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

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


This is coolbert:

 Yes, he did say it. John F. Kerry did say it.

"You know, education -- if you make the most of it, you study hard and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well."

"If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

Read what a firestorm this comment has caused.

Was this:

A prepared statement "mangled in delivery"?

Taken out of context?

Poorly worded?

Not what he meant?


It would seem to me that Kerry is disparaging the intelligence of the U.S. military service man and woman.

I think the inference is quite clear. If you are college material, you go to school, study hard, do well, and life will be good for you. If you are not college material, you go into the Army [that is the only alternative??], you go to Iraq, and get killed or maimed. The less intelligent among our citizens go into the army and end up in Iraq.

It also seems that Kerry will not apologize.

And his reasoning for a lack of apology is that he was referring to President Bush, not the students he was speaking to. That the President, while in college at Yale, was not a good student, or got good grades, or was an intellectual going to a school were the intellect is stressed. Kerry is trying to say that when you [President Bush] do not do well in school, sending U.S. forces to Iraq is the consequence.

Please keep in mind that Senator Kerry was not a scholar by any means himself. Is also a Yale grad, but was ONLY a "C" student, as was President Bush.

It also seems to me that Senator Kerry is living forty years in the past. During the Vietnam War, it was perceived that only those who were stupid or mental dullards were drafted and sent to Vietnam. That is not so. It is true that if you were an undergrad or grad student in college at the time, you could get a deferment from the draft very easily. Done by a lot. Those that were high school dropouts, high school grads working and not going to school, or persons not in grad school but already a college grad, WERE targets for the draft.

And Project 100,000 was in effect too. Persons whose proficiency tests were so poor that ordinarily they would not be considered for the draft WERE drafted. The manpower shortage was so acute at the time. Persons who NEVER could have been considered college material were drafted and quite often sent to Vietnam.

That was the military situation that existed forty years ago. BUT NOT NOW!!

Military personnel now on active duty and serving in Iraq are for the most part of above average intelligence. AND NOT DRAFTED and forced against their will to go. WE HAVE now and have had for decades an all-volunteer military. Persons that are more highly trained. To do the job [soldier] by modern standards you cannot be BELOW average in intelligence.

Whatever was the intent of Senator Kerry in saying what he did, he really did BOTCH IT!

[my own personal opinion is that Senator Kerry DOES consider the active military personnel to be "saps" and persons deserving of contempt. His true sentiments are that anyone in the military when they could be in college is "foolish" and probably lacking in intelligence.]

I hope that is NOT his true feelings and sentiments, but I fear it to be so!


Sunday, October 29, 2006


This is coolbert:

Here is another article from the International Herald Tribune. Deals with the personalities involved, or at least thought to be involved in the North Korean atomic bomb program.

This article is a compilation of the typical "open source" type of material that intelligence service analysts use on a routine basis.

The persons who have been instrumental in the development of the North Korean atomic bomb of course would be of immense interest to intelligence agencies the world over.

But, as with all things North Korean, a lot of secrecy is involved on the part of Kim [Kim the Elder and Kim the Younger both] and his gang. Information is sparse. A lot of inference has to be used.

"These people have been celebrated at home for founding and guiding the North's nuclear program, but because of the secrecy surrounding the effort, almost no one, even there, knows who they are."

[EVEN THERE. North Korea of course!!]

With a nation as security conscious as North Korea, reasonable inferences based upon "open source material" are a valid way for intelligence analysts to arrive at conclusions.

However, such material as the "open source" is NOT what your intelligence analyst ONLY wants to work with. "Open source" is useful, but NOT equal to SECRET material obtained through espionage. Details and the "real stuff" can be had only through espionage.

Espionage as enunciated 2500 years ago by Sun Tzu. Espionage in this case characterized by what Sun describes as the inward spy:

"Having inward spies means making use of officials of the enemy. Worthy men who have been degraded . . . criminals . . . favorite concubines . . . men who are aggrieved . . . others who are anxious that their side should be defeated . . . fickle turncoats"

HOW does one recruit such persons to pass on secret details of North Korean nuclear plans and weaponry and personalities involved with same??

Especially with a nation AS SECURITY CONSCIOUS AS THE NORTH??!!

NO ONE said this was going to be easy. Recruit diplomats or representatives when they travel from North Korea to other nations - - for whatever reason?

This is the sort of think intelligence agencies are supposed to be ABLE to do. Is it done? In only a few instances, maybe. "Open source" just seems to be so much easier!!




This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog:

"you have to respect their sense of honor, and their professional and leadership qualities" [with regard to the German soldier in World War Two. Even the Waffen SS men.]

Here is some additional stuff on the Waffen SS.

The above link is from the Jewish Virtual Library. In my opinion IT IS a very fair and even handed account of things. DOES ANYONE FIND THIS TO BE SURPRISING!!?? It is honest and tells the truth more or less as it was back then. I cannot fault this account in any way.

Also this:

Eduard Deisenhofer. Never heard of him before. A SS Mann AND an intellectual!! An intellectual!!?? Is there a contradiction here!!??

"Diesenhofer can be seen as an interesting example of the 'educated' SS man"

"Deisenhofer excelled in his studies at school from a young age. After his schooling, he pursued studies in the fields of politics and economics. He eventually received his PhD as a political economist."

"The involvement of intellectual men like Deisenhofer in the NSDAP [Nazi] movement is thought to offer historical evidence that it was not an anti-intellectual movement, but a perversion of the intellectual."

What is one to make of such a man??!!


Nuclear Holocaust.

This is coolbert:

"Nuclear holocaust: A risk too big even for martyrs?"

This is a recent headline from an article in the International Herald Tribune.

[my comments in bold.]

It seems, so the author seems to feel, that it is not ONLY the Israeli and Americans that are concerned with Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon.

So are the various Sunni Arabs that inhabit the Middle East.

To many, this may appear strange. That anyone can even come close to challenging the Israeli, I would have thought, would have been welcomed by the Arab world.

NOT SO??!!

The fear is that Iranian acquisition of a nuclear weapon [bound to happen now, so it seems], will set off some uncontrollable and cataclysmic event that will benefit no one and result in devastation of untold proportions.

"The anti-Israel statements of the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, coupled with Iran's support for Hezbollah and Hamas, might lead you to think that the Arab states would welcome Iran's nuclear program."

"A nuclear Iran means, at the very least, a realignment of power dynamics in the Persian Gulf."

"They also seem to be worried that the Iranians might actually use nuclear weapons if they get them."

[you would think that if anyone would understand the Iranian Shia, it would be the Arab Sunni of the Middle East. If they are worred about use of the bomb, well, surely the U.S. is justified in it's concern too!!]

"it was still possible to avoid asking the awkward question of whether there was something distinctive about Islamic belief or practice that made possession of nuclear technology especially worrisome. Most observers assumed that Islamic states could be deterred from using nuclear force just like other states: by the threat of massive retaliation."


"Suicide bombing has become the archetype of Muslim violence - not just to frightened Westerners but also to Muslims themselves."

[this has become the weapon of choice for the Muslim, so it appears to the westerner. And to the Muslim now too?? Suicide bombing is a reflection of WEAKNESS!! Conventional methods do not work. Other means must be used. Such as suicide bombing!!]

"What makes suicide bombing especially relevant to the nuclear question is that, by design, it unsettles the theory of deterrence."

[during the Cold War, deterrence was the cornerstone of policy. NO ONE would dare to use nuclear weapons as the fear of the consequences was so great. Rational thinking communists and American both thought that way.]

"Religious thinkers, on the other hand, believe almost by definition that there is something in heaven greater than government here on earth. Under the right circumstances, they might sacrifice lives - including their own - to serve the divine will as they interpret it."

"This interpretation is not very convincing in historical terms: martyrdom classically meant that another person killed the Muslim warrior, not that he pushed the button himself."

[the word martyrdom to the Christian means something TOTALLY at odds with what it means to the Muslim. A Christian dies for their faith, but NOT killing others in the process.]

"Muslims fighting the jihad may not inflict disproportionately more harm on the enemy than the enemy has inflicted on them. That raises the question of the extent of American guilt. "Some Brothers have added up the number of Muslims killed directly or indirectly by [American] weapons and come up with a figure of nearly ten million," the treatise states. This total, Fahd concludes, would authorize the use of weapons of mass destruction to kill 10 million Americans."

[the statements of the right hand man of Osama, Zawahiri, that, "4 1/2 million Americans must be killed to bring the Amriki to their knees is undoubtedly based upon similar such calculations!!]

"If the leaders of Iran or some future leaders of a radicalized, nuclear Saudi Arabia shared the aspiration to martyrdom of so many young jihadis around the world, might they be prepared to attack Israel or the United States, even if the inevitable result were the martyrdom of their entire people?"

[I do not see Saudi EVER becoming a nuclear power. Too long a process and to difficult except for the most determined of nations. I just don't think they have enough educated people and the facilities to embark on such a program.]

"The answer depends to a large degree on whether you consider Islam susceptible to the kind of apocalyptic, millennial thought that might lead whole peoples, rather than just individuals, into suicidal behavior."

"With respect to Shiite eschatology, there is greater reason for concern."

[this is the type of thing that prompted Bernard Lewis to issue his warning about August 22. It did not happen [nuclear attack], but the thinking was that it might. All of Islam is so foreign and unique to the westerner. Shia Islam is even MORE so!!]

Read the whole thing. A very good article.


Saturday, October 28, 2006


This is coolbert:

German tank commanders such as the aces Michael Wittmann and Hyazinth von Strachwitz employed the "Tiger" tank of World War Two [WW2] fame with great efficiency.

The Tiger tank was a formidable weapons system when used by able hands.

Possessed very thick and virtually, for it's time, impenetrable frontal armor.

Possessed a very powerful gun that could destroy any existing enemy armor, Soviet or Allied. This gun was of the caliber 88 mm. Based on the famous German 88 mm flak gun. Having found the 88 mm anti-aircraft artillery piece to be eminently suitable for anti-armor warfare when used in a ground role, it was only natural to outfit the latest and most powerful German tank with such a gun as well.

The Tiger tank was a reaction to the realization on the part of the Germans that most of their armor vehicles were INFERIOR in quality to that of their adversaries, at least in the early stages of the war.

Both during the campaigns in France [1940], and in Russia [1941], German armor units fought adversaries whose tanks were both more numerous and of better quality. German success at armored warfare was due to the manner with which the Nazi commanders employed THEIR tanks. Rather than dispersing them to support the infantry, the German CONCENTRATED their tanks and focused their combined energy against enemy WEAK SPOTS. The German objective was to rupture the enemy defenses and create a breakthrough situation. Tanks would then rapidly advance with the intent of destroying enemy rear echelon units, service and service support, a collapse of the entire enemy front being the inevitable result.

"The German tanks that preceded the Tiger balanced mobility, protection, and firepower. They were sometimes outgunned by their opponents (at the time the best tank to put against enemy tanks was the Panzer III with its 50mm gun), but greatly superior German tactics offset this disadvantage."

[concentrated armored formations of German tanks were supported by Luftwaffe ground attack aircraft such as the Stuka which blasted a path through enemy defenses, creating the circumstances favorable for a breakthrough.]

Even when faced with superior Soviet tanks such as the T-34 or the KV tank [Klementi Voroshilov], German tank tactics used in the Russian campaign of 1941 were still successful. By AVOIDING Soviet strength and attacking WEAKNESS, German victories of prodigious proportions via armored assault were still possible.

NONETHELESS, the Germans quickly realized that the Soviet T-34 and the KV tank posed really serious problems for them. Problems for which a counter had to be devised.

"The Tiger had in part been a response to Soviet heavy tanks, namely the KV-1, as well as the medium T-34 which had some notable successes against lighter German tanks of the time."

"There was great consternation when it was discovered that the Soviet tanks were superior to anything available to the Wehrmacht".

That counter was the Tiger tank.

The Tiger tank WAS a successful counter to the Soviet machines. Thicker armor and a more powerful gun meant that the Tiger was more or less impervious to frontal attack while being able to destroy opponents at hitherto unheard of ranges. ONE Tiger was worth TEN opposing tanks??!!

The Tiger, however, was NOT without it's drawbacks. Drawbacks that in some cases were very serious.

* Such a heavy machine as the Tiger WAS ponderous. All that armor and large gun meant that the Tiger was far heavier than existing German tanks. Mobility was sacrificed for protection and killing power. THE TIGER WAS SLOW!! LACKED SPEED AND MOBILITY PERIOD!!

"The Tiger I represented a new approach that emphasized firepower and armor at the expense of mobility."

[tanks since their onset as a military weapon have been an engineering compromise of mobility, protection and firepower. The successful tank is the best engineering compromise of all three aspects.]

* The Tiger was rushed into production and had a lot of teething problems. Mechanical breakdown and a lot of maintenance meant down-time and a lack of availability for combat.

"The Tiger had reliability problems throughout its service life; Tiger units frequently entered combat understrength due to breakdowns. It was rare for any Tiger unit to complete a road march without losing vehicles due to breakdown."

* The Tiger could not be produced in large enough numbers to make a difference. Took a lot of time to build and only a limited number were produced.

"A major problem with the Tiger was its very high production cost. During the Second World War over 40,000 American Sherman and 58,000 Soviet T-34s were produced, compared to 1,350 Tiger I and 500 Tiger II tanks."

The Tiger was formidable. When handled by able crews and commanders, could wreak a lot of destruction. But when faced with overwhelming numbers, as it was, the Tiger did not make the difference the German had hoped it would.

"During the Second World War over 40,000 American Sherman and 58,000 Soviet T-34s were produced"

Simple as that!!



Thursday, October 26, 2006


This is coolbert:

"How do you think he does it? I don't know! What makes him so good?" - - from "Tommy" - - The Who.

It is undeniable that during World War Two [WW2], the German military produced some men whose battlefield exploits are the thing of legend.

The Luftwaffe had such superlative combat pilots as Hans Ulrich Rudel ["Eagle of the East"] and Erich Hartmann ["The Blond Knight of Germany"].

Men whose performances were so outstanding and unique that special awards for valor and courage had to created just for them.

German ground forces, particularly in the area of armored warfare also produced men whose exceptional and extraordinary battlefield exploits defied the ordinary accolades awarded a brave soldier.

[One here has to stop and wonder if the word "hero" is appropriate when considering the behavior of the German military in WW2. Such has been the opprobrium heaped upon the German due to the behavior of SOME during the war that to speak of a German "hero" in the context of WW2 is OUT OF THE QUESTION!! Even those did not participate in atrocity were SILENT!! What is to make of such German luminaries as Rommel, Model, or Guderian and their acquiescence to the Nazi regime!!??]

You all know what I am talking about. The death camps, the undeniable atrocities, etc.

German tank commanders such as Michael Wittmann and Hyazinth von Strachwitz, however, can be seen as being somewhat above the fray in the controversial sense. Fought a militarily more PURE war. Did not involve themselves in "atrocious" behavior. Can be admired as soldiers fighting for their cause in a brave and valiant manner.

Michael Wittman is considered to be the "greatest tank ace of World War Two".

"The number of enemy vehicle kills achieved by crews under Wittmann's command has never been surpassed. Wittman's crews (chiefly gunner Balthasar "Bobby" Woll, also a Knight's Cross holder) are known to have destroyed at least 138 tanks and 141 artillery pieces, along with an unknown number of other armoured vehicles."

[these figures of course do not include soft-skinned vehicles and enemy ground troops killed as well.]

Was first an enlisted man and an armored car driver. Then the commander of an assault gun. Finally the commander of a Tiger tank and ultimately a Tiger tank unit.

Wittmann was also a SS Mann. Was a member of the Waffen SS. This is so. Also a graduate of the famous school at Bad Tolz. Became an officer and gentleman. You have to wonder what they could have taught Michael with regard to tactics on the battlefield. Perhaps they did not. NOTHING could be taught him with regard to combat. About all you could teach Michael would be the finer points of music appreciation [German classical music], ballroom dancing, etc.

Fought in all fronts of the war. Poland, France, Balkans, Russia, France.

Met his end [as did his tank crew] under circumstances that are not clear. Was only given proper burial in 1982. A man who was recognized by his peers as being several cuts above the rest and whose death was a big loss for the German military.

"While the manner of his death is clear - his tank was hit by two shots to the right rear hull which caused an explosion large enough to throw the turret from the vehicle - the weapon responsible is not."

"Wittmann was highly admired by his comrades and very highly thought of by his superiors. Michael Wittmann represents a real hero who fought to the bitter end for his Fatherland. Wittmann's personal bravery is unquestionable and his place in the annals of military history thoroughly deserved."

Of Hyazinth von Strachwitz, the British author James Lucas says:

"the names of Wittmann and Peiper are well known, but less famous is Hyazinth von Strachwitz, whose exploits with small panzer battle groups gained him a reputation throughout the German Army for cool-headed courage . . . probably the most famous of the German Army's tank men at tactical level during the campaigns with Russia."

[his full name is Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz von Gross-Zauche und Camminetz. From a very noble family. Hyazinth surprisingly is a man's name. St. Hyazinth [Hyacinth in English] was a MAN! Seven hundred years of men in the family von Strachwitz had the name of Hyazinth. This man was from a family of LINEAGE and PRIDE!!]

von Strachwitz was wounded no less than fourteen times during the war!!?? Led from up front and was the first into battle leading his unit. And all this from a man that by 1945 was fifty two years old!!?? NOT a young man but fighting the war as a young man!!

What is one to make of such men as Wittmann and von Strachwitz??!! Brave men fighting for their nation in a cause and for a leader that was not admirable.

[it is a known fact that in 1947, the Haganah, the underground fighting arm of the Jews in Palestine and embryonic formation that became the Israeli military, sent it's most promising young officers to Germany to study tank tactics from the German masters. You may not LOVE them, but you can RESPECT them!!]



Tuesday, October 24, 2006


This is coolbert:

"Every leader of a nation contemplating sending young men to die in battle should first visit a military morturary where bodies of soldiers that have been killed in combat are prepared for burial" - - An unnamed U.S. Marine.

Here is an extract from the Sgt. Hook web site.

Concerns the combat activities of the Basiji Corps. Iranian teenage fanatics that gave their lives in the decade [1980's] long war between Iraq and Iran.

A now well known and infamous [at least to western minds] episode of modern warfare.

Gives us an insight into the mentality of the Iranian "beast".


A topic and extract that must be read and re-read over and over.

"Let’s meet the Persians…"

"Khomeini sent Iranian children, some as young as twelve years old, to the front lines. There, they marched in formation across minefields toward the enemy, clearing a path with their bodies"

[young boys would clear a path through a minefield with their own bodies, blowing themselves up in the process!!!]

At one point, however the earthly gore became a matter of concern. . . . “we had child-volunteers: 14-, 15-, and 16-year-olds. . . . there was nothing more to be seen of them. Somewhere, widely scattered in the landscape, there lay scraps of burnt flesh and pieces of bone.” . . . “Before entering the minefields, the children [now] wrap themselves in blankets and they roll on the ground, so that their body parts stay together after the explosion of the mines and one can carry them to the graves.”

[bodies were literally being blown into bits. NOTHING left to bury but bits and pieces, if that. So to be able to bury and more or less intact body, the kids would wrap themselves in blankets and ROLL on the ground, setting off the mines, being killed, but being left INTACT!!!]

These children who rolled to their deaths were part of the Basiji . . . The Basij Mostazafan–or “mobilization of the oppressed”–was essentially a volunteer militia, most of whose members were not yet 18. They went enthusiastically, and by the thousands, to their own destruction . . . “The young men cleared the mines with their own bodies,” “It was sometimes like a race. Even without the commander’s orders, everyone wanted to be first.”

"everyone wanted to be first!!!"

"everyone wanted to be first!!!"

"everyone wanted to be first!!!"

[the Iraqi army during their decade long war with Iran is credited with having an good artillery arm [armed with the G-5 howitzer, and a good combat engineer arm. The latter is credited with a proficiency at creating vast minefields and impassable areas through flooding. It was these minefields that the Iranian had in mind when they created the Basiji Corps.]

"The sacrifice of the Basiji was ghastly. And yet, today, it is a source not of national shame, but of growing pride . . . And, last year, they formed the potent core of the political base that propelled Mahmoud Ahmadinejad–a man who reportedly served as a Basij instructor during the Iran-Iraq War–to the presidency."

"a source not of national shame, but of growing pride!!!"

"a source not of national shame, but of growing pride!!!"

"a source not of national shame, but of growing pride!!!"

"Ahmadinejad revels in his alliance with the Basiji . . . A younger generation of Iranians, whose worldviews were forged in the atrocities of the Iran-Iraq War, have come to power, wielding a more fervently ideological approach to politics than their predecessors. The children of the Revolution are now its leaders."


"Khomeini sent Iranian children, some as young as twelve years old, to the front lines."

"most of whose members were not yet 18"

"They went enthusiastically, and by the thousands, to their own destruction."

“The young men cleared the mines with their own bodies”

"Even without the commander’s orders, everyone wanted to be first.”

“It was sometimes like a race."

"There, they marched in formation across minefields toward the enemy, clearing a path with their bodies."

“Before entering the minefields, the children [now] wrap themselves in blankets and they roll on the ground, so that their body parts stay together after the explosion of the mines and one can carry them to the graves.”

"The sacrifice of the Basiji was ghastly. And yet, today, it is a source not of national shame, but of growing pride"

"The children of the Revolution are now its leaders."


[Let us get this straight. So that even the most casual of observers can understand.]

* Teenage boys, unarmed, clearing Iraqi minefields by marching into the minefields and detonating the mines, killing themselves in the process.

* Doing so willingly, with enthusiasm.]

Sgt. Hook says:

"think real hard about the seriousness of a nuclear Persia."

"Sgt Hook out."

Khomeini liked to think of himself as being the "perfect man". Evil old man. Evil old man. Rot in hell.

Visiting a military mortuary would not change the mind of Ahmadinejad. He might even revel in what he would see. I would not like to think that is so. But I feel it probably IS so!



124th Army Unit III. [End]

This is coolbert:

Of the thirty two [or is it thirty one North Koreans?] that attacked the "Blue House", allegedly only one survived. Wounded, but captured, was Kim Sin-jo.

[the jury is still out, and probably always will be, regarding the exact numbers involved in the attack on the "Blue House". Some say it was thirty one North Koreans, others say thirty. My recollection was that it was thirty two. Some say that one North Korean escaped in the aftermath of the abortive attack and managed to make it back to North Korea [now a high ranking General officer??!!] For the purposes of this blog entry, I will say that the "Blue House" attackers numbered thirty two [eight teams of four men each]]

Kim is still alive. Lives now in South Korea, is a free man, and a RESPECTED AND HIGHLY LIKE PROTESTANT MINISTER!! This man has had a change in his life if anyone ever has had!!

Kim, during his what was probably a prolonged and extensive interrogation and debriefing, WAS talkative.

Regarding the training for the "Blue House" raid, there is one particular anecdotal account of Kim's that stands out.

An anecdotal account that the average person just does not believe is possible. "This just cannot be, this is fantasy".

Kim described how his thirty two man cut-throat unit carried out, repeatedly, a penetration exercise.

A penetration exercise that had the goal of gaining entry to a building defended by a unit of conventional North Korean soldiers.

[the cut-throat special operations troop against the common soldier.]

During this series of exercises, neither the attacker or defender was allowed weapons of any type. Bare hands ONLY [feet with boots on them of course were included] was permissible for both sides. All and any martial arts techniques could be used by both sides, but NO weapons of any type.

[keep in mind that the troops of the 124th Army unit were highly trained in martial arts. NOT just tae kwon do, but a combination of judo, tae kwon do, wrestling, boxing, knife fighting. The South Korean has a military martial arts form taught to it's Special Operations troops called teukgong moosool. The North Koreans must have something similar.]

Common North Korean soldiers defending a building, the thirty two elites attempting to penetrate the building, the defenders trying to stop them. Both sides going at one another with fists and feet. But NOT an uncontrolled melee'. Soldiers on either side fighting as soldiers, as a team.

Here is where it gets unbelievable.



[Kim related how during these series of exercises, participants on BOTH sides often required hospitalization for broken bones, concussions, etc.]

Does this sound believable?

Is this rational or reasonable?

Is this plausible or even remotely possible?

My response would be YES!!

The five hundred defenders DO NOT know the time and place where the attack is going to occur. They must guard all directions simultaneously. They must DISPERSE their force.

"a defensive weapon [five hundred common soldiers]- part of a passive system. Any defensive system involves . . . dispersal". [Suvorov]

"They [the thirty two cut-throats] are an offensive weapon and they have the initiative in battle". [Suvorov]

That thirty two man unit attacking the five hundred defenders is on the attack, the latter on the defensive. The attacker has the initiative, the defender, the lack thereof. The attacker chooses the time and place of the attack. Those thirty two cut-throats use CONCENTRATED FORCE FOCUSED ON ONE SPECIFIC SPOT. THEY ACHIEVE OVERWHELMING MASS AT A WEAK SPOT AND OVERPOWER THE DEFENDERS. The concentrated combat power of the attacker [bare hands only, but still potent], focused at one weak point in the defense, multiplied through surprise and team work of the cut-throats working together, allows for the defenders to be defeated.

Several of the basic principles of war are at work here. To include:

* Offensive.

* Mass.

* Surprise.

What Kim says occurred is totally reasonable, plausible, and probably did in fact happen exactly as he says it did.

This is not rocket science. Just a bunch of soldiers, highly trained, motivated, and dangerous, working as a team to achieve the object. NO trickery or gadgets required here.

Understandable? YES!



Monday, October 23, 2006

124th Army Unit II.

This is coolbert:

In my previous blog, I mentioned how U.S. High Command authorities had made the decision NOT to retaliate in response to incursions by infiltrators of the North Korean 124th Army unit. The cut throat elite of the North Korean military responsible for among other things, the attack on the South Korean Presidential residence, the "Blue House".

[this of course during the period 1968-1969.]

NO retaliation was to be made by AMERICAN forces against North Korea. This decision was made. American units were NOT forbidden to defend themselves if attacked, obviously, but offensive action in kind was not allowed.

South Korean military units were not so inhibited. The South Korean government, especially after the attack on the "Blue House", decided to take sterner measures. Tit-for-tat WAS in the works, as far as the South Koreans were concerned.

A South Korean "military unit", and I use that term military unit advisedly, was formed, for an assassination mission north of the DMZ. The target WAS Kim Il Sung, the man who in all likelihood ordered the attack on the "Blue House" to begin with.

This was the origin of the Sil-mi-do unit. Thirty one men [the same number as the number of North Koreans that attacked the "Blue House"], was recruited, trained, and prepared for action against North Korea.

This entire episode backfired big time on the South Koreans.

The unit never did make it north. Was put through an intensive period of training, again, that bordered on the sadistic, but never deployed for action.

In fact, rebelled, killed their instructors and mentors, and:

"They seized buses and blasted their way through police blockades, killing a police officer and a child along the way.

Once in Seoul, they encountered a roadblock of soldiers. After a gunbattle, the outnumbered rebels finally blew themselves up with grenades. Four survivors were executed."


One aspect of this entire "military operation" has to be really condemned from the start.

"They were bootblacks, hobos, acrobats - 31 ex-cons and ruffians plucked out of prison or off the streets and offered one last chance for redemption."

This is absurd. These are the last people you want to recruit for a mission such as was proposed. Such persons make POOR soldiers. Their characters have already been formed, and probably for the worst. This was the worst possible material to recruit. Period!

``Seven of them died in training, 20 were killed in a rebellion and the four survivors were put to death after military trial,’’

Seven died in training. SEVEN DIED IN TRAINING!! What sort of training was this? Brutal, sadistic, etc!! Sort of like what the NKPA 124th Unit endured also. All of it to no avail!!

The best laid plans of mice and men, and all that sort of stuff!!



Friday, October 20, 2006

124th Army Unit I.

This is coolbert:

During my fourteen month tour of duty in Korea [1968-1969], the greatest danger to American troops was from the North Korean 124th Army unit.

A ranger/commando/special operations unit. A unit comprising the cut-throat elite of the North Korean army.

A unit numbering several thousand men, the basic organization being a four man team. The size of a unit for a particular mission would be task tailored, total size being a factor of the number of four man teams required.

[for the attack on the South Korean "Blue House", a unit of 32 troops was created. Eight teams of four men each, 8 X 4 = 32.]

A North Korean army unit formed to initiate and carry out unconventional warfare [UW] operations in South Korea.

This "cut-throat" unit had troops that were of a SPECIAL caliber.

* Consisted of officers only. NO non-commissioned officers or enlisted.

* Was of men already possessing a black belt in Korean martial arts [tae kwon do].

* Men that had a minimum of ten years of active duty service.

Troops selected for the 124th Army unit, soldiers that already had demonstrated ability, had their skills developed to a much higher degree upon selection and entry into the ranks of the "elite".

Furthered their soldiering skills by intensive training that at times bordered on the sadistic.

Training that included:

* Specialized martial arts training. In addition to the tae kwon do ability, 124th Army unit soldiers received intensive instruction in knife fighting, wrestling, boxing, sentry elimination. In was not uncommon for a whole unit to level a forest of saplings with their BARE HANDS during exercises.

* Physical training, again, that bordered upon the sadistic. An ability to move 100 miles a day cross-country while carrying a 65 pound pack was stressed. Physical training would consist of running cross-country BARE FOOT WITH LEAD WEIGHTS strapped to the legs.

* Weapons training using the weaponry as utilized by the UW soldier. The sniper rifle, demolitions, mines. A lot of emphasis was placed on each and every soldier becoming an expert with the sniper rifle.

* Map reading, land navigation, reconnaissance. All this done at night. Obvious. YOU CANNOT move 100 miles in a day cross-country without being able to find your way.

* Parachute, air mobile, and amphibious landing techniques. 124th Army units could infiltrate South Korean territory from sea, air, land.

[reminds you of the U.S. Navy SEALS [Sea-Air-Land], does it not??!!]

This IS the type of training you do find in ranger/commando/special operations units throughout the various militaries of the world. It should be realized that North Koreans carried out this training with a fanaticism NOT found ANYWHERE ELSE!! The object was to create a soldier that would carry out his mission, heedless of danger to himself or his fellow troops.

[this sounds a lot like the Spetsnaz type of training given the "special purpose" troops of the Soviet Army. Just more severe and harsh and demanding. SADISTIC!]

The existence of the 124th Army unit became public knowledge with the attack on the South Korean Presidential residence, the "Blue House". This occurring in 1969.

"in January 1968, North Korea sent 30 commandos disguised as South Korean guerrillas to the Blue House in Seoul to kill South KoreaÂ’s President Park Chung Hee. Kim Il Sung had hoped this action would incite an uprising in the South and a subsequent request for military aid from the North, thus leading to reunification. But the commandos were captured, all but one were killed, and the failed plot was exposed."

[see an even better description of the raid here.]

[all these articles say that there were 31 infiltrators. I recall something different with regard to that number!!]

The actual number of North Korean commandos was thirty two [8 X 4 = 32??!!]. The attack almost succeeded, the infiltrators getting to with several blocks of the Blue House before being detected. One North Korean [this was Kim Sin-jo] was captured, all the rest being killed. This man proved to be very willing and able to talk, becoming a valuable source of intelligence on the 124th Army unit.

[I do not think torture was used in the case of the captured fanatic. He realized the jig was up and he had better cooperate. Otherwise it would become very unpleasant for him. And I think the South Koreans also realized an ounce of sugar in this case far outweighed the pound ofvinegarr.]

Subsequent to the Blue House raid, the 124th Army unit conducted further limited raids, ambushes, and mining against both American and South Korean units. Everyone was on edge. These folks [North Korean commandos], could and would appear anywhere at any time, and with a vengeance too. They meant to kill. Particularly galling to American soldiers WAS THAT THE DECISION HAD BEEN MADE BY THE U.S. HIGH COMMAND THAT AMERICAN RETALIATION FOR SUCH ATTACKS WAS OUT OF THE QUESTION!! The North Koreans understood this and provoked without inhibitions, NOT FEARING the consequences.

Being stationed in Korea during the period 1968-1969 could be hazardous to your health!!



Thursday, October 19, 2006


This is coolbert:

This as reported on the Michael Savage radio talk show

Some new policies have been put into effect at Camp X-Ray [Guantanamo Bay] to assuage the sensitivities of the inmates [unlawful enemy combatants].

* An Islamic pastry chef has been imported to create delicacies for the inmates during Ramadan. Special traditional sweet pastries that are eaten by Muslims when they break their fast.

And for newly arriving unlawful enemy combatants.

* A pristine new Koran, contained in a pristine new bag, hung from the ceiling at the highest point in the room [cell]. For the religious edification of the inmates.

[presumably a "certified" new Koran, contained in a "certified" new bag, all "certified" by an imam who has been "certified" by "certified" Islamic authorities. All done according to "certified" Islamic jurisprudence.]

NOTHING but the best for the unlawful enemy combatants.

We would not want any incidents or malicious rumors to sprout up, would we??!!


Wednesday, October 18, 2006


This is coolbert:

This blog entry is off topic, but I still thought it worth mentioning.

A few blog entries ago I referred to the New York Times as the New Duranty Times. Here is why I did that.

"New Duranty Times? Walter Duranty was the New York Times correspondent in the USSR in the 1930s. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting. In March 1933 he wrote that there were in the Ukraine "serious food shortages," but "no actual starvation" -- just "widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition." Behind the scenes, he reported to the British Embassy that ten million had died in Stalin's famine, but he never reported that in the New York Times. Duranty, a Communist sympathizer, wanted Americans to think that the idea that Stalin had engineered a famine in the Ukraine was "a sheer absurdity."

"The Times never did get around to reporting much about the Ukrainian famine, or about Hitler's genocide against the Jews. Now it is going 0-for-3, declining to speak honestly about the real nature and causes of the global jihad, but making sure we know what a nice guy the thug Ahmadinejad is and how much fun golf is in Iran. That's why we call it the New Duranty Times, and why you should too."

Keep that in mind if you see such future references either here in my blog or else where.

New Duranty Times = New York Times.



This is coolbert:

Here is an article that only reiterates something that I have mentioned before.

How the Israeli, under such persons as David Ben-Gurion, attempted and succeeded in creating a "fighting Jew".

Unseemly womanizing and skirt-chasing done with relish by high-ranking Israeli military officers becoming part of the equation. Or so it is purported.

Manly men acting manly??

"Israeli machismo slams into the law."

"For decades, rumors that some of Israel's top military officers and government ministers considered sexual encounters with female employees a seigneurial right were widely tolerated.

"sei‧gneur - –noun, 1. a lord, esp. a feudal lord.

"A society built partly on the conscious effort to project an image of strength tended to overlook such harassment. In fact, a certain amount of male rakishness often added to a prominent man's allure."

"The founders of Zionism sought to create "the New Jew" - aiming to transform Jews who lived in the diaspora, perceived as bookish and weak, into men of muscle and power."

It is well established that Ben Gurion and the other Zionist "founding fathers" had a low opinion of the European "ghetto Jew". A pious but poor man, hunched over, always at the mercy of his tormentors. They considered such persons to be poor examples of men. A new land could not be won by force of arms with such raw material for soldiers. The "fighting Jew" had to be created.

And in this, the Zionists may have succeeded too well. As I have said, Ariel Sharon is the archetype in this regard.

From "bookish and weak", into "men of muscle and power".

And it seems, hyper-sexuality too!!

Here is what Victor Ostrovsky had to say about the subject:

[Ostrovsky is of course the ex-Mossad katsa [case officer]].

"I'll never forget what I saw next. There were about 25 people in and around the pool and none of them had a stitch of clothing on. The second-in-command of the Mossad - today, he is the head - was there. Hessner. Various secretaries. It was incredible . . . Most of them were female soldiers to the office [Mossad], and were only 18 to 20 years old . . . some of the partiers were in the water playing, some were dancing, others were on the blankets . . . having a fine old time vigorously screwing each other."


[Ostrovsky was recently living in Phoenix and had his own talk show. I was able for a while to listen to archived broadcasts. But that has been some time now.]


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Flying Horse.

This is coolbert:

North Korea seems at this exact moment to be THE topic on the internet. Very big. As big as almost nothing else ever is.

"Over the past two weeks the talk of the international stage has been North Korean president Kim Jong Il and his testing of a nuclear weapon."

The detonation of nuclear weapon the DPRK [Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea], commie North Korea, has really startled the world in a BIG WAY.

And now it is announced that the North Koreans may be ready to test a SECOND nuclear weapon. According to the "experts". And the first announced test has been "confirmed" as not being a "fizzle", but was a real-honest-to-GOD nuclear detonation. That the DPRK could detonate a SECOND bomb so close to the explosion of the first bomb IS coming as an additional surprise to the "experts".

NONE of these developments with nuclear weapons should have come as a surprise to the "experts".

As I have said, the North Koreans seem to really have a pretty good indigenous weapons industry. Know what they are doing and do it well.

Have been able to take a basic weapon and modify it beyond recognition. Create a much more potent and able weapons system. In this regard, their ordnance experts seem to be a lot like that of another small but able nation, Israel.

Take two weapons systems employed by the North Koreans. Systems deployed in NUMBERS.

One such weapons system is the main-battle-tank [MBT] of the North Koreans. Called the Ch'onma-ho [Flying Horse]. Based upon a Soviet design from 1962. This was originally the Soviet T-62 tank. NOT considered by contemporary standards to be an adequate machine. The successor to the T-62 was the Soviet T-64/72/80. Fielded by the Soviets in large numbers and encountered by U.S. forces in Iraq. WAS NOT a match for the American M-1 Abrams. The North Koreans have been able, evidently, to improve and modify the basic T-62 in such a manner as to be able to create a much more formidable machine. A machine, that if encountered by U.S. forces in NUMBERS, as it would be, would present difficulties for American tankers.

[such is the level of secrecy with the North Koreans that there does not even seem to exist a GOOD picture anywhere of the Ch'onma-ho tank. NOT even one really good and up close picture exists of this North Korean tank!!??]

It is also reputed that the follow-on version to the Ch'onma-ho tank is the M-2002. A North Korean improved version of the Russian T-90 tank. How the T-90 could be IMPROVED to begin with is a good question. The T-90 is already a formidable weapon. Considered to be a MATCH already for the M-1 Abrams and perhaps even SUPERIOR in some regards. Again, it would seem the North Koreans have taken a basic Russian weapon and made it BETTER.

All this through their own efforts. Amazing for a nation at the brink or already over the edge of STARVATION.

A second weapons system that illustrates the indigenous design capability of the North Koreans is the Koksan 170 mm gun. A self-propelled gun that was used by the Iranians with SUCCESS in their war with Iraq in the late 1980's. WAS an effective weapon. For A TIME THIS WEAPON HAD THE GREATEST RANGE OF ANY PIECE OF ARTILLERY IN THE WORLD!!

[range by itself is NOT enough!! You want range with ACCURACY!! Obvious!! But, that the North Koreans were able to even FIELD such a piece of artillery is indicative of good weapons design that is the equal of just about anyone else in the world!!]

Again, this from a nation at the brink or already over the edge of STARVATION!!



DPRK & India.

This is coolbert:

Here are some interesting and relevant web sites.

This web site shows photographs of North Korea as taken by a Russian tourist.

"The author is Artemii Lebedev, one of the leading web-designers in Russia. He recently went on a trip to DPRK."

To be a tourist in North Korea is just a novelty in itself. I guess that is the sort of thing that someone would do just to say, "I have been to a place few others have been to!!" Sort of is in a category as Tibet and Mongolia once were.

[keep in the mind my paraphrase from the works of Suvorov:

"what sort of science is it that can build the an artillery piece that has the longest range in the world, but cannot build large panes of glass without having bubbles in them???"]

The T-90 tank again is the subject of this web site. It seems that the military of India is scrapping their TWENTY FIVE YEAR PROGRAM to develop an independent tank design [not totally, but for the most part]. This was to be the Arjun tank. The T-90 has been chosen as the tank of choice for the Indian military. Efforts to develop the Arjun have not been successful. The T-90, when adopted and built under contract [??] by India, will be called the Bhishma.

[the names Arjun and Bhishma are taken from the great Hindu epic, "Mahabhrata". Arjuna was the great chariot-borne warrior of the epic. The role of Bhishma is not clear to me?]

Scrapping a twenty five year program seems to indicate to me that developing your own independent and indigenously designed tank is NOT AS EASY as it might seem to most. IS NOT an easy task, even for a nation that possesses a lot of skilled engineers and scientists as does India.

"This virtually means the much-hyped indigenous Arjun MBT, not considered to be "fully combat-worthy" even after 33 years of developmental work, is only being thought of as "a technology demonstrator" by the Army as of now."


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Jong Il.

This is coolbert:

Visit this web site and read how one journalist put together a story [called a "profile" in this case], on the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il.

"The Paper Profile

How Peter Maass reported the story of a reclusive dictator."

The journalist Peter Maass was able to amass data on the dictator Kim Jong Il and organize into a "story".

[please do not confuse this Peter Maass with Peter Maas. The latter is a famous author who has written a variety of books on organized crime and figures associated with same. They are not one and same person!]

The story, called a "profile" WAS printed in the New Duranty Times [New York Times].

What Maass did was almost identical to what an intelligence research analyst working for the any one of many U.S. intelligence agencies would have done. Amass a body of data, reports, stories, books, interviews, etc. Extract the relevant material and organize into a cogent form.

Sources mentioned by Maass include:

* People who get quoted in newspapers and go on TV to talk about North Korea.

* A book by Konstantin Pulikovsky. [a Russian official who had been Vladimir Putin’s representative on Kim Jong Il's 2001 rail tour of Russia.]

* The memoir by Hwang Jang Yop. [Kim Jong Il's father's closest advisor for more than thirty years before fleeing North Korea.]

* A book by Choi Eun Hee, a South Korean actress, and Shin Sang Ok, her film-director husband. [both kidnapped by Kim and held captive in North Korea for years before release.]

* An unofficial transcript of meetings between Kim and South Korean media executives that occurred in the year 2000.

From this amount of "background" information, Maass was able to write his story on Kim. Probably an accurate one too.

Maass comments on what is out there and how it can be gotten:

"I thought it would be very hard to get any primary sources on Kim Jong Il," Maass explains. "And it ended up not being easy to get those sources -- I mean, I had to dig around a lot -- but it wasn't great sleuthing."

This sort of stuff can be done. Even by the person who is not an intelligence research analyst. As Maass would say, not easy, but not THAT difficult with some work.

Let me qualify that. The work of a newspaper reporter is quite analogous to the workings of an espionage case officer or an undercover spy. Find sources of information on a subject and develop those sources. That is what Maass did here.

[the various "authorities" on intelligence matters state that a large amount of information they use for analysis is based on what are called "open source material". Stuff that is available for almost anyone to find if they put the time and effort into doing so. And this sort of "stuff" is valuable. But what is most of interest to intelligence agencies is SECRET stuff. "Stuff" not readily available and being kept hidden for whatever reason. Allen Dulles said that about 80 % of what the CIA uses in it's analysis is based on open source material. It is the other 20 % that is of the most interest. The 20 % that spies and intelligence case officers the world over are striving to get their hands on!!]



Saturday, October 14, 2006


This is coolbert:

Ever since the announced test of the North Korean nuke, the evening news has been playing over and over films of NKPA [North Korean Peoples Army] military displays.

Ostentatious, elaborate, and very impressive displays of weaponry and troops. Done in the Stalinist manner.

They constantly show missiles, the SA-3 mostly. The SA-3 is an anti-aircraft missile, surface-to-air [SAM] from way back when. A Soviet design either bought or copied by the North Koreans.

Another missile highlighted over and over was not known to me. I had to do some research on this one. A rather large missile, carried on a tracked vehicle.

This appears to be a NKPA version of what is called an anti-shipping missile. Called in the western military the AG-1. A liquid-propelled missile with solid-state booster.

"North Korea has not only developed the capacity to produce the HY-2 missile on its own, but has also modified the original design to achieve a longer range. In June 1994, North Korea surprised Western intelligence officials when it first tested an indigenously modified Seersucker to a range of 160 kilometers.[8] Over three years later, Western intelligence dubbed the missile the AG-1, when the system was tested again to a range of roughly 200 kilometers."

Originally was the Styx Soviet anti-shipping missile.

Then the Chinese Silkworm. An improved version of the Styx. And now the NKPA AG-1.

Apparently a much improved version from the original Styx. Is on a tracked vehicle. Self-propelled. With all sorts of improvements. Maybe it is based on what is now an ancient design. But has modified to make it much better. The NKPA HAS a very good indigenous weapons design and research apparatus. This missile seems to be another result of NKPA innovation at work.

[advanced versions of the CHINESE Silkworm have these features:

* active radar and precision radio altimeter.

* passive infrared target seeker.

* monopulse guidance radar.

* television guidance.]

If I was an American military planner, this is the missile I would be worried about. NOT the Taepong-do or the Naepong-do or whatever it is called. Don't so much worry about LONG-RANGE NKPA missiles as worry about the AG-1. This "anti-ship" missile would to me have a capability that is not limited to an "anti-ship" role. Probably has the capability to deliver a nuclear warhead on target against land based targets a lot easier and better than a long-range missile. NOT long-range, but adequate for the task.

This particular photo shows a Chinese Silkworm being prepped for firing. Note the chemical suits and masks. I bet that liquid propellent is hazardous to your lungs and skin.




This is coolbert:

There has been a lot of speculation over the years regarding the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. Psychoanalysis done from afar. "Experts", including those from the CIA, have supposedly pored over open source and "secret" material in an attempt to "understand" the dictator and what makes him tick.

This sort of thing was done with Adolf Hitler. With mixed results. It seems that a lot of the source material for Hitler came from a man who had a reputation as a blackmailer. A man who would create "stories" to discredit a famous individual. Consider that if the source is poor, the result will be poor too. This is easily understandable. Garbage in = garbage out [GIGO].

As I have said, a lot of this sort of psychoanalysis done from afar has been applied to the North Korean dictator. And evidently persons at the highest level of government, such as Secretatry of State Albright, have been briefed on such analysis prior to meeting with Kim. Albright even mentioned that this was so. Also mentioned that what she had been told was at ODDS with what the true nature of Kim was. She was surprised.

In the aftermath of the nuke detonation by the north, this sort of analysis has become rife. "Experts" of all sorts are making their analysis known. With lurid headlines to boot.

Consider these news items hot off the presses [the internet actually]:

"Mad, bad and very cunning

The puzzling psyche of North Korea's leader is on display"

"Kim Has Case of 'Malign Narcissism,' Expert Says",0,1612349,full.story?coll=la-home-headlines

"North Korea's enigmatic leader Kim Jong Il demands the finest food and drink. But while he indulges, his countrymen starve."

"Puzzling psyche", "malign narcissism", "enigmatic"!!!???

NO, just a plain ordinary bad old guy. That is all!!!




This is coolbert:

North Korea has often been described by most of the persons who do "analysis" of U.S. intelligence capabilities as a place where normal intelligence gathering is more or less impossible.

["Terra incognito" is the proper term to use.]

This is due to a variety of reason. One of which is that Korea has for centuries always been known as the "hermit kingdom". A nation unto itself, not having a lot of contact with the outside world. Withdrawn and NOT seeking normal relations with other nations.

Espionage as normally understood is more or less out of the question when it comes to North Korea. NOT only with the current atomic test, BUT WILL ALL THINGS NORTH KOREAN.

Case in point is what may have been a revolt by a North Korean Army Corps that occurred in 1995. A revolt that western intelligence did not even know about UNTIL FOUR YEARS LATER!!

[a corps is generally a collection of army divisions, two or three usually. North Korea has twelve corps [??] in the NKPA. [North Korea Peoples Army]]

As reported on one web site:

"In 1995, the officers of the 6th Army Corps -- the unit in charge of the worst famine areas -- hatched a plan to storm Pyongyang in conjunction with the neighboring 7th Corps. The plot was sabotaged by informers, who were then promoted to top positions within the units."

It would seem that this mutiny/revolt/coup d' e'tat was not all it was cracked up to be either:

"the U.S. embassy reported evidence of a revolt by the army's sixth corps in the northeastern province of North Hamgyong in 1995 -- may have been more complicated than it appears at first sight. A veteran foreign analyst in Seoul told me it was more of a 'squabble among thieves,' after the sixth corps refused to turn over to a greedy leadership in Pyongyang the hard currency it had made through illicit activities such as opium smuggling."

Nonetheless, that U.S. intelligence did not find out about this "event" until FOUR YEARS AFTER THE FACT is troubling. This is the type of "thing" you want your intelligence services to know about either before it happens or AS IT IS HAPPENING!!

The ball was dropped here?? In at other times too?? It would seem so!!




This is coolbert:

I am watching U.S. Ambassador John Bolton address the U.N. on the North Korean situation this afternoon.

Suggestions have been made as to what can be done to bring the North Koreans to heel. NOT a lot of good ideas are forthcoming. For good reason. NOT a whole lot can be done, period.

Some sort of embargo is in the works.

For imported military hardware and luxury consumer goods.

That will do almost NO GOOD at all.

NO, will not DO ANY GOOD at all.

North Korea is an exporter of military hardware. They have a pretty good indigenous military research, design, and manufacturing capacity. They may not have any need to import ANY military hardware at all.

And as for LUXURY goods for the consumer market. That is just poppycock. There IS NO consumer market. The average North Korean is living on the edge of existence already. They cannot even afford luxury items, even if they were available, which they are not. The elites, what there are of them, probably do indulge themselves, but that is such a small number of persons to begin with. They have what they need already stockpiled against such an eventuality as an embargo. All the imported cognac, Russian horses, spare parts for the Mercedes, etc.

And the thinking is now that the North Korean test may have been a DUD. A fizzled nuclear test is what it is being referred to now. But no one is certain. A WC-135 reconnaissance aircraft has been "sampling" the air over the Sea of Japan, trying to pick up radioactive particles perhaps blown aloft by the test. But if the test was far underground, there may BE NO particles to pick up at all. Results from seismic stations the world over are being scanned. But the data is INCONCLUSIVE!!

This situation with North Korea is one big mess. But that is what the mad-man of Pyongyang wants. If the nuclear test was a failure, well, even that is NOT much of a problem for Kim Jong Il. Let the world GUESS!!

[read what the mad-man of Pyongyang wants. Very interesting interview!]



Friday, October 13, 2006


This is coolbert:

Photojournalism as a journalistic medium and an art form came into being in the years just prior to World War Two [WW2].

Primarily as a result of the widespread use of the 35 mm camera.

Two outstanding practitioners of this journalistic medium and art form were Carl Mydans and David Douglas Duncan.

These two men had careers that spanned decades.

Careers that were inextricably linked to war.

Carl Mydans got his start in photojournalism covering the homeless and migrant workers of the Dust Bowl era.

Covered conflicts in Finland [Finns vs. Soviets], China [Chinese vs. Japanese], WW2 [European and Pacific theatres], Korea.

Mydans was captured by the Japanese during WW2, interred as a civilian, transferred and repatriated to the U.S., returning to the Philippines to participate in the release of those he had been captive with. A brave man.

Is perhaps best known for the photographs taken of General MacArthur. Almost became the PERSONAL photographer to the General. Had access to the higher levels of command where few if any others did.

[a lot of wags have commented that this was a staged photo. NOT really representative of Mac Arthur wading ashore at Leyte, Red Beach One. Mydans maintains this is the real things and was not staged.]

David Douglas Duncan began his career in photography as a serving officer in the U.S. Marine Corps during WW2. Did a lot of outstanding work during that conflict. As a civilian, also did photojournalism during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Duncan seems to have preferred taking photos of "action". Almost a combat photographer. Took a lot of photos of the common soldier at his duties. Seems to have also a more "artistic" quality to his work. Always tries to employ techniques to show a three-dimensional aspect [depth] to his photography.

[both men preferred the black and white media over color. I think it is possible to manipulate black and white photos during development in a way you cannot with color. Stark contrasts of black and white make for "artistic effect". I don't think the color films of the era were quite up to the task either.]

Here are some selections I have made from the "collected works" of Mydans and Duncan that can be found on line.

From the works of Mydans:

[another Frenchwoman who has been found guilty of "horizontal collaboration". Notice the gala and festive atmosphere. Except for the weeping woman on her knees.]

[this particular photo needs special explanation. From the words of Mydans himself:

"Lee Rogers and John Todd lost 131
pounds between them during their four
years in Santo Tomas, and both suffered

"I shared a room with them and
thirty five other men before I was transferred
to China and eventually repatriated."

"MacArthur, knowing that Carl had been held prisoner by the Japanese, placed him with the first American armored regiment as it sped towards Manila. Late at night, the tanks drew up in front of the Santo Tomas prison. Carl dismounted and walked to the front gate and called out. One of his friends from the camp slowly approached, squinting in the glare of the tank lights. Carl called out...'It's Carl! Carl Mydans!' In disbelief the emaciated survivors ran their hands over his face. 'My God! It is Carl Mydans!' They wept."

From the works of Duncan:

[air drop of supplies to Marines somewhere in the Pacific theatre. Duncan has used the vegetation in the foreground to frame the aircraft and add depth to the photo.]

[U.S. Marine. Presumably during the retreat from the "frozen Chosin".]

[fire burning at Khe Sanh. Marines in foreground add depth to the photo. Again, depth is suggested by clever and skillful composition.]

[Rifle pointing at target, spotter pointing toward same, officer in charge looking at the same spot. To the right is the target. You know where the enemy is.]

[this is a U.S. Marine company commander that has just found out that expected supplies will not be delivered on time. Among those supplies was THE MONTHLY BEER RATION!! This will be a big blow to morale. And this commander knows it and shows it too!!]

I think that the likes of these two men and their work will not be seen again! Modern technology has rendered the photojournalist an anachronism??!! I would like to think not! But am afraid so.


Thursday, October 12, 2006


This is coolbert:

Here is an article from "Wired" magazine on line that describes how effective a cyber-attack by terrorists could potentially be.

"I participated in a cyberterrorism exercise held at a homeland security convention this spring in Washington, DC. Set up by the Dartmouth Institute for Security Technology Studies, the simulation was a relatively low tech affair in which hackers and other evildoers attempted to do their worst to a hypothetical New England city called Harbortown."

["I" of course is the writer of the article.]

"Annoying, but not worth creating a new military-industrial complex over."

[this is a description of what is called "round one" of the exercise. The cyber-attack is merely ANNOYING!!]

Round two, however, resulted in different results. NOT just a cyber-attack alone. A cyber-attack done in the aftermath of a crisis of some sort.

"The game couldn't end soon enough. I don't think we won . . . During the debriefing, the sim's devious creators filled us in on what we'd been up against . . . Computers don't kill people; people with computers kill people."

Cyber-attack must be considered a COMBAT MULTIPLIER for the terrorists. NOT effective as a means of attack by ITSELF. As an ADJUNCT to a conventional attack, adds to the overall effect and IS effective. Creates confusion, either by "taking down" means of communication OR BY INSERTING DECEIVING MESSAGES TO CREATE FURTHER TURMOIL AND CHAOS.

This is the sort of thing employed by both conventional soldiers on the modern battlefield, as well as fourth generational warfare [4GW] practitioners. The latter in particular, on the cheap, using laptop computer, internet connections, and various softwares, wielded by skilled computer hackers, are able to wreak havoc WHEN DONE IN CONJUNCTION WITH CONVENTIONAL TERRORIST ATTACKS. This the simulation seems to indicate.



Wednesday, October 11, 2006


This is coolbert:

Dupuy rates SURPRISE as being perhaps the MOST IMPORTANT of all the principles of war.

"Achieving surprise in combat has always been important. It is perhaps more important today than ever. . . . Surprise has proven to the greatest of all combat multipliers. It may be the most important of the Principles of War; it is at least as important as Mass and Maneuver."

"combat multiplier—Supporting and subsidiary means that significantly in-crease the relative combat strength (power) of a force while actual force ratios remain constant."

Consider these several episodes from history. Both old and modern.

First the English garrisons at Cahokia and Kaskaskia during the American Revolutionary War.

Garrisons manned primarily by Frenchmen??!! [one can only wonder at their loyalty to the English cause!!??]]

When confronted by the American forces of George Rogers Clark [about 200 frontier militiamen], these two garrisons, greatly outnumbered, and without any guidance or warning, totally surprised, the forces "loyal" to the British just folded, surrendered, and JOINED the American side, lock, stock and barrel. NOT ONE SHOT WAS EVEN FIRED!!

"Clark was successful at capturing Kaskaskia and Cahokia; Kaskaskia was captured without the loss of a single life . . . Clark was also able to win the support of the French inhabitants."

"'Great things have been affected by a few men well conducted.'- Clark, to Patrick Henry, then Governor of Virginia (1779)"

"Many of his military strategies were based solely on inspired fear and bluff"


During the War of 1812, something similar happened to the U.S. Army garrison at Ft. Mackinac. On Mackinac Island. At the juncture of lakes Huron and Michigan. Considered AT THE TIME, CONSIDERED TO BE THE KEY TO THE CONTINENT!!

The American commander, in charge of a skeletal force, when faced by an overwhelming number of British troops and their American Indian allies, AND NOT EVEN KNOWING THAT WAR HAD BROKEN OUT BETWEEN THE U.S. AND GREAT BRITAIN, SURRENDERED, AGAIN, WITHOUT EVEN FIRING A SHOT!!


Now, according to Suvorov, from World War Two:

[with regard to the Soviet offensive in Manchuria, 1945, at the end of World War Two [WW2]].

"Senior GRU officers, with the rank of colonel or even major-general, were put in charge of small groups. Such a group would suddenly land on an airfield close to an important Japanese headquarters. The appearance of a Soviet colonel or general deep in the Japanese rear never failed to provoke astonished reactions from the Japanese high command and the Japanese troops, as well as from the local population . . . Even after it landed it had at best only one high-ranking officer, the crew and no more than a platoon of soldiers to guard over the plane. The Soviet officer would demand and usually obtain a meeting with a Japanese general, at which he would demand the surrender of the Japanese garrison . . . In several recorded instances, senior Japanese military leaders decided independently to surrender without having permission to do so from their superiors."


"Surprise has proven to the greatest of all combat multipliers. It may be the most important of the Principles of war".


[if you are in a position to and can AFFORD, spend a week of leisure on Mackinac Island at the Grand Hotel or one of the many bed and breakfast homes you can find there. Make reservations well in advance. Just for a relaxing get away. NO internal combustion engines allowed on the island except for a fire truck and an ambulance. Bicycle, foot power, horse, etc. All that is allowed for transport. Take lunch daily at the FORT. Still there even from the War of 1812 and perhaps even before that. View of that juncture of lakes Huron and Michigan and the Mackinac bridge are outstanding. Few better spots can you find!! IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE THAT SUCH A SPOT WAS AT ONE TIME THE KEY TO THE CONTINENT AND A BATTLEGROUND!!]


Monday, October 09, 2006


This is coolbert:

Of course, the hot button item on CNN and all the other news networks today is the purported North Korean nuclear test.

Announced by the mad-man of Pyongyang himself today.

A NUCLEAR WEAPONS TEST. NOT just the test of a DEVICE. But of a weapon. Deployable and ready to go NOW!

It is also amazing to me to read the instantaneous and seemingly off-the-cuff-comments made by the governments of the nations closest physically to North Korea.

Such as:

* This was a detonation of about 500 tons - - South Korea. [battlefield size nuke]

* This was the detonation of a neutron bomb - - Communist China. [enhanced radiation weapon]

* This was a detonation of about 15 kilotons - - Russia. [Hiroshima size weapon]

Well, what is it??!!

Judgments and pronouncements of this nature at this time are probably not warranted or advisable until all the data is in.

Judgments and analysis based upon data from the nuclear monitoring systems of the various concerned nations AND the IMS [International Monitoring System].

The latter, 337 stations located throughout the planet. Designed to detect and monitor a nuclear detonation, anywhere in the world. Quite an impressive system.

Uses four methods to detect nuclear bursts:

* Seismic. [shock waves from the burst create earthquake-like seismic activity.]

* Infra-sound. [long distance traveling sub-audio sound waves created by the nuke.]

* Hydro-acoustic. [under-water detonation creates sound waves detectable too.]

* Radio-nuclide. [minute radioactive particles carried into the upper atmosphere.]

A monitoring system, however, that would seem to be faulty. A system that has been designed, from what I surmise, with the intent of detecting 1950's style nuclear testing. That is to say, above-ground detonations. To my knowledge, NO ONE TESTS THIS WAY ANYMORE! Nuclear powers that still test, and I am not sure who they are any more, will either dig a deep mine shaft or a tunnel into the side of a mountain, and detonate the weapon UNDERGROUND.

UNDERGROUND testing as currently done seems to obviate three of the four methods used to detect nuclear detonations.

With underground tests, you will not have infra-sound, hydro-acoustic, or radio-nucleids.

You will still have seismic detection, but that is all. Maybe that is ENOUGH.


It has even been suggested that seismic detection of a nuclear detonation could be "gotten-around" by submerging your nuke in a large lake. If you did have on your national territory a lake of sufficient size, you could suspend the nuclear bomb in the water and detonate. The damping effect of the water would possibly be enough to attenuate seismic waves to the point where detectors COULD NOT PICK UP THE DETONATION!!??

Being that nuclear powers [with the exception of Israel] seem TO WANT potential adversaries to know they have THE BOMB, defeating the IMS would seem to be counter-productive.

OR IS IT!!??


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