sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, April 7, 2017

A Few Random Thoughts

(Swiftboat) John Kerry - quote

In July 2014, then-Secretary of State John Kerry went on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to discuss the September 2013 deal that resulted in Russia agreeing to help confiscate and then destroy Syria’s stockpile.

“We struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out,” Kerry claimed.
I shouldn't rub this in Old Wooden Head's face because he recommended me to Heinz before they sold out to the Brazilian conglomerate last year to do some consulting on problems they had in Russia, China and Africa. I cashed the checks. I don't call that biting the hand that feeds you but John might.
Regime Change

Christians In Action
The regime change in Iraq didn't work out well for the USA. Iran owns the place now - not lock, stock and barrel, but they own most of it. They weren't able to defeat Iraq on the battlefield but they just walked in and took it when we left. The USA has a dismal track record of doing this in a number of places: Peru, Vietnam, Central America, Africa, Iraq, Libya, etc. We need to step back and take a breath before we pursue that path in Syria. Who are we grooming to take Assad's place and which group will back that person - who must be a tyrant to survive in power in Syria? Will the Russians like him or will they assassinate him?

The Virginia farm boys (and girls) need to polish their skills and not be so quick to dispose of people who get the job done but may not be as politically correct as Barack would want them to be. There needs to be a culture change from the damage done during the years of ObamaNation. That won't happen quickly.

The Navy

If the USA wants a capable Navy, the entire budget increase that President Trump wants needs to go there. It won't go there, but just getting the ships repaired that were let go during the ObamaNation, getting spare parts for both ships and aircraft, missiles, training and the follow-on to the Harpoon Missile, etc.  All of our missile launching submarines (SSBN) need to be replaced as do their aging weapons.

That will be a neat trick since we've lost the national capacity to produce thermonuclear weapons (we've lost that capacity by the way because of neglect - an article from 2015 This is one from the Wall St. Journal but you need to be a subscription to read it.). During the past eight years, the military has been focused on transgenderism, the war on the weather, and a lot of social justice issues instead of on providing for national defense. That all needs to be fixed.

The FBI

I have no confidence in the FBI to conduct fair, impartial investigations dealing with issues relating to leaking, and with the recent unmasking scandal. Recently Director Comey was asked to appear at the House Intelligence Committee and he was a no-show. Who in the Sam Hill does he think that he is? Who does he work for?

What if Comey summoned a field agent to FBI Headquarters and that special agent refused to show up? How would he react? Comey is an elitist and he has an agenda that is not in tune with the best interests of the United States.

Either Comey and his coterie of Clintonistas at the top of the food chain at the FBI get with the program, or they can retire. That's how I see it.

Geopolitical View

It's been a busy week for those of you who are watching what's going on internally and externally. I'm not going to tie it all in a bow, but let's look at some of the more interesting things that are going on internationally

The Norks

The North Koreans seem very unsure of US and allied intentions. Alternatively, the rhetoric suggests some leaders are looking for a reason to attack. Three statements are uncharacteristic of a Foreign Ministry memorandum and are worth highlighting.
  • The first is the statement that the warning is issued to the US itself. That means the North Koreans want the US to understand that they will attack US territory.
  • The second statement is the stated purposes of a war. One is to remove US bases and the second is to reunify the peninsula. Kim Jong Un has revived the war of national reunification theme. He and his cronies apparently do not consider a new war to be a war of survival for North Korea, but an opportunity to achieve what Kim’s father and grandfather failed to do—reunite Korea. This is delusional thinking, if it accurately reflects his view.
  • The third statement is that the North would fight a precision war with its missiles and only attack US and Allied bases. The missile launches during the past 15 months suggest the North Koreans have no justification for any confidence in the accuracy of their missiles. This statement is risible.

Ballistic Missile Launches in 2016
            Missile                                                Numbers Launched                                    Numbers Successful
Scud
1
1
Rodong MRBM
6
5
Musudan MRBM
7
2
SLBM
2
1
Total
16
9

The Strategic Force had a 56 percent successful launch rate.

North Korea already has launched eight missiles this year.

Ballistic Missile Launches in 2017
          Missile                                                  Numbers Launched                                    Numbers Successful
Scud
1
0
Pukguksong-2 MRBM
1
1
Musudan  MRBM
5
3
U/I MRBM
1
0
Total
8
4

The Nork Strategic Force has a 50 percent successful launch rate in 2017 to date.

The statement about targeting also seems to hint at a belief that a war might be limited in some fashion. No serious observer can hold that view.

Philippines and China

President Duterte has decided to fortify Philippine-claimed islands in the Spratly Island chain. He said he might fly to Pagasa/Thitu Island, which has an airstrip, to raise the Philippine flag.
Duterte said, "Even those, those vacant islands that are considered ours, let's live there." "It's like we're all competing to take these islands. And what's ours now at least, let's take it and make a strong point there that this is ours." He said the Philippines should "fortify" its territory. We must build bunkers or houses there and make provisions for habitation."

President Duterte appears to have had an epiphany about Philippine claims in the Spratly Islands and to seabed areas off the northeast coast. It is possible that Philippine Congressional impeachment articles for alienating Philippine national territory persuaded him to reconsider his position on claims.

His orders will cause new strain in relations with China because China claims all the islands the Philippines claims.

_________________

Syria

I stand by my suspicion that the Syrian Air Force hit a rebel weapons cache and the GB/Sarin release that followed was the result of destroyed chemical warfare weapons that the rebels held.

Russian Comment

On 6 April, the defense ministry spokesman, Major General Konashenkov said, "According to data from the Russian means of objective monitoring of airspace, Syrian aircraft carried out an airstrike in the eastern outskirts of Khan Shaykhun on the terrorists' large ammunition depot and accumulation of military hardware. From that very big arsenal, the militants supplied ammunition with chemical weapons to Iraqi territory." 

The statement by General Konashenkov confirms that the Russians at least consulted their military staff on the ground in Syria, who control the airspace over Syria. Konashenkov confirmed that Syrian aircraft did conduct an airstrike at Khan Shaykhun. There is no comparable information from Western nations.

This is the first piece of credible evidence about the airstrike because it is an admission against Russian interest. The claims of the rebels are tainted, as evidence, by their self-interest. Much turns on the existence of a rebel weapons depot in Khan Shaykhun, which the rebels have not denied.

Cause and Effect

It is premature to make firm judgments about the ripple effects of this attack, which is the first deliberate US attack against Syria. Some opine that there will be many and they will be far reaching. 

This attack will not decide the outcome of the Syrian civil war, but it will affect it and many other national security issues.

One immediate concern is Syrian retaliation. The Asad government will try some form of revenge. That could take the form of shooting advanced air defense missiles at US aircraft flying from Incirlik; harassing attacks at US-occupied airfields in northern Syria or accidental/on purpose attacks against US military personnel at Tabqa and other locations. They'll be standing next to Russians when they do it and that presents problems for the US.

The Syrians will take their time in retaliating. Increased provocations along the Golan Heights might be one outlet for Syrian outrage.

Then there is is the Russian loss of face. This attack shows the limits of Russian power in Syria against a genuine great power. The Russians could not prevent the US attack and could not protect Syria from it, had they tried. President Putin considers President Asad expendable. What is not expendable is the image of Russia’s re-emergence as a great power that he has cultivated so carefully.  

As is the customary practice of Russian intelligence agencies and national security experts during a crisis, they will be seeking opportunities to convert adversity into advantage at US expense.

Iran also will be embarrassed by the attack because it also could not defend its ally. This limited US attack showed that the Syrian armed forces could easily have been destroyed long before the Russian intervention, if Western leaders had the will. The five years of civil war was avoidable. The Iranians might worry about the return on their investment in blood and treasure in Syria.

The timing of this attack during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping projects the impression that President Xi was informed and posed no objection. The two presidents dined while the missiles were flying towards Syria. 

There is a longstanding connection between North Korea and Syria.

North Koreans built the first Syrian Scud missile installations and other military equipment. They also helped construct a nuclear reactor in eastern Syria that the Israelis bombed and destroyed in 2007. 

North Korean leaders will understand that a US attack on Syria sends a warning message to North Korea. North Korea will display solidarity with the Syrian government.


Freaky Friday

Syria

The US launched Tomahawk missile strikes on Ash Aha'irat (Al Shayrat) Air Force Base in Syria and on Syria's chemical weapons storage facilities there. There should be some sort of bomb damage assessment (classified) before this blog goes live because the sun will be up in Syria. The weapons fired were likely a blend of the following:
Block 3 BGM-109C Tomahawk Land Attack Missile – Conventional (TLAM-C) with a unitary warhead (which can be used for penetration of bunkers or to crater runways). 
Block 3 BGM-109D Tomahawk Land Attack Missile – Dispenser (TLAM-D) with cluster munitions. 166xBLU-97
Though I question whether the GB (Sarin) release was the product of a chemical weapon by the Syrian Air Force or whether the bombing released GB stored by Syrian rebels, degrading the Syrian chemical weapons stores do nothing but make the world just that much safer.

There was the inevitable call for an immediate war with Russia from Senator John McCain, who may need to retire from public life.

The corrupt, elite, malicious, smug, wicked, lying mainstream media were howling because a call was made to the Russians for the purpose of deconfliction. The insinuation was made on CNN and MSNBC that any deconfliction indicates collusion between President Trump and the Russians. Deconfliction helps to keep us out of a war. The progressive elites are not quite bright enough to figure that out.

White House Gossip
  • One of the mainstream media goons who worships Melania Trump (I thought they were all queer, but maybe not) asked Sean Spicer if he could buy some of her soiled underwear. Spicer said with some authority that she doesn't wear underwear. 
  • Glenn Beck has been bashing Steve Bannon. I don't care what Beck says - he needs to take a drink and calm down. Breitbart soared to the top of the heap while The Blaze burned to ashes, what other reason could Glenn Beck have for hating Steve Bannon's guts? Beck was far more entertaining when he was a drunk. He is predicting imminent economic national collapse - the same way that he has for a decade. One day it may happen, and Beck will claim bragging rights.
  • It's difficult to get any legitimate scoop from the White House without calling somebody that you might know who works on the staff and bugging them. There is another tactic that seems to work. Watch MSNBC or CNN, take in what they say, and the opposite is true.
Susan Rice

Has she ever said ANYTHING that was true? 

The fact that the Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee have shut up is because they've seen the evidence and it's damning. They also know that there wasn't any collusion between the Trump Campaign and the Russian Government.

Is there a depth that the Obama Regime was unable to sink to? I realize that in Chicago, that's business as usual, but Barack is going to end up before Congress answering questions. He's immune from prosecution for what he did in office -- but will he still take the Fifth? Will Susan Rice (not immune) take one for the team once again and do her prison term, shielding her colleagues? Is she more like G. Gordon Liddy or John Dean?

Susan Rice is no G. Gordon Liddy... and I will digress to share a bit of lore.
I miss G. Gordon Liddy's radio show on Radio America in Washington DC. I used to listen to it every night that I was in the area. He wrote a book called "The Monkey Handlers" with input from Gary Gallagher, a former Navy SEAL and friend of mine. (Gary was also a Master Chief at Team 3 when then ENS Jim Liddy, son of G. Gordon was there.) G. Gordon had  Gary on the show once and asked him what he thought of Barack Obama - then he didn't "bleep" Gary when he said that he thought then candidate Obama/Soetoro was "a blue gum xxgger". It entertained friends of Gordon's and Gary's, but the comment didn't reflect any racial sensitivity at all. Gary had retired from the Navy and was working on a classified project where he was indispensable, so the bullet passed him by. Liddy took some heat but didn't care much - his ratings went up and advertisers paid more so Radio America was happy. 
I Didn't Make the List

Headline: ISIS KILL LIST: Pro-Islamic State hackers target 8,786 people in US, UK 

That's damned insulting. After all I've done, after all the horrible things that I've said about the ISIS savages, after the praise I've heaped on those who've held draw Mohammed contests, after intimidating Mohammedans in my own neighborhood...I don't make their frigging list.

Perhaps I should have worked with fellow blogger Fredd to slip his Aunt Sally's cooking recipes to ISIS in a clandestine way. The resulting casualties could have ended the war. Pity stayed my hand - and the only thing that I have to show for it is being snubbed.

Maybe because I live in a neighborhood where they just built a mosque, they have hopes of turning me to love Big Imam?

I don't know how the b@stards could have left me off the list? Maybe it's an oversight?

Under the Trump Doctrine, and I'm playing the Trump Card here, would I be allowed to shoot first (based on a threat that I perceive)?

If that were to be the case, there would be a lot of my friends raising the hue and cry to be added to the list. Maybe even some bloggers...