Club-K Container Missile System

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Said to be a carrier killer (and a terrorist’s dream). In a big war, it all comes down to cyberwarfare and who can knock out more satellites. The air determines who controls the field.

Here is a story about the Air Force’s X-37B Spacecraft.


U.S. Military Spending vs. the World

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

And oft told story, true…but no matter what, we’ve always got the military…

Courtesy of The Economist.


Gaza: The View From Here

Friday, January 9, 2009

More than a couple of people have asked me why I haven’t written about Gaza.

My answer?

Why? What is the point? Even my exasperation and boredom with the topic of Israel/Palestine is cliche. Truly, what is there to say that hasn’t already been said?

Questions about right and wrong, absolutism vs. relativism, are wholly dependent upon which side of the war you fall on, upon your emotional connection to the issue. Any legitimately reasonable approach to the conflict recognizes that the problems of Israel are intractable.

To me, this leads to one conclusion. Scrap Israel/Palestine as presently constituted and start over again. It will take two contiguous sovereign states (north/south?) with equal rights and the wholesale movement of people, communities, industry, etc. Get all the Palestinians in one country and all the Jews in the other.

Does this sound impossible?

Maybe. In which case, there is no solution and these people will be killing each other forever. That’s it. It’s that simple. There is no other solution.

And if that’s the case, my feeling is…go for it, just keep it out of America. I do NOT want U.S. citizens involved in this endless, unsolvable war. Please go ahead and have at it, but I will never send my children to die for this nonsense.

For that matter, why must I read about it every day? People complain that universities that target Israel for divestiture are singling out that state, but they do so because we read about Israel every day on the cover of the New York Times. We don’t read about the Tamil Tigers and Sri Lanka every day. We read about Israel.

I won’t get into why that is the case, but simply note that it might be a good idea for Americans to ignore this conflict.

Naive? If we ignore it, it will certainly come back to haunt us?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Nothing compels our attention or participation but politics. And politics can change. It just takes a grassroots movement, because it won’t happen through the establishment. But imagine if America simply didn’t take sides. Abstained in the U.N. Treated Israelis and Palestinians equally.

All that said, I think the Palestinians are morons. If they were smart they would adopt a non-violent approach to their problem. Clearly, they are outgunned. Immediately give up all arms and disavow violence in any form. No terrorism, no army, nothing. Then they would truly be able to marshal global political power in a way that could rival the Jews. If they are then at the table, meeting as equals, possibilities open up.

Right now, I am convinced that Israel has the right to defend itself from rocket attacks, disproportionate response or not. Take away the possibility of war – and I believe the Israelis would be happy to never kill another Palestinian – and you’re getting some where. Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims generally, just have to accept that Israel is a fact of life. It’s a done deal. Get over it.

But this is just a pipe dream. It’s fantasy. These people will be killing each other forever.

And frankly, at this point, I don’t really care.


Obama’s National Security Team

Monday, December 1, 2008

At the press conference, one journalist asked him if India had the right to take action against terrorists on Pakistani territory (as Obama has suggested he would do). Obama dodged the question, but it does point out the geopolitical complications of such a policy.

Right.

Anyway, I am please with Obama’s team. I know Hillary will work very hard and I’ll bet (any takers?) she will be more loyal and less complicated than most people expect. I understand that GEN. Jones is a good choice, and I respect Gates (despite whatever murk is in his past) as a manager and as a forward thinker. As for the rest, we’ll see. I do expect big things from Eric Holder. There are many important legal issues surrounding Bush and the “War on Terror” that needed to be sorted out and/or rectified. I am cautiously optimistic that Obama/Holder will act accordingly.


Iraqi Cabinet Approves U.S. Withdrawal Plan

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It goes to their parliament now, but the agreement was approved almost unanimously by the cabinet and that, apparently, bodes well for parliamentary approval. If passed, all American troops will be out by the end of 2011. From the New York Times:

The draft approved Sunday requires coalition forces to withdraw from Iraqi cities and towns by the summer of 2009 and from the country by the end of 2011. An earlier version had language giving some flexibility to that deadline, with both sides discussing timetables and timelines for withdrawal, but the Iraqis managed to have the deadline set in stone, a significant negotiating victory.

So is this surrender? Cause it smells like victory to me. I hope the neocons will accept it as such and stop trying to dishonor the work of our Armed Services by claiming otherwise. It’s disgraceful to belittle the progress they’ve made – enough that our presence is no longer thought necessary – by insisting that we haven’t won.* We should plan a big victory parade for our troops in 2011.

As for the future of Iraq, well, call me cynical, but I think there’s a lot more blood to be shed. I can’t pretend to know how it will turn out, especially Iran-wise, with all of their trouble, and the world in economic turmoil, but to me, it seems the likeliest conclusion that after a civil war a Shia strongman will rise and take Saddam-like control of the country (excluding the Kurds). In that event, we will actually be worse off than we were before the war.

I just hope that Bush and company will face punishment for their crimes. For the tens of thousands of lives lost and for the tens of thousands of wounded and for the millions who have lost their homes. As we unwind all of the foul corruption and dishonor of the Bush administration, we must make sure that those who are most responsible pay the heaviest price.

*Btw, I definitely want Joe Lieberman booted from his committee chair. Don’t care if he caucuses with the Dems or not, I want his downfall. The day he loses his Senate seat, I will drink a toast to his failure.


Petraeus Backs Obama: Talk to Your Enemies

Friday, October 10, 2008

One of the few things I agree with John McCain on is in venerating GEN. Petraeus. I think he is an incredibly smart, honorable, decent, and courageous man. Without knowing his politics, I would be inclined to support his candidacy for any office. I hope he is a Democrat, but I could live with him as a centrist Republican.

At any rate, watch the video. Petraeus supports the Obama “doctrine” of talking to the people who are shooting at you.

McCain is virtually alone in his stupidity on this front.


Heroic POW Calls McCain Undisciplined, Spoiled Brat

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Air Force Lt. Colonel John Dramesi, a former POW in Vietnam who withstood a month with daily torture sessions that nearly killed him, and who never, unlike John McCain, said a disloyal word about America to his captors (he was awarded two Air Force Crosses), calls John McCain a phony:

McCain says his life changed while he was in Vietnam, and he is now a different man,” Dramesi says today. “But he’s still the undisciplined, spoiled brat that he was when he went in.”

This guy is a true hero. No one faults a POW for saying anything under torture, but to withstand that torture and still maintain your honor is truly heroic. John McCain pales in comparison to this man.

Dramesi, who served as chief war planner for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and commander of a wing of the Strategic Air Command, relates this anecdote about McCain:

On the grounds between the two brick colleges, the chitchat between the scion of four-star admirals and the son of a prizefighter turns to their academic travels; both colleges sponsor a trip abroad for young officers to network with military and political leaders in a distant corner of the globe.

“I’m going to the Middle East,” Dramesi says. “Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iran.”

“Why are you going to the Middle East?” McCain asks, dismissively.

“It’s a place we’re probably going to have some problems,” Dramesi says.

“Why? Where are you going to, John?”

“Oh, I’m going to Rio.”

“What the hell are you going to Rio for?”

McCain, a married father of three, shrugs.

“I got a better chance of getting laid.”

Whose word are you more like to believe? The truly heroic Dramesi or the shameful politician McCain?