sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Monday, May 30, 2011

Remembering Father

On April 29, 1945, my father was a gunner's mate serving on the USS Hazelwood (DD 531) while it was on radar picket duty off the Island of Okinawa in the Pacific Theater of Operations when it was struck by a kamikazi.

Photo courtesy of Bill Campbell who took the photo from the USS Melvin.

Hazelwood was laid down 11 April 1942 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co., San Francisco, California; launched 20 November 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Harold J. Fosdick; and commissioned 18 June 1943, Commander Hunter Wood, Jr., in command.

My father joined USS Hazelwood in December 1944 after detached service with the 2nd Marine Corps Raider Battalion, in December 1944. The Raiders were disbanded about a year earlier and following that action he served in a training role until his assignment to the USS Hazelwood.

USS Hazelwood engaged in patrols off Leyte Gulf and gunnery and training exercises out of Ulithi during December. She then joined Vice Admiral McCain's fast carrier strike force and sailed 30 December. Carrying the war home to the enemy, the carriers launched heavy air raids against Japanese positions in the Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, Okinawa, and along the China coast 3–7 January 1945. These devastating strikes also diverted Japanese attention from the Philippines, where landings were made at Lingayen Gulf 9 January. After further strikes on Japanese positions in Indochina, the hard-hitting force returned to Ulithi 26 January.

Joining another fast and mobile carrier task force, USS Hazelwood sortied 11 February to protect carriers as they launched heavy air strikes against the Japanese home islands 16 and 17 February. Swiftly shifting positions as only sea based power can, the fleet then sped south to provide support for the landings on Iwo Jima, begun 19 February. Although under constant attack from kamikazes as well as fighters and dive-bombers, Hazelwood came through the invasion untouched and on the night of 25 February sank two small enemy freighters with her guns.

Returning to Ulithi 1 March, the battle-tried destroyer sailed again for action 14 March with a fast carrier force to provide air cover and shore bombardment for the invasion of Okinawa, last step before invasion of the Japanese home islands. After the invasion 1 April, Hazelwood operated off Okinawa on radar picket and escort patrols through intense Japanese air attacks. On 29 April, the carrier group she was shepherding was attacked by kamikazes who dove out of low cloud cover.

Hazelwood, all guns blazing, maneuvered to avoid two of the Zeros. A third screamed out of the clouds from astern. Although hit by Hazelwood’s fire, the enemy plane careened past the superstructure. It hit #2 stack on the port side, smashed into the bridge, and exploded. Flaming gasoline spilled over the decks and bulkheads as the mast toppled and the forward guns were put out of action. Ten officers and 67 men were killed, including the Commanding Officer, Cmdr. V. P. Douw, and 36 were missing. Hazelwood’s engineering officer, Lt. (j.g.) C. M. Locke, took command and directed her crew in fighting the damage and aiding wounded.

My father, GMG2 Jack R. Lambert, USN (left), suffered from a wound sustained during the attack but more profound to him in his later years was the loss of life, which he recalled with great pain. Not all wounds are visible. Not all show themselves immediately. 

Most young men want to grow up to be like their fathers. His service with the Marine Corps Raiders, going ashore on hostile coastlines in combat rubber raiding craft inspired me. However, it wasn't the danger and life threatening situations he faced with the Marines of Carlson's Raiders that stayed with him. It was the immediate and grizzly loss of life on the USS Hazelwood.

Here's to you, Dad. On Memorial Day!


Friday, May 27, 2011

Trying to Top Woodsterman

Some of you have met "Odie" - the Woodsterman on-line through his blogging and humor. I am one of those people who have met the genuine article -- and he's cool. So I am posting this homage to his blog.



People of Walmart - the video.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's not that Tough!

Stubborn Jobless Claims Still Keep on Climbing Higher (MSNBC) - voice of the Democratic Party reports that jobless claims have been over 400,000 per week for the past seven weeks. The Obama Administration is at a loss to explain why. I think they need to ask a fifth grader.

Economic Growth Disappoints as GDP Gain Just 1.8% (MSNBC) - voice of the Democratic Party reports that high gasoline prices, and weaker than expected spending caused the economy to grow tepidly during the first three months of 2011. The liberal rag also blames government budget cuts. I hate to rant but I will. The cuts involved to date have been miniscule.

The Middle East is in a political meltdown and to aid the stability, President Obama in what began as a speech that sounded as if it had been written by George W. Bush, turned on itself when he suggested that Israel return to its 1967 borders. I know that a lot of people told BHO that his comments weren't helpful or appreciated by anyone but Hamas.

The uncertainty of politics in the Middle East concerns everyone. Pointing fingers and stirring up Israel and the forces who would destroy it has to be a jewel in the Obama crown. Maybe he's going for his second Nobel Peace Prize to help out his re-election bid?

The mainstream media doesn't understand that businesses thrive in conditions where regulations are moderate to low as are taxes and confidence in the stability of the future is high. None of these conditions have been met by the Obama Administration. Nobody knows what the liberal wingnuts will do next, but we can be certain that the debt will go up and the real problems that we face won't be addressed. This leads to UNCERTAINTY. The worst thing for investors to face is uncertainty and all business is based on investment and projections.

We know that fuel prices will remain high during the tourist season, so businesses project that people won't be traveling and spending. No need for staff to eat up overhead while sales remain tepid...

Somebody important needs to walk down Main Street and chat with people. Solving our most serious problems require that we do these among other things:

(1) Deal with the American Government's spending addiction effectively. (we know that it's going to hurt)

(2) Reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

(3) Reform the present Administration such that American businesses have confidence in it. Without confidence, people won't hire and spend money. Barack Hussein Obama has proven himself to be a vacuous narcissist who managed to ride a theatrical cult of personality into office - and is leading the nation into a place on the world stage of irrelevance and ultimate disgrace. 


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

US Aggression and the Situation in Mexico

US aggression has forced Mexicans into a life of hopelessness, drugs and underemployment. 

Mexican-American War Map (circa 1845)

Aboard Air Force Aleph (Reuters) – Speaking to reporters accompanying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his long flight to the United States tonight, Netanyahu spoke of the injustice and hardship Mexicans have endured since American forces annexed Texas in 1845. 
“Tens of thousands of ordinary Mexicans were driven out of their homes – the only homes they had known for centuries – and forced to live in poverty and squalor south of the border imposed by American aggression,” Netanyahu said. “The Israeli and Mexican people agree on this: This festering wound will never heal until America takes bold steps to return to the internationally accepted lines of 1845. Clearly the settlement activity that’s taken place in occupied Mexico since then is illegal. When I meet the President tomorrow I will tell him to halt all building activity in Texas immediately. Two lands for two peoples, yes, but not on land taken by force from Mexico,” the Prime Minister said.
Is America to blame for the grinding poverty in Mexico?

Asked if his hard-line stance could hurt the U.S.-Israel relationship, Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s commitment to America’s security and the unshakeable friendship shared by the two countries, then added, “But who was it who said, part of friendship is being able to tell your friend the truth. The ball is now in Obama’s court.”

h/t Mark

###

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bloody Mexico - Veracruz

Violence erupted over the weekend as the Mexican Federal Judicial Police arrested Los Zeta leader, Rolando Veytia on Friday, May 20. The next day, Veytia had been shot to death. Only the police no the details, but it started another shooting war between Mexican officials and members of Los Zetas paramilitary drug cartel, which controlled the rich drug traffic in Veracruz since the demise of the Gulf Cartel.
Los Zetas Cartel is a criminal organization in Mexico dedicated mostly to internationalillegal drug trade, assassinations, and other organized crime activities. This drug cartel was founded by a small group of Mexican Army Special Forces deserters and now includes corrupt former federal, state, and local police officers, as well as ex-Kaibiles from Guatemala.
This group of highly trained gunmen was first hired as a private mercenary army for Mexico's Gulf Cartel. After the arrest of the Gulf Cartel's leader, Osiel Cárdenas Guillen, as well as other events, the two entities became a combined trafficking force, with the Zetas taking a more active leadership role in drug trafficking. Since February 2010 Los Zetas have gone independent and became enemies of its former employer/partner, the Gulf Cartel. (LINK)
There is no accurate tally of deaths in Veracruz over the past two years. The government reports the numbers to be in excess of 7,000. Well informed local sources put the number at more than double that.

Veracruz is a major shipping port. Drugs were being moved into, out of and around the city long before the military crackdown a month ago and the recent push by the police this past weekend.

If you want to see ongoing police and army action, gunfights, kidnapping, murder and bloodshed, Veracruz would make a great vacation spot - the antidote for a boring civilized life.
The Wall Street Journal -- LAS VEGAS -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon reassured the travel industry that his country remains a safe destination for tourists even as drug gang-related violence continues to bruise Mexico's image abroad.
"Mexico is a safe place to visit," Mr. Calderon told attendees at the Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Las Vegas on Thursday. "Yes, we have problems, but we are being transparent. We are dealing with it and we are fixing it."
Saying that Mexico has problems is like Noah suggesting that there was a little rain falling on the ark.

And the United States struggles to find some sort of coherent solution to THEIR place in this game as they share a 2,000 mile border with Mexico that is completely porous. 

###

Friday, May 20, 2011

Breach of Contract Case (Rule 5)

In the height of a recession, a man has to do what a man has to do in order to make a living. (LINK) However, fraud enters into the equation at times and it is left to the courts to decide the fate of Frank Maus.


photo of Traute Soupolos

How should the courts handle this one? Should Frank Maus return the money to Demetrius Soupolos? I think we should allow the blogging community to serve as judge and jury on this one.

h/t WoFat

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hydrogen Energy

I hope these scientists don't 'go Galt on us'...

ScienceDaily (May 18, 2011) — An international team, of scientists, led by a team at Monash University has found the key to the hydrogen economy could come from a very simple mineral, commonly seen as a black stain on rocks. Their findings, developed with the assistance of researchers at UC Davis in the USA and using the facilities at the Australian Synchrotron, was published in the journal Nature Chemistry on May 15, 2011.

"The hardest part about turning water into fuel is splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, but the team at Monash seems to have uncovered the process, developing a water-splitting cell based on a manganese-based catalyst," Professor Spiccia said. "Birnessite, it turns out, is what does the work. Like other elements in the middle of the Periodic Table, manganese can exist in a number of what chemists call oxidation states. These correspond to the number of oxygen atoms with which a metal atom could be combined." 
"When an electrical voltage is applied to the cell, it splits water into hydrogen and oxygen and when the researchers carefully examined the catalyst as it was working, using advanced spectroscopic methods they found that it had decomposed into a much simpler material called birnessite, well-known to geologists as a black stain on many rocks."
The manganese in the catalyst cycles between two oxidation states. First, the voltage is applied to oxidize from the manganese-II state to manganese-IV state in birnessite. Then in sunlight, birnessite goes back to the manganese-II State. This cycling process is responsible for the oxidation of water to produce oxygen gas, protons and electrons.

This has the potential to produce inexpensive, pollution-free energy. If the Saudis don't buy the patent and the rights.



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Candle Powered Alternative?


Let there be LIGHT?


Have you had enough of the hope and change? $5 gas, no coal for power, GM sponsoring films lauding China’s communist party, Winn Hotels and resorts moves home office to China, and 20% of Obamacare waivers going to Pelosi’s district? The Federal Government is about to ban 100 watt light bulbs to help you conserve energy...because they care about YOU.

To encourage energy efficiency, Congress passed a law in 2007 mandating that bulbs producing 100 watts worth of light meet certain efficiency goals, starting in 2012. Conventional light bulbs don’t meet those goals, so the law will prohibit making or importing them. The same rule will start applying to remaining bulbs 40 watts and above in 2014.

Enter the $50 light bulb! And you thought Cold Fluorescent Bulbs were expensive?

(AP) NEW YORK – Two leading makers of lighting products are showcasing LED bulbs that are bright enough to replace energy-guzzling 100-watt light bulbs set to disappear from stores in January.
Their demonstrations at the LightFair trade show in Philadelphia this week mean that brighter LED bulbs will likely go on sale next year, but after a government ban takes effect.
The new bulbs will also be expensive — about $50 each — so the development may not prevent consumers from hoarding traditional bulbs.
So in the new world of Atlas Shrugged, only the rich will be able to afford light bulbs. The rest of us will have to do with globes dimmer than 20 watts or go with the $50 a shot LED's. Additionally, the LED bulbs are expected to have a shorter burn life than present bulbs.


Perhaps we should return to chandeliers with candles burning brightly to light our homes? I'd recommend coal oil lamps, but it's a coal product and that is forbidden. So far the EPA has not banned candles, but I don't think that's as farfetched as it sounds.



Monday, May 16, 2011

The Tepid Economy

I know that the liberal media and the White House touted the McDonalds hirings last month after the fast food giant was exempted from the provisions of ObamaCare. I'm glad that they hired people - many at sub minimum wage - because even a bad wage is better than no wage at all to many Americans. I went through the local drive-through a few days ago and the 40-something guy at the pay-window asked how my day was. I said, "Fine, how about you?" He said, "I finally have a job."
(Reuters) - Lowe's Cos reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results on a slow start to the spring selling season, prompting the world's second-largest home improvement chain to cut its forecast for the year.
My son-in-law (US Navy) shipped off to Afghanistan last weekend and I took he and the rest of my family out to dinner at a nice place in San Diego's Gas Lamp District. The meal was spectacular, but the businesses around Petco Park, the baseball stadium where the Padres play were -- mainly empty and for lease. The US Navy's presence in a landlocked hell hole (and Islamic paradise) like Afghanistan is an oxymoron. He re-enlisted in the Navy primarily because there were no jobs available on the outside. Either in his former duty station in Virginia, or his new duty station in California.
May 16 (Reuters) - The United States is expected to reach the legal limit on its debt later on Monday and will start dipping into federal retirement funds to give the country more room to borrow, a Treasury official said.
The U.S. Treasury will issue $72 billion in bonds and notes on Monday, which will push the country right up against its $14.294 trillion borrowing cap, the official said.
The US President, not really able to articulate a plan that works, is on the campaign or vacation trail. It's tough to follow him as he weaves and dodges. The man who touts the post-American world in his post-American presidency gives little cause for hope and change.
NEW YORK, May 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Monday as jitters about euro zone debt bailouts, including more financial reforms by Greece, and doubts about the pace of global growth encouraged investors to shed riskier assets.
Even though some Americans cheer when the EU falls on the rocks, their fortunes impact ours and ours impact theirs. Trade is good, trade brings wealth. The strong EU economies of Germany, France and Britain are continually being stressed by Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland. I have friends in England that I speak to on the telephone. They tell a tale of real economic distress nationwide. 
(Reuters) - A gauge of manufacturing in New York State tumbled much more than expected in May to its lowest level in five months, while prices paid rose sharply, the New York Federal Reserve said in a report on Monday.
The New York Fed's "Empire State" general business conditions index fell to 11.88 from 21.70 in April. It was the lowest level since December 2010 and well below economists' expectations of 19.85.
The pace of new orders slowed to 17.19 from 22.34.
The prices paid index jumped to 69.89 from 57.69, the highest level since July 2008. Roughly 70 percent of respondents reported price increases and none reported declines, the report said.

Does anyone else feel as though they're living in the novel, Atlas Shrugged?
 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bloody Mexico: Chapo Guzman

Osama bin Laden is so yesterday. Today, the most wanted man isn't a Middle Eastern terrorist. He's a Mexican narcoterrorist (LINK) named Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera (born April 4, 1957). He's known to his friends and enemies alike as Chapo (Shorty) and he runs the Sinaloa Federation narcotics cartel.

Forbes Magazine says that he's the sixtieth most powerful man in the world and the 937th richest man on the planet...which is to say that he's rich, but not as rich as Oprah. --as of 2010. However, Forbes said that he only had a billion dollars and knowledgeable people believe that he's far more wealthy than that. Others suggest that the 5'6" narcotics kingpin is the single most powerful man in Mexico.


The Sinaloa Federation Cartel smuggles multi-ton cocaine shipments from Colombia through Mexico to the United States, and by other means to Europe, Africa and Asia. His organization has also been involved in the production, smuggling and distribution of Mexican methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin.

Today Chapo Guzman ponders the fate of Osama bin Laden (OBL) who ended up with a couple of rounds through his brain. OBL has a legacy that will be recalled, but he ended up in a mansion smoking dope, injecting heroin and drinking Coca Cola...hardly an Islamic Icon.

Will the US Government parade Chapo Guzman's corpse in an undignified way? Will his remains be displayed wearing a red dress with expensive women's high heels on his feet? Who knows? It hasn't happened yet.  However, the net closes around Chapo as the world's most wanted fugitive from justice.

Hellenic Banknotes and History


This last weekend, I visited with a friend in McClean, Virginia (suburb of Washington D. C.). He collects Greek currency. As a fellow banknote collector, though my tastes run to historical Indochinese banknotes, I took some interest in his deep and very interesting collection. At the end of the Second World War, Greek people had chests containing billions of drachma as typified by the five million drachma note, above. At the end of that particular hyperinflationary period, the Greek Government did what issuers of paper money do at times. They came out with "the new drachma".  This means that they came out with a new issue of paper money. At that time they pegged their exchange rate at 50,000,000,000 old drachma to 1 new drachma.

At that time in Greek history, people brought boxes and even chests containing many billions of drachma into the banks to exchange for a couple hundred in new drachma. Perhaps there is a lesson here? Perhaps that's why GOLD is hovering in the $1,500/oz range?

Historically, banknotes were issued by the National Bank of Greece from 1841 until 1928, when the Bank of Greece was created. Early denominations ranged from 10 to 500 drachmae. Smaller denominations (1, 2, 3 and 5 drachmae) were issued from 1885, with the first 5-drachma notes being made by cutting 10-drachma notes in half. 

Between 1917 and 1920, the Greek government issued paper money in denominations of 10 lepta, 50 lepta, 1 drachma, 2 drachmae, and 5 drachmae. The National Bank of Greece introduced 1000-drachma notes in 1901, and the Bank of Greece introduced 5000-drachma notes in 1928. The Greek government again issued notes between 1940 and 1944, in denominations ranging from 50 lepta to 20 drachmae.

In November 1944, after Greece was liberated from Germany, the government issued notes of 1, 5, 10 and 20 drachmae, with the Bank of Greece issuing 50-, 100-, 500-, 1000-, 5000-, and 10,000-drachma notes. This drachma also suffered from high inflation. The government later issued 100-, 500-, and 1000-drachma notes, and the Bank of Greece issued 20,000-and 50,000-drachma notes.

In 1953, in an effort to halt inflation, Greece joined the Bretton Woods system. In 1954 the drachma was revalued (AGAIN) at a rate of 1000 to 1. The new currency was pegged at 30 drachmae = 1 United States dollar. In 1973, the Bretton Woods System was abolished; over the next 25 years the official exchange rate gradually declined, reaching 400 drachmae to 1 U. S. dollar. On January 1, 2002, the Greek drachma was officially replaced as the circulating currency by the Euro.

Today the European Union is considering sending Greece back to its own currency. Maybe we'll see a fourth issue of drachma? I hope that they make BIG banknotes so that people will be able to burn them to keep warm...


The lesson here is that sometimes paper money is ONLY worth the paper it's printed on. I hope we're never in a position to exchange "old dollars" for "new dollars" (with Obama's picture on the $9 and Biden's likeness on the $13).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Book Review: A Planet of Viruses

Sometimes somebody frames the world around us in terms that we simply didn't view them in. Carl Zimmer has done this in his new book, A Planet of Viruses. It shines a light on a subject that we all take for granted. 10% of the oxygen we breathe was probably produced by viruses. As Zimmer explains,  "Breathe ten times.  One of those breaths comes to you courtesy of a virus."

Viruses are the smallest living things known to science, and yet they hold the entire planet in their sway. We’re most familiar with the viruses that give us colds or the flu, but viruses also cause a vast range of other diseases, including one disorder that makes people sprout branch-like growths as if they were trees. Viruses have been a part of our lives for so long, in fact, that we are actually part virus: the human genome contains more DNA from viruses than our own genes. Meanwhile, scientists are discovering viruses everywhere they look: in the soil, in the ocean, even in deep caves miles underground.

This fascinating book explores the hidden world of viruses—a world that each of us inhabit. Here Carl Zimmer, popular science writer and author of Discover magazine’s award-winning blog The Loom, presents the latest research on how viruses hold sway over our lives and our biosphere, how viruses helped give rise to the first life-forms, how viruses are producing new diseases, how we can harness viruses for our own ends, and how viruses will continue to control our fate for years to come. In this eye-opening tour through the frontiers of biology, where scientists are expanding our understanding of life as we know it, we learn that some treatments for the common cold do more harm to us than good; that the world’s oceans are home to an astonishing 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 viruses; and that the evolution of HIV is now in overdrive, spawning more mutated strains than we care to imagine.



Monday, May 9, 2011

Was Osama bin Laden a Drug Dealer?

Facts, previously unknown are coming to light as reported by the Daily Mail and the left wing blog, Huffington Post that suggest that the radical Islamic Terrorist Osama bin Laden had his own marijuana crop growing both in and adjacent to his luxury compound in Pakistan.



"Said to be worth $1 million (though that estimate is now hotly debated), the home of the world's most feared terrorist has attracted crowds of Pakistanis and media to its now sealed-off gates. But a stroll around the 20-foot-tall, barbed wire-ringed walls led CNN's Nic Robertson to the cannibis crop, barely hidden alongside a garden of cabbages and potatoes." (Huffington Post op cit)

"High-strength marijuana plants have been found just yards from the luxury home of slain terror chief Osama Bin Laden. Hundreds of the exotic green flower have flourished for a number of years on the border of the war lord's secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Despite being a short walk from a military training academy dubbed 'Pakistan's Sandhurst', the illegal crop had remained undiscovered." (Daily Mail op cit) 

Did Osama bin Laden smoke marijuana recreationally? Did his terrorists sell the marijuana harvest for profit to keep the compound and its large staff going? Isn't that against Koranic Law? Doesn't that violate the most basic tenants of Islam?

According to a report filed by Bloomberg, two lackeys who called themselves Akbar and Rashid Khan and did the daily shopping for the terrorist compound, speaking Urdu in the Pashtu-language accents of Waziristan, a region on the Afghan border. "The grocery basket included extensive supplies of Pepsi and Coke - U.S. brands that have become the face of western commercialism that Bin Laden claimed to despise." Grocer Anjum Qaisar, 27, who works 150 meters from the compound, said, "Bin Laden’s men never came by foot, they always drove a Pajero or a little Suzuki van, and they bought enough food for ten people." Mr Qaisar said that he did not know who lived inside the building. "I was curious about why they bought so much food, but I did not want to be rude by asking."

No eye witness accounts of bin Laden's men trading narcotics for food and staples has yet been filed by any of the news organizations on the scene but since they are growing marijuana, we expect that those reports will eventually filter in. At least we now know why he has that goofy smile on his face (above right)...he's high.

I guess Muslim clerics know how to party in Pakistan.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pakistani Transnational Terrorism

Pakistani Transnational Terrorist Organizations

The list below does not include other organizations such as al Qai'da which have Pakistanis as members. Neither does it include other terrorist groups who find safe harbor within Pakistani borders. These are home-grown Pakistani terrorist groups who export crime and terror from their homeland. Sometimes it's difficult to tell the players without a program. (Source US Government)(Source SATP.org)(Source Wikipedia)

Internally in Pakistan, From the summer of 2007 to late 2009, more than 5,500 people were killed in suicide and other attacks on civilians. (LINK)

A perspective from Australia. (LINK)
  1. Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM)
  2. Harkat-ul-Ansar (HuA, presently known asHarkat-ul Mujahideen)
  3. Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT)
  4. Jaish-e-Mohammad Mujahideen E-Tanzeem (JeM)
  5. Harkat-ul Mujahideen (HuM, previously known as Harkat-ul-Ansar)
  6. Al Badr
  7. Jamait-ul-Mujahideen (JuM)
  8. Lashkar-e-Jabbar (LeJ)
  9. Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami (HUJI)
  10. Muttahida Jehad Council (MJC)
  11. Al Barq
  12. Tehrik-ul-Mujahideen
  13. Al Jehad
  14. Jammu & Kashir National Liberation Army
  15. People’s League
  16. Muslim Janbaz Force
  17. Kashmir Jehad Force
  18. Al Jehad Force (combines Muslim Janbaz Force and Kashmir Jehad Force)
  19. Al Umar Mujahideen
  20. Mahaz-e-Azadi
  21. Islami Jamaat-e-Tulba
  22. Jammu & Kashmir Students Liberation Front
  23. Ikhwan-ul-Mujahideen
  24. Islamic Students League
  25. Tehrik-e-Hurriat-e-Kashmir
  26. Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Fiqar Jafaria
  27. Al Mustafa Liberation Fighters
  28. Tehrik-e-Jehad-e-Islami
  29. Muslim Mujahideen
  30. Al Mujahid Force
  31. Tehrik-e-Jehad
  32. Islami Inquilabi Mahaz
I don't warrant that this is a COMPREHENSIVE LIST, it's simply a place to start and something to think about.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Eliminate Foreign Aid to Pakistan

Word has gone out that death threats* are being issued to bloggers who oppose foreign aid to Pakistan. I hadn't thought to post this and thought that my last blog post was sufficient - but apparently it's not because Pakistanis are not lining up to kill me the way that they are for other bloggers. This is an insult that I hope to rectify with this blog post.  
*It is possible that an enterprising Indian is sending out these death threats. If you're a Pakistani and you're calling for my demise, please put your city and your home address on your death threat so that I can vet them. I'd hate for Indians to get credit when you, a real Pakistani plan to send me off to collect my seventy virgins. --Thank You, Virtual Mirage Management 
I get it. You're a Pakistani and you thought a lot of Osama Bin Laden (OBL). You're mad that the US took out a guy you worked very hard to protect. I feel your pain. You on the other hand must agree that the billions of dollars that the United States pours into your nation which funds the national military, which at the very least tacitly protected OBL, should stop.

Pakistanis burning an American flag, one year ago.

Yes, I get it. If we don't keep feeding Pakistan, they'll slide from being a third world nation to fourth world nation status and will become a haven for terrorists....except that we're there now. I can't recall any Americans burning Pakistani flags. Am I the only one that finds this interesting? However, we do send you (Pakistanis who will be calling for my death soon) billions of dollars. -- AND you don't burn the money. You spend it.

Now (hopefully) you won't have to worry about the moral imperative to burn the money we send anymore.

ELIMINATE  US  FOREIGN  AID  TO  PAKISTAN

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

ISI, Bin Laden, Pakistan and History

The Pakistani Directorate for Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) virtually created the Taliban as a vehicle to remove six million displaced Pathans who were living in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan back into Afghanistan. They had been a drain on Pakistan since the Russians/Soviets displaced them when they invaded Afghanistan. The ISI thought, correctly as it turned out, that by deposing the ethnic Tadjik government then in power and replacing it with an ethnic Pathan government that they'd end up with greater control over Afghanistan and the oil and gas pipelines then being constructed through Afghanistan (to India). They made this happen mid-1990's by creating a "holy war" where the Pathan Students (talib=student) from radical Islamic schools would spearhead the effort to take back Afghanistan. The students became ISI's cat's paw.

In order to make this happen, the "students/Taliban" would need a lot of military help, which ISI would provide to include artillery, advisors, and to a lesser degree, aircraft. It was an open secret then and the US Government decided not to do anything one way or the other. The Russians left Afghanistan and when they did, US interest in the area died with it. We shrugged and ISI went to work. Osama Bin Laden (recent photo left) arrived earlier with Saudi money and the Pathans and ISI more or less ignored him. He wasn't a Taliban. His Wahhabist faith was Islamic, but not even close to their radical and fundamental view of how Islam worked. The Taliban tolerated him though because he preached fundamentalist doctrine and that was ok with them. He also brought Saudi Red Crescent Society (Islamic Red Cross) money and his own money -- a lot of it.

The government of Pakistan therefore created, directed, developed and maintained the TALIBAN. I don't think that there's any dispute on that account. Yes, they are our "allies" in the fight against the Taliban. ISI Chief Ahmad Shuja Pasha (right) and his organization had a vested interest in taking care of Osama Bin Laden. As long as the Taliban and Bin Laden kept up the war, the United States of America would continue to pump billions of dollars a year into the Military Government of Pakistan. (LINK), much of which ended up in ISI coffers. (U.S. Government has given Pakistan $18 billion since 9/11)

Those who follow politics in the Asian Subcontinent understand what I've laid out in brief and nobody is shocked or surprised that the US located OBL in an Islamabad suburb, protected and safe -- sorta. The US Senators who've been big proponents of heavy aid to Pakistan included John Kerry, (D-MA), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Sen. Kerry (left) has all of the information that I've submitted above - but in far greater detail. Despite that intelligence, Chairman Kerry co-authored the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act, also known as Kerry-Lugar-Berman (KLB), which triples non-military foreign assistance to Pakistan to $1.5 billion per year over the next five years. KLB was designed to signal the United States’ long-term strategic engagement with the people of Pakistan. (LINK) A trained chimp would have understood the relationship between Pakistan and OBL and their financial imperative to keep that money tap flowing and Senator Kerry received cautionary warnings but chose to ignore them. Senator Kerry is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, which issued a report (LINK) claiming correctly that Pakistan was the nexus for the most recent generation of Islamic terrorists. What the CFR failed to do was to make the linkage between Pakistan, the Taliban and OBL in a way that framed the argument correctly. Senator Kerry understood the way in which the argument should have been framed because he received that information -- but he chose to ignore it. (why?)

###