Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Pigs' Funeral for a Dog's Breakfast - and other Christmas Tales

As Christmas comes to Ukraine and it approaches the second anniversary of its 'new' freedom,  there is not much changed to distinguish it from the mess the Maidan made.   While it is questionable that Ukraine would have changed had it not 'gone crazy' - twenty years of doing things wrong didn't teach many lessons about doing things right - for the mistakes, rather than being undone,  are  now magnified, more numerous and far more violent than they were before.

Neo-EUkraines' singular failure was to use the nationalist right wing extremists to unseat the former government.  No matter what 'cleansing' -  purely superficial -  the 'euro-technocrats' did to clean-up for the EU and the 'free world',  the fascist rump rules the country -  and terrifies them.  The touted 'reforms' - largely to mollify foreign investors and open Ukraine up to economic exploitation - fly directly into  the 'national power'  objectives of the right wing. The notion of making Ukraine strong by selling out to the IMF may play well with expatriots in the west, but to those Ukrainians at home, now being weaned forcefully from the 'ravages' of socialism, the switch to the higher start-up costs of a fee economy stand a good chance of forcing many of them to use an EU visa (if they ever get one) to head west like their 'betters' do, and have traditionally done.

In an apparent replay of a traditional Ukrainian form of protest, farmers descended on the Rada building two days before Christmas #1 and the 'festivus for the rest of us'   celebrated by 40 percent of Ukrainians. The funeral of a pig was meant to epitomize the effect of a new 'tax' system and the budget, on Ukrainian farmers. Farmers, formerly an 'honored' estate in the country,  are now not only expected to supply their sons for the siege of the east, they're expected to sell for less - to feed the revolution and to help the entrepreneurs sell something in Europe. Russia stops buying Ukrainian produce completely in January. Ukrainians can't afford to pay Russian prices and the EU would need an even deeper discount to take food they already don't need.   It could be the farmers see the advent of another economic 'Holodmor' more clearly than they see the coming of Christ. Both are equally as frightening - or 'redeeming', if you're 'doing lunch' in the Rada restaurant.

Meanwhile Poroshenko is off in Israel keeping warm (and looking for money)   He made a point of apologizing on front of the Knesset for the 'history' of the heroic cleansing of Ukrainian (communist) Jews during the last war. Things got a little 'out of hand' then, too.

 Meanwhile 'at the front' in East Ukraine:

                           “Adolf Hitler is together with us, Adolf Hitler is in each of us, 
                   and an eagle  (America?) with iron wings will help  us at the right time,

Merry Christmas and more of the same next year? 

Friday, December 11, 2015

We (Maybe) Ain't Seen Nuthin' Yet


The Japanese tsunami of 2012 is a vague memory these days - now that we don't have to worry about the flotsam and jetsam of that sad occasion washing up on our beaches - or at least we don't have to worry about reading about it. It's all 'old news' now.

                                                               Debris flow 2012

And then perhaps it's not.  One of the notable sideshows of the tsunami was the flooding of the Fukushima nuclear plant and the ensuing 'Chernobyl' incident.  That incident, too, was played-down. It may have cost the head of the Japanese Nuclear agency his job and, perhaps, the President of Japan another term, but the plant itself remains even more dangerous than the little irradiated playground in northeastern Ukraine.  For while some work has been done on the site, an awful lot more has to be done and it's looking like it could get a lot worse before it gets better.

                                             One of 17 explosions - Reactor 2 goes up

Murphy's Law:  it just so happened that, on the day of the disaster, some very sensitive work as being done to convert one of the reactors to use a different kind of fuel. A protective shroud had been removed in preparation for removing the fuel rod bundles and the replacement rods - containing a fuel that combines uranium and plutonium (MOX) fuel were stored for ready insertion.  It appears the work crews has little time to secure their work area before they were evacuated.  It also appears not that the fuel cooling pools were overstocked with used bundles and at least one had fresh fuel rods stored with the used ones. It is also certain that at least one of the pools suffered damage with resulted in exposed fuel which overheated, caught fire and caused a 'minor' nuclear explosion before melting the reactor and dissipating into the earth. It  is estimated to-day that significant percentages of fuel in 4 reactors dissipated into the atmosphere, including all the fuel in one of them.  That's the good news.

The bad news is that 3 years after the event  very little works has actually been done either to satabilize or ameliorate the situation at Fukushima. The great fear is that something will happen to compromise more fuel rods and cause another 'reaction event'. And even greater fear is that the plutonium in the new fuel rods may also be involved,  discharging enough radiation to trigger sympatethetic reactions at other nearby by reactors (Fukushima 2 is 10 KM from the affected site). Should this happen, the results for Japan, at the very least,  could be catastrophic.

The danger is that parts of the reactor hardware are unstable. Any attempts to stabilize them could cause injury to the stored fuel. That fuel will, at some point, have to be removed and relocated to storage. The removal could cause materials, already affected by heat and shock, to rupture and allow the fuel to mix.  Kabloooie!

And then there is all the contaminated soil and water just waiting to be taken, or washed, away.


For the sake of comparison Chernobyl contained 130 tonnes of radioactive materials and only a small part of that was affected.  Fukushima, as it sits to-day, contains over 1700 tonnes of fissionable material - possibly more - as it seems the records of what is supposed to be there compared to what has been observed aren't accurate.

Somebody - in this case the Japanese Nuclear Industry - nwas playing more than fast and loose with nuclear safety  - for profit.  It's ironic that the same nation that experienced the first nuclear bombing may also be the first to undergo a 'real' nuclear tragedy. For the ones we've had already - Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, are 'squibs' compared to what sits on Japan's Pacific coast.
                                                  One of the reactors, afterward

Ironic as well that Japan has recently abrogated its status and a 'neutral' country and wants to develop military teeth. And that the same folk  who supervised Fukushima, were also in the van to see Iran sanctioned over a nuclear program they denied and no one has been able to prove they had.  Maybe if there were economic and political sanctions for having nuclear accidents they'd have looked after their own house first?

Fukushima to-day

Friday, November 27, 2015

"10 Reasons Ukraine is Dead." - G. Phillips

 I'm posting someone else's work, because it encapsulates what I'm thinking about the sorry state that is EUkrainia to-day.

With a tip of the ballcap to Graham Phillips at "The Truth Speaker"

 I've added his blogs to my faves, so I would encourage the reader to check out his work.

Ukraine as it is: 10 Reasons Ukraine is Dead. 

Phillips puts your money where his mouth is. Providing some 'humanitary' for the folk of 'Free' Donbass. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Since the Last Time, Last Time

The 'last time' I updated (October 5th)  I wrote about the USAF strike in the MSF hospital in Kunduz.  The most recent development of that horror is the announcement that the aircrew involved have been suspended and may be looking at a court martial.  Something has come off the rails at PR headquarters.

LA Times Report

We should recall that the incident happened when Afghan and US Special forces were engaged in the mission to drive the Taliban invaders out of that city - hopefully saving it, without destroying it.  If the Taliban were playing true to form - where the notion about 'fighting and running away' is wiser than 'standing up' like a man so the nice chopper jockeys can shred you, they were probably exiting, stage north, while the good guys rolled into town from the south - at night.  An assault, at the best of times, is usually governed, at least when there are Americans involved,  by the 'war philosophies' of 'fire superiority'  and its related axioms: fire suppression, reconnaissance by fire, fire and movement,  etc - which generally involve a lot of shooting.

That this is happening at night, when either you can't see, or the night vision goggles are lighting up like a Disney movie, you have a recipe for the wrong people getting shot, or shot at.  And so when the 'Spectre' gunship, circling above to provide 'fire support' (another axiom),  received the report that maybe, somebody inside the hospital may have fired at the 'saving' forces, the gun sights would have been zeroed on the coordinates and confirmation of target sought. Obviously they got that for they opened-up and, after 55 minutes of the best airborne bang-bang money can buy and their ammo bins emptied,  the hospital had been put out of commission. Obviously too, in the heat of all that 'action' nobody thought to vet the procedure with HQ - which had, unbeknownst to the birdmen,  one of those silly humanitarian agreements with MSF about not shooting-up their hospital.

I'll bet that, after they wiped-off,  even the gunship crew knew there was a 'shitstorm' coming their way. And so the PR second-guessers kicked into overdrive. They took witnesses out of action to testify to seeing Taliban dashing about and firing from inside the hospital. Only thing wrong with that there were no dead Taliban, their weapons or even empty cartridges from all the shooting, found inside.  Not that there wouldn't have been,  for some non-military types actually got into the hospital before the good guys drove an AFV though the wall of a destroyed ward three days later  to get inside to 'do their investigation'. The MSF and Afghan watchman could easily have spirited-off the dead bad guys and picked up all the empties and guns left behind.   Why they even got the President of Afghanistan on the news,  to say that he wouldn't second-guess 'good intel' and, while it was regrettable, the shoot'em-up was OK by him. The President of the USA, of course, praised the good work of MSF and blamed the Taliban for endangering them. The US armed forces came up with a body of information and 'scenarios' to justify wiping them out.

And to-day, well the pendulum swings and somebodies, the guys at the sharp end, are going to have a chance to make their own case for why they felt the need to do what they were trained and deployed to do,  in front of the humanitarians who sent them there and would have been pinning medals on them if this had turned-out to be a 'feather in their cap', rather than 'a black eye'.   If Joe Heller were still alive he would be roaring about this one.

A human interest story coming out of this sad mess."The Man on the Table"  

Milo Minderbinder lives and the Big Picture is still what counts.

Speaking of that Big Picture again. The western military is agog in anticipation of what Putin is going to do to the Turks.  While he seems to have ruled out risking a 'nukuler conflagration' by attacking a NATO member under Article 5 of the Treaty. (Boo! Hiss!  Pusssaaay!) , Putin is being cracked-up for all kinds of creativity designed to bring about the end of all we hold dear and sacred.  The western media is full of 'what ifs', but the other 80 percent of the balderdash deals with why it was so right of the Turkish Air force to drop a Russian jet in the course of its duties bombing Syrian terrorists - well not quite terrorists like the ones we don't like, these are doing the same things and we do like them.  Like the Kurds defending their homes against ISIS, the Turkomens of Syria are 'defending their homes' against the Assad regime. In most other places they are called 'rebels', in Syria they're called the 'Free Syrian Army' because we've armed them like a regular army  to destroy tanks and aircraft. Apparently they couldn't drop the Russian aircraft 'attacking' them,  so their blood brothers across the border did.   The Russians initially claimed it was ground fire that downed the jet  (it was ground fire that killed one of the crew) but rather than take the 'free out',  the Turks responded with a radar tracking map and claimed the Russians flew over a 20 Km-wide sliver of southern Turkey that pokes 50 KM into northern Syria. the overflight took 17 seconds, during which the Russian aircraft (2) were 'warned' 10 times. Then a Turkish fighter fired an Aamraam long-range missile which struck one of the Russians while it was in Syrian airspace. That caused a crash inside Syria.

Russia denies the aircraft were in Turkey at all.  It's maintaining that story to-day while NATO is making noises about 'overreactions' and the US is saying it can't confirm Turkish radar data.

The Russian media slant:

We'll see where this goes but it's pretty certain it won't be a cause for war or even some Shock 'n Awe.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Brennt Paris? Nein Mein Fhurer.

Like the cinematographic marvel that described Dietrich Von Choltitz' defiance of a  Fuhrerbefehl in order to save the City of Light, there will probably be a couple of 'cinemas' come out of 'Paris - the bulwark of latter-day democracy and freedom'.  I've been waiting to see how things shake-out after the latest 'terrorist outrage' and, as I expected, there's more of 'wag the dog' in the reaction than there seemed to be in the perpetration.

One of the nice things about having all the perpetrators wind-up either killing themselves (preferred) or being killed in subsequent security operations, it that it leaves the sheeple wondering 'why' and the way open for somebody to fill-in their blank. The narrative belongs to the survivors, usually the distaff side of the perpetrators' cause, if there is one. In most western democracies, under such attack, is there any permissible cause to be killing innocent citizenry or upsetting 'routine life' - unless they are rioting coloured people?  And such it was in Paris.

But, as in other such instances,  a couple of points are noteworthy.

Once again security forces were able to identify the perpetrators quickly,  almost within  minutes. Lucky happenstance - an abandoned rental vehicle loaded with weapons - led to rented hotel rooms and the identification of a number of the terrorists and the 'Belgian connection' which continues to generate news (see below) Had there been a dumped corpse in the trunk, that car might well have sat, ignored, until the pong  disturbed the neighborhood - but when everybody's looking in back windows for a 'bum' it was quickly identified. Or maybe they left it parked in the roadway.  A passport found in the street led to the notion that Syrian Jihadis might have be on a mission from God to pose as refugees and infiltrate the vulnerable EU.   The discovery has EU member-states shoring-up the internal 'grenzen' and fortifying the outer wall - to stop refugees.  And then there was the logo. Somebody went diligently to work to create something to portray the times, faster than Parisian came up with caps and 'liberty trees'  and altars to celebrate the Revolution a couple of centuries ago.

Presidente Hollande was 'on the air', again within minutes,  promising France that revenge was in the air that 'relentless attacks' were in the offing and that the target was clear - ISIS, or as a preceding step perhaps a regime change in Syria. He announced to the French that their country was 'at war'. As if what France's membership in NATO and it's involvement in 'Yugoslavia' (vestigial), Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali, CAR, Djibouti and a number of other places weren't actual 'wars'.  This is 'vrai laine' - all that's needed is a UN mandate and some willing allies.  The only real ally - or at least 'relentless' - seems to be Vlad Putin.

Needless to say outrage was worldwide and spread by a media slavering for the sort of sensation that sells paper. Even Charlie Hebdo rose to a suitably moronic  'Gallic' reaction to the shooters

                                     "Zey av zee weapons, F*ck them! We av zee Champagne!"

The rest of the world looked for stories of courage under fire, lucky escapes, tragic deaths and who to blame. All were intrinsic to the story, and Paris is famed, or infamous,  for its 'paparazzi'.  But the main intent, or message, was to instill fear of imminent repetitions. The fear spread faster than a Tsunami. Populations at far remove from Paris were demanding military action. France was placed under a state of National Emergency that will last until February at least. Belgium started-off with police raids - they netted no real suspects - but warnings of 'imminent attack' were announced yesterday and  to-day EU headquarters and no doubt the NATO command complex, is under guard and lock-down  security.

In related news  - according to the world press,  ISIS claimed responsibility for downing a Russian airliner the week before -  that resulted in increased Russian air attacks on Syria.  In Mali,  AQ - now ostensibly an 'ally' against ISIS in Syria - attacked a hotel in Bamako killing a number of westerners.
In the west,  the Syrian refugees are being tarred with the terrorism, despite any substantial evidence of a link. Plans to locate some of those fleeing the war there are being squelched by those afraid of actually 'importing terror'.  In other news it has been reported that Syrians have been fleeing to the west surreptitiously for the four years since trouble broke out and during the years of economic hardship leading up to it.  What put so many on the road, just recently, is another story as yet untold.

The plight of the refugees and the call to help, in my estimation, is a really good 'cover' for western governments to use to distract from the on-going process used to create refugees in the first place. They've found a winner with this, as it adds to the notion that 'they hate us just for trying to be kind'.
And it creates another subset of 'losers' in Syria, and other places, when the illegals are sent back, or the 'evil doers' aren't selected for resettlement.  The Polish foreign Minister called for arming, and training Syrian refugees in military camps before returning them to 'liberate' their homeland.  This wouldn't be far from the truth, for collecting pay as a 'rebel', or an ISIS jihadi,  beats starving in the dark and being suspected as a traitor..

Warnings of attacks on Jews by somebody, and by ISIS on the US military,  have been announced. While actual attacks on Israeli Jews have seen a number stabbed, and lot more Palestinians (and a couple of mistaken identities) shot or beaten to death by 'scared' or  vengeful Israelis.

The UN voted for 'action' on the incident, in response to France's pleas,  but thus far no definition of the action, or call for participants, has been made.  The only possible dissenting voice on the UNSC could be China - unless Ukraine opposes Russia on principal.

And in Ukraine an uptick in both 'provocations' and military movements seem to be pointing at somebody perhaps thinking that Putin has taken his eye off their ball. We'll possibly see another outbreak of fighting there. Or perhaps all the sabre-rattling is to make sure the EU doesn't lighten-up on the new anti-ISIS  'ally'  living in the Kremlin.   The EU has just extended sanctions on Russia past next June and Kyiv, like TelAviv, doesn't like not being on Page One - so this could all have just been PR hype. Recent blockades of Crimea and closing airspace to Russian commercial flights just add to all the romance - (while the Russians boycott Ukrainian turnips, eggs and kielbasa while threatening to turn off the gas)

In Belgium a week of 'dragnets' have not turned-up  the one 'missing' perpetrator, the brother  of two of the dead attackers. Nor have any arms caches or bomb-making labs been uncovered as they have in France. Belgian authorities blame their lack of success on Belgians "tweeting about police activities" so that the 'jihadis' are forewarned and have time to move themselves, and their arsenals. In response to an appeal, the Belgians are being lauded by authorities for tweeting and posting pictures of cats in poses relating to security situations and warnings. Maybe now the police will be able to stop the terror,  pussy-cat style.

What's new pussy-cat?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Russia ... Bleeding Russia.

Russia seems to be covering-up well the fact that it's going down the 'caca hole'.  Or, perhaps, the Russians are 'enjoying the ride'.  Whatever it is, they seem to be disconnected from the 'facts' on the ground, or at least the groundswell of caterwauling and accusations of  'disrupting world order', 'threats to world peace', destabilizing neighbor countries, downing airliners (their own and other peoples') bombing middle eastern hospitals and -  the very latest - cheating at the Olympics.

Russia may be a media hell-hole, but we still 'heart' those Russians.  We'd be more than willing for them  rise up and cast off their chains.

What Will Putin Do?

Putin's great Syrian adventure is being 'doomed and gloomed' as Mr Obama's similar adventure wasn't. But then he doesn't have any 'coalition', or 'duties to protect' anybody.  Well neither does America really, either. There are some people very interested in regime change, or thorough destabilization in Syria but it's hard to see the benefit, other than to be having 'that' happening 'over there' rather than 'over here'. Some of the protagonists will get the blow-back, if any, before the USA does. Russia may be one (IS, now according to the wise) of them. But it's  a fair statement to make that Russian bombing isn't going to be any more militarily-successful than coalition bombing has been - other than to pound the rubble into smaller particles.  The one essential point, I think, missed by so many commentators - the reason Assad didn't fall like other 'tyrants', the reason the civil war in Syria still rages -  is because the half of the Syrian population that haven't fled into refugee camp,  are still there, fighting for their homeland and their President.  They're not all 'free Syria rebels' and the Jihadis are, largely, not Syrians at all.   As in a previous Afghan 'quagmire',  Russia is not alone.

Lawyer 'gets it' chapter and verse

The US secretary of defense Ash Cater recently pegged Putin for threatening world peace and the 'world order'. He must have been listening to Kristol and Perle's 'Visions of Amerika' again,   for he seems to think that if it isn't America doing the military stuff it has to be an enemy. This week however he's 'sticking up' for those around the East China Sea who can't stick up for themselves. But that's all about  China and another threat.

Putin continues to 'disrupt' gallant little EUkrainia. He was recently accused of sending 'modern weapons' into eastern Ukraine because somebody claimed a T90 tank has appeared in the east - it looks remarkably similar to the T80 , 82, 85 or 88 tanks that have already appeared in eastern Ukraine - usually unloaded from a western Ukrainian railroad cars. Somebody also seems to think Putin has slipped in a newer variety of rocket artillery with which to 'invade' the place. So far OSCE has failed to come up with any evidence that Russians are crossing the border with anything, but we KNOW they are, eh?

 Just like we 'know' they downed the Malaysian airliner, but we can't prove it and, like, they probably downed their own over the Sinai just for sympathy. The good guys didn't drop it, see?

Just recently, we think, or pretty well know,   they've been cheating at the Olympics.  Not the ones at Sochi, where they almost certainly did cheat, no,  the ones in England - where we found 'evidence' of two labs in Russia doing doping tests and covering-up results by losing things and misplacing samples. As if the Russians were testing their athletes who won in London, taking the samples back to Moscow? If they were,  there is something wrong with that, and probably the rest of the doping testing regime as well. Once again he media is full of  reputed wrongdoings and demands for sanctions.  One writer even opined that it might would be good for the Rio Olympics if Russia was banned and its 'allies' boycotted - more medals for the real 'sports'.  Maybe the US should boycott in protest?  It should be simple to drum up another coalition.

Putinic Russia  meanders on to economic ruin and political turmoil while the pacific west apparently hits new heights of stock market activity and consumer confidence.  Sadly, all that 'progress' is nonexistent outside the first world and increasingly to more denizens of that, as well.   Things are great if you have a) a steady income and b) a 'good' job and really great if you're in the top 15 percent.

Leonhid Berszhidski,   writing for the National Post,  points out that the current brouhaha, and especially the ceasefire, have shown Ukrainian weaknesses - he describes this as "the rot at Ukraine's core".  Whether or not there ever was a ceasefire, let alone a war in the east, Ukraine has been rotten on the inside for a long time. But he can't say the  'skin' isn't impressive.  If you take a look at some of the malarky coming out of the place, you get the notion it's just another house of cards waiting to get kicked-in .

Well,  for starters there is that 'new' police force being depended-on to bring Eukrainia beyond the knout and the billy club. You know the ones with the US-style uniforms - paid for be guess who - (so that's why). But those service 'shakos' look more like something the SS sported on dress-up day - black with the silver piping, all that's missing is a little totenkopf. And where did they get the training - why from US cops of course, but I haven't been able to figure out what city, or cities they came from. That would have to cause some confusion, for America doesn't have a  much of a homogeneous police force outside the military and the FBI. Watch for the tasers and the 'SWAT' squad - although there are a number of security and militia units already doing those. Interesting, too, that the top echelon chosen to command this are a number of Georgian ladies - ex-government and police officials come to help Saarkaasvili birth Ukraine into NATO and the EU.  Like Ukraine,  they thought a military showdown with Putin was a good way to start. Like Georgia the money and effort were  wasted and the military came out a bust.

Ukraine still has a way to go.

Russia is not alone in its 'misery'

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Putin is Assad (Offside) Again

Putin is 'off side' in Syria now, as well as in EUkrainia. Russian 'interference' in Syria is starting to bother America. Just yesterday the US had to complain that Putin was giving Assad the 'red carpet treatment' on his first visit outside Iraq in 4 years. I expect they would have preferred the Russians 'shirtfront' him over the barrel bombs and ostracize him into leaving office. For the first, and most annoying, aspect of that Russian interference has been an insistence on maintaining Assad in power, in contravention of everything else good and holy that's been going on in Syria.  Assad you see has been busily killing 'everybody' that ISIS hasn't already killed.

Add to that a rumor that the Iraqi government was preparing to ask the same kind of Russian assistance for its war on terror and you have America 'hitting back'. "It's him or me, Delores"  or something like that General Joe Dunford - Marine tough guy and US Chief of Staff is supposed to have told the Iraqi government. There is only room for one good-guy (or 65 of them)  in Iraq's GWOT. If Russia wants to help fight ISIS in Iraq, the USA will be taking its 'balls' home. What in the heck are the other 65 'independent' nations who've seen the sunny side of the need to fight terror in Iraq going to do?  Are they going home on the freedom bird, too?  That would sort of make a big fat lie - or expose a nasty truth -  about 'growing democracy and freedom' and rebuilding damaged lands. I think there would be a whole whack of people in a number of first world countries looking at their boys being used as America's cannon fodder, and changing the regimes that pretend independent action but really just sell-out to Washington. Something like this could put the kibosh on NATO.

Our way or the Other way?

Since Putin started his Syrian campaign the world is missing the blow-by-blows we've come to expect with serious military operations. That could be good reason,  for such 'reporting', later,has often failed to meet any criterion for truth. The results have certainly not borne out the 'descriptions' of 'vic'try'.   Assad has LEFT Syria for the first time in four years.  Maybe something is changing and we just haven't heard about it.  And maybe the Iraqis have.

Maybe 'getting it done' have a very different meaning in US English and in Russian.  Or the 'it' part is completely different between the two.

 It's obvious, given 14 years of the best warfare money money can buy,  that something hasn't been done right, or at all. Who needs a multi-national  coalition if  the strategy and tactics are clear and unimpeded by massive economic 'disruption'?

That trip to Moscow?  Another 'bust' for US intel.  They didn't know he'd gone until he was back in Damascus. And he flew through US-controlled airspace - a war zone - to get there.

Assad's Flight into Russia

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Drones Used to be Fairly Useless Bees

Some whistleblower in the US military has done it again  and this time it's about drone strikes.

The Intercept:the Drone Papers

Jeremy Scahill tried kiting the topic a few years back with his story called "Dirty Wars" and how America was 'droning' the hell out of an undeclared - let alone unannounced or even unremarked war in Yemen. A war that has since taken-off,  whether the western media cover it or nor. Back then it was about cruise missiles taking out and obscure tribal encampment - which led to the the subject of AlAlwaki and the 'droning' of first him, and a week later his teen-aged son.  At the time it was all 'poo-pooed' as the necessary removal of a 'dire' threat to America. Someone who, as a 'turncoat', for at one point he backed the USA, was accused of dispatching a series of incompetent bombers to drop airliners. Rather than sending incompetent bombers to screw up a water supply or take out a power corridor - something that might allow more time and leg room,  as opposed to 'flicking that bic' on a non-smoking flight to set fire to a shoe bomb or some sexy briefs.  Given that track record - and a 100 percent interception rate,  one might think AlAwaki might still have been working for the good guys.  All our 'dire threats' ought to be of such a magnitude.

 But a couple of  things that seem obvious are that the Drones aren't 'solving' anything and they aren't making the situation any better. The number of drone strikes has continued to multiply in response to the increasing numbers who find themselves on a ''targeted killing" list.  Apparently this is a thoroughly vetted and fool-proof way of taking the war to those who most want it.  If that was a believable statement,  a similar 'accident' at a Hospital in Kunduz might lead one to believe that the 'vetting process' may not be all it's cracked-up to be. It seems that the vetting, like some of our wars, is based more on creative writing and creative plagiarism than it may be related to much fact. It's a bad situation but, running afoul any security service , for whatever reason they might 'be concerned' about you, and under no particularly unfortunate or accidental circumstances, can get you very dead.

I am reminded of a warning I received, a few years back, from a friend that my blogs were being read by an 'agency' in New York . This only because I had received an email he sent to a number of people. They were concerned enough, about him, that they were checking his friends and weren't happy with what I was writing.  The 'agency' in question - which at that time was busily hiring speakers of Arabic and mid-eastern languages -  went on to garner a significant contract from the US military to 'find good news' about Iraq, in middle eastern sources. They went on to manufacture 'good news' to be planted in middle eastern sources  Eventually they 'morphed' their business into the interception and evaluation of  'electronic' messages from 'foreign sources' routed through the USA and moved from New York to the mid-west. Maybe they'll be reading this.

It's a sure bet that, once you're noticed, you won't be forgotten and all it takes is somebody 'creative' who wants a promotion to make you a target.

The Case if Bilal Al-Berjawi

Case in point - the  British, Lebanese-born "commander of AQ" who  was 'droned', last spring, in Somalia.  This guy's 'story' reads like that of a number of young Brits who originated in the middle east or Arabic/Muslim parts of the world.  Generally it is traveling that brings them to the attention of somebody and gets them on a list. Once they are there, it seems that they only require some 'proof' - usually in the form of somebody else's reported suspicions, to be placed in the category of physical jeopardy. It's a virtual certainty that, should your 'baseball card' (the description of you and your 'rap sheet') ever wind up on the President's desk, as we are told they ALL do, he's going to pore carefully over your story and ask salient questions to clarify his thinking on your guilt, innocence or whether somebody isn't feeding him the kind of intel that made him think surging into Afghanistan was going to change anything.  He's a busy man and, after a cursory glance, your ass might be grass - he gives 60 days for 'concrete action' to be taken. After that you'd be, what? Home free?  Or a target for some private security firm?

What is disturbing is that these 'cases' are built-up by  'intel' services reflecting back to each other information that they have already traded. It is often cases of what we already 'know' or surmise being turned into 'truth' by receiving it back from somebody who didn't, or doesn't, know.  Al-Berjawi was a 'problem'  for MI5 that was 'shared' with US national security who developed his credentials as a high level AQ commander in Somalia and a risk to US lives  to the point that the US President ordered him assassinated. No one would need to wonder if he wasn't in Somalia because he could no longer go anywhere else?  He certainly couldn't go back to Britain and be arrested tried in a court and convicted - of what?  It was easier for British authorities to let the Americans 'waste him'.

9 out of 10 'problem muslims' or 'potential terrorists' come to the attention of British authorities by traveling to the middle east, and become antagonistic toward British Authorities usually due to 'something' that happens to throw a wrench into their travel plans - an arrest or airport detention.

Given the rapid and increasing use of drone technology in all aspects of government and  civil authority.   The use and abuse of such technology should be studied and if necessary (duh!)  curtailed.  It has all the makings of another Geneva Convention because drone survellance, and drone warfare, can affect everyone.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

They're at the Polls. They're off!

Well actually they've been off for about three months now, but on Monday Canucks everywhere - except for the few 'evil doers' who've been stripped of their one vital 'rite of citizenship', or sent to  the wrong place or accidentally mis-identificated, will be choosing the 'boseaux' who'll be leading them for the next 4.36 years.

Leading the pack is Canada's young wonder - not Bieber the bong-bandit - but the loin-spring of a famous, or infamous depending on yer politics, former Prime Minister.  Justin Trudeau decided to enter politics as a career at the same age his father was padding a canoe to Cuba in preparation for a legal dissertation. That would reflect the distaff side of the family that has him related to a former Cabinet Minister, so there could be some of those 'leadership' genes at work. - Like the Pitts,  Barry Maurice and the other one who looked a bit like prince Valiant. The young fellow has a refreshing sort of manic side which shows from time to time - like staging a boxing match with the big-mouthed bad boy of the Canadian Senate - Pat Brazeau - and tuning him up smartly.  Maybe replacing him in the Senate will be on the first order of business.


The next pony is an interesting cypher of a guy who came from out  of the mourners to assume the mantle of leadership - sort of like how Gorby and the others came from the photo background to head the Communist Party Praesidium - when they still had one of those. Tom Mulcair had to be teaching somewhere,  or running some kind of government services kiosk,  for he has an unctuousness about him that would make him a tricky 'pin-down' in a greased pig competition. He was probably smiling when he knifed that little Madame Mao for the 'leader's' job in the NDP.  He did however hold on to Jack Layton's political opportunism in Quebec and made the party a virtual 'etat'. He's currently the leader of the official opposition and electing more like him couldn't hurt.

The third horse in the race is little Ms May - leader of the Green Party. Actually if she gets a chance she makes a lot of sense about a number of things the others don't. Her party has one solitary seat in parliament and I'm not even sure if it's hers.  Naturally - under the 'current rules' - the good guys are happy to leave her paying the full shot for everything, while the public purse picks up the a big part of the tab for their 'official' election expenses. She has some thoughts on that, and why they get to have all the other seats when she, and the folks who vote for her make up close to 10 percent of the population.

The Bloc Quebecois may be running ccandidates too, but only in and for 'quebeckers' - no national sweeps coming up 'dere'. There are usuially other parties the libertarians, the Communists and the Rhinocerous party for those who'd rather vote than sit around in the basement making sick.

And last but not least is the 'man' Canadians love to hate. The STAR portrays him as some soulless Easter Island-style icon of Toryism.   But he's not, he's more like some fat fuck who got a make-over, his teeth capped and fell into the shitter the day the new suits were being given out.  Mercifully he also had thy political instincts of  a Borgia pope as well as facing a string of 'second-raters' in the other parties. He actually got to approximate the middle of the group photos of the G8 .... G7 .... G6 - and avoided being blackballed by the big boys. For all his brown-nosing around Obama, though,  he got even less than the screwing Bushco gave him over the lumber tariff.   Maybe the president will reward him by signing the pipeline agreement on his last day in office. That would be a better legacy than an imaginary budget surplus - even if it was $2 billion smackeroos. That just means the military won't have put in their prophylactic order for the year and somebodies'  life saving operations have for some reason been cancelled.

Hey it's been an exciting time and not a helluva lot of parliamentary time wasted. Jeez they would have only been back form their summer recess last wee and preparing for the Christmas Break.  Let's send them back to work in the new year with a new agenda.   Less holidays might be a good start.

By way of an update, Young Mr. Trudeau won the election by a larger margin than ever elected his Senior.  As a first order of business he informed President Obama that the bombing department of Canada's part in the 'coalition for Iraqi freedom' was going to be called home.  Hopefully the rest of the mission will follow.   Good start undoing the stupid.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Muammar Row the Boat Ashore

The world media is, all of a sudden,  focussed on the middle eastern refugee problem.  Given that the middle east hasn't seen a peaceful day since the 40's and that 'refugee camps' are now geographic fixtures, how could it come to pass that the world gets blindsided by 'them' shifting their focus to a walk to Europe?  The last time there was such a migration, occurred in the 12th century and went in the opposite direction - the People's Crusade.

We 'knew' there were a lot of refugees - after all hasn't Assad been killing so many of his own people that the West has been 'honour-bound' to get the UN to introduce sanctions and  a little humanitarian bombing? Obama almost got his wish, but Putin 'interfered' to make a deal that (maybe) stopped an 'act of Congress' from adding to the rubble that is modern Syria. The Syrians have been moving out of the line of fire since Ambassador Geoff Pyatt declared the street riot  a legitimate attempt to remove a tyrannical government. That being said, the Gulf States immediately introduced a 'carte blanche' for weapons while the US called for, and trained, 'rebel forces'. Even the perennial bushwhacker John 'the Admiral' McCain  flew over to glad-hand 'the heroes'.  Little was anybody to know these were wolves in camo duds, more affiliated with the kind of  Islamic state that hates our freedoms than the kind of guys who would 'roll over' for a golf cart and a pair of new balance sneakers for each of 'the staff'.

John was shaking hands with the devil himself - Al Baghdadi the Killer.

In less than a year Obama's militias turned into ISIS, and then ISIL. Not only did the clear Assad's forces out of eastern Syria , they launched an invasion of America's second best friend , (well,   third), in Asia and drove the Iraqi government out of the northern half of the country. Then they allied themselves with the Iraqi Sunni 'insurgency ' and drove the Shiite government out of even more territory.  Lately ISIS/IL is only 34 miles from Baghdad. And the 'driving-back' seems stalled, while Europe girds its 'lions' for the fray.

 Needless to say  between the beheadments, and the bombing campaign, anybody with an iota respectable self-preservation made tracks for the nearest neutral ground. In northern Syria that was Lebanon on the west, Turkey to the north or 'Kurdistan' to the east. Anywhere else was into the fire.
And so things remained until Turkey declared itself into the War on Terror. All of a sudden southern Turkey - where the camps were - started to look like places a refugee could get confused with a Kurd. That's right, the Turks declared a 'war on terror' and  promptly attacked the Kurds. The Kurds returned the favour - inside Turkey - and the 'shivaree' was on.  For refugees,  all of a sudden Europe, at a distance, started to have some 'Clampett appeal'.

And so the latter-day 'descent of the Helvetii into Gaul' commenced.  But these weren't Swiss they were mostly Moslem refugees and they descended via Greece and  the Balkans onto south-central Europe. And there were thousands upon thousands of them - taking open boats to the Greek Islands, 'hopping'  the mainland, walking through Greece and the parts of former Yugoslavia to the border of Hungary. There the EuroHans Briker stuck his finger in a Dyke and  tried to stem the tide. But some broke through heading for Germany and even the Scandinavian countries. The Hungarians tried 'defending ' Europe against a tide of 'seekers' -  who  had actually started six months ago and had the Hungarians fencing-off their border. But this time they overwhelmed the border -a number of times. They 'hijacked' (metaphorically) the railway system in order to get to Germany. To-day we have the Austrians volunteering to man the ramparts with their old 'ally'. Holding Europe as they used to do a half a millennium ago.

Now the Euros are just like any other redneck who doesn't want to be forced into Sharia courts or to have to wear baggy pants, smoke the dope of pray eighty-five times a day - even if they do legitimize teen-aged sex slaves. They wanted to keep everybody out. But a kid drowned and a foolish photographer had his reputation made, taking a picture that mobilized the kind of sympathy rednecks save for their pets.  All of a sudden there is a groundswell to stop this or take refugees in. Today another half-dozen babies drowned, and while the patriots claim they shouldn't have taken their kids into danger, they still think that bombing them only hurts 'the bad guys'. And if these people are hurting,  it IS because they are 'bad guys' - in disguise! Those unpowered life rafts are the 'invasion rowboats' we've been told would bring Al Qaeda, or the Taliban, or, now, ISIS, ISIL and all the unholy killers of pandemonium.

Since the Last Time....

Not to be outdone by the Ottomans,  the New Russian Empire itself took up the bombing of the  jihadis in Syria. Like the Turks bombing the Kurds, the Russians targeted  America's allies and bombed the 'anti-Assad forces near their bases on North western Syria. That earned Putin more 'mad dogging' and almost more sanctions - if anybody could think of any. Where any of this goes remains within the 'Mystikal 8 Ball'.

 The change in Russian 'attitude' - from an 'interferer' to a bombing pal,  came after the Prez and the President traded  stink-eyes and unminced words at the UN General Assembly last week.   Apparently Putin came away from that either unknowing, or unconvinced, that the good guys knew better about where he should be dropping his bombs.  The UTube coverage after the first raids was the kind of thing only a real warfighter would want, no shredded women or babies to be seen. Only what the coalition calls 'fighting aged males' - on stretchers or carrying them away.  Surprising since that category seems to make up a significant proportion of the refugees pouring into Europe. But hey, fighting age males have everything going for them.

Speaking of the upside of media coverage. As the Coalition of Justis got ready for a little recorded ass-kicking in Kunduz this past week, they ran afoul the twitterverse when MSF started complaining that somebody with an air force had treated their hospital in that place, to 90 minutes of the best high- rate firepower a first-world military-industrial complex can produce. The shooting killed more 20 staff  and patients and wounded  a good number more.

MSF pulled out of Kunduz.

Nothing out of the ordinary, either in the event - they happen all the time to Afghans- or in the Coalition reaction.  First of was was the doubt over who'd done it, or if it wasn't a fairy tale.  That was followed by the 'mistake' mantra  and the 'well the bad guys were in the hospital wire' malarky.  The latest ' evolution'  of the story is that the Afghans asked fore close air support after 'being attacked' in the area of the hospital. Washes for me if we recall that the C130 'Spooky' and 'Spectre' gunships are the cutting edge of accurately-placed fire. If  you've seen John Wayne in 'The Green Berets' you've seen how they can stitch a lead  seam between gooks and good guys - and that outfit was primitive. Today we're told 'eyes on the ground' designate targets with laser and the guns put the ammo within centimeters - just to make sure they don't shred the wrong people. The Hospital in some weird battle zone prescience,  informed the good guys of their GPS location to save them having to look it up in combat. That apparently didn't happen either.

You'd think the Coalition would train the Afghans better before giving them a designator?  After all wasn't it Afghans who called in an airstrike that wound up 20 miles from the guys who needed it causing an international incident when the attack helos shot up a post 14 miles inside Pakistan?   But that was before the days of Afghans with laser designators ... and MSF 'battlefield' hospitals.

See the update to the story  - Nov 26

Closer to home the Canadian election is entering the home stretch.  The incumbent leader continues to pointing out the danger of switching horses in mid-stream but generally doesn't appear to have much first-hand knowledge of the stream itself. Maybe the horse does. He equates this go-round with not spending money like he has done for 8 successive years now. Almost like magic a budget surplus of $2 billion he said he knew he had,  just 'appeared' in time for the election.  I was reading to-day how the government had 'trimmed back' public housing this year and guess what?  It saved 4 billion dollars!  I think he may have promised it away in new spending.

His other big thing is banning the niqab at citizenship ceremonies. Since the candidate for citizenship would have to identify herself (this isn't gender issue, yet) to the Judge and probably to one other agent of the crown, it matters naught what she has on when she takes her oath - although dignified clothing is mandated for all attending - within abilities, genders and other rights and freedoms. You can't  be sporting a set of bodacious ta-tas, even though a woman's right to do just that in public has been enshrined at least in the Province of Ontario. Most 'old stock' Canadians are 'up in arms' about the topic, swinging the election round to the Steverino who has removed more rights than any premier before him, and some of those were fighting real wars.  Now if Steve were to mandate that all those 'old stockers' also had to attend a citizenship ceremony, say sometime before the age of 18 and twenty-five, and also risk 'decitizenshipment' and exile should they 'turn foul traytor' or become an unwanted criminal, he would lose this election.

The yanks are still playing around getting ready for the first primary, next Spring.

And that refugee crisis in the news for the last two weeks. It's gone just like Yemen, and magic. 

Monday, September 07, 2015

From Bad to Freakin' Horrible

Since last I wrote,  Syria has taken another distinct turn for the worse. Not the least part of this is the far-more-evident problem of Syrian refugees seeking safety by storming the walls of the EU.

First the Syrian part. There are really no new developments to note, ISIS continues to be the 'pain in the ass' and bombing target it was last month.  Anti-ISIS operations in Iraq are as bogged-down as they have been since the great offensive to liberate Tikrit flopped last spring. The only good news there is that the bombing goes on, unopposed and unabated. But there are now some new 'boots on the ground' - the Turks have gone to war.

 No friends of the Assad regime, the Turks have been calling for his ouster all along but until this last fortnight, aside from allowing some 'free access' to those foreigners 'pouring in' to join ISIS  and setting up some camps for the hordes pouting out, the Turks haven't done much at all. Twitted, no doubt, by the USA - which is looking for all the coalition they can get - the Turks announced they'd be bombing targets in Northern Iraq. Problem was that when the bombs started falling, the folk underneath them were the other great Turkish 'dislike', the Kurds.

Now as we all know the Kurds are being 'prepped' as the saviors of most of the middle east for goodness, decency and the democratic way. They've been de-listed as world-terrorists, trained by the Israelis and the Germans, armed by America and supported by a number of military contingents from all he best warfighting nations in the free world. A start-up of Turkey's 'long war' with America's best 'friends and allies' was not in President Obama's game plan. The report that over 100 people have been killed in 'terrorist' attacks in southern and eastern turkey over the past two weeks does not bode well for a unified resistance to ISIS.

Turkey - last Friday - the Kurds strike back

It was briefly hooted around, this week,  that the Russians were coming 'on-side' to face down ISIS, and - it was hoped -  to stop supporting Assad. That hope was dashed yesterday when the Russian Foreign Secretary was called to hear America's concerns that the Russians were expanding their presence in Syria and substantially increasing Assad's supply of heavy weapons and aircraft. Fear that Russian Spetznaz operatives might somehow wind-up clashing with US special forces on clandestine operations in eastern Syria were mooted in some military websites.  Vlad pulled another 'fast one' while the gipper was contemplating Alaska.

The latest 'offensive' to recapture Ramadi has bogged-down (as all such Iraqi government operations seem to do). Somehow their hearts don't seem to be in taking back Sunni territory - even if the elected government does have the right. They'd have to fight the Kurds, too, for the chunk they hold.  If it wasn't for the on-going horror of the beheadment knives, the Shiites might just quit. I have a feeling Iran is saving something for later, right now they just want to not help America.

The war on terror is what it is but the western media are filled with the plight of refugees displaced by the war in Syria and Iraq.  The warm-up of Turkey's Kurdish trouble destabiliazed the area where most of the refugees have been placed, making them some kind of camouflage for the Kurds and potential targets for government retribution. Educated by the past 10 years,  they have wisely voted with their feet and headed for Turkey's Mediterranean coast.  No doubt happy to see them going, Turkey hasn't stopped them traveling to the Greek off-shore islands from where they are able to island-hop to the mainland and Europe. From Greece they travel north into former Yugoslavia and through that to Hungary. For a while it seemed that was the finish line. The Hungarians announced a border fence - not yet constructed - and no passage for refugees - or as they were increasingly described 'migrants'.  Numbers overwhelmed the border and a second attempt was made to stop them using the railways to head for Austria and Germany. Once again that failed and large numbers have managed to work their way to the German border. Angela Merkel is under some pressure to deal with the problem and just to-day the Hungarians - goaded no doubt by fearful fellow-members of the EU announced they were deploying troops to the southern border. Clashes between refugees and Hungarian police were reported to-day.

All it would take is another tragedy.

The first tragedy came last week in the form of one of those pivotal photo ops, this time of a dead four-year old on a Lido beach in Greece. The image shot round the world and initially generated a wave of sympathy - with the concomittent appeals for cash by western charities. The dead child may have accomplished more by dying than he ever could have in life - or he might have been the savior of mankind, but not any more. He did put a beaming, happy face on what to most people was something very safely ignored. The news also generated the typical spate of (mostly Australian) anti-moslem rhetoric about it being a 'scam', a fake a false flag,  a cover for creeping jihadis to avoid the invasion rowboats and have 'us' paying to import 'them' where they could do the most harm, etc.

 Aussie perspective

Somebody even 'reported' the grieving father to be 'living in luxury' in Turkey (as if), that he'd invented the story or fled Syria,  to "get new teeth". An English newspaper followed him, and his coffins, back to a ruined house in Kobane and photographed the funeral,  as well as the bombed town the family fled.

Daily Mail

The Prime Minister of Canada (which had rejected a sponsorship application for the boy's family - his aunt lives in Canada) ruminated, empathized, not only with Syrians but "the millions displaced" in the GWOT. He blamed ISIS for the plight and reminded Canadians that this tragedy shouldn't interfere with Canada's very necessary bombing of northern Iraq and eastern Syria.  He also pointed out what good job Canada had done with refugees on his watch, allowed as how we could do more but had to be careful about letting the bad guys sneak through with the needy. Eminently sensible considering he, personally, declared us a target in the anti-Islamic terror wars.

In a fit of hubris PM Harper was embarrassed this morning to be greeted by video of one of his 'team' running for reelection taking a leak into somebody's coffee cup. By such things are the mighty humbled. Something like that should happen to the jackass governing Australia - but it would just serve to make him more 'human'.   (Off topic but I just had to mention it.)

Take Those Gals Outside and Shoot Them

Yesterday morning (two weeks ago - mea culpa)  - up early - I happened across an interesting story that ISIS had recently shot 19 young women for refusing to (marry?) have sex with their fighters. The story of sex slavery among ISIS fighters almost differentiates them from all the other Islamic evils  - who have also been accused of massacres and lopping-off heads for the edification of the young 'uns too. But this particular tale - as recounted - the piece mentioned - by an unnamed "Kurdish official" who claimed it happened in an unnamed location last week - grabbed my attention, not only for the garish subject material, but also because of the vitriolic response of the readership.  The source was a CNN-affiliated site IN India, and the respondents, I assume, were Indians, outraged at the killing of a perfectly good answer to the national shortage of females, or something, and who were demanding that Europe, of all places,  get involved to stop it. Why they weren't calling on the Indian armed forces escapes me.

By 9:00 am the story was appearing in the Jerusalem Post and other Israeli media sources. By now the official had a name and other details and tie-ins to related stories (a UN official's 'slave price list'  a notable one).  The story spread westward, throughout the day, until CNN discovered its affiliate's piece in time for the evening news.

Today the story has spawned a host of 'studies' of ISIS predilection for sex slaves. One military site, in relation to Gen.  Odierno's  retirement, calling for the 'restrategization of Syria',  cited sex-slavery as a potential 'winning' strategy for ISIS and demanded a strategy to counter it. Sex slavery was all over the place to-day. The British Daily Mail upped the ante to accuse ISIS of securing young girls to the windshields of their captured 'humvees' as they drove into battle. The graphics used were the same ones used to accompany the sex-slaves stories from the day before.

Daily Mail; human shield

Daily Mail - rape is religion

The Mail is tabloid journalism at its finest, but for some reason more sober (WaPo, NYT) sources  (WaPo, NYT) seem to feel 'sensible'  citing  its material.   Note that in none of this - nor in the sober sources is there any fact checking, corroborating details of even the basis on which the story could be checked.  But the cry for revenge is noteworthy - any world leader considering slinging some bombs on Syria couldn't help but feel the effort was justified. Even Ghaddafi wasn't abusing little girls. .

All of this is remarkable in two ways. First there is a tremendous response from readers almost all of whom demand more European involvement in Syria. The Brits last week flew their first RAF sorties against ISIS targets - they had been flying USAF machines as seconded pilots before this time. The second aspect is that there is not one iota of corroborative evidence appearing in any internet sources, to back these stories up. That Kurdish official, who started it all, could qualify for a Pulitzer if column inches and volume of citations were the requirements.  But, stangely, he wasn't recorded giving his statement, nor asked about how he learned of it.  In fact no by-lines have been attached to the story, until possibly to-day - and it's strange with a capital S.

A Catholic news site in the USA  (Catholic Online) ran the standard story, but extended the work - with the same graphics, etc, into an appeal for prayer and one assumes donations, as if the dead girls and sex slaves are all Roman Catholics.   The interesting part is that it attributes the story to one "Abigail Jones"  at "News Consortium" - its own news service - and claims that Abigail wrote it on August 7th - a week before the world found out courtesy of India.

Catholic Online Story

If it wasn't for the hue and cry, and for remembering a heartbroken young woman from Kuwait (who turned out to be the ambassador to the US's  daughter) telling the UN of watching Iraqi soldiers empty incubator babies onto the floor (it turned out to be a 'story') in preparation for US 'warfighters' cheering as the baby-dumpers were carbonized when American air strikes 'caught' them fleeing a month later,  I might almost believe this. But it smacks of the kind of bullshit we need to make our wars 'right'.

Publishing this on September 1,  I can say that the 'outrage' dissipated as quickly as it arose. Save that the French are supposedly joining the English to bomb Syria  tomorrow.

 It apparently worked.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

MH 17

Last July the singular event of Ukraine's recent tribulation came to earth in the fields around the village of  Grabovo. After an investigation lasting a year, and more, the report of the commission looking into the cause of the tragedy is to be made public in October - this after a requested 'delay' of some four months.

In the meantime, members of the investigations panel have continued to blame Russian separatists and have, more recently, approached the UNSC to pass a a resolution setting-up a UN tribunal to adjudicate the matter. The Russians have called the move premature,  inferring it is a move to preempt publishing the investigation findings, as promised,  by opening a court process.  Each of the four participants in the investigation - Holland, Ukraine, Belgium and Australia  - have an individual veto on publication should any of them 'disagree' with the findings. The fifth member Malaya - doesn't. That Ukraine, (in the absence of tangible proof of its claims is starting to look like a major actor in the tragedy or even might bear an innocent responsibility for possibly diverting that plane into danger rather than away from it), has a veto on the report,  is an unprecedented turn of events.

Using the evidence that does exist - the wreckage of the aircraft - it seems to be increasingly evident that an air-to-air missile followed by cannon fire may have brought the aircraft to earth. If that is indeed the case, then the fault lies entirely at the feet of the Kyiv government and a year of  increased EU and US  'sanctions', designed to bring down the Russian economy,  are an unwarranted act of economic aggression.

The Australian government has been 'leading the verbal charge' in support of Ukraine, that Russia is to blame, that sanctions should be broadened, that the UN should take over. And yet the Australian media have been highly selective in revealing details of the incident at a variance with the 'conventional wisdom' on the topic.  Here is a piece written on this by an Australian lawyer.

A recent RT documentary on the topic explores the Malayan connection, interviewing the families of the aircrew and exploring the possibility that something may have been missed or covered-up in the deaths of the crew.  The Global Media report of this indicates that the pilot's seats were left at the crash site, even though the cockpit area was identified, by the panel, as the site of the greatest damage by whatever it was downed the aircraft. The seats, as well as the bodies, should have been a fount of evidence of what those 'high velocity' objects entering MH17 really were. Nothing has been reported about the autopsies. And those seats were 'news' to investigators.

One of the main proponents of Russian involvement is a British blogger who claims that  popular media postings can be used to back-up the Ukrainian claims that the rebels had a Russian Buk system in eastern Ukraine, used it on the airliner and then evacuated the unit back to Russia for  eradication. His investigations have also revealed a spurious 'evidence' auction  purportedly buying audio transmissions relating to the crash. One of these involved an American, supposedly working for the CIA who was near the crash site the day the airliner was downed.

Then there is another tangential report of an Malayan airliner 'twin' belonging to a US company and stored at an Israeli airport. A number of possible uses for such a dummy aircraft are reported. Along with this one of the last photographs taken of MH17, at the boarding gate for its last flight, by an interested Israeli who was not a passenger.

And finally there's the Corbett report on the topic, dated August 2014, but containing some points, even at that early date that have yet to be explained.

Even nuttier: the separatists were searching for 'pilots' who had descended by parachute. 5 parachutes were reported to have existed the passenger plane, or it's vicinity.  No pilots from the UAF were reported captured, or killed, the day of the crash, or in succeeding days. It could be possible parachutists were 'rescued' and taken to safety - in Ukrainian territory. .

"Mossad did it!" : those cockamamie Russians

The very latest up to the minute, etc

"Possible" missile fragments may have been found in the wreckage.  Seems this old hat as somebody was turning-up Buk fragments last August. They didn't turn out to be much at all,  as it couldn't be proven they even came from the incident, or the area. But who knows - the 'possibility' lit-up the twitterverse like Holy Writ.

To-day the 'russians' are being mocked over a completely terrible 'phone interception' of calls between Boris Badinov and a CIA agent in Donbass discussing their mission 'to down a passenger jet' last July.  The story has been around for a while, but recently was resuscitated when translated and published in a German Blog. The 'russians' claim it was presented to them by the former, now relieved,  head of the Ukrainian security service - the same interceptors of rebel missile shooters. They need such 'presents' like they need a new Czar.

But the supposed CIA man is an American blogger who actually was in Ukraine. He writes for a number of US sources, so somebody should ask him where he was and what he was doing the day the Boeing was dropped. That seems like a no-brainer.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Defaulto the Wonder Pup

Default is defined as "the failure to perform a task or responsibility".  In law it means to 'lose a case by failing to appear in court.' In computer terms it means the standard operation that occurs as programmed, barring a change by the operator.'  Lately however the world has been fixated on the financial application of the term: 'failing to pay one's obligations'.

 We watched in wonderment as the Greek 'default' loomed onto the horizon. The world drew bated breath as the Greek people hoisted the middle digit towards Berlin and then we gasped in relief when a 'revolutionary government' kowtowed to the bankers and apologized for ever dreaming of not paying a massive national debt.  They've now got an even larger national debt, but what they really wanted was the time to get another government elected before it all happens again.

 It's too bad the Greeks weren't like the gallant Ukrainians.  They aren't in the EU, yet, and so they can let their money sink to abysmal rates of exchange, or go as bust as they like. There are no Germanic banking laws to hold them back. Why, they've already voted approval for the President to declare 'a moratorium' on debt payments.   For this they're being lauded by the same banking community that was prepared to close Greece.

Ukraine has already had one small international loan fall due in July. No doubt they were able to make the minimum payment with some borrowed money, for they didn't have to do that 'default' thing.  Come the end of August there are more loans falling due, and a fairly hefty one (30 billion) coming up in September. For these loans the Ukrainians want the same thing the Greeks wanted - a 'principle trim'.  The Ukrainians want the debt holders to 'forgive',  or remit, 40 percent of the amounts owed and restructure the remaining debt.  They've already received a 'promising' reply from the Templeton Group of New York - who said they're willing to drop a 5 percent 'bonus' for terms on the rest.  That's, in Ukraine's eyes, like having someone admit she's  a hooker, and so now they are preparing to 'seriously negotiate' the price of the drop.  Templeton must be receiving some generous  tax considerations 'in lieu' - in short the US taxpayer will be paying the Ukrainian tab. The same situation should apply to the larger debts. Ukraine will not be 'forced into default' over loans owing to western banks.  And the Russian loan - 3 billion - due and payable in full in  October - will most likely get that Presidential 'ki-bosh'. Ukraine wouldn't give Putin the sweat of somebody's testicles,  even if he needed metabolytes.

Porko will need to be seen  'standing up' to somebody financial to make the masses proud to take reduced pensions and less 'free' government services than they've had since Leon was a Trotsky. They will need something about which to feel proud and neither the 'American School' of govvermint' nor the Governor of Odessa is it.

Hush!  Listen!  (SILENCE) 

That's the sound of the unvitation to become a 'real part' of Europe.

Putinic Trollery

If you Google 'Ukraine  invasion'  you turn up more than 15 million hits - 99 percent of them telling the sad tale of how gallant little Ukrainia was just minding its own business when Vlad the impaler stuck one of his appendages into the rear end of that sad land. 15 million. Do the same for 'Ukraine Russia' conflict and you pop 35 million hits. Googling 'Novorossia' gets 580 thousand or 'Crimea' will get you 19 million - again telling what's wrong, instead of what's right.

The Atlantic 'fingers it out'.

Yet for some reason the sad side of the story keeps crying the blues about 'Putin's trolls' and how they're' somehow' trying to make the world think there's something 'screwy' with the Maidan thing and the government the US 'brokered' as a result. As if reality can be topped by creative writing.

Maybe the first thing 'screwy' is who's doing the trolling. Maybe it's a language thing - you could pick a Ukrainian out of any crowd, especially one speakink English, so it's easier to copy 'Putin's troll' from the white board than it is to come up with a cogent counter argument for any of the objections to NEUkrainia. But you can't say they haven't been busy getting 'the word out'. Whatever little cottage industry there isn't in Kyiv, it ain't the ministry of propaganda.

 You have to laugh, though, (if it wasn't for the very real killing that goes on) at the sophistry that passes for wisdom in the 'leadership' of Ukraine.  Poroshenko's speeches a case in point.  Yatseniuk is less 'poetic' but more  malignant and Turchynev just isn't fit for western consumption, so they try to keep him away from a mike. This is the triumvirate that runs Ukraine. All the rest - the oligarchs, the rebutylhydrated neo-nazis, the foreign advisors and deputies, are window-dressing to flesh-out the 'saga'; to put some 'shinola' on the turd - 'lustration' it's called. Some of them speak and write english quite well,  coming, as they do, from US schools, if not 'ex-pat' backgrounds. That doesn't, however, improve the quality of the malarkey.

                                           Sieg Yats with 'Nazi' Tyahnybok and Klitschko

Alina Mokhrushyna of the University of Ottawa did a critique on one of president Poroshenko's recent,  more Castro-like (time wise) , presentations. He made a lot of factual errors and oversights - not hard to understand considering his backgrounds. He is 'bent' enough to be considered crooked. Actually it's reminiscent of Jim Jones before the kool-aid arrived.

Poroshenko: 'Chapter and verse' - the poet speaks.

If you have an hour of reading time to spare,  'Porko's state of the union' address to the Rada at the end of May, is an education on dissembling, but not on 'Porko'.  I don't think even he believes a word he says.

And just to-day, August 4th, Yatseniuk is in the news claiming the western media aren't devoting enough space to gallant little Ukrainia.  Putin should be so lucky. 

Friday, July 03, 2015


Isis turned one this past month and, according to them who know these things, it's a 'real' , 'new', evil that seeks, not a place at the 'table', but the actual removal of said table. According to the wise, it's celebrating the feast of Ramadan in a very special way because of that.

 Counterpunch exposee!

Clear-eyed realists, (it beats the drug-induced kind) such as Canada's Steve Harper and 32 percent of all Canadians 'know' (otherwise he wouldn't have deployed half the Canadian Air Force, and all of the sniper force, to aid Iraq in their destruction of ISIS/IL) what a 'threat' they really are - even more than the evils that are Putin, and the NDP.   (Well not really - 65 percent of us recognize the 'threat' of Putin to be so great we want to send the whole army to eastern Europe. And the NDP is actually starting to 'come a winner' for Canadians!). Can we be faulted if there aren't as many targets in northern Iraq as there were in downtown Libya, or Afghanistan?  Target richness is variable, eh? But that shouldn't stop us looking, or bombing.

Naturally, you have to have security for 'the mission' and so that's why most Canadians are earning their campaign ribbon in sun-blasted Kuwait, where the fear of the 'bolshie bomber' is lessened and the 'jihadi jitters' not so bad.  Although that's equivalent to flying out of Base Trenton to a war zone around Iqualuit . Even with their 'long legs', Canada's F-18's require air-to-air refueling to get here, stay there to look/bomb and  then return to base. It's a good thing we have 'friends and allies'. I wonder what they're charging for the 'joy juice' even if delivery is free.

It makes one wonder what happened to the magnificent forces that 'shock and awed' Saddam, blasted Iraq into the middle ages and now seem to have redeployed somewhere else. Do  8 Canadian aircraft make all that much difference?

While Canada was 'holding the line' in Iraq, Isis apparently is running amok , (to 'celebrate its birthday'?), almost everywhere else. There have been on-going attacks in Nigeria, Niger and other parts of Central Africa. Isis is still fighting in Libya. ISIS took Ramadi and Palmyra in the face of the best mediocre 'bang-bang' some money could buy (We've 'trimmed that fat' in Iraq.).  It attacked the friendly AU forces in Somalia last week. It made an outrage in Pakistan. Yesterday, it struck at Egypt in the Sinai. 'ISIS fighters' (viz a guy with a gun - but completely different to shooting-up a black Bible study class) supposedly struck in peaceful Tunisia and in France with 'front page-grabbing terror attacks'. About the only thing the west can counter with, is a growing number of 'security arrests' and regular announcements that the drones have nailed another 'biggie'.  Thank goodness the Taliban haven't shared the secret of the 'invasion rowboats' - but then, they are 'enemies' of ISIS as well and, maybe, because of that, they are no longer, perhaps, as much the 'enema' we've been fighting for the past 14 years as they are  potential 'peace partners'. Or maybe they still are scumbags in need of killing,  we haven't figured it out yet.  All is couched in possibilities.

 What we have figured out is that Iran is behind it all.  Not, as some wags thought, Saudi Arabia and the other Arab forces of light and goodness. From Ansar al Aqba to Zeddi al Djinn ANY and EVERY  problem in the middle east leads back to Teheran - in an almost straight line! The mad ayetollehs of Teheran are plotting the demise of western civilization, don't cha no?  Just the same as did Darryl the Mede as he swept down on snoozing Nebuchadnezzar.

And just a soon as they spill the atomizer:  Kablooie! Civilization as we know it goes poop!

In the meantime - even though their economy has 'gone bust' with the sanctions program - they're shipping-off the last of the national wealth to pay for unibombers. Somebody ought to tell the Iranians. They, being the decent people they are, wouldn't stand for that and there is a perfectly good Shah ( 'Och, he's a lovely wee boy"- as Mum would say) and his court-in-waiting in New York.

Meanwhile we'll keep the table polished and gather around it the 'hard core' forces of 'piece and progress'. The world needs gay marriage and real 'love' more than it needs high explosives or even another banking fiasco. If there's one thing we can stand for and they can't,  it's human rights, and the free-market system. We don't shoot innocent sunbathers, or even drop bombs on them. Well not unless they're Russians, for, you see, them 'Islamics' don't doff their duds at the beach, where you could really scope 'em out with the drone optics and nail them. Or at least get some 'actionable' imagery to post in the trailer.

We will, for the foreseeable future, 'keep on keeping on'.  It's them invasion rowboats (robots???), eh?