female attendants can also be seen as symbolic. One era has ended, another has begun!!


Monday, April 17, 2006


This is coolbert:

Here are several instances of where the M113 APC in Vietnam was put to good use. Was instrumental in ROUTING the enemy when the situation for friendly troops was grim. Examples of how the ACAV in Vietnam was successful.

First from a battle involving the Australian Army:

"Let me set the scene; it is a stinking, non-descript rubber plantation in a place that no one was much interested in, the rain is pouring down as only Asian monsoonal rain can, 108 Australians are fighting for their lives against an estimated 2,000 to 2,500 NVA troops who are on their way to wipe out the whole Australian base at Nui Dat. It is Delta Company of 6 RAR and they are in "deep shit". They have already lost a section and more. Their ammo has run out once and only an emergency resupply from a RAAF chopper has allowed them to keep firing.

Supporting artillery is firing "continuous fire" (24 guns firing 3 rounds per gun per minute) and will drop a total of 2,639 rounds of 105mm and 155 rounds of 155mm (from the Yanks). There are already about 15% of the Australian unit KIA. More are wounded. Some are missing. All are desperate. The NVA/VC are massing for the last attack. The Australian Company Commander has already told his base "If you don't come for us in half an hour, don't bother coming at all". Then through the murk, the rain and the bullets . . .a dull roar, like a couple of bulldozers, no one knew what it was. Then it struck them. The tracks had arrived.

Out of the gloom, lights blazing, .50 cal machine guns going full bore, having already swum a flooded river, with another Company of 6RAR aboard the M113s of the RAAC came roaring in almost Western movie timing to break up the NVA/VC attack and relieve the situation. The NVA/VC withdrew leaving 245 bodies that they could not retrieve.

They call the place LONG TAN.

Sgt Buick and the remnant of 11 Platoon "jumped up, yelled and waved to identify our position, just like in the movies. I felt like one of those Yankees saved from the Indians" (from the book by Lex McAulay)."

Exactly. Just like in the movies when the cavalry comes on the scene at the last moment to save the day.

Some may say that this is NOT an instance of ACAV in action, NO combined arms. Infantry with armored APC's and a lot of firepower, but NOT ACAV. True. But is indicative of what armor in Vietnam could and DID do.

The second example is the Battle of Fire Base Gold . This particular battle involved an entire Viet Cong [VC] regiment massing and attacking a U.S. Army firebase.

Firebases were fixed artillery positions geographically and tactically placed to provide fire support on call for army units operating within range of the fire base. Use of artillery in this manner was something unique to the Vietnam war.

In the case of GOLD, the situation WAS grim. U.S. artillerymen had to fight against overwhelming numbers of a determined enemy. The ACAV, arriving as they did just in time, slaughtered just enormous numbers of the VC enemy without hardly any loss to themselves. Victory from the jaws of defeat, as they say.

So great was the number of enemy bodies littering the battlefield, that an engineeering ACAV vehicle actually began to dig a large trench [hole] in the ground to bury the enemy dead, even while the battle still raged!!

This stuff makes for dramatic reading!



Saturday, April 15, 2006


This is coolbert.

I think most impartial observers would generally agree that the U.S. had a small, limited number of successes when fighting the Vietnam War. A war that of course ended on an unfavorable note for the U.S. military.

As I have said before, many senior career U.S. military officers opposed the war from the get go. They may have not expressed this to their civilian authorities, but inwardly they saw Vietnam as being a no-win situation.

And felt this was so on a number of grounds.

Such as:

* Don't get involved in a ground war in Asia. [your enemy has such an abundance of manpower, that you just cannot kill enough of the enemy. What is lost is easily replaced.]

* American military advantages such as firepower, mobility, etc., are negated by the terrain, weather, and the nature of the enemy in Vietnam.

The "experts" felt that the American military was not able to utilize it's resources that gave it an advantage in conventional warfare. Specifically, armor. Tanks.

Tanks and armor were just not felt to be suitable for Vietnam. This was the impression. More a hindrance than an asset.

And a lot of this impression was later found to be lacking. Primarily from the performance of the Armored Cavalry the U.S. Army fielded. This was the ACAV.

ACAV WAS one of the American success stories of the war. Performed in a manner unexpected. But was not fielded in time or in the numbers to make a big difference. But WAS effective. Unexpectedly so.

The ACAV was a combination of tanks [M48] and armored personnel carriers [M113]. The latter strengthened by increased firepower and protection. ACAV was the correct and proper combination of infantry, armor, artillery, helicopter gunfire [a combined arms unit], that worked in an amazing manner. Units that the enemy did NOT have a counter for.

That this could be so and was so seemed to register as a surprise among the top planners. Top planners who impressions of Vietnam as being NOT tank country were mostly the result of French armor after-action-reports from the First Indo-China War.

"Their [the French] experience also influenced the thinking of American military commanders and staffs when the U.S. Army eventually set about deciding how many and what kinds of forces to send to Vietnam."

American commanders did not initially send armor to Vietnam as the French experience had been negative in this regard.

It seems the French employed armor in Vietnam much as they did in World War Two [WW2]. Dispersed. NOT able to function as independent units capable of independent action. NOT concentrated as operating as ONE. This WAS a mistake the French made in WW2 AND a mistake in Vietnam too.

"Armored units were fragmented; many small remote posts had as few as two or three armored vehicles." [in the French experience.]

"Since armored units were generally assigned to support dismounted infantry, their speed and ability to act independently, an important part of any armored unit's contribution to the battle team, were never used." [in the French experience.]

"Combined with the misconceptions of the French armored experience, this reasoning caused most planners to conclude that Vietnam was no place for armor of any kind, especially tanks."

These perceptions proved to be instrumental in negating the positive role that ACAV in increased number could have had from the start of large-scale American involvement in Vietnam. But this was not to be. Serious positives were not even a matter for consideration, or so it seemed. Units that WERE ALREADY MECHANIZED, became mere foot troops as Vietnam was said to be NOT conducive to MECH WARFARE.

"But this study was not completed until almost two years after the arrival of the first Army ground combat units. During those two years many of the units were sent to Vietnam without their tanks and armored personnel carriers. Some units were even converted from mechanized infantry to infantry before deployment. The earlier studies had provided the overriding rationale for the decisions of 1965 and 1966."

[we are talking about a study as to the feasibility of using armor in Vietnam done by the U.S. Army. TWO YEARS after large scale American involvement had begun!!]

It was realized that armor and the ACAV concept WOULD work in Vietnam ONLY after a point where the American public had already soured on the war and wanted OUT!!



Thursday, April 13, 2006


This is coolbert:

General George S. Patton is of course most well remembered for his role in World War Two [WW2].

The exploits of George Patton, however, are not confined to merely the WW2 era.

A controversial figure in every sense of the word, Patton seemed to be destined for greatness from the earliest years of his military career.

A man totally absorbed with the "art" of the military "way" and all aspects of it.

Consider the role of Patton the Olympic athlete.

Yes, the Olympic athlete. Ably represented his nation in the Stockholm Olympic games of 1912. Represented his nation in the first modern pentathlon.

An Olympic event devised by the originator of the modern Olympics, the Baron Pierre de Coubertin.

"Originally open only to military officers, it was considered a rigorous test of the skills a soldier should possess."

"The concept behind the competition is that a military courier sets out on horseback to carry a message. Along the way, he has to fight a duel with epees, use his pistol, swim across a river, and then run through the woods to reach his goal."

The good Baron saw this event as a means to develop camaraderie among military officers from the various nations of the world. Develop friendship that might lead to eventual peace among nations. If the warriors of the world's armies are friends, might they be less inclined to fight one another, must have gone the reasoning.

The modern pentathlon of course consists of five events. These being:

* Horse riding. [selecting a mount from a selection of horses, you being unable to tell which is a good steed, which is not!!]

* Pistol shooting.

* Fencing.

* Running. [cross-country]

* Swimming.

"The concept behind the competition is that a military courier sets out on horseback to carry a message. Along the way, he has to fight a duel with epees, use his pistol, swim across a river, and then run through the woods to reach his goal."

This event, or shall I say combination of events, is based upon the real epic journey of an American infantry officer in the days just prior to the Spanish-American War of 1898. An American Army officer, Andrew Summer Rowan, [the courier] attempting to deliver a message from the American President to Garcia, the commander of the Cuban guerrillas, fighting for their independence from Spain.

A journey immortalized by the inspirational essay, "A Message To Garcia".

Patton did very well as an Olympian. He was well on the way to WINNING the modern pentathlon but ended up finishing fifth overall. It seems that Patton did NOT do well at pistol shooting.

"He finished 21st in the pistol shooting event, which dropped him to fifth overall."

Seemingly like with all things Patton, there was controversy surrounding the pistol competition and the poor showing of Patton and his marksmanship. A poor showing that may in fact not be true.

Consider this:

"While most chose .22 revolvers, Patton felt the event's military roots garnered a more appropriate weapon, the .38. During the competition Patton was docked for missing the target, though he contended the lost bullet had simply passed through a large opening created by previous rounds from the .38, which left considerably larger holes."

This is just amazing. It seems that the competitors were allowed to compete using pistols of a caliber of their own choosing. The small-bore revolver was the most popular, Patton choosing the .38 caliber as it IS more appropriate from a military standpoint.

What Patton maintains is probably true. He just fired two shots that hit so close together that they could not be distinguished as the paper was deformed from the big-bore bullet hitting the same approximate spot on the paper target.


Since the days of Patton, the modern pentathlon has continued as an Olympic event.

In recent years however, the marksmanship portion of the even has become what can only be described as "sissified". Regular conventional pistols are NOT EVEN USED, the competitors now using airguns!!

"In fact, the Summer Olympics have gotten extremely PC about firearms in the past couple of decades. The shooting leg of the Pentathlon has been fired with airguns for many years. Of course, they've also condensed the five events into a single day's competition, which has got to be an absolute butt buster."

Airguns?? Pee-shooters??

What would General Patton think of such a thing? He did not even think is in his own time that a small-bore caliber pistol of .22 caliber was sporting or manly enough. Perhaps the Olympics may also reduce the fencing portion of the pentathlon to virtual competition using computers and such?? I hope not.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006


This is coolbert:

A number of web sites have recently carried news of a most alarmist nature.

This alarmist news concerned the successful test of an advanced version of the Russian SS-27 "Topol" intercontinental ballistic missile [ICBM].

This test in particular seems to have had the specific mission of verifying the operation of a hypersonic reentry vehicle.

And evidently the test WAS successful.

Whether this mission was launched from launch sites at Kasputin Yar or Plesetsk is not clear. Touchdown WAS near Lake Balkash and was deemed a success.

[keep in mind that in the old Soviet Union, all missile test were successes. Trains did not run off the tracks, cars did not collide, ships did not sink, and planes did not fall out of the sky in the time of communism. Tests, whatever the nature, WERE ALWAYS SUCCESSFUL!!]

Of particular concern is the hypersonic reentry vehicle. Evidently this is the latest and most potent flying machine on the planet. Similar to the recently tested NASA X-43, but operational rather than experimental, as is the American hypersonic craft.

[NASA's X-43 in the above photo.]

This combination of "Topol" and the hypersonic reentry vehicle seem to create an ICBM weapon that is impervious to all KNOWN ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE [ABM] systems.

It is clear that the "Topol" itself was designed with the intention of defeating known ABM systems.

The "Topol" DOES have built-in features that DO allow it to defeat KNOWN ABM systems.

Among these features are:

* Designed to be launched from a much hardened missile silo OR a Transporter-Erector-Launcher [TEL]. Allows for a MOBILE missile that is next to impossible to find, much less destroy.

* Rapid boost during initial stages of flight. Much faster than previous or existing ICBM's.

* On-board jets that allow for mid-trajectory maneuvers.

* Protection against hi-power lasers. [What this protection consists of is not clear. Perhaps rotation in flight plus a surface that scatters the laser beam!!??]

* Hardening to prevent electro-magnetic interference from destroying the on-board nuclear warhead. By this I assume protection against the electro-magnetic pulse created by a nuclear detonation.

And NOW, the addition of a hypersonic reentry vehicle for the warhead. This is a big plus. The warhead will not only NOT travel on a predictable coasting ballistic path during reentry, it will speed up markedly and also have the ability to once again, make mid-course trajectory maneuvers to defeat existing ABM systems.

[the above photo is of the "Ajax" Russian hypersonic vehicle. It is stated that such vehicles, if designed properly, have the capability to generate their own plasma field, rendering them even MORE impervious to electro-magnetic detection [radar].]

According to Russian "experts", the "Topol" will be the way to go with their current Strategic Rocket Forces [SRF].

By the year 2015 the "Topol" is expected to replace existing Russian ICBM's.

The "Topol" is expected to provide a nuclear missile strike capability for the Russians that is impervious to ABM systems until the year 2060!!!

Whoa boy!!

There is a problem here with all this, however. A problem all those other web sites spreading alarmist news seem to overlook.

The key phrase here in this blog entry is KNOWN EXISTING ABM SYSTEMS.


It was decided by treaty that in the mid-1970's, both the old Soviet Union and the U.S. would be allowed to have an ABM system, but only of limited scale for both parties.

The Soviets had and still have [Russians now] an ABM system guarding Moscow.

The U.S. had for a short time, several years at the most, an ABM system guarding the Minuteman missile silos of North Dakota, this system being dismantled as being too costly and ineffective.


You have question the wisdom of the advanced version "Topol" utilizing a hypersonic reentry vehicle. The Russians HAVE built a superior system with the intent of overcoming any ABM defense. A defense however, THAT DOES NOT EXIST!!??


The U.S. military has committed itself to an ABM system. But NOT WITH THE INTENTION OF STOPPING A MASSIVE ICBM ATTACK ON THE U.S. A U.S. ABM system is being installed with the pronounced intention of intercepting a very limited number of missiles from "rogue nations". Nations that would NOT have the capability for a MASSIVE attack on the U.S.

And, the Russians and the Americans are on GOOD terms with one another. A return to the Cold War mentality and confrontation between the two nations is not even conceivable to me at this time or at any time in the future. As simple as that!!

It may be that the "Topol" with hypersonic reentry vehicle is the result of momentum on the part of the Russians. A project started during the time of the Soviet Union was not discontinued and has proceeded without hindrance. Demonstrates that the Russians can design, build, and deploy advanced technology, of a variety that NASA has only in the experimental stage!!



Monday, April 10, 2006


This is coolbert:

Several recent posts have dealt with the topic of the military draft being reinstated in the U.S.

Congressman Rangel is seeming to be the foremost proponent of this idea.

An idea that seems to be totally out of touch with the realities of the U.S. military for the last thirty five years now. It seems the Congressman did NOT get beyond his Vietnam protest days.

Commenting on the restoration of the draft and what it would mean to the modern military of the U.S., the retired General Robert Scales says:

"A return to the draft is a very bad idea whose time passed with the world wars, Korea and Vietnam. These wars were tragically wasteful because in large measure they were fought with drafted soldiers.

Drafted soldiers are far more likely to die in combat than long-service professionals. Military leaders know from painful experience that it takes years to produce a fully competent combat soldier. They also know that older soldiers live longer in combat. Drafting teenagers and committing them to combat within only a year of enlistment will create an Army of amateurs. Our Army in particular has a sad history of committing to battle men who are too young and inexperienced to have much hope of surviving against a hardened and skillful enemy.

Drafted units can be kept together for only a short time and invariably march to war as random collections of strangers. Our soldiers performed so superbly in Iraq because they were seasoned. Good soldiers, like good wine, can be produced only with careful cultivation and patient aging. Unfortunately, amateur armies learn to fight only by fighting. Inevitably, the cost of that education is too horrific for the American people to bear."

Here is what Alexander Suvorov had to say about the value of trained, experienced troops over untrained inexperienced troops:

Suvorov wrote in his The Science of Victory:

"Training is light, and lack of training is darkness. The problem fears the expert. If a peasant doesn't know how to plow, he can't grow bread. A trained man is worth three untrained: that's too little- say six- six is too little- say ten to one."

What holds true in the day of Suvorov [Suvorov passed on in the year 1799!!] holds true today. Perhaps always will hold true!!



This is coolbert:

The famous American General George Patton [need he any introduction??] of World War Two [WW2] is reputed to have said, "a good plan now is better than a perfect plan tomorrow!"

The son of George Patton, also named George Patton, and also a military man who fought for the U.S. in Vietnam, too is reputed to have said, "A good plan now is better than a perfect plan tomorrow!!"

Let us guess where Patton the younger heard that from??

And before either of the two Patton making the remark about a "good plan", the great Russian General Suvorov is said to have uttered the same remark. Perhaps not in the same exact words, but similar.

And here is the reasoning behind the statement:

"A good solution now ("Attack with what comes up, with what God sends") is better than a perfect solution tomorrow (or even an hour from now). Suvorov's approach looks slipshod and reckless- "Attack with whatever arrives"- but suppose a cavalry company charges an enemy infantry regiment that is still in its camps, eating breakfast with its arms stacked. The company might well scatter the soldiers, destroy their camp, and put the regiment out of action. Now suppose one waits an hour for an entire cavalry brigade to arrive, to "do the job right" (or a perfect job). Sounds good- but by now the enemy regiment has had time to form itself into a square. Now a brigade cannot do what a company could have done an hour ago."

Is this reasoning sound? Perhaps not totally in entirety. But sound enough for almost all situations.

Before the younger Patton there was Patton the elder, and before him there was Suvorov. And before him??


Thursday, April 06, 2006


This is coolbert:

"By their fruits you shall know them."

From the King James Version of the Bible:

" A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Mt. 3.10 · Lk. 3.9

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Mt. 12.33 "


"you can't accomplish moral ends by using immoral means" - - Warren G. Harding.

Denis Donaldson, one-time leader of the Provisional Irish Republican Army [Provo-IRA] and a participant in the Northern Ireland government since the Easter 1998 accords, has been found dead.

Killed by a shotgun blast to the head. Original reports said that his body showed signs of torture, but this is not clear.

Donaldson, all the while being a LEADER of the IRA fighters in Northern Ireland, was ALSO an informant and spy for the British Security Services. This was recently revealed.

Donaldson, after being "outed", fled for his life, but to no avail. He was hunted down, found, and executed. Whether he was tortured or not prior to execution as I have said, is open to question at this point.

And this sort of thing was and is NOT an anomaly for the IRA. Over a period of almost forty years, there have been a slew of abductions/tortures/executions of persons suspected by the IRA of collaboration/informing/spying for the British.

Consider these cases:

"How the IRA dealt with those it considered informers


Shot in 1993 by the IRA, who said he was a member of the organisation and claimed he was an informer. His body was found with gunshot wounds to the head.


IRA member from Londonderry was killed in 1990, his body found hooded and gagged on a border road. He had been missing from home for seven weeks. His mother said: "At the end of the day it's people like me, and their families, that are left to pick up the pieces."


Pensioner was shot six times at his west Belfast home in 1980. The IRA claimed he had given information to police about an attack in which a police officer was killed. A detective told the inquest there was no truth in the claim. The coroner described him as "a recluse causing no trouble to anyone."


Body was found on the border in 1986. Originally from Londonderry, he moved to England after an arms find, but later returned to the city. The Republican leader Martin McGuinness strongly denied claims by his mother that he helped persuade her son to return home, assuring him he would be safe.


Mother of three from Belfast was shot and her body left on the border in 1994. The IRA claimed she had been working as a police informer.


Former member of the IRA, his body was found close to the border in 1987. The IRA claimed he had worked for eight years as an informer with police in the Irish Republic, which his family denied."

The IRA likes to think of itself, and portrays itself, as being brave "freedom fighters" waging just war against an oppressive British government and it's flunkies. As with almost all such modern "revolutionary groups", there is, however, a very dark side. A side that these "revolutionaries" care not to share with the general public.

It seems the IRA attracted a certain disreputable type of person that not only would torture prior to execution, but relished the task too!! A person who tortured not only to extract information, but enjoyed inflicting pain as well. A sadist!!

Worse yet, many of those who endured torture and eventual execution in all probability were INNOCENT!!??

Merely for the IRA to THINK you were a collaborator/informer/spy was enough for you to meet a grisly end.

The IRA is not the only guerilla/insurgent/terrorist group to engage in the practice of torture/execution of suspected "stoolies".

During the anti-apartheid war against the white South African regime, the fighting arm of the African National Congress [ANC], the Spear of the Nation, was also reputed to have the unseemly reputation for torturing and executing those that it suspected of collaboration/informing/spying for the white apartheid government in Pretoria.

Again, as with the IRA, the ANC security apparatus merely had to THINK that you were a suspect for some really bad stuff to happen to you. ANC security types evidently were trained by KGB operatives. So these were rough customers dealing out rough stuff and NOT just on an occasional basis.

NOT just occasionally, but routinely.

Sadly, it seems that MANY of those suspected, tortured, and executed for collaboration/informing/spying for the white regime were INNOCENT!! Same as for the IRA!!

With the end of the apartheid regime in South Africa, a chance was given to all violators of human rights from the anti-apartheid struggle to appear before the South African Truth and Reconciliation [T & R] Commission and make a confession of guilt.

You would receive amnesty for such a confession regardless of your crimes.

And it was noted that it was not uncommon for white South African security types to admit to torture and execution of captured ANC fighters.

However, among the ANC contingent, NOT ONE of the security apparatus from "Spear of the Nation" was willing to come forth and admit to the torture and execution of "suspects". This even with prodding from Archbishop Tutu.

"By their fruits you shall know them"!!


In the case of the IRA and the ANC, it is rotten fruit.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006


This is coolbert:

Oleg Taktarov.

The "Russian Bear" [a big fuzzy, friendly bear I hope!]. A formidable martial artist, skilled in jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and Russian sambo. A winner of the Ultimate Fighting Challenge [UFC] competition. In terms of hand to hand combat, one of the most dangerous men on earth, period!!

From the bio of Oleg:

"During his service in the Russian military, Oleg trained his fellow soldiers in hand-to-hand combat and worked with the Russian Special Forces unit Spetsnaz on military Sambo. He also trained members of Russian law enforcement agencies including the tax police and the federal security service. After developing his skills in Russia, he first came to the States in 1994."

[Oleg was a trainer of Spetsnaz in military sambo.]

With regard to the UFC competition that Oleg won:

"With iron intensity, Oleg rushed Mad Dog and imposed an inescapable choke. In just 21 seconds, Macias was beating the canvas in a tap-out submission to Oleg's powerful lock. "Nobody in America knows this stuff" said a triumphant "Bear" after the match was dominated by his unique style of decisive holds."

"'Nobody in America knows this stuff'"

"his unique style of decisive holds"

NOBODY in American DID know that stuff!! Meaning the submission holds. Decisive holds? NO, death dealing holds known only to practitioners of military sambo, more specifically, the members of "professional" Spetsnaz units.

According to Suvorov:

"There is evidence that many of the holds in battle sambo are not so much secret as of limited applications. Only in special teaching institutions, like the Dinamo Army and Zenit clubs, are these holds taught. They are needed only by those directly involved in actions connected with the defense and consolidation of the regime."

[what is being described here are specialized holds and chokes developed for battle sambo but taught to ONLY certain specific troops, those of more than likely "professional" units. I.E., killer elites whose mission would be to eliminate the highest command echelon of a foreign power.]




This is coolbert:

I see the Congressman Charles Rangel has put his foot in his mouth again, and big time too.

Introduced a bill to reinstate the draft.

Make two year military service or an alternative mandatory for American youth.

Charles says his motivation for offering the bill is to make military service more equitable in this country.

Currently, according to Charles, minorities and poor rural whites make up the vast proportion of personnel manning the various military services.

Well, as regard to minorities, about 1/3 of the U.S. military is "minority". Amazingly, the American population is about 1/3 "minority". So the figures are about right on in this category.

Charles wants to see more youth from "richer" families serve in the military too. This is what his purported motivation is.



He did not want the bill to pass in the first place, he was trying to make a point!!

A point that he should be ashamed to make in the first place.

Charles is of the opinion that "minorities" in particular are having to shoulder an unfair portion of the burden in Iraq with regard to casualties.

This is JUST PLAIN WRONG AGAIN!! Just as the accusations that blacks were forced to shoulder an unfair burden with regard to casualties in Vietnam was wrong too!!


It is a fact that whites are more likely to enlist into combat arms MOS's [jobs] rather than the combat support [CS] and combat service support [CSS] MOS's than do blacks and other "minorities". Black soldiers for instance, are more likely to make a career of the military than whites and seek out MOS's that are safer from a career standpoint. Whites enlist with the idea of "testing oneself", getting away from mother for the first time in their life, and the sheer experience of a military tour.

The more intense and dangerous from a combat standpoint is the MOS, the more likely the soldier is TO BE WHITE!!

[analysis of the statistics from the Iraq war show only one "glaring" discrepancy. That whites from small counties SEEM to die at a greater rate than those from large metropolitan areas. Other than that, NO other "glaring' discrepencies seem to exist.]

This is just true.

True, and Congressman Rangel knows it to be true, but just will not admit it.

The man should be ashamed of himself. But, of course, he IS NOT!!


Monday, April 03, 2006


This is coolbert:

The headlines scream from the CNN network:

"Jury: Moussaoui is eligible for death
Al Qaeda operative testified he knew in advance of attacks"

"Zacarias Moussaoui is the only person to stand trial in the U.S. in connection with the 9/11 attacks."

"ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (CNN) -- Al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui is eligible for the death penalty, a federal jury decided Monday in the first U.S. trial about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks."

"Jurors agreed with federal prosecutors that Moussaoui's lies to FBI agents resulted in 9/11 deaths."

"The nine men and three women reached their verdict on the fourth day of deliberations."

"Surrounded by U.S. Marshals, Moussaoui refused to stand and showed no reaction as the verdict was read. After jurors left the courtroom he shouted, 'You'll never get my blood. God curse you all.'"

"The jury's verdict means the trial will continue with additional witnesses and evidence. The jurors now must decide whether Moussaoui will be executed for his role in the 9/11 deaths."

"Moussaoui, 37, a Frenchman of Moroccan descent, admitted last year that he conspired with al Qaeda, the terrorist group responsible for September 11, to hijack and crash planes into prominent U.S. buildings."

[this guy is as much a Frenchman as I am. He may have been born in France, but he is not French!!]

"But on the witness stand, Moussaoui claimed he knew the World Trade Center was a target and that he would have piloted a fifth jetliner into the White House."

"Prosecutors needed to prove Moussaoui lied intentionally and with lethal intent. His surprising testimony, as the last defense witness, became the centerpiece of the trial."

"'I didn't say the truth,' Moussaoui testified. 'Because I am al Qaeda. Because I am at war with this country.'"

"Prosecutor Robert Spencer asked him, 'The reason you lied was to allow the people that you knew were in the United States to go forward with the hijackings, right?'"

"Moussaoui replied, 'You can say that.'"

"Moussaoui testified that the Prophet Mohammed, the patriarch of Islam, taught, "War is deceit." Lying is permissible during jihad, or holy war, Moussaoui added. 'You are allowed any technique to deceive your enemy.'"

[Muslims refer to this "technique" as taqiyya or kitman.]

["These are examples of a practice known as taqiyya, which essentially means to lie for the sake of Islam. The intention is to deceive unbelievers about Islam, for the explicit purpose of assuaging doubts and concerns about Islam, and encouraging conversion."]

["Taqiyya goes beyond mere lying for propaganda purposes. The word comes from a root meaning "to guard against, to keep (oneself)". It thus also includes dissimulation by the Muslim to give the appearance of not being religious, so as not to arouse suspicion. In this vein, a Muslim, if necessary, may eat pork, drink alcohol, and even verbally deny the Islamic faith, as long as he does not "mean it in his heart". If the end result of the lie is perceived by the Muslim to be good for Islam or useful to bringing someone to "submission" to Allah, then the lie can be sanctioned through taqiyya."]

This whole trial is just one indication as to why YOU DO NOT want to allow the terrorists from Gitmo or anywhere else in the world to have access to American courts. If this case is an example of how terrorists in American courts will behave, we are in big trouble.

To begin with, the man tried to plead guilty about a year ago, and did so repeatedly. The judge refused to allow the man to plead guilty! This amazes me! By what right does a judge disallow a person to plead guilty?! This confounds me to no end.

Then, when the trial resumed recently, the man again, pled guilty, just as he did a year previously. NOTHING had changed his mind. The man was and is guilty, and just was being truthful.

After the guilty plea was accepted, they then have to go through a two step penalty phase.

First to determine if the man is eligible for the death penalty, which is being sought in this case.

And secondly, the jury must then determine whether or not to give death.

The terrorist again surprises everyone by making admissions that he is guilty as hell. The prosecutors have their work done for them by the "Frenchman". He willingly and without prompting, admits his guilt.

Based on these open admissions, the jury HAS determined that the terrorist IS eligible for death. NOW the jury must decide whether to give death or not!

Well, this is and has been a prolonged affair. And just for one man. What if you had to put hundreds or thousands of captured terrorists through the same trial process? What if they did NOT plead guilty? What if they stubbornly and with determined resistance attempted to make a mockery and a sham of the trial process. OH, they would love that with relish!!

Terrorists should be given a fair trial, in a military court, not in a normal criminal court.

Military courts [tribunals] in the American military are NOT some sort of kangaroo court without any guarantees of rights. NOT the same as a civilian criminal trial, but not far from being. Fears of abridgment of rights is much overblown.

Every effort and then some was made to give this abomination of a human being a fair and open trial in the extreme. EVEN THOUGH THE MAN PLED GUILTY OVER AND OVER AND ADMITTED HIS WRONGDOING!!

This guy has no beef!! He got what he deserves. But do not make his trial a model for other terrorists.


Sunday, April 02, 2006


This is coolbert:

The National Geographic magazine recently had an article about Russian smokejumpers.

Men that fight forest fires in the extreme Siberian wilderness.

Russian fire fighting smokejumpers that seem to be closely linked to the Soviet and now Russian VDV, Spetsnaz, and the "parachute psychosis" as mentioned by Suvorov.

The Russians now, and the Soviets before them, DID and DO have an enormous problem with Siberian forest fires. Fires that can only be fought by either smokejumpers [forest fire fighting paratroopers] or forest fire fighters rappelling out of helicopters [as the Russians in the Geographic article do].

It seems the Soviets were the world pioneers to use aircraft and smoke jumpers to fight forest fires. Did this long before anyone else was doing.

"When the Soviets pioneered smokejumping under Stalin’s communist regime, they were establishing an organization that would be copied in other countries around the world, including the United States. However, the Russian program grew from a unique team: of the 17 jumpers in 1937, one was a woman."

The modern generation does not so much jump as a paratrooper would but rather uses helicopters for insertion and extraction. Much as a modern military air assault unit would do.

[of course, in the days BEFORE the wide spread use of helicopters, parachuting would be the ONLY way to reach these fires in such remote places. As for getting back to civilization, I guess the only way would be to walk to raft down a river!!??]

[one of the Russian smoke jumpers is pictured wearing the striped blue and white undershirt of the Russian paratrooper corps, the VDV.]

In the Geographic article, it was stated that some of the Russians had participated in forest fire fighting training and operations in the U.S. Surprisingly, the Russians did not approve of American methods. Too much equipment and too much emphasis on safety!

[I have chosen the photo of VDV troopers below as an example of HOW the Russians seem to disregard safety. I cannot even think for a moment that American paratroopers would ever be allowed to climb out of the landing gear of an aircraft and pose for photos prior to doing a free-fall jump. The Soviet and Russian concept of "safety" was and is not the same as ours.]

And it is true what these Russians say. American forest fire fighters are equipped with a standard kit. Uniform, helmet, backpack, mattock, etc. NOT SO the Russians, who carry a bare minimum of equipment with them. Fires are fought with whatever is available, wet rags, branches with leaves still on them, etc.

[equipment does not even include a whole shovel. Just the head of the shovel is carried, a handle being manufactured out of a tree branch on the spot.]

Russian smoke jumpers, like a VDV trooper, wear the camouflage uniform that is designed for rugged conditions as is found in the remote areas of the Siberian taiga. These Russians must fend for themselves for days on end, are experts in survival tactics, and can live without resupply for their stay in the bush, which may be for weeks on end, if necessary!!

[keep in mind too that these fires do not appear to be the same as say a fire that would be fought in the Los Angeles area. Fires in the Siberian taiga are slow moving, not as intense, and do not endanger populated areas!]

My guess would be that the Russian smoke jumpers are veterans of the VDV, as they are already trained parachutists and aerial assaultists as well, and like all Russian soldiers, can survive and operate on the bare minimum, using whatever is at hand to accomplish the task. NOT ONLY surviving on the bare minimum and making do, but are expected to DO SO!

If you want to see more, go to the Russian and the English versions of the Russian Smoke Jumper web sites. Good stuff.

These guys impress me!!