Monday, December 14, 2009

Housekeeping: Casualty Lists, Apologies

I have not been able to keep up the regular discipline. I want to get back to that.  It's important. 

I'm sorry that the country flags on older postings have disappeared.  The image hosting service that held them is defunct and it will take a long while to load up all the images again and to fix the old posts. 

How many times can we "lose" Afghanistan and still "win"?

Can you believe that some people are still arguing about when Operation Enduring Freedom became Operation Enduring, when it 'officially' jumped the shark?

They need to take some Viagra.  We knew this time last year that there was very little al-qa'ida in Afghanistan.  

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Romance is Gone

The days of sending nongay soldiers off to fight and die, "over there", while their gay countrymen remain stateside-safe is over, to the extent it ever really existed.

See here, a British platoon in Afghanistan loves their gay comrade, apparently. With luck, someday we can write the same, even about Christianist America.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


NYT: June 21, 2009

KABUL, Afghanistan — The new American commander in Afghanistan said he would sharply restrict the use of airstrikes here, in an effort to reduce the civilian deaths that he said were undermining the American-led mission.

The Truth of the Situation, Part II


Fascinating and instructive:

It has now emerged that Mr Kurras, the former West Berlin police officer who shot the young student protester Benno Ohnesorg in 1967, was actually a spy working for East Germany's secret police, the Stasi.

For years, Mr Kurras deceived his colleagues in the West Berlin police service and the German public.

The death of Ohnesorg on 2 June 1967 during a demonstration against a visit by the Shah of Iran sparked the student protest movement in West Germany and the turmoil of 1968.


"The Stasi merely described the shooting as an 'unlucky accident' in the file and they broke off contact with Kurras after the shooting," he adds.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Truth of the Situation beyond our eyes.

But, in one version of it, a guy who was tortured by al-qa'ida - tortured - was held at Gitmo for ... wait for it ... being an al-qa'ida sympathizer / operative.

Of course, releasing someone in such circumstances quickly and unharmed would be more "proof" he was a spy, enough to keep him 'off the battlefield' or 'out of the hands of the enemy', so there would be little reason, absent other evidence, to detain them indefinitely ... unless you didn't know anything, in which case detention would be dicey anyway.

What a mess.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The living for the dead?

So far, this (U.S. frees suspect) doesn't look like it is working so well (two bodies named) ...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Why Cheney Is Talking


He doesn't want to leave the field to his "enemies", in particular, the FBI testimony. It's classic Rove-DeLay.

Except, it is really Geobbles.

Re, "We do not torture":

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

-Joseph Goebbels

Just for the record, there could well be criminal referrals for torture, despite how you view the "policy pronouncements".


As for constantly telling the American public they are under treat and need the "safeguards" of torture to remain "safe", it's Goering rather than Goebbels:

“Naturally the common people don't want war... That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists [cf. also Krauthammer's Excusionism in which he singles out pacifists] for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

-- Hermann Goering

And that is how you get a very generous and giving people, Americans, to behave like rats and embrace torture.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Taliban To be Smoked Out With Cell Phone War

There will be a cell phone war for the Taliban, soon.

If it was half as provocative as the one that caused Hizb'allah to charge, it could be a stroke of genius. (Assuming it doesn't turn into another Tora Bora ... humph!).

True or false: you don't have to jam all the time, just intermittently, to be effective.

Is the Pressure Rising or Ebbing in the Mideast?


The logistical and practical challenges to an Israeli airstrike are formidable, despite Netanyahu's distinct effort to deliver a credible threat of the same. (There are serious covert ops inside Iran underway, according to the press, not covered by the Asia Times' assessment).


Sadly, it's not clear what the international reaction to an Iranian bomb-test would be (from France, for instance, who last suggested publicly that they would rely on the nuclear deterrent...).


Also, it's not clear that the Mullahs would take it that far, in the absence of a proximate cause to do so. They may be content to be a "threshold nuclear power", as that has already put a self-satisfying, end-game umbrella over their ongoing regional games.


Or, it could mean that hardliners are anxious to find an excuse to war, over a long time (Stalin and Franco were at it a lot longer than have been the Mullahs). As long as there is significant oil wealth, the chance of a moderate leadership emerging is slim, even with the demographic changes to sweep the country. Truly, their only options to gin up war are with the Israelis and with the Iraqis. The latter might prove self-defeating. (They could attack themselves, the moderates, the unpure, in civil war, but that seems remote).


The pressure inside Israel to act has got to be enormous. To turn over Israel's security to an international scheme of deterrence has to be almost unthinkable, in some quarters. The feeling that they may have a 'window' while the U.S. is still in Iraq may be seductive. The worry that the ongoing management of the I/P conflict might have military overtones of a new scale has to be deeply unsettling.

Hizb'allah No Longer Defending Lebanon

They are openly engaged in cross-border battles.

The gloves are completely off their longstanding rhetorical cover (which no thinking person believed as anything but a stepping stone to the power they have today, frankly).

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Casualty List - April 2009, Afghanistan


------Name, AgeSrv BranchCountry

Rank, Unit

Location; Circumstance of Death
Name Not Released Yet, 21German ArmyBad Saulgau-Germany
Hauptgefreiter (senior corporal), Panzergrenadierbrigade 37
Kunduz; 29-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - RPG attack
Tobie Fasfous, 29British ArmyBridgend-UK
Lance Sergeant, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards
Gereshk (north east of ) (Helmand province); 28-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Michelle Mendes, 30Canadian ArmyWicklow-Canada
Major, Chief of Defence Intelligence
Kandahar; 24-Apr-09; Non-hostile
Trond Petter Kolset, 30Norwegian Intelligence serviceSteinkjer-Norway
Kaptein, Not reported yet
Takht Pul (Balkh province); 17-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - suicide bomber
Richard A. Dewater, 21U.S. ArmyTopeka, KS
Private 1st Class, 1st BN, 26th Infantry Reg, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
Korengal Valley; 15-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Francisco X. Aguila, 35U.S. ArmyBayamon, PR
Corporal, 82nd Sustainment Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps
Kabul; 14-Apr-09; Non-hostile
Karine Blais, 21Canadian ArmyLes Méchins-Canada
Trooper, B Squadron, 12th Armoured Regiment
Shah Wali Kowt District; 13-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Jacob I. Ramsey, 20U.S. Air ForceHesperia, CA
Airman 1st Class, 712th Air Support Operations Squadron
Kabul; 10-Apr-09; Non-hostile
Blaise A. Oleski, 22U.S. MarineHolland Patent, NY
Lance Corporal, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force
Helmand province; 08-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire
Iuliu-Vasile Unguras, 32Romanian ArmyDej-Romania
Capitanul (Captain), Batalionul 21 Vânatori de Munte (21st Mountain Battalion)
Qalat (20 km. nord-east of); 07-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Adam M. Kuligowski, 21U.S. ArmyArlington, VA
Specialist, Special Troops Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault),
Bagram; 06-Apr-09; Non-hostile
Azdin Chadli, 20Royal Dutch ArmyUden-Netherlands
Soldaat der eerste klasse (Private 1st Class), 42 Pantserinfanteriebataljon van de Limburgse Jagers (42 Armored Infantry Battalion "Limburgse Rifles")
Tarin Kowt; 05-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - rocket attack
Phillip A. Myers, 30U.S. Air ForceHopewell, VA
Staff Sergeant, 48th Civil Engineer Squadron
Helmand province; 04-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Tiberius Petre, 33Romanian ArmyTârgu Mures-Romania
Capitanul (Captain), Batalionul 1 Operatii Speciale "Vulturii" (1st Task Force Battalion -"Eagles")
Kabul (Southwest of); 03-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire

Casualty List - April 2009, Iraq


-------Rank, NationalitySrv BranchCountry

Rank, Unit

Location; Circumstance of Death

Tyler J. Trahan, 22U.S. NavyEast Freetown
Petty Officer 2nd Class, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit Twelve
Fallujah; 30-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - bomb

James R. Mcilvaine, 26U.S. MarineOlney, MD
Sergeant, 1st BN, 7th Marine Reg, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
Anbar Province; 30-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire

Mark A. Wojciechowski, 25U.S. MarineCincinnati, OH
Staff Sergeant, 7th Engineer Support BN, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force
Anbar Province; 30-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire

Leroy O. Webster, 28U.S. ArmySioux Falls, SD
Sergeant, 3rd BN, 82nd Field Artillery Reg, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division
Kirkuk (near); 25-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire

Benjamin Moore Jr., 43U.S. ArmyWaycross, GA
Company Sergeant-Major, 2d BN, 27th Infantry Reg, 3d Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division
Contingency Operating Base Speicher; 24-Apr-09; Non-hostile

William C. Comstock, 21U.S. MarineVan Buren, AR
Corporal, 2nd Supply BN, Combat Logistics Reg 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Mari
Anbar Province; 22-Apr-09; Non-hostile

Brad A. Davis, 21U.S. ArmyGarfield Heights, OH
Corporal, 82nd Brigade Support BN, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division
Baghdad (near, east of); 22-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Ray A. Spencer Ii, 20U.S. MarineRidgecrest, CA
Lance Corporal, 3rd BN, 3rd Marine Reg, 3rd Marine Division
Al Anbar Province; 16-Apr-09; Non-hostile - gunshot wound

Raul Moncada, 29U.S. ArmyMadera, CA
Sergeant, 563rd Military Police Co, 91st Military Police BN, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division
Karbala (5 km south of); 13-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack (EFP)

Michael J. Anaya, 23U.S. ArmyCrestview, FL
Specialist, 2nd BN, 27th Infantry Reg, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division
Bayji; 12-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Christopher D. Loza, 24U.S. Army National GuardAbilene, TX
Sergeant, 1st Squadron, 124th Cavalry Reg, 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 36th In
Walter Reed Army Medical Center; 10-Apr-09; Non-Hostile - Illness

Gary L. Woods Jr., 24U.S. ArmyLebanon Junction, KY
Staff Sergeant, 1st BN, 67th Armor Reg, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
Mosul; 10-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - suicide truck bomb

Bryan E. Hall, 32U.S. ArmyElk Grove, CA
Staff Sergeant, 1st BN, 67th Armor Reg, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
Mosul; 10-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - suicide truck bomb

Jason G. Pautsch, 20U.S. ArmyDavenport, IA
Corporal, 1st BN, 67th Armor Reg, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
Mosul; 10-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - suicide truck bomb

Bryce E. Gautier, 22U.S. ArmyCypress, CA
Private 2nd Class, 1st BN, 67th Armor Reg, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
Mosul; 10-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - suicide truck bomb

Edward Forrest, 25U.S. ArmyFenton, MO
Sergeant, 1st BN, 67th Armor Reg, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
Mosul; 10-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - suicide truck bomb

Israel Candelaria Mejias, 28U.S. ArmySan Lorenzo, PR
Specialist, 1st BN, 2nd Infantry Reg, Task Force 3rd BN, 66th Armor Reg, 172nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Baghdad (north east of); 05-Apr-09; Hostile - hostile fire - land mine

Stephen F. Dearmon, 21U.S. MarineCrossville, TN
Lance Corporal, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force
Al Anbar Province; 03-Apr-09; Non-hostile

Daniel J. Beard, 24U.S. ArmyBuffalo, NY
Sergeant, 147th Postal Company, 21st Theater Sustainment Command
Diwaniyah; 03-Apr-09; Non-hostile