Thoughts on the News
"Terrorist War" 2003
14Dec. Saddam captured.
28Nov. U.S.-Led Coalition Distributes 200,000 Radios to Afghans.
This is the smartest thing
done so far to address the hearts and mind and to contribute towards bringing
a tribal society into the Twentieth Century. Two thoughts: The radios are operated
by a crank -- good for nighttime listening, but why not multi-powered that includes
solar, rather freely available, but requires rechargeable batteries. Even at higher
cost this might be worth it to allow the radio to play all day without cranking every
few hours. Second, we can hope that a full range of favorable news and education are being offered by Mil or VOA programming. Now, how about Iraq?
15 Dec. Sailors must request reenlistment authorization from the Navy.
08 Dec. The Navy announced plans this week to release from active duty approximately 400 junior officers with less than five years of commissioned service. Ten battle force ships have be decommissioned this year, while only three new construction were added. In addition, fleet auxiliary ships are being converted to civilian crews.
05 Dec. The Army has agreed to ban the use of artillery shells and mortars when soldiers resume live-fire training at Makua Valley, Hawaii, next week in preparation for their pending deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, preservation groups and military officials announced Thursday.
01 Dec. A new hazardous duty incentive pay (HDIP) for sailors assigned to Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) teams retroactive to Jan. 1, 2002. For some qualifying Sailors, it means two years worth of back pay. The pay recognizes the hazardous nature maritime interdiction operations, homeland security....
21 Nov. The Navy is close to finalizing a decision to cut 10,000 sailors from its end strength over the next five-year budget plan. The savings will be used to further modernize the fleet. [The Navy is also replacing the Military Sealift Command with civilian
manning. The civilian manned ships are prefixed with USNS whereas Navy manned ships are USS. Is this cost savings or cost hiding?]
The Naval Reserve Force has authorized telecommuting as an appropriate means of performing inactive duty training (IDT) -- allowing many Reservists an alternative to long hours of travel.
The Navy plans to study the environmental impact of extending three underwater testing ranges used by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center off Washington state.
A legal settlement results in additional protection for streamside habitats in parts of Camp Pendleton, essential to the survival of endangered steelhead trout.
The Navy released a final environmental impact statement for the introduction of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet to the east coast of the United States.
March 23. Hitler advanced 75 divisions across the Low Countries and France while fighting against entrenched defenses of Belgium, Holland, France, and a British Expeditionary Force. The stiffly opposed Wehrmacht, with horse drawn artillery, took ten days to reach the coast at almost half a mile an hour. In 1941, the leading elements of the British 7th Armored in North Africa moved 170 miles in 36 hours to surround the Italians at almost 5 mph.
Sixty-two years later, our fully mechanized division, unopposed, in open dessert, with overhead observation, jet attack planes, rocket firing helicopters, are "racing" at about 3 miles an hour.
In a future war, the enemy will be confused about when to expect us to arrive.
March 22. Cruise missiles are attacking targets with clear space around them to reduce the chance of collateral damage. Why
waste precision weapons on open targets? Gravity bombs could do the job. Reserve the unmanned weapons to take out anti-aircraft
control sites and use precision weapons for those command posts intentionally build next to hospitals and sympathetic civilian sites.
The difference in press value of ten dead or 100 is not significant compared to the advances in precision since 100 thousand civilians were killed at Dresden. How many serviceman's lives, and
all types of lives by extending the duration of the war?
March 21. I acquiesced to this war as an occupation, rather than an
event of great destruction. The lack of "shock and awe" is a good
thing. That is to everyone but the press who is claiming foul. "I promised fireworks for viewers; this is a wimpy advance. There no battles that can be turned into stories of fowl ups, atrocities and friendly fire. And not enough friendly and civilian death counts." Self-centered news pieces of reporters having to put on and take of gas masks is the big news. Meanwhile NPR is giving equal time to peace activists who could as well protest excessive snow in the mountains. A local radio station received a cell-call saying he had just driven through a ten-mile stretch with people waving American flags. Another caller explained it was a send-off of the local reserve group. No national coverage of such grass roots outpouring.
March 20. The borders are crossed on time while negotiations are made for surrender of Iraqi divisions. Generals must be given a show of overwhelming force before they can honorably surrender.
March 19. Surgical strike at Saddam, an opportunity too good to overlook. Changes entire war plan.
March 14. How the War might be Fought contrasted with How it Actually was Fought.
March 13. "TOKYO — Japan has sent a battleship to the Sea of Japan,
the Defense Agency said Thursday." "The US is returning its spy planes over the coast of North." Obviously both statements contain
errors. Japan once built the largest battleships in the world, but
no longer has any warships larger than a destroyer. The USAF reconnaissance missions are flown 125 miles off the coast of N.Korea,
not over their territory. Such errors are caused by uninformed news-kids, uninformed either from shear youth, brought up in a peacetime
world and non-military tradition with little knowledge of history or its terms ; or lack of interest, or both. In addition to uninformed facts, one must
be wary of emotionally charged terms that are slipped into the news
by these same people and others in the media with an anti-military agenda who compare the price of an aircraft carrier with the number of children that could be feed a free-lunch program.
March 11. "American aircraft have been dropping leaflets urging the Iraqi military not to resist. But the allied forces have yet to spell out the precise procedures the Iraqis should adopt if they wish to avoid a confrontation -- detailing the procedures too soon would allow Saddam's forces to use them to dupe and ambush American and British troops."
Fabulous. However, remember that an Iraqi tank
column advanced on Kuwait in 1991 with their guns facing rearward,
the common symbol of non-combat, and thereby avoided air attack ;
it was up to unsupported ground forces to defeat them.
March 10. "The Korean People's Navy (KPN) conducted its second test in two weeks of an anti-ship cruise missile." This is no doubt intended as a warning to the US fleet(s) that might redeploy to the
area before summer. USAF reconnaissance planes are trying to find
the launch sites.
March 5. "U.S. Repositions Bombers Near North Korea". Does anyone remember that forward deployment of forces as a warning and
not for action in 1941 exposed them to destruction? Did anyone notice
that the 2002 War Games to practice for the invasion of Iraq had to
be restarted -- because the side playing Iraq had destroyed the
advancing US fleet in a surprise attack?
March 4. 'Give Peace a Chance' -- Idiots, what have the last 12 years accomplished? The same inactivity by the League of Nations, against Italy in Ethiopia and Japan in China, lead to its demise --
and an atmosphere that lead directly to WW2. The UN is supposed to encourage international law and order. Failure in this responsibility causes vigilantism by concerned nations.
March 3. Peace rallies and political posturing at home and abroad give succor to Saddam. A united front would have caused his
resignation long ago -- peacefully.
March 2. Turkey's refusal to allow US troops across her territory
removes the most significant Muslim country from the American list
of allies. Correction of this anomaly now makes the line between Western and Muslim states more clear -- thereby enhancing the likelihood that WW4 will be fight for survival between religions and cultures. The historic precedences are: "we" fought the Crusades and "they" started the war of terrorism. Will the future hold a blackened planet whose people could not live and let live? Diplomacy and its
extension, War, have much work to do.
March 1. I hope someone has explained to Turkey that we need
a northern front to divert Iraqi troops from the South. If not with our troops through Turkey, them the Kurds will have to be armed
to do the job. What the Kurds do with these modern arms after the
Iraq regime is changed is unknown, but it might entail an attempt to establish a Kurdistan, a result Turkey opposes.
Feb 24. The war with Iraq will be, hopefully, much like an armed occupation force arriving. The administration of Iraq will be
by those who have tried to run western nations or the UN, none of
which are very encouraging.
More serious is that personal freedom is being
willingly given away for "security".
Franklin said, "Those who would give up freedom for security deserve, and will get, neither."
Feb 22. The country I grew up in was proud that it never
started wars, just finished them. The situation with Iraq will
be a major upset to that early understanding.
Feb 19. A national interviewer was lamenting the danger war places on reporters who will slip into Baghdad to report the effects of the coming attack. (They want to get pictures of injured civilians and thrust microphones in each survivor's face.) Perhaps she wants the government
to put on reportable events that are less dangerous to these ghouls. The peace protests last weekend show that every bit of collateral injury will be reported, never mind that American men
are risking their lives to minimum such damage. It would be a lot
easier to nuke-em.
Feb 18. Secretary of Defense Rumsfield described the risks he sees
in the coming occupation of Iraq.
- Saddam Hussein using weapons of mass destruction against his own people and blaming it on us.
- Exploding the oil fields, as Iraqi oil revenues would be required for speedily rebuilding the nation.
- Pre-empting acts of terror against American - home and abroad.
- Length of the battle, despite the assertions military action will be over in a flash. "Three days, three weeks, three months, three years?"
- Not knowing how US forces will be received - cheers, jeers or shots?
- As America's intelligence assets focus on Iraq, they may be less thorough in tracking threats to the US.
- South Asia and North Korea, with less coverage than he would like,
- Iraq gets carved up and people believe they have license to take parts of the country for themselves, followed by a scramble for the tools Saddam wielded to remain in power, including his military arsenal.
- How to bring enough aid to the region in the days after an attack begins, which could mean that even those celebrating liberation could quickly turn against the liberators.
- Lengthy operation viewed by the Iraqi people as foreign occupation.
These last items are significant. When you see that the US goal
is to change Iraq from a military dictator, not territorial conquest,
one wonders what are the objections of France and Germany? Did you
know that Premier Chirac, in his younger years, negotiated his government building Iraq's nuclear power plant, the one intended to make weapons grade uranium? (The one destroyed by Israel in 1981.) Germany may have been involved in selling technology. Objections to the US changing the Iraqi government may prove personally embarrassing to these leaders. Then, this might be spin to discrete their integrity. Never the less, the good
and selfless intentions of the United States remain intact. I favor
these ends, yet see a risk of greater terrorism and don't see why the
US should bear the burden of world policeman.
February 17. Peace riots make about as much sense as pro-life murders.
The protest that seems most stupid is picketing the assembly plant
that is converting gravity bombs to smart bombs. These will save
lives: ours and civilians.
There are several interesting parallels between WWT and WW2 that aid
understanding of WW2 history.
1 . Two front war. Recall the opportunism of Japan to become
militant while the West was engaged in warfare in another part of
the world. So, too, is North Korea taking advantage of our concern
with Iraq and Terrorism to make demands. In both cases the main
issue was fuel oil.
2 . Relocation. Nobody is now suggesting to move Iraqi as
enemy aliens out of designated combat areas (it would now be the whole county, not just be from 30 miles of the Pacific Ocean war zone), but the housing situation can be instructive. If a large group of people were to be relocated today,
they would be located to villages created quickly of modular homes. This is totally acceptable housing in mainstream America. Move
back in history and we find that the housing provided Japanese - enemy aliens and their American born children - was acceptable American housing of that era, just recovering from the great depression.
3 . A long lead time is required to get troops gathered, trained, moved, with their equipment, to the front, and acclimated for combat.
The President's State of the Union speech effectively presented
an ultimatum to Iraq. President Bush made the point clear that
it is Saddam's responsibility to prove to U.N inspectors that
he has disarmed -- it is not the responsibility of the inspectors
to find where he has hidden those arms. This view was also
released in the Inspector's report to the U.N. The word ultimatum
was not used, perhaps it has gone out of style; it was popular in
years past when ultimatums had a date fixed in which war became
effective if compliance had not been satisfied. President Bush
considers that the time to comply, to disarm, has already passed
and that Saddam is living on the period it takes for military forces
to get into an optimum position. We can expect that the expiration
date of the ultimatum will be announced in coming weeks.
Can anyone see the irony of going to war in violation of
UN instructions, because Iraq has defied UN instructions?
A fleet and hospital ship sailed today, 275 units of the Army reserves
were told to be prepared to receive the call this week.
It was necessary to go first go the UN -- as a sop to the many neutral
nations. The inspectors have gone to the old sites and found nothing
so far. The hope of all is for Saddam to resign, but then what?
Will his successor invite a team to install democracy? If we take
Baghdad, will we follow the path and results of Israeli rule over
Palestinians? Must we expect terror attacks every few days?
I have been reading the Koran.
Mohammed does a good job of convincing his followers that they are
hated by this world, that they must eliminate all non-believers and
earn a right to the afterlife in seven heavens - which are thornless
and with water. The lowest heaven is dedicated to hurling light at
non-believing Satans. Terrorists can continue there hobby even
What can convince those involved that their cause, or at least their
method, is wrong. It took a severe shock to make the Kamikaze recognize
that the empire was ended. What can we do to convenience the new suicides
to stop and get on with their lives and let us live ours?
We know that wars are fought using the previous war as the example.
Thus both sides had battleships at the start of the Pacific War.
The first to recognize that carriers were key had the advantage.
What is required for the next war? Code breaking was significant.
We did not have much success in capturing "hearts and minds" in the
interim period. What will the future require? Confiscating
Grimes knitting needles at the airport is not it.
"Terrorist War" 2002
Did you do anything for Y2K? Perhaps I am following this too closely, but it wouldn't hurt to restock. Rationing in WW2 was 3 gal of gasoline a week and 1 cup of coffee per day for each person 15 or over. The ration coupon for coffee was from the same book as for sugar. Unless our leadership is more clever than can be seen from their recent statements and they lead us into Iraq, I will have to start a complimentary web page called "WW3, Muslim War".
Some news items today: "US Army general says war by the end of November." "Turkey wants to annex the northern no-fly zone." "Reserve artillery unit called to active duty."
The leak of the general's words was by Israel to serve their interests and goes on to say the US is then going to then pressure Syria to get out of Lebanon. Turkey, by allowing continued use of bases when all other countries have said "no", is in a position to get land, oil and to close the door on a Kurdish homeland. The local National Guard unit is to train stateside for one year.
Maybe it is all bluff, but my state's air national guard has been flying a tour out of Turkey each year and they have been extended for another tour away from home. The local artillery unit may train to relieve a unit going overseas or be ready to go if needed. The risk for a religious war has been around for over a decade, and not unknown in the world's history, but this is getting close. The Muslims are disorganized, which is a plus, but Islam is also without central control, no Vatican, yet it is still a force that can cause pain from a thousand of bee stings, no one of which is fatal. The Israelis want us to fight for them and they have clout in this country. Much as England wanted us in two European wars.
Bush did a magnificent job in Afghanistan. He had the locals do the fighting while we provided technology, then had allies take over the administration. His father tried to get the Kurds to fight Saddam, but they preferred welfare and protection and have done nothing for ten years since - no training, no nothing, except annoy the Turks. We went into Bosnia for 6 months and are still there. The Balkans have started wars for centuries, the only solution is to let them fight it out until too weak to be any trouble. The same is true of Muslims and Jews - let them fight if they want, but keep the US out of it. But, we are too closely tied; our once "separation" country has been persuaded to join one side of what will become a religious war where we have no business to be involved.
Each great nation has its day, and then stretches itself too thin by trying to provide an easy life for its citizens and trying to police those who are not. The USA has been a great country. It will have lost its character if it declares war without specific provocation. The Soviet Union had weapons of mass destruction pointed at us for decades. Eisenhower and Reagan found ways to first confront and then to win that contest without war. What have we to lose, 5% of Muslims actively hate us already?" If we do this, then 95% of Muslims will actively hate us. Once world war is underway, we can destroy whole cities of enemies. But, we must do it before the Muslims get the means to destroy cities too. Israel is not very big and local authority should be the ones to initiate US urban renewal.
I hope to be pleasantly surprised, but there is an equal chance we may be embarrassed, shamed by unimaginative "leaders". I will do my duty again: a sailor as a young man, a homeland volunteer as an old one. And hope for the future, just as I do now, writing this under Old Glory, consecrated with the blood of veterans. That future may expose the next world leader nation, a country not weakened by the war. Should we start teaching our children Chinese? or Spanish? or …?
Terrorist War, 2001
11Dec01. Damn clever, that Bush.
He is using native fighters in both Afghanistan and Somalia,
then lets an ally handle the peacekeeping afterwards;
carry a big stick to Iraq to support native uprising there and
let the US mop up and move out letting another Ally or UN peacekeep!
Accomplished with minimum US deaths,
use of best US asset - technology; no big call up or draft; and no
residual occupation by US. (The occupation money saved can be spend on
rebuilding infrastructure and democratic free enterprise. Let
Allies (Brits now, French and Germans next?) feel like they are
participating, yet can separate themselves from violence of tech-war,
again with minimum risk after the fighting is over, a technique
that is politically popular with home governments.
Again, damn clever, that Bush.
9,000 Pakistani volunteers are to cross into Afghanistan to
fight against the anti-terrorist United States. Do we take them out before
they can do any damage to our people? Or, will the immediate destruction
of idealistic, if misguided, young people upset our allies, the Pakistani,
at home? Ideally the Pakistani government will stop any mass crossing and
arrest the leaders and shoot any resisters. However, if the group is allowed
to march into Afghanistan, we could napalm the lead vehicles and let the masses
see terrible death up close so that the weakest will go home. Next day,
assuming the naively defiant stay together, take out those that continue.
12Oct01. Why Terrorists?
Attending a Muslim diversity meeting in town, I observed several
contradictions, perhaps not unusual in matters of faith. I turned to
the history books to answer my question of a particular "why" about
24Oct01. How to Handle Peace Activists:
This is making the rounds on radio.
[and I was only intending to spray teargas if I came across any protests.
This is better, but rough on the knuckles. Maybe teargas is better after all.]
- Listen politely, look interested.
- Punch them in the face.
- They will get up angry.
- Remind the angry person that violence is bad for the reasons they said.
- They will agree you are correct.
- Hit them again, harder.
- Repeat steps 3 thru 6 as long as necessary.
- They will eventually understand they must hit back hard or
continue getting hit.
19Oct01 . Civilian Casualties.
A few years ago we would have carpet bombed with a thousand heavy bombers
to get at enemy installations and have accepted civilian damage measured
in the tens of thousands.
The press reports the modern wartime attacks as released by military press
conferences and maintains "balance" in the news by reporting the "civilian
casualties" as reported by the enemy. Human interest stories of suffering
is standard "news" technique; it sells.
It is also fun for reporters to poke holes in the proud claims
of precision attacks by those straight laced military types.
There is not much excitement in reporting people not killed
by our attempts to reduce collateral damage at great expense in technology
by our government and at great personal risk by our people.
17Sept01 . Another lesson from WW2.
We will buildup our forces to a point to easily take on additional
tasks, such as to pursue the War on Drugs by hitting the collection,
refining, and distribution points in Columbia and elsewhere.
Or, will we want to hurry the boys home, instead.
15Sep01 . We Need an Arab Army to Hunt Terrorists
Our nation is attempting national unity with interfaith services.
Much is made of American Arab Muslims. And also about how the people
of Afghanistan are downtrodden by the same Taliban that we will have
to fight. Will these American and Afghani join in an effort to end
I am convinced that only a native Muslim army will be able to
put the finish to terrorism. Yes, the U.S. will have to start it
- to get Bin Laden, to take the heavy arms - and, certainly, no US
troops want potential spies with them. But after that, we have to
get the natives involved.
We standout on the ground there and we are heathen Christians who
don't speak the language or know the territory.
Therefore send these "Arab-American Muslims" to recruit the natives
to let them fight for their own, better country. We will have to
support their effort and then "Marshall Plan" the country(s) with
rebuilding aid, but this will be cheap when compared to American lives.
And is the only way to weed out all Arab terrorism.
13Sep01 . War Planning
A first reaction, a cry for revenge, was glee when President Bush
went to Omaha in hope he was visiting with officers he was sending into
combat. Then came the strategy of an orderly preparation for war.
As his father did, desert shield for 200 days led to quick victory of
Desert Storm in 100 hours. This time, the President Bush promised to
finish the job.
My warning to America. Terrorists will not be defeated with a space
missile defense, consider that a stronger door on the cockpit could
have deterred the terrorists. We need intelligence. But the key bit
from this web page is that the next attack will not be nuclear, it
will be biological.
On T-Day, 911, my wife dragged me to a national conference for which
she had pre-paid big bucks. Attendance was only marginally effected
by closing air traffic. There were people from California and Virginia,
coast to coast. Now consider one of the big shows in NYC, Chicago or
Las Vegas with tens of thousands in attendance. The target clientele can be custom selected. The
Olympics is a dual target - international
visitors as well as national athletes. Striking at the national
computer conference in Las Vegas could endanger the high tech infrastructure the
fundamentalists despise. A bacterial aerosol with
an incubation period will infect, but allow victim carriers to return
to hometowns and infect their high-tech co-workers.
The next part of this essay is why we must wipe out terrorism completely.
Pearl Harbor's toll was 2,000. Today's total is expected be 20,000
[reduced now to about 3,000]. The next step, biological, will be 200,000
or will it be 2,000,000?
National reactions - to ban travel to reduce spread and to quarantine
to reduce local spread - will bring industry and commerce to a halt
- even if the number is only 200.
Now the problem. If Abdul is a terrorist and is killed, his brothers
and cousins will seek revenge. The personal aspects lead to fanaticism
against whoever they think, or are told, is the object of hatred.
The problem is not easy to solve. In WW2, Germany was defeat so
completely that the people appreciated the end. The Marshall Plan
rebuilt that country so that there was a general appreciation of
the United States. Japan was completely defeated, even a fanatic
nation and society had to acknowledge the truth.
Again, a benevolent occupancy resulted in calm.
If we go into Afghanistan, they may fight. Iraq, Iran come to their
aid; Libya, Syria lend support. We have to keep smooth relations
with Turkey, Turkmenistan, Saudi and Egypt. This means a carrot and
stick pressure on those nations so as to achieve some of their needs
that are greater than their interest to protect or protest favoring
Beefing up security, loss of freedoms, and permanent inconvenience is
not satisfactory -- the problem must be solved at the source.
12Sep01 . Our Web Page, "Be Prepared"
(What Did We Learn from WW2 ?), Was Right!
- War comes as a surprise. Airline pilots were told to say to
hijackers, "Yes, Sir, where may I take you?"
- Fight with what you have. The air bases to defend NYC
(Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore) and Washington were in New England
and Virginia. Base closing and budget cuts have closed all manned
fighter strips in our most heavily populated areas. The federal
government is tasked by the Constitution with national defense and
facilitation of commerce -- not to administer social/economic programs.
- War is a come as you are party. Would we like to have more
than one carrier stationed in the Indian Ocean? Would we like to have
the Raptor stealthy fighter - we have fighters, we have stealth bombers -
but wouldn't we like to have a fighter than could fly unseen through
airspace anywhere? How about the Osprey vertical takeoff transport plane
with the range, speed and payload to put assault forces where we want
Do we have sufficient forces to take on the identified AND the
potential enemies in the area?
Can we still cover our other obligations and threats?
Do we have the transports, the anti-aircraft, minesweepers, repair
ships to support a fleet at sea and forward bases for a prolonged war?
- Where we were wrong -- this time. Our military remains intact,
the initial sneak attack was against civilian targets. Any reduction
to our military was done by us, to us.
- Be prepared! See above.
11Sep01 . Unthinkable Thoughts, best summarized as:
Passengers, office workers, heroes coming to their rescue - all ... gone.
I want revenge!
Yet we must recognize that killing a terrorist will make his little
brother into a terrorist.
Kill 'em all ; let Allah sort'em out.
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About this page: Current - a record of thoughts triggered by events in the contemporary world.