sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Operation Olive Branch - Continues

It's Day 5 of Operation Olive Branch in Syrian Kurdistan. There have been no significant changes in the security situation in northern Syria, but Turkey began carrying out its threat to attack Manbij.
Turkish President Erdogan said he plans to "foil games along our borders starting from Manbij." He said that Turkey would "clean our region from this trouble completely.”
The Turks promise the 'mother of all wars' in Manbij since they had their asses handed to them in Afrin. (yada-yada-yada)

Attacks on Manbij will be a test of intentions for all parties. The Syrian Kurds plan to resist the Turks there, they're well armed, supplied, and morale is high.

To break the Kurdish resistance, the Turkish aircraft must supply close support to the armor and fly low... or they need to send dismounted infantry forward and that means a LOT of dead Turks (and their Syrian allies). What to do?

Erdoğan underlined that the operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, U.N. Security Council resolutions, its right to self-defense under the U.N. charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, sources said.

The Turkish military said on Wednesday, the 24th, that 260 Kurdish and Islamic State (ISIL) fighters were killed. You can always tell when things aren't going well when they multiply the body count by 10x(+)

Turkish Modification - The political isolation and negative blowback have prompted the Turks to modify their propaganda about the targets of the Operation. Now the Turks are talking about killing Islamic State fighters. The Turks have always identified the Syrian Kurds as terrorists, but the Operation was aimed initially at Syrian supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)

In the past two days, daily situation reports always include Islamic State targets struck and fighters killed. However, last March, Erdogan claimed that Operation Euphrates Shield succeeded in clearing Islamic State fighters from the border zone. 

The Syrian Kurds in Afrin insisted the Islamic State never had a presence in Afrin and still has none. In other regions, the Kurds drove the Islamic State fighters down to Raqqa.

Another addition to the Turkish list of justifications is refugees. The latest purpose of Operation Olive Branch is to prepare a safe zone for 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey to resettle in northern Syria. This is the humanitarian dimension of Olive Branch.

Analysis: Turkish strong man Erdoğan, could order the entire Turkish Army into Syria, accept that he'll loose 1/3 of his expensive German made tanks (or more) and tens of thousands of soldiers. But he doesn't want to do that because even with those losses, "winning" may not be the outcome. I expect that General Mattis is sitting back, eating popcorn, and watching the show.

If the Turks sent their entire army into Syria, the Syrians wouldn't sit on the sidelines. They'd have to do something about a general invasion and then their Russian allies...and so forth would be involved. 

A Few Issues

Trey Gowdy

On Transgenders in the military:

"Nobody has a 'right' to serve in the Military. Nobody. What makes people think the Military is an equal opportunity employer? Very far from it.

The Military uses prejudice regularly and consistently to deny citizens from joining for being too old or too young, too fat or too skinny, too tall or too short. Citizens are denied for having flat feet, or for missing or additional fingers. Poor eyesight will disqualify you, as well as bad teeth. Malnourished? Drug addiction? Bad back? Criminal history? Low IQ? Anxiety? Phobias? Hearing damage? Six arms? Hear voices in your head? Self-identify as a Unicorn? Need a special access ramp for your wheelchair? Can't run the required course in the required time? Can't do the required number of pushups? Not really a "morning person" and refuse to get out of bed before noon? All can be reasons for denial.

The Military has one job. War. Anything else is a distraction and a liability. Did someone just scream "That isn't Fair"? War is VERY unfair, there are no exceptions made for being special or challenged or socially wonderful. YOU change yourself to meet Military standards.. Not the other way around. I say again: You don't change the Military... you must change yourself. The Military doesn't need to accommodate anyone with special issues. The Military needs to Win Wars.

If any of your personal issues are a liability that detract from readiness or lethality... Thank you for applying and good luck in future endeavors. 

Who's next in line?"

Next?


American Ninja

It started out by being an unabashed fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and now my grandson (right) is working his way though his white belt.

Belt color is clearly not the test of greatness in martial arts. 

There are two types of martial art studies. The first is by far the most common where the art and the pulled punches are practiced, affording dexterity, discipline, fitness and fun. If you work at it long enough, you might derive some benefit in a fight, but more likely you'll just get whipped worse by somebody who is not impressed by your pulled punch or ineffective kicks. (you should have run away but ninjutsu teaches you to stand your ground)

The second is the 'hard style' techniques found in most varieties where punches are not pulled the object is not defense, but striking your opponent first, crippling and killing and winning is the prize. It's not something that I recommend, but many military art forms (Russian style, Krav Maga, Shoto(kan), Tai Kwan Do [hard style]) push the more aggressive side of the discipline.

The young ninja in the photo is just learning enough technique so that he can drop his older brother and teach the bigger boy some respect (and possibly humility). We'll see where it goes from there.

In San Francisco

Anti-Trump activists are marching and joining the womyn's vagina movement with their mangina movement to oppose the President and all he stands for. Their primary complaint is that the President is unfit to lead because he is mentally unstable.

It's difficult to do much besides showing the photo of them (left) and let that speak for itself.

I would have thought that the entire San Francisco FBI Resident Agency would be marching -- ok, maybe they are... right there in the photo, wearing masks to disguise themselves. If you reflect on it, the photo makes a perfect recruiting poster for the FBI. It's incredibly progressive. The poster makes you want to run out and ask the agents how they like their federal jobs - opposing the MAGA movement.


Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), one of the wealthiest people in the US Congress, represents San Francisco. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) used to be the mayor of San Francisco. That should explain a great deal.

And more to the point (see right), California is trying to pass a law that would allow illegal aliens to vote, thus insuring the Democrat super majority.