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

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Spitting Witch.

This is coolbert:

Listen to this excellent program from National Public Radio. ON the AC-130 gunship. That most formidable and uniquely American weapons system being used in Iraq. The jihadi enemy has a very healthy respect for the AC-130. Among themselves, the jihadi call this aircraft the "spitting witch".

Spits fire from the various weaponry [20 mm cannon, 40 mm cannon, 105 mm howitzer].

Supports the troops on the ground whenever support is needed. Can orbit for hours on end with tremendous reserves of fuel and ammo, continuous artificial light with flares, etc.

"In essence, the turboprop-driven craft is a flying battleship, a converted C-130 cargo plane with numerous Gatling and mini-guns; some even have a howitzer on board."

A FLYING BATTLESHIP!! With the most amazing array of sensors on-board. Infra-red, radar with/moving target indicator, low-level light night vision, etc. Troops on the ground have a direct commo link to the weapons officer [a woman USAF Captain in this particular instance] for instantaneous response when needed!!

[those headbands worn by U.S. Army troops over the helmet camouflage cover have two luminous dots on the back of the band. An AC-130 gunship at 8,000 feet can spot these dots with the on-board night vision equipment and know this is where American troops are at. DON'T SHOOT AT THOSE DOTS!!]

The AC-130 is another example of asymmetric warfare, this time being practiced by American forces. IT IS NOT ONLY THE INSURGENT THAT CAN EMPLOY ASYMMETRIC WARFARE TECHNIQUES!! The U.S. with this aircraft has a capability that gives it a huge advantage over the enemy, when the "flying battleship" CAN be employed. A weapon for which the jihadi has NO COUNTER!!

[the AC-130 was used successfully in El Salvador in the counter-insurgency environment. One insurgent commander said of the AC-130, "that thing killed a lot of our men!!"

Shoot-em' up, bang-bang, your dead!!!



This is coolbert:

I did get a lot of comments to the blog entry on the Hamas tunnel complexes.

Some folks hit upon the same thing, flooding:

"In Vietnam flooding of VC tunnels was sometimes used. Israel has the high ground, and could flood the plains of the Gaza strip with brackish or salt water . . . Selective flushing out in more than one sense, one might say."

"Gaza's water table is very high. In winter - the rainy season - low areas are flooded. So tunnel warfare is limited to the southern relatively dry and sandy area. Which can be easily flooded - the underground stream flows from Israel to the Mediterranean. It is a question of water engineering (and we are rather competent in that) and resources (brackish water)."

NOT a bad idea, flooding. DENIAL is the goal here. During the Vietnam War, denial was implemented in several ways. One method involved spraying the walls of the tunnels with persistent riot agent [tear gas]. Movement within the tunnel would stir up the agent and cause a lot of pain [non lethal], to any occupant.

The Germans, in World War One [WW1], when evacuating the Hindenberg Line, denied the facility to American troops by detonating inside the fortification five pound charges in which was embedded persistent mustard agent [blister agent]. The walls became coated with blister agent. You could not move inside the structure without wearing a protective suit, of which few were available AT THE TIME!!

Also, this comment that is indicative of how tunnel warfare creates the asymmetric battlefield that so frustrates conventional military forces.

"In the next battle, low crawling will probably be a lot more useful than all the money spent on the Merkavas."

YES, VERY TRUE!! The enemy a terrorist/guerrilla/insurgent force, by using tunnels and a whole host of bunkers, fighting positions, etc., negates the advantages a conventional military force such as the Israeli has. War becomes cave-man like, literally so. A soldier, by himself, has to go into those tunnels and confront and kill the enemy with only the weapons he can carry, and at almost point-blank range. This takes great courage and fortitude. The great advantage in technology and firepower enjoyed by the Israeli is nullified!!??



This is coolbert:

From the comments of a reader:

[my response in BOLD!]

"but it seems that these guys were tried in the US. I would have thought the appropriate place would have been in Iraq itself . . . especially in respect to the crimes committed. I would have tried these men in Iraq and held the trial in their compound or FOB or whatever, so that they very place they left would be their courtroom."

The alleged ringleader, Green, had been DISCHARGED PRIOR TO THE INVESTIGATION COMING TO FRUITION!! He was not in the Army when arrested. This DOES cause complications. I am not sure of the status of the other four men charged! One has of course plead guilty. A normal and somewhat sacrosanct rule of American and before that English jurisprudence is to try a person in the locale where the crime was committed! Because of the war situation, this is not possible!!??

"Their worst crime was to leave their post. Rape and murder is bad enough, but they left their posts in what by all accounts is a rough part of town (like all of Iraq, it seems), if you get my meaning."

NO OFFENSE is taken!! That is what I stressed. THE ALLEGATION IS THAT THEY LEFT THEIR POST TO COMMIT THE CRIME!! That of itself can warrant, in wartime, in combat, the DEATH PENALTY!!

"They have also helped the insurgency better than any car bomb or sniper shooting a GI. They have given the enemies of this nation a free propaganda tool to use in what has become a very media oriented war."

This is very true. There are various jihadi web sites for some time NOW that show what are purported to be "American troops" raping Iraqi women. These videos are very poorly done and are obvious fakes. One shows two men, in BDU uniform, but with low quarter style shoes, and LONG HAIR, "raping" a kneeling lump of what is supposed to be a woman in full Islamic robes. For all we know, the "woman" is a child or even a man in robes and not being raped at all. All a fake. BUT WIDELY BELIEVED TO BE A TRUE RAPE VIDEO!!

"emotion clouds reason" - - Michael Corleone.

This is also an excellent opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade. Demonstrate to the entire world, including our enemies, and to the Arab and Islamic world in particular, that the U.S. does NOT countenance bad behavior on the part of our troops. Investigation, trial, conviction, punishment, etc., can go a long way to assuaging potential critics of U.S. policy. WE ARE a humane nation that does desire and expects the American soldier to behave with forebearance and comportment. Violations will be punished!! Harshly if necessary!!

Here are just a few extracts from the UCMJ that mention the imposition of death for offenses:

ART. 85. DESERTION - - "if the offense is committed in time of war, by death"

ART. 94. MUTINY OR SEDITION - - "A person who is found guilty of attempted mutiny, mutiny . . . shall be punished by death"

ART. 99. MISBEHAVIOR BEFORE THE ENEMY - - "in the presence of the enemy" -- "through disobedience, neglect, or intentional misconduct endangers the safety of any such command"

ART. 113. MISBEHAVIOR OF A SENTINEL OR LOOKOUT - - "Any sentinel or look-out who is found drunk or sleeping upon his post, or leaves it before he is regularly relieved, shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death"

Hey, when you go into the Army or any other military service for that matter, be fully aware, and WHO IS NOT [??], that it can be tough on you for messing up. Really tough. You may die, or you may cause others to die!! Simple as that.

[keep in mind also, that such punishments would be a very big exception to the rule. ONLY one man since the American Civil War has been executed for desertion IN THE FACE OF THE ENEMY. Here, however, my impression is that if convicted, Green faces death and probably would be executed!!


Monday, February 26, 2007


This is coolbert:

"GI gets 100 years for raping Iraqi girl, murders"

"Army sergeant admitted partaking in gang rape of Iraqi girl, family’s killing"

These are the type of headlines nobody likes to see.

Sergeant Paul Cortez has plea bargained, plead guilty, and received a one hundred year sentence for his role in the "Mahmoudiyah incident"!! As part of the bargain [?] will be eligible for parole in ten years!!??

[that is the sort of thing that always amazes me. The man receives a sentence of one hundred years and can BE RELEASED IN TEN!!??]

This was the infamous "incident" where a fourteen year old Iraqi girl was stalked, raped, and then killed, along with three other family members.

Five American soldiers are accused. Cortez is one of them. Has now admitted his guilt.

Private Steven Dale Green is the alleged ringleader and purported instigator.

Before finishing his enlistment, Green was discharged on the grounds of "an antisocial personality disorder".

Green is scheduled to go on trial shortly as a civilian.

Private Green DID have several teenage criminal convictions prior to his enlistment in the Army.

Convictions for:

Underage possession of alcohol.

Possession of marijuana for personal use.

Possession of drug paraphernalia.

It is suggested that Green was the type of person the military does not need. These convictions, misdemeanors, would have ordinarily precluded his enlistment. Due to the pressing need for “bodies”, Green was allowed in. This is seen as an unwarranted relaxation of standards to achieve enlistment “quotas”.

[it used to be the case, during the Cold War era, that persons with FELONY convictions would be given the option by the judge of going to prison or into the military. This was a terrible policy wisely done away with when the Army went all-volunteer. But that was for FELONIES! Green's violations were classified as misdemeanors.]

There are several things about the “Mahmoudiyah incident” that are really troubling.

There was obvious pre-meditation here. According to the allegations, the accused thought this crime out carefully. Wanted to do what they are alleged to have done, thought about it for some time, doing so with what legal circles refer to as malice aforethought!!

Wore masks to conceal their identity, AND LEFT THEIR POSTS TO COMMIT THE CRIME!!!



This is not some soldiers driven berserk in the “heat of battle” and “going wild”!

This Green is in really BIG TROUBLE. He faces conviction, the real likelihood of receiving the death penalty, AND ACTUALLY BEING EXECUTED!!

[American soldiers stationed in England during World War Two were executed by the U.S. Army for raping Englishwomen. Rape alone, during that period, of itself, warranted the sentence of death. Please recall this from a prior blog entry.]

This alleged crime [Mahmoudiyah incident] is much more serious. Rape, murder of a whole family, pre-meditation, and LEAVING YOUR POST TO DO SO!!

The rules and laws that soldiers must follow, BY NATURE are more stringent and harsh than those found in civilian life. What apparently happened at Mahmoudiyah is an example of why discipline of an exacting nature is NEEDED as a MUST in the military. YOU DO NOT want your soldiers running amok and creating havoc where it is not needed. War is NOT a free-for-all and anarchy.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Italians.

This is coolbert:
While trawling the web, came across this forum with a discussion pertinent to some prior blog entries of mine.

Prior blog entries such as:

In regard to the Italian soldier and their experience in both World Wars, here is a quote taken from the book by a very distinguished German General:

" 'Neither Fear Nor Hope' by General Frido von Senger Und Etterlin, the defender of Cassino."

"Italian soldiers are neither better nor worse than the soldiers of any other nation . . . To enjoy war is surely degenerate; it appeals more to the single, adventure-seeking man than to the father of a family. Yet in the life of a nation the father, as head of the smallest unit, is more important than the adventurous youth . . . If the father of a large and young family is killed in action, the only result is bitterness and woe. "

"Before the days of Mussolini, Italy was not averse to war. How otherwise could it have successfully borne the heavy and protracted battles of the Isonzo during the First World War . . . With the exception of Prussia, no dynasty was ever as militant as the House of Savoy. It was the campaigns of the Piedmontese battalions that unified Italy, thereby fulfilling the dreams of many generations."

"At Turin and in that neighborhood were a number of military schools. The Peidmontese nobility, like the Prussian one, put service in the army on a higher plane than any other service to the state . . . In Piedmont there were also many alpine units, the best that the Italian Army could produce---proud, quiet, outwardly not very disciplined troops, but reliable types, brought up the heard [hard] way, accustomed to camping in the eternal snows with only the barest supplies. They were magnificent soldiers . . . The Navy, too, was good, though I had few contacts with it." - - "General Frido von Senger Und Etterlin, the commander of German XIV Panzer Corps in Italy and the defender of Cassino."

General Frido von Senger Und Etterlin [is referred to in various books as von Senger and also as Etterlin. Either one will do!!] was a very well respected German General officer of World War Two fame. A man who was also, in the post war years, an esteemed military theoretician. Persons should pay heed to the comments of this man.

[further comments of mine below in BOLD.]

"If the father of a large and young family is killed in action, the only result is bitterness and woe."

Is this not germane to my blog entry of "dwell time" being needed for career soldiers in the CURRENT American Army??!!

"The Navy, too, was good"

The British would significantly question this assertion of Etterlin. The Italian navy did have very good ships, but their resolution in battle was poor. Mattapan was an embarrassment. And Taranto, well, see my blog entry on same.

"many alpine units, the best that the Italian Army could produce"

These are the alpini units. Mountain troops. Trained and equipped for warfare in the mountains. Brought to a high level of physcial fitness, specially trained in mountaineering, rock climbing, winter-warfare, etc. Tough soldiers with esprit de corps.

"successfully borne the heavy and protracted battles of the Isonzo during the First World War?"

This of course was the mountain warfare of World War One between the forces of Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Italians for the most part acquitted themselves well during this part of the war.


"It is not so much the reality that counts, it is the perception of reality that counts" - - Jesse Jackson.

You decide!


Dwell Time.

This is coolbert:

General Peter Schoomaker is retiring. For the second time now. Is being interviewed on National Public Radio about his career and also about current events.

General Schoomaker, the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, was brought out of retirement to become the # 1 soldier in the U.S. Army. A man being called upon to serve in such a fashion after initially retiring is generally unheard of.

General Schoomaker IS held in high esteem by his peers.

Has performed the function of Chief of Staff in an admirable fashion, and during a time of war too.

The General speaks of "dwell time". That period of time that a career soldier is allowed to rest ["stateside"] after a tour of combat BEFORE once again being committed to battle. "Dwell time" is a serious subject with regard to Iraq and the all-volunteer Army. Today, more Army career men are married with families than was the case in previous wars. By repeatedly sending a man into combat over and over without regard to his marriage or family life is to risk having strained relationships between husband and wife, father and children, or both. A situation that could lead to highly trained and experienced soldiers for the sake of his marriage and family calling it quits and not re-enlisting.


[so far, there HAS NOT BEEN AN RAPID EXODUS of career personnel leaving the military for lack of adequate "dwell time". If the war continues much longer, you may see this happen!!]

I believe that during the Vietnam War, the concept of "dwell time" did also exist and was regulation. A career man, having served a one year tour of combat in Vietnam, could NOT be sent back for ANOTHER tour until 30 months had elapsed.

General Schoomaker is also asked for his opinion about Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. The General is judicious enough NOT to answer the question. He says, "no comment" several times!! HE CANNOT COMMENT. THIS WOULD PERHAPS INVOLVE A VIOLATION OF UCMJ [Uniform Code of Military Justice].

[Article 88 and Article 135 of UCMJ would be most pertinent here!!]

Good luck General Schoomaker!


Saturday, February 24, 2007


This is coolbert:

From a comment by Alexander to my blog :

"are you sure about dairy product + meat (without pork) being "haram"? This sounds like kashrut to me..."

Alexander is CORRECT. Dairy product + meat being forbidden in the same dish or at the same table is kashrut [Jewish kosher law]. Islam does allow meat and dairy in the same dish or at the same table.

"Muslims can mix meat and milk."

Jewish kosher law and Islamic dietary practices are more or less generally the same. But NOT identical. Somethings permissible under kosher are not by Islamic standards and the other way around.

An American diet, to a devout Muslim, MUST present difficulties. Especially with regard to processed food. A lot of processed food, Rice Krispie Treats for instance, contain a gelatin that is made from by products of the butchering of hogs. NOT allowed under either Jewish or Islamic law.

The American terrorist and traitor Adam Gadahn [a/k/a Azzam al Amriki] first was exposed to Islam through the business of his father. The father of Adam, a self-described "hippie", raised and sold halal goats to the Islamic community of Los Angeles. Goat, raised in a halal manner, is especially sought out by Muslims living in the U.S.


Friday, February 23, 2007


This is coolbert:

"Tourist kills mugger with bare hands"

This is a major headline on the internet today. The type of headline that instantly captures your attention.

It seems that a group of American tourists in Costa Rica were set upon by muggers armed with a handgun and knives. The bad-guys, rather than finding easy pickings, got something they did not bargain for.


"three masked men ran toward them, she said. One held a gun to her head, while the other two pulled out knives."

"one of the tourists, a U.S. military veteran trained in self defense, jumped out of the van and put the gunman in a headlock, according to Limon police chief Luis Hernandez."

Hernandez said the American, whom he refused to identify, struggled with the robber, breaking his collarbone and eventually killing him . . . The other two assailants fled."

"Segura's [the miscreant] . . . died from asphyxiation."

"The U.S. Embassy confirmed the account"

"Costa Rican officials interviewed the Americans, and said they wouldn't charge the U.S. tourist with any crime because he acted in self defense."

[the muggers were armed with a gun and knives. They were using lethal force.]

This specific American tourist is described as being seventy [70] years old and "elderly".

[is the age of seventy "elderly" today!!??]

This is one of those stories where you have to READ BETWEEN THE LINES!!

I can almost tell you with exact metaphysical certitude, that this man, ex-military, was undoubtedly COMBAT ARMS, and served in some sort of elite unit at that.

An ex-military man who had been Special Forces [“Green Beret”], Ranger, Navy SEAL, Marine. Had MORE than a rudimentary knowledge of the martial arts and hand-to-hand combat.

A man who knew how to fight, trained to fight, was willing to fight, and DID fight.

Successfully too!!

[there is a specific Chinese martial arts form called Wing Chun boxing. Designed with women, the "elderly", and physically weak men in mind. Could it be that this ex-military man knew Wing Chun? One specific and popular move in the this martial arts form DOES involve breaking the clavicle. This is what happened to the mugger!]

The villains in this case bit off more than they could chew, and paid for it. Deservedly too!!

An even more dramatic incident of a similar nature occurred some years ago now in France.

A French military man, off duty, was set upon by three “Arabic” men, knife-wielders, intent on killing the Frenchman.

Unbeknownst to the assailants, this Frenchman was a member of an elite military unit whose sole responsibility was guarding the nuclear weapons assets of France, the Force de frappe’. A unit whose personnel, including this particular Frenchman, were adept at martial arts. [what exact form of martial arts this involved was not specified. Probably some combination of savate’ and la lutte’ [French wrestling]]


This sort of thing occurs. NOT a whole lot, but on rare occasions it does. Gets a LOT of attention when it does! Makes people stand up and CHEER!!

A current list of French “special forces” type units does not show this particular unit of nuclear weapons guards as being active. They may have been disbanded when most of the Force de frappe’ itself was “down-sized”.

As for those "Arabic" men, well, c'est le guerre!!


Iraq Update II.

This is coolbert:

National Public Radio [NPR] has another program this morning concerning Iraq.

This particular program deals with the current military situation in the southern provinces of the country. That area of Iraq around Basra that has been from the start the responsibility of the English.

And the announced plan by Tony Blair to gradually withdraw British troops from Iraq. About 5,000 to 7,000 Britishers till remain in Iraq. Their presence going to be slowly phased out.

For a long time, the southern part of Iraq was considered to be a SUCCESS story for coalition forces. Peaceful as compared to Baghdad and the “Sunni Triangle”. The English troops just seemed to do so much remarkably BETTER than American forces.

A lot of persons said that this was due to the Britishers just having a superior way of dealing with the locals. NOT “cowboys” as are the Americans.

[the word “cowboy” is a derogatory term among Europeans. Used to derisively refer to Americans!!]

The English, from their long colonial history and a whole lot of counter-insurgency experience, are said to be just more suited and adept in these type of situations.

The peaceful “southern provinces” are NOW a thing of the past??!!

The situation in and around Basra has deteriorated in a marked manner. Ever since the elections which brought Islamicist parties into power.

British forces come under continuous harrassing fire from machine gun, RPG [rocket propelled grenade], and mortar.

The British military command now divides Basra into three sections. One area is green - - British soldiers are still received warmly, a second is yellow [?] - - a cool reception but not necessarily hostile, and a third red [?] - - beware, enter at your own risk - - here be hostiles!!

Troops are now ferried in and out of the British compounds by helicopter, AND THEN ONLY DURING TIMES OF DARKNESS. Otherwise, it is considered to be too dangerous for troop movement!!

A precipitous withdrawal of British troops WOULD pose a grave danger to American forces remaining in Iraq.

It seems the main supply route [MSR] for American forces in Iraq runs north from Kuwait, THROUGH THE BRITISH ZONE, TOWARD BAGHDAD.

If this MSR was cut or disrupted as a result of a security vacuum occurring from a British departure, it would be obligatory for the American command to redeploy combat units in a security role. This would obviously NEGATE any effect of the “troop surge” plan of General Petraeus.




Iraq Update I.

This is coolbert:

Bing West is being interviewed this morning on National Public Radio [NPR].

Bing is an ex-Marine, an former DoD official under Ronald Reagan, a military analyst and commentator.

Bing says that currently in Iraq, there are three separate hot shooting wars [all wars by definition are “hot shooting”??] being fought simultaneously.

Marines in Al Anbar province are engaged in a constant running battle with Al Qaeda infiltrators/fighters. Outsiders that have joined the fray in Iraq. Have assassinated so many tribal sheiks in the area that they have alienated the local Arabs. It is the Marines and local Arab tribesmen against Al Qaeda.

The sectarian violence occurring in Baghdad. Shia and Sunni militias and militants killing one another. Retribution, counter-retribution, retribution, etc. A never ending cycle.

The continuous-on-an-almost-clockwork-basis suicide car and truck bombings that have killed thousands or tens of thousands of innocents. Acts of suicide bombing by almost exclusively Al Qaeda elements directed against American troops and Shia civilians. To force American forces to withdraw from Iraq and further exacerbate already existing Shia and Sunni tensions.

Other than that, everything is JUST FINE!!??



Thursday, February 22, 2007


This is coolbert:

In the introduction to his translation of the work of Sun Tzu, Lionel Giles mentions some Chinese generals of antiquity that were renowned for their military prowess. Disciples and students of Sun who adhered to the philosophies of the “master” [Sun].

General officers, commanders of armies, and military campaigners who compare favorably against ANY “western”general of ANY period.

[think Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, Wellington, Grant, etc. Commanders in the “western” tradition.]

One such great captain of Chinese antiquity according to Giles was T’sao T’sao. Also known as Cao Cao.

[there are a number of formats for converting spoken Chinese to roman or Latin letters. The format Wade-Giles refers to this man as T’sao T’sao. In the pinyin format, he is Cao Cao. Same person!]

T’sao T’sao was also a poet in addition to being a great general.

"a brilliant ruler and military genius who treated his officers like his family. He was also skilled in poetry and the martial arts, and wrote many war journals."

"An old war-horse may be stabled,
Yet still it longs to gallop a thousand li;"

"And a noble-hearted man though advanced in years
Never abandons his proud aspirations."

This is NOT a contradiction. T’sao T'sao was adept at the five excellence's that are attributes of a Chinese gentleman.

[those five excellence's are skill at a martial art, calligraphy, poetry, painting, and a healing technique. I had originally thought that archery was one of the excellence's, but apparently ANY martial art will do. Healing techniques include herbal medicine, acupuncture, chi gong, etc.]

Another Chinese great captain of antiquity, from the list of Giles, is Li Shih Min.

The Tang Dynasty ONLY became the ruling power in China AS A RESULT of the military victories of Li Shih Min.

"is known as the 'General from Heaven', for his undisputed skill in battle"

"born as Li Shì Mín, was the second emperor of the Tang Dynasty of China. Taizong [adopted the name Taizong when he became emperor] ruled from 626 to 649. He encouraged his father, Li Yuan, to start the uprising that established the Tang dynasty from Taiyuan. Today, many credit Taizong as co-founder of the Tang dynasty."

[the Chinese consider the Tang Dynasty to be the apogee of their cultural development. When President Clinton made a state visit to China, he was greeted in the manner with which a Tang Emperor would have met a visiting foreign dignitary!!]

"At the time, it was said that there was no need for the people to lock their doors at night and items left on the road remained untouched by others. The prosperity of the era under the leadership of Taizong and his renowned officials epitomizes the peak of traditional rulership that future generations would strive to emulate."

It is said of China, "it is a good thing the Chinese are such a peaceable nation, otherwise they could conquer the world!!"

Napoleon is reputed to have said, “when the Chinese dragon awakens from it’s sleep, the whole world will tremble!!”

I would agree that the basic nature of Chinese civilization and culture is harmony and pacific. BUT, war has also been a constant of Chinese history, as it has been for the rest of the world as well.




Wednesday, February 21, 2007


This is coolbert:

"And the Beat Goes On" - - Sonny and Cher.

Listen to this program, broadcast only today, on National Public Radio [NPR]. Describes one recent incident in the ongoing war being waged on the island/nation of Sri Lanka [Ceylon/Resplendent Isle].

"A Priest's Death in Sri Lanka"

A "conflict", war actually, that has been "continuing" for TWENTY YEARS now.

Between the military of the central government in Colombo and the breakaway, secessionist movement of the Tamil Tigers. The latter being the EELAM group of fighters.

The recent execution of a Tamil Hindu priest is the main topic of the program. Executed by "someone". An execution carried out for the perceived crime of collaboration. A Tamil Hindu collaborating with the central government in Colombo. OR SO PERCEIVED!!

"Execution is the killing of a foreign spy, of an agent of the dictatorship, of a police torturer, of a dictatorial personality in the government involved in crimes and persecutions against patriots, of a stool pigeon, informer, police agent or police provocateur." - - Marighella. The "crime" of the priest did NOT fall into any of these categories.

As I have said, this particular war has been raging for twenty years or so now. ON and OFF. A war that DOES have an ethnic and religious basis to it.

Tamil speaking Hindus on the side of EELAM, Sinhalese Buddhists [government forces] on the other side.

The Tamil Tigers waging a classical insurgent/partisan/guerrilla/terrorist campaign.

The central government forces waging a classical counter-insurgency.

A war fought with great brutality by both sides. The "fighters" of EELAM carry CYANIDE CAPSULES AROUND THEIR NECKS. To commit suicide if capture is imminent.

[EELAM fighters are determined, that is for sure!!]

NO REAL military solution seems to exist for either side. Government forces cannot prevail. EVEN WHEN AIDED BY THE INDIAN ARMY, BATTLEFIELD VICTORY HAS NOT TRANSPIRED. In some instances, entire battalions of the Sri Lanka military have been overrun and routed, fleeing the battlefield en masse'. NOR are the Tigers able to prevail either. Cannot achieve outright victory and independence OR bring about fruitful negotiations leading to an equitable settlement of grievances.

In the book, "By Way of Deception", the renegade Israeli Mossad katsa Victor Ostrovsky makes the startling claim that Israeli arms, trains, and advises BOTH sides in the conflict.

It is also alleged that the Israeli tested their nuclear equipped long-range submarine launched missile from off the coast of Sri Lanka. This was the Dolphin class submarine fitted with special torpedo tubes for launching a modified Russian SS-21-N cruise missile.

[Ostrovsky refers to the Sri Lankans as "smurfs". Little players on the world stage. Little players that sometimes can get involved in a big way.]


Tuesday, February 20, 2007


This is coolbert:

Comments on the "Mini-Manual for the Urban Guerrilla".

[my comments in bold.]

"The urban guerrilla's weapons are inferior to the enemy's, but from the moral point of view, the urban guerrilla has an undeniable superiority. This moral superiority is what sustains the urban guerrilla."

"The moral is to the physical as three is to one - - Napoleon". Marighella is thinking along the same lines as the Emperor!! Logical minds can come to the same conclusion.

"The urban guerrilla must possess initiative, mobility and flexibility, as well as versatility and a command of any situation. Initiative especially is an indispensable quality . . . the urban guerrilla cannot let himself . . . wait for instructions. His duty is to act . . It is better to err acting than to do nothing for fear of making a mistake. Without initiative, there is no urban guerrilla warfare."

General Giap spoke of always keeping the initiative. Make the enemy react to you, NOT you to him. A good plan now is better than the perfect plan tomorrow!! Where have we heard that before??!!

"other members of the group must be armed with .38 revolvers, our standard weapon. The .32 is also useful for those who want to participate. But the .38 is preferable"

You DO NOT NEED sophisticated weapons and heavy artillery to carry out the urban guerrilla campaign. Small arms, particularly the revolver are most essential. Easy to carry and conceal, and deadly at close range.

"The methods of obtaining the necessary materials and munitions will be to buy them or to take them by force in expropriation actions specially planned and carried out."

"The urban guerrilla must rob banks and armories, and seize explosives and ammunition wherever he finds them."

To create the degree of havoc and confusion that the urban guerrilla desires, conventional explosives bombs are not always so desirable. A better effect can be achieved with INCENDIARY DEVICES.

Explosives can be obtained by:

* Stealing. From the military, from mining concerns, or quarry operations.

* Manufacture from common household products [Mac Gyver style]. An ammonium-nitrate fuel oil [ANFO] bomb falls into this category!!??

* Scavenge. Hamas currently uses explosive ingredients taken from land mines found in the Sinai Desert. Abandoned land mines are found, unearthed, defused, the explosive ingredients being removed and reused.

[there was a very interesting book published in the early 1970’s called “Mr. Death: The Life of a CIA Assassination Expert--By His Son”. About a man knowledgeable and proficient in explosives. Was apprenticed at an early age to an Italian fireworks manufacturer. Mr. Death was self-taught but an EXPERT in the area of explosives. He allegedly was also a consultant to the CIA. As related in the book, as part of a CIA experiment, filtered water through raw earth, further distilling the water to produce explosive chemical ingredients to produce a BOMB. Albeit, this can be done, but only by the processing of an enormous amount of earth, BUT IS INDICATIVE OF WHAT CAN BE DONE, IF THE WILL IS THERE!!]

"In unconventional warfare, in which urban guerrilla warfare is included, combat is at short range and often very close."

Fifty percent [50 %] of all gunfights with handguns occur at a range of six feet or less!!!

"the urban guerrillas must be organized into small groups. A team of no more than four or five is called a firing group."

Small groups of guerrillas, not numbering more than a half dozen make up a firing group, the attack team. The persons that actually carry out the combat activities.

"there is no such thing as a firing group without its own initiative. For this reason, it is essential to avoid any rigidity in the guerrilla organization, in order to permit the greatest possible initiative on the part of the firing group."

"Urban guerrillas . . . are not an army but small armed groups, intentionally fragmented."

Each firing group acts according to it's own initiative and does not wait for orders from a higher authority before acting.

"The tactics of the urban guerrilla . . . It is an aggressive tactic, or, in other words, it has an offensive character"

"Make the enemy bleed, make him keep his head down, make him wonder where YOU are coming from!!" - - Patton

"Being familiar with the avenues, streets, alleys, ins and outs, the corners of the urban centers, its paths and shortcuts, its empty lots, its underground passages, its pipes and sewer systems, the urban guerrilla safely crosses through the irregular and difficult terrain unfamiliar to the police"

"It is an impossible problem for the police, in the labyrinthine terrain of the urban guerrilla, to catch someone they cannot see, to repress someone they cannot catch, and to close in on someone they cannot find."

The urban "jungle" is even a MORE difficult environment for counter-insurgency forces to operate in than is the actual rural jungle!!

I would think that the teeming slums, the favelas of Brazil, would be a hiding place for the urban guerrilla that would be impossible for the counter-insurgency forces to police.

"The enemy can also be thrown off with false information"

"All war is based on deception!!" - - Sun Tzu.

"The most popular mission is the bank assault. In Brazil, the urban guerrillas have begun a type of organized assault on the banks as a guerrilla operation. Today, this type of assault is widely used, and has served as a sort of preliminary test for the urban guerrilla in his training in the tactics of urban guerrilla warfare."

"The bank robberies carried out by the Brazilian urban guerrillas hurt big businesses and others, the foreign companies which insure and re-insure the banking capital, the imperialist companies, the federal and state governments"

Bank robbery serves several purposes.

It DOES help finance the urban guerrilla movement. NOT that a whole lot of excessive financing is needed to begin with. This type of insurgency can be done on the cheap. But money IS needed and can be used to further the “movement” in a variety of ways.

The actual ACT of robbing a bank also acts as a FILTER MECHANISM. ONLY those persons dedicated to the point of committing an act of violence and being themselves exposed to danger as well are WORTHY of being effective urban guerrillas. Participants have proven to themselves and OTHERS of their guerrilla band that they HAVE WHAT IT TAKES!!

There is also an unwritten, unspoken, but tacitly understood agreement that the bank robbery constitutes a coercive measure. A point from which members of the guerrilla fighting group cannot go back. You cannot say anymore, “this is too much for me, I am outta here!!” NOT possible. The other members of the fighting group have something on you that could be USED AGAINST YOU IF NECESSARY!!

"students used excellent street tactics against police troops, such as marching down streets against traffic and using slingshots and marbles against mounted police. Other street tactics consist of constructing barricades; pulling up paving blocks and hurling them at the police; throwing bottles, bricks, paperweights and other projectiles at the police from the top of office and apartment buildings"

Wild in the streets stuff. Called a RIOT!! Civilians are mobilized by the guerrillas in "spontaneous" demonstrations.

"The strike is a model of action employed by the urban guerrilla in work centers and schools to damage the enemy by stopping work and study activities."

Islamic students [in Kra] cease going to government [Thai run] schools and attend only madrassas!!??

Capture and imprisonment does not mean the end of the struggle for the urban guerrilla. COMBAT CONTINUES, FROM WITHIN THE WALLS OF THE PRISON, EVEN WHEN LOCKED UP.

"For the guerrilla, his experience is deepened by prison, and struggle continues even in the dungeons where he is held."

Urban guerrillas are expected to organize and comport themselves in a fashion where they become the “ruling authority” within the prison itself. This does happen. Use numbers, organization, and a willingness to use violence WITHIN PRISON to intimidate other convicts and staff!! The ultimate goal being of course a MASS ESCAPE.

[the Tupamaros even went so far as to tunnel INTO PRISON. Organized and successfully liberated about one hundred of the imprisoned comrades.]

[the Shining Path insurgents in Peru actually “took over” an entire prison wing and “ran” that wing as if they were staff. NO, THEY HAD BECOME STAFF!! De facto, but still real. Morning formation, salute the commie flag, sing the Internationale, defy all legitimate prison authority. This disobedience was finally crushed, by the use of a lot of force, and with many dead. RESISTANCE, HOWEVER, HAD CONTINUED, EVEN WHILE IN PRISON!!]

"Sabotage is a highly destructive type of attack using very few persons—and sometimes requiring only one—to accomplish the desired result."

A lot can be done with limited means and personnel and even equipment. Fragility of the modern society lends itself to sabotage of a selective but well-thought-out nature.

"The terrorist act, apart from the apparent ease with which it can be carried out, is no different from other guerrilla acts and actions whose success depends on planning and determination. It is an action which the urban guerrilla must execute with the greatest calmness and determination."

Ease - no different - calmness - - determination. Terrorist. Attacking civilians with intent and object to kill or maim as many possible!!

"Terrorism is a weapon the revolutionary can never relinquish."

"The purpose of terror is to create terror!!" - - V.I. Lenin.

"A consistent propaganda by letters sent to specific addresses, explaining the meaning of the urban guerrilla's armed actions, produces considerable results and is one method of influencing certain segments of the population."

Wars have an essential political nature to them. This is NOT nihilism. Explaining the goals and methods of the guerrilla by propaganda is AN ESSENTIAL part of the urban guerrilla campaign.

"The war of nerves or psychological warfare is an aggressive technique, based on the direct or indirect use of mass media and rumors in order to demoralize the government."

"The objective of the war of nerves is to mislead, spreading lies among the authorities in which everyone can participate, thus creating an atmosphere of nervousness, discredit, insecurity, uncertainty and concern on the part of the government."

This is also a form of deception!!

"Under no circumstances should the wounded guerrilla be abandoned at the site of the battle or left in the enemy's hands."

As a means of fooling American intelligence, the enemy in Vietnam would police the battlefield and carry away all their dead, when possible. NOT JUST FOR PROPER BURIAL, BUT TO DECEIVE THE ENEMY AS WELL!!

"The arrested guerrilla must reveal nothing to the police that will jeopardize the organization"

This is where the hostile interrogation comes into play!!

"The seventh sin of the urban guerrilla is to fail to plan things, and to act spontaneously."

The jihadi of the Al Qaeda mold is noted for being [1] very hateful and [2] very plan -ful!!!

Carlos Marighella is alive and well in Kra? You decide!



This is coolbert:

Here is the “cookbook” "Mini-manual for the Urban Guerrilla". Written in the late 1960’s by the Brazilian communist insurrectionist/theoretician Carlos Marighella .

This mini-manual was OBLIGATORY reading for all aspiring communist guerrillas/insurgents/terrorists/partisans who desired to wage communist inspired guerrilla warfare, but in the URBAN setting.

Carlos Marighella realized that the Maoist/Vietnamese/Che Guevera type of communist guerrilla warfare WAS NOT going to work in a country such as Brazil. The small bands of Che-like Cuban style communist guerrillas, roving the countryside at will was JUST NOT applicable to the Brazilian environment.

Another approach had to be taken.

The alternative method as espoused by Marighella was the urban guerrilla.

Small bands [maybe a half-dozen guerrillas at most per band] of insurrectionists, operating independently of one another, waging war against the government forces, but DOING SO IN THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT, NOT IN THE JUNGLE!!

[I think most counter-insurgency experts would concede that the URBAN ENVIRONMENT presents unique challenges for counter-insurgency forces. The three-dimensional aspect of the “terrain” has to be properly appreciated. Urban skyscrapers and subterranean areas such as subways, sewers, tunnels, etc. offer hiding places for the urban guerrilla not found in the jungle!! The expression “trying to find the needle in the haystack” is especially relevant here!!]

These small bands of urban guerrillas would inspire, according to Marighella, an eventual uprising of the “oppressed masses”. An uprising in response to the draconian and repressive measures adopted by the government forces to combat the urban guerrillas. SMALL GROUPS OF DEDICATED URBAN FIGHTERS COULD CREATE CHAOS AND DISRUPTION ON A MONUMENTAL SCALE!!

The urban guerrillas of Brazil and of Uruguay [Tupamaros] did NOT succeed in their goal. The mass uprising as envisioned by Margheilla did not transpire. The urban guerrilla did pose a particular problem for the governments of Brazil and Uruguay to combat. That those governments were successful in defeating the guerrillas was due in large part to repressive measures, WHICH INCLUDED THE HOSTILE INTERROGATION!!

[“hostile interrogation” DOES NOT necessarily include torture as the word is ordinarily and commonly understood to mean!!]

From all I read, it would seem that the playbook of Marighella has been thoroughly read and adopted as the WAY-TO-GO for the jihadi currently at war with the Thai government in Kra. Cook-book style fashion guerrilla warfare. NOT necessarily urban, but small groups [no more than a half-dozen insurgents per group], acting independently [??] to wreak havoc and force the Thai government to eventually withdraw from their southernmost provinces! Assassination, bank robbing, kidnapping, bombing, arson, etc. All from the mini-manual of Marighella. A manual whose precepts are not confined to the communist insurgent alone. Useful for the jihadi too!!


Kra - - Again!

This is coolbert:

Only the day before yesterday, more guerrilla/insurgent/terrorist/partisan activity in Kra.

Thirty bombings. Coordinated. Shooting of a Buddhist couple. Killing of a military official at his home. All in ONE DAY!

This suggests a very high level of organization, sophistication, planning, etc., on the part of the villains.

This is not going to be an easy situation for the Thai to bring under control, much less eradicate.

Earmarks of the classical guerrilla/insurgent/terrorist/partisan campaign?

You bet’cha!

We rob a bank. We set off a bomb. We burn down a school. We shoot a Buddhist couple. We kill a military official. We intimidate a government official. We declare a one day general strike

I would suspect we are going to see an ever-escalating level of violence with regard to this conflict. Acts of terror further afield. Bombings of a terrorist nature in the Thai Buddhist heartland? Attacks on the tourist trade in Thailand? [with regard to the latter, the sex tourist trade in Thailand would undoubtedly make a tempting target for the Islamic inspired uprising that this is.] Attack foreigners and the Thai infidel fornicators and kill two birds with one stone, so to speak!!

This Kra “rebellion” is at about a stage right now as was the Tupamaros “rebellion” of the 1970’s. The latter taking place in Uruguay. Suppressed by a determined Uruguayan government, but only with the greatest of difficulties. The Tupamaros “guerrillas” were very ingenious, bold, daring, resourceful. If the Kra “rebels” are anywhere near in ability what the Tupamaros where, the Thai government is in big trouble!!

[rent and see the excellent movie “State of Siege”. Concerns the kidnapping and eventual murder of an American diplomat/counter-insurgency advisor by the Tupamaros.]



Sunday, February 18, 2007


This is coolbert:

I see where they have had another cheating scandal at the Air Force Academy.

This sort of thing, I am sure, occurs at all the military academies. BUT, for some reason, the Air Force Academy seems to have this bad experience happen on what resembles almost a clockwork basis. Very much more often, and then on a much wider scale.

"Honor scandals

The first Honor scandal broke in 1965, when a resigning cadet reported knowing of more than 100 cadets who had been involved in a cheating ring. 109 cadets were ultimately expelled. Cheating scandals rocked the Academy again in 1967, 1972, 1984, 2004 and 2007."

In this particular case, the accusation is against a bunch of cadets. NOT just an isolated incident with an isolated individual. Again, this also seems to fit a pattern that exists at the Air Force Academy.

I am generalizing here too much??!!

All the various service academies put their recruits through a grueling regimen of military training AND rigorous academics at the same time. JUST TO GAIN ENTRY to a military academy is a splendid achievement in itself. A survival of the fittest academically from the high school level to the military academy environment.

My guess is that the stress is just enormous for all these cadets/students. Workload is unrelenting and the desire to succeed and do well is constantly stressed.

"alleged excessive pressures that the academic system at the time placed on cadets"

Too many cadets just fall prey to weakness and cannot keep up and seek a way out.

Especially in the Air Force Academy?? The Air Force likes to think itself as being on the cusp of technology and science, etc. The academics is MORE science and math based and HARDER!!

[this particular cheating involved general knowledge of the Air Force AND WAS NOT ACADEMICALLY RELATED TO THE FOUR YEAR CURRICULUM!!]



Saturday, February 17, 2007


This is coolbert:

From a recent blog entry of mine.

"The German SS reputedly used poison gas during the suppression of the Warsaw Jewish ghetto. Jewish ZOB fighters that had taken refuge in the sewers under the ghetto were gassed and killed."

In his book, "Exodus", Leon Uris categorically states that the Germans DID use poison gas on the ZOB Jewish fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto."

The suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was conducted with an extreme of brutality and callousness by German SS troops. This is undeniable.

SS General Jurgen Stroop was determined to eradicate the ZOB and any vestige of Jewish life from the ghetto. Went about his task with vigor. Even did use poison gas?? Stroop for his role as commander of the SS troops was executed in 1952.

"'Mopping up'

After the significant fighting ended, the hidden bunkers were the main arena of resistance. In this fight, the Germans used smoke grenades and tear gas or poison gas."

This is the ONLY instance of German use of poison gas in a combat operation during World War Two [WW2]???!!!

[I think it has been established that during WW2, the Japanese did use, on a pretty widespread basis, poison gases on Chinese Communist guerrillas of the Maoist persuasion!!]

The allies and the Axis forces both possessed all throughout the war the whole range of chemical weapons. Choking, blister, blood, riot, and in the case of the German, nerve gas. But never was used. I guess the consensus opinion was that the use of poison gases and the advantages gained was far outweighed by all the negatives that would result!! The German had a decided advantage in that they DID HAVE nerve gas, a poison for which allied gas mask filters would not work. The German was deterred from using nerve gas as they thought the allies also had the same.

[at the very end of the war, Speer CONTEMPLATED introducing nerve gas into the Fuhrer bunker and kill all inside. BUT ONLY CONTEMPLATED AND DID NOT DO!!]

From the same wiki article on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising:

"Borat decried they should fight. With his noble cry of 'My name a Borat he ran into the SS camp and killed three Germans with his bare hands. this was the start of the resistance. Mel Gibson though would not let them pass singlehandedly stopping the resistance. Kramer came to to assist. Anne frank died shortly after. Everything after these sentences is a lie. LONG LIVE THE BORAT PARTY!!!!"

Some very foolish and infantile person has edited the wiki and done so in a "humorous" manner. Goofy and childish is what it is. Well, the internet, the WWW, the Wiki concept, all can be done for good or bad!! Take your pick. Almost always for good, in this case for bad. Shame!!



This is coolbert:

"The moral is to the physical as three is to one" - - Napoleon.

From my prior blog entry discussing the ideas of Daniel Pipes.

"A non-violent approach - what I call "lawful Islamism" - that pursues Islamification through educational, political, and religious means, without recourse to illegality or terrorism. Lawful Islamism is proving successful in Muslim-majority countries like Algeria and Muslim-minority ones like the United Kingdom." - - Pipes.

Further thoughts on this topic of lawful Islam in the UK can be seen here.

The author is one of the famous Hitchens family? Writers and pundits of wide publication? I think so!

The famous historian Barbara Tuchman in her book "The Proud Tower" told of a world dominating Europe in the years prior to World War One. A world dominated by European powers and European thoughts and ideals FOR WHICH THERE WAS NO COMPETITOR!! Of which Great Britain held the foremost role. The England which at the turn of the century [1900] that was still of Victorian character. GOD WAS AN ENGLISHMAN!!! Why else would England possess one-quarter of the world as dominions or colonies?

That attitude and thought process has gone the way of the dodo!!

It is said that among Europeans, a post-Christian mentality exists. For all practical purposes GOD IS DEAD!!

The self-confident, self-assured, moving-ahead-to-a-better-world mind set of the European no longer exists!! To be replaced by a self-confident, self-assured, moving-ahead-to-a-better-world Islamic society??!!



What is the answer, if there can ever be one??

Black Christian missionaries from Africa venturing to Europe to re-Christianize the unbelievers and proto-pagans!!

I cannot say.

[some readers will note the banner of the British National Party [BNP] at the linked web site. whatever you thing of the BNP, the thoughts of Hitchens are still relevant!!]


Wednesday, February 14, 2007


This is coolbert:

Very good program several weeks ago on the PBS program "Frontline". Titled "The Cell Next Door". About the eighteen young men who are accused of fomenting jihadi activity in Canada. "Home-grown" jihadi, almost all born and raised in Canada. Wanted to perpetrate a variety of villainous acts, to include:

* Blowing up the Canadian intelligence headquarters building [CSIS].

* Attack the Canadian Parliament.

* Abduct or take hostage the Canadian Prime Minister and behead him.

[why do these jihadis have such an obsession with beheadings??!!]

This group of would-be villains was spotted and infiltrated from the start. Were visitors to the many jihadi internet web sites that exist. Active in jihadi chat rooms and internet messenger sites. Observed in communication with one another.

Infiltrated by another Muslim, Mubin Shaikh. A very dangerous individual. A martial artist, a one-time member of the Canadian Army Cadets [he knew firearms and had a permit to buy guns from this Cadet experience!!]. A MAN, WHO BY HIS OWN ADMISSION, DID WHAT HE DID, INFORM ON HIS BROTHER MUSLIMS, FOR THE SAKE OF CANADIAN MUSLIMS ALONE AND NOT FOR CANADIANS IN GENERAL!!

[there is something about this guy, Mubin Shaikh, that is very sinister. Does describe himself as a "fundamentalist". While being interviewed for the TV program, he described everything that transpired with the jihadi wannabees in such a matter-of-fact, low-key manner. My own impression of this man is that he would be one helluva killing machine if he put his mind to it!! This is one dangerous man!!]

There definitely does seem to be a process by which "home-grown" jihadis are bred and nurtured. These are for instance American or Canadian born and bred citizens who have NEVER set foot in an "Islamic" nation.

Youths that become radicalized and aspire to jihad starting in the teen years.

I would have to think that there are certain particular challenges for Muslim youth growing up in the U.S. Especially when the teen years are reached. American non-Muslim youth are seen by their Muslim peers engaging in all sort of risky and untoward behavior that is totally forbidden by Islamic law and custom. You know what I am talking about here. Drinking alcohol, taking drugs, disobedient to the parents, promiscuous sex, etc. Even the very basis of the American diet, as served at a school cafeteria, a cheeseburger, is forbidden under Muslim law.

[having a dairy product and meat at the same table is haram, forbidden, NOT halal, permissible!!!]

Does this create a conflict in the minds of American Muslim youth? I would have to guess YES! Especially among Islamic teens who are leaving childhood and going into adulthood. What percentage are possibly radicalized by this conflict [and revulsion??!!] and are potential jihadists? I don’t think anyone has a guess on that!

Radicalization is seen when the teen begins to investigate his "roots". "Roots" firmly anchored in Islam. A life change can be observed that manifests itself by:

* Adopting to the fullest extent the Islamic way-of-life. Prayer five times a day. Eating ONLY halal foods, growing a beard, Islamic dress, etc.

* Watching jihadi videos, visiting jihadi web sites, participating in jihadi chat rooms and forums on the internet.

* Having a mentor. The mentor being an older Muslim man who “inspires” and “encourages”.

The eighteen would-be jihadists were watched carefully by the RCMP and Canadian intelligence. It was at the point when a purchase of ammonium nitrate was made that the authorities moved and arrested the entire group. That ammonium nitrate was evidently going to be used to construct an ANFO [ammonium nitrate fuel oil] bomb of enormous proportions. To blow up the CSIS building.





This is coolbert:

"We want to know what happened" . . ."We have no idea .... We know him as a good boy." . . . "He liked everybody, so I don't know what happened."

Well, everyone is trying to understand WHY he did it. The young man that walked into the mall in Salt Lake City and just started blazing away. Killed five persons and wounded a score more before being killed himself. And had THE MIND to do much more damage if allowed to.

WHY did he do it? That is the question!

My intuitive, initial response was LONE WOLF, LONE WOLF, LONE WOLF. JIHADI LONE WOLF!!!

"someone who commits violent acts in support of some group, movement, or ideology, but does so alone, outside of any command structure."

A Derrick Shareef–like wannabee who became more than a wannabee. NOT just a wannabee anymore. DID IT FOR REAL, AND BIG TIME TOO!!

[Derrick Shareef. Of course. The jihadi-wannabee in Rockford, Illinois, who got the idea in his head to attack a shopping mall with hand grenades. Also the lone-wolf style jihadi attacker. Acting alone, without any association to other jihadis.]

For a while, the media WOULD NOT RELEASE THE NAME OF THE PERPETRATOR. It was only about a day after the “incident” that the name of Sulejman [Suleiman] Talovic became known. A Bosnian Muslim refugee living in Salt Lake City with his family.

A Muslim boy, who for no apparent reason, just calmly walks into a mall shooting with the intent to kill as many folks as possible, AND DOES SO, HEEDLESS OF WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO HIM!

[and I would have to assume that Sulejman realized in advance that he was probably going to die in the process??!!]

Some will see this as a case of the home-grown terrorist run amuck! An American [albeit a refugee] who has decided to wage his own jihad against those he lives among.

[Sulejman is NOT born American, but, seems to have spent a goodly portion of his formative years in the U.S. How much so is not clear. To that extent, he can be said to be home-grown?]

It would be incorrect to jump to conclusions here and make definitive statements until more is known about Sulejman. MORE that seems to be slow in being released. It might very well be that Sulejman is more akin to a Klebold or Harris of Columbine infamy. Runs around shooting folks for NO REAL REASON WHATSOEVER. Does it just for the sake of doing so??!!

I hope that someone in authority is looking closely at the background of Sulejman.

Salt Lake City police, FBI, Homeland Security, etc.

What was he reading? Did he have a computer and what web sites did he visit? Who were his friends or associates?

All this DOES need to be looked at. A must!



Sunday, February 11, 2007


This is coolbert:

Here is where you can download for free, from the Project Gutenberg, your own copy, again, for free, and to keep, the great work of the Chinese military commentator, Sun Tzu.

Well, who has not heard of Sun Tzu? Wrote his work around 500 B.C.? A man whose writings demonstrate a most profound knowledge of military strategy, tactics, leadership, etc. To have read [not necessarily understood, but read] Sun is considered obligatory for all senior military officers? Regardless of rank, nation, or branch of service?

This particular translation of Sun was the work of the Englishman, Lionel Giles. Done in 1910. An earlier translation to English was done in 1905 by a Captain Calthrope, but was considered by Giles to be an inferior, flawed and inaccurate work. Hence the version now made available for free.

A reprint of this translation was commissioned in 1983 by James Clavell. I have that particular reprint in my own personal library and refer to it from time to time. Clavell states he was particularly intrigued about the last chapter, number 13, the chapter dealing with spies [espionage]. A number of my previous blog entries have dealt with the subject matter of this chapter as well.

The reading of Sun is NOT EASY! OR easily understood. Try the best you can. And try to find analogs as best you can in modern warfare.

The introduction found in the Project Gutenberg text [by Lionel Giles?] is also very interesting. If it was Giles that was responsible for the [such an introduction is not found in the Clavell commissioned work] introduction, his scholarship is to be admired, even today!

It seems that Sun has had in China for many millennia now a number of commentators and acolytes. His work HAS been studied and admired by the Chinese as IT IS NOW IN THE WEST. Those commentators include:

1. TS`AO TS`AO or Ts`ao Kung . . . [A.D. 155-220] . . . One of the greatest military geniuses that the world has seen, and Napoleonic in the scale of his operations, he was especially famed for the marvelous rapidity of his marches, which has found expression in the line 'Talk of Ts`ao Ts`ao, and Ts`ao Ts`ao will appear.'"


3. LI CH`UAN of the 8th century was a well-known writer on
military tactics.

4. TU YU (died 812)

5. TU MU (803-852) is perhaps the best known as a poet -- a
bright star even in the glorious galaxy of the T`ang period. We
learn from Ch`ao Kung-wu that although he had no practical
experience of war, he was extremely fond of discussing the
subject, and was moreover well read in the military history of
the CH`UN CH`IU and CHAN KUO eras.

6. CH`EN HAO appears to have been a contemporary of Tu Mu.

7. CHIA LIN is known to have lived under the T`ang dynasty.

8. MEI YAO-CH`EN (1002-1060).

9. WANG HSI, also of the Sung dynasty.

10. HO YEN-HSI of the Sung dynasty.


[it is during the period of Chang Yu that:

"During the early years of the Sung dynasty the Empire enjoyed a long spell of peace, and men ceased to practice the art of war. But when [Chao] Yuan-hao's rebellion came [1038-42] and the frontier generals were defeated time after time, the Court made strenuous inquiry for men skilled in war,and military topics became the vogue amongst all the high officials."]

Again, from the introduction: [Giles here?]

"Sun Tzu has exercised a potent fascination over the minds
of some of China's greatest men . . . . Sun Tzu's 13 chapters are
not only the staple and base of all military men's training,
but also compel the most careful attention of scholars and men of letters.
His sayings are terse yet elegant, simple yet profound,
perspicuous and eminently practical. Such works as the LUN
YU, the I CHING and the great Commentary, [57] as well as the
writings of Mencius, Hsun K`uang and Yang Chu, all fall below
the level of Sun Tzu."

And here, again, from the introduction regarding the perceived relatively [??] pacific [non-warlike] nature of the Chinese nation [this being written in 1910!]:

"Accustomed as we are to think of China as the greatest
peace-loving nation on earth
, we are in some danger of
forgetting that her experience of war in all its phases has also
been such as no modern State can parallel. Her long military annals
stretch back to a point at which they are lost in the mists of
time . . . No less remarkable is the succession of illustrious captains
to whom China can point with pride. As in all countries, the
greatest are fond of emerging at the most fateful crises of her
history . . . Po Ch`i . . . Ts`ao Ts`ao . . . Li shih-min . . . Li Ching.
None of these generals need fear comparison with the greatest
names in the military history of Europe."

"In spite of all this, the great body of Chinese sentiment,
from Lao Tzu downwards, and especially as reflected in the
standard literature of Confucianism, has been consistently
pacific and intensely opposed to militarism in any form."

[the gist is, China does have a basic non-military and pacific nature as part of the culture, BUT DOES ALSO HAVE A VERY LONG AND ILLUSTRIOUS MILITARY HISTORY AS WELL!!]

And FINALLY, there is one additional person, A MODERN, who has obviously studied with intent the work of Sun and taken it to heart. Mao Tse-Tung. The "Great Helmsman". The Chairman so beloved of 1960 radical types. "The Little Red Book" of Mao, was THE THING for aspiring communists on college campuses during that period of the 1960's. Mao does NOT seem to be the originator of all the various thoughts contained in the Little Red Book that deal with "military science". NOT as he would have liked you to have thought. Rather, in many cases, was a rehash, sometimes word for word, sometimes in communist doggerel, of Sun. Communist military strategy of the Eighth Route Army was credited to Mao but actually is the ideas of Sun brought to fruition 2500 years later??!!



Saturday, February 10, 2007


This is coolbert:

Read this interesting interview originally published in the Soldier of Fortune [SOF] magazine.

Is with the French General Aussaresses.

The French General who as a Captain serving in French Algeria in the mid 1950's conducted interrogations of captured "terrorists". Interrogations where torture was used as a normal matter of course. Torture that was approved by the highest authorities as a measure that would be effective in combating the insurgency the French were desperate to defeat.

"Aussaresses, then 35 years old [in 1954], was the intelligence official in charge of liquidating the Front Liberation Nationale (FLN)."

This man and the topic, torture, have previously been the subject of a blog entry of mine. This SOF article only adds to what was in the prior post.

Keep in mind what the French military theorist Roger Trinquier had to say about the use of torture in the counter-insurgency environment. Torture was to be permitted, but with strict protocols to be followed. Protocols to include:

* The terrorist was to be asked only questions that related to the organization of his movement.

* That the interrogators must know what to ask.

* Once the information is obtained the torture must stop.

* The terrorist is then treated as any other prisoner of war.

[again, I would argue that the word "terrorist" has be carefully defined here.]

The account by the General regarding the prelude to the The Battle Of Philippeville are most interesting. Aussaresses had concluded the time and place of the "terrorist" attack. He did not want to tip the insurgents off, but did have his men in place and "have made ready". As part of his days' activity, the General:

* Did the parachute jump to maintain "jump" status at 0300.

* Had breakfast of espresso, eggs, and wine.

* Awaited the forthcoming attack with aplomb.

"a·plomb 1. imperturbable self-possession, poise, or assurance."

Those French!!

According to the protocols of torture as enunciated by Roger Triquier, the "terrorist", when he gave up the information you desired, was to be accorded fair and humane treatment from that point on. In the case of Algeria THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENED. From the account of General Aussaresses, about 3,000 persons, after having been interrogated, and made to talk, were then executed. Twenty four of them by the hand of Aussaresses himself!

[I can recall when I first heard of Aussaresses. He was being interviewed on "Sixty Minutes". He made a strong impression by what he said. He also said that the torture was NOT prolonged and severely painful to the point of causing death. Most folks give up very quickly what they know when even a moderate amount of pain is inflicted through the tortures. What was done in Algeria seems to be primarily water-boarding and electrical shocks. To derive intelligence quickly. What you see in the movies does not occur. NO prolonged mistreatment! This according to the General!]

"The methods employed were always the same: beatings, electricity, water. Beatings often sufficed. Le gengene consisted of torture with electricity. Electrodes were applied to the ears or the testicles with increasing intensity. Or, water was poured over the face until the prisoner spoke or drowned."

"Some prisoners spoke freely. For others, several beatings were sufficient. It was only in the event that the prisoner refused to talk or tried to conceal evidence that torture was utilized."

I am somewhat surprised that Aussaresses is still free and about. The Belgians have that law that allows for the prosecution of war crimes commited anywhere in the world, and at any place in time [ex post facto!]. I would think that by now sommeone would have requested the extradition of the General for trial. In France, he is immune from prosecution from the 1968 Amnesty Act. But NOT in Belgium.



Thursday, February 08, 2007


This is coolbert:

T O P S E C R E T [NO, not really].

Here is web site for a Russian company that markets cryptographic devices and algorithms of all sorts.

NOT SO LONG ago now, putting this stuff out there for folks to see and EVEN PURCHASE would have earned a Russian a very speedy and final trip to a dungeon. A bullet in the back of the neck from a KGB executioner being the inevitable consequence.

Cryptographic secrets, devices, algorithms were ONCE only the purview of the most senior officials and military commanders. NOT any more. Obligatory for even the average citizen?

The Russians do come up with some interesting stuff. Pocket calculator stuff with strong and secure cryptographics of extraordinary power. What was once available only to a FEW is now available to most everyone!

Here is the pocket calculator called the ANCRIPT.

And here is the follow-up version, caled the ANCRIPT-II.

Amazing stuff.



Wednesday, February 07, 2007


This is coolbert:

It seems that Hamas is preparing for future military adventures against the Israeli. Taking a cue from Hezbollah and digging tunnel complexes ala' Viet Cong [VC] style.

Digging of tunnels is NOT something new to Hamas. A number of tunnels have been dug and utilized by Hamas in the past. Tunnels under the Egyptian-Israeli border. Used to smuggle weapons from Egypt into the Gaza Strip. Dozens [?] of such tunnels have been found over the years by Israeli forces.

What is occurring now apparently is just magnitudes beyond that. Tunnels and fighting positions. A labyrinth [?] being put in place for combat in the near future. Tunnels, dugouts, and fighting positions that will allow Hamas forces to confront and fight the much more powerful Israeli military. Pop-up and shoot and then hide type of guerrilla warfare. As was done by Hezbollah in the recent Lebanon escapade. And was done way before that in the Vietnam War by VC forces to the Americans.

"The composition of the earth in the Strip makes digging easy, and allows for relatively stable tunnels. These tunnels give Hamas a real strategic advantage."

[dig just a meter a day, and you do that every day for a year, and you have a tunnel complex a kilometer long. Do that for years and you have a whole city underground!!]

The Israeli presumably will be better prepared than they were just a few months ago. Will have the procedures and the personnel [tunnel rats] to deal with these tunnels and the Hamas "fighters". The type of close quarters cave [literally so in some instances] man type warfare that negates the Israeli technological advantage.

Israeli tunnel rats will have to be one element of Israeli counter-tunnel warfare doctrine. Men of small stature but long on courage. Specially equipped to deal with the almost impossible conditions that are present in this type of combat. Goggles, night-vision or infra-red equipment. Flashlights, small-caliber handguns, flash-bang grenades. Ear protection, knee-pads and gloves, gas mask. All will be needed. And a LOT of courage, as I have said.

I find some of the talkbacks at the bottom of the web site to be interesting. I have selected these: [My comments in bold]

"They are digging the graves for the future Shahidin [martyr]."

Kill the Shahidin in their own sandboxes. This would require to know where the tunnels are. Place a shaped charge at ground level above the tunnel, and let fly. Will kill all inside and create only a small crater. This was done in Vietnam.

"The IDF should drop a 500lb pie on each of them to shake the hell out of these tunnels."

Might not do any good unless the bomb hits directly above the tunnel and then penetrates somewhat before detonating.

"Israel should put up poles or tethered solar-powered blimps all along the Gaza border with web cams that transmit encrypted videos."

"Look for loads of dirt being trucked out or piled up."

"Also, use thermal imaging. The dirt from underground will either be colder from being deep or will be hotter from being handled so much. One way or the other, you will have them."

All of the above three quotes are worthwhile ideas. A thinking person!

"Wouldn't it just be delicious to drop some Polonium 210 down in there?
'Why, habibi... you're positively glowing this evening!'"

NO, NOT a good idea. The stuff will be around afterwards and clean-up will be an impossible nightmare. Habibi = "my beloved one!!"

"And biological weapons such as a recombivant viral infection will clear up the Gaza Strip. Lets get ready for this and damn world public opinion!"

NO, NOT a good idea. The infection will be impossible to contain to the tunnels and will spread to the general populace and even to the Israeli. Your OWN stuff will bite you!!

"Why can't you put poison gas in the interconnected tunnels?"

The German SS reputedly used poison gas during the suppression of the Warsaw Jewish ghetto. Jewish ZOB fighters that had taken refuge in the sewers under the ghetto were gassed and killed.

"Do they have to send in the whole IDF to deal with Hamas? Why can't they send in small groups of specially trained soldiers to take out the tunnel infrastructure and destroy Hamas' weapons caches?"

Tunnel rats!! Another thinking person!

"Digging tunnels like rats suits them a lot."

This person obviously does not like Hamas.

"I was watching a doco about WW2 recently and it seems like the best option might be the good old flamethrower. That or robotic spider bombs with video feeds."

Well, who still has the old-fashioned flamethrowers? But not a bad idea. Bulky contraption may be too big for inside the tunnels? Robots with video feeds? A good idea too. Folks are really thinking.

Tunnel warfare. Wanna join in? Just like a paintball hunt? NO!!



Tuesday, February 06, 2007


This is coolbert:

In the aftermath of World War Two [WW2], there arose in the ranks of the French military, men of ability that became known as the "Parachute Mafia". Paratroopers who exerted an inordinate amount of influence on French military thought, doctrine, strategy, operations, and tactics.

Men that had served as resistance fighters or "special service" soldiers during WW2. Parachuting was a requisite skill required for these men, along with the training and mentality that goes with being a "para".

[the word "para" is shorthand in French for paratroopers. Connotation is of a soldier of the foremost ability, with the greatest elan', willing and able do perform the most hazardous missions, and does so with relish [?]]

Roger Trinquier was such a man. Ended his career as head of the French paratrooper school in Pau.

[paratrooper school, learning just to jump, is only the first phase of the "para" training regimen. Mastering a very high level of physical fitness, rucksack marches at forced pace with heavy load, the spirit and mentality of offensive action, all this too is instilled at "para" school!].

The French seemed to possess a parachute "psychosis" NOT unlike that described by Suvorov as was present in the old Soviet military. Parachute training IS analogous to a filter mechanism. ONLY soldiers of the best quality and initiative will pass through the rigors of paratrooper school. Soldiers that can be depended upon for superior performance when the need arises.

Besides Roger Trinquier, other Frenchmen distinguished themselves as part of the "Parachute Mafia". To include the well known [at least in military circles] names of:

General Massu.

General Aussaresses.

Colonel Bigeard.

[Colonel Mathieu, as portrayed in the movie, "The Battle of Algiers" is a composite character based in parts upon Massau, Bigeard, and Trinquier.]

And lesser known names such as:

"Langlais, Botella, Brechignac and Giraud"

The bravery of these men is absolutely undeniable. Soldiers, Frenchmen, of the most courageous type. Even when it was realized that the battle at Dien Bien Phu was a lost cause, a French paratrooper battalion under Bigeard jumped into the "cauldron" for the SECOND time, in a vainglorious effort to snatch victory from defeat. They were not successful, but gave a good account of themselves in the process.

[Bigeard, taking over de facto command of the French garrison, re-invented Hutier tactics to combat the trench warfare of the Viet Minh. Again, his paratroop units displayed great bravery in counter-attacks against the beseiger, but lost a lot of good officers in the process.]

"At the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, major Marcel Bigeard (who had no formal military training) unwittingly re-invented infiltration tactics, in an attempt to defend against the Viet Minh trench warfare tactics."

It seems to be also true that these were men from relatively humble "station". Rose to high rank based upon their ABILITY as fighting soldiers. The French military, as I understand it, have always drawn heavily upon an officer corps drawn from the ranks of the "hereditary nobility". This would not seem to be the case with the "Parachute Mafia"?

"an inordinate amount of influence"

Yes! And needed too! Consider that from 1939 till 1961, the French military was almost in continuous combat around the world, i.e., Free-French-Exterior [FFE], Indo-China and Algeria. In such circumstances, it is GOOD to have persons such as the "Parachute Mafia" around. Fighters available when needed.