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January 03, 2004

On airline security - you can't have it both ways.

This post is graphic, and I'm not hiding it behind the curtain. Scroll down quickly if you are feeling squeamish today. Sorry to inconvenience any delicate souls out there - but I'm grumpy this morning.

While much air has been expended on the series of flight cancellations, turn-backs, delays, etc - what's the administration to do? According to many of the people I've seen bloviating (and I would be REALLY grumpy too, if I'd been one of the stranded passengers) the government should be doing nothing. They should just let the flights go. Of course, these same people will scream bloody murder if a plane is ever again deliberately landed at unscheduled locations resulting in urban removal.

A Mexican official was observed by Eric Lichtblau of the NYT to say:

The latest concern over the tighter security — perhaps unparalleled in commercial aviation history — was raised by Mexico on Friday. A spokesman for President Vicente Fox questioned decisions by the United States on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day to cancel Aeromexico's Flight 490 from Mexico City to Los Angeles. The spokesman, Agustin Gutiérrez Canet, said that armed Mexican agents had been scheduled to fly aboard the flights and that the authorities made special efforts to interrogate passengers closely and inspect luggage.

"Those revisions have found nothing suspicious," Mr. Gutiérrez said. "Where was the risk?"

Oh, I dunno. Here?

Of course, this is an easy argument to make, and is a staple of lawyers and politicians everywhere - demanding that the other side prove a negative.

More from the Times:

Seven international flights have now been canceled since last Saturday after the Bush administration began an aggressive approach to defending American airspace when the nation was put on orange or "high" alert on Dec. 21. Administration officials said no arrests had been made in connection with any of the more than a dozen international flights subjected to rigorous scrutiny. And officials have acknowledged that even now, they are uncertain whether they have succeeded in foiling a terrorist plot.

"I don't think we know yet, and we may never know," a senior administration official said.

Now mind you, the same government that people (on both sides of the spectrum) accuse of being monumentally incompetent is the same government that is supposed to be omniscient. Yet - it can't be allowed to be omnipresent nor (shudder) omnipotent! Of course, this is also the same government that many of these people accuse of being able to orchestrate astoundingly complex and impenetrable conspiracies... but they are Keystone Kops when it comes to handling the War on Terror.

Sigh. This rant has morphed a bit, eh? Well, what the heck, let's completely derail it.

Some of the Sons of Albion who pilot commercial airliners aren't made of the same stuff their fathers and grandfathers were who flew over Berlin and Hamburg 60 years ago...

In another indication of the turmoil resulting from the increased security measures, an American official said that the cancellation of the British Airways flights was not in response to United States safety concerns, but rather was prompted by the refusal of British pilots to fly with armed marshals on board. The United States put other nations on notice earlier this week that it would not allow certain suspicious flights into its airspace without armed marshals on board.

Cool fellas. Good on ya for sticking to your, er, guns. You get to make those decisions. You also get to enjoy the consequences. You can wear your "I'm a Gun-Fearing-Wussy" badge proudly. But shut up about not being able to fly into our airspace, where we have some experience with people doing rude things with commercial aircraft.

Lastly, to wrap this ramble up - Get used to it people. You'd rather be inconvenienced than microscopic bits of cellular material buried in Fresh Kills Landfill. Believe it or not - it's not simple stuff to do, sifting through all the mish-mash of intel. Especially not since we have to rely so much on technical means having let our humint capability wither through deliberate neglect and outright purposeful dismantlement. Every time they do this, they learn some more.

And if they err on the side of caution - well, yeah, if I'm one of the delayed passengers I'm gonna be unhappy. But I'll get over it. I bet Todd Beamer's family and all the families of passengers on United Flight 93 wish that there had been some inconvenience. So, get a grip. Take a chill pill. Go to the airport bar and get a beer. Because you've not been inconvenienced in any seriously meaningful way. And if we err on the side of caution... well, tough. I can always take a later flight. And I don't want my last flight to be like this:

Or these.

If all you are going to do is whine, do it somewhere else. If you have something useful to say, go for it. Otherwise, get a beer and get over it.

The entire NYT article is here. You'll probably have to register.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Jan 03, 2004 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» democrats give conservatives indigestion links with: Are we taking things too far?

January 02, 2004

Someone get concealed carry active in Wisconsin.

I simply cannot stand the pessimistic Owen. Let's get it so he can legally carry and maybe he won't be so grumpy!

EU could have prevented Iraq war...

So opines EU Commission President Romano Prodi.

"If Europe had been present and united, I believe, we would not have seen the war on Iraq," Prodi said, adding "Then we would have managed to find a solution to preserve the peace."

Really? The EU's Army, Navy, and Air Force really would have stood up to us? Because that was the only way you were going to stop it, you fantasizing Eurocrat.

Will it ever occur to these throwbacks to inbred royalty that if they had truly enforced the UN resolutions that the war wouldn't have happened in the first place? Dolts. Blind, blathering, clueless, dolts.

And the One-Worlder's want to turn our sovereignty over to mindless bags of oxygen-wasting meat like this?

Not that I feel strongly about it.

here's the whole blivet

Another thought - if the UN gets 'control' of the Internet, a post like this will probably be a capital offense, daring to criticise the 'Great and Good'.

Poppycock rotters.


The Sniper's War.

I've blogged this already, about the ambush in Samarra where the asshats Islamofacist crapweasels used schoolkids as cover. The fight where we killed eleven of the b*stards and lost none. And a sniper took 7 of 'em. Where we took the risks to not hit the kids. But of course, I forget, we're just there to kill 'em and take their oil.

SAMARRA, Iraq, Dec. 28 — The intimate horror of the guerrilla war here in Iraq seems most vivid when seen through the sights of a sniper's rifle.

In an age of satellite-guided bombs dropped at featureless targets from 30,000 feet, Army snipers can see the expression on a man's face when the bullet hits.

"I shot one guy in the head, and his head exploded," said Sgt. Randy Davis, one of about 40 snipers in the Army's new 3,600-soldier Stryker Brigade, from Fort Lewis, Wash. "Usually, though, you just see a dust cloud pop up off their clothes, and see a little blood splatter come out the front."

Working in teams of two or three, Army snipers here in Iraq cloak themselves in the shadows of empty city buildings or burrow into desert sands with camouflage suits, waiting to fell guerrilla gunmen and their leaders with a single shot from as far as half a mile away.

JD Mays - here's the answer to your question - which I'll still deal with in greater detail in a future post.

"You don't think about it," said Specialist Wilson, 24, of Muncie, Ind., speaking at an austere base camp near here after a late-afternoon mission. "You just think about the lives of the guys to your left and right."

I suppose a moonbat lefties (as distinct from rational ones - yes, they do exist) won't buy this nugget:


Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

How about some pictures?

All photos courtesy of DoD.

This is what I used to do. What I didn't have to do was this as an additional duty while functioning as light infantry - which is what a lot of the artillery units in Iraq are doing. Lots of patrols, searches, etc - but they have to maintain their skills as cannoneers, too. C/4th of the 1st FA in action, training near Baghdad.

Come on back and see the rest!

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

December 31, 2003

Not that I needed it...

But here's one more reason to crush the Islamofacist swine under our heel and help the Arab peoples raise up a new world for themselves free of these jerks.

Photo from Drudge. Article from the Washington Times.

Keeping an Eye on the "C" in ABCA.

ABCA. America, Britain, Canada, Australia. A little-known formal alliance that has been in existence since WWII. While most war-like events since WWII have been AB, AA, ABA, most people don't realize that Afghanistan has been ABCA. And while there a Canadian sniper scored the longest range kill. Their role is about to expand.

KABUL - The role of international troops in Afghanistan is about to change from patrolling streets to hunting down insurgents, Canada's top soldier in the region says.

In a pre-Christmas address to the troops Tuesday, Maj.-Gen. Andrew Leslie told Canadian Forces soldiers at Camp Julien that international peacekeepers would be fanning out from Kabul in the future to smaller, less secure towns across the war-torn country.

"The bottom line is the security situation in the south is not good. But in the rest of the country, it's certainly a hell of a lot better than it was."

Good on ya, fellas. But, I'm still gonna keep an eye on the shipping, what with you guys picking up all this experience, though.

In a related note, Her Majesty's Forces in the Great White North have a better sense of humor (and refreshingly less self-importance -in the miiltary, anyway) than we do. The *ahem* Gunner in charge of Canadian forces in Afghanistan has this little snippet in his official biography...

Promoted to Brigadier-General in 1999, in 2000 he became the Canadian Forces J6, responsible for communications, signals intelligence and computer network operations. In 2002, he was appointed commander of Land Forces Central Area, responsible for one Regular and three Reserve brigade groups, a support formation and several bases and training schools. Promoted to his current rank in May 2003, Maj.-Gen. Leslie is now the Canadian Commander, Task Force Kabul and Deputy Commander, International Security Assistance Force. Maj.-Gen.Leslie also runs moderately, skis well and wind-surfs badly.

Must be an artillery thing. I used to run moderately, ski well, and I also wind-surf badly. So badly I had to be rescued by a 12 year old German on Lake Chiemsee!

And, in what will be a surprising revelation to you earthcrawler types, MG Leslie appreciates his grunts. As related by my mole in the Canadian Army, CAPT H, :

Several years ago, as Commander 1 CMBG, he ran a live-fire ex at CFB Suffield. While briefing the press and other observers, he ran through a series of slides showing the stages of a deliberate attack. He finished with a slide on the infantry assault, introducing it with: "And then we send in the Death Techs."

Yes, despite the best efforts of the Canadian Government notwithstanding (see Regiment, Airborne, disbanding of) our friends up north do still have a few "Death Techs" and aren't afraid to admit that what armies do is Kill People, Break Things, and Control What's Left.


BTW - any current or former warriors in any nation are encouraged to provide the (unclas, please!) kind of info that CAPT H so thoughtfully provides for Canada. I'll be happy to publish anything (I do exercise some editorial judgement) you would like to share, with or without attribution as you request. I know how it can be when you are a serving soldier... that brings to mind a tale for a different post.

December 29, 2003

Things that make ya go hmmmm.

Good on ya, Mr. Pastis. Go read some of his other stuff. He's funny, in an odd way. Just click on the comic above to get to his website.

Update: Check out today's (Dec 29) strip! Howard Dean's military! Just click on the strip posted here.