September 11, 2012

More Pointed Reflections on the 11th Than I Would Have Liked

The US Embassy in Cairo was stormed today and the black flag of Al-Quaeda was raised in the place of Old Glory. Our consulate in Benghazi has been stormed and burned with one of our personnel murdered.

That these savages did this on THIS DAY is no accident.

 UPDATE 9/12:This statement now is being disavowed by the President and was strongly rebuked by Secretary of State Clinton. It seems to have preceded the Benghazi attack but that is not entirely clear as everything over there is still higgly piggly. Here it is behind a spoiler tag in case the State Department memory holes it.
Ponder that..

We are still at war.
Kow-Towing to our assailants is unlikely to persuade them to leave us alone.

Den Beste has thoughts.

UPDATE 2: At our embassy in Libya, 4 personnel including Ambassador Stevens were murdered. Stevens is only the 6th US Ambassador to have been murdered on duty.

With the death of our Ambassador the President has issued a much more appropriate response.

"I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens,” Obama said. "Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.”

More here, here, here, here, and here.

This is still in a state of flux, but for what it's worth, as I type this Libya has issued a strong apology and condemnation of the attack on their soil and Egypt has said nothing.

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11 Years

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August 16, 2012

Oh Joy...

...oh wait. This isn't joy that I'm feeling...this is that other thing. It appears that Taliban forces have stormed and entered a Pakistani air-force base....but not just any base...

Worryingly, the militants may have good reason to attack the base. W.araich says that the site is home of Pakistan's nascent drone program, and a Telegraph report from 2009 said the site was thought to house Pakistan's nuclear weapons 

This report is 18 hours old as I type this but at the time it was posted the battle was apparently ongoing.

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December 16, 2011

The Mighty Hitch has Passed

   Christopher Hitchens has died. More here. (via)

   Whatever disagreements one may have had with him on matters of philosophy, there was no one who was a stronger, more articulate advocate for the value of western civilization.

   He was a great mind and he passed far too early. He was only 62.

 UPDATE: Very thoughtful missives on his passing from CDR Salamander, R.S. McCain, Michelle Malkin, and The Anchoress.

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September 11, 2011

10 Years On

10 years on Bin Laden is dead. AlQuaeda is scattered. Young girls in Afganistan go to school where they once would have gone to the soccer stadium for execution.

...and yet.

Here at home our greatest fear seems to be offending the murderers. PC Quislings ensured that no one from the clergy or first responders is going to be allowed at the place the buildings fell, for it is a secular place....except for the mosque that is to be erected.

Our oikophobic, orientalist ruling class condemns anything that might "offend". They then congratulate themselves on their sophistication and tolerance, and in their implacable ignorance expect reciprocity. What these smug provincial sophisticates cannot comprehend is that our enemies are not sophisticated, or tolerant...or even literate for the most part.

 These savages are not the Muslim dentists or professors we know who came here to escape the terror under which they once lived. Our enemies are that terror.   For 1432 years they've adhered to a creed that explicitly says to look for any signs of weakness and then attack. They do not appreciate nuances beyond signs of strength and weakness, and the signs they see are overwhelmingly of the latter. They see a people that back down and censor themselves to avoid a potential riot. They see a people that allows them to build a victory marker at the site of their greatest victory.

10 years on we pause to remember the 2,996 people who died that day.
We should also reflect on how best to remember them.
I would suggest that taking pains not to offend those who celebrate their passing is not it.

UPDATE: To wit...


The Anchoress has a roundup of links here.

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August 22, 2011

VL Day?

It looks like the rebels in Libya have overrun Tripoli.

Whatever ones thoughts on this adventure we can all rejoice that having staked our reputation on this, the US has achieved a proxy victory. Really, we ALL can come together on this  which is rare in these partisan times. The reason for this happy convergence is that those of us who thought this was a dumb idea understand that once the nation has crossed the rubicon to war then we damned well better win the thing for the good of the country. Those that don't understand this...supported this war kineticism. (Bipartisanship FTW!)

Perhaps I'm being unfair. I mean its not like there was a vote in congress or anything.

Oh well, lets call out the purple suit cheerleaders and rejoice at a NATO victory together in a bipartisan fashion. 


(Also, lets have a big bipartisan thank you to the crews of HMS Liverpool and FS Charels De Gaul. )

Galrahn has thoughts.

Update: Oh dear.

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July 22, 2011

Norwegian Parliament Bombed

ABC (US) is reporting a massive vehicle bomb has gone off at the Norwegian Parliament, destroying the PMs office. At least one person has died. No word on if the fatality was an MP.

Image via ABC News

There is video here, at Hot Air, which also reports that there are at least two other bombs that have not gone off yet.

UPDATE: Now there has been a shooting at a summer camp in Norway. Some reports indicate 25 kids may be dead.

An eyewitness told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that he saw 20 to 25 bodies at the youth camp on Utoya island where a gunman dressed in a police uniform opened fire.

Police did not immediately confirm the account, but Acting Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim said a suspect in the shooting has been arrested.

The official death toll seems to be 16 as I type this.

Utoya Island Youth Camp via Associated Press

However, many of the children reportedly tried to swim across the fjord (lake?) to shore (the camp is on an island) and reports are still confused regards a second gunman at the camp so this could get worse still.

There seems to have been a claim of responsibility made by an Islamist group though the suspect is reportedly "tall blonde and Nordic looking". It could be anyone at this point.  

More here, here, and here. Lots of pictures, most of them really depressing, over at the Sun.

UPDATE: It seems that it was a xenophobic lunatic. It looks like he acted alone, but I would not rule out at least tangential involvement of others. He left 85 dead at the youth camp alone. Posing as a cop, he called everyone out into a large area and shot them. Sick.

Note that while I am pleased I did refrain from jumping to conclusions on this one, in defense of the bloggers who were pretty sure it was islamists, the facts at the time did seem to strongly support that theory.
*There had been a claim of responsibility by a muslim group.
*There is a current issue with the arrest of a radical cleric.
*There had been threats regarding that arrest.
*This looked like Mumbai, and the African embassy bombings combined, particularly with the cop impersonation (the Mumbai killers used ambulances for transport)
*I can't think of anything like this in Europe aside from the leftist bombings of the 70's/80's.

To their credit, virtually all of those bloggers amended their coverage as soon as the facts became apparent.

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February 14, 2011

Worrisome Rumors

I agree with Instapundit. One would think this from the Daily Mail would be bigger news. As it is the best coverage seems to be in the UK at the moment.

‘So, specifically, you're looking for the dirty bomb? You're looking for the nuclear device?’ asked Mr Blacher.

‘Correct. Weapons of mass effect,’ said Mr Hallor.

‘You ever found one?’ asked Mr Blacher.

‘Not at this location,’ Mr Hallor said.

‘But they have found them?’ asked Mr Blacher.

‘Yes,’ said Mr Hallor.

While it is no surprise to me that someone has tried to sneak something really bad into the U.S. it would seem that this would get some more US coverage.

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January 08, 2011

A Very Merry Coptic Chtristmas

With all the bad happening today one very uplifting story is getting left by the wayside.

In Egypt, hundreds, perhaps thousands of Moslems, resonse to the bloody New Years Day bombing of a Coptic church are standing as human shields to protect the Coptic churches from violence during their Christmas celebrations.

Among those shields were movie stars Adel Imam and Yousra, popular preacher Amr Khaled, the two sons of President Hosni Mubarak, and thousands of citizens who have said they consider the attack one on Egypt as a whole.

“This is not about us and them,” said Dalia Mustafa, a student who attended mass at Virgin Mary Church on Maraashly. “We are one. This was an attack on Egypt as a whole, and I am standing with the Copts because the only way things will change in this country is if we come together.”

This is the most hopeful story I've seen in years.

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December 06, 2010

Wikileaks Open Thread

Any ideas?


There are several genuine computer geniuses who occasionally drop in here. I'm curious what your thoughts are on the feasibility of preventing/mitigating a future fiasco of this magnitude given the realities of technology.

Are there any realistic options?

Given that there seems to be a good deal of info unreleased and getting it back is pretty much impossible, is it feasible to somehow try and 'lance the boil' so to speak on this current catastrophe so we don't have to deal with the 'drip...drip...drip' effect while trying to conduct   all manner of delicate negotiations?

Any ideas?

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September 11, 2010

9 Years On


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September 08, 2010

Will Somebody Explain to Me

...why a lunatic preacher with less than 50 people in his flock, who is associated with Fred effing Phelps is getting worldwide media attention for an exercise in assinity.

Seriously, this is a major info war defeat for the US and it is an issue at all because it is getting coverage out of all proportion to reality.

Why did this irrelevant  asshat get so much coverage?

Allahpundit has some thoughts on the idiocy and reactions to it here.

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June 01, 2010

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

As is being reported everywhere, a boarding operation by the Israeli Navy went south yesterday.

This was a no win situation for the Israelis and a win-win for the Palestinians.

The operational realities seem to have been as follows.

The ships were carrying supplies of an uncertain nature on behalf of an NGO vehemently hostile to Israels existence to an entity (Gaza) that has been shooting rockets into Israeli schools.

This shipment had to be stopped.

Space on the ship was at a real premium.

There were 3 options to achieve this goal, sanity amongst the crew of the blockade runners, sink the vessels or board them.

Given that #1 was not going to happen, The more humane was #3. #2 is, of course, pretty much unthinkable, especially given the presence of children.

Grapnels were untenable, so the IDF chose to rappell. I've seen it suggested in various comments on this matter that water-cannons and CS gas be used to clear the deck.
Those options are NOT safe (you might end up washing people off the vessel and drown them or start a aresol fire ala' Waco. ) Again this is especially true given the fact that the NGOs had children aboard as part of their PR strategy.

Attacked by civilians with knives, rebar and guns the boarding team returned fire.  Just as I would have were I put in their situation.  Lethal force was justified by any use of force policy or Rules Of Engagement that I'm aware of.

Note that the other ships SEEM (at this time) to have been boarded without loss of life. Note too that video released seems to indicate that prior to the operation at least some of the "activists" were boasting of their willingness to achieve martyrdom if the ships did not make landfall.


What transpired seems to be the least awful option available to the IDF forces.

But it was pretty damned awful.

CDR Salamander
has thoughts, and links to this piece which gives the IDF side. Meyryl Yourish actually has some good things to say about the Obama administrations response here.

There are two long posts over at Information Dissemination here and here. I don't agree with Galrhan's premise in the later post that Israels actions were "stupid" as I see precious few other options. However, the larger points regards the need to prepare for this sort of thing are spot on.
More here, and the BBCs take is here .

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May 02, 2010

Fortuitous Ineptitude Foils Domestic Contingency Operation

 As I type this Times Square is evacuated due to an unexploded car bomb. Not much info right now other than that the bomb was incompetently fused.

 Oh...and there is no terrorism here, no sirree.

A federal official said that domestic security officials had been informed that the event did not appear to be a terrorist threat.

Idiot quote caught by Steven Den Beste

(So would this be a parking violation then?)

UPDATE: Just saw Napoliatano on FOX and she acknowledged that it was potentially terrorism.
More here here and here.
Also: Authorities just found a pipe bomb in Pittsburgh set to detonate at a marathon.

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June 09, 2009

Shell Game

    The administration is looking to pay 200 million dollars to Palau to have them resettle 17 Chinese Muslim terrorists who have been ordered to be released from Guantanamo Bay. However no one wants them except the Chinese who want to execute them (as they are allegedly members of an Islamic secessionist movement) and the Obama administration, not entirely without merit, balked at that. The solution seems to be to pawn them off on Palau and give the Palau government 200 million dollars to have 17 Islamic (former?) terrorists living in their midst.

    On a purely petty level this is amusing...the administrations solution to keeping them locked up on a tropical island is to move them to a tropical one they can move around on...but most likely never leave. On the other hand this sad tale shows the sort of no-win conundrums with no easy solutions that the President must deal with every day...just as his predecessor did for 8 years. A POTUS has to deal with the options presented him or her by the real world, and those options are usually devoid of any good choices. A President must chose the path that is least bad, both ethically and strategically and that is often a thankless task indeed.

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April 23, 2009

About That E-mail

It's the end of the semester and I'm, sick, behind on everything and broke, so there has been and will be little in the way of substantive blogging for about a week and a half. However, there is an E-mail that is circulating in the blogosphere and on talk radio that needs dealing with.

Over at Information Dissemination,  Galrahn has much to say on this. Read the whole thing.

Greyhawk ( no pinko by any means) weighs in here and notes another E-mail purporting to have the straight dope here. Again read both posts, they are thoughtful and informed.

My above my paygrade take is that criticizing the president for his handling of the pirate situation is stupid, wrong or both.

The President does not seem to have micromanaged this ala' Kennedy or Johnson. This is to be commended. Particularly given his basically statist worldview, it is a welcome development.
Much of the desperate, grasping at straws criticism seems to be aimed at the ROE, but given the nature of the problem (a hostage situation) they seem to have been pretty reasonable: ie negotiate and dont fire unless the hostage is in imminent danger....note that the results of this were 3 dead pirates, 1 captured pirate and a freed healthy hostage so if it is the RESULTS one is quibbling with...then one is an idiot.
As to the means to that end, a pitching enclosed lifeboat does not make for an easy shot and the likelyhood of the pirates simply killing the hostage if the boat was attacked was very real.
Prudence is not a vice (though timidity is).
We need to give presidents some bennefit of the doubt in these matters. The fact that the left was dreadfully unfair in their demonization of Bush, who had far worse hands dealt him than this, does not give us a liscence to lower ourselves to their level. We are at war and our president has some very awful things about to come to a head on his watch....things that have no easy solution. Like Bush, he is going to be presented with a selection of choices...all of which are going to be bad.  He needs  good faith from the loyal oposition.

Rather than act like the repugnant myrmidons of MSNBC-DNC, and try to spin an unalloyed good into a defeat.I would suggest focussing on genuinely problematic descisions that have very worrisome implications, but then I'm silly that way.

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March 30, 2009

Accidental Q-Ship


A group of Somali Pirates attacked a tanker off the horn of Africa several hours ago. This would be sad but not remarkable as the piracy in the area has been bad for years and exploded in the last few months. However the tanker they attempted to board was the FGS Spessart, a German Navy supply ship.

...and so...

The German sailors returned fire and pursued the skiff while also calling in for support. Several naval ships — including a Greek and a Dutch frigate, a Spanish warship and the USS Boxer — sped to the area while a Spanish marine aircraft and two U.S. Marine Cobra helicopters joined the pursuit.
Five hours later, Greek sailors reached the pirate skiff, boarded it and seized the seven suspects and their weapons, including assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, the Greek navy said. The suspects were disarmed and transferred for questioning to the German frigate Rheinland-Pfalz where they remain Monday, pending a decision on whether they will be legally prosecuted, Christensen said.

Wasp, meet sledgehammer.
(Hat Tip: Information Dissemination)

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December 28, 2008

A Quick Link Roundup Regards Todays Just Reciprocity

Breaking a "ceasefire" that involved around 3000 rockets landing in their towns and killing all manner of civilians ( the Palestinians particularly seemed to target schools)over the last year, Israel has hit back and hit back hard.

Very Surprising...Egypt condemned Hamas!,,and opened fire on them! (both via)

Meryl has had superb coverage all day...see here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Israellycool is liveblogging.

Richard Fernandez has more...and provides this helpful graph of the rocket attacks on Israel during the "ceasefire".

Jules Crittenden has some thoughts and analysis.

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November 28, 2008

Bombay Blitzkrieg Day 2

Thanks to ACE who provided the link to the IBN live feed.

Amongst the Indian Bloggers

UltraBrown is still blogging see here.

Retributions has updated and added several posts just scroll.

Mubai-Help is a blogspot blog set up to cover this. They have the casualty list amongst other things.

The Counter Terrorism Blog has unkind words to say about India's counter terrorism efforts here. Note though that it is early and hindsight is 20/20. There are a LOT of false alarms and once the terrorists are in the city this was a very challenging situation. Note that most of the hostage rescue operations seem to have been fairly successful, though unconfirmed reports indicate that the Aussies bore the brunt of the deaths amongst the tourists .

UPDATE: All of the Jewish hostages in the Mumbai Jewish center were killed. Damn...

As I type this IBN reports that fighting has resumed at the Jewish center.

The Captains Journal has some analysis here that is worthy of a read.
 I'm sure there will be second guessing of the Indian response. We would likely do better to apply any lessons learned.
The attack on Mumbai is exactly the sort of thing we feared for several years after Sept. 11. Now it is coming to pass.

With the possible exception of New York City, I doubt that any US city would fare appreciably better than Mumbai did if faced with a similar assault. It is only a matter of time before something very much like this happens here.

Everyone needs to give serious thought to where they sit in Jeff Coopers color coded mindset scale...mentioned here by Amanda Ripley...via

The four colors are White, Yellow, Orange and Red. If something goes horribly wrong when you are in the White state, you will fail, Cooper wrote. White is a state of relaxation and complacency. Yellow is the ideal--a state of relaxed awareness, when you are not conscious of any particular threat but you are conscious of the horizon, of what is happening around you and of the possibility that anything could happen at any time. Orange is when you are acutely aware that something is wrong, and Red is when you are in the thick of it.

Such color coding has become something of a joke of late as a result of the DHS warning system but Cooper's point is still quite valid.

No adult should be in "white" except possibly when asleep or having sex. Part of being an adult is being aware and acknowledging that there is always some risk and being willing to deal with calamities in a calm adult way when they happen.

Dr. Helen has some related thoughts here...

Be aware of your surroundings, and be aware that YOU are responsible for yourself. Sheep are led to slaughter just as easily as they are led to captivity. Don't be a sheep.
This applies to any type of calamity...not just terror attacks.
For we head into winter, how well are you prepared for 10 days without power in subfreezing weather because of an ice storm?

December 23, 1998, "The Christmas Ice Storm": A major ice storm struck central and southeast Virginia beginning on Wednesday, December 23 and lasting into Friday, December 25, Christmas Day. Icy conditions caused injuries from slips and falls and numerous vehicle accidents. Ice accumulations of up to an inch brought down trees and power lines. Outages were so widespread (400,000 customers on Christmas Eve) that some people were without power for up to ten days.

Happy Holidays gentle readers...
Semper Paratus

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November 27, 2008

Mumbai Attacked

A devastating terrorist attack has taken place in Mumbai India (Bombay). Numerous bombs have been set off, and an amphibious assault was launched from small boats. An unknown (but large) number of terrorists ran from the waterfront and stormed several hotels and transportation nodes. Over a hundred civilians are dead. It is unclear at this time if the assault was from the Ocean, Thane Creek or both.

Image Via BBC
There are reports that the terrorists were particularly targeting citizens of the UK and USA. It is unclear how sucsessful they were in his but it is obvious that they were not too discriminating and the people of Mumbai suffered terribly tonight.

More here here here and here.

The CounterTerrorism Blog, ACE and Rusty are blogging this extensively as is Allahpundit.

Indian bloggers liveblogging this include, The Khalma Bhat Show, Retributions, Youth Curry, and UltraBrown, whose last post, as I type this, was from the thick of things.

Hemant Kakare, the head of India's Counterterrorism Task force has been killed in the line of duty as has Mumbai's near legendary cop, Vijay Salaskar.

One odd bit. At least some of the terrorists were armed with Sten Guns

Though this bastard is armed with some AK variant.

The terrorists attacked the train station as well and left this in their wake...

A few thoughts.

No atom bomb, nerve gas or large airplanes appear to have been used, yet this was a devastating attack carried out by the straightforward technique of approaching the cities waterfront, getting out of the boats, running ashore and proceeding to kill people and break things.

There do seem to have been some pre-planted bombs and this required a lot of planning, but this could, in theory, wreak havoc in an American coastal city.

The US Coast Guard needs to ensure that its port state control, pollution and facilities personnel are up to date on their weapons qualifications. These personnel are the first line of defense or at least raising the alarm against an attack of this nature. Those of us on shore side, even reservists, need to be very, very aware of that.

An attack like this on any number of coastal locations on the US and its territories would likely be a suicide mission for all involved, but it would be a devastating morale hit for the nation and in certain locations could cause serious infrastructure damage. The Gulf Coast ports are much closer to  largely deserted stretches of South America, or actively hostile Venezuela than Mumbai is to Arabia or even Pakistan.

India is at war, but we are too. If as seems likely this is the work of AlQuaeda or an ideologically related group, then this is an attack on an ally by our common enemy.

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