When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Wednesday - August 05, 2020

Beruit Update

Chemical blamed for Beirut explosion under scrutiny

As Lebanese authorities blame a stock of 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate for the blast that devastated swaths of Beirut, experts have questioned why such an explosive material was stored for so long, so close to the heart of the city of more than 2m people.

The chemical compound is a cheap and effective fertiliser favoured by farmers for their winter crops, but also an explosive product and sought after ingredient for terrorist bombmakers.

Lebanese officials said the ammonium nitrate had been stored in a warehouse at Beirut port, which sits on the northern tip of the capital, in what Prime Minister Hassan Diab described as a “dangerous” warehouse for six years.

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commander of the UK’s chemical and biological weapons regiment, said a populated area was a “strange place” to store such a potent material.

Oh please. It was terrorists. Either deliberately or through stupidity, but it was still terrorists.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/05/2020 at 09:26 AM   
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calendar   Tuesday - August 04, 2020

And Beruit Blows Up Again. Twice.

Some are saying there was a fireworks warehouse right next to a bunch of grain silos.

But this is Beruit. I’m betting against this being an accident.

Damn thing looks like a little nuke. It was a multi-phase explosion, with at least two events.

Buildings destroyed, cars shattered for miles along the roads. Fires, deaths, injuries. Very bad, whatever the cause was.

A massive explosion shook Lebanon’s capital Beirut on Tuesday wounding a number of people and causing widespread damage.

The cause of the explosion remains unclear. The government has not issued an official count of injuries or casualties. The Lebanese Red Cross tweeted that more than 30 teams were responding to the scene of the blast via ambulances.

The afternoon blast shook several parts of the capital and thick smoke billowed from the city center. Residents reported windows being blown out and ceilings dropping in.

The explosion appeared to be centered around Beirut’s port and caused wide-scale destruction and shattered windows miles away.

Damage at the airport almost 7 miles away. Probably not many unbroken windows in the whole city.

Live feed here:

It’s rather impressive that the explosion was caught on so many phone cameras from so many different angles. I’m out of touch I guess; when something awful happens my first reaction is NOT to grab my phone and start recording. Checking to see if I’m dead, or if all my parts are still attached, and then the people around me, and then looking for an escape route if necessary, is my first reaction. After that, probably going to see if I can help.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/04/2020 at 11:54 AM   
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calendar   Friday - February 12, 2016

On This Day In History: February 11

1534: On what would be February 11th by the current calendar, An egotistical tyrant, murderer, lecher, and glory hound removes the right of Christian priests to appeal his decisions to Rome, effectively breaking with the Papacy and declaring himself head of the Church of England. God in Heaven, I am Protestant and I despise writing about that inflated bloodbag. The best I can say is that many of his successors exercised their powers far more responsibly than trying to stamp their names on any surface they could get their hands on. Another reason why I basically hate all the Tudors except for Elizabeth.....

1812:  The Gerrymander was born. This species of monster has been one of the great banes of liberty to have originated in the US since the fall of Britain’s military occupation over the Atlantic Seaboard. Long after North America basically tamed most of the animals that were hostile to human existence on the continent, this thing has not only remained strong but has if anything grown stronger and been exported off the continent. Bad mathematics and cartography helps to enable bad representation, which makes it a lot easier for things that are even worse to come to the fore. But whil a lot of people have heard of this term and a fair number of people know the name of the man who provided half the word Gerrymander, not many people know the detailed story behind it. Which I think is a shame, because I think knowing that story helps us understand how this mess- and other abuses- come to be. As well as how new, novel ones will be invented. These are threats to any free republic, constitution, or democracy just like the headhackers are, so I think it is worth discussing it.

The reason this day stands as the commemoration date one is because it is the anniversary of when Governor Elbridge Gerry (G’s pronounced like “G-uh") put his signature to a proposal for redistricting the state’s electoral districts to bring them into compliance with the US Constitution. That much was a fair and necessary objective for a new state in a new Republic. But as it turns out, the proposal was drafted by Gerry’s political allies (and cronies) in the Massachusetts state legislature. And- tell me if you’ve heard this before- in a few weeks the people of Massachusetts came to learn that compliance with the Constitution was not the only motive behind this particular bit of mapping. But the full story behind it, the political climate that saw it arise, and the man who penned his John Hancock to it go back years.

Gerry was one of the truly original Founding Fathers, serving on virtually every Patriot committee you could name in the Commonwealth years before the outbreak of the Revolution. He has the distinction of sending the colonial militia’s weapons stockpiles to Concord, and having the Redcoats march past him when they tried to confiscate them there. Throughout the Revolutionary War he became known for being one of the most prominent and honest suppliers of the Continental cause’s armed forces (and trust me when I say that supply was probably THE great struggle of the Revolution), but also one of the more statist for his early support of price controls. He served in the Second Continental Congress throughout the war, and was probably one of the key unsung figures in pushing the Declaration of Independence into approval.far more people know the name of this than they know the story of how it came around. Chances are, even those who know the basic story of what this strategy is and its’ first use do not know either the specifics of it, or about the man whose name forms the root of it. Governor Elbridge Gerry appended his signature to a proposal drafted by his political allies (and cronies) Massachusetts state. After the war he entered into state politics back home, and was called back for the Constitutional Convention.


Ironically given his most visible linguistic legacy, he spent most of his career suspicious of partisan politics and political parties- not unlike most of the Founders-. However, he was even more suspicious of the power of central government vis-ai-vis the local and state levels. Which is why he was one of the few delegates to reject the final draft of the Constitution, and as the party lines deepened he turned against the Hamiltonian Federalists in favor of Jefferson’s budding Democratic-Republicans. But this is also what led him to his role in this mess. Throughout the final years of the 18th century Massachusetts politics followed those of the nation at large in dividing between the two camps just as Elbridge was climbing the rungs of state politics before eventually getting into the Federal House of Representatives. But the final straw came not domestically, but overseas. He was one of the several sent as part of a commission to France, where they ran right into the infamous Talleyrand, who followed the finest traditions of the Ancien Regime by trying to make a bribe shakedown. Everybody refused as talks stalemated, but Talleyrand believed Gerry was the most pliable- or weakest- of the American mission. So he basically isolated Gerry for talks and froze out the rest. While his compatriots left for home, Gerry was kept there under threat of a war declaration if he left. Across the ocean it had already come to something like that; the correspondence of Gerry’s co-workers and continued French attacks on American shipping led to a Quasi-War, equaled by only a few similar conflicts in American history.

But “Weak link” or not, Gerry never gave in or broke when across the table with the most powerful diplomat in the world. Eventually, the French government got wind of what Talleyrand had done and called him to task for it, and once Napoleon took the reigns of power a peace was hashed out for the bitter naval war. Gerry went home unbowed, and claiming credit as the reason why there was never any declared state of war between the French and US governments through the bloody months of naval skirmishing and marine landings. He only found out when he got home that he was being branded a quisling or collaborator, mostly by the Federalists. He was accused of having been a tool of Talleyrand and was quite literally burned in effigy. Ultimately his own correspondence was published which cleared his name, but it would not clear the air. Understandably enraged at being labeled a traitor, Gerry openly declared himself for the Democratic-Republicans and the newly partisan grievances he had paved the way for the Gerrymander’s birth.

Gerry had a bit of bad luck; as the 19th century began and a Jeffersonian tide started to wash the Federalists away across the Union he had the bad luck of being resident to one fo the few states where the Federalists were actually gaining ground. Federalists dominated the governorship and legislature for the first decade of the new century, the Democratic-Republicans in the state were so divided Gerry could only count on the support of some of them, and just as the political troubles were mounting his brother’s financial malfeasance meant that Gerry had to guarantee a loan. It would wind up ruining him financially for the rest of his life, and so he stood out of politics. But then in 1810, he stood for election as Governor against the sitting Federalist. After a bitter and nasty fight that aired old laundry and personal accusations, he triumphed. For the first term in office, Gerry ruled as Governor with a Federalist state legislature and judiciary. So he kept his head down and charted a moderate course. But when he faced a rematch for the Governor’s seat the next year, he won again and saw a legislature dominated by fellow Dem-Reps be sworn in. Now he had a far freer hand, and he decided to use it in a way that we are still paying for.

See More Below The Fold

Posted by Turtler   United States  on 02/12/2016 at 02:37 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - September 30, 2015

Well Done Barry

Another Proxy War?

Putin’s Soviet Re-Union Launches Pro-Assad Airstrikes In Syria

Tells USA Yankee Go Home

Russian warplanes have begun bombarding Syrian opposition targets in the war-torn nation’s north, working on behalf of dictator Bashar al-Assad, according to a senior military official.

The official said airstrikes targeted fighters in the vicinity of Homs, located roughly 60 miles east of a Russian naval facility in Tartus, and were carried out by a “couple” of Russian bombers. The strikes hit targets in Homs and Hama, but there are no presence of ISIS in those areas, a senior U.S. defense official said. These planes are hitting areas where Free Syrian Army and other anti-Assad groups are located, the official said.

The development came after Pentagon officials brushed aside an official request from Russia to clear air space over northern Syria, where Moscow intends to conduct airstrikes against ISIS on behalf of Assad, according to sources who spoke to Fox News.

The request was made by a Russian three-star general who spoke with U.S. officials at the American Embassy in Baghdad, sources said. The general, who was not identified, used the word “please” when delivering the verbal request, known as a “demarche,” according to the written transcript of the exchange.

“If you have forces in the area we request they leave,” the general said.

A senior Pentagon official said the U.S., which also has been conducting airstrikes against ISIS, but does not support Assad, said the request was not honored.

The move by Moscow marks a major escalation in ongoing tensions between the two countries over military action in the war-torn country and comes moments after Russian lawmakers formally approved a request from the country’s president, Vladimir Putin, to authorize the use of troops in Syria. Putin said previously that Russia would strike ISIS targets.

The Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, discussed Putin’s request for the authorization behind the closed doors. Sergei Ivanov, chief of Putin’s administration, said in televised remarks that the parliament voted unanimously to approve the request.

Ivanov said the authorization is necessary “not in order to achieve some foreign policy goals” but “in order to defend Russia’s national interests.”


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/30/2015 at 09:13 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - July 08, 2015

Custer Had Better Odds

US Spending Vast Fortune To Train Syrians To Fight ISIS

Obama’s plan was to start out with 5,000 recruits per year. And then ramp up from there.

Problem is, nobody brought the ramp. So how many Syrians are we actually training? 60.

60 thousand? 6 thousand? No. Just 60. Five dozen.

Ouch. Such a plan. You sure can tell Obama’s in it to win it.

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter confessed In testimony before the Senate armed services committee on Tuesday that the Pentagon is training only around 60 Syrian rebels in the fight against ISIS, a number “much smaller than was hoped for at this point,” The Guardian reported.

This number is significantly lower than the number of soldiers the Pentagon had announced in 2014 that it intended on training. They had initially proposed a training program consisting of 5,000 soldiers per year over a period of three years.

In response, the Obama administration explained that the low number was due to the rigorous selection process, which narrows the pool of new recruits. Selection first involves a screening program which ensures that the potential fighters have no history of atrocities and are willing to campaign in a way which complies with the laws of armed conflict.

“We know this program is essential. We need a partner on the ground in Syria to assure ISIS’ lasting defeat,” Carter reiterated.

Carter’s statements were made during a hearing in which Republican senators questioned the Obama administration’s Middle East policies.

Right. No wonder. Against the most evil and atrocious fighting force the world has seen since the Nazis, you’re forcing these guys to play by Marquess of Queensbury rules, in a land where fair play, compassion, and military honor are all seen as weaknesses.  Hey, how brilliant is that?

The president, says John McCain, is delusional:

“President Obama’s comments today reveal the disturbing degree of self-delusion that characterizes the Administration’s campaign,” McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement. “None of the so-called progress that the President cited suggests that we are on a path to success, and when you are not winning in warfare, you are losing.”

His remarks come after Obama was briefed by top defense officials, including Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey. Obama spoke at the Pentagon, providing an update on the U.S. and global campaign to defeat the terrorist organization.

“This will not be quick. This is a long-term campaign. ISIL is opportunistic, and it is nimble,” the president said. “Our mission to destroy ISIL and to keep our country safe will be difficult; it will take time. There will be setbacks as well as progress.”

John McCain is wrong, as he so often is. Obama is NOT delusional. He’s illusional. He wants to make it look like he’s fighting ISIS and all the other factions of loonies over in sandland, but all he’s really doing, at best, is kicking the old can on down the road. Let somebody else deal with it once he’s finished  playing golf   being emperor  pretending to be  present  president. Right, president. At worst, and arguably, he’s just a sham who is enabling his jizzlamic pals as fast as he can.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/08/2015 at 10:31 AM   
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calendar   Thursday - March 26, 2015

Decisive Storm

Camel Fight!!*

Arab Coalition Engages Yemen Rebels


Gee, maybe the Saudis are getting tired of all their neighbors having wars and revolutions (all driven by Iran) all the time. Click pic for a huge version.

Saudi Arabia deployed 100 fighter jets, 150,000 soldiers and other navy units on Thursday, after it launched its operation against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

The Saudi aerial deployment enabled the Royal Saudi Air Force to take control of Yemen’s airspace early Thursday.

Reports also emerged that top Houthi leadership Abdulkhaliq al-Houthi, Yousuf al-Madani, and Yousuf al-Fishi were killed, and head of the Revolutionary Committee for the Houthis, Mohammed Ali al-Hothi, was wounded.

Saudi allies including its Gulf counterparts - except Oman - also showcased their military power to curb the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels from reaching Aden to dislodge Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who remained in the southern city.

The Gulf nations said they decided to “repel Houthi aggression” in neighboring Yemen, following a request from the country’s President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

In their joint statement Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait said they “decided to repel Houthi militias, al-Qaeda and ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] in the country.”

The Gulf states warned that the Houthi coup in Yemen represented a “major threat” to the region’s stability.

The UAE contributed 30 fighter jets, Bahrain 15, Kuwaiti 15, Qatar 10 and Jordan 6 in the operation.

On Thursday, Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan and Sudan also expressed their readiness to participate on the ground in Yemen.

The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition opposition group said it backed the Saudi operation and voiced its support to Hadi as Yemen’s “legitimate” leader.

The campaign has also received the backing of the U.S..

The White House on Wednesday said Washington is coordinating closely with Saudi Arabia and regional allies in the campaign, providing intelligence and logistical support.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/26/2015 at 03:48 AM   
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calendar   Thursday - February 05, 2015

King Bad Ass

Jordan’s King Leads Air Strikes Against ISIS


And you thought Putin was macho? King Abdullah friggin’ pegs the manli-meter. Strikes take out at least 55 ISIS creeps including some delusional leader.

The US-led coalition against Islamic State was under increased pressure last night as the King of Jordan pledged to avenge the brutal murder of one of his pilots.

King Abdullah, a strong ally of Washington and London, had personally taken the decision to take part in controversial air strikes in neighbouring Syria that led to First Lieutenant Moaz al-Kasasbeh being burned to death.

But some Jordanians say they have already paid too high a price to support America’s military operations in the region and have questioned the king’s approach and their role in the coalition.

It is estimated that some 1,500 Jordanians are already fighting with jihadi groups such as ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and there is concern that long-term participation in the coalition will fuel extremism.

Significantly, it emerged yesterday that the United Arab Emirates, one of four Arab nations in the anti-ISIS coalition, had already stopped air strikes and would not resume them until improvements were made to contingency plans to rescue downed pilots.

The king promised a ‘relentless’ operation against ISIS in a defiant speech last night in response to the murder of its pilot, whose F-16 fighter crashed in December over the jihadi Syrian headquarters in Raqqa.

Speaking on state television, he said: ‘We are waging this war to protect our faith, our values and human principles, and our war for their sake will be relentless and will hit them in their own ground.’

Jordanian Author Waleed Abu Nada Tweeted on Wednesday afternoon, “Local reports here in Jordan say that King Abdullah will personally fly and lead the airstrikes against ISIS tomorrow.”

Middle East commentator Joseph Braude wrote on Twitter: “Reports that Jordanian King Abdullah, himself a pilot, will fly sorties on ISIS targets.”

Before assuming the throne, Abullah II was a Major General in charge of Jordanian Special Forces. Abdullah is also certified as a Cobra Attack Helicopter Pilot. In 1980, he joined the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the British Army.

Jordanian air strikes on Wednesday neutralized at least 55 Islamic State jihadists, including a top Islamic State commander who was known as the “Prince of Nineveh,” according to reports.

That is seriously bad ass.

Many heads of states around the world have paid lip service to fighting jihadists and standing against the monsters of ISIS. King Abdullah is walking the talk.

The King addressed members of the U.S. Congress yesterday, and reportedly quoted Clint Eastwood from his film Unforgiven in declaring his resolve to avenge his pilot’s savage murder on ISIS:

Hunter would not say which part of “Unforgiven” the king quoted, but noted it was where Eastwood’s character describes how he is going to deliver his retribution. There is a scene in the picture in which Eastwood’s character, William Munny, says, “Any man I see out there, I’m gonna kill him. Any son of a bitch takes a shot at me, I’m not only going to kill him, I’m going to kill his wife and all his friends and burn his damn house down.“

This man is seriously pissed, and determined to avenge his pilot’s savage death.

King Bad Ass also rides a big hog, and has a red hot wife, Queen Rania, who isn’t having any of that dress in a bag bullshit.


Jordanian fighter pilots carried out devastating sorties against ISIS early Thursday, making good on their king’s vow of vengeance for the horrific burning death of a captured airman—whose hometown the jets buzzed triumphantly after the mission.

Reports from the Middle East said the latest strikes killed 55 members of ISIS, including a senior commander known as the “Prince of Nineveh.” Jordanian state-run media did not specify where the strikes took place. They came a day after King Abdullah stepped up his angry rhetoric at the terrorist army in neighboring Iraq and Syria following the horrific death of Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, who was burned alive in a cage in a shocking atrocity caught on a videotape released by Islamic State on Tuesday.

“The blood of martyr Muath al-Kaseasbeh will not be in vain and the response of Jordan and its army after what happened to our dear son will be severe,” said King Abdullah in a statement released by the royal court on Wednesday. A day earlier, he told U.S. lawmakers in Washington, where he had been on a diplomatic mission when the video was released, that Jordan would fight Islamic State until it ran “out of fuel and bullets.”


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/05/2015 at 04:43 PM   
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calendar   Thursday - August 28, 2014

One Step Closer

Looks like Obama’s plan for world islamic domination is getting one step closer.

And if you don’t think it’s his plan, well then, please speak up, as I see nothing, ever, whatsoever, to lead me to believe otherwise. And I desperately want to believe otherwise.

Yeah, so now the friggin crazy-ass mullahs over in Iran are openly bragging that they’re shipping arms to the Palestinians and other terrorist groups in the area.

Infidel Dogs! Didn’t they used to at least try to hide this stuff? Bury some RPGs on some camel salt caravan, or a few cases of missiles under the anchovies on some N. Korean fishing boat?

See the thing is, with ISIS controlling northern Iraq, which borders Iran, and then controlling central Syria westwards at least to Aleppo ... they’ve got a clear path. From Iran to the Mediterranean. Or further south down through Syria nearly to the border with Israel.

So they don’t have to hide any longer.  Why bother to smuggle when you can do it right out in the open?

WTF, it’s not like the Americans are going to do anything.

Strong horse, weak horse, indecisive golf junkie dickless halfrican dead horse. Bin Laden was right.

Iran Begins Arming Palestinian Terrorists

Promises ‘the annihilation of the Zionist regime’
Iranian military leaders say that they have begun weapons deliveries to Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank and elsewhere in the region after months of promising increased military support for Israel’s enemies, according to regional reports.

A top Iranian military commander confirmed that weapon shipments to the West Bank have already begun and that more will be sent to other “Palestinian resistance groups.”

“Arming the West Bank has started and weapons will be supplied to the people of this region,” Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of Iran’s volunteer Basij force told the state-run Fars News Agency on Wednesday.

The announcement was made after weeks of inflammatory statements from Iranian leaders threatening war on Israel and promising to rearm Palestinian militants such as Hamas so that they can continue their war on the Jewish state.

Better yet, why bother to drive when you can fly? ISIS now has an airport in Syria, having captured a fighter base (map 35.758310, 38.550760). This gives them a dual runway 9,842 feet long, big enough for 747s to take off and land

The Islamic State released photographs that document its recent takeover of the Syrian Air Force’s base in Tabqa in Raqqah province.

The photographs, which were published yesterday on the Internet, show the aftermath of the Islamic State’s latest conquest against the Syrian military. Islamic State fighters overran the Tabqa airbase last weekend. Tabqa was the last bastion for Syrian military forces in Raqqah province, which is now fully under the control of the Islamic State. .

Naturally, all the Syrian troops who surrendered have been executed. The airbase is about halfway to Aleppo, just east of the big reservoir. ISIS controls the lakes, waterways and the highways from Aleppo in north western Syria to the foothills of the mountains south east of Baghdad. And while learned institutions like the New York Times may consider this a “hollow victory”, in the Big Empty of SandLand, the highways and the rivers are where all the people are, all the food, and all the commerce. The rest is just empty. Dust in the wind. Ok, some oil wells and stuff. But not many people.

The points here are a) they have their own airport now, b) they defeated the Syrian air force. So who will stop the Iranian weapons coming in at a furious rate? Obama? Don’t hold your breath. This is what he wants.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/28/2014 at 11:29 PM   
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calendar   Friday - August 15, 2014

Syrian WMD Destroyed

Hey, remember Syria?

Remember how there’s this massive civil war going on there, with tens of thousands of casualties, all sorts of horrific war crimes being done by both sides, Obama’s Red Lines, and Syria’s “possible” use of poison gas? Remember how the whole world, with the help of the Russians, was going to neutralize the stockpiles of Assad’s chemical weapons? (the ones that didn’t come from Saddam Hussein, wink wink, nudge nudge??)

Well, progress is being made. At sea. So far, 581 tons of precursor chemicals used to make mustard gas have been destroyed. ( OMG. Can you imagine the size of the killing field that nearly 600 tons of poison gas would make?? ) Under the watchful eye of a multinational naval task force that includes the British frigate HMS Montrose, several Scandinavian cargo ships have shuttled the evil stuff to the American ship MV Cape Ray. Cape Ray is a 650’, 37 year old RO/RO container ship, now owned by the US Navy and currently modified as a chemical disposal factory, and is doing the job at a well guarded and undisclosed location somewhere at sea in the Mediterranean. 

And those 581 tons? That’s not even 75% of the overall stockpile. The Cape Ray has 269 shipping containers full of the crap on board. But progress is being made, and the story of putting a chemical hydrolysis plant on a ship and getting it halfway round the world is actually quite heroic.


MV Cape Ray

[ April 10, 2014 ] The MV Cape Ray left for the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro to retrieve an estimated 560 tons of mustard blister agent and other materials extracted from Syria’s war-fractured territory. The move took place two days after President Bashar Assad’s regime delivered the last of its declared chemical-warfare stockpile into international custody, enabling the commencement of a destruction operation slated to take place in the Mediterranean Sea.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2014 – Specialists on the U.S. container ship M/V Cape Ray continue their work in the Mediterranean Sea, neutralizing chemical materials from Syria and contributing to what the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW, on August 7 confirmed as the destruction of 74.2 percent of Syria’s chemical stockpile.

U.S. military and civilian specialists aboard the ship began using the field deployable hydrolysis system to neutralize Syrian chemical materials on July 7, Director of Pentagon Press Operations Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters at the time, anticipating that it would take about 60 days to complete the job.

On August 5 at the Aberdeen Proving Ground-Edgewood Team CBRNE capabilities showcase, Adam Baker, a chemical engineer and project manager with the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, detailed the hard work that went into turning a land-based hydrolysis system into a field-deployable system in just five months.

“We had a gap in capabilities for a system that was transportable, that could be operated out of a remote location and that would [process] bulk liquid agent at high throughputs.”

The system had to be able to be transported to a remote site and set up and be sufficient with a supply of reagents and diesel fuel, Baker explained. The project was given the go-ahead in February 2013. In November 2013, he said, “That’s when they made the decision to start putting it on the Cape Ray.”

The timeline was short, Baker said, and they couldn’t start from scratch with a new system, so they used a process from the former Aberdeen Chemical Demilitarization Facility, or ABCDF, that had been used a decade ago to neutralize 1,700 tons of mustard – part of the destruction of the United States’ own chemical stockpile.

The entire Syrian stockpile of precursors required to make sarin gas has been destroyed by US experts on board a US neutralizer ship, Pentagon officials have confirmed.

“I am pleased to announce that the crew aboard Cape Ray has completed neutralization of 100 percent of the sarin precursor aboard the ship, which amounts to about 581 metric tons neutralized,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said.

Warren added the Cape Ray crew are now in the process of neutralizing 19.8 tons of sulfur mustard and should be completed by the end of August.

Syria agreed to the destruction of its chemical weapons through a US-Russia brokered deal last September. The decision was sparked by a deadly sarin gas attack in August 21 near Damascus that killed hundreds of people. The West blamed President Bashar Assad forces for it, while Damascus accused the rebels of committing that terror act as a provocation.

So, some good news for a change. Go Navy.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/15/2014 at 08:02 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - July 30, 2014

Fighting In Libya??

Funny, I must have missed this. I thought the battles in Libya were long over. Guess not.

Islamist forces overrun Benghazi army base after battle

Islamist fighters and militants overran a major Libyan army base in the eastern city of Benghazi on Tuesday after a fierce battle involving rockets and warplanes in which at least 30 people were killed.

Special forces troops had to abandon their main camp in southeast Benghazi after coming under sustained attack from a coalition of Islamist fighters and militias, military officials and residents said.

“We have withdrawn from the army base after heavy shelling,” Saiqa Special Forces official Fadel Al-Hassi told Reuters.
A special forces spokesman confirmed Islamist fighters had taken over the base.

With Wacky Gaddaffy gone, who is running the place? And if he’s gone, that means the rebels won, right? So who the heck is fighting??? Aren’t the rebels now the government? So do the rebels have rebels? Rebel rebels? Do they tear their dresses? Rebel rebels? Are their faces a mess? WTH Libya, WTH.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/30/2014 at 10:42 PM   
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calendar   Wednesday - April 23, 2014

nothing new really



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/23/2014 at 03:16 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - April 16, 2014

keep your revolution at home

UPDATE: In that corner of the world, there is almost always more to the story than what you see at first ...

The Royal Jordanian Air force strike Wednesday, April 16, against a combat vehicle convoy from Syria destroyed an Al Qaeda raider force on its way to attack US military targets in the kingdom, debkafile’s military sources reveal. Jordan’s first assault on a target outside the country took place on the Syrian side of the border opposite the eastern town of Ruwaished.
This episode brought to the fore how dramatically the threat al Qaeda-Iraq poses to Jordan, the US forces based their and Israel has escalated.
Amman has not disclosed where the air strike took place, who rode in the destroyed armored vehicles and where they came from.

According to debkafile’s counterterrorism sources, they were driven by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) fighters, coming from the western Iraqi province of Anbar. To avoid running into Jordanian military formations around Ruwaished, the group moved through Syria in the Abu Kemal region and, after refueling and collecting extra fighters and arms, turned south and aimed for the Jordanian border, where their expedition was abruptly brought to a close.

Our intelligence sources report that their target was a secret US-Jordanian training facility situated west of Ruwaished, where Iraqi army troops are being instructed in advanced counter terror combat tactics.

The Jordanians don’t say how they knew the ISIS vehicle convoy was heading their way. It stands to reason that US or Jordanian surveillance aircraft detected the vehicles on the move. Since there was no time to drop Jordanian commandos to apprehend the terrorists in Syria before they crossed the border, it was decided in a hurried conference between Amman and Washington to send the Jordanian air force into action.

Horry clap.  It would be easy enough to “prove” this if larger pictures were available of the airstrike results. But so far all I can find is the one or two pics of that single burning gray pickup truck. OTOH, how would you or I be able to tell ISIS from Eskimos? OTTH, a whole pile of dead raggies with guns, and the remains of big guns alongside the remains of numerous vehicles, would lend credence to this claim from (the usually very well informed) Debka Files folks.


The whole story in 3 pictures, mostly kinda ...


Syrian Rebel Gun Truck


Jordanian fighter jets


Distinct lack of Syrian Rebel Gun Truck

Jordanian warplanes hit and destroyed several vehicles trying to cross the border from Syria, a government spokesman said on Wednesday, underlining Amman’s concern about incursions from areas controlled by Syrian rebels.

“There was an attempt to infiltrate across the border from Syria by a number of vehicles,” said spokesman Mohammad al-Momani, also a cabinet minister, told Reuters.

A Jordanian security source said the targets were Syrian rebels in civilian cars mounted with machine guns.

It was unclear whether rebels who have dominated swathes of territory along Syria’s southern border with Jordan might have been seeking refuge inside Jordan from fighting with President Bashar al-Assad’s forces that has raged in the region.

Momani said the kingdom was increasingly worried about infiltration from Syria. “We are worried about cases of infiltration ... and reports that talk about armed groups that are close to the border and the absence of security there.”

The Syrian state news agency SANA said no Syrian vehicles were involved in the incident. ”What was targeted by the Jordanian air force does not belong to the Syrian army,” a military source was quoted by SANA as saying.

“There was an attempt to infiltrate across the border from Syria by a number of vehicles,” said Jordanian government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani, also a cabinet minister.

A Jordanian army statement said the incident took place at around 10:30 a.m. when several camouflaged vehicles attempted to traverse rugged frontier terrain and disregarded warnings not to proceed.

Amman has tightened controls along the 370-km (230 mile) border to try to prevent Jordanian Islamist militants who have joined the rebels from crossing back into Jordan. They are seen as a domestic security threat.

Unlike Syria’s other main neighbours Turkey, which has given rebels a safe haven, and Lebanon, whose border has been breached with impunity by combatants, U.S.-allied Jordan has prevented any free flow of arms or fighters over its frontier.

Momani said the kingdom was increasingly worried about incursions from Syria. “We are worried about cases of infiltration ... and reports that talk about armed groups that are close to the border and the absence of security there.”

Western diplomats say Jordan has been granted hundreds of millions of dollars from Washington in the past two years to beef up its boundaries with Syria. Amman has constructed scores of observation towers with the latest surveillance equipment.

Funny, I don’t hear anyone at all in the Western press crying about collateral damage or civilians being targeted. And these guys could have maybe been seeking asylum. Maybe.



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/16/2014 at 09:03 PM   
Filed Under: • Middle-East •  
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calendar   Friday - April 11, 2014

Wonder What They Aren’t Telling Us Here?

UK: Hammer Attack Mauls 3

Gun control. Knife control. Now what, hammer control?
This is one of those news stories from the UK where the criminals seem to have more rights to privacy than the victims, so maybe you’ve got to read between the lines carefully.

[ Monday, The Cumberland Hotel, Mayfair district of London, right outside of Hyde Park. One of the very toniest corners of town ] A woman is critically ill and two others suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries after an intruder attacked them with a hammer at a London hotel.

The three women, all in their 30s and from the United Arab Emirates, suffered head and facial injuries during the attack at the Cumberland hotel in Mayfair early on Sunday, the Metropolitan police said. They are treating it as attempted murder.

Officers were called at 1.50am. They believe a man entered a guest bedroom on the seventh floor of the building where the three women and three children were sleeping in adjoining rooms.

It is understood that the three women, who are all from the United Arab Emirates, had deliberately left their door unlocked because they were staying in the hotel as part of a large family group.  They were sleeping with three children, who were unharmed, in two adjoining rooms.

The wealthy family, who had come to London for shopping and sightseeing, arrived in the UK between April 3 and 5 and the women had visited large West End stores on Saturday. No keys were stolen from the hotel and police said there had been no breach of security at the venue. Detectives are scouring CCTV to establish the movements of both the women and their attacker earlier in the day.  The Cumberland Hotel is near Europe’s busiest shopping street, Oxford Street, and has 1,000 rooms including a Jimi Hendrix suite.

[ Wednesday ] Police investigating a hammer attack on three female tourists in an upmarket London hotel arrested four people last night.

The women - all from the United Arab Emirates - were attacked at the four-star Cumberland Hotel yards from Oxford Street on Sunday night.

The assault in the 1,000-bedroom hotel has left Khalood Al Muhairi, 36, fighting for her life. She is said to be in an induced coma.

Her sisters Fatimah Al Muhairi, 31, and 34-year-old Ohoud Al Muhairi are recovering at a London hospital.

Police investigating the attack arrested three men aged 56, 34 and 32 in Islington, north London, on suspicion of attempted murder and a 31-year-old woman on suspicion of handling stolen goods.

[ Thursday ] A fifth person was arrested on Thursday by detectives investigating the hammer attack on three Emirati sisters in their London hotel room.

Jaffar Nasser Al Najjar, the 70-year-old father of the three women, spoke to The National earlier this week saying he had been left devastated. “My heart is broken to a million pieces and I can’t do anything except to pray that they return safely,” he said.

The British ambassador to the UAE Dominic Jermey said: “After such an appalling incident, our hearts go out to the victims and their families. This is a terrible time for them and I know that all of us from the British community here in the UAE are deeply saddened at the injuries they have suffered.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/11/2014 at 10:47 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimeMiddle-EastmuslimsUK •  
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calendar   Friday - December 13, 2013

More Waste in Shitholitstan

Air Force Wastes HALF A BILLION (or lots more!) In Afghanistan

Buys Planes Nobody Wants, That Don’t Fly, No Parts, No Pilots


Why are we buying Afghanistan an air force? Even if it’s a transport force. If they want one, let them buy it. Besides, they’ll only use it to ship heroin and bomb each other.

Somehow I’m feeling a fuckup like this is no accident. What do you think, Yossarian?

Probe launched over $500M spent on Afghanistan planes now sitting idle

The U.S. military spent nearly a half-billion dollars on providing refurbished aircraft to the Afghan Air Force, only to abandon the contract and leave the planes collecting dust on airfields in Kabul and Germany.

With the planes potentially heading for the trash heap of the Afghanistan war, the chief military watchdog overseeing Afghanistan spending is launching a review into the terminated program.

“I’m very troubled with the fact we may have wasted a half-billion dollars on planes that don’t work, will never be flown and will probably be scrapped,” Special Inspector General John F. Sopko told in a statement. “We intend to get to the bottom of this and hold people accountable.”


He recently reopened an investigation into a $34 million military facility in southwestern Afghanistan that he’s described as entirely unnecessary.

The story of the G222 aircraft program bares similar themes.

According to the inspector general’s office, the Defense Department in 2008 launched a program to give 20 G222s (C-27A)—military transport aircraft built in Italy—to the Afghans. The department contracted with Alenia Aermacchi North America.

But despite spending at least $486 million on the program, officials determined that those in charge did a poor job getting the spare parts needed to keep the planes working.

Further, a Pentagon watchdog reported that the planes flew only 234 of the 4,500 “required hours” between January and September of last year, and another $200 million potentially would be needed to buy the outstanding spare parts. Some of those parts were described as “unavailable.”

In December 2012, the Air Force ended the contract. Several months later, officials ended the program altogether and opted to go with an “alternate aircraft” in the long term.

Funny that the Air Force would do such a thing. They themselves flew this plan in South America in the 90s, doing drug interdiction and aid delivery, and then dumped the plane because of maintenance and parts availability issues. So it seems pretty odd they’d get behind a plan to spend tons of money to buy these dogs for somebody else, just 8 years after their own decade long negative experience ended.

The C-27a/G222 was originally a contender for the Air Force’s push to replace the smaller, slower C-7 Caribou of the Vietnam era with something that could fly twice as fast with twice the cargo, yet fit the same physical footprint and use the same short, rough, back country runways.  No surprise: most of the specs could be met, but they couldn’t fly STOL with a plane of double the mass and the same wing size. So, FAIL. But it was a decent little airplane under regular circumstances, so I guess a bunch got bought anyway.

Also, it’s a bit interesting that a probe is being opened now: the program started up in 2007 or earlier, $348 million was spent back in 2008, 5 years ago, to buy the planes. When the program was canceled back in January it appeared that a dozen planes had been reconfigured and sent to Afghanistan, including 2 rigged up as VIP craft (gotta spoil the tinpot dictators, right?), when the Air Force only had requirements for 6. Of course, that same article says $600 million had been spent (nearly a year ago), $114 million more than this new investigation is looking at, yet even then, another $60 million was needed to keep things running smoothly.

Around $600 million has now been spent on the program, and the industry official believes that spending another $60 million would ensure the type’s continued operation. This would cost less than introducing a new type such as the C-130, according to the industry official, who says such a move would require the retraining of personnel on a more complex system.
The NATO Training Mission and the Air Force will suspend C-27A flight operations in Afghanistan in the coming weeks, but no decision has been made on the final disposition of the aircraft and the associated support equipment and spare parts.

Let’s just pour out a billion to give a cargo air force to a bunch of primitive nomad dope smugglers. Or 3/4 billion. Whatever. Who cares? It’s only taxpayer’s money. It’s not like the military or the administration is accountable, no matter who is at the helm.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/13/2013 at 12:16 PM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentCorruption and GreedMiddle-EastMilitary •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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