Monday, March 26, 2007

Palestinian Sympathy Fatigue

It must really SUCK to be stuck in Palestine. Gaza especially. What could have been the Rivera of the Med is now like some gang contested no mans land: barren, blasted and as desolate as the surface of the moon.

Palestinian leaders are corrupt (nearly 433 MILLION bucks out of the billion or so Comrade 'Papa' Arafat collected has vanished faster than a sack of primo at a Greenday concert), indifferent to their people, torment their own people and their neighbors. Al Fatah or the HAMAS - both have blown it big time, time after time. Arafat and the old school PLO's 'phased plan' to destroy Israel versus the HAMAS and their plan to eradicate Israel all at once.

And for what? Let's review recent events: The HAMAS won an election in Palestine, failed to renounce violence, renewed their call to destroy a democratic member of the UN and promptly lost their source of cash from the West.

Using the death of a family on the beach, from what very well could have been mines planted by al Fatah during the 2002 intifahdah to preclude the naughty IDF from launching an amphibious assault, the HAMAS violated sovereign territory, kidnapped Israelis troops and increased pot shots at Israeli turf and civilians with home made K'ssam rockets. Essentially, starting a war that they lost. Next up, Palestinians turn their murderous intolerance on each other - the HAMAS and al Fatah conduct a gangster style hit campaign that may or may not be over now.

While it was SWEET to see formally masked gunmen in knock off Armani suits begging for cash, it is also equally amusing that while Palestinians try to act like weak, desperate victims, their former supporters in the Arab world have learned the hard way NOT to send their own aircraft and armor to liberate Palestine from the river to the sea.

Meanwhile Palestinians are cooking in their own, especial, made from scratch sauce. Like this poll from Palestine reprinted in the Jerusalem Post.

"More than two thirds of Palestinians feel Hamas has failed at running the government, according to a poll conducted in the Gaza Strip, Israel Radio reported on Monday.
Over half of those surveyed felt that Hamas gave up a significant part of the group's election platform by joining the new unity government with Fatah.
In addition, less than a quarter of those surveyed said they would vote for the party again if elections were held now.
The poll also showed that nearly one third of Palestinians would emigrate to areas outside of the PA territories if they could.
The survey was published by the An-Najah University in Nablus. "

33% of Palestinians would leave if they could! Amazing!

America's Secretary of State is there right now to try and ressurect a 'peace plan'. YAWN. Is it really up to America to try to revive a 'Peace Process'? Of all the conflicts since WWII, why is this one impossible to solve?

Ever heard of Germans detonating in downtown Gdansk to protest the Polish occupation of Danzig? Or Greeks launching home made rocket attacks on Turkish schools for the right of return to Smyrna? The Chinese never made suicide runs at the capitol in Hong Kong to fight British Imperialism and occupation.

History actually makes the opposite case - that all this never ending, on again off again roadmaps, peace plans, 'meetings' etc, by Western powers to negotiate Israeli-Palestinian peace make the problem worse, not better.

Might it not be closer to the truth to say that Arab radicalism is the cause of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute--not the result of it?

That there is no peace because Israel's neighbours--and too many of the world's Muslims--cannot bear the idea of an egalitarian society, with a free and uncensored press, open and transparent elections in their midst or accept the right of a tolerant, non-Arab, non-Muslim minority to live unsubjugated in the Middle East. That is the true basis of the dispute, and it cannot be fixed by negotiation. At least not with what is misruling Palestine now.

If the HAMAS could recognize Israel, adhere to previous agreements, stop suicide bombing, reign in and disband any number of their nearly two dozen militias, stop honor killings, grant equal rights to women, establish a free and uncensored press, create an independent judicial system based on the rule of law instead of the sharia, allow the treasury to be openly accountable, plan and hold periodic, free and fair elections, announce that any 'jews' who wish to live in Gaza or the West Bank will enjoy the same rights as Arabs in Israel - then they may find the free world would support such moves.

But all that is a lot of ifs, ya'll. And so for the present, Palestinian leaders shouldn’t be surprised that Americans find nothing in their bizarro world of 'shame' and 'honor' (that seems to be based between the legs of their sisters, daughters and wives), that even, kinda or sort of appeals to our values or sympathy.

After seeing Palestinians dancing in the streets passing out Laffy Taffy on 911, the Karine A, the Sedar Massacre, Palestinian intolerance, honor killing and gender aparthied, is it a surprise that Americans don't really blame Israel for wanting to wall themselves off from these slightly unhinged people?

The Arabs could have had peace with Israel on easy terms at any time since 1949. They have persistently refused it. The Palestinians could have had a state in the West Bank and Gaza at any time since 1967. Camp David 2000 - Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat the most favourable deal ever offered to the Palestinians. They cannot seem to get their act together. Palestine's sad, failed, goofy track record of intolerance and self inflicted misery precludes one dime of aid from democracies. Leave them to the tender mercies of their arab brothers and neighbors. It must really SUCK to be stuck in Palestine.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Tales of the Iraqi Resistance

Through September 22, 2007 approximately 19,429 insurgents/militia were reported to have been killed according to the U.S. military, including 1,309 bombers.[4]However according to the linked sources or articles 12,291 have been killed during that time period, excluding the suicide bombers. Another 2,362 have been killed since then as of March 11, 2008, excluding the bombers.
2008: 749
2007: 6,133 (according to the news sources 6,245 killed)
2006: 3,605 (according to the news sources 1,728 killed)
2005: 2,769 (according to the news sources 1,709 killed[5])
2004: 6,661 (according to the news sources 3,894 killed)
2003: 565 (according to the news sources 328 killed)
In addition as of March 16, 2008 approximately 1,464 suicide-bombers have also been reported killed, see full list.
January 2008: 26
February 2008: 29
March 2008: 21
2007: 441
2006: 297
2005: 478
2004: 140
2003 (from August to December): 32
Grand total: 16,113-21,942 insurgent dead

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Strategic Forecast #1990

Subject: Lebanon: What U.S. Warships off the Coast Do -- and Do Not -- Mean Strategic Forecasting, Inc.


At least part of the USS Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group will pause in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Lebanon and Syria during a routine deployment, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen said Feb. 28. While the ships' presence is sure to grab Syria's attention, it is not a precursor to a military strike. Rather, the United States is signaling to Syria, Iran and Hezbollah that any bold moves to impose their will on the Lebanese government or retaliate for the death of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyah could have serious repercussions.


At least a portion of the USS Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) will pause off the coast of Lebanon and Syria during a routine deployment, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen announced Feb. 28. The Nassau is set to join the USS Cole (DDG-67), and the ships will probably remain over the horizon and largely unseen from the coast (although the Nassau has a much more imposing silhouette than the Cole).

The total number of U.S. warships in the eastern Mediterranean will thus likely rise above three -- something that is sure to get Syrian President Bashar al Assad to sit upright in his seat.

U.S. naval presence off the Syrian coast could grow even more in only two weeks or so if other ships in the ESG arrive. Syria is already facing mounting pressure from multiple sides to back down on its aggressive campaign in Lebanon.

While Washington and the Gulf Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, are pressuring Syria to strike a deal over the Lebanese presidency to pull that country out of political stagnation, Israel is strongly hinting that it is preparing for a rematch with Hezbollah.

The prospect of a coordinated U.S.-Israeli military operation against Hezbollah in Lebanon is a signal to the Syria-Hezbollah-Iran axis that any bold moves to force its political demands in Lebanon or retaliate for the Feb. 12 assassination of Hezbollah top commander Imad Mughniyah will likely be met with a heavy blow to Hezbollah.

The Nassau ESG had been expected to deploy with the North Carolina-based 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), but those Marines were recently retasked for a last-minute deployment to Afghanistan. Thus, despite rumors circulating in the press, there are few if any Marines deployed with this particular ESG. In addition, various components of the ESG have left in a staggered manner, meaning that portions of the group have not yet joined up with the Nassau.

When fully assembled, the Nassau ESG will include some 2,800 sailors and will comprise: The Nassau (LHA-4), a Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship that is larger than a World War II aircraft carrier and normally carries more than 1,500 Marines and some 50 helicopters and fighter aircraft;

The Ashland (LSD-48), a dock landing ship that can carry as many as four air-cushion landing craft; The Nashville (LPD-13), an amphibious transport dockship whose sister ship, the Trenton (LPD-14), was involved in the evacuation of some 3,500 U.S. nationals from Beirut in 2006 before it was transferred to the Indian Navy in 2007; The Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser Philippine Sea (CG-58);

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers Ross (DDG-71) and Bulkeley (DDG-84), which have the same capabilities as the Cole, with the exception that the Bulkeley is a later Flight IIA variant that likely carries two helicopters; and The attack submarine Albany (SSN-753), an Improved Los Angeles class variant with 12 vertical launch tubes for Tomahawk cruise missiles (it might carry more internally).

Even without the MEU aboard, this would represent an impressive naval force unlike anything the United States has parked off the Levant in some time.

In addition to the Albany's capabilities, the surface combatants soon to arrive off the Syrian coast are equipped with Aegis, Harpoon anti-ship and Tomahawk cruise missiles, as well as 5-inch guns.

That represents the most naval hitting power currently positioned in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Air Force Eye Candy

The 376th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, flew an ALL FEMALE KC-135 Stratotanker air refueling mission over Afghanistan on Jan. 31. Early on Jan. 31, a KC-135 Stratotanker took off from Ganci Air Base, Kyrgyzstan, carrying more than 180,000 pounds of fuel and an all-female crew-both pilots, a navigator and a boom operator. The event marked the first all-female crew to fly an air refueling mission into Afghanistan from Ganci. Capt. Heather, and the boom operator, Senior Airman Lyndi, are all assigned to the 99th Air Refueling Squadron at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. They have been deployed here since Dec. 9