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

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Rules & Laws.

This is coolbert:

A person commenting on this blog has asked the question, "is there a difference between the Rules of Land Warfare and the Rules of Engagement?"

The answer is yes.

In a nutshell, the former is LAW, the latter is POLICY.

The former [Rules of Land Warfare] are LEGAL agreements entered into by the U.S. government as part of an international treaty. Treaties based upon the various Hague and Geneva Conventions.

When approved and confirmed, "with the advice and consent of the Senate", all treaties, including those concerning the Rules of Land Warfare, become LAW for U.S. citizens and the U.S. military. Binding legal agreements that must be adhered to. Become a part of the U.S. Constitution having legality as would any other item that is part of that document.

The Rules of Land Warfare consist of written law and unwritten law, the latter sometimes referred to as the usual customs and courtesies of war.

The very language may seem as an oxymoron to some. Courtesies of war??

Yes, they do exist.

Rules and customs and courtesies of war are nothing new. We may think of them as new [the first Hague Convention was held in 1899], but the principles are not.

Even in ancient Greece:

"For instance, every state would tend to all the wounded or ill found on their own territory after a battle, friend and foe alike, and return significantly injured/ill enemy soldiers to their home country at the earliest opportunity . . . No side would knowingly interfere in the care of sick or injured soldiers. For example, a troop of soldiers might pass through an enemy hospital camp on their way to battle, but not harass or threaten anyone in the camp at all along the way.

Teachers, tradesmen, physicians, women, children, slaves, and pack animals enjoy safe passage through areas of conflict (though the normal taxes or fees of peacetime passage could still be demanded, and from time to time mistakes did occur-- but there were stiff punishments for knowingly harming these entities)."

[the above from a prior blog entry of mine.]

We may think of war as being something absolute in nature, but it is not. The object IS to destroy, kill, and defeat your enemy. But this is normally, perhaps never, done with absoluteness. As Clausewitz has said, absolute war is an ideal never achieved for a variety of reasons, to include the "timidity" of man.

War is not anarchy, but is done for valid, reasonable, and sane reasons [some may debate what I have just said]. Ruling bodies WANT to be able to control things in war just as they do in any other human endeavor. To this end, "rules", laws, customs and common courtesies have been observed for a long time. Only in the last one hundred years or so have LAWS actually been promulgated and agreed upon by the international community. Binding to the extent that almost all other international law is binding. Excellent guidelines that instruct HOW war is to be fought and how NOT to be fought. A civilizing influence, to the extent that war can be civilized. A recognition that even in war, there are limits to what can be done.

[even the most vicious of conquerors, such as the Axis powers in World War Two [Japan - - The three All's, "Kill All, Burn All, Destroy All"], or the Mongols, NEVER did seek to totally obliterate and annihilate their opposition. DID desire conquest, submission, tribute, etc., but for the most part not absolute destruction.]

Many of the current Rules of Land Warfare are just intuitive. To include:

* Fair, humane, and decent treatment of prisoners of war.

* Fair, humane, and decent treatment of civilians caught in the cross hairs of battle.

* Flying a false flag or wearing the uniform of the other side [not allowed].

* Taking hostages or using human shields [not allowed].

* Limits as to what type of weapons are to be allowed. [the original Hague Convention outlawed the use of weapons that cause "unnecessary suffering"] Napalm being taken OUT of the arsenals of nations such as the U.S. is an excellent example of where law is taken into account when arming the military of a nation.

The Rules of Engagement refers to POLICIES [not law] that are established by regulation, protocols, and directives.

Can be both permissive and restrictive.

Tells a soldier when TO [permissive] shoot on the battlefield, and when NOT TO [restrictive] shoot.

And when shooting, permits or restricts with what weaponry the soldier can engage the enemy.

Here are some interesting historical Rules of Engagements that clarify the meaning of the term:

"ROE [Rule of Engagement] for Joint Task Force 6, the multi-service command at Fort Bliss, Texas that is the Defense Department's interface with counter-drug U.S. law enforcement agencies.

Personnel WILL make every effort to avoid confrontation or armed conflict with civilians.

Personnel MAY:

Use only the amount of force necessary and proportional to the threat;
Use deadly force in self-defense and in defending others from death or serious bodily injury;
Detain any person posing an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm, releasing them to civilian LEA [law enforcement agents] as soon as possible;
Pursue armed persons only to defend or retrieve personnel;
Pursue unarmed forces to retrieve military equipment.

Personnel MAY NOT:

Use deadly force to protect property;
Use deadly force if other measures would be reasonably effective;
Enter Mexico or Canada;
Participate in arrests, searches, seizures, or interrogations;
Trespass on private property."

" [from the Vietnam War] a Defense Department cable of September 28, 1964, regarding U.S. air defenses over Laos early in the Vietnam War (as recounted in Daniel Ellsberg's Pentagon Papers):

U.S. air defense forces are authorized to engage and destroy hostile aircraft in Laos. Hot pursuit may be conducted as necessary and feasible over Thailand and South Vietnam.

No pursuit is authorized at this time over North Vietnam or Cambodia except when actually engaged in air combat. No pursuit is authorized into Communist China.

Unless specifically directed otherwise, U.S. air defense forces are not authorized to attack other hostile forces or installations unless attacked first, and then only to the extent necessary for self-defense."

With regard to the current counter-insurgency type of war in Iraq, Rules of Engagement might include:

* If you are in a firefight with insurgents, and the enemy runs into a mosque, you CANNOT fire into the mosque or further assault.

* If you are in a firefight with insurgents, and the enemy runs into a civilian dwelling, you can continue to engage, but only with small arms fire. You CANNOT use close air support or artillery to further attack the enemy in this circumstance.

[there is video on the web of the bird's eye view of a U.S. F-16 jet dropping a 2000 pound bomb on insurgents in the Iraqi town of Fallujah. The pilot requests permission to drop his ordnance before he engages. Permission is given, the bomb is dropped on insurgents running in the street [about two dozen of them], the bomb is aimed and tracked onto the target, with subsequent explosion and total obliteration of the insurgents. One may ask if this was excessive use of firepower? True, the insurgents were all killed from the direct hit. But so must have been a lot of housing and civilians in the area. Folks we purportedly WANT to help!! This is an example of where rules of engagement were in place, referred to, and permission requested and granted.]

Rules of Engagement are used to ameliorate "unnecessary suffering" or damage where it is not desired. Especially in a counter-insurgency environment where you DO NOT wish to alienate civilians with behavior that is callous and extreme. You DO NOT wish for measures that are excessive, EVEN IN WAR!!

The Rules of Land Warfare and Rules of Engagement can never be considered to be a total panacea to the brutality and ruthlessness found in war.

Can and are an excellent source to LIMIT destructiveness and killing.

There will always be violations in wartime of the various Rules. To be expected.

Just as in civil law, we have violations of the law all the time. Civil law has laws against murder, rape, and stealing. And yet, even with laws, violations occur. People kill, rape and steal, law or no law. But the law does give people a framework to tell them how to behave properly, as proper is defined by the society.

War is NOT anarchy!!


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Human Shield.

This is coolbert:

Yesterday the TV reporter Kimberly Dozier was badly wounded in an Iraqi insurgent IED [improvised explosive device] attack on U.S. troops. In addition, two cameramen accompanying Kimberly were killed, as was one American soldier.

Of course, in Iraq, the IED has been a main weapon and a very effective weapon used by the insurgents/terrorists.

Weapons of that sort, explosives detonated from a distance [command detonated], at a passing convoy of troops, has been a weapon used not only in the current war in Iraq.

Over one hundred years ago, such a weapon was used by the Boer Commando against British forces in the Boer War [1900].

Used against military railroad trains of the British in that specific conflict.

Boer guerillas would lay in wait to ambush a British military train, rigging the rails with explosive. As the train passed over the explosive, the explosive mine would be detonated and the train derailed, a general gun battle type melee' ensuing.

The English did devise a way to counter attacks upon their military trains.

Human shields.

Boer prisoners, tied, would be placed atop a flatcar at the very head of the train, forward of the engine.

If the Boer wanted to derail the train by an explosive mine attached to the tracks, they knew they would derail the flat car, killing or injuring their fellow guerillas that were now prisoners of the British. This they were loathe to do.

The derailings stopped.

Such a method could NOT and should NOT be used in Iraq.

Taking captured jihadis and placing them in U.S. vehicles would NOT stop the insurgent from attacking. The jihadi would not hesitate to kill their own. They would reason the jihadi killed by an IED aimed at the American convoy is now bound for paradise. "He would want it this way!!", would be the reasoning of the feverminded Muslim fighters.

Such use of jihadi prisoners by the Americans would be a violation of the rules of land warfare. American troops using Iraqis as human shields would be subject to prosecution.

The use of human shields by the British in the Boer War is specifically mentioned in the excellent war movie, "Breaker Morant"

The Australian Harry "Breaker" Morant and his compatriots were part of a English "special" anti-guerilla unit, the Bushveldt Carbineers. Men that were excellent horsemen [Morant was given the name "Breaker" as he had worked earlier in his life as a man who "breaks" and tames horses], rifle shots, hardened and combat experienced. Men that did not hesitate to shoot prisoners, use human shields, and killed when they felt it was necessary.

[Morant was found guilty of killing the German missionary who they believed [probably rightly so], of spying for the Boer guerilla. Denying the missionary due process was the charge. Morant seems to have been guilty!! This of course is a debatable issue.]

"Special" anti-guerilla units seem to generate a lot of controversy. Whether they are the Bushveldt Carbineers, the French Foreign Legion "SS" German battalion in Indo-China, or the Nung mercenaries fighting for the U.S. in Vietnam, such folks are always "controversial". Methods used by such units are always on the edge between legal and not so legal.


Sunday, May 28, 2006


This is coolbert:

 War movies.

It used to be that a period of years would pass from the end of a war until serious movies were made about a conflict, whichever conflict it was. While not totally true, this is the general sense of how things were in the past.

It seems that the public had to be given time to digest things before depictions made it to the big screen.

During Vietnam, the only movie made MADE WHILE THE WAR WAS BEING WAGED WAS "The Green Berets". A John Wayne type theatric, starring John Wayne. It was not until the late 1970's and early 1980's that some serious and good films were made about Vietnam. And even at that late date, somewhat reluctantly too!

The trend is now to make a movie about a particular war, WHILE THE ACTUAL WAR IS BEING FOUGHT.

The movies I have in mind are documentaries about the current conflict in Iraq.

Movies such as:

* Gunner Palace.

* Baghdad ER.

Film crews, usually very small in number, now have technology to film on location and while the military action IS ACTUALLY OCCURRING!

This is not stuff of fiction or recreated with attention to detail. It is THE REAL THING!! Being filmed as it happens.

Documentary style seems to be the trend here. And is appreciated by the public. Realism and candor that often was lacking in melodramatic and fictional or even in factual "recreations" of past combats.



This is coolbert:

The esteemed Professor Samuel Huntington is a very hot button topic of late.

It is rare that a university professor in the U.S. would garner such attention as has Huntington.

Huntington is highly thought of in some quarters, not so in others. What controversial person and person of intellect is not thought of in this manner???

Conflict [war] is of primary concern to Huntington. The reasons why and the future causes of to be exact. The nature of which, according to Huntington, is rapidly changing on the world stage.

Huntington has characterized the current jihadi campaign against the west as part and parcel of a "clash of civilizations" . Cultures and ways of thought in conflict. Irreconcilable cultures and ideas in conflict.

Huntington also sees the flow of illegal aliens to the U.S., primarily from Spanish speaking nations, as another threat to American culture and nationhood. What is occurring according to Huntington [and others too] is a "balkanization" of the U.S. into competing and diverse cultures that will be [if not already] at odds with one another.

Read a web article entitled, "A Clash of Civilizations".

Again, I have extracted salient points: [my comments in bold]

* "World politics is entering a new phase."

NOT the New World Order either.

* "it is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic."

These are the normal reasons [economic and ideological, with emphasis on the former] that have given for well over a one hundred year period as to why the nation-states of the world go to war.

* "the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future."

Warfare between tribes of peoples, culture entities, etc.

* "the peoples and governments of non-Western civilizations no longer remain the objects of history as targets of Western colonialism but join the West as movers and shapers of history."

Specifically here, Indian and China emerging as major world powers with major impact for the world.

* "During the cold war the world was divided into the First, Second and Third Worlds. Those divisions are no longer relevant"

This IS what the first President Bush was speaking about when he described the "new world order".

* "the world will be shaped in large measure by the interactions among seven or eight major civilizations. These include Western, Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin American and possibly African civilization."

* "First, differences among civilizations are not only real; they are basic."

Contrary to what some folks will tell you, ALL people around the world are basically NOT the same. Outwardly and superficially they may be, but inwardly with regard to thought, outlook, and what can be best described as world-view they are NOT the same.

* "Differences do not necessarily mean conflict, and conflict does not necessarily, mean violence. Over the centuries, however, differences among civilizations have generated the most prolonged and the most violent conflicts."

It is not inevitable, but wars, clashes if you want to call them that, WILL occur to some degree when these cultural domains meet and interact.

* "Second, the world is becoming a smaller place"

Rapid fire transport, communications, the internet, etc.

* "Third, the processes of economic modernization and social change throughout the world are separating people from longstanding local identities."

Huntington does not do a good job of explaining this. Globalization and the so-called one world phenomenon DOES create resentment among segments of populations.

* "Fourth, the growth of civilization-consciousness is enhanced by the dual role [dual role not properly defined or undestood?] of the West."

I would be more candid that Huntington. Among large portions of the non-western world, there is a very heavy "get whitey" bias. A hate of all things western. My opinion.

* "Fifth, cultural characteristics and differences are less mutable and hence less easily compromised and resolved than political and economic ones."

* "Finally, economic regionalism is increasing."

The EU, NAFTA, etc.

* "As people define their identity in ethnic and religious terms, they are likely to see an "us" versus "them" relation existing between themselves and people of different ethnicity or religion."

The very essence of most religions is exclusivity. WE are saved. THEY are damned. You CANNOT argue with GOD!!

* "The clash of civilizations thus occurs at two levels. At the micro-level, adjacent groups along the fault lines between civilizations struggle, often violently, over the control of territory and each other. At the macro-level, states from different civilizations compete for relative military and economic power, struggle over the control of international institutions and third parties, and competitively promote their particular political and religious values"

* "The fault lines between civilizations are replacing the political and ideological boundaries of the Cold War as the flash points for crisis and bloodshed."

* "Conflict along the fault line between Western and Islamic civilizations has been going on for 1,300 years"

This conflict between the west and the Moslem has been going on for a long time, and will, well, FOREVER.

* "This centuries-old military interaction between the West and Islam is unlikely to decline. It could become more virulent."

This article of Huntington's was written in 1993, well prior to 9/11.

* "Those relations are also complicated by demography"

Where ever you look, the west is at a big disadvantage with regard to demography. In even Sweden, of all places, immigration from non-white nations, a declining birthrate among native Swedes, and HIGH birth rate among the families of immigrants will mean that by the year 2100, whites in Sweden WILL BE A MINORITY OF THE POPULATION.

* "On both sides the interaction between Islam and the West is seen as a clash of civilizations."

Among the thinkers in the Islamic world, this has been perceived for a very long time, and much more stridently so. Remember Mohammad Iqbal I have mentioned in previous blog entries??

* "We are facing a mood and a movement far transcending the level of issues and policies and the governments that pursue them."

A war that has a very strong, perhaps overriding cultural dimension to it.

* "The same phrase ["new cold war"] has been applied to the increasingly difficult relations between Japan and the United States."

I find this to be excessive. Japan and the U.S. work together behind the scenes on the international stage more often than not. Peaceful economic competition, sometimes creating anger, but not ideological, religious, or cultural in nature.

* "The interactions between civilizations vary greatly in the extent to which they are likely to be characterized by violence."

The polar opposite war-peace sliding scale continuum applies here.

* "Groups or states belonging to one civilization that become involved in war with people from a different civilization naturally try to rally support from other members of their own civilization."

"When it comes to killin', likes will go with likes" - - Roots.

* "In the 1930s the Spanish Civil War provoked intervention from countries that politically were fascist, communist and democratic"

This is not entirely so. Democratic GOVERNMENTS generally boycotted the war and did not aid either side. PERSONS from democratic nations were generally communists who did NOT really participate in the fighting to any marked degree. Show only.

* "Conflicts and violence will also occur between states and groups within the same civilization. Such conflicts, however, are likely to be less intense and less likely to expand than conflicts between civilizations"

This may not be entirely true either. Conflict between Sunni and Shia in Iraq for instance, is now and will show and intensity, hate, and propensity for atrocity that will be greater than anything either side will be able to accuse American forces of.

* The next world war, if there is one, will be a war between civilizations.

Scary thought, is it not?? We thought that sort of thing was over and done with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. What is he [Huntington?] saying?? Nature abhors a vacuum and will fill one when it exists.

* The west in now at an extraordinary peak of power in relation to other civilizations.

True, and yet new threats and dangers constantly emerge. Nature hates a vacuum.

* "Differences in power and struggles for military, economic and institutional power are thus one source of conflict between the West and other civilizations."

These are the traditional sources of power and struggles and points for conflict as we have known them throughout history.

* "Differences in culture, that is basic values and beliefs, are a second source of conflict. V. S. Naipaul has argued that Western civilization is the 'universal civilization' that 'fits all men.'"

All people all over the world are basically the same and want the same basic thing and look at things in the same basic manner. That is the idea. NO!!

* "The central axis of world politics in the future is likely to be, in Kishore Mahbubani's phrase, the conflict between "the West and the Rest" and the responses of non-Western civilizations to Western power and values."

This will be true only as long as the "west" is the world's powerhouse. If the "west" were to disappear tomorrow, other conflicts and rifts would emerge, and quickly too. Nature hates a vacuum. India and China would be rivals and fight. Or the Islamic world and China would become rivals and fight, etc. Something would emerge.

* "In the future, as people differentiate themselves by civilization, countries with large numbers of peoples of different civilizations, such as the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, are candidates for dismemberment."

Yugoslavia of course was a prime candidate for dismemberment. Consisted of Catholic and Orthodox, Muslim and Christian. A bad mix with an evil brew of trouble.

* "For the United States, Mexico is the most immediate torn country."

This is without a doubt true. Mexico presents a threat to the U.S. in the sense that it wants to expand it's culture, change the culture, and live with [??] another culture, on the same land, all at the same time. NOT possible!!

* "Third, the dominant groups in the recipient civilization have to be willing to embrace the convert. All three requirements in large part exist with respect to Mexico."

Here Huntington is talking about the remainder of North American accepting the "new" Mexico into the fold. I am not sure that the dominant group DOES want to accept Mexico. Mexico seems to want the others to accept them and take them in, but at a VERY high price for the recipient [U.S. and Canada].

* "Almost without exception, Western countries are reducing their military power; under Yeltsin's leadership so also is Russia"

The decline in the Russian military has continued even after Yeltsin. And throughout the west military strength continues to decline. This is because the military and WAR is TOO EXPENSIVE. Cannot be fought in the old way. Costs TOO much money that is not had.

* "The conflict between the West and the Confucian-Islamic states focuses largely, although not exclusively, on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, ballistic missiles and other sophisticated means for delivering them, and the guidance, intelligence and other electronic capabilities for achieving that goal."

Weaponry that once the sole purview of the "west" is now obtainable and can be had by anyone that wants the weapons and has the money to pay. Many nations now can manufacture sophisticated weapons that once only a FEW nations were able to do.

* "Centrally important to the development of counter-West military capabilities is the sustained expansion of China's military power and its means to create military power."

China of course, as has been the subject of several blog entries, has almost always, but not totally, inward looking and not outwardly aggressive.

* "A Confucian-Islamic military connection has thus come into being, designed to promote acquisition by its members of the weapons and weapons technologies needed to counter the military power of the West."

China and Islam too have a historic animosity. Talas of course was the end of Chinese expansion during the Tang dynasty. Conflict could occur between these two powers in the future again.

* "This article does not argue that civilization identities will replace all other identities, that nation states will disappear, that each civilization will become a single coherent political entity, that groups within a civilization will not conflict with and even fight each other."

No. And no one would suggest such a thing. What is being suggested that the nation-state as the sole entity of power and warmaking. This may be a thing of the past. To be replaced by cultural, tribal, and "civilizational" forces.

* "This is not to advocate the desirability of conflicts between civilizations. It is to set forth descriptive hypotheses as to what the future may be like."

Huntington is trying to persuade you he DOES NOT advocate conflict. He is merely saying that it will occur and we should understand why it does. A changing source of conflict from what we are accustomed to.

* "For the relevant future, there will be no universal civilization, but instead a world of different civilizations, each of which will have to learn to coexist with the others."

Civilizations can co-exist, just as did various nation-states. War will be still be present, and the various civilizations will relate to one another along that war-peace polar opposite sliding scale continuum. But a new way of things being thought of and being done WILL exist.


Saturday, May 27, 2006


This is coolbert:

Here is something I picked up from the Steve Sailer web site.

A link to an Israeli newspaper article concerning the prospective "wall" to be built between the U.S. and Mexico.

Comments of Israeli experts are most germane.

Read for yourself. When the Israeli says something about fences and walls, we should place close attention. Their experience is worth a lot?

Some salient points:

* Money: It will probably cost more than you think.

* Efficiency: It can work, the expert says ? and other Israeli know-hows agree.

* Tactics: Don't just rely on sophisticated machinery and equipment.

* Intelligence: Recruit people on the Mexican side to be your eyes and ears and to tell you what the smugglers are up to.

* Routine: The smugglers will be inventive and will look for ways around you

with regard to the latter: "Don't police them, fight them."

* Ruthlessness: Is it really important for the Americans? If it is, they should be prepared to show it.


* Danger: You mean they have to shoot the smugglers? "No, they have to stop them. But if they run away they have to chase them, and if they resist they need to use force.

* Conduct: Corruption can be a serious problem on the sealed border.

Israelis have been acknowledged experts on military and security related matters for some decades now. Again, when they speak, you should listen!!


East Timor.

This is coolbert:

I see that the Australian military has sent more contingents to East Timor. To suppress disturbances in that troubled land.

Of course Timor is in Australia's back yard. So you would expect they would feel some sort of obligation to help the folks of that impoverished nation. Just as they did when East Timor got it's independence a few years ago. An independence gained after much intensive struggle and bloodshed.

[some have stated that what occurred in East Timor prior to independence was genocide on the part of the Indonesian military. This is disputed.]

The Australian military does seem to have strong emotional ties to Timor and the Timorese people.

Ties that go back to World War Two [WW2]. Defense of the island was a priority for the Australians at the time. A defense against Japanese attack that proved to be unsuccessful, when such attack DID come.

Even in defeat, Australian troops with the aid of the Timorese civilians loyal to them, proved their mettle in a sustained guerilla warfare campaign against the Japanese invader. A campaign that had the desired effect.

[keep in mind that the Timorese had very little to gain from aiding the Australian troops. But they DID SO, with remarkable selflessness!!]

A strong bond was developed between the Australians and Timorese that lasts to this day. A bond that the Australians, to their credit, continue to foster, through help of a military nature and otherwise. NOT totally altruism of course, but a lot of it nonetheless!!

Admirable. I hope that what is occurring now in East Timor can be resolved. Good luck to the Aussies and their Timorese friends.



This is coolbert:

In his television series on naval warfare, the host Admiral Lord Hill-Norton did an entire episode devoted to the gunboat.

The term gunboat in modern parlance is considered to have a perjorative connotation, as in "gunboat diplomacy".

"A country negotiating with a European power usually over issues of trade would notice that a warship or fleet of ships had appeared off its coast. The mere sight of such power almost always had a considerable effect, and it was rarely necessary for such boats to use other measures, such as demonstrations of cannon fire."

The threat of course was that if you do not accede to the demands of the "Europeans", something bad will happen to you.

And on many occasions, it DID!!

Gunboats, however, also have a history that is far more positive.

Lord Hill-Norton points out that the gunboat DID play an absolutely essential and pivotal role in ENDING the African slave trade.

Gunboats can be defined as:

Naval vessels having an ability to operate in shallow coastal waters, or in navigable rivers of size, such as would be the Congo, Nile, Amazon, Yangste, etc. Vessels having considerable organic firepower for a craft their size.

Naval vessels ideal for patrolling and holding position for a long time if necessary.

Vessels that were not only for coastal patrol. Had a shallow draft and could go "up-river" if necessary, pursuing miscreants. Sailors on the such war craft did have to able at a moments notice be ready to take up arms and fight as what was called naval infantry [as distinct from Marines]. This type of behavior is seen in the excellent movie "Sand Peebles".

Gunboats of the British Royal Navy, of which Hill-Norton is speaking about, DID play an instrumental role in putting a stop to the slave trade.

Slavery in the British Empire was outlawed in 1807 [slaves not actually set free until 1838]. In the French Empire in 1848.

Slavery, however, did not end at that point.

Slavery, and the exportation of black Africans to various parts of the world did continue for sometime thereafter.

English slave abolitionists [such as of the type of person exemplified by Dr. Livingston] urged the Victorian Era government to take strong measures to prevent further removal of African slaves to places such as Brazil [slavery did not end until 1888!].

"Brazil, however, did not agree to stop trading in slaves until Britain took military action against its coastal areas and threatened a permanent blockade of the nation's ports in 1852."

Gunboats, patrolling off the coast of west Africa and Brazil, would have been a major part of such an anti-slave trade action.

The gunboat has an undeservedly bad reputation. Gunboats accomplished a lot more good than bad. Without doubt.

The gunboat does have a noble past. Perhaps it will again too. In the suppression of the ever growing world piracy epidemic. Ships of the Israeli "Reshef" class, modern gunboats, being ideally suited for the task.




This is coolbert:

Here is another example of how "outsiders" can not only become influential in a society they have been brought to, but actually can become the dominant force and rulers.

Another military "caste".

The Mamelukes.

"White slaves" of the Muslims.

[for some reason, there is a lot of interest in the fact that Muslims historically kept persons as slaves who are categorized as "white". "White" women taken as wives or concubines or "white" men taken as mameluke slaves seems to arouse a curiosity in a lot of people.]

Young men, teens or boys, who were either taken as slaves by Islamic slave raiders, or were sold by their impoverished families.

Mostly of what is called Circassian origin. Persons from the area around the Black Sea.

Boys and young men who were enslaved [the name mameluke means "owned"] and trained as soldiers to be the "shock troops" of their ruler.

As soldiers, were highly trained and highly successful. At Ain Jalut, the Mamelukes dealt the hitherto invincible Mongols a defeat that stalled decisively the Mongol advance into the Middle East and further west.

Became so powerful, that they were able to become the rulers themselves. They DID possess the power to take over the reins of government and DID so.

Established rule that lasted from the time of the Crusades until the time of Napoleon. Napoleon was so impressed with the fighting abilities of the Mameluke cavalry that he created such a fighting unit in his own army.

A caste system sometimes has a result that works and then sometimes has a result that is unanticipated. I am sure that the various Sultans, sheiks, etc., NEVER suspected that these slave "outsiders" someday would become the rulers and take over their thrones. But they did.

It seems to that the Mameluke tradition has not entirely died off with time. The Jordanian royal family is guarded by Circassian bodyguards, persons who still wear the ancient uniform and headdress.

[Lawrence of Arabia was able to pass himself off as a Circassian during the Arab revolt in the desert during World War One. When captured by the Turks, this guise served him well. HE WAS NOT found out to be English.]



This is coolbert:

Here is a web site that deals with scams and hoaxes.

This site is NOT germane to the normal topics as covered in my blog, but is interesting of itself. Since one of my most current blog entries DID deal with a hoax, the reader may avail themselves for a more complete education regarding scams and hoaxes.

It IS amazing that so many of these forgers and scam artists are very skilled persons in their own right. COULD make a lot of money and acquire prestige if they would just apply themselves properly, in the field of their choice, where they have a lot of ability. But they DO NOT. Talented folks wasting their talent.

Much in the same manner as computer hackers. Experts in the field of computer security would admit they DO have a lot of admiration for the computer hacker. Hackers have a whole lot of really profound knowledge of computer programming, computers, the entire IT profession. Most hackers, too, if they properly applied themselves, COULD find solid positions in the IT field and make a bundle, most of them are that good at what they do.

But they do not.

It seems money is not the issue. Power and the ability to fool someone is more at stake. A power trip for the forger, hacker, scammer, hoaxster. A "rush"!!


Friday, May 26, 2006


This is coolbert:

"Men of Cornwall stop your dreaming;
Can't you see their spearpoints gleaming?
See their warriors' pennants streaming
To this battlefield.
Men of Cornwall stand ye steady;
It cannot be ever said ye
for the battle were not ready;
Stand and never yield!"

Since this is the Memorial Day weekend, here is a web site dedicated to Cyril Richard [Rick] Rescorla.

The story of Rick Rescorla has been told many times since 9/11. Famous American soldier from the Vietnam War. [the photo accompanying this blog is perhaps one of the most famous war photos ever taken. Is of Rick in combat at Ia Drang valley. Taken by the famous/infamous [??] war correspondent Peter Arnett.]

Also a victim and hero of the 9/11 disaster. Responsible for saving almost all of the J.P Morgan employees from one of the two twin towers, while himself perishing in the disaster.

Rick's story bears repeating over and over. Please read.


Thursday, May 25, 2006


This is coolbert:

Go here to read a chapter from the journals of Gestapo Mueller.

Heinrich Mueller [there are various spellings of Mueller].

The last top Nazi war criminal that has not been accounted for.

Mueller was in a category with Martin Bormann and Joseph Mengele. Both Bormann and Mengele have been accounted for, but not Mueller.

Over the years, various accounts have been proposed as for what happened to Mueller after the end of World War Two [WW2].

* Mueller was killed at the end of the war, his body not found.

* Mueller was killed at the end of the war, his body identified.

* Mueller became a spy master for the Soviets.

* Mueller became a spy master for the Americans [CIA].

* Mueller ran the Nazi post-WW2 underground [Odessa].

[the Israeli secret service agent Peter Malkin said he DID see Mueller some time after the ending of WW2. Purportedly espied Mueller while doing a surveillance in Germany. This account has been discounted and pooh-poohed. I tend to believe it. Malkin was a reputable agent [the man who actually laid hands on Eichmann] and observer of minutae. He may very well have seen Mueller!]

"It had been learned that the son of Gestapo chief Muller . . . had purchased a ticket for Brazil . . . a middle-aged man strode out the front door . . . But from his bearing, from something in this stride I knew this man was SS! . . . That night we got a picture of Muller. . . . some scoff at the very notion . . . but the two of us are absolutely certain . . . It was him!"

From the translations of the Mueller journals, it seems that Mueller DID go to work for the CIA after the war. Was a success too. Had the ear of the highest echelons of the U.S. government. Even was a confident to President Truman.

You can buy and read the whole book by clicking here.

Trouble with all this.

It seems that the Mueller journals are a fake. A forgery. So some have maintained.

If so, the forgery is very well done. Makes plausible sense and is interesting reading. Especially if you are interested in history, WW2, etc. The author apparently has done a lot of research and knows his stuff. Homework has been done.

Read an interview with the author of the book .

Read an alternative and not so complimentary view of the author.

This question always arises in my mind when I read this stuff. Why does the author have to present the work as authentic? Why not write it and present it as a historical novel or an alternative fictional post-WW2 history. Something that COULD have happened but is acknowledged from the start as being fiction.

Presenting this as a factual work is a form of con. The goal is not so much financial gain as it is a power trip. The ability to fool someone and do so in a big way is a great "rush" to many folks. Apparently here too.

[all things Nazi and Hitler just seem to have a very long shelf life, for some reason. A lot of interest in the Third Reich. Witness the "Hitler Diaries" etc. And this too!!]



This is coolbert:

Here is another story about a very sorry sad sack individual that should be treated as the reprobate that he is.

A man who purportedly was a U.S. Army Ranger in the current Iraq war.

A man who claimed to have committed the most evil atrocities at the behest of his commanders.

NOT just occasionally, but on a regular, systematic, planned, pre-meditated fashion.

Claimed that this was occurring ALL the time, all over Iraq.

Trouble with this guy, as with others that have done similar in the past.

Man was not a Ranger. Was not a soldier in Iraq. Was NOT even a soldier. WAS never in the military period.

Did a masquerade that was EASILY detected. HE COULD NOT EVEN WEAR THE UNIFORM CORRECTLY!!

Claimed he had been discharged and was now "exposing evils".

Man's tall tales have been widely reported in "alternative media", to include of course, the internet and the world-wide-web.

Even with exposure, the "horses are already out of the barn". The stories are already out there. The lies of this villain are probably being repeated ad nauseum on all sorts of Arab, Islamic, and jihadi media. Bastard has done great harm.

This man is a reprobate of the worse possible sort.


This man needs help really bad. He is a head case if there ever is one!! Professional help and heavy dosages of medication are what he needs!!

Too bad in the process he has slandered a whole lot of good folks!! Grrrrrrr!!!!!

[for my devoted readers. Copy this entry and pass along to as many folks as possible. Have them do the same too!!]


Wednesday, May 24, 2006


This is coolbert:

As I have said, the illegal alien question and the whole subject of illegal immigration now plaguing the U.S. IS a hot button topic for talk radio.

It has been suggested that PART of the solution to the illegal alien problem is to build a "wall" along the border with Mexico.

An extension of a currently existing border barrier is contemplated. Contemplated at this point only. An IDEA for consideration.

This whole idea of a physical barrier between the U.S. and it's neighbors just seems to bother the large majority of Americans. Americans like to think of their country as an open land, without barriers to movement. Our ideal is a free people able to move about at will, without constraint. The European model of all persons possessing "papers" that must be shown to the authorities at any time just seems to smack of authoritarian rule, this practice not being something aspired to.

Building a "wall" along the border with Mexico IS a consideration, but a consideration taken with a lot of hesitation.

Other nations around the world do not have the qualms regarding walls that are found in the U.S.

The Israeli "wall" of course is well known.

NOT actually a full wall. A wall where two villages, Israeli and Palestinian, are within sniper fire of one another. In those circumstances where two villages do live in close proximity, an eighteen foot concrete wall is built.

That eighteen foot wall is a favorite of the international TV crews. Photographed over and over.

What is not normally seen by the public is the much longer "wall" separating the Israeli and Palestinian. NOT a wall. A fence, stoutly built, with a service road, anti-tank type ditch, and a plowed area perhaps containing landmines.

[the plowed area is hard to walk through to begin with. If the area is plowed on a regular basis, footprints of intruders will be highly visible. Plowing regularly seems to negate the use of landmines, maybe yes, maybe no.]

The main portion of the Israeli "wall" is guarded with sensors, cameras, etc. Has troops that patrol the "wall" who can respond to intruders.

India too is a much lesser known example of how a nation can guard it's borders effectively using a "wall".

Sometime this year India WILL complete a 2500 mile long fence on it's border with Bangladesh.

[that length is about as long, maybe longer, than such a similar fence the U.S. would have to build on the border with Mexico!!]

This barrier to movement between India and Bangladesh consists of two twelve foot high fences, with razor in between, lit at night, and patrolled by armed troops.

India too has an enormous smuggling, terrorist, and illegal "immigration" problem with Bangladesh. [Bangladesh is the Mexico for India much as Mexico is the Bangladesh for the U.S.]

Barriers of these types tend to be EFFECTIVE!!

Should NOT be thought, however, as being 100 % panaceas.

Should be thought of as a controlling mechanism. Brings the level of illegal intrusion by illegal aliens down to a manageable level.

Walls, fences, and other obstacles are never intended to totally stop intruders. Just to make the job of the intruder MUCH more difficult.

Maintenance and constant patrolling of the fences of walls is A MUST. You just cannot hope to build such a structure and that is that!! This must be understood from the start.

An American wall on the border with Mexico would in all probability take it's cue from the "walls" built by Israel and India on the borders with their neighbors. Fences, double, razor wire, lights, service road, plowed area, sensors, cameras, reaction force, patrolling, etc. High concrete walls built where necessary.

In addition I would consider spraying that plowed area at regular intervals with a persistent non-lethal chemical agent. An agent that would stirred up with dust when somebody trespasses the "wall". A non-lethal but very irritating agent that would effect eyes, skin, breathing. A riot type agent that would make would-be intruders extremely uncomfortable.


Do I think such a "wall" will be built? NO!

Expense is not the issue. It is estimated to build a "wall" along the border with Mexico would cost about $2 billion. This cost is small conpared to other costs ALREADY spent on illegal aliens in the U.S. right NOW!

The will is lacking. Right now the debate is to build the wall or NOT build a wall? Is the wall to be actual or virtual? Is the wall to be an extension of what already exists or a totally new structure? Is the wall to be 300 miles long or 700 miles if built?

See, will is lacking.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Morse Code.

This is coolbert:

During World War Two [WW2], a very interesting phenomenon was observed.

This phenomenon was observed from among the flight school cadets who desired to be "officers and gentlemen". Cadets who were training to be military pilots.

Cadets who were trained in the tens of thousands.

"But one of the most demanding for many was the daily session, totaling 48 hours, of instruction aimed at achieving proficiency in reading Morse code, visually and aurally, at the rate of six words a minute-a requirement for successful completion of preflight training"

[this taken from the memoirs of a flight school cadet. This man is talking here about pre-flight school and learing Morse at the speed of six words per minute!!]

It was found that the inability to copy Morse code at even the slowest of speeds was the SINGLE biggest reason for cadets failing flight school.

NOT an inability to fly a trainer aircraft. This was not a cause of excessive failure.

NOT an inability to pass a rigorous physical exam [flight physical].

NO, these were not the reasons why a whole bunch of cadets "washed out" of flight school.


Why this was so seems to be a real mystery. Why could these folks not copy code, but COULD fly an airplane must have been surprising.

At the time it was essential for all pilots to copy Morse code, at the very slow speed of five words per minute [5 WPM]. This IS a slow speed. If you can copy all the letters of the alphabet in Morse, you are probably copying at that point five words per minute minimum.

Copying Morse was essential to being able to "home" in on radio-navigational beacons used at airfields. Beacons that emitted a constant stream of Morse characters identifying that particular beacon and airfield.

If you could not copy Morse at even the slow speed of 5 WPM, you could not successfully navigate your aircraft as navigation was done at the time.

[this skill was especially acute for Naval Aviation. Flying as they do over vast stretches of water where NO landmarks for guidance exist. Radio-navigation was a must.]

Radio-navigation beacons of this type STILL exist, although of ever diminishing numbers, almost to the point of non-existence. Have been supplanted by Ground Positioning System [GPS].

I am sure, much to the delight of prospective military pilots.



This is coolbert:

Illegal aliens can and do pose a threat to even those societies that pride themselves as being peaceful, law abiding, and civil.

I am thinking of Britain in this case.

This was the consensus opinion of the various British security services in the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings.

Organizations such as MI5 and MI6 did advise the PM [Blair], that there WAS a heightened level of possible internal insurrection.

[not just sporadic terrorist bombings of the nature as was seen on 7/7. We are talking here about guerrilla warfare and uprising!!]

Of particular interest and concern to the English security types are persons from Somalia. Illegal aliens that have been smuggled into England, or arrived as political refugees seeking asylum.

These persons come from an Islamic country, have a propensity to violence at the slightest provocation, and are skilled in the use of small arms.

How skilled??

It is estimated that about 10 % of the Somalians living in Britain, illegal or otherwise, can field strip an AK-47 in thirty seconds or less, and do so blindfolded!!

Europe, which once prided itself on NOT having the gun violence of other societies, such as the U.S., is now awash with small arms. Most smuggled into western Europe from eastern Europe. For a price, if you desire, small arms can be obtained.

English police, who once patrolled UNARMED, and were proud to do so, are now almost all trained in the use of firearms. If you are investigator into criminal behavior, YOU ARE armed.

Such is the changing nature of even "sophisticated", "cultured" societies.


Monday, May 22, 2006


This is coolbert:

  Movie Review.

"The plan is the base from which all change is made." - - Israeli General.

The movie being reviewed is "The Great Raid".

About the World War Two [WW2] rescue of American prisoners of war [POW] being help by the Japanese in the POW camp at Cabanatuan, Philippines. NOT fiction, based on actual fact.

In contrast to subsequent similar rescue missions in future wars, such as at Son Tay [Vietnam], and Desert One [Iran], the mission to Cabanatuan was very successful. For a minimal loss of life, hundreds of Americans slated for execution by the Japanese were saved.

This sort of thing occurred several times in the retaking of the Philippines during WW2. The Los Banos raiders, the Cabanatuan raiders, the raiders at Santo Tomas and Bilibid all were able to save American captives from a gruesome death that was in store for them.

As for the movie itself, I DO NOT recommend it.

Was done with great attention to fact and detail, and WAS entertaining to a degree, but IS ONLY an average run-of-the-mill war movie. The "Alamo" was also a recent vintage where the desire for historical accuracy was followed. But much more entertaining. "Raid" just does not seem to cut it.

The movie DOES do a very good job in illustrating the "fog of war". The uncertainties that plague mission planners. Uncertainties that do not allow for sound decision making and planning.

What uncertainties am I speaking about here:

* How many prisoners were there in the camp, and what huts were they located in??

* Were the prisoners able to ambulate [walk their way out of the camp] or would transport be required for their evacuation?

* What was the size of the Japanese guard force, and what huts in the camp did they occupy?

* Was a shed within the POW compound used to shelter tanks? If so, in what quantities did the tanks number?

* What reinforcements did the Japanese have in the area that could impede the mission?

The tentative plan for the assault by the ranger unit had to be modified several times during the five day approach to the POW camp. ["the plan is the base from which all change is made"].

Change was made based upon updated intelligence from U.S. Army Alamo Scouts and Filipino guerrillas. These troops monitored the camp and DID answer critical questions vital to mission planners. BOOTS ON THE GROUND AT CABANATUAN WHICH WERE LACKING AT SON TAY, FOR INSTANCE!!

Updated intelligence included:

* Prisoners could NOT ambulate. Transport was needed. [the Filipino guerrillas provided carabao carts that were used for evacuation!!]

* The Japanese guard force first withdraw, leaving the camp unguarded, but the guard force later returned.

* Japanese Army troops had moved into the area in strength. [This required the Filipino guerrillas to set up blocking points to prevent interference to the Ranger unit during the actual raid.]

Without such vital updated intelligence, successful missions are not possible!!

Units such as rangers on missions as what occurred at Cabanatuan must be flexible, resourceful, and responsive. At Cabanatuan, they were!!



This is coolbert:

 "you can't cut down a forest without making some chips fly!!".

It should well be understood that the mass deportation of millions of ethnic Germans at the end of World War Two [WW2] was just one of a number of such "movements" that occurred in the aftermath of the conflict.

This would include the "movements", forcible or otherwise, of displaced persons [DP's] prisoners of war [POW], refugees, political prisoners, impressed laborers, etc. The "movement" of the ethnic Germans did NOT exist in a vacuum.

The "movements" of persons on such a "Biblical" scale seems to require several wherewithals to be successful.

These wherewithals would include:

* A physical wherewithal to make the "movement" possible. This would include large numbers of military or quasi-military personnel. Persons able to expedite the "movement".

* A wherewithal of the WILL. A political apparatus making the decision to carry out the "movement", and having the WILL to see the "thing" through.

Also, in the background, implied or otherwise, probably must exist the capability to use LETHAL FORCE to accomplish the "movement". If you as the person being "moved" do not go along with the program, you may GET SHOT!!

WILL would include the lack of regard for niceties and legalisms. In the aftermath of WW2, "movements" became routine and seemed to be just an adjunct to what had gone before. The attitude in 1945 must have been, "well, a couple million might die during these "movements", but then, fifty million have already died!!"

DO NOT expect to ever see such draconian methods used against illegal aliens in the U.S. Wherewithal of the physical and will is both lacking!!

As to the use of lethal force even to protect the border from intruders, well, forget that too!!


Sunday, May 21, 2006


This is coolbert:

During and after World War Two [WW2], it has been the fashion to give "nicknames" to various weapon systems.

"Nicknames" that evoke a strong, masculine, powerful image.

American aircraft from WW2 such as the Warhawk [P-40], or the Mustang [P-51].

American aircraft of the modern era such as the Eagle [F-15], or the Fighting Falcon [F-16].

The British too during WW2 gave their fighting aircraft "nicknames" that denoted strength, speed, fighting ability. Such as the Hurricane, Spitfire, and the Typhoon.

Tanks were also "nicknamed" in a similar manner.

During WW2, the U.S. produced a whole series of tanks that were named after famous American Civil War Generals. Stuart, Lee/Grant, Sherman.

In the years following WW2, the British also produced tanks that possessed strong, masculine "nicknames". Centurion, Chieftain, and Challenger.

As usual, the English, however, seem to have a habit of sometimes breaking the mold.

Assign nicknames to weapons systems that just do not seem appropriate. For whatever reason, this HAS happened.

One case in point is the famous tank fielded by the British in WW2, the "Mathilda"

"Mathilda"!!?? A feminine name for a TANK??!!

"Matilda (sometimes spelled Mathilda) is a female name, of Teutonic derivation, meaning "mighty warrior." Its most common alternate forms are Maud and Mathilde"

Well, yes, a female warrior from Norse and Teutonic mythology. Well, OK. But how many folks know that?? One in a thousand??

Another instance of the English assigning a "strange" nickname to a weapons system is the case of the "Firefly".

The Fairey "Firefly". A carrier borne fighter/reconnaissance of WW2 fame.

[Fairey is of course the aircraft manufacturer.]

One can assume that pilots flying the "Firefly" were doubly damned. NOT ONLY flying a combat aircraft called the "Fire-fly", but flying an aircraft manufactured by someone named FAIR-EY.

This almost sounds like a cruel joke.

I can imagine the consternation of student pilots upon graduation from flight school. Expecting to be assigned to a squadron of Hurricanes, Spitfires, or Typhoons, they find out they are going to have to fly a "Fire-Fly"!!

One cannot say that the English are not without a certain degree of panache in this area of nicknames.

C'est le guerre!!




This is coolbert:

"A nation consists of three things. Land, people, and laws, of which only the land seems to be more or less permanent." - - A. Lincoln.

The very hot topic on the radio talk shows is the illegal alien problem in the U.S. Call it what you will, but that is the legal definition of what these folks are. About 12 million to 13 million illegal aliens now reside in the U.S., depending on how you count.

What to do with them is the item of current interest. The path seems to be opening for some sort of "earned legalization".

Among the talk show callers-in, many however, favor just what can only be described as the "ship them back" solution.

Many persons just want to see the laws applied and all the illegals GONE!!

This raises an interesting question.

HOW could this be done??

Is there some sort of precedent for this sort of thing?? The mass deportation of what can only be described as numbers of people existing in what are "Biblical proportions".

And the answer is yes!!

A YES with a military dimension to it.

The mass deportation of ethnic Germans from all over eastern Europe at the end of World War Two [WW2].

It is estimated that 15 million to 16 million ethnic Germans were deported en masse from the various nations that comprised eastern Europe back to Germany.

[back to Germany is somewhat of a misnomer here. Almost none of those deported had ever lived in or even visited Germany.]

A mass deportation accomplished in a very short period of time, using the most harshest and draconian methods.

A mass deportation carried out by the militaries, militias, and police of the various "host nations".

Since a state of war already existed, the size of the military forces involved was appropriate for the task, and the governmental apparatus was geared too for the task. The deportations were carried out as just another military operation, without legal or civil qualifications.

["round em' all up, put em' on those boxcars, and if they give you resistance of any kind, shoot em'!!"]

[sounds like Schindler's List with Germans now in the place of Jews, does it not!!??]

[these were ethnic Germans that were prosperous, industrious, and wealthy in many cases. In a way their non-German neighbors were not. The German populace was envied and hated both. When the decision was made to create ethnically "pure" populations in the nations of eastern Europe, the ethnic German population was doomed!!]

Ethnic Germans, persons that had been living in ethnic communities in many cases for centuries, were rounded up, told they were no longer wanted, and unceremoniously loaded onto railroad boxcars, and shipped to Germany, a place almost all of them had never even been to. In most cases they were allowed to take with them only what they could carry, quite often NOT even that!!

It is estimated that anywhere from 2 million to 2 1/2 million ethnic Germans perished during this massive deportation.

Some persons deem this deportation to be an act of genocide, others do not.

Nonetheless, whatever you call it, the loss of life was staggering.

DO NOT think for a moment that such a thing will occur in the U.S. At this exact moment, it DOES seem that some sort of "earned legalization" will be given to the illegal alien population of the U.S.

Railroad box cars and a one-way trip back to Mexico is NOT in the cards.

For some folks, however, such a draconian approach to the problem is probably a major wish. My perception of what folks are thinking.

[please look carefully at the photo accompanying this blog. You see almost no men. One man that appears to be a deportee, and another who might be a railroad man. All the rest are women and small children. All the men were probably seized and sent to the Soviet Union as impressed laborers or JUST SHOT out of hand!! Men were defined probably as all males fourteen years and older!! Such is the nature of draconian methods!!]



Friday, May 19, 2006


This is coolbert:

Yet more on data mining.

The esteemed attorney Newton Minow is being interviewed about the subject on National Public Radio [NPR].

Minow has been a hitter on the national scene since the early 1960's. Was head of the Federal Communications Commission [FCC]. Appointed to that position by President Kennedy [Minow DOES go back a long way].

Is famous for his statement that television, "is a vast wasteland".

Is also knowledgeable with regard to data mining [Minow's legal expertise seems to be in the area of telecommunications law]. The controversial method now being used, evidently, to track down terrorists.

Minow chaired a committee in 1999 for President Clinton that looked at the subject of data mining with regard how to safeguard "privacy" while still being able to data mine data bases for intelligence.

Minow, being an attorney, would seem to be suitably qualified to chair such a committee.

Minow, during the NPR interview, makes the assertion that the nineteen 9/11 hijackers could all be linked using data mining and SEVEN clicks of the mouse.

The particular key to tracking and linking the nineteen 9/11 hijackers using data mining techniques, according to Minow, was Mihdhar and Hamzi. Two Al Qaeda operatives discovered, tracked, and observed at a "conference" in Malaysia. These two disreputables at some later date found to have entered the U.S. for some unknown purpose. That purpose, of course, was later found out to be the 9/11 attacks.

[the fact that Mihdhar and Hamzi were in the U.S. was evidently passed by the CIA to the FBI. However, it seems nothing was really done with this information. It is known that a FBI informant was "rooming" with the two terrorists. So one can infer that the lack of interference was a desire on the part of the FBI to merely "observe" and NOT acted upon!!??]

Merely "linking" Mihdhar and Hamzi to the other hijackers using seven clicks of the mouse would not have been sufficient AT THE TIME!! Linkage of ITSELF would not have revealed the 9/11 plot. A lot more investigation of a surreptitious nature MIGHT have revealed the hijacking plots. But this would have been a big job, taking time and resources.

Presumably other persons besides the other hijackers would have been "linked" to Mihdhar and Hamzi. We NOW ONLY ASSOCIATE THEM WITH THE OTHER HIJACKERS AND THE PLOT IS CLEAR TO US, BUT ONLY AFTER THE FACT.


An EFFECTIVE tool!!!

[OH, and how did the CIA come to know about this terrorist "conference" in Malaysia?]

How were they able to identify, located, track, and observe [the actual observation was done by Malaysian authorities], Mihdhar and Hamzi!!??

Through an intercepted telephone conversation.

And what was the key to this intercept?

A telephone number found on the person of another Al Qaeda operative that was captured!! The same type of telephone numbers so at question today in the purported National Security Agency [NSA] "spy scandal"!!]


Wednesday, May 17, 2006


This is coolbert:

Another response to the comments of the reader JS Bolton.

"Suppose that there is genetic variation as to which lineages, within a nation, become soldiers. Further, suppose that, in the extreme case, one populous lineage appeared 100x more frequently at service academies, than the average. Would this be a matter of great concern for the US, or other governments? Suppose that they were visually identifiable fairly often, what would be the implications, in terms of national security, as currently understood?"

There IS a society where a definite warrior lineage is found.

India is the place.

This lineage is to be found among those of the kshatriya caste. The persons traditionally found among the rulers and warriors of Hindu India.

This very long term continuity has been established through DNA testing. A lineage at least 3500 years old.

A lineage that is found only in males of the caste??!!

[This I qualify as I am not so knowledgeable about the DNA testing protocols and how to interpret them!!]

This lineage seems to be constrained to males within the kshatriya caste. Indicates a group of warriors entered India from the northwest around 1500 B.C., conquered the local population and took wifes from among the conquered peoples. Did NOT have their own women accompany them on their campaign of conquest!! Settled to become the rulers. Are eminent in Indian affairs to this day!!

I think that this is what JS Bolton has in mind. A group of persons who are predisposed to military service and possess those skills necessary to excel as military leaders.

Would this be a problem if those folks attended military academies in large numbers and dominated our militaries?

An American military caste, so to speak. Persons who would wield perhaps inordinate power and influence? Perhaps do so against the better interests of the democratic society?

I think not.

The U.S. has not had military dynasties. Almost has had, but not on the basis as has been seen in European military circles. Generations of "nobility" who saw military service as a means of ruling and contributing to the society from which they came. This seems NOT to occur in the U.S.

As I have said in a previous blog, think of U.S. society where upward mobility, money, power, and success for families [lineages??] does not last forever. Big money, for one thing, seems to last for only three generations. Think of such names from the past as Vanderbilt, Astor, Getty, and even the Rockefellers. Prominent at one time, but no longer.

I have a suspicion it would be so among the military also.

My opinion.



This is coolbert:

Here is a response to a comment sent into my blog from a devoted reader, JS Bolton.

[Not to be confused with JR Bolton, American Ambassador to the United Nations. The comments of JS Bolton are insightful. This person is welcome!!]

"Another alarming example of illegals taking territory by force is the eastern Congo. Several million people have died there in the last decade as foreigners from Rwanda etc., formed marauding armies. This is said to have occurred mainly from people being pushed, by warfare, into districts which were untenable for normal life expectancy. Drugs were unavailable in such places, while diseases were all the more easily contracted. If competition for sovereignty is what war is about, the encouragement of just that sort of competition from illegal aliens, would seem to be war-promoting in itself."

Yes, the case of the Congo is perhaps even a more glaring and egregious example of how illegal aliens, and ARMIES of marauding illegal aliens can actually take over a nation that possessed it's own sovereignty. Much worse just in terms of dead [in the millions and counting] than the Ivory Coast.

Resources and living space coveted by illegal aliens DO seem to be at the heart of the conflict in the Congo.

And primarily possession of a most valuable resource. COLTAN. The mineral absolutely essential for the micro-electronics industry. Used in the manufacture of tantalum capacitors.

This resource, the coltan, of itself, is NOT something useful to those illegal alien populations.

Is used in trade, but NOT used by the invading alien population themselves.

It is useless to them in the form as it is when taken out of the ground. ONLY when traded [to foreign national middlemen] is it valuable.

To those impressed persons doing very hard pick and shovel panning and mining, using methods as would have been seen in the California Gold Rush of 1849, coltan is an exotic earth of NO use to them.

Is useful to the war lords that sell the coltan on the international market, but not to the indigenous folks that do the hard work of extracting the ore.

Very sad. This situation in the Congo is an enormous step backward in the development of the area. It can be said that the Congo has gone from being a basket case to something worse than that, whatever that is.



This is coolbert: T

he honorable Senator Pat Roberts of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is being interviewed on National Public Radio [NPR] this evening. Is talking about the "monitoring" [that is the termed used by the narrator of the program] being done on phone calls within the U.S. by the National Security Agency [NSA].

The Senator does mention that what is being done is 100 % legal. That this IS something that has been the subject of Supreme Court review and is settled case law.

Is NOT listening to phone calls. That IS not being done.

Senator Roberts also says that what is occurring is NOT data mining. That is what I thought the operation was. Taking millions if not tens of millions of phone records and data mining to find connections and discover terrorists or potential terrorists.

What exactly the NSA operation is then is unclear. If not data mining, then what? That is not even speculated upon. Just an ongoing and to the Senator, a successful program that is fruitful and worthwhile.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Ivory Coast.

This is coolbert:

"And he said to his people, See, the people of Israel are greater in number and in power than we are. Come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it happen that when any war breaks out, they also join themselves to our enemies, and fight against us." - - Pharaoh of Egypt.

The movement of illegal immigrants to the U.S. has become a really hot topic for discussion.

These are illegal aliens that are called by all sorts of euphemisms.

Illegal aliens. Undocumented workers. Or just undocumented persons. Migrants. Illegal immigrants, illegal migrants, etc.

We are talking here about persons primarily from Mexico, but not confined to that nation. Entering and staying more or less permanently in the U.S. Doing so in an illegal and conscious manner. Living as would a native born citizen, but illegally.

The question should be asked, "do these persons endanger in any manner the national security of the U.S.??".

And the answer is YES!! Most assuredly so!!

There is a recent historical example that demonstrates that this COULD be so!

The Ivory Coast.

West African nation, part of sub-Saharan Africa.

[sub-Saharan is the term used to describe the black African nations of Africa, in contrast to the Arabic speaking, mixed race nations of northern Africa.

Ivory Coast, at one time a colony of France. Was for many years.

Upon gaining independence, became a model for the rest of sub-Saharan Africa as to how a black nation could grow, prosper, and enjoy freedom and rights. A place envied in much of black Africa.

A nation that had a large ex-patriate population of French nationals. Running essential services, providing medical care and educational facilities that contributed to the overall success of the Ivory Coast.

Had a burgeoning economy. An almost booming economy that attracted workers from the nations neighboring the Ivory Coast.

Many of those workers being illegals. Did not have the permission or the papers to live or work in the Ivory Coast.

Only several years ago, the economy of the Ivory Coast took a nose dive. Went south, as they say. That booming economy was no longer booming.

The need for workers became minimal. Extra bodies just needed to make the "economy grow" were just not required any more.

The central government of the Ivory Coast attempted to persuade and then order the migrants and illegals to go home. This did not work. The migrants and illegals became resentful and refused to return.

In fact, began a rebellion that was largely successful. The migrants and illegals did NOT ONLY NOT GO HOME, THEY TOOK A GOODLY PORTION OF THE PLACE OVER!!

This was totally unexpected. The army of the Ivory Coast was small and unable to dislodge or retake territories lost to the illegals.

Right now, about one half [1/2] of the Ivory Coast is now under control of the illegal aliens. THEY have become the power in the area.

Nor is this just a recent phenomenon. See this blog entry comment from someone called Wampuscat:

"This situation is not new. The Roman Empire, during the long duration of its decline, experienced substantially the same difficulty. The less “civilized” polities directly across its border raided and pillaged the Roman Citizens when possible. When the extorionate Roman taxes and lack of armed protection left this landscape with a population deficit, and when the adjacent “Barbarians” were being, in turn, pressed by more warlike peoples, they would frequently move over to the Roman Empire Territory and petition the Empire for permission to remain as subjects. The Empire allowed them their boon more often than not. If they promised to pay taxes, their request was heard with additional attention. Sometimes, they actually paid the promised imposts."

OH, my!!

This sort of thing CAN happen!! While I would not say that such a thing CAN or WILL occur in the U.S., why should anyone have to run even the risk of rebellion happening? Measures should be taken well in advance to prevent even the possibility of such action being taken by migrants and illegals.