Category Archives: Military
The pilot glanced outside his cockpit and froze. He blinked hard and looked again, hoping it was just a mirage. But his co-pilot stared at the same horrible vision.
“My God, this is a nightmare,” the co-pilot said.
“He’s going to destroy us,” the pilot agreed.
The men were looking at a gray German Messerschmitt fighter hovering just three feet off their wingtip. It was five days before Christmas 1943, and the fighter had closed in on their crippled American B-17 bomber for the kill.
The B-17 pilot, Charles Brown, was a 21-year-old West Virginia farm boy on his first combat mission. His bomber had been shot to pieces by swarming fighters, and his plane was alone in the skies above Germany. Half his crew was wounded, and the tail gunner was dead, his blood frozen in icicles over the machine guns.
But when Brown and his co-pilot, Spencer “Pinky” Luke, looked at the fighter pilot again, something odd happened. The German didn’t pull the trigger. He nodded at Brown instead. What happened next was one of the most remarkable acts of chivalry recorded during World War II. Years later, Brown would track down his would-be executioner for a reunion that reduced both men to tears.
Aware that they had no idea where they were going, Franz waved at Charlie to turn 180 degrees. Franz escorted and guided the stricken plane to, and slightly over, the North Sea towards England. He then saluted Charlie Brown and turned away, back to Europe. When Franz landed he told the CO that the plane had been shot down over the sea, and never told the truth to anybody. Charlie Brown and the remains of his crew told all at their briefing, but were ordered never to talk about it.
More than 40 years later, Charlie Brown wanted to find the Luftwaffe pilot who saved the crew. After years of research, Franz was found. He had never talked about the incident, not even at post-war reunions.
They met in the USA at a 379th Bomber Group reunion, together with 25 people who are alive now – all because Franz never fired his guns that day.
When asked why he didn’t shoot them down, Stigler later said, “I didn’t have the heart to finish those brave men. I flew beside them for a long time. They were trying desperately to get home and I was going to let them do that. I could not have shot at them. It would have been the same as shooting at a man in a parachute.”
Both men died in 2008.
World War II in Pictures. Impressive collection of pictures from 20 different phases of World War II.
Find them all here:
Forget charging up a hill. Armies charge up the slippery slope of the moral high ground and they don’t try to capture it from the enemy, because that would be the surest way to lose the moral high ground, instead they claim the moral high ground by refusing to try and capture it, to establish their moral claim to the moral high ground, which they can’t have because they refuse to fight for it.
Israel has been engaged in a long drawn out struggle for the moral high ground. The moral high ground is to the modern Israel what the land of Israel was to their pioneer ancestors who drained swamps, built roads and shot bandits; some of whom were later discovered to be the oppressed peoples of the region, fresh from Syria or Jordan, and protesting the settlements built on that stretch of swamp that had been set aside in their revisionist history as belonging to their great-grandparents, complete with oversized house keys to some of the choicer logs in the swamp.
Sadly the only way to win the moral high ground is by losing. Just look at the massive Arab armies who repeatedly invaded Israel, did their best to overwhelm it with the best Soviet iron that the frozen factories of the Ural could turn out, and lost the bid to drive the Jews into the sea, but won the moral high ground. Then their terrorist catspaws spent decades winning the moral high ground by hijacking airplanes full of civilians, murdering Olympic athletes and pushing old men in wheelchairs from the decks of cruise ships.
All these killing sprees accomplished absolutely nothing useful, aside from the killing of Jews, which to a certain sort of mind is a useful thing in and of itself, but that failure won the terrorist catspaws the moral high ground. Their failure to win a war by hijacking buses full of women and taking the children of a school hostage conclusively established their moral superiority and nobility of spirit.
The world was deeply moved when Arafat waddled up to the UN podium, with his gun, wearing a mismatched cotton rag on his head that would decades hence become the modish apparel of every third hipster standing in line with a can of 20 dollar fair trade Lima beans at Whole Foods, because his commitment to killing people in a failed cause that even he didn’t believe in exchange for money from his backers in the Muslim world showed his deep commitment to the moral high ground.
The father of an Israeli soldier told his son after he was called up for duty that he would rather visit him in prison than visit him in the cemetery. “If you are fired on, fire back.” That is good advice not just for that young man, but for his entire country, and for the civilized world. It is better to fire than be fired upon. It is better to be thought a criminal, than mourned in Holocaust museums. It is better to leave the moral high ground to those who worship the romance of endless bloodshed and defeat. It is better to lose the peace and win the war.
Read it all at Sultan Knish: http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/
The day of reckoning is here thanks, in part to GOP strategists having made Obama’s Islamic radicalism a subject nearly as off-limits as Islamic supremacism. So along comes Hamas. Just days before the presidential election, the terrorist organization — begotten by the Brotherhood and serving as its Palestinian branch — spearheaded an Islamist offensive, firing in just a few days over
120 750+ rockets into the Jewish state from its home base in Gaza.
Angel drawing from coffeeandsleeplessnights.wordpress.com
National Review (By Andrew McCarthy) You may not have heard about it until a few days after the election. Like Iran’s act of war in shooting at a U.S. drone in international waters, it signaled a further dangerous unraveling of the Middle East that undercut the media narrative of Obama as foreign-policy chess master, so it was tucked under the rug.
But it could not be ignored forever, for it is not just another spike in the ever-thrumming Gaza border skirmish. It is the renewal of an unending war — an existential one for Israel, which is expected to fight “proportionately,” with both hands tied behind its back, yet blithely accept, as the international community has, the barbaric Islamist claim that nothing short of Israel’s destruction will be satisfactory.
By its own declaration, Hamas will be at war with Israel until the latter’s demise. Toward that end, the jihad has now been taken to population centers such as Tel Aviv.
By the calculation of terrorism analyst Ryan Mauro, the onslaught begun last week brought the yearly total of missile attacks on Israel to about 700. That is,while the Obama administration has been facilitating the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and soon Syria — with Obama drawing ever closer to Turkey’s Islamist prime minister, Recep Erdogan, even as Erdogan champions and funds Hamas — Gaza’s jihadists have been emboldened to step up their terror campaign.
And it is not just Gaza’s jihadists. Understand: This is not Hamas’s war of extermination against Israel. It is Islam’s. And yes, for the millionth time, there are various ways of interpreting Islam, but the Islam that matters in the Middle East, the Islam that animates tens of millions of Muslims, is Islamic supremacism. Israel, the canary in the West’s coal mine, is not besieged by an eccentric doctrine weaved by Hamas, Hezbollah, and al-Qaeda. Jihadist terrorists are just the point of the ideological spear.
Recent polling shows that four in five Egyptians (i.e., about 60 million people) believe the Camp David Accords — the treaty that has kept peace between Egypt and Israel for 30 years — should be dissolved. It is the same four out of five Egyptians that, given the chance, voted to put Islamists in control of their government. Just as Muslims have chosen to empower Islamists in Turkey, Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Tunisia, as well as in Lebanon and Libya to a lesser but still consequential extent.
The jihad against Israel “isn’t a matter of individuals, not a matter of community. It is a matter of a nation. The Arab nation, the Islamic nation.” So exclaimed Egyptian prime minister Hisham Qandil on Thursday in Gaza. He had been sent there to show solidarity with Hamas by Mohamed Morsi, the Brotherhood leader elected as president. “We’re all behind you,” Qandil continued — behind “the struggling nation . . . that is presenting its children as heroes every day.”
This is how the Middle East’s Muslims see the situation. They are not Palestinians, Egyptians, Saudis, Iraqis, and so on. They are the ummah, the “Islamic nation.” For them, Gaza is not a regional dustup over parochial grievances. It is a civilizational struggle to be fought to the finish — the finish being when Israel is eliminated.
We used to fight wars that way, too. The fact that we’ve decided total victory by force of arms is a quaint concept does not mean everybody else has. Islamists define victory in the Middle East as the annihilation of Israel. That is the ambition of the region, not just Hamas. Our government’s decades-old claim that the aggression results from a “perversion of Islam” weaved by a fringe of “violent extremists” is dangerously delusional.
Delusion, of course, is nothing new. For 30 years, ever since the Carter administration hailed Ayatollah Khomeini as a “saint,” willful blindness has been the order of the day. It induced the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations to insist that Islam was a “religion of peace” even as scripture-citing Islamists repeatedly mass-murdered Americans. But Barack Obama is something else again. This president has supplanted conscious avoidance of our enemies’ ideology with empathy. Our government no longer just ignores Islamist goals; it affirmatively empowers Islamist factions.
It has been only eleven days, but we’re already seeing the wages of November 6. The world has become a much more dangerous place, and not just for Israelis.
From Bare Naked Islam: http://www.barenakedislam.com/
Gazan terrorists fired volley after volley of rockets on Southern towns on Saturday, as red alert sirens wailed repeatedly, warning residents to flee for cover.
According to Israel Radio, over 60 rockets have fallen on the South on the fourth day of Operation Pillar of Defensive. The Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted 15 of the rockets.
In the afternoon alone, four rockets landed in Ashdod, lightly injuring 4 people and causing damage to a house. Houses were also damaged in Eshkol and Be’er Tuviya. Six rockets hit Beersheba, and four others in the vicinity were shot down.
In total, Palestinians fired 700 rockets toward the Jewish state since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense on Wednesday, but only around 30 landed in built-up areas. Iron Dome intercepted 230 projectiles in total, maintaining a 90% intercept rate.Four IDF soldiers were lightly injured by shrapnel from a rocket in the Eshkol area.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz instructed the military on Saturday afternoon to increase the rate of strikes on terrorist cells, among them rocket launching squads.
The Israel Air Force struck 200 targets in the Gaza Strip overnight Friday, including 120 rocket launchers and 20 tunnels, bringing the total number of targets throughout Operation Pillar of Defense to 830.
From Weasel Zippers: http://weaselzippers.us/
Barack Hussein Obama: “Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed.” (Well, maybe not so much)
Horsetalk Eleven years to the day after US Army Special Operations horse soldiers joined the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan to roust the Taliban from its strongholds, 200 war heroes have gathered at the World Trade Center memorial to rededicate a statue honouring the mounted troops.
Those war heroes include those who first parachuted into the Afghan mountains under the cover of snow and darkness to hit back against the Taliban.
They gathered on Friday at the World Trade Centre Memorial to rededicate the monumental bronze statue of the Horse Soldier. The statue is fittingly placed watching over the WTC Memorial. “Today, just as we gather to rededicate this statue, we pledge to rededicate ourselves to honor the bravest that our nation has to offer,” said Vince McGowan, president of the United War Veterans Council.
“As conflicts around the world wind down, this work of art will remind all visitors to the WTC Memorial of those who altered the course of history after September 11, 2001 – and, indeed, those who have served bravely in all wars.”
The 16-foot tall bronze statue is entitled De Oppresso Liber, or “to liberate the oppressed”, the motto of the United States Army Special Forces. It was cast in bronze by renowned sculptor Douwe Blumberg.
Due to long-planned construction and improvements at World Financial Center, the statue is being rededicated and moved to a temporary location. Constellations Group chief executie Bill White, who was master of ceremonies, said: “The Horse Soldier statue represents the best of our armed forces: bravery, strength, cunning and shared sacrifice.
“As we pause to reflect and rededicate, we welcome all visitors who come to the memorial to join us in paying tribute to these remarkable soldiers and all of those who fight for our nation.”
From Bare Naked Islam: http://www.barenakedislam.com/
Found at Weasel Zippers
Found at American Power Blog
from Todd Heisler 2005 Pulitzer Prize winning series.
Her grief is literally unbearable.
the full series here.
And at the New York Times, “As Memorial Day Nears, a Single Image That Continues to
Memorial Day. The unofficial kickoff to summer. Barbecues sizzling.
Lawn sprinklers hissing. Local marching bands tooting out Sousa. Red, white, and
blue bunting hanging from the porch railings, and on T.V., someone begins a
recitation of Lt. Col. John McCrae’s classic poem: “In Flanders field, the
poppies blow. Between the crosses row on row …”
In the run-up to every
Memorial Day weekend, for the past several years, a certain photo takes top spot
in those most circulated among my fellow military and veteran wives. On blogs,
on social media sites, it is shared and “liked” over and over. Taken by the
photographer Todd Heisler, from his 2005 award-winning series for the Rocky
Mountain News, “Jim Comes Home,” which documents the return and burial of Marine
Second Lt. Jim Cathey, who lost his life in Iraq, the photo shows his pregnant
widow Katherine lying on an air mattress in front of his coffin. She’s staring
at her laptop, listening to songs that remind her of Jim. Her expression is
vacant, her grief almost palpable.
It is the one and only photo that
makes me cry each time I see it. What brings the tears to my eyes is not just
the bereaved young woman, but the Marine who stands behind her. In an earlier
photo in the series, we see him building her a little nest of blankets on the
air mattress. Sweet Lord, I cry just typing the words, the matter-of-fact
tenderness is so overwhelming. So soldierly. But in this photo — the one that
lives on and on online — he merely stands next to the coffin, watching over her.
It is impossible to be unmoved by the juxtaposition of the eternal stone-faced
warrior and the disheveled modern military wife-turned-widow, him rigid in his
dress uniform, her on the floor in her blanket nest, wearing glasses and a baggy
T-shirt, him nearly concealed by shadow while the pale blue light from the
computer screen illuminates her like God’s own grace.
President Omar al-Bashir, known as the ‘Butcher of Sudan’ for his massive slaughter of Sudanize citizens has threatened to overthrow newly independent South Sudan’s “insect” government.
AFP “Our main target from today is to liberate South Sudan’s citizens from the SPLM (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement),” Bashir said, adding that the southern regime cannot be called a “movement”.
“We call it an insect… trying to destroy Sudan, and our main target from today is to eliminate this insect completely.”
He spoke at a rally in support of troops who hope to reclaim Sudan’s most important oil field, Heglig, from South Sudanese troops who seized it eight days ago.
“In a few hours you are going to listen to good news from your brothers in Heglig,” he told about 3,000 youths, some of them dressed in military gear. ”Heglig will not be the end. The end will be in Juba,” the South’s capital, said Bashir, whose audience sang songs about jihad, or holy war.
The United Nations, the United States and the European Union have criticised the South’s occupation of the oil field, equally denouncing Sudanese air strikes against the South.
There are widespread fears that the fighting will spread. It is already the worst since South Sudan won independence in July after a 1983-2005 civil war which killed two million people.
In the meantime, jets sent by unnamed Israeli organizations landing daily at South Sudan airport, unloading weapons meant for army. And the Israeli Air Force has been carrying out surgical bombing raids on Muslim infiltrators from the North.
YNET NEWS According to the report, jets have been landing at a Sudan airport at 3 am every day unloading missiles, military equipment and African mercenaries. The paper did not name the organizations behind the alleged deliveries, which, according to the report, began earlier this week.
Western nations fear the clashes could reignite a full-blown war between the mainly Muslim north and the Christian and animist South, with rival claims on oil resources a key part of the conflict.
Last week Sudan bombed oil fields in South Sudan a day after skirmishes at a border town led Khartoum to cancel President Omer Hassan al-Bashir’s scheduled visit to South Sudan for a meeting with President Salva Kiir.
In December 2011 Al-Intiba reported that Israeli aircraft attacked vehicles in South Sudan. The report speculated that the targeted vehicles had been serving arms smugglers. The newspaper claimed that the first of two attacks was carried out on December 15. The IAF allegedly bombed two land cruiser vehicles, killing four passengers. The second attack was reportedly carried out on December 18. A car had been bombed and all its passengers killed. It was also reported that an Israeli apache helicopter landed in an area where South Sudanese army radar stations are located.
Israel considers sending police force into Southern Sudan.
YNET NEWS Israel is considering sending a police force to South Sudan to assist the UN, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported Thursday.
The UN has approached Israel (Oh, NOW they want Israel’s help? I thought Israel was an ‘apartheid’ state according to the UN) on the matter, and on Wednesday Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon met Robert Orr, a top aide for UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki-moon, and told him that Israel was considering the possibility of sending 14 police officers to the African country.
From Bare Naked Islam: http://barenakedislam.com/
WHY THE RED POPPIES IN ENGLAND IN NOVEMBER?
You might have noticed that in November each year many people wear bright red paper poppies. What are the poppies for? And why November? Read on to find out…
|The First World War finally ended after four long and bloody years of fighting, on November 11 1918. The guns stopped on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.Millions of people were killed in the war and millions more were injured. In the years since 1918, even more people have died in wars around the world including, of course, World War Two.|
|November 11 was chosen back in 1919 as the special day each year when we would all think about and remember those who had died. To this day, almost 100 years later, at 11am on November 11 many people across Britain stay silent for two minutes to think about those who died.|
|At first, November 11 was known as Armistice Day because ‘armistice’ is the word used for an agreement between enemies to stop fighting. These days it is more usually call
Thanks to Show Me Uk at: http://www.show.me.uk/site/news/STO521.html
Who is leaking information about anti-Islam training materials used by the FBI, Department of Justice, and the Military?
Posted: October 5, 2011 | Author: barenakedislam |
Left Wing blogs are getting confidential information about counter-terrorism training methods and are using it to publicly expose and condemn government agencies for teaching the truth about the stealth Muslim agenda for subverting the culture, laws, and security of the United States.
WIRED FBI intelligence analysts weren’t the only ones teaching their colleagues that the U.S. is at war with the Islamic religion. Justice Department officials — and even teachers at the Army’s top intellectual center — are delivering similar messages.
How did a website called Danger Room acquire a 2010 PowerPoint presentation compiled by an intelligence analyst working for the U.S. Attorney in the Middle District of Pennsylvania? Reminiscent of FBI training materials exposed by Danger Room in September, the PowerPoint warns of a “Civilizational Jihad” stretching back from the dawn of Islam and waged today in the U.S. by “civilians, juries, lawyers, media, academia and charities” who threaten “our values.” The goal of that war: “Replacement of American Judeo-Christian and Western liberal social, political and religious foundations by Islam.”
When Danger Room questioned the Justice Department about the briefing, it issued a statement pledging to join the FBI in scrubbing its counterterrorism training for signs of material that equate average Muslims with terrorists. (Why are they caving to demands from left wing America haters?)
But the Justice Department is hardly alone in hosting bigoted and counterproductive counterterrorism training. (There is nothing bigoted and counterproductive about training people about the Muslim enemy within) Even if federal prosecutors and FBI agents no longer go through such instruction, Danger Room has learned that anti-Islam training material has spread into the military. (As well it should. After all, our military is fighting MUSLIMS, ONLY MUSLIMS) Some of the
Islamophobic IslamoRealist presenters hired by the FBI also lecture at premiere schools for military intelligence; at an online university favored by students seeking jobs in U.S. intelligence agencies and with affiliated contractors; and even at the Army’s intellectual center, Fort Leavenworth.
In other words, what the FBI once told Danger Room was an isolated incident — occurring one time in one lecture session — has spread throughout numerous government agencies over the years. (It’s a good thing it has)
And in addition to being dubious as a matter of civil rights, experts say that the training places U.S. counterterrorism efforts at risk. “Boneheaded is a generous way to describe this training,” says counterterrorism analyst Jarret Brachman, author of Global Jihadism: Theory and Practice. “I’d lean more towards hateful, paranoid and completely counterproductive.”
The presentation in question is the work of John Marsh, a self-described “intelligence specialist” working for the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Titled “21st Century Terrorism: History, Perspective, Development” and dated May 19, 2010, it was apparently delivered to a Defense Department hazardous-materials conference.
Marsh’s presentation, which claims to be “one analyst’s view” and not that of the U.S. government, paints a harsh realistic view of Islam. “Internal Islamic Failures/Collapse,” it advises, “Did NOT Start on 9/11,” but instead date back “~1400 years” — that is, to the birth of Islam itself and the death of the Prophet Muhammad. (Other slides take a meandering tour through world history, and specifically the very pre-Islamic Roman Empire.) “2 Inescapable facts” about contemporary terrorists, Marsh presented, are “1. All Say they are Muslims. 2. All believe they are acting as followers of the true Islam.” Oddl
Marsh provides “disclaimers” that Muslims “can separate politics [from] religion.” He acknowledges distinctions between Shiites and Sunnis, and between average “Muslims” and hardcore “Islamists.” Some slides list “positive contributions” from Muslims, particularly in the fields of medicine, art and architecture. “Many Muslims do desire peace,” Marsh allows.
But several of Marsh’s other slides blur those distinctions. They describe Islam as operating along a “broad Muslim belief spectrum,” spanning from average “Muslim” to “Jihadi supporters/terrorists.” (The “Two ‘Faces’ of Islam,” in Marsh’s telling.) The briefing contends, “No Major Muslim group has ever renounced the doctrines of jihad of the sword.” Underscoring his point, a picture of the burning Twin Towers is paired with two minarets. Over them reads a quote: “The West never remembers and the East never forgets.”
Those aren’t the only quotes Marsh uncritically presents. A famous line borrowed from Samuel Huntington’s influential book The Clash of Civilizations — also the title of one of Marsh’s briefing slides — reads, “Islam is CONVINCED of the superiority of its CULTURE; and OBSESSED with the inferiority of its POWER.” Marsh also presents a quote from the son of the founder of Hamas, a convert to Christianity: “What matters is not whether my father is a fanatic or not, he’s doing the will of a fanatic God. It doesn’t matter if he’s a terrorist or a traditional Muslim. At the end of the day a traditional Muslim is doing the will of a fanatic, fundamentalist, terrorist God.” And bookending his presentation is a quote from Princeton’s Bernard Lewis that seems to anticipate the objections to Marsh’s own briefing: “Self censorship and political correctness will destroy our ability to discuss issues critical to our survival.”
If that sounds reminiscent of William Gawthrop, the FBI intelligence analyst who compared Islam to the Death Star, it may not be an accident. One of Marsh’s slides cites a briefing of Gawthrop’s, titled “The Sources and Patterns of Terrorism in Islamic Law,” which presents straight-line arrows leading from “Islam” to “Hostile Islamic Groups,” “Hostile or Facilitating Islamic Nations” and ultimately an “Insurgency Environment.” The countries Gawthrop lists as afflicted by Islamic insurgencies include Iraq — but also the Netherlands, England, France and even the United States.
Marsh refused to speak to Danger Room about his presentation. Both he and his boss, U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith, referred Danger Room to the Justice Department for comment. The Justice Department promptly disavowed Marsh’s briefing — and pledged to join the FBI in reforming its counterterrorism curriculum.
“The presentation in question does not reflect the views of the Justice Department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania or the FBI. The presentation represented ‘one analyst’s view,’ as stated in the slides, and the opinions expressed were only those of the presenter,” reads a statement prepared for Danger Room.
Nevertheless, the Department statement continues:
To ensure that Justice Department standards are upheld, the Department has today instructed all components and U.S. Attorney’s Offices to review all training materials and presentations provided by Justice Department personnel to ensure that any material presented is consistent with the Department’s standards, goals and instructions. This is particularly important with regard to training related to terrorism, countering violent extremism and other training that may relate to ongoing community outreach efforts.
But the Justice Department is hardly the only government agency playing host to briefings that take a skeptical view of Islam. At least 10 times since 2007, Stephen Coughlin, a former consultant on Islamic law for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has lectured at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the Army’s intellectual nerve center.
Coughlin has given presentations before conservative audiences that claimed Muslim nations have a “ten year plan” to make criticism of Islam illegal under international law. He has criticized ex-President George W. Bush’s assurances that the U.S. is not at war with Islam for having a “chilling effect” on intelligence analysis. Now a visiting fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center in Washington, Coughlin gave a January talk to the FBI’s D.C. field office allegedly claiming Islamic law was incompatible with the U.S. Constitution.
Thanks to Bare Naked Islam at:
By Hal G.P. Colebatch on 2.23.11 @ 6:07AM
In an article published here on January 18, I mentioned the woeful state of Britain’s armed forces, referring then to the gutting of the Royal Navy in particular.
Since then, of course, the Arab world has gone up in flames and while it is impossible to know what will happen, prolonged and serious violence seems certain.
Also, since I last wrote on the subject, further changes in British defense policy have been announced. Reading them moves anyone who cares for Britain and its proud history — or for the stability and security of the Western world — from cold shock to a kind of disgusted disbelief.
A quarter of the Royal Air Force’s trainee pilots are to be sacked, some on the verge of completing their courses, while the new Nimrod long-range anti-submarine, patrol and transport aircraft, reputedly the most advanced of their kind in the world, are being cut up for scrap. (It is not difficult to imagine a situation in which such aircraft are going to be needed to evacuate British civilians from some of the Arab countries.)
The new Typhoon fighters, the mainstay of the fighter force, are being cannibalized for spare parts. Matthew Sinclair, director of the Taxpayer’s Alliance, is reported as saying: “It is incredible that planes costing tens of millions of pounds are being broken down for parts while still new.” Tory Member of Parliament and former Army officer Patrick Mercer has said: “The idea of introducing an expensive aircraft like this into service and then immediately using it as some sort of avionics Exchange and Mart is preposterous.” It is further reported that the Royal Air force is to be reduced to a total of six squadrons of fast jets — three of fighters and three of bombers. Even Belgium has five squadrons. Civilian security firms are being contracted for anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean (it was one of the Royal Navy’s proudest claims that it had swept the seas clean of pirates nearly 200 years ago). Don’t forget that this is happening at a time when the U.S. is making big defense cuts as well.
And now the latest news: according to the quasi-conservative Daily Telegraph, the Army is to lose a further 20,000 men, shrinking it to 80,000, the smallest it has been since the end of the Napoleonic Wars. To add insult to injury, some service personnel, who have devoted their whole lives to their services, with all the danger and hardship that this carries with it, are being notified of their redundancy via e-mails. The Telegraph claims the Treasury wanted the cuts to be twice this size.
One defense source is quoted as saying: “We will be moving into an era of sharing capabilities with our European allies. The days of being able to do everything are long gone.”
What this amounts to is an abrogation of national sovereignty, to say nothing of national security and self-respect. Is Britain going to rely on its “European allies” if, for example, it has to defend the Falkland Islands again? What will be the effect on Britain’s place in the world if a third-rate military power like Argentina kicks it out, the “European allies” refuse to commit troops and treasure on Britain’s behalf (as with their extremely half-hearted commitment to Afghanistan) and it is simply unable to do anything about it?
Another senior officer said that the cuts would be hugely damaging, and that: “Effect on morale? In my judgment it is enormous. If you survive an operational tour you will possibly lose your job post 2015, or your chances of promotion will be reduced in a smaller Army.”
It is as if the weird Conservative-Liberal-Democrat coalition of Cameron and Clegg is simply unable to take sovereignty or national security seriously or to realize the obvious fact that the world may be moving into a new phase of dangerous instability.
It is true that much of the fault lies with the previous Labour Governments. A decade of the socialism of Blair and Brown has left the British economy a shambles. Yet even this doesn’t wash as an excuse when one considers the stunning fact that Britain, allegedly too poor to defend itself, has actually increased its Foreign Aid budget, with the equivalent of about $1.6 billion going to India alone — enough to pay for a large part of the Indian space program, or perhaps its aircraft carrier or nuclear submarine program — the Indian Navy has 56,000 personnel compared to a projected 30,000 for the Royal Navy, as well as about twice the number of ships.
Among innumerable other examples of horrendous waste are the London Olympics and the six-figure pay packets of not only senior national civil servants but also of local government functionaries whose responsibilities revolve round such weighty matters as garbage collection.
Defense has, throughout history, been the first (some would say almost the only) justification of government. The history of the early Middle Ages shows peasants putting up with all manner of tyrannical lords, tax-collectors and robber barons, so long as they kept their part of the bargain and supplied defense and protection. The peasants revolted when their overlords lost the will or ability to defend them. Perhaps Cameron should read some of the accounts of knights in full armor being roasted on spits by the common folk they had failed to defend.
Cameron may have it brought home to him that there is more to leading Britain than membership of the Bullingdon drinking club, a cheesy smile, pretty wife, and cunning in party management.
Hal G.P. Colebatch’s ”Immram,” Counterstrike, is being published by Australian publisher Imaginites.
From The American Spectator at:
By Hal G.P. Colebatch on 3.1.11 @ 6:08AM
There is generally a certain satisfaction in being able to say, “I told you so!” On January 18 and February 23 I published articles on the ruin of Britain’s defense capabilities, just as the Arab turmoil demonstrated once again that the world appears to be moving into a new phase of dangerous instability.
A few days ago a British frigate, HMS Cumberland, put into Benghazi to evacuate several hundred British, American, and other civilians threatened by the fighting there. One American interviewed expressed his relief at seeing the White Ensign flying.
Cumberland, a powerful, modern and relatively new ship, happened to be in the area because it was on its way back to Britain to be scrapped, part of the present government’s mad scheme to reduce the Navy to just 12 frigates and 12 destroyers, along with comparable cuts to the Army and the Royal Air Force.
Prime Minister David Cameron, meanwhile, has been swanning around Cairo, and achieving no one knows exactly what, though certainly he now has plenty of surplus weaponry to offer whoever takes power there.
Now comes the truly incredible part: while on his jaunt, Cameron left the running of the country — during a serious international crisis — to deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who actually (I kid you not!) forgot he was meant to be in charge of Britain and departed on a skiing holiday in Switzerland. When reminded of the fact, he pointed out that he was able to keep in touch with London by Blackberry should he be required.
All this hammers home the point I have recently been trying to make: Britain is being run by incompetents who do not even pretend to take the first responsibility of any government — the Defense of the Realm — seriously. The U.S. has its problems but I have little doubt that in the U.S. such behavior would lead to immediate impeachment proceedings. And this abdication of national self-respect has taken place under a coalition government with a Conservative majority. The Daily Mail is admittedly a right-wing paper with a strong line in indignant stories about what’s-Britain-coming-to, but even it doesn’t use the work “treachery” lightly.
HMS Cumberland is already for two reasons an image of the sad decline of the Royal Navy and of Britain’s defense forces in general. The previous ship to bear the name was a heavy cruiser, and before that it was borne over the centuries by several capital ships. Britain today does not have a single cruiser of any description and its last serving capital ship, HMS Ark Royal, is also due for disposal (The last capital ship in commission is Nelson’s Victory, which if things keep going as they are, may be required to put to sea again. Fortunately several of its sails as well as its cannons have been preserved along with the hull.)
The present Cumberland also made the headlines when, in obedience to the diktats of political correctness, a Satanist chapel was installed to accommodate the proclivities of a Satanist crewmember. No, I am not making this up — it is not exactly a cheerful thought that in the new, non-discriminatory Royal Navy a Satanist might get his finger on a certain red button. (By way of contrast, I toured one of the last British cruisers, HMS Tiger, some years ago. The sentence in polished brass letters on the ceremonial rum-cask: FEAR GOD; HONOUR THE QUEEN, stuck in my mind.) The phrase “What would Nelson have said?” has been used in so many headlines to stories about Naval cuts and other scandals that it has become a cliché, but in this particular case it seems a reasonable question.
Senior officers have said British forces would struggle to mount even a small-scale military intervention as the cupboard for resources is bare.
They have also warned that there is little chance of even being able to mount rescue operations similar to that which Cumberland undertook in the future. Service chiefs have also warned the Prime Minister that destroying the Harrier jet force and scrapping Ark Royal would put personnel at considerable risk. The Army has just one battalion on standby for emergency operations and this is said to lack the correct equipment for training.
As well as other losses the Navy’s amphibious landing force will be cut in half by the mothballing of the landing ship Bulwark and other craft.
One senior officer was quoted as saying: “We certainly could not do an operation like Sierra Leone again because we have no fast jets. Even to achieve and sustain a foothold ashore would be difficult.” Another senior Navy officer said, “The locker is not just empty it’s completely threadbare.”
H. G. Wells suggested for his epitaph: “I told you so, you bloody fools!”
Hal G.P. Colebatch’s ”Immram,” Counterstrike, is being published by Australian publisher Imaginites.
From The American Spectator at: http://spectator.org/archives/2011/03/01/scrapping-the-hero-of-benghazi/print
What you are about to watch is an actual event.
The Israeli Armed Forces filmed this in real time. What you’ll see is a fully armoured Syrian tank being hit by an Israeli laser-guided, steel-penetrating, phosphorous-filled “hand held” rocket. The rocket is small, very portable and is a tightly controlled weapon. There must be no fewer than 2 soldiers present to verify the use, one must be a senior officer with a minimum of 10 years military service.
This tank was headed for one of Israel ’s settlements. There were four more tanks one mile to the rear of this tank. They turned around before getting to this area after learning what had happened to the lead tank. You can hear the ammunition going off after the initial strike. No Syrian tank crew member survived this event and it did not make the news. (H/T Susan K)
Video Below. Article and video from: Bare Naked Islam at: