Thursday, March 31, 2011


This is coolbert:

"Fascination with her life, career
and disappearance continues to this day."

Her being Amelia Earhart.

A fascination that manifested itself once more the just the other day.

A public TV broadcast, the topic of which was the last flight of Amelia - - a circumnavigation of the planet with her navigator Fred Noonan, the duo disappearing in the mid-Pacific Ocean, evidently running out of fuel, having to "ditch", perishing.

Amelia - - that famous American aviator of the era prior to World War Two [WW2], and an accomplished woman at a time when normally a female was consigned ONLY to the tasks of "kitchen, kids, kissin'"!

"Amelia Mary Earhart . . . a noted American aviation pioneer and author." "During an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937 in a Purdue-funded Lockheed Model 10 Electra, Earhart disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island."

From over seventy years ago now, the consensus opinion being that the disappearance of Amelia was nothing more than a navigational error. And this is quite reasonable an assumption. The mid-oceanic refueling point of Howland Island is an itty-bitty speck of land, a mile square at that, barely rising above the water level, not inhabitable, a wasteland more or less.

[Amelia possessed some pretty formidable flying skills. Was ONLY the second person to fly solo across the Atlantic, twenty persons prior to her having attempted the same feat and failed, in the footsteps of Lindbergh!!]

For some time, indeed, ever since the time of WW2, there has been speculation that this circumnavigation of the planet was a "cover" story for a private ESPIONAGE mission, done at the behest of President Roosevelt. Roosevelt personally favoring such endeavors, that of the inspired and talented amateur whose efforts exceed those of the professional!

This speculation was not touched upon during this particular TV documentary.

An ESPIONAGE mission, an overflight of Japanese occupied South Pacific Islands, a visual and photographic reconnaissance [recce] of those islands, occupied by mandate and believed to be fortified, the Japanese "making ready" in case of a Pacific war with the U.S.

"Spies for FDR - - a myth that Earhart was spying on the Japanese in the Pacific at the request of the Franklin Roosevelt administration. By 1949, both the United Press and U.S. Army Intelligence had concluded this rumor was groundless."

A "myth", "groundless" - - speculation without foundation - - etc. Speculation, however, perhaps NOT totally groundless, NOT totally without foundation?

ONLY in that following year, 1938, Vincent Astor, that man of means, a personal friend and confidant of Roosevelt, using his ocean going yacht during a voyage to the South Pacific - - his sailing having the hidden purpose of ESPIONAGE! Again, the intent was for a reconnaissance of those Japanese occupied islands, believed to be fortified, and of interest to the US Navy!

"While sailing the Nourmahal in the Pacific, the yachtsman was to seek out signs of a military buildup - - any bases, ports, airfields, or fueling facilities In the Marshall Islands . . . Astor would use the vessel's [Nourmahal] sophisticated direction-finding apparatus to ferret out the location of Japanese radio stations for the Navy"

[Astor was not very successful in this endeavor, the info he was able to glean being scant!]

Consider too in that same year - - 1938 - - the British began a series of aerial reconnaissance flights over Germany, as arranged by Group Captain Winterbotham, flown by the famous Australian pilot and adventurer of the era, Sidney Cotton. A LOCKHEED ELECTRA MODEL 12 MODIFIED FOR THE AVIATION RECCE, AN AIRCRAFT NOT AT ALL DISSIMILAR TO THE ONE FLOWN BY AMELIA!

"Frederick Sidney Cotton OBE . . . was an Australian inventor, photographer and aviation and photography pioneer . . . largely responsible for the development of photographic reconnaissance before and during the Second World War."

"Shortly before the Second World War, Cotton was recruited by Fred Winterbotham (then of MI6) to take clandestine aerial photographs of the German military buildup . . . He equipped a civilian Lockheed 12A business aircraft with three F-24 cameras concealed by panels which could be slid aside and operated by pressing a button under the pilot's seat, and a Leica behind a similar panel in the wings."

It should be noted too that the U.S. military was intimately involved during the last flight of Amelia and also during the search in the aftermath of her disappearance.

* USCGC Itasca. "Itasca is most famous as the "picket ship" that would provide air navigation and radio links for Amelia Earhart when she made her 1937 attempt to fly around the world."

* USS Colorado. "during an NROTC cruise . . . she assisted in the search for the missing Amelia Earhart."

The efforts of the Itasca and the Colorado both to no avail.

Amelia and Fred Noonan spies? Probably not, but the speculation is NOT without foundation!



This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog by Steiner: "At this point, will it surprise anyone if the trail of subversion leads to the office of Wilhelm Canaris, a man hostile to his own government and connected to MI6 at the highest levels?"

We are speaking of Canaris - - Wilhelm - - Admiral German Navy and head of the Abwehr [German military intelligence] both prior to and during much of the Second World War [WW2].

Canaris, a most controversial character of which not a lot [?] is ever written.

A German most controversial, either a patriot or a traitor, depending upon your viewpoint. Canaris - - disliking in the extreme Hitler and the Nazi regime. A man too who during the war was in contact with the British perhaps in a way that astounds!

Of Wilhelm Canaris it can be commented: [in no specific order or importance]

* Just prior to the outbreak of hostilities [1939] - - someone - - that someone never being positively identified, dropped off and left at the British embassy in Oslo a brand new, working, up-to-date and state of the art German Enigma cryptographic machine. Canaris has been long suspected as the culprit.

* Most experts concede that German military intelligence PRIOR to 1939 was pretty good. However, during the war German military intelligence NEVER did get any BETTER, the Abwehr being highly susceptible to allied deception campaigns. Allied intelligence, in contrast, was NOT very good prior to 1939 but during the duration of the war only got better and by the end of the war had improved by magnitudes!

* Canaris was definitely an anti-communist and also definitely in contact with those elements of German society hostile to Hitler! Those conspirators that wanted Hitler dead! It should be noted that while Canaris was anti-Hitler he was not necessarily anti-war. Those German conspirators desired a true or a peace settlement with the western allied powers while continuing the war on the Eastern Front against the Soviet Union!

* Canaris maintained files on both Heydrich and Himmler. Heydrich maintained files on Canaris and Himmler. Himmler maintained files on Canaris and Heydrich. This cannot have made for a cordial, warm, and friendly working atmosphere.

* It was a revelation to me that the famous Oskar Schindler was in the employ of the Abwehr pre-war - - serving as a case officer in the Sudetenland. Schindler working against the Czechs - - recruiting ethnic Germans loyal to the "fatherland"!

* The Abwehr again was German military intelligence. NOT to be confused with the SD, the intelligence arm of the SS! As with the old Soviet Union [KGB, GRU] and Russia today [SVR, GRU], two competing intelligence agencies working against the same targets simultaneously but with different priorities!

* Canaris would have had a perfect cover for maintaining contact with the British [MI6]! Officers such as Bonhoeffer were on the payroll as counter-intelligence [CI], with authorization to make contact with the enemy at the discretion of the individual CI officer, playing a false "double game" the announced intent.

* It is not beyond comprehension for adversaries to maintain contact with one another even during time of war, carrying out a dialog!

Canaris met a very bad end, hanging from a piano wire naked for quite a long time before expiring. Such was quite often the fate of those Germans opposed to Hitler.


Monday, March 28, 2011


This is coolbert:

Well - - lemme' tell you the story about a man name of Fritz.

Fritz Menzer. German national during the era of World War Two [WW2].

A machinist, a mechanic, an autodidact, a cryptologist, a man most proficient at the making and breaking of codes and ciphers.

"au·to·di·dact – noun - a person who has learned a subject without the benefit of a teacher or formal education; a self-taught person."

A man who could have almost single-handedly won WW2 for the Germans?

From a previously highly classified U.S. government document

Fritz - - using his considerable talents and mechanical aptitude - - able to design and make changes - - improving by magnitudes the security of the electro-mechanical cryptographic systems as used by the German military and government during WW2. Enigma and Hagelin cryptographic machines both!

If and when the ideas and design concepts of Fritz Menzer had been implemented, that unique and most valuable source of intelligence [Ultra] as had by the western allies [British and American] during WW2 would have been rendered null and void!

Throughout the war, the German was keenly aware that their cipher system most relied upon to provide security for messages encrypted and sent via radio communications, the electro-mechanical apparatus known as the Enigma, was susceptible to being "read".

The man responsible for this appreciation, this "awareness" was Fritz? I think so.

The efforts of Fritz either too late or not at all, that special source of intelligence [Ultra] so vital to the war effort of the western allies NOT rendered "null and void"!


Sunday, March 27, 2011


This is coolbert:

Here is a modern day "Johnny". A badly wounded soldier, minus all limbs [his face intact], BUT still possessing a strong will to live and THRIVE!!

Brendan Marrocco.

Surviving a roadside bomb, losing both legs and arms, but with spirit still intact.

Even is now engaged to be married!!

"Spirit Intact, Soldier Reclaims His Life"

"At 22, he was a spry, charming infantryman in the United States Army with a slicing wit and a stubborn streak. Then, on Easter Sunday 2009, a roadside bomb exploded under his vehicle, and he became the first veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to lose all four limbs in combat and survive."

To my knowledge - - perhaps I am wrong - - the ONLY soldier to lose all four limbs and survive in any conflict. The wounds were cauterized by the bomb - - death by loss of blood being prevented. In the past, such a severe injury would an inevitable death? NOT NOW!

[the worst war wounded but surviving soldier of the Vietnam War was an infantry lieutenant who lost both legs, one arm, and could not hold his head erect anymore!!]

"In the nearly 15 months since, Specialist Marrocco has pushed past pain and exhaustion to learn to use his four prosthetics, though he can walk for only 15 minutes at a time . . . He has also met, fallen in love with and proposed marriage to a young woman"

This guy is remarkable and I hope the best for him. It is going to be rough and I am sure he knows it too.

I saw the program on TV about Brendan and he DOES seem to have the right attitude and mental wherewithal so that his future is guaranteed. I hope so.

Modern medical care, the development of physical therapy combined with prosthesis does offer a lot for the severely wounded such as Brendan and others like him.

These men and those women too wounded in such a fashion are due whatever care and treatment is available and needed.

Dalton Trumbo had Brendan in mind when he wrote "Johnny"? "Johnny" of course was fictional but Brendan is NOT! Brendan makes Dalton look small!



This is coolbert:

Demonstrations by the restive population of Syria, emulating the populations of other restive populations in Arabic speaking nations throughout the Middle East, met with violence from the authoritarian regime as rules in Damascus.

As well might be expected. The Syrian NOT adverse to "cracking down" or imposing draconian measure against any and all types of dissent.

Some updates and info from the DEBKAfile:

March 18 - - "Security forces break up protests against 'Assad family' in half a dozen cities across Syria."

"They are unprecedented since 1982 Muslim Brotherhood uprising in Hama. At least 7 killed, 150 injured"

March 21 - - "Syrian President Bashar Assad Monday, sent the 4th Armored Division commanded by his younger brother Maher Assad to suppress the three-day uprising in Darra (Deraa). The troops have also severed the South [southern region of Syria] from Damascus and Jabal ad-Duruz where a demonstration is planned for March 26."

Anti-government [anti-Assad] demonstrators in Syria face a particularly unique and very difficult challenge? The government in Damascus, Alawite controlled, are not even for a second hesitant to use very repressive measures to crush dissent, from what ever quarter and of what ever nature.

Almost thirty years ago now. The Hama Massacre.

The town of Hama in Syria, basically obliterated by the father [Hafez] of Bashir. Armor, special operations troops, heavy artillery, air strikes, even the purported use of lethal chemical agents used to eliminate the Muslim Brotherhood in revolt against the Syrian central government. Devastation on a total and almost apocalyptic scale.

"The Hama massacre . . . occurred in February 1982, when the Syrian army bombarded the town of Hama in order to quell a revolt by the Muslim Brotherhood. Hama massacre became the climax event of Muslim Brotherhood insurgency campaign . . . An estimated 17,000 to 40,000 people were killed in Hama, including about 1,000 Syrian soldiers, and large parts of the old city were destroyed."

Modern counter-insurgency experts would cite two examples of how an insurrection, a rebellion, a guerrilla war CAN BE SUCCESSFULLY FOUGHT!

One instance is the British response to the situation in Northern Ireland. The mailed fist in the velvet glove approach. Force but used selectively and judiciously and coupled with reforms and measures to provide an alternative to rebellion.

The second instance would be Hama! Massive force used indiscriminately and without any reservation, total and final obliteration and annihilation of your adversary the goal.

As was done at Hama!

Hama reduced more or less to the status of a ghost town. Bus routes through the city to other parts of Syria kept open, so that one and all could see the damage and pass their observations on to others the message of BEWARE being most unmistakeable!!.

As with those even perhaps today, right now, as we speak, on the streets of the various cities of Syria.



This is coolbert:

Thanks to Steiner we have this comment to the blog:

"American analysts (and pilots) concluded that the 21 [MiG] was a dangerous opponent that had the flying edge in certain tactical circumstances."

And this is correct? Under "certain tactical circumstances" it can be inferred that this is so.

The MiG-21 as originally conceived and designed and deployed [1961] was NOT seen as a multi-role combat aircraft [MRCA].

Was seen as performing the role of fighter/interceptor and not much beyond that. "That" however, being more than sufficient.

The MiG-21, battling in aerial combat - - a "dogfight" as was seen in the era of air-to-air combat from the time of both World Wars, close with and shoot down your adversary using air-to-air missiles or cannon fire to do so.

That MiG-21, very maneuverable, having a high top speed and altitude, robust, able to operate out of unimproved airfields, more easily repaired, ideally suited for the mission assigned it.

Cheaper too than the American counter-part, the Soviets able to build prodigious numbers of the MiG, able to "flood" the aerial battlefield with superior numbers if need be.

[the Israeli commented that across the board the western military powers built equipment that was ONLY SLIGHTLY QUALITATIVELY SUPERIOR TO THE SOVIET VERSION, BUT QUANTITATIVELY INFERIOR! The Soviets in almost all circumstances having a numerical advantage - - sometimes shockingly so!]

During the Vietnam War, somewhat after the fact, and much to the consternation of American military planners, the predominant American combat aircraft of that era, the Phantom F-4, when involved in a "dogfight" with a MiG-21, was at a DISADVANTAGE!

The MiG-21, when employed as it was intended to, WAS SUPERIOR IN THE DOGFIGHT TO THE AMERICAN COUNTER-PART!!

That Phantom F-4, larger, less maneuverable, more heavy by far when laden with fuel and bombs, and surprised by the MiG-21 when flown by adept North Vietnamese pilots, encountered resistance unexpected and troubling both! The F-4 as it flew also left behind a very visible smoke trail that stayed aloft for some time - - seen at quite a distance, an instantaneous give away to the position of the American aircraft.

American multi-role combat aircraft [MRCA] designed with the intention to fight in a war where nuclear weapons would play a major role were not so versatile when "dogfighting" in the skies over North Vietnam!

were the pilots during the initial stage of deployment expecting to find themselves in aerial combat involving cannon fire at close-quarters!

[again, the Israeli, when given the F-4 by the U.S. in the late 1960's proceeded to make no less than 500 modifications to the airplanes, major and minor, in an effort to increase the ability of the plane to "dogfight"]

ONLY after Red Flag and Top Gun courses were instituted did American pilots received the type of training that was needed to fly their aircraft into battle against the MiG-21. But by then the Vietnam War was coming to a close. For the future however, lessons were learned? Perhaps!


Friday, March 25, 2011

Johnny & Dalton!

This is coolbert:

"Oh no.I can't. I can't stand it. Scream. Move. Shake something. Make a noise any noise. I can't stand it. Oh no no no.Please I can't. Please no. Somebody come. Help me. I can't lie here forever like this until maybe years from now I die. 1 can't. Nobody can. It isn't possible.I can't breathe but I'm breathing. I'm so scared I can't think but I'm thinking. Oh please please no. No no. It isn't me. Help me. It can't be me. Not me. No no no.Oh please oh oh please. No no no please no. Please. Not me." - - "Johnny Got His Gun", by Dalton Trumbo.

The anti-war polemic "Johnny Got His Gun", as written by the famous screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. An American soldier badly wounded and mangled during World War One [WW1], missing all limbs and most of his face, unable to communicate with the outside world.

"Johnny Got His Gun is an anti-war novel written in 1938 . . . by American novelist and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo"

"Joe Bonham, a young soldier serving in World War I, awakens in a hospital bed after being caught in the blast of an exploding artillery shell. He gradually realizes that he has lost his arms, legs, and all of his face (including his eyes, ears, teeth, and tongue), but that his mind functions perfectly, leaving him a prisoner in his own body."

"Johnny" is able to communicate with the outside world using Morse code, tapping out messages - - striking his head against the metal bed frame. His first communication to the outside world is "kill me!!"

A problem with all this. During that era of WW1, the probability of such a wounded man surviving a successful removal from the battlefield and hospitalization was extremely low. Medical science of the period DID NOT have the techniques or the skill to keep such a person so badly wounded and maimed alive. The triage system also would have mitigated against the man even having received any care, if indeed he was found alive! Lightly wounded troops treated first, Persons such as "Johnny" placed in a moribund ward, sedated, treatment felt to be more or less impossible and impractical!

Dalton Trumbo was a "thing" of legend?

A most successful Hollywood screenwriter, blacklisted for his communist affiliations, spending eleven months in prison for contempt of Congress.

Later self-exiled with other fellow-travelers to Mexico.

Said to have been prevented from practicing his trade. This is nonsense. Dalton continued to write for Hollywood under pseudonyms and aliases, making around $40,000 a year during a period when that amount was a princely sum AND winning several Oscars. NOT a man persecuted in the traditional sense of the word "persecuted".

Please, the facts don't lie! And thanks to Ken for the idea behind this blog entry.


40 Palakaria.

This is coolbert:

"They met an old man.
An old man on the road.
Bless you 'yero'!
Bless you old man!"

He answered them:
"'Welcome, my young braves!
Where are you going?
Brave youths, where do you go?'"

"We go to trample on
great Tripolitsa!
Come with us!"

"Come with us old man!
Brave youths, I'm too old.
But take my youngest son.
He'll take my place.
He can run like a rabbit.
He can soar like a partridge."

"They had long knives in their belts and long guns on their shoulders. They had long hair, and mustaches. In the formal depictions of their march, in the paintings, they are often dressed in the fancy white kilts, the foustanella. Each kilt has 400 pleats. And each pleat represents a year of Greek slavery and occupation under the Turkish Ottoman Empire."

The Forty Palikaria of Levadia. On their way to battle. The revolt, the rebellion, the insurrection of the Greek against the Ottoman Turk! Lord Byron raising the Greek flag and such.

It was March 25, 1821.

March 25. Greek Independence Day. One hundred ninety years ago today, the battle began in earnest.

Almost half a millenia of Islamic oppression as endured by the Greek. A rule despotic and cruel, even genocidal at times. An end to that rule that began with the march of the 40 Palikaria.

As remembered today in the very good column from the Chicago Tribune as written by John Kass, worth reading in entirety. And thank you John!

That magic number of forty. Signifying the end of era and the beginning of another.

* It rained for forty days and night.
* The Hebrews spent forty years in the wilderness.
* JESUS spent forty days in the wilderness.
* The tenth and last guru of the Sikhs, Gobind Singh, having forty acolytes die in battle fighting with him!


As it was with the Hebrews, JESUS and Gobind Singh, the number forty in this instance connotes an event of great significance, and INDEED - - IT WAS!


Thursday, March 24, 2011


This is coolbert:

"Free supplies and open retreat are two essentials
to the safety of an army or a fleet"- - Alfred Thayer Mahan."

Once again, the topic is the supply routes for the NATO forces currently at war with the Taliban in Afghan.

Thanks to the web site for Radio Free Europe and the tip from the blog Jungle Trader.

Supply routes imperiled by attack from Taliban and various tribesmen, that route from Karachi overland through the Khyber Pass too dangerous and difficult. NATO forces finding "free" supply at stake. With all that means.

The answer being the NDN. "Northern Distribution Network". Northern supply routes passing through the various central Asian "republics" often referred to as the "stans"!

My intuitive and instantaneous reaction is that this NDN is probably NOT a whole lot better than the Karachi-Khyber Pass route. But read the whole article. You decide.

"Central Asia Stands To Gain As NATO Shifts Supply Lines Away From Pakistan "

"The NATO-led international forces in Afghanistan depend heavily on far-flung supply lines for the food, fuel, and goods they need to go on fighting."

"These days they [NATO] are increasingly focusing their efforts on a web of routes reaching from ports on the Baltic and Black seas to the Central Asian republics that border Afghanistan. Together these routes are known as the Northern Distribution Network (or “NDN” for short). The NDN is growing in significance for NATO planners"

Again, my instantaneous and intuitive reaction to the Afghan incursion, starting in 2001, was that NATO forces neither possessed a line of retreat NOR safe supply. And this situation has not gotten better. A military planners worse nightmare is realized in Afghan? So far things have gone relatively smoothly and any crisis that has arisen has been "handled"! But if things for some reason [and in that part of thew world things can change in an instant] go from bad to worse, just watch out.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011


This is coolbert:

"The Daring Ones".

Here are the Italian "stormtroops" of the Great War [WW1]. Elite combat soldiers, volunteers, chosen for the physical skills, demonstrable prowess and initiative in battle, given risky and dangerous assignments, always comporting themselves with great valor.

Arditi! Dagger men.

Italian special operations type troops analogous to the German stormtroop but having a mission somewhat different.

"Arditi was the name adopted by Italian Army elite storm troops of World War I. The name derives from the Italian verb Ardire ('to dare')"

Arditi, the mission of which was to "storm", assault, a section of WW1-style trench line, capturing and holding the enemy position for a maximum of twenty-four hours until relieved by conventional advancing infantry.

Arditi - - lightly equipped soldiers, in a purposeful manner moving forward on the battlefield as unencumbered as possible, fighting to a great extent armed only with hand grenades and DAGGER - - nothing more than that!!

"assigned the tactical role of shock troops, breaching enemy defenses in order to prepare the way for a broad infantry advance. The Arditi were not infantry troops, but were considered a separate combat arm."

"The task of these units was not to pave the way for the infantry to the enemy lines, but the total conquest of the enemy positions. The most daring volunteers were chosen . . . The men also studied fencing and were masters of hand-to-hand combat. . . . sent to the front armed with a dagger and hand grenades . . . most didn't carry rifles or carbines because they would be cumbersome to fire in the confined spaces of a trench . . . Arditi had to hold the positions they conquered for 24 hours and then be replaced by the regular infantry."

Arditi - - men of physical strength and ability - - and trained in the martial arts as would have been taught in the Italian school, during the Renaissance period! Fighting with an edged weapon, close-quarters combat of the most dangerous and vicious type, eyeball-to-eyeball, mano-a-mano, no-holds-barred warfare! The arditi not only fighting in such a style but preferring and relishing such combat.

Dagger men - - and quite successful too during WW1! AND also active post-war in both the fascist and anti-fascist movements. Street brawlers employed during the partisan warfare culminating in the ascendancy to power of Mussolini!


* The Italian soldier/sailor/airman during both wars [WW1 and WW2] for the most part gave a very lackluster performance! This is referred to as the Italian Military Enigma. A puzzle for which there is no ready and sure answer! Arditi were an exception to the rule without question! Arditi are in the same league of performance as DECIMA MAS of WW2?

* Martial arts training is not strictly a phenomenon limited to the various Asian nations. The Europeans too have a very long history of various fighting forms and martial arts type training. Boxing, wrestling, fighting forms using edged weaponry. The Spanish school or the Italian school were very popular during the Renaissance period - - young men often of noble birth being taught the styles of rapier and dagger combat as prevalent during that period! European martial arts forms only now being resurrected and studied once again!

As with the ancient Romans, so with the arditi! Lions do not beget rabbits!!



This is coolbert:

Thanks to the VOA and the tip from the blog Jungle Trader.

Piracy once again, this time with a twist.

Piracy as was done in the days of Sir Francis Drake and Henry Morgan.

The pirates coming ASHORE, RAIDING some target on land, escaping to their boats and ships, making good their getaway!

This time, the getaway not with success!

"Cameroon Army: Troops Kill 18 Bank Robbers"

"Cameroon's military says its forces have killed 18 pirates who came ashore and raided a bank in the seaside city of Douala."

"Authorities say the pirates were among 25 armed men who arrived in Douala by speedboat late Friday. Officials say the gang robbed a bank in a raid that left at least seven people dead."

"the gang escaped by boat and was pursued by the military in the Gulf of Guinea, where a gun battle broke out."

The Gulf of Guinea is a new venue for the pirates? Nigeria and Somalia of course are constantly in the news, the latter more so than the former, but Cameroon is now on the list of "targets"?

Piracy is now all the rage. Understood as a crime the rewards of which are pretty good with law enforcement rather sparse and often non-existent? A growth business which will spread predictably to other parts of world, regrettably so!

Drake and Morgan in their own time became esteemed SIRS, nobility of a minor sort, Morgan even becoming the governor of Jamaica. Don't expect any of the same for these bad guys in the Cameroon.



This is coolbert:

"speed was better protection than armor"

From the wiki entry some indications that the German Storm Trooper of the World War One [WW1] era was deliberately so an unencumbered troop.

A "stripped" down soldier NOT carrying into battle an overly large amount of gear. Rather - - carrying the minimum necessary to accomplish the mission. AND every effort and some thought having gone into the process to make the "load" of the soldier as light as possible.

"Stormtroopers (in German Stoßtruppen), 'shock troops' were specialist soldiers of the German Army in World War I . . . trained to fight with 'infiltration tactics'"

Those stormtroops volunteers one and all [?], selected from among the most fittest, able soldiers, those that had displayed daring and initiative previously on the battlefield, persons of proven worth and reliability. [no man over the age of 25 years!]

A German stormtroop from 1918. Helmet,
sub-machine gun and pistol and that is it.
Those weapons using compatible 9 mm ammo
more than likely. That tunic has lots of pockets
for grenades? This is how [?] the stormtroop
would have appeared going into battle?

"the Assault Detachment also changed some of its equipment to better fit its new requirements."

Changes to include:

* "Lighter footwear".

* "uniforms were reinforced with leather patches on knees and elbow"

* "Special bags designed to carry grenades replaced the old belts and ammunition pouches"

* "the standard Gewehr 98 rifle was replaced with the lighter Karabiner 98a"

The stormtroop was expected to move rapidly and stealthily on the WW1 battlefield, NOT engaging the main force of the enemy, using infiltration tactics [movement by stealth and in small numbers], NOT loaded down as was the conventional soldier on the attack during the period, forward movement essential at all times, the more the soldier penetrated the enemy rear area the better. A kilo here and a kilo there an pretty soon all those small amounts of kilos add up.


* The combat boot as understood today was not worn by the troop of the WW1 era. Most soldiers wore a low-quarter "work" shoe instead of boot. And even then, stormtroops wore something less than that? Perhaps a "gym" type shoe of the Converse "One-Star" variety?

* Those tunics as worn by the German soldier had plenty of pockets to carry grenades and extra ammo? NO web gear, ammo pouches, etc. Lighten the load to the greatest extent possible. Re-inforced elbow and knee supports for the uniform were needed - - the stormtroop being required to do a lot of crawling!

* Stormtroops were taught to use captured enemy weapons and ammo. Rather than wait for re-supply the stormtroop was to move as quickly as possible forward even after penetrating the "front lines"!

* Body armor of the period was available but heavy and very bulky, not suitable for wear on the battlefield by a combat soldier. There were even armored shields available, a hand shield of armor plate the soldier could hold in front of his vitals as he moved in the open. Heavy, and it was felt speed was preferable over protection of this sort.

* If the stormtroop had to go hungry, be cold, wet, do without re-supply, that was considered to be part of the soldierly duty! Move quickly and perform your duty as understood with hardship was the German military ethic of the time!


Monday, March 21, 2011


This is coolbert:

"Russia has claimed that this version is equivalent to the early F-16.
It performed well against F-15 and F-16s of the USAF during
Indo-US joint air exercises."




This one did catch my attention right away.

The Indian Air Force, in DACT competition with those USAF contingents, faring quite well, and having as integral part of the exercise the MiG-21, the BISON version.

Bison is a variety of the MiG-21 totally unique to the Indian Air Force? Of this I am not sure.

That MiG-21 first began to enter the inventory of the Soviet Air Force in 1961 and is based upon a design and concept from the early 1950's!

Still going strong, with improvement having been made, the Bison now still a top-of-the-line interceptor aircraft.

An interceptor - - and it must be understood that way. The MiG-21 is very good as an interceptor, the air superiority mission, dogfighting and shooting down enemy fighter aircraft in mano-a-mano air battle. NOT a multi-role-combat-aircraft [MRCA]!

MiG-21 Bison.

"Upgraded version for export and Indian Air Force is the first customer. Armed with the (Spear) airborne radar, which is capable of simultaneously tracking 8 targets and engaging 2 of them tracked with semi-active radar homing air-to-air missiles . . . The radar also enable to fighter to deploy active radar homing air-to-air missiles . . . when an additional channel is incorporated."

The basic airframe with a souped up new jet engine plus new and vastly better avionics for firing improved versions of the earliest air-air missiles, the MiG-21 Bison in the role of interceptor able to engage at long-range and short-range [cannon fire] both!!

The MiG-21 is, however, not without fault. Has an inherent design flaw that makes it unstable when 2/3 of the fuel is expended. Tough to pilot at the END of a mission, many good pilots having met a bad end while on the final leg of a flight! Also "brews" up and burns to a cinder when a certain exact spot of the airframe is hit by an incendiary round. The Israeli were able to destroy many MiG-21 on the ground in 1967 - - the Israeli pilot on a strafing run knowing EXACTLY where to shoot for!

When used judiciously and in the correct manner, the MiG-21 still can be formidable as an air superiority fighter, even FIFTY YEARS after first being deployed!



This is coolbert:


Cope India.

Here from 2004 and 2005, DACT exercises, simulated "dogfighting", Indian Air Force pilots and planes, versus American Air Force and planes, the latter defeated most [90 %] of the time.

Cope India 2004 and Cope India 2005. American piloted F-15 and F-16 versus a variety of Indian piloted Soviet/Russian combat warplanes!

This is a good simulation, a good test of aircraft, pilots, training, doctrine, tactics, means and methods? The Indian Air Force flying predominantly Soviet/Russian aircraft, using Soviet/Russian doctrine, training and tactics, arrayed against their American opposition. This is AS REAL WORLD AS IT CAN GET WITHOUT SHOTS BEING FIRED?

1. "INDIA 1, USAF 0"

"in recent exercises, Indian flyboys in low-tech Russian and French jets defeated American F-15C pilots more than 90 percent of the time."

2. "USAF vs. Indian Air Force -- Cope India 2005"

"'The Sukhoi is a ... better plane than the F-16,' . . . 'But we're not talking about a single aircraft. We're talking about the overall infrastructure, the command and control systems, the radar on the ground and in the air, the technical crew on the ground, and how do you maximize that infrastructure. This is where the learning curve takes place.'" - - Vinod Patney, Indian Air Marshal [retired].

The Air Marshal is correct in his assessment? These scenarios are stage-managed and choreographed to a degree and NOT a free-for-all melee'? YES! heavily stage-managed and choreographed to give as full and complete a test and simulation as possible. Must be understood correctly so within a wider context? But still indicative of a "learning curve" that is most illuminating and perhaps even unexpected!

NO ONE killed - - valuable lessons learned, hardware, doctrine, tactics, methods and means put to a real test!



This is coolbert:

DACT. Dissimilar air combat training (DACT)

They even have a name for it. DACT. Dissimilar air combat training. Combat pilots of the fighter variety practicing aerial warfare, "dogfighting" in the traditional manner, air superiority, an attempt to "shoot down" the adversary, a simulation, and exercise, training.

"air superiority . . . That degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another which permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea and air forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force."

This is not an American piloted F-15 practicing aerial combat against another American piloted F-15.

This is not an American piloted F-16 practicing aerial combat against another American piloted F-15.

Air combat of the Red Flag or Top Gun variety as seen on television or in the movies.

Quite often the "aggressor" flying a combat warplane that either resembles or has been modified to resemble an "enemy", usually of the Soviet/Russian variety.

"Its [Red Flag] objective was to develop, refine and teach aerial dogfight tactics and techniques to selected fleet air crews, using the concept of Dissimilar Air Combat Training. DACT uses stand-in aircraft to realistically replicate expected threat aircraft"

Air Force Doctrine, tactics, methods and means all being put to an almost real-world use, as close to actual combat as you can get without the shooting having started!

"RED FLAG is an advanced aerial combat training exercise . . . air crew[s] from the United States Air Force (USAF) and other U.S. military branches and allies take part in the exercises"

"The Red Flag exercises . . . are very realistic aerial war games. The purpose is to train pilots from the U.S., NATO and other allied countries for real combat situations. This includes the use of 'enemy' hardware"

"The United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program (SFTI program), more popularly known as TOPGUN, is the modern-day evolution of the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School"

It should be understood that these DACT exercises are NOT a free-for-all melee' but are stage-managed and choreographed to a large degree. "Frindlies" quite often placed deliberately in a disadvatageous position to test their mettle and skills.

DACT now carried one step further, quite often with surprising results.

DACT with dissimilar aircraft of foreign manufacture such as the Eurofighter - - piloted by NATO combat aviators "dueling" with American fighter "jocks" flying F-15 and F-16.

Doctrines, tactics, methods and means of aerial warfare, "dogfighting" at variance with what American combat pilots are accustomed to. The results again surprising and sometimes very disconcerting from the American standpoint.

Consider DACT results for the Eurofighter Typhoon [English]:

"2005, a trainer Eurofighter T1 was reported to have had a chance encounter the previous year with two U.S. Air Force F-15Es over the Lake District in the north of England. The encounter became a mock dogfight with the Eurofighter allegedly emerging 'victorious'."

"2005 Singapore evaluation, the Typhoon won all three combat tests, including one in which a single Typhoon defeated three RSAF F-16s"

"2007, the Indian Air Force fielded the Su-30MKI [Russian Sukhoi] . . . with Royal Air Force's Typhoon. This was the first time that the two jets had taken part in such an exercise . . . During the exercise, the RAF pilots candidly admitted that the Su-30MKI displayed maneuvering superior to that of the Typhoon . . . The IAF pilots on their part were also visibly impressed by the Typhoon's agility in the air"

[results NOT made public!]

"2010, during a DACT exercises over the Canary Islands involving USAF and Spanish Air Force units, two Spanish Typhoon engaged 8 F-15Cs from Lakenheath, UK. 7 F-15s were "downed" while one managed to escape, with no loses for the Typhoons"

What normally can only be found out as real-world during actual warfare can be tested at least to some extent during peace-time? DACT results can be considered valid as best can be determined without someone dying!


Friday, March 18, 2011


This is coolbert:

Thanks to the DEBKAfile some updates on the situation in Bahrain. As events unfold in Libya, let us not ignore what is occurring in Bahrain. Also vital - - the population very restive - - the government now taking draconian measures, a crackdown underway as we speak?

[again, the noted blogger David P. Goldman rates DEBKAfile as totally unreliable under all circumstances!]

1. "Two Saudi brigades of 3,500 troops plus tank battalion in Bahrain"

"15 March. The Saudi force that went into Bahrain Monday, March 14, along with UAE and Kuwaiti units, to stabilize the royal regime is larger than reported, consisting of a National Guard brigade, a mechanized brigade of the Saudi army and a tank battalion – altogether 3,500 men."

2. "Tehran warns of dangerous consequences for Saudi intervention in Bahrain"

"16 March. The contest between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the Sunni-Shiite split in the Arab world were ramped up Wednesday March 16 by the crackdown Bahraini security forces launched with tanks and helicopters to drive the mostly Shiite protesters off the main square and key points of the island-state while Saudi troops guarded strategic points."

Outside forces have NOW intervened in Bahrain? Bahrain is where the headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet is located. A fleet vital to maintaining the status quo in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. The free flow of oil must not be impeded.

Military units of the Saudi, Kuwaiti, and United Arab Emirates all active now in Bahrain.

There is a religious and cultural factor at work here? The folks in Bahrain are predominantly Shia. As opposed to the Sunni of Saudi, Kuwait and UAE. Intervention by the Iranians is fear, sub rosa or otherwise?

90 % of the oil as pumped by the Saudi comes from areas where the Shia are predominant too. This was a surprise to me. The Saudi have always been seen as almost 100 % Sunni, but this is not so.

Hold on to your hats? Libya will become a side-show if the Gulf region goes up for grabs.


Thursday, March 17, 2011


This is coolbert:

"dispatch - - initiate contacts - - assess - - diplomatic dialogue."

At least on two occasions that have been made public, troops of the British Special Air Service [SAS] regiment have gone on missions to Libya. A response to the Libyan crisis, the Libyan insurrection and rebellion. One time in an apparent official capacity, active duty troops, the second time in an unofficial capacity, "The Circuit" as it is called at work.

Thanks in both cases to the British press here.

SAS! British special operations, ranger/commando, guerrilla fighters, unconventional warriors operating in an irregular manner. The SAS in these two instances returning to the Libyan desert after a hiatus of over seventy years, the "birthplace", hallowed ground so to speak!

SAS having both success and failure, hazardous duty in both cases.

1. "SAS veterans organised airlift of British oil workers from Libya"

"The daring SAS air mission that rescued 150 Brits from Libya on Saturday was launched by a small group of former troops."

Oil workers, Englishmen [and others?], in grave danger, at peril from "crazed armed gangs", plucked from the remote fastness of the Libyan desert, an airlift bringing a group of roustabouts to safety, an operation the success of which was in large measure to SAS "former" troops on the ground. Establishing an air strip, providing security and terminal guidance for the rescue aircraft.

"The vets, now private security guards in the Middle East, cleared landing strips in the Libyan desert then gave pilots the map locations."

"oil workers who were fearing deadly attacks from crazed armed gangs cruising the area."

2. "Hague: 'Blame Me For Bungled Libya Mission'"

"William Hague has said he takes "full ministerial responsibility" for a bungled diplomatic mission in Libya which led to SAS troopers and a 'junior diplomat' being captured by armed rebels."

SAS troops accompanying a "junior diplomat" on a fact-finding mission to make contact with the Libyan rebels, assess and report on the chaotic situation, try to make some sense of what is occurring! THE REBELS NOT BEING TOLD OF THIS MISSION IN ADVANCE, THE SOLDIERS AND DIPLOMAT TAKEN PRISONER - - THEN RELEASED!!

This latter military operation, a "junior diplomat" entering a war zone to make contact with the rebels, going in "blind" so to speak, is the type of mission that is hazardous but necessary. Risk has been assumed and accepted, SAS troops always aware they are placing themselves in danger whenever they take the field, regardless of where or how!

Nobody ever said this was going to be easy!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


This is coolbert:

"a solution in search of a problem."

Those of you following closely the unfolding disaster of unprecedented scale in Japan will notice the extreme devastation as having been wrought upon the landscape. Total destruction of a type normally only associated with warfare. Two armies having fought over contested terrain, obliteration of everything in the path of the combatants the result. The type of thing you would have witnessed at Stalingrad.

And NO electricity. The grid - - the power plants - - nuclear and otherwise, having been taken off line, destroyed, the infrastructure for delivering electrical power so critical for a modern society gone.

A remedy is not even close at hand? Sendai was a city of 1 million inhabitants. The number of folks in the environs even beyond that for many miles in all directions. These persons to be without the basics of civilization for some time?

This is the type of scenario that caused the U.S. Army during the 1950's and 1960's to develop the Army Nuclear Power Program. ANPP.

Transportable nuclear reactors that could be quickly brought on line, providing electrical power to areas ravaged by warfare. The U.S. Army to the rescue - - Army Light & Power on-call if need be.

"The Army Nuclear Power Program (ANPP) was a program of the United States Army to develop small pressurized water and boiling water nuclear power reactors to generate electrical and space-heating energy primarily at remote, relatively inaccessible sites."

A program in the works for several decades, only coming to fruition on several occasions, finally being abandoned as too expensive, alternatives more work-able preferred. But a concept that did have merit.

A concept as needed right now in Sendai. A nuclear power plant on a barge, towed into position, connected to the electrical grid as re-construction proceeds, normality restored in relative short order! Courtesy of the U.S. Army!

A program, ANPP, finally abandoned in the 1970's, the last power plant, mounted on a barge, now and for some time mothballed, the Sturgis, still on-call [?] if needed!

"Mounted on the Sturgis, a barge (no propulsion systems) converted from a Liberty ship, and moored in the Panama Canal Zone . . . It was the last of the eight plants to permanently cease operation."

The manpower to run and operate the nuclear power plant strictly a duty OF ENLISTED MEN. Highly trained and specially selected troops given the most intensive training imaginable. AND AT THE TIME, THE ONE MOS IN THE ARMY WITH THE HIGHEST VARIABLE REENLISTMENT BONUS!! Now no more!

"The Nuclear Power Plant Operator Course (NPPOC) . . . Applicants for the program were enlisted men who had to commit to serving a minimum of two years after completion of training. The requirements for admission to the NPPOC included aptitude test scores at least as stringent as those required for admission to Officer Candidate School"

A "solution in search of a problem"! That problem now existing at Sendai!



This is coolbert:

From the FirstWorldWar web site an amazing statistic.

Casualties - - from poison gas - - during World War One [WW1] - - Russian troops during the Great War suffering casualties from chemical munitions in inordinate and disproportionate numbers, deaths alone EXCEEDING THE TOTAL FOR ALL OTHER COMBATANTS COMBINED!!

"Casualties From Gas - The Numbers"

"Russia: 56,000 Deaths [419,340 casualties total]"

Those stats regarding the Russian total casualties and deaths indicative of a lack of preparedness, equipment, training, and medical aid. A combination of factors that made the Russian WW1 soldier particularly susceptible to poison gas attack.

Recall that the first use of mustard agent as DELIVERED BY ARTILLERY SHELL was against the Russians - - Riga - - 1917!

Since the end of WW1 - - since the time of communist rule - - and too since even after communist rule, the Russian has been considered to be the master of chemical warfare, setting the standard by which all others are judged? Best chemical capability both offensively and defensively?

A whole range of poison gases stockpiled from which to select - - and an ability to protect their own men from retaliation.

Accord to Penkovskiy, in case of all-out war with NATO, the decision to use chemical munitions had been made in advance, army commanders at their discretion deciding the when and where to employ these WMD!

The Russian experience in WW1 was most troubling, even traumatic? The Russian did not want to relive what occurred at the hands of the German and rather desired to dish it out if need be? So it seems.

The chemical capability both offensively and defensively of the Russian army remains formidable? If so, it is easily understandable WHY this is so?


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Admiral Parry!

This is coolbert:

"No wind on land and sea; third of population dies instantly;
perpetual darkness; sores; Euphrates dries up ‘to clear
way for kings from the east’; earth’s core opens.”

“…He pinpoints 2012 to 2018 as the time when the
current global power structure is likely to crumble."

From time to time in the blog I have made reference to the admonitions and predictions of the British Admiral Parry. Perhaps retired now but at one time the most senior officer in a military "think-tank". Responsible for determining as best as it can be done the "wave of the future", the situation as will confront military planners in the now not-so-distant future.

It does us good to refresh our minds from time to time as to the "admonitions and predictions" of Admiral Parry?

Admiral Parry of the opinion that the existing world order as we know it now will begin to break down in the year 2012. That order as we know it coming "apart at the seams" from a confluence of factors, much of which can be foreseen, NO NATION on the planet to be spared from the ensuing chaos, disaster, etc."

"The New Goths 2012: Time is Running Down"

"Parry predicts that as flood or starvation strikes, the most dangerous zones will be Africa, particularly the northern half; most of the Middle East and central Asia as far as northern China; a strip from Nepal to Indonesia; and perhaps eastern China."

Admiral Parry having done what is called an Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield [IPB], that IPB done on a macro scale, the entire world being the "battlefield". A series of overlays that allow some pertinent observations to be made. Overlays that pinpoint an entire series of factors that may lead to global disintegration as we know it today. Factors to include: [but not limited to]

* Overpopulation.
* Economic collapse.
* Food shortages.
* Environmental degradation.
* Islamic fundamentalism.
* Extreme poverty.
* Ineffectual or despotic government.
* Natural disasters from a variety of sources.

"He identified the most dangerous flash points by overlaying maps showing the regions most threatened by factors such as agricultural decline, booming youth populations, water shortages, rising sea levels and radical Islam"

The one nation in the world must susceptible to breakdown is Bangladesh? Rising sea levels, over-population, Islamic fundamentalism, agricultural land degradation, cyclones of ever increasing strength and ferocity moving north from the Bay of Bengal, etc. Bangladesh is in an unenviable position. Please recall to that India has just completed their 4,000 kilometer fence on the border between the two nations [Bangladesh and India]. Designed specifically or in large measure to stem an enormous population movement of teeming tens of millions if and when a breakdown occurs.

Even a nation such as China is seen as having monumental problems for which there is no amelioration. Foremost with China is THAT THE ONE FAMILY ONE CHILD POLICY HAS CREATED A SITUATION WHERE YOU HAVE TENS OF MILLIONS OF YOUNG MEN WHO ARE UNABLE TO FIND MATES THEIR OWN AGE!

Nations of the world, in a pell-mell scramble for resources [primarily oil for fuel?], will find themselves at odds with one another and resorting to war as a necessity for existence. Warfare in the manner as fought in the previous century, the nation-state mobilizing on a gigantic scale, a combination of primitive and advanced weaponry being employed by the adversaries.

"The competition for resources, Parry argues, may lead to a return to 'industrial warfare' as countries with large and growing male populations mobilise armies, even including cavalry, while acquiring high-technology weaponry from the West."

These recent uprisings, rebellions, mass demonstrations and overthrowing of the established order throughout much of the north African landscape is just a prelude to what awaits the entire planet? Chaos will reign, survival of the fittest through warfare becoming necessary for national continuity and existence? A very grim scenario!


Saturday, March 12, 2011


This is coolbert:

Here with the full and complete story of the cut-off of Egyptian natural gas as supplied to Israel. From Time magazine.

That "gas" is natural gas used to run turbines, supplying 40 % of the fuel used to run Israeli electrical power producing stations. Very clean as compared to oil or coal.

This disruption is going to hurt the Israeli badly? Alternative sources are neither available or are cheap? Time will tell on this one. ALSO, that natural gas was piped to Jordan as well. The restive populace of Jordan will not be happy with increased electricity bills.

"The Sinai Gas Blast: Another Reason for Israeli Anxiety over Egypt"

"The explosion that ripped through a natural-gas pipeline in the northern Sinai Desert on Saturday, Feb. 5, did more than cut off the flow of Egyptian fuel to Israel and Jordan."

"Egypt supplies Israel with some 40% of its natural gas, which Israel now uses to generate electricity, replacing dirtier coal and diesel. The two countries are barely three years into a 15-year contract for 1.7 billion cubic meters of Egyptian gas a year, provided via an undersea pipeline that branches off the line shattered by the blast."

Turmoil, unrest, crisis after crisis, chaos are never good for business. The economy suffers, an angry population insists upon "measures" being taken, scape-goats have to be found, etc.



This is coolbert:

Here the latest intel dope regarding the civil war in Libya. Also a ramification from the revolt in Egypt that has hurt the Israeli very badly.

Thanks in this instance to the DEBKAfile.

[the noted blogger David P. Goldman "Spengler" says that DEBKAfile is totally unreliable under all circumstances, not to be trusted. YOU judge! ]

1. Libya. The situation as we know now is NOT going well for the rebels. The Colonel now is on the offensive, the initiative has gone to the despot, with bad results for the insurgents.

"Qaddafi troops regain Zawiyah, most oil towns. Obama names Libya intel panel"

"05 March. "the realization that field intelligence on both sides of the Libyan conflict was too scrappy to serve as a basis for decision-making."

"American military advisers and intelligence officers attached to the Benghazi-based rebels in the east often contradict each other and appear unclear about who is in command of the assorted militias in revolt against the Qaddafi regime."

American intelligence officers and advisers are on the scene in Libya, embedded with the rebels? DEBKAfile has made this assertion before. And no where in the media has this been reported. Presumably Special Forces [SF] types trying to assess the situation, bring order out of chaos, etc.

And this again, this rebellion does not seem to have a leader, was and is spontaneous, "goals" and motivation solely aimed at ousting the dictator, but NO plan to do so!

"Massive Qaddafi offensive east and west opens road to Cyrenaica"

"08 March: Qaddafi's commanders turned the tide of battle in their favor by the following tactic: At the start of the week, they concentrated around the key town of Sirte (Sidra) two armored battalions of T-72 tanks, three battalions of special forces, beefed up by an extra 3,000 tribal fighters flown in from the Sahara and a fleet of dozens of helicopter gunships."

Overwhelming force to be used overwhelmingly, without constraints. SHOOT! Disaster for the rebels.

2. Egypt. Supplies of Egyptian "gas" have been cut-off to Israel. "Gas" - - Israeli highly dependent on this fuel, 40 % of electricity generated by the Egyptian "gas" prior to the overthrow of Mubarak.

"Mubarak faces probe on gas sale to Israel, arrest warrants for Israeli, US partners"

"04 March. The flow of gas to Israel was suspended on Feb. 5 when Hamas blew up the pipeline running through Sinai during the Egyptian uprising . . . Egyptian gas fueled 40 percent of Israel's electricity requirements. In the meantime, world fuel prices have shot up and Israel has been forced to convert its power stations from gas to heavy fuel"

A pipeline blown up by Hamas, that pipeline not to be repaired until this corruption inquiry is completed, and that will take YEARS?

[it is not clear if this is "gas" as natural gas used to fuel power-station generators or the same petrol as used for running cars.]

The watchwords for the various leaders around the world today has to be crisis management and chaos! How true.


Friday, March 11, 2011


This is coolbert:

"I could not afford to hang men for votes." - - A. Lincoln.

Here from a reprint of an article:

"Five myths about Abraham Lincoln"

ONE of those particular "myths" being, according to a historian and "expert":

"4. Lincoln was too compassionate . . . This is untrue - Lincoln not only approved the execution of deserters, but 38 alleged Indian raiders were hanged by his order in Mankato, Minn. on Dec. 26, 1862, still the largest mass execution on U.S. soil."

The context in this case is the Great Sioux Uprising of 1862. American Indians waging war against the white settlers of Minnesota, the eastern Lakota tribes having grievances apparently justified, AND also taking advantage of the federal government pre-occupation with the American Civil War.

"The Dakota War of 1862 . . . was an armed conflict between the United States and several bands of the eastern Dakota people (Sioux). It began on August 17, 1862, along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota. It ended with a mass execution of 38 Dakota men on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota."

"The Dakota became increasingly discontented over their losses: land, non-payment of annuities, past broken treaties, plus food shortages and famine following crop failure"

38 Sioux warriors put to death in the aftermath of the war, hung in what is now and will probably always be the largest mass execution in American history.

Executions reviewed and approved by Lincoln. THIS, however, is not the full story.

"303 Sioux prisoners were convicted of murder and rape by military tribunals and sentenced to death . . . Abraham Lincoln personally reviewed the trial records to distinguish between those who had engaged in warfare against the U.S., versus those who had committed crimes of rape and murder against civilians"

The military authorities, the white civilian settlers of Minnesota were most desirous to see over three hundred Sioux executed, Lincoln being told that this much greater number was more politically acceptable. Revenge, retribution, just plain anger was the "watchword".

Lincoln, rather, personally taking the time to review the convictions of each and every Sioux warrior, only allowing the executions of those having perpetrated crimes against civilians, murder, rape, torture, dismemberment, etc.

Those Sioux warriors having fought against the U.S. military ONLY spared death, sentenced rather to prison terms.

Given the context, given the tenor and prevailing attitudes of the times, it would seem that this action of Lincoln seems to prove that the MAN WAS INDEED COMPASSIONATE not given over to knee-jerk reactions of a draconian nature!

This alleged "untruth" regarding Lincoln only PROVES Mr. Lincoln is who the history says he was? Whoa boy - - now you have the full and complete story and are so much the better for it.


Thursday, March 10, 2011


This is coolbert:

"I simply could not comprehend the incredible gamble
that Generals Navarre and Cogny were accepting that spring of 1954."
- - Bob Seals.

Here with some quick and dirty calculations, the area, the terrain as defended by the French in square kilometers first at Na San and then Dien Bien Phu [DBP].

In both instances the French content to fight strictly a defensive battle, battalion sized strong points manned against a concerted Viet Minh onslaught.

In the case of Na San, the French ABLE TO HOLD. In the case of Dien Bien Phu, the French NOT ABLE TO HOLD.

1. Na San.

Total area defended equals about thirty-one [31] square kilometers.

The center position surrounding the airfield at Na San defended by a series of strong points equal to about five [5] square kilometers.

An outer ring of defensive positions with an inner right centered on the airfield.

Troop strength for the French at Na San about: 15,000.

Troop strength for the Viet Minh at Na San about: 60,000 [?].

2. Dien Bien Phu.

NOT counting strong point [battalion size] Isabelle, the French attempted to defend about eighteen [18] square kilometers.

This includes the area covered by eight of the nine strong points at DBP, those battalion strong points being: Gabrielle, Anne-Marie Beatrice, Huguette, Francoise, Claudine, Eliane, Dominique.

The inner defenses of DBP centered around the airfield equal to about eight [8] square kilometers.

Isabelle located about 4500 meters to the south of the main landing strip at DBP, Isabelle severely isolated in an almost unconscionable manner.

[Isabelle was protecting an "auxiliary landing strip".]

Troops strength for the French at the start of the battle about 13,000 [10,000?] men.

Viet Minh troop strength at the start of the battle about 48,000 fighting soldiers, not counting logistical personnel.

Three of the eight battalion sized strong points as manned by the French Union troops falling on the first three days of the battle, the defenders beaten badly, units almost annihilated. Giap using concentrated focused energy obliterating his opposition almost in a leisurely [?] manner!

" [the first day of the battle] . . . A few minutes after 1700 hours,
more than 200 artillery pieces opened fire, in a whirlwind
of blast and shrapnel which ripped through the French positions . . .
The guns stopped as the sun fell, which was the signal for the
first massed infantry attack. The Viet Minh 312 Division with over
7,000 fighting men swarmed on to Beatrice, wiping out the battalion
of 700 men stationed there. Only 200 escaped . . . The next three days
followed a similar pattern - - a hurricane bombardment followed by
an overwhelming assault on one of the strong points."

What was possible at Na San was not possible at Dien Bien Phu?

And from the wiki entry we find the three reasons for French defeat at DBP being:

1. French occupying low ground, Viet Minh occupying high ground.

2. Meticulous planning and preparation of the Viet Minh. No hurried and rushed action.

3. French re-supply severed, becoming impossible.

The French plan at DBP was worthy, but the execution was poor? With disastrous consequences. The French high command did gamble. The thought was, wager a lot, but gain a lot if you win. Reasoning not totally without merit.

Navarre rolled the dice and it came up "snake eyes"!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011


This is coolbert:

“The rebellion was not successful because
there was no sense of cohesive patriotism,”
. . . “No one knew what was happening..."

"NO ONE knew what was happening".

True during the time of the Sepoy Mutiny [1857] and true now!

The situation in Libya has taken a turn for the worse? The Colonel seems to have rallied his forces and is re-taking territory vital for his regime!

With all that means for the rebels, if and when the situation becomes catastrophic for them.

"Gadhafi forces score key victory against rebels"

"RAS LANOUF, Libya – Forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi have scored a significant victory, recapturing the closest city to the capital to have fallen in rebel hands. On another front near the opposition-held east, loyalists trying to stop anti-government fighters from advancing toward the capital pounded the rebels with air strikes and rockets."

The Libyan rebels now finding themselves in a dire situation? This remains to be seen. One thing is clear, as even those adherents to the rebel cause make clear, they have no leader, no plan, etc.

Very reminiscent of the Sepoy Mutiny - - 1857? Those soldiers in the employ of the British, a rebellion successful at Cawnpore, stymied at Lucknow, and then defeated by a concerted British military force, the Mutiny also leaderless, not having a plan, working in an unfocused manner.

"Echoes of a Distant War"

This rebellion in Libya was a spontaneous action, not thought out, developing in an incoherent manner, the rage against the Colonel being the one constant?

It was hoped by now the Colonel and his despotic regime would have been toppled. That is not the case and the future appears bleak! At least for now.

And the aftermath for the rebels will be indeed - - DIRE!


Saturday, March 5, 2011


This is coolbert:

"their operators [flammenwerfer] could expect
no mercy should they be taken prisoner.
Their life expectancy was therefore short."

German troops during the offensive at Riga, 1917, using that correct combination of strategy, operational art, tactics, able to achieve a breakthrough where previously only stalemate was possible.

Strategy, operational art and tactics to include:

* Infiltration tactics. Also called Hutier tactics. German storm troop units using stealth and avoiding strong points, forward movement at all times imperative.

* Poison gas delivered by shells. This was mustard agent.

* Ground strafing aircraft.

And of course that very short but very intense and very destructive artillery bombardment of an almost apocalyptic nature.

German units also employing for the first time [?] on the Eastern Front during the Great War [WW1] the flame thrower. A particularly deadly and diabolical weapon that does strike fear in troops not aware of or having been prior exposed to flame weaponry, those flame throwers a planned integral part of the offensive at Riga. The results for the German as anticipated outstanding.

"For the Riga attack Flamm=Pioniere were sent from the Western Front, attacking with 84 flame throwers. The results of the attack (certainly not just a flame assault) was 8900 POWs, and 200 MGs and 325 cannon captured. The flame troops remained on the East Front and conducted an attack about two weeks later at Jakobstadt with 101 FW [flammenwerfer]. 4000 POWs and 55 cannon were taken."

For those interested, here with some translations from the German: "Assault Battalion" and "Instructions for the formation of shock troops".

Storm Troops, originally intended to function as instructors, training the front-line troops in the latest tactics, innovations, weapons.

Storm Troops, chosen, hand-picked [?] from among the most able and fittest young men, none over the age of 25, fighting the battle in the manner of the "stripped" down soldier, not encumbered with excess gear, carrying only those essentials necessary for the mission.

Storm Troops using at least during 1918 the sub-machine gun for the first time in battle, officers equipped with a machine-pistol [auto loader], everyone carrying a lot of grenades [?].

Able to use enemy weaponry, capturing French and British gear and ammo, not needing resupply, movement forward an imperative!

Indeed - - Storm Troops wearing a uniform designed for them? Tunics having a lot of pouches to carry "stuff", knee-pads and other part of the uniform reinforced to prevent excess wear! Also wearing some sort of TORSO BODY ARMOR AND HAVING A "SHIELD" OF SOME SORT!!

The whole aspect of the Storm Troop deserves a PhD dissertation? Could be so.

[incidentally, American stockpiles of napalm have now been all destroyed, and for some time too. Napalm was felt to be a diabolical weapon, causing unnecessary suffering, and not worth the effort. Actually causing during the Vietnam War a lot of adverse press, film footage of persons on fire most distressing, even if they are the enemy or enemy civilians!]



This is coolbert:

From the wiki entry for the Espionage Act of 1917 we find this erroneous entry. Misleading?

"The poet E. E. Cummings, while serving as a volunteer in the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps in France, was arrested on September 21, 1917. Cummings had spoken openly of his lack of hatred for the Germans. He spent three and a half months in a military detention camp and wrote of his experiences in his novel The Enormous Room."

"It was not those dumb, jejune [youthful] letters of mine
that got us into trouble. It was the fact that C. and I
knew all about the violent mutinies in the French Army
a few months before Cummings and I reached the front.
We learned all about them from the poilus. The French did
everything, naturally, to suppress the news."
- - William Slater Brown.

My understanding of the French Army mutiny of 1917 is that it was basically a non-violent rebellion. The French troops, in the aftermath of the Nivelle Offensive refused to go on similar offensive actions, but other than that performed their military duties as ordered and still fought, but ONLY defensively. Refused orders for further offensive combat action - - but there was little, if any, violence directed against superior authority [officers]. The troops if ordered forward merely sat there and did nothing. If attacked by the German, defended themselves, but NO going forward on the offensive.

During the First World War [WW1], it was all the rage for young American writers and poets to enlist as ambulance drivers. E.E. Cummings and Ernest Hemingway both? Seems so. There were others?



This is coolbert:

Here from Der Spiegel an interesting article worth reading. An interview with Ewald von Kleist. The pedigree, history, and comments of Ewald most interesting to say the least.

"'There Will Be Another Hitler Some Day'"

"Ewald von Kleist, 88, is the last living member of the July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler as part of 'Operation Valkyrie.'"

"After the war, Kleist founded a publishing house and, in 1962, the event that would later become the annual Munich Security Conference, which he ran until 1998."

Post-war, and evidently still, Ewald very much interested in "security matters".

Some comments of mine on the observations of Ewald:

* "At the time, we should have asked whether this actually was a war within the meaning of Article 5 of the NATO treaty."

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the U.S. invoked Article 5 of the NATO charter. An attack upon the U.S. was an attack on all the constituent members of NATO. All nations a part of NATO were legally obliged to come to the defense of the U.S. in whatever way possible. This was a treaty obligation. WAR in the sense as perhaps not defined or understood when the charter was written and agreed upon by the signatories. But WAR nonetheless. And the Afghan mission from that point on was a NATO mission, with German participation among many, the operation to eradicate Al Qaeda and the threat it posed to the U.S. by that terrorist organization. As to national building and the current military campaign against the Taliban, that is a different story?

* "Obama's idea of a world without nuclear weapons is nonsense. No one who can count to five believes it can happen."

I don't think anyone would suggest that a world totally devoid of ANY nuclear weapons is a possibility. Perhaps at some point - - but as for now and for the foreseeable future - - NO! But a world with the stockpiles and numbers of atomic weapons greatly reduced, this is a do-able? YES! Already is. And to prevent further proliferation of nukes is a goal and something worth doing and IS being done.

* "There Will Be Another Hitler Some Day"

It can be suggested that there already has been another Hitler. Persons, megalomaniac dictators, numbers of them perhaps, BUT NOT HAVING THE POWER OR THE NATIONAL PHYSICAL WHEREWITHAL TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR GOALS! A Ghaddafi, Idi Amin Dada, a Pol Pot, a Saddam Hussein?

* "We can all recall the images of Iranian children with green headbands running straight into Iraqi machine-gun fire."

Ewald here is referring to the Iranian Basiji Corps. Iranian teenagers encouraged by Khomeini to clear Iraqi minefields for the conventional forces of the Iranian military. "Clearing" a minefield by RUNNING through the minefield, detonating a mine and killing yourself in the process. OR wrapping yourself in a rug and ROLLING through the minefield, also detonating a mine, your body in the latter case more intact for burial. Such is the mentality of Khomeini. Those Basiji Corps survivors, what there were of them, no head-knockers for the Iranian regime?

Ewald to be clear is NOT the son of the famous German Field Marshal Paul Von Kleist of World War Two [WW2].

The full name of Ewald is Ewald-Heinrich von_Kleist-Schmenzin.

That Von Kleist family is renowned in Germany and has been for centuries! See the quite extensive listing of those Von Kleist having military service with the rank of general officer!


Friday, March 4, 2011


This is coolbert:

"In the last forty years, no one has done
more damage to communism than that Pole."
- - William Casey.

Never even heard of this man until just a few days ago. And came across the wiki entry quite by chance. This should not be?

Ryszard Kuklinski a senior officer of the Polish military under communism and for a critical period of ten years also a spy for the CIA without peer?

Ryszard [Richard] Kuklinski. One of the most devastating spies in all of history? And unheralded too!

"Ryszard Jerzy Kukliński (June 13, 1930 – February 11, 2004) was a Polish colonel and Cold War spy. He passed top secret Warsaw Pact documents to the CIA between 1971 and 1981"

"Between 1971 and 1981 he passed 35,000 pages of mostly Soviet secret documents to the CIA."

"Kukliński was the chief of a military strategic command planning division of the Polish army, he was the liaison between the Polish army and the command of the Soviet military . . . While details of the general plans for the Warsaw Pact forces were known only in Moscow, Kukliński could infer much from his contacts at the Moscow high command headquarters."

Able to infer much and pass this info on to the CIA. The plans of the Soviet High Command for the invasion of NATO territory and western Europe, the move most feared by NATO planners, "Big Red moves west!!"

A blitzkrieg style offensive of Warsaw Pact forces spearheaded by the Groups of Soviet Forces Germany, two Fronts operating in unison, the subsequent echelons of Soviet might to include tank armies and groups of tank armies. An overwhelming and massive force that NATO only could counter by the threatened use of tactical nuclear weaponry. CONVENTIONAL MILITARY FORCE NOT ABLE TO STOP THE SOVIET INVASION, world domination by Soviet communism being the result.

Thanks to the info as presented to the CIA by Kuklinski, an analysis and more correct understanding of Soviet strategy became most apparent. WITH ALL THE WEAKNESSES MADE MANIFEST!

Thanks to Kuklinski, NATO was able to develop strategies, doctrines, tactics to counter a Soviet onslaught that DID NOT rely upon the use of nukes? That period of the 1970's saw NATO move away from a nuclear deterrent to a more nuanced and CONVENTIONAL response to the Soviet threat?

Stopping "Big Red" was now possible, and doing so without having to use atomic weaponry? All thanks to Kuklinski [at least in large measure!].

Strategy, doctrine, and tactics as adopted by NATO to include:

* Counter-blitzkrieg.

* Deep Strike.

* AirLand Battle 2000.

I am inferring too much here? It would be interesting to know to what extent U.S. Army planners were influenced by the intelligence as provided by Kuklinski? Perhaps someday the record will be made clear?

The degree of animus and hate as directed by the Soviet/Russians seems to have been very strong. Incredibly so even. The two sons of Ryszard died under mysterious circumstances and Ryszard was provoked during an interview in a deliberate manner to such an extent that he died form a subsequent stroke! This man and his family were hunted and killed as retribution for the major damage he did? This is not made clear.