State Of Ignorance

November 30, 2006

With is favored party controlling Congress, the State Department is free to step up its attacks on US allies.

First the Brits:

A senior American official has spoken of “the myth of the special relationship” between the United States and Britain, arguing that Tony Blair got “nothing, no payback” for supporting President George W Bush in Iraq.

Kendall Myers, a leading State Department adviser, suggested that Mr Blair should have been ditched by Labour but the party had lacked the “courage or audacity” to remove him.

David Cameron, the Conservative leader, was “shrewd, astute” to have distanced himself from America.

Mr Myers, a senior analyst with the State Department’s Bureau of Analysis and Research, was speaking in a lecture in Washington at the School of Advanced International Studies, part of Johns Hopkins University.

A State Department spokesman said: “The views expressed by Mr Myers in no way represent the views of the United States government.”

At least State admits it’s not part of the US government – rather supporting America’s enemies.

Next Israel:

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, standing alongside Abbas at a joint press conference in the West Bank city of Jericho, said the US hopes to accelerate efforts to find a solution to the Israeli-Paelstinian conflict and to extend the scope of a recently declared ceasefire between the two sides.

Rice also said the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories, including what she called “humiliations,” must be eased.

In a gesture of support for Palestinian aspirations, Rice said any future Palestinian state should be “viable” and “contiguous” and said no actions should be taken now to prejudge the outcome of a final peace deal. That was an apparent reference to Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank.

Rice doesn’t mention that the “humiliations” would stop if the elected Palestinian government would stop “killing” and “kidnapping” Israelis.

And the fledgling Iraqi democracy:

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki abruptly canceled the first round of face-to-face meetings scheduled here last night with President Bush, just hours after publication of a classified memo from the president’s top security aide that says the Iraqi leader is either “ignorant,” devious or incapable of governing right now.

The cancellation and the leaked memo by National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley set off a day of “background” briefings by White House officials who refused to be named but tried to explain the ups and downs of diplomacy.

Actually this is about betrayal, not “the ups and downs of diplomacy”.

These three episodes damage vital US interests, while revealing the monumental ignorance of the US diplomatic elite. These are the three realities they don’t get:

1. The Brits (and Canadians and Australians) don’t support the US because it’s always right, but because we’re joined in blood.

2. If the US forces Israel to concede territory to terrorists, they’ll use it to kill Jews, making a Mideast nuclear war not just probable but certain.

3. The poor bloody Iraqi PM is no more able to control what goes on in Iraq than the Coalition. Demanding that he magically sweep away the Iranian and Syrian sponsored killers is beyond his means.

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I’m Hanging On To My Dollars

November 29, 2006

I predict the dollar’s drop against the Euro will continue, will cause nasty consequences for the bad guys, and will be reversed when Americans elect a financially responsible Congress or Europe goes under.

Here’s the WSJ ($):

When U.S. economic policies look like they might take a turn for the worse, dollar-denominated assets lose some of their allure. So, for example, when the new Democratic majority in Congress talks about raising taxes on capital gains and dividends, investors in U.S. financial and corporate assets get the jitters.

The good news is a weak dollar will tank the Euroweasels and China, because the US won’t be able to import from them.

It shouldn’t effect US energy prices because oil is priced in dollars. But even if that changes, it’ll just trigger the US to drill for its own oil and/or build nuke power stations.

And when a new US Congress goes back to cutting taxes, and/or the weasels gets nuked by their Iranian buddies, the dollar will pop back up again.

What’s not to like?


Civil War Stories

November 29, 2006

The usual suspects are dishonestly painting Iraq as a civil war. That’s so they can justify leaving the people of Iraq to the mercies of the brutal dictatorships in Iran and Syria.

Here’s OpinionJournal:

Which brings us back to the alleged “civil war.” The term seems to have acquired a totemic meaning in Iraq, although the U.S. has intervened successfully in civil wars before: the Balkans and Afghanistan, most recently. Regarding Iraq, the goal of the “civil war” chorus seems to be to delegitimize the war by painting what is a false picture of the balance of power and legitimacy between the Iraqi government and the terrorists.

The sectarian violence is a horrible problem. But by any reasonable definition, a “civil war” implies at least two militarily strong factions with a popular claim on political leadership. Neither of those conditions exists in Iraq.

The country’s elected, pan-sectarian government and its several hundred thousand security forces remain the only legitimate power center. The Sunni insurgents, meanwhile, are a mix of Islamists and Baathists who enjoy little support and are capable only of terrorist-style attacks.

But the MSM is energetically promoting the false description:

NBC News has decided…that the situation in Iraq, with armed militarized factions fighting for their own political agendas, can now be characterized as civil war.

The above is quoted approvingly by lefties who conclude:

Now that everyone agrees we can’t solve Iraq’s problems, and since the country wasn’t a threat to us in the first place, can we just go home now?

Kofi Annan adds his words of wisdom:

“At some stage, I think it would be helpful to have a conference, a conference that brings everybody together, along the lines of what we did in the former Yugoslavia and others, but I think we need to work slowly to get there…”.

Of course the sole contribution of the UN to the Yugoslavia civil war was to help the Serbs commit genocide in Bosnia.

Naturally the NYT has piled in:

“After consulting with our reporters in the field and the editors who directly oversee this coverage, we have agreed that Times correspondents may describe the conflict in Iraq as a civil war when they and their editors believe it is appropriate,” Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times, revealed in a statement. “It’s hard to argue that this war does not fit the generally accepted definition of civil war.

We can safely assume that assertions made by NBC, Kofi Annan and the NYT will be both false and intended to provide aid and comfort to our enemies.

Indeed the excellent Flopping Aces showed how AP creates “civil war” stories using quotes from fake Iraqi police officers, causing Centcom to write AP thus (my emphasis):

Dear Associated Press:

On Nov. 24, 2006, your organization published an article by Qais Al-Bashir about six Sunnis being burned alive in the presence of Iraqi Police officers. This news item, which is below, received an enormous amount of coverage internationally.

We at Multi-National Corps – Iraq made it known through MNC-I Press Release Number 20061125-09 and our conversations with your reporters that neither we nor Baghdad Police had any reports of such an incident after investigating it and could find no one to corroborate the story. A couple of hours ago, we learned something else very important. We can tell you definitively that the primary source of this story, police Capt. Jamil Hussein, is not a Baghdad police officer or an MOI employee.

We verified this fact with the MOI through the Coalition Police Assistance Training Team.

Also, we definitely know, as we told you several weeks ago through the MNC-I Media Relations cell, that another AP-popular IP spokesman, Lt. Maithem Abdul Razzaq, supposedly of the city’s Yarmouk police station, does not work at that police station and is also not authorized to speak on behalf of the IP. The MOI has supposedly issued a warrant for his questioning.

This dishonesty is systemic – here’s the London Times yesterday:

Hassan Mahmoud has the build of a bouncer. But as he sits on a couch and talks about Iraq’s secret religious prisons his broad frame shakes, he clutches himself and weeps.

“It hurts me when I remember what happened,” he says, recalling his brush with death inside a Shia prayer room where he witnessed the beheading of a fellow kidnap victim.

The story is not tied to a single objective report, so is impossible to verify.

We must pray the president has the strength to stand by the people of Iraq.


Travel Tips From The Lying Imams

November 29, 2006

Reports of the airplane security probe by six US Muslim “clerics” provide us with useful hints on recognizing and defeating hijackers.

The six were part of a group of 140 US Muslim leaders who met with a new Muslim Congressman in Minneapolis last week. On their US Air flight out they either set up an actual hijack or probed for one – gathering information on the effectiveness of airline and ground security.

These “Flying Imams” were removed from the flight and claimed discrimination – hence the post title. This is what you can do faced with the same situation.

Be alert for Muslim males behaving oddly at the departure gate

Muslims are most likely to be of Mideast or Pakistani appearance, but bear in mind that one of the London killers was a black convert and Richard Reid was a white one.

This was the odd behavior of the lying Imams:

…three of the imams were praying loudly in the concourse and repeatedly shouted “Allah” when passengers were called for boarding…

If you see such behavior, alert your traveling companions. If one of you has a cellphone with camera, discreetly record the behavior – the cops will need it later.

On boarding, look for the group splitting into hijack formation:

…the imams switched from their assigned seats to a pattern associated with the September 11 terrorist attacks and also found in probes of U.S. security since the attacks — two in the front row first-class, two in the middle of the plane on the exit aisle and two in the rear of the cabin.

…a federal air marshal who asked to remain anonymous (explained). “They now control all of the entry and exit routes to the plane.”

The team appropriated 2 first class seats:

…The gate agent told police that when the imams asked to be upgraded, they were told no such seats were available. Nevertheless, the two men were seated in first class when removed.

On boarding, you should be alert for arguments with flight attendants and passengers as the pairs take seats not assigned to them. If that happens and you can see the group has split into pairs in the front middle and back of the plane, you are now at high risk of hijack. If possible, start taking discreet photos with your cell.

Look for the team arming itself

In this case:

Three of the men asked for seat-belt extenders, although two flight attendants told police the men were not oversized… Rather than attach the extensions, the men placed the straps and buckles on the cabin floor…

The seat extender makes an effective flail – like the “can in a sock” you use in unarmed combat – and in a hijack it would be used to subdue unarmed flight attendants and passengers.

Look for co-ordination

In this case:

A flight attendant said one of the men made two trips to the rear of the plane to talk to the imam during boarding, and again when the flight was delayed because of their behavior.

Look for aggressive behavior

In this case:

…witnesses told law enforcement that the men spoke in Arabic and English, criticizing the war in Iraq and President Bush, and talking about al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

That tells you it’s probably a security probe – in an actual hijack they’d stay quiet. Still, real hijackers might calculate that an aggressive display reduces their chances of being ejected.

What to do

Raise the alarm immediately the group splits into the hijack seating formation. If the crew won’t eject the team, you should deplane, explaining why. On your way out try to use your cellphone to take pictures or the the team and its weapons.

If you can’t deplane, use your cellphone to call 911 (112 in Europe, 999 in the UK) and ask the cops to stop the flight. Send them any pictures you’ve taken to help make the case.

If the cops can’t or won’t stop the flight, work with the other passengers to prepare for a United 93 type battle. Fit and well trained passengers should re-seat themselves behind the rearmost pair, disable them, then work forward.

None of which is an incitement to go round attacking innocent Muslims – but if they pass all of the above tests, they aren’t innocent.

Finally, the safest thing to do right now is fly US Air.


BA Re- Nationalized

November 28, 2006

Turns out the CEO of British Airways thinks it’s a government department (my ellipsis):

Last week Mr Straw (a minister in Blair’s government) attacked the airline’s stance (of banning employees wearing Christian symbols but letting them wear Hindu and Muslim symbols) as “quite intolerable”.

Mr Broughton (the CEO) asked Mr Blair: “Given that the police, the army and other government uniformed staff have an identical policy to BA in relation to crosses outside of the uniform, do you find the Government’s policy wholly inexplicable?”


GOP Denial

November 27, 2006

To recover in 2008, the GOP needs to clearly understand why its base didn’t support it in the mid-terms. Instead, it’s in denial.

My ten cents is that the GOP voters objected to three things:

1. The failure to fight the GWOT aggressively (e.g. letting the NYT and other enemy combatants off the hook).

2. The failure of the GOP-controlled Congress to control spending.

3. The Senate/Presidential illegal immigrant amnesty/open borders campaign.

Here’s OpinionJournal in denial on the third issue:

Everyone knows that Intel, Yahoo, Google, eBay and Sun Microsystems are wildly successful U.S. technology companies. Less well known is that immigrant entrepreneurs played a role in founding each one–and a whole lot of others….

The piece goes on to make the legitimate case for increasing the number of visas the US grants to skilled workers. But its conclusion shows it just doesn’t get why GOP voters are riled about illegals (my ellipsis):

It’s unfortunate that so many of…GOP (Congressmen)…were more interested in using the immigration issue (in the mid terms) to help demagogue their way into the minority. They’d have been better off embracing immigration as a major source of American economic vitality.

If a GOP supporter like the WSJ can’t understand the gut distaste of the GOP voters for illegal acts, both paper and party deserve to be marginalized.

UPDATE

There’s a chink of light on issue 2 above elsewhere in OpinionJournal (my ellipsis):

Mr. Coburn (R Oklahoma) says…Republicans are learning some lessons from their stinging loss of Congress three weeks ago. “By either staying home or not voting Republican, many voters were sending a message that they don’t want to give the spending favor factory that Congress had become their stamp of approval,” …

Overall federal spending has gone up by 49% since 2001…


Israeli Missile Defense

November 27, 2006

The latest Palestinian truce will be no more reliable than its predecessors, and Kassams will soon be falling again. Israel needs to stop this pest without diverting the IDF from its prep for the big war. And that needs an anti-Kassam defense – here’s some analysis of its feasibility.

A recent post suggested the land derivative of the Phalanx anti-missile system should knock down most Kassams. Now StrategyPage, that most useful source of weapons information, suggests the system won’t work on the Kassam. I don’t agree, but could be wrong, so here are the arguments.

StrategyPage (my ellipsis): I

Israel is urgently trying to get their hands on an aid defense system that will knock down the home-made Kassam rockets Palestinians are firing from Gaza into southern Israel. So far, the biggest obstacle has been the poor construction quality of the Kassam rockets, and the resulting erratic flight path that misleads most radar systems designed to spot and predict the path of rockets and artillery shells. Professionally made projectiles are more accurate, and fly a more predictable path, which makes interception more likely.

…a U.S. adaptation of (the) Phalanx naval 20mm autocannon (which works) against conventional artillery, mortar and rocket projectiles (has) trouble with the erratic Kassams.

I’m skeptical of this because the Kassam’s unpredictability must be confined to its boost phase. That’s in the few seconds when the rocket engine is burning, probably unevenly, causing the weapon to jink and show varying acceleration.

But after this brief burn the weapon follows a ballistic trajectory which be predicted with basic math. The Kassam launchers pictured show an approximately 45 degree elevation, probably for maximum range. That means a flight time of tens of seconds, of which well over half is ballistic – plenty of time to spot the weapon by radar and shoot it down.

The Kassam might tumble during its ballistic phase, which would cause some drag-induced course deviation, but predictive software should be able to correct for that.

The problem of tracking missiles with irregular boost trajectories and some ballistic instability is not new. Modern ICBMs use both to reduce the effectiveness of BMD systems, by “stuttering” the engine during boost and using gas thrusters during the ballistic phase.

Israel has the world’s first mid-course BMD, the Arrow system, so should have software to deal with these problems.

If not, it has to develop it ASAP, not only for Kassam defense, but to keep Iranian Shahabs from nuking its cities.