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

Friday, February 29, 2008


This is coolbert:

From the comment to the blog by John Bolton:

" has an article about the satellite shoot down, by H.Cooper and Weyrich. They say 'inherent' ICBM defense capacity has now been demonstrated, that satellites in that orbit move faster than incoming ICBM's, and that further deployments should be supported."

Here is the specific URL for the article by Cooper and Weyrich:

The Aegis cruiser deployed as an anti-ballistic missile [ABM] system, replete with IMPROVED Standard Missile - 3, is more flexible, responsive, do-able than a land based ABM system? Intercept of an INCOMING, DOWNWARD TRAJECTORY WARHEAD is inherently more difficult than a shoot-down of a MISSILE before warhead final separation.

Of course, all these "shoot-downs" have involved SINGLE ballistic missiles? NOT multiple incoming enemy missiles deploying decoys and various counter-measures! That is what critics would say!




This is coolbert:

In a previous blog article, I had casually mentioned the puttee. A World War One [WW1] uniform accessory of WHAT USE AND VALUE?

"A puttee . . . a covering for the lower part of the leg from the ankle to the knee, consisting of a long narrow piece of cloth wound tightly and spirally round the leg"

A mystery to me of what utility the puttee served.

Well, here is the answer. As I thought, an article of clothing of dubious value. MORE of a hindrance than a help! Hated and detested by all?

"Puttees were long strips of woollen material bound round the lower leg from ankle to knee and were intended to stop water and mud sloshing into boots [the British soldier of the era wore that low-cut boot] and breeches. They were cursed by soldiers as worse than useless; they cut off circulation when too tight because they shrank in the wet, and unwound when too loose, hampering movement."

It had to be just an ordeal just to put the damn things on? I also wonder to what extent these damn things accelerated the process by which a troop would get the World War One phenomenon of "trench foot".

Puttees. Gone with the days of the collar stays and spats!


Labels: ,

The Digger.

This is coolbert:

More so than the soldier of any other modern army, the Australian troop is most easily recognized at a distance? Distinguished by his wearing of the famous slouch hat!

"The slouch hat: Trademark of the Australian Army"

"Perhaps no other object has been so widely associated with Australian identities as the 'slouch' or 'digger' hat."

"It's a brown slouch hat with the side turned up, and it means the world to me,Its the symbol of our Nation, the land of Liberty. And as soldiers they wear it, how proudly they bear it for all the world to see."

J Albert & Son, Sydney, 1942

"The Diggers of 2 World Wars just made it famous and it is now recognised as 'ours'."

OURS! YES indeed! The "Digger" is the Australian soldier. A colloquial expression the result of the Gallipoli campaign [World War One] Aussie troops entrenching themselves had to "dig"!!

A hat worn according to strictly formulated regulation. NO casualness here.

* The side turned up.

* The chin strap.

* The bash [indentations in the crown]

* The rakish tilt with which the hat is worn.

The slouch hat LOOKS COOL!! No doubt about it! Gives the Australian soldier a distinguished, manly, and again, COOL appearance. Looks very sharp!

Seven parts to the web site article. Read it all.





This is coolbert:

This is the type of headline that makes American diplomats and senior military officers cringe??!!

"US sailors wear out sex workers"

Perth [Australia]
May 2 2002

[from initial military deployments in the aftermath of 9/11.]

"Perth prostitutes were reeling from exhaustion following an influx of United States sailors stressed from a stint in a war zone, a well-known madam said today."

"Mary-Anne Kenworthy said she was forced to close the doors of her famous Langtrees brothel for only the third time ever yesterday because her prostitutes were so worn out they could no longer provide a quality service."

This is called - - letting off steam??!!

I was not aware prostitution was legal in Aussie land? Perhaps if confined to certain areas, as in Nevada?

Perth is called the most isolated big city in the world? Maybe they need company from time to time? At least - on this occasion - good behavior and outstanding comportment on the part of the U.S. sailors was the rule? At least, no "Brownout Strangler" reported!



Thursday, February 28, 2008


This is coolbert:

Here are several instances from World War Two [WW2] where American soldiers, stationed in the Australia, DID NOT comport themselves in the best manner possible.

(1) "The Brownout Strangler"

Eddie Leonski. American soldier and serial killer [the term was not in usage at the time] who took it upon himself to terrorize the city of Melbourne by strangling Australian women.

"Edward Joseph Leonski (December 12, 1917 – November 9, 1942) was an American serial killer who committed his crimes in Australia. Leonski is known as the Brownout Strangler"

Caught, tried, convicted, hung. With all dispatch.

This "affair" was made into a pretty good made-for-TV movie: "Death of a Soldier".

"Leonski confessed to the crimes and was convicted and sentenced to death . . . MacArthur personally signed the order of execution . . . Leonski was hanged at Pentridge Prison on November 9, 1942"

"the trial of Edward Joseph Leonski trial was unique in Australia's legal or civil history. 'It was the first time that any person has ever been tried in this country by a military tribunal for a crime which violated civilian law.'"

[it was too a violation American military law. Crimes however, committed off-base, against "foreign nationals", while actually on foreign soil.]


General Mac Arthur, obviously to "assuage" public sentiments in Australia, saw that justice of a swift and certain nature was carried out. Leonski swung from the end of a rope, and that was that!!

(2) "The Battle of Brisbane". American and Aussie soldiers, allies in the war against Japan in the Pacific, fighting it out in the streets in Brisbane. Rioting of a vicious nature, all the result of the proverbial "misunderstanding" between two soldiers, BOTH OF THEM AMERICANS!!



Wednesday, February 27, 2008


This is coolbert: "What ever you say, tell the truth!" - - President Benjamin Harrison.

"NO unnecessary wenching, drinking to excess, brawling of an unseemly manner." - - Bert. [from a previous blog entry of mine!]

During the around-the-world voyage of the Great White Fleet, President Roosevelt MUST have had the Baltimore Crisis [1891] on his mind. A desire on the part of the President that American sailors of the Fleet, while ashore, would NOT behave in a manner that would incite and inflame the locals! American tars [sailors], would behave with civility and decorum.

The Baltimore crisis. American sailors, while ashore, in a bar, attacked by a Chilean mob, several killed, others hurt.

Attacks that nearly resulted IN A WAR between the U.S. and Chile.

"Two drunken sailors from the USS Baltimore were killed outside of a bar in the Chilean port of Valparaíso"

"In response to this action [Itata Incident] on October 16 1891 a mob attacked a group of sailors on shore leave from the cruiser USS Baltimore outside of a bar in the Chilean port of Valparaíso two sailors were killed and 17 were injured."

"During the American sailors' shore leave on October 16, 1891, a mob of enraged Chileans who had been whipped up as the result of the Itata's capture (and perhaps for other reasons), attacked the sailors from the Baltimore. Two sailors were killed and several were wounded seriously. That Valparaiso riot stirred up saber-rattling from enraged American officials, threatening war against Chile"

"perhaps for other reasons"!! What could those other reasons have been? Some sort of behavior of such an offensive nature that murder was the result!

AND, those American officials who threatened war, should have had second thoughts. The U.S.S. Baltimore could best be classified as an ironclad gunboat, and nothing more. AT THE TIME, THE BALTIMORE CLASS GUNBOAT [?] WAS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT NAVAL VESSEL IN THE U.S. NAVY INVENTORY!! Chile did possess a battleship, the U.S. at the time not even having one warship of the same class [battleship]!!

U.S. naval expansion, to include an ocean-going fleet of world-class battleships, was a result of the realization that the U.S. Navy of the time [1891], was NOT EVEN capable of engaging the Chilean Navy on an equal basis, much less the German or British navies!!



Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cold War?

This is coolbert:

Recent good program on National Public Radio. Interview with the British correspondent Edward Lucas. Listen to it all.

"Edward Lucas on 'The New Cold War' with Russia"

"Lucas calls 'a new Cold War' that's being fought with cash, natural resources, diplomacy and propaganda — but, he says, the West is unwilling to admit what's happening."

In this regard, Lucas confirms what the Russian FIS defector "Comrade J" has also said.

A war fought NOT primarily by military threats or bluster [bullying and intimidating allowed however!].

Fought with:

* Cash from oil revenues.

* Resources primarily of natural gas sold to western European countries.

* Sales of advanced weaponry to traditionally 3rd world countries.

* Development in some instances of advanced weaponry with select nations.

Soviet conventional military forces are STILL [and will be for some time to come?] at a low level of capability! Army reform has not progressed, the Air Force flies antique planes on recon missions, the Navy has only twenty surface combat vessels seaworthy. So says Lucas.

"WAR" can still continue, by other means. Hostility. Think of the polar opposite peace-war sliding scale continuum! NO nation is EVER at total peace with other nations. SOME degree of hostility or tension exists at all times.

Topol missiles, hypersonic maneuverable re-entry vehicles, genetically modified bioweapons, BrahMos supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, etc. Military advances have NOT been neglected.

Before you fight the war, you must realized the war exists?



Monday, February 25, 2008


This is coolbert:

In response to the comment of John Bolton regarding my blog entry on the intercept and destruction of the errant American satellite:

[Please keep in my that I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO INSIDE INFORMATION OF ANY NATURE ON THIS MATERIAL. My response is best characterized as informed speculation!]

"Does all this mean that the instant orbit, or should I say the immediate trajectory prior to firing, had to be ascertained within 30 seconds?" - - J. Bolton.

Well, that is a good question. I am assuming that the U.S. military brought all the assets available to it, civilian and military both, to bear upon this problem. That would include instantaneous information from a variety of ground-based and spaced-based radars? According to the reports in the media, the Lake Erie task force consisted of the two Aegis cruisers AND some sort of ship that supplied independent trajectory data . This was a Cobra Judy or similar type ship? An ocean-going vessel designed specifically to track space vehicles for intelligence purposes!

A mobilization of so many assets at once is unique and would not be possible except during a crisis situation?

AND telescopic cameras with large mirrors capable of amazing resolution? Both space and land based, tracking the intercept and destruction of the wayward recon satellite from a variety of angles, from multitude of locations?

"If so, the ICBM's allow 15 minutes or thereabouts to determine their trajectories, so that anti-missile defense is now feasible?" - - J. Bolton.

The concept of a sea-based anti-ballistic system NORMALLY would allow for intercept and destruction of enemy missiles during the BOOST PHASE OF LAUNCH! The Standard Missile - 3 is a "tactical" weapon NOT capable of shooting down an INCOMING ICBM? OR is this no longer so?

"In general short-range tactical ABMs [such as the Standard Missile - 3] cannot intercept ICBMs, even if within range. The tactical ABM radar and performance characteristics do not allow it, as an incoming ICBM warhead moves much faster than a tactical missile warhead."

Again, we are talking about an incoming intercontinental missile warhead, and not a missile during the BOOST phase of launch! The Standard Missile - 3 CAN shoot down a tactical ballistic missile, BUT NOT an incoming ICBM warhead!

"Also aren't the targets of ICBM's predictable, such that part of their trajectories could be in memory, sufficient for targeting?" - - J. Bolton.

That would seem to be exactly the type of "thing" the Russians have in mind as they develop and field their recently tested hypersonic, maneuverable re-entry vehicle. Able to make mid-course maneuvers to avoid being shot-down during the terminal stage of weapons delivery. This would seem to suggest that the Russians "believer" that a successful anti-ballistic system is much more feasible that is normally assumed?

Again, all speculation on my part!

Indeed the "shoot-down" of this errant American satellite is being blown all out of proportion?!



Saturday, February 23, 2008


This is coolbert:

The wayward, errant American satellite has been destroyed! Shot-down [well, not exactly shot-down, as the satellite was on a course to crash into the earth anyhow] or blasted into minute fragments that are harmless to humans on the ground!

The test is a success without qualification?! So the Pentagon wants us to believe. Seems to be so too. The task at hand was carried out with an expertise that seemed almost casual in nature. The comments coming out of Washington are all positive:

* "U.S. will share some information on shoot down with China"

* "'High degree of confidence' missile scored direct hit on fuel tank"

* "Officials see no debris larger than a football, general says"

* "Most debris will burn up on re-entry within two days"

The cost is $60 million dollars to bust this "thing" up? Software and missile modification was necessary, so it is alleged.

Well, the Pentagon is happy. We should be too!

In this particular case, a bullet was able to hit a bullet? Something that was not deemed feasible, practical, or EVEN "moral" not so long ago now?

"But hitting a bullet with a bullet has become almost routine. On Sept. 28, 2007, also high above the Pacific Ocean (75 miles), another 'Star Wars fantasy' vehicle successfully destroyed the mock warhead of a long-range missile. Many other recent tests have shown similar success. In fact, the U.S. is joined by 30 other nations who are working on missile defense systems. For those whose delicate constitutions forbid them to take comfort in military strength, they may consider that this same technology may one day save Earth from a catastrophic meteor strike"

And concerning the Chinese satellite shoot-down of January 2007:

"In January 2007, China used a land-based missile to destroy a 2,200-pound satellite that was orbiting 528 miles above the Earth. The impact left more than 100,000 pieces of debris orbiting the planet, NASA estimated -- 2,600 of them more than 4 inches across. The U.S. agency called the breakup of the Fengyun-C satellite the worst in history."

And here, a comment to the CNN news report from an obviously informed observer:

"The THAAD missile tests have been going on here on Kaua'i [Hawaii] for a couple of years, in full public view and disclosure...and have been very successful in shooting down other missiles in flight. What's so new about this?"

And for the assertion that:

"this same technology may one day save Earth from a catastrophic meteor strike"

If we are talking about ONE large meteor striking the earth, well, then this technology WILL work. If we are talking about the more likely event of a meteor shower striking the earth, then we cannot expect dozens or hundreds of large meteoric objects to be intercepted and "destroyed" as has been the American satellite. Too many objects would have to be targeted at once and intercepted. NOT feasible for a shower. FOR one aberrant meteor, asteroid, etc. - - YES - - possible!!!

Consider, however, lastly, what Suvorov would have to say about all this: [regarding Soviet development of an anti-ballistic missile system]

"'We [Soviets] have been working on this question for a long time and we have had some success'. Then, casually, they [Soviets] showed the whole world some lengths of film one rocket destroying another. A very primitive trick. A circus clown who knows the precise trajectory characteristics of a rocket and it's launch-time could hit it with an airgun."

Needless to say, Suvorov is skeptical and being sarcastic in this case.

But the point is well taken.

The U.S. Navy was dealing with an object in space, the orbit of which was well established [even if in a decaying mode], time being allowed to study and recommend a solution, and time allowed to implement that solution [modified missile and software required]. You know where and when the object will be in space when you shoot at it. You have a much higher confidence level of success in such circumstances.

The Aegis cruiser Lake Erie probably also - - moved into a position that would more or less guarantee a favorable outcome for the "shoot-down"?

A chaotic situation as would be in wartime or if a rogue nation launched a surprise missile attack aimed at the U.S. is not present here [satellite shoot-down].

Since Suvorov wrote those words - - 1982 - - times have changed??!!



Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Great White Fleet.

This is coolbert:

One hundred [100] years ago now, the American Great White Fleet embarked on an around-the-world-journey.

"The Great White Fleet was a United States Navy force that completed a circumnavigation of the globe from December 16, 1907, to February 22, 1909 by order of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. It consisted of four squadrons of four battleships each, with their escorts. Roosevelt sought to demonstrate growing American military power and blue-water navy capability."

A demonstration of military might. America was now a world-power of the greatest importance. Had been, in prior decades, the fore-most economic power, but NOW ranked right up there with Great Britain, Germany, etc., as a nation capable of POWER PROJECTION SECOND TO NONE!!!

"The fourteen-month long voyage was a grand pageant of American sea power. The squadrons were manned by 14,000 sailors. They covered some 43,000 miles and made twenty port calls on six continents."

"All were embarking upon a naval deployment the scale of which had never been attempted by any nation before - the first 'round-the-world cruise by a fleet of steam-powered, steel battleships"

Somewhat surprising to me is the old-fashioned masts that these "modern" [for the time] battleships sported. The type of thing you would have found on a sailing ship of the time of Nelson!?

Quickly replaced after the voyage, as having been found to be OBSOLETE!

"In addition, the old-style military masts and 'fighting tops' were replaced by new cage masts with fire-control tops"

Superior comportment of American sailors while ashore was obviously on the mind of President Roosevelt when he greeted the fleet upon return to American shores:

"you the officers and men of this formidable fighting force, have shown yourselves the best of all possible ambassadors and heralds of peace. Wherever you have landed you have borne yourselves so as to make us at home proud of being your countrymen. You have shown that the best type of fighting man of the sea knows how to appear to the utmost possible advantage when his business is to behave himself on shore, and to make a good impression in a foreign land."

While ashore, NO unnecessary wenching, drinking to excess, brawling of an unseemly manner. This was not behavior to be tolerated by Roosevelt. The men of the Great White Fleet did behave in a manner that brought credit to themselves.

Bully for them!!!




This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune today:

"Around the World"

"U.S. restricts GI’s in Japan to bases"

TOKYO - - Japanese official said tight restrictions imposed Wednesday on U.S. troops in Japan are a good first step toward stopping military-related crimes.”

“U.S. troops, limited some 45,000 troops, civilian employees and their families to bases, workplaces or off-base homes indefinitely to quell the furor over rape allegations against a Marine and other crimes.”


“Japanese officials welcomed the move but called for more. ‘We need further concrete measure.’ Said Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura.”

It has happened again. An American GI has raped a Japanese woman [alleged]. This seems to be a not-so-uncommon occurrence? I remember the case a few years ago now of the three GI’s that ABDUCTED a young Okinawan girl and raped her. They all got long prison terms. And there was a second case of a drunk GI breaking [climbed in through a window!] into the bedroom of another Okinawan woman with the intent of raping her. The villain in that instance fell asleep [he must have been very drunk] before the rape was committed!!

And now another rape case.

The perception is in Japan - - that American troops are - - “young, aggressive, and they drink a lot”. Especially members of the Marine Corps.

Members of the U.S. military, wherever they are in the world, should ALWAYS comport themselves to the highest standard of behavior. Instances of where they do not should be punished severely and instantly. CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR BY AMERICAN SOLDIERS ON FOREIGN SOIL CAN ACTUALLY HAVE RAMIFICATIONS OF A GEO-POLITICAL NATURE THAT CAN UPSET THE APPLE CART IN A BIG WAY!


[the U.S. Army for the crime of raping Englishwomen EXECUTED a number of American soldiers stationed in England during World War Two. This was a crime FOR WHICH AN ENGLISHMAN WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE DEATH SENTENCE BY HIS OWN GOVERNMENT [death as the penalty for rape had not been given in the British Isles since the 1860’s!]!! Death was meted out to miscreant GI’s presumably to assuage the feelings of angry English men and women.]

As to “further concrete measures”, I am not sure what can be done.

NO alcohol, NO women, NO cars, and you have almost NO crime on military bases. Almost the same off-base too.

AND, from another blog entry:

"American GI's stationed on Okinawa commit violent crime against the Okinawan populace at a rate only one/sixth [1/6th] the rate with which Okinawans commit violent crime against one another. An Okinawan is SIX [6] times more likely to be attacked by a compatriot than by an American GI."



Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Janissary II. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

Again, another tidbit from the wiki entry on the elite regular troops of the Ottoman Empire. .

The Janissaries and their music.

Janissary music was an integral part of military operations. In a way unique in the world at the time [1400's]. A band playing military music with a distinctive sound and beat. A band keeping time for the soldiers to march to.

This is called mehter music.

"The military march music of the Janissaries is characteristic because of its powerful, often shrill sound combining davul bass drum), zurna a loud oboe), naffir (trumpet), bells, triangle, and cymbals (zil), among others."

Surprisingly so: "Janissary music influenced European classical musicians like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven, both of whom composed marches in the Turkish style (Mozart's Piano Sonata in A major, K. 331 (c. 1783), and Beethoven's incidental music for The Ruins of Athens, Op. 113 (1811), and the final movement of Symphony no. 9)."

Mehter music has been resurrected and is again popular. Troops sing as they march to the beat?

"In 1952, the Janissary military band, Mehter, was organized again under the auspices of the Istanbul Military Museum. They have performances during some national holidays as well as in some parades during days of historical importance."

You too can listen to mehter music. Go to this web site and download some of the distinctive mehter tunes.




Janissary I.

This is coolbert:

Here is an interesting tidbit from the wiki entry on the professional soldiers of the Ottoman Empire.

The Janissaries.

"The Janissaries (derived from Ottoman Turkish: ينيچرى (yeniçeri) meaning "new soldier") comprised infantry units that formed the Ottoman sultan's household troops and bodyguard."

"Such Janissaries became the first Ottoman standing army"

The first standing army since the time of the Roman Empire? Perhaps so. Distinctive for the time [1400's]. The jannisaries were the BEST troops in the world for several centuries. The expansion of the Ottoman Empire was in large measure due to the fighting abilities of these elite troops.

Regular, active-duty soldiers, who:

* "The Janissaries wore uniforms"

* "were paid in cash"

* "marched to distinctive music"

* "lived in . . . barracks"


"They and served as policemen and firefighters during peacetime."

See my blog entry on how firefighting [as say on the scale of extinguishing a California wildfire] is as close as you can come to being in combat without someone actually shooting at you.

When fighting a fire, you are dealing with a dangerous enemy who is unpredictable, even wily. DANGER IS PRESENT in a way it is not in ordinary field training exercises.

The commanders of the Jannisary thought the same way I do? Good training, providing the type of stimulation NOT often found for soldiers in peacetime! Logical minds arriving at the same logical conclusions?



Tuesday, February 19, 2008


This is coolbert:

Again, with regard to the allegation by Senator McCain that American military aviators shot down over North Vietnam during the Second Indo-China war were tortured by Spanish speaking Caucasian men!!


Read about "Fidel" and "Chico", the two purported Cubans that tortured American POW's in Vietnam.

You need to scroll down the web page to see all the details. The U.S. gov has a lot on these guys? Has even identified them with some certainty?

One downed American aviator was even killed from the beatings he had to endure!

Guys of this type, men thought to be Cubans, were active in Vietnam, and not only in the northern part of the country during that conflict? Also in the south assisting Viet Cong [VC] in the interrogation of captured Americans!?

And, again, not necessarily Cubans? Maybe ninos'? Soviet special purpose troops able to pass as a Cuban?

Whatever the case, interesting stuff!




This is coolbert:

I see that President da Silva of Brazil is making a good-will trip to the Brazilian Antarctica station.

It DID come as a surprise to me that Brazil EVEN HAD a research station in Antarctica.

Read this amazing stuff about the Brazilian attitude toward Antarctica. Geopolitical machinations are at work here!!??

Perhaps I am wrong in seeing something sinister, or purportedly sinister, in the announcement by Hugo Chavez that Venezuela too will start up a similar research facility in the southern-most continent.

Brazil, like Venezuela, is a tropical country, has no territorial waters contiguous to the oceans surrounding Antarctica [think Australia/Chile/New Zealand/Argentina/South Africa or even India for that matter], no historical interest [U.S./Britain/Russia] in that frozen chunk of ice, BUT DOES have some excellent scientists. [so does Venezuela??]

I am overreaching in seeing some ulterior motive on the part of Hugo Chavez? Forgive me for thinking so. Again, perhaps I have reason for being that way?

See, even Bert can be wrong-headed from time to time.

But then, we of course have to consider these specific comments of Suvorov:

"The Soviet Union [existed at the time Suvorov wrote the book "Spetsnaz"] has signed a convention not to use the Antarctic for military purposes. But in the event of war it will be of course used by the military, and for that reason the corresponding experience has to be gained [Suvorov is talking about parachuting troops under 'Polar conditions' in this specific circumstance]"



Monday, February 18, 2008

China - - Again!

This is coolbert:

Here is another major rebellion [war] in Chinese history that resulted in a catastrophic and almost unimaginable death toll!

The An Lushan Rebellion.

"Death toll, legacy, and historical implications"

"The toll of dead and missing, including those caused by suppression and famine, is estimated at up to 36 million, which would be 2/3 of the total tax-roll population at the time. Numerically, this was the highest toll for any event for nearly 1200 years, until World War II surpassed it with over 62 million deaths."


"The rebellion greatly weakened the centralized bureaucracy of the Tang Dynasty . . . In addition to being politically and economically detrimental, the An Shi rebellion also damaged the intellectual culture of the Tang Dynasty."

[the Chinese themselves consider the Tang Dynasty to be the high point of their cultural development!! When President Clinton not so long ago paid a state visit to China, he was greeted in the manner as a Tang Emperor would have done for visiting dignitary. Complete with medieval dress and pageantry!!]

"The An Shi Rebellion (simplified Chinese: 安史之乱) took place in China during the Tang Dynasty, from December 16, 755 to February 17, 763 . . . The alternative term An Lushan Rebellion is also commonly used."

"An Lushan planned a revolt, taking advantage of the absence of strong troops guarding the palace and of the popular discontent with the extravagant Tang court caused by a string of natural disasters."

Not only the result of popular discontent and a string of natural disasters. ALSO A RESPONSE TO THE CHINESE LOSS AT THE BATTLE OF TALAS.

"The Battle of Talas in 751 was a conflict between the Arab Abbasid Caliphate and the Chinese Tang Dynasty for control of the Syr Darya. The Chinese army was defeated following the routing of their troops by the Abbasids on the bank of the Talas River."

Talas! One of the most significant events in history. Defeat of the Chinese army by a Muslim army marked the end of Tang expansion into central Asia. From that point forward [751], the Tang empire was in decline. Central Asia became then and is today part of the umma [Islamic nation]!

I would venture a guess that most of the 36 million [?]deaths were caused by famine and disease. Such a breakdown of the society occurred that normal life became impossible. Wars and natural disasters in Asian nations tend to be extremely horrific with regard to loss of life because of the teeming populations and fevered resolve of the combatants. NO HOLDS BARRED WARFARE TENDS TO BE THE RULE!!



Sunday, February 17, 2008

Boys and Girls II. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

Here are two rebellions - - in the not so distant past of China, one of which was perhaps a result of a "gender imbalance". Many more young men than women of the same age. Dissension and a rebellious spirit led to outright warfare.

Warfare on an almost unimaginable and horrific scale.

[throughout the long history of China there have been many rebellions against the central authority, whoever that authority may be. These examples are from the 1800's and are only indicative of WHAT HAS, AND WHAT CAN occur in China!!]

(1) "The Nien Rebellion (Chinese: 捻軍起義)was an epic armed uprising that took place in northern China from 1851 to 1868, contemporaneously with Taiping Rebellion (1851-1864) in South China. The rebellion failed to topple the Qing dynasty, but caused immense economic devastation and loss of life that became one of the major long-term factors in the collapse of the Qing regime."

This war was in part a result of gender imbalance!!??

"In Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population, Valerie Hudson and Andrea den Boer suggest that the rebellion [Nien] was fueled, at least in part, by decades of female infanticide caused by the floods and economic misery, leading to a large population of frustrated young men without any women to marry, perhaps as many as 25 percent of all young men in the area being in this category of 'bare branches' [young men that cannot begat themselves and perpetuate the familial name. Traditionally a big no-no in China!!]."

The rebellious Nien forces WERE NOT simple peasants armed with hoes and mattocks. Well armed, organized, and primarily cavalry units, able to out-pace the infantry of the central authority [Qing rule]!!

"the fast-moving Nien cavalry, well-trained and fully equipped with modern firearms, had cut the lines of communication between Beijing and the Qing armies fighting the Taiping rebels in the south. Qing forces were badly overstretched as rebellions broke out across China, allowing the Nien armies to conquer large tracts of land and gain control over economically vital areas."

(2) Taiping Rebellion.

One of the MOST lethal BUT least appreciated conflicts in all of history??

The statistics of dead, the size of the opposing battlefield forces, the length of the "war" in both the cases of the Nien and Taiping rebellions is just amazing. Even for China, the number of dead was staggering.

Some interesting aspects of the Taiping army:

"there were separate army units consisting of women only"

"At the Third Battle of Nanking in 1864, more than 100,000 were killed in three days."

The rebellion's army was its key strength. It was marked by a high level of discipline and fanaticism . . . The large numbers of women serving in the Taiping Heavenly Army also distinguished it from 19th century armies. Combat was always bloody and extremely brutal, with little artillery but huge forces equipped with small arms. By 1856, the Taiping armies numbered just over 1 million . . . Estimates of the overall size of the Taiping Heavenly Army varied from 1,000,000 to 3,000,000.

Warfare in China has ALWAYS been conducted on the gigantic scale?! Enormous armies going at one another with gusto, casualties are expected to be, and usually are, of a Biblical scale!?



Boys and Girls! I.

This is coolbert:

From my previous blog entry:

"The excess number of women is no longer the case in China. NOW, it is the opposite. There is a super-abundance of young, foot-loose, unattached, unmarried men in China that CANNOT find suitable mates."


Here are some web sites that detail the problem:

"Gender imbalance threatens China"

"China is set to become the world's largest lonely hearts club in coming decades, with some 23 million men of marriageable age unable to find a female partner, an international population conference has heard."


"Excess men have previously led to political upheaval in China"
"The prospect of millions of men forced to go solo threatens major social and political problems for the tightly controlled country of 1.3 billion people, the most populous nation on the planet"

"According to the research, men who do not marry are more prone to crime than if they were married, raising fears of social and political instability."

"Instead they suggested the most probable scenario was that excess single men "will settle in bachelor ghettos in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and Tianjin where commercial sex outlets would be prevalent'."

It should be understood that the problem cannot be resolved just by allowing for release of sexual urges and impulses through the use of prostitutes. The problem here is a lack of stability normally a result of a strong family structure. The nuclear family with the husband, wife, children, living in a stable, civil society, will not be obtainable for these tens of millions of young men.

"Previous gender imbalances in China have led to major political upheaval. In the 19th century, the Nien rebellion in northern Shandong province was in part blamed on an excess male population, estimated at 100,000, that was caused by an earlier famine and widespread female infanticide, the researchers said. It took the ruling Qing dynasty 17 years to overthrow the rebels who ruled the region of six million people."

The above is a blog entry from a recent "China hand" who feels the problem is not so acute. A problem that exists, but is overblown.

"Asia's Male Tilt"

"This year, millions of young men in China and India will reach their 19th birthday with little prospect of finding a wife. It's not that young, single women aren't available - it's that they don't exist in the same numbers."

China, right now, is the most populous nation [1.3 billion Chinese] on the planet. India, however, is not that far behind and sometime in this century will surpass China as the most populous nation. India too has the tradition of favoring boy offspring over girls. India too has the gender imbalance problem?



Saturday, February 16, 2008

Anti-Satellite II. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

Here is the full and complete dope on the missile that will shoot-down the errant American satellite.

"Inside America's Satellite-Killing Missile"

"Today, the U.S. Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system uses the Standard Missile (SM)-3 to make what are known as 'direct intercepts.' That means there's no explosion in space. Instead, the SM-3 destroys its target by ramming into with lots and lots of sheer kinetic energy [this is the bullet hitting a bullet concept]"

The Standard Missile - 3 with improved software for guidance is aboard the Aegis missile cruiser for this "test". The missile has too been modified [with regard to software] in some manner?

"Launch details: A Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) missile, with an anti-satellite payload will be launched from the USS Lake Erie by the US Navy to intercept the USA-193 satellite. Launch will occur no earlier than 20 February 2008, and no later than early March. Most reports suggest sometime between 20-25 February."

Read about the U.S. Navy anti-missile capability here.

This is not necessarily the first time that the Standard Missile - 3 has been used in the capacity for which it is now intended. Actually has been used "routinely" for such tests and has been successful MOST of the time?

"Right now, the SM-3 has tested against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, and has made twelve intercepts out of fourteen attempts during testing. These intercepts have been made while the target is in space"

Go U.S. Navy! I have a hunch a lot is riding on a successful intercept and destruction of that satellite.



Anti-satellite I.

This is coolbert:

It seems that whole lot of "experts" are looking at the proposed "shoot-down" of the wayward American satellite with a fair degree of skepticism.

There is more to this than meets the eye? Like what I have said in my previous blog entry on the same subject.

Here from the Danger Room of

"Experts Scoff at Sat Shoot-Down Rationale (Updated)"

"The Pentagon says it has to shoot down a malfunctioning spy satellite because of the threat of a toxic gas cloud. Space security experts are calling the rationale highly unlikely."

"Which leads one military satellite observer to tell DANGER ROOM, 'Everything they said made sense except for the reason for doing the intercept in the first place.'"

"There has to be another reason behind this," said Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Henry L. Stimson Center, tells the Washington Post. "In the history of the space age, there has not been a single human being who has been harmed by man-made objects falling from space."

"Our [Danger Room] veteran space security specialist believes there are several [reasons for conducting the "shoot-down"]:

* "the satellite shot is a chance for the military to try out its missile defense capabilities"

* "a way to keep secret material out of the wrong hands"

* "and a warning to the Chinese"

* "it would be a clear signal that the US can possess an active ASAT capability at any time if it so desires. That is a serious development as the previous US ASAT system using F-15s was mothballed in the 1980's."

The U.S. mothballed the F-15 based anti-satellite system in the 1980's? That is news to me. A F-15 in an almost vertical "zoom" climb fires an anti-satellite missile at an enemy satellite. The ballistic motion of the F-15 allows for the missile to achieve altitude and speed with much greater ease. A very good idea, versatile and flexible. Was mothballed?

"UPDATE: Regardless of the central rationale for the anticipated intercept of a dying satellite, the action almost certainly would offer the Pentagon useful data on conducting anti-satellite missions"

Right, exactly. An excellent opportunity for testing, gathering data, refining anti-missile systems. A rare real-world "experiment" that may prove to be extremely useful.



Friday, February 15, 2008

The Great Helmsman??

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago TRibune today:

"Around the World
Mao's generous offer
February 15, 2008

"A document released this week by the State Department's historian's office revealed a strange offer that Chinese leader Mao Tse-tung made to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1973."

"Mao: 'You know, China is a very poor country. We don't have much. What we have in excess is women. So if you want them we can give a few of those to you, some tens of thousands. ... Do you want our Chinese women? We can give you 10 million. ... They give birth to children and our children are too many.'"

"Kissinger: 'It is such a novel proposition. We will have to study it'"

Whoa boy!!

The excess number of women is no longer the case in China. NOW, it is the opposite. There is a super-abundance of young, foot-loose, unattached, unmarried men in China that CANNOT find suitable mates.

Reasons for this are:

* The one family, one child policy of China that has been in place for decades now.

* A reluctance of the Chinese, for cultural reasons, to have girl babies. Girls are aborted, the preference being for the one child to be a BOY!

The British admiral who just recently made the pronouncement that the world order may begin to break down starting around the year 2012 mentioned this exact problem. Those prodigious numbers of Chinese young men that cannot start families and lead a stable life should be a source of worry to the communists? This has the potentiality to create a chaotic, dangerous situation in China. China historically has had periods of internal strife, dissension, and rebellion.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions??!!



Thursday, February 14, 2008


This is coolbert:

From the wiki:

"List of military writers"

"List of military theorists"

From the list of military writers, we see this interesting entry:

"Anonymous, Thirty-Six Strategies"

Hmmmmm!!!??? What is that about? Actually, very interesting!

"Thirty-Six Strategies"

"The Thirty-Six Stratagems (三十六計) is a collection of 36 Chinese proverbs used to illustrate stratagems used in politics as well as in civil interaction. They were first published in the western world by Harro von Senger from Switzerland, whose Chinese translation of his books also started a boom about the 36 stratagems in China; after hearing the proverb 'Of the Thirty-Six Stratagems, fleeing is best' in Taipei University, he began to inquire about those '36 plans'".

The proverbial Chinese secret! NOT known to the world at large until the mid-1970's? "Discovered" by the sinophile Harro von Senger! Proverbs applicable to all forms of human endeavor, war included!

"Si·no·phile - –noun 1. a person who admires or has a strong liking for China, the Chinese, or their culture.
–adjective 2. friendly to or having a strong liking for China or the Chinese."

"Stratagem" is a rather ancient word for a ruse. Harro von Senger used the word 'stratagem' in his translation of the 36 stratagems to differentiate them from the negative connotation of "ruse".

"In the German "Duden" dictionary, "List" (ruse) is defined as:"

* "a means of reaching a goal unorthodoxically by deceiving somebody ."
* "a means of reaching a goal unorthodoxically."

The use of such adages and proverbs is common in the Far East. Oriental minds dig this stuff. Admiral Yamamoto had this favorite: [so applicable to Pearl Harbor]

"If you want the tiger's cubs, you must go into the lair!!

Read it all over and give it some thought. Good stuff!! "Stratagems when in Desperate Situation". Some stratagems are needed right now in Iraq, as we speak!? American commanders, wake up and read! NOW!




This is coolbert:

Here is a big time headline in the news today:

"Officials: U.S. to try to shoot down errant satellite"

NOT quite correct, however.

NOT trying to shoot it down. The satellite is going to crash into earth anyhow. Whatever is done at this point, the satellite will still come out of errant orbit and slam somewhere into the earth.

NOT shooting it down as much as destroying elements aboard that are dangerous to humans. "toxic hydrazine propellant". This is the problem?

"While much space trash and debris have safely crashed to Earth after burning up in the atmosphere on re-entry, authorities said what makes this 5,000-pound satellite different is the approximately 1,000 pounds of frozen toxic hydrazine propellant it carries."

A hit near a populated area and the spew of toxic propellants could kill or maim a lot of folks? NOT to mention falling debris.

I had originally thought the problems was more than likely radioactive junk aboard the satellite used as a power source. Heat from nuclear reaction used to power the "bird", such as plutonium, could also be released near a populated area, reason for a massive clean-up. This is NOT the case?

"The goal is to hit the satellite just before it enters Earth's atmosphere and blast it apart so that the hydrazine tank explodes. The smaller debris would be more likely to burn up in the atmosphere."

"There will be three Navy ships involved in the operation. The USS Lake Erie, an Aegis cruiser, will fire the missile, while trajectory information comes from a second ship. The third ship will be used as a backup, U.S. Navy officials said."

"The Lake Erie has long been used as the platform for the sea-based missile defense program."

This is going to be a U.S. Navy operation. Aegis class ship used previously as an experimental platform for missile defense!

Additionally, a chance to test, in a real-world environment, the software, the hardware, the concept of missile defense? NOT an exercise-out-of-the-can.

Advocates have for a long time now promoted the concept of sea-borne anti-ballistic missile defense. U.S. Navy warships of an improved-Aegis variety with improved ABM [anti-ballistic missiles] aboard, cruising near the coastline of a hostile power, are more suited to provide a boost phase intercept and shoot-down capability of missiles fired at the U.S. [presumably carrying a nuke]!!

I hope this goes well. A success will be a big plus for the U.S. military! Go for it and good hunting!!



Wednesday, February 13, 2008


This is coolbert:
Here is a smattering of web sites for those who are further interested in the Soviet KGB man Oleg Nechiporenko. THE ace KGB man for Latin America:

"Slender and darkly handsome . . . with his wavy black hair and olive complexion looked utterly Latin. Indeed, Mexican authorities theorized that he was either the child of Spanish communists who had fled to Russia after the Spanish civil War or perhaps the son of a Russian father and a Spanish mother . . . His Spanish was flawless, he spoke the idioms of laborers, diplomats, and students"

Oleg, in his old age, still hale and hearty, retired now from the KGB, is public now, but continues to be active in the intelligence game. NOW a general director of the National Foundation against Crime and Terrorism.

"The spy who knew Oswald"

"Oleg Nechiporenko: The Snake, which tempted Eve, was the first intelligence officer"

"Oleg M. Nechiporenko is the general director of the National anti-criminal and anti-terrorist fund, KGB colonel in retirement."

"Oleg Nechiporenko"

"Oleg Nechiporenko of Russia's National Foundation against Crime and Terrorism shared his view about the UK-Russian relations as the dispute between the countries makes a new twist."

Oleg - - could pass - - for an elder distinguished Spanish gentleman - - any time!!??





This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune today:

Around the World

Castro counter McCain on torture

“Havana” - -

“Ailing leader Fidel Castro on Monday denied U.S. presidential hopeful John McCain’s claim that Cuban agents helped torture American prisoners of war [POW] in Vietnam in the 1960’s, calling the assertion ‘a strange legend.’”

“Castro’s Essay: ‘Let me remind you, Mr. McCain: The commandments of the religion you practice prohibit lying,’ Castro wrote in an essay published by the Communists Party newspaper Granma. ‘The years in prison and the wounds received because of the attacks on Hanoi do not excuse you from the moral obligation of the truth.’"

“McCain, GOP front-runner for the the November presidential contest, was held [as a POW] for five years in North Vietnam.”

[Fidel Castro is hardly one to lecture or admonish anyone about lying or other immoral behavior!!!]

What are we talking about here?

It has been over thirty years [1973] now since the American POW’s being held at the Hanoi Hilton were released by the North Vietnamese. Almost exclusively aviators, shot down while on bombing missions against military targets over North Vietnam. Captured, imprisoned, tortured into revealing information, make “confessions”, sign “statements”, etc.

Including John McCain. Shot down, badly injured from bailing out of his downed aircraft, refused medical treatment from the North Vietnamese.

Then subjected to further excruciating torture. Even beyond what was suffered from the shoot down.

[I think McCain suffered broken arms and broken collar-bones. Maybe worse than that??!! McCain during the 2000 election primaries stated that his VA medical casebook consisted of 300 pages, mostly documenting surgeries he has had to correct, over the years, a variety of problems stemming from the bailout injuries and subsequent torture!]

A fate quite common for those imprisoned at the “Hanoi Hilton”. Called the Hilton because it WAS NO HILTON.

The assertion has been made even from the time of the Vietnam War, that Cuban interrogators DID participate in the torture of American POW’s. NOT solely at the “Hanoi Hilton” either. American POW’s held by the Viet Cong [VC] in South Vietnam also reported the presence of “Cubans”. Persons described as SPANISH SPEAKING WHITE MEN!!

I can offer a suggestion as to who these SPANISH SPEAKING WHITE MEN WERE!!

NOT necessarily Cubans. What ethnic Russians would refer to as ninos’ [children in Spanish].

According to John Barron: [speaking here of the KGB officer Oleg Nechiporenko]

"Slender and darkly handsome . . . with his wavy black hair and olive complexion looked utterly Latin. Indeed, Mexican authorities theorized that he was either the child of Spanish communists who had fled to Russia after the Spanish civil War or perhaps the son of a Russian father and a Spanish mother . . . His Spanish was flawless, he spoke the idioms of laborers, diplomats, and students"

And according to Victor Suvorov:

"During the Civil War in Spain thousands of Spanish children were evacuated to the Soviet Union. The exact number . . . is not known . . . As young men they soon became cadets at Soviet military schools . . . they were evacuated [after the Battle of Stalingrad] to the Urals and Siberia, where the Spanish Communist Party . . . organized special schools for them. From then on references to Spanish children appeared very rarely in the Soviet press . . . One of the special schools . . . was known as the E.D. Stasova International School. Some graduates of this school later turned up in Fidel Castro's personal bodyguard, some became leading figures in the Cuban intelligence service - - the most aggressive in the world [that is saying a lot!!!!!] . . . The second generation of Spaniards is used by the Soviet government in many ways for operations abroad."

These Spanish-speaking-white-men encountered by American POW's in Vietnam may have very well been Soviet citizens - - ninos' - - offspring of those original Spanish children evacuated to the Soviet Union during the Spanish Civil War??

Does any of this mean that John McCain is lying about being tortured by “Cubans”? [I do not know if McCain was personally mistreated by SPANISH SPEAKING WHITE MEN!!] NO!! A lie is only when you tell an untruth and know it to be an untruth at the exact moment you are saying it.

Again, Fidel Castro is hardly a man to be lecturing someone about “lying”!!


Labels: ,

Monday, February 11, 2008


This is coolbert:

Only today, another spy case involving the Chinese.

Displaying the characteristic signature of the Chinese intelligence services.

Working ONLY with other Chinese.

* Tai Shen Kuo.

* Yu Xin Kang.

* Dongfan 'Greg' Chung.

* Gregg Bergersen. [well, there always has to be one exception to the rule, doesn't there!!?? Gregg would be classified as a sub-agent of a sub-agent of an agent!!??]

"WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Defense Department weapons system analyst and three natives of China have been arrested and charged in two espionage-related cases, prompting a top Justice Department official Monday to declare Chinese espionage is approaching 'Cold War levels.'"

"'aggressive' Chinese government espionage programs have reached levels not seen since the Cold War with the former Soviet Union."

"In the Virginia case officials charge that Gregg Bergersen, 51, of Alexandria, Virginia, sold highly classified information to Tai Shen Kuo, 58, a naturalized citizen who resides in New Orleans, Louisiana. Kuo then allegedly handed the information to Yu Xin Kang, 33, a lawful resident alien also living in New Orleans. Kang in turn allegedly gave the information to a spy for the Chinese government."

"Dongfan 'Greg' Chung, 72, of Orange, California, a naturalized U.S. citizen, had worked for Rockwell, Boeing and a Boeing contractor for more than 30 years."

"'he did it out of loyalty to the Motherland'"

Thirty years, he worked for Boeing. Thirty years. All that time, PASSING STUFF OF A CLASSIFIED NATURE TO THE CHINESE, AND DOING SO UNDETECTED??!!

I think a lot of people would assume the Chinese have a hard time conducting espionage operations against the U.S. Evidently NOT!!

People like Dongfan really piss me off. Too bad he did not have the same degree of loyalty to his adopted motherland as he did for some commie paradise. Blood is thicker than water!!??




This is coolbert:

Something fishy here too??!!

Again, from the Chicago Tribune today:

Around the World


“Antarctica Team: President Hugo Chavez heralded a team of 15 scientists Sunday who will participate in Venezuela’s first expedition to Antarctica, where his government hopes to establish a research station.”

What possible reason would Chavez and the Venezuelans have for setting up a research station in Antarctica? Venezuela is a tropical country
and NOT known as being a nation renowned for scientific research. Does not have a seacoast contiguous to Antarctic waters or a history of Antarctic exploration.

Chavez has ulterior motivation here? Use a presence in Antarctic as a vehicle for provocations, confrontation, machinations, etc.?

I am reading something into this that does not exist? What is it then?




This is coolbert

From the Chicago Tribune today”

Mayor stops Marine war game in city

Toledo, Ohio - -“

“Mayor Carty Finkbeiner said Sunday that he stands by his decision to stop a Michigan-based Marine battalion from holding an urban warfare training session downtown.”

“About 200 reservists, whose unit is based in Grand Rapids, had prepared to conduct the exercise at a vacant building Friday when city officials put a stop to it.”

“Finkbeiner said that more than 10,000 people would have been leaving downtown offices as Friday’s exercise unfolded.”

“The mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people”, Finkbeiner spokesman Brian Schwartz said.”

There is much more to this than meets the eye? I am afraid it may be so. The battalion was going to conduct a MOUT [Military Operations Urban Terrain] exercise and was prepared for the mission, and all of a sudden, it was called off? Something very fishy here. One abandoned building, 200 reservists, all pre-arranged presumably, and A CANCELLATION ALL OF A SUDDEN!!??

NO, something not right with the explanation given by the “spokesman”. NOTE - - you would think the mayor himself would give the response in person, but he did NOT even have the guts to show up.

I HAVE often thought that many of these depressed areas in American big cities with a lot of abandoned buildings make an excellent environment for MOUT training. MOUT must be well understood, prepared for, practiced. As was with the Fallujah operation. U.S. forces, overcame 2,000 jihadis, the latter well dug-in and prepared for months in advance, with relative low-casualties on the part of American troops. NOT the normal experience for troops engaging in MOUT warfare. Training, practice, well-thought-out doctrine and techniques go a long way.

Surely Maybe Finkbeiner understands this? Or was he persuaded by other concerns?



Sunday, February 10, 2008

Danger Room!

This is coolbert:

Spend the whole day reading about the latest in military technology and related issues.

Thanks to the "DangerRoom". A blog [?] from WiredNews devoted to high technology with defense related applications.

Latest items plus a whole bunch of categories to choose from the archives.

Outstanding. Be on top of things. So much stuff, in fact, that you will have to devote several hours each evening just to keep up with the archived material, not to mention recent entries.

What was once available only to a select few scientists and government officials working in the defense sphere, is now available to anyone that possesses a computer, Internet connection and TIME!



Saturday, February 09, 2008


This is coolbert:

Thanks to John M. here for the tip to this web site.

A web site with an interesting title.


Weaponry, the most lethal and dangerous [?] from ancient and medieval times. The top ten.

The weapons, "badassed", as they say, listed, not in any specific order I would think, are:

10. Culverin.

9. Caltrop.

8. Boiling Oil.

7. Arbalest.

6. Hunga Munga.

5. Morning Star.

4. Dead bodies.

3. Trebuchet.

2. Greek fire.

1. Scythed chariot.

As usual, here are my comments:

Here is a photo of the arbalest from the "badass" site

another photo putting the proper size of the "device" in context. A crossbow type weapon that fired a SPEAR [javelin], not just a bolt [the arrow fired from a crossbow is normally called a BOLT.]

With regard to the crossbow, here is what Suvorov has to say:

"However amusing the reader may find this, the crossbow is in fact a terrible weapon which can put an arrow right through a man at a great distance and with great accuracy. Specialist believe that, at the time when the crossbow was competing with the musket, the musket came off best only because it made such a deafening noise that this had a greater effect on the enemy than the soft whistle of an arrow from a crossbow. But in speed of firing, accuracy, and reliability the crossbow was superior to the musket, smaller in size and weight, and killed people just as surely as the musket."

Oil boils at a temperature exceeding that of water. Is thicker and clings better too. Getting boiling oil underneath armor must have been just the most terrible experience. Exposed to the enemy, burning up with oil, tearing the armor off, writhing on the ground in agony, etc. A wound like that is particularly susceptible to infection. If you did not die from the burns, shock, etc., infection and death was a strong possibility.

Dead bodies, flung into a besieged city, can pose a problem for the attacker as well as the defender. Disease, spread by biological pathogens, can come back to strike down those outside the walls as well as those inside. The same with bacteriological warfare today. Unless you have an antidote to the pathogen and inoculate your own people, the illness can spread and kill YOUR OWN PEOPLE!!

I was especially intrigued by the hunga munga. I would have thought that a creation of Hollywood prop creators. NOT a weapon to be found in the real world. WAS used in Africa by warring tribes [prior to the advent of the AK-47]. Is both a THROWING weapon and a SLASHING weapon. I can imagine an entire form of martial art developing around the use of the hunga munga [Buffy did employ a hunga munga in her various duels with vampires. But that is fiction - - right!!]

And this stuff [ancient and medieval weaponry] is coming back into fashion too. ONLY yesterday the Chicago Tribune carries an on-the-scene report from a journalist traveling in Kenya. Lots of tribal warfare going on right now, as we speak. The writer tells of gangs of "youths" armed in the medieval manner, with spears, bows and arrows, and machetes' [called a panga in Africa].

I guess whatever works, works!?



Friday, February 08, 2008


This is coolbert:

The doomed Russian submarine Kursk did have integral escape mechanisms that COULD have allowed survivors to reach the surface.

To include:

* An escape capsule.

* Two escape hatches.

The former presumably some sort of pod allowing multiple number of sailors to ascend to the surface. NOT requiring flooding or pressurization of any sort? Persons inside the capsule are not exposed to the water during escape?

The latter, escape hatches, REQUIRING pressurization and exposure to the water during the ascent to the surface.

Sailors, those survivors left on board the Kursk, would don survival suits, place over their heads some sort of expedient breathing apparatus, flood the compartment connected to the escape hatch, open the hatch and flee the stricken sub in that manner.

Here is a photo of Russian submariners practicing "escape drill". Again, this sort of thing will not work in pelagic waters [deep]. Crush depth will be exceeded first, the hull of the sub breaking apart before the "sub bottoms out". Under such circumstance ESCAPE IS NOT POSSIBLE!

Those survival suits are quite impressive. Allow for flotation at the surface. Keeps the sailor warm for some time as well. The Russian Navy works almost exclusively in very cold waters [Barents/Baltic/Pacific]. Immersion normally means death from hypothermia in a few minutes. Under such conditions, a survival suit as worn by the Russian sailors IS A MUST!

Evidently a number of crew members on the Kursk did survive. Were trapped in a rear compartment for up to three days prior to death. They DID NOT ATTEMPT AN ESCAPE? Could have accessed an escape hatch? But did not?



Thursday, February 07, 2008


This is coolbert:

Read this one over carefully:

"Terrorists can't make the Big 1"

Steve Chapman
February 7, 2008

Columnist for the Chicago Tribune maintains, that with all the worry American senior officials have gone through in the years since 9/11, the terrorists of the bin Laden persuasion are very highly UNLIKELY to either get their hands on an atomic bomb, obtain fissile material, bring one to the U.S., or get one [atomic bomb] to work.

The detonation or the simultaneous detonations of atomic weaponry in an American city or cities is the worse case scenario!!

But according to Chapman and his research, very UNLIKELY!?

Well, prior to 9/11, if someone had said that four American airplanes would be hijacked by nineteen terrorists, all done with clockwork synchronicity, two of the planes flown into the World Trade Center [WTC] buildings, bring down same [WTC], who would have believed??!!

If you were a betting man, which way would you go?

Me, I already have my anti-radiation pills on hand!! If I survive an atomic bomb detonation in or near Chicago, I am not taking further chances.




This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune today:

“Britain ending goat experiments”

“London - - “

“The British military said Wednesday that it will no longer use goats in experiments to gauge the risks of evacuating a submerged submarine.”

“The tests, conducted for years by the Ministry of Defense, involved herding the animals into a special chamber and then drastically changing the air pressure. Six goats died in the experiments between 2000 and November 2006.”

“Goats were chosen because of their physiological similarities to human beings.”

[sheep too resemble humans. The physiology, the internal organs, etc. You hear a lot of talk about that sort of stuff. But we will not go there!]

I am assuming this was some sort of experimentation to determine the best manner for sailors to evacuate a damaged submarine, underwater, immobile, and unable to surface!

Such an occurrence, would be extremely rare, an evacuation from a submarine, in time of peril. Especially, now, in the day of the nuclear boomer, operating almost exclusively in pelagic waters [deep oceanic]! A sub in peril, out of control, settling to the bottom, would first exceed “crush depth” and have the hull collapse, instant death for all inside being the result. Such as with the Thresher or the Scorpion. NO POSSIBILTY OF ESCAPE WOULD EXIST IN THE FIRST PLACE!!

For an accident such as was suffered by the Russian Kursk, the sub settling to the bottom in waters of lesser depth, continental shelf depth waters not exceeding six hundred feet [two hundred meters], escape is possible in theory. The Kursk was evidently equipped with escape pods and exits. Trapped sailors would enter the escape pod wearing some sort of expedient underwater breathing apparatus, the pod is flooded [now under pressure] the sailors ascending, following a rope tethered to a jettisoned buoy floating at the surface.

Again, such an occurrence, nowadays, a disaster necessitating the evacuation of a submerged vessel, would be extremely rare! I think such measures as sub crews practice for rescue, are mostly psychological than anything else?!



Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Mai' - - Mai'!! II [Conclusion].

This is coolbert:

Please do not think that black magic, sorcery, spells, potions, amulets, have disappeared as a weapon of war in sub-Saharan Africa. Mai-Mai related phenomenon DID NOT end with the suppression of the 1964 Simba rebellion in the Congo. Continues UNABATED to this day. Perhaps even more pronounced and ACCEPTED as a legitimate "weapon" of war!!

Consider the case first of Priestess Alice and her band of Ugandan madmen:

* "October, 1987, witnessed the invasion of Uganda by a Voudon [voodoo] priestess, Alice Lakwena, with an army of six thousand, called the Holy Spirit Movement . . . Lakwena smeared her followers with an ointment to grant them protection from bullets."

And even more recently, the case of the Mai-Mai warriors:

* "In 2002, a lightly-armed band of Congolese rebels attacked a capital city airport in a desperate bid to seize a vital military target. They wore magic charms across their bare chests to ward off government bullets."

And lastly we have the story of the cannibal/terrorist/"guerrilla commander" from Liberia, Milton Blahyi:

"Milton Blahyi, a former feared rebel commander in Liberia's brutal civil war, has admitted to taking part in human sacrifices as part of traditional ceremonies intended to ensure victory in battle."

"He said the sacrifices 'included the killing of an innocent child and plucking out the heart, which was divided into pieces for us to eat.'"

"There had been numerous rumours of human sacrifices during the 1979-93 conflict but this is the first time anyone has admitted publicly to the practice."

"Mr. Blahyi, 37, is better known in Liberia as 'General Butt Naked' because he went into combat with no clothes on, to scare the enemy."

[I am so scared!!]

"He is now an Evangelist preacher, who prefers to use the name Joshua."

"Joshua" has now decided to substitute one religion [voodoo/sorcery/black magic] for another. NOW seeks to convert those that need saving!!

Again - - ONLY in Africa?! The combination of modern weaponry, sorcery, black magic, etc., may seem as an extreme paradox to westerners, BUT NOT to the African!!



Mai' - - Mai'!! I.

This is coolbert:

I can remember quite well when I first read about this.

A war-related phenomenon unique to sub-Saharan Africa.

Sorcery and black magic put to use [1964] by the forces of the Simba rebels. Dissidents/rebels/insurgents in the former Belgian Congo. The newly independent nation of the Congo was faced by an insurrection headed by a small cadre of communists, leading a band of murderous and superstitious tribesmen, fighting in a manner ONLY to be found in Africa!

Simba fighters were emboldened by the belief that live ammo, metal jacketed bullets, fired from modern assault rifles, would turn into water and not be harmful to them. Black magic, amulets, chanting, all would render the Simba warrior impervious to the "white mans'" bullets.

[let me be clear here. Bullets turning into water - - NOT figuratively - - BUT literally. Metal becoming drops of water!!]

It is not the physics of a bullet traveling through the air that mattered as much as the THE BELIEF THAT EXISTED IN THE MIND OF THE SIMBA WARRIOR THAT MATTERED!! To the Simba, bullet turning to water WAS REAL!!

"In July, 1964, a rebellion began in the former French Congo (Eastern Congo) ignited by the abuses of the newly established Congolese central government . . . Rebels were promised immunity to bullets by witch doctors. The tribesmen were told by the magic men they would be transformed into 'Simbas' (the Swahili word for lions) when entering battle . . . The national troops [Congolese] had been scared into headlong retreat by witch doctors charging with only forty Simba fighters . . . the witch doctors frantically waved palm branches as a part of their supernatural arsenal."

The Congo, especially in the easternmost province of Katanga, then as now, was of great importance to the western industrialized nations. Possessing, as it did [the Congo] of an abundance of mineral wealth. Minerals such as cobalt, rare earths such as coltan, etc. Absolutely essential to the metallurgy of advanced, industrialized societies.

It was ONLY by the intervention of foreign mercenaries and Belgian paratroopers that the Simba insurrection was quelled. Simba tribesmen fighters, much to their regret, found out very quickly that the "white mans'" bullets did not turn to water, regardless of what the sorcerers had told them.

[Simba fighters would advance headlong into battle looking straight ahead, chanting mai' - - mai' [water - - water]. I guess it has to be seen to be believed.]

The appearance of mai - - mai, however, seems to have very old roots. Sorcery and witchcraft being part and parcel of sub-Saharan culture, the bullets-to-water spectacle was first observed of course, only when the various cultures of black Africa came into contact with and engaged in warfare with the "civilized" military forces of the colonialist powers. Rifle toting soldiers of the western imperialist militaries versus spear carrying tribesmen.

Consider these various occurrences of mai - - mai:

* "In April 1819, the British Colony on the Cape, Grahamstown, was menaced by a large Xhosan army. The Xhosan prophet, Nxele, had promised the Xhosan king, the Ndlambe, the ability to turn white men's bullets to water."

* "In 1850 . . . Mlanjeni, 'the Riverman,' claimed it was necessary to cleanse the Xhosa nation and to make war on the whites. Mlanjeni promised the Xhosan warriors immunity from the white men's bullets, and sent them into battle with a twig from a plumbug bush to ward off evil (including bullets)."

* "During the summer of 1905, Germany's newly acquired colony of East Africa became the scene of revolt, using magic to defeat the white man. A spirit medium claimed to be possessed . . . The medium's name was Kinjikitile Ngwale . . . The medium gave his followers war medicine to turn German bullets into water. This powerful war medicine turned out to be water (maji in Swahili) mixed with castor oil and millet seeds. Thus the Maji-Maji rebellion was born!"

* "While World War I [1914] erupted across Europe, in Uganda another prophet arose named Rembe. He came to give the Lugbara people divine power by the drinking of a special water . . . Rembe promised special protection for his followers who drank the 'Yakan water.' The water was to provide protection against European rifles . . . Rembe's magic could cause the guns to only fire water."

["'Yakan Water,' was laced with a hallucinogen from the daffodil species". You do have to hand it to the sorcerers. Also called "witch doctors". They DO have impressive pharmaceutical abilities. The Zulu are especially famous in this regard! When it is spear wielding tribesman against spear wielding tribesman it is not a big deal. But when it is spear against firearm, it is a big deal!! YOU GET MOWED DOWN!!!]

There are those that would suggest - - ONLY in Africa!!