Fakery

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A “zero day” is a bug in a software program that allows hackers access. The NSA says they don’t search for these and stockpile them to use against terrorists. Why the hell not? And why lie about it, unless that’s your top-down management style?

Joe Doakes

That’s the thing about the whole espionage, counter-espionage, cryptography, counter-cryptography, terrorism and counter-terrorism thing; it’s all about head-faking the other guy.  Constantly.  And sometimes, we are “the other guy”.

Prayers, Eh?

Word arrives to us that there’s been a shooting at the Canadian War Memorial, with more shooting apparently inside the Canadian parliament building. 

We are reminded that two days ago, one Canadian soldier was killed and another injured when they were run down by a car in Quebec.  The driver, according to Canadian news sources, had “Jihadist sympathies”.

UPDATE:  Here’s the CBC’s live blog:

UPDATE 2:  From the blog, a CBC reporter tweets:

2 men with long hair and scarves ran off after man wearing ceremonial guard uniform shot at War Monument this morning. #ottnews

UPDATE 3:  Highly unconfirmed reports from Twitter say one shooter is dead.

UPDATE 4: CVT news is rpoerting another shooting on Parliament hill.  This is unconfirmed. 

UPDATE 5:  Reports say “several dozen”, perhaps “30 to 50″, shots were fired in the Parliament after the shooting of the Canadian soldier at the War Memorial.   As of a minute ago, it’s still an active shooter situation.

UPDATE 6:  Following situation on Twitter.  The Ottawa Police don’t have any better luck with perimeters than CTU does on “24″; the perimeter for an apparently second (or more) gunman/men has been widened.  Photos of police searching cars on bridges around Ottawa.

UPDATE 7:  Reports say one shooter is on the roof of a building about a block from Parliament.

UPDATE 8:  A reporter shot this video from inside Parliament as the police found one shooter.

All that marble – the echo alone is a weapon…

I can’t imagine the training it’d take to make one run toward that noise.

UPDATE 9: The shooter in parliament was apparenetly shot by the Sergeant at Arms, a Mr. Kevin Vickers.

UPDATE 10:  The NYTimes reported that the Canadian soldier shot at the War Memorial had died.  This is disputed by Canadian sources.  I’ll bank on the Times being wrong, as always in these situations.

UPDATE 11:  The CBC is naming the shooter as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. 

Clearly a Parté Québécois terrorist.

Scrimmage

Over the weekend, I heard NPR intoning with worried voice that ISIS was working on getting some captured Syrian jet fighters operational.

This, the worried NPR reporters told us, would be a worrisome development in the developing war in the Levant. 

A Syrian Air Force MIG-21. 

And I thought “well, maybe to NPR reporters.  But I have a hunch I know one crowd who’d just loooooooove it if ISIS were to cough up a plane or two”:

“I’d sell my first born to engage all three… by myself,” one highly experienced U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot joked. Another Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle pilot said, “Send me in, coach! There’s no way they get those airborne!”

A Syrian MIG-23.  During the skirmishes with Israel over the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon in 1981, several Syrian Mig-23 pilots ejected from their planes the moment they saw that Israeli F-4s’ air-to-air radar had locked onto them. 

Western, non-Israeli fighter pilots haven’t had any air-to-air combat since the first Gulf War, 20-odd years ago – and even that was rare.   The Iraqi air force largely buried itself in the sand (not making that up) or flew to…Syria and Iran in 2003. 

The ISIS “air force” apparently has two MIG-21s – infamous dogfighters in Vietnam, which led to the design of the F-16, forty years ago - and a single MIG-23, a Cold-War-era mainstay of the Soviet air force. 

Both were designed in an era where either planes were fighters, or bombers – not both:

“We’re not talking about aircraft that are extremely effective at delivering ordinance both in terms of equipment and training,” said one U.S. Air Force official. “It’s simply not worth it beyond an easily discreditable propaganda ploy.”

The MiG-21 does not carry a huge amount of weaponry and was originally designed to fight other aircraft. Meanwhile, the MiG-23 is a much bigger and more complex jet that requires a professional pilot to operate properly.

Oh, make no mistake – they both require professional pilots.  If not to fly them, then to survive in combat long enough to say they were in combat. 

There are a fighter pilot or two among the regular commentariat here at SITD.  I’ll invite their feedback…

Integrity

Democrats who ran four-square against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – including Al Franken – have suddenly turned into war-hawks.

Which sorta answers the question “where are all those peace creeps now that the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner is in office?”.

So it’s almost refreshing to see that the official Miss Bloodyshirt USA 2007, Cindy Sheehan, is not only still anti-war, but still batspittle crazy:

Sheehan said the left anti war movement is being ignored by the democrats because they are “reverse racists” who are supporting Obama only because he is an African-American.

 

She said, “I think that there are some people on the so called left, who might say we have to circle our wagons around the first African American president, and to me that is racism in reverse because his policies are actually still the racist policies of empire.”

I said she was crazy.  I didn’t say she was all wrong.

Kurd Is The New Pole

I can write off most of what the Obama Administration has done as stupidity born of extremist ideology, or incompetence. 

But his Administration’s betrayal of the Kurds?  That’s beyond stupid, beyond depraved.  I’ve added emphasis. 

While we spend tens of millions bombing “ISIS oil refineries” that are little than moonshining stills costing thousands of dollars

As these lines are being written, some 400,000 Kurds in and around the town of Kobane in northern Syria, on the Turkish border, are being besieged and assaulted by massed legions of Islamic State killers armed with scores of tanks, armored personnel carriers, and heavy artillery. Against these, the Kurdish defenders have only AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. The Kurds have called on the U.S. to send in air strikes to take out the jihadist forces. In response, the administration sent in two fighter jets Saturday, which destroyed two Islamic State tanks and then flew away.

For all the yapping that both sides are doing about “boots on the ground”, the Kurds are there, and are more than ready and capable of doing the job. 

But can our idiot administration get even that right?   While we pour arms and supplies and aid into the centralized Iraqi army – originally formed to help perpetuate the lunacy of unified Shi’ite/Sunni/Kurdish Iraq that has never existed except as an administrative boundary enforced at gunpoint by successive waves of Ottoman, British and Ba’athist rulers - we’re letting the Peshmerga, the motivated, experienced, capable Kurdish military, die on the vine:      

 The Kurds are begging for arms. The administration has not only refused to send arms, but is exerting pressure both on our NATO allies and on Israel not to send any either. Over 150,000 Kurds have fled their homes to try to escape to Turkey, but they are being blocked at the border by Turkish troops. Meanwhile, Turkey is allowing Islamist reinforcements to enter Syria to join the Islamic State, while Islamist elements of the Free Syrian Army, funded and armed by the United States, have joined forces with the group in the genocidal assault on the Kurdish enclave.

The author, Robert Zubrin, compares the situation with the Warsaw Uprising, where Stalin sat on the banks of the Wisla River across from Warsaw and let the Nazis kill off the Polish freedom fighters for him. 

Mr. “President”:  Get the Turks in line, or kick them out of NATO.  Let NATO and the Israelis arm and help the Kurds, if you’re not smart and brave enough to do it yourself. 

For most of Obama’s cosmic stupidity, I can nod my head and say “see you at election time”.  That’s American politics.

This?  This is depravity. 

And for this?  If you support this clown car of an Administration on this depraved policy, then my contempt for you is a seething, visceral, boiling-hot mass you are not ready to face. 

More on this on the air Saturday.  Much, much more.

In Praise Of The French

Conservatives love ripping on the French. In the aftermath of 9/11, when W was building his coalition to go to Afghanistan and then Iraq, the French were famously reticent – which bade many conservatives to start referring to The French as “cheese eating surrender monkeys”, among other things.

(As we’ve noted in the space in the past, this is also a reference – largely mistaken – to World War II. As illiterate as Liberals are about history, let it not be said that some conservatives don’t have their blind spots as well).

Conservatives who criticize the French are blinded to the key fact that the French stance was not a bug – it was a feature.

In 1986, the great military historian Edwin Luttwak wrote the classic, seminal book “The Pentagon and the Art of War”. In the book, Luttwak affixed the blame for five straight American military debacles (Vietnam, the Mayagüez incident, Desert One, Reagan’s Lebanon operation and the successful but sloppy and costly invasion of Grenada) to the fact that America had no strategy – or, rather, an underlying strategy that was entirely based on refighting a worldwide conventional war, like World War II.

In short, America’s defensive posture did not have a clear goal that related to the world we were in in the 1980s,  and our military was not built, equipped or trained to accomplish the things it did face.

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Line Up That Second Peace Prize!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Remember when all President Obama planned to do was cure the sick, end joblessness, slow the rise of the oceans, heal the planet, end war, secure our nation’s borders and restore our nation’s image abroad?

That was nothing.

Now he’s going to “eliminate the the schism between Sunni and Shia that has been fueling so much of the violence in Syria, in Iraq.”

As Powerline asks:“Whoa! We are going to ‘eliminate the schism between Sunni and Shia?’ The schism that goes back to the 7th Century? And we are going to “eliminate the schism” through diplomacy?”

No. Not “we.” President Barack Obama, possibly assisted by Secretary of State John Kerry. After all they have promised to accomplish so far, why would you have any doubt? Nobel Committee, call your office.

Joe Doakes

In a side note, in re last night’s speech, a friend of mine texted me in re the President saying ISIS – the “Islamic State in Syria” – “wasn’t Muslim” [1]; apparently their name is…

“Innocent Separatists Impacted by Sophistry”.

Naturally.

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Defense

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama will address the nation Wednesday, September 10th, outlining his plans to fight Islamic terrorists.

Islamic terrorists have hit America twice on September 11th. If they have something lined up and hit us again on Thursday, right after President Obama tells the world his grand plan to fight Islamic terror, the entire world will him revealed as a clueless but arrogant poseur. No Greek playwright would have written a character with that much hubris, the audience wouldn’t have believed it.

Do I want to see American interests hit by terrorists just to see Barack Obama humiliated? As Jack Benny used to say: “I’m thinking.”

Joe Doakes

I get Joe’s point – but I’m not thinking about it.  Of course not. 

The problem, of course, is that the questions “to attack or not to attack?”, and “where and when?”, are questions that belong to those who are on the offensive; those who have what in strategic and tactical circles is called “the initiative”, or in sports circles “momentum”. 

Say what you will about the US’s actions between 2002 and 2008 – the human, financial and moral costs, the politics, the morals of the tactics and methods and the whole enterprise – but we were on the offensive.  We, largely, chose when and where the war would be fought. 

We’re on defensive now.  We – Barack Obama – lost the initiative; squandered the “momentum”. 

The other side chooses whether Barack Obama spends tomorrow in the Situation Room or on the Golf Course. 

I’m praying for Golf. 

The problem is, they’ll choose it the next day, and the week after that, and the month after that…

…and “ensuring that we’re the ones who make that choice – and make it a moot one through sheer force of diplomatic, moral and if necessary military power” is one of precious few legitimate reasons to have a government.

Two Steps Back

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The UN has peacekeepers acting as a buffer in the Golan Heights between Syria and Israel. Syrian rebels associated with Al Qaeda demanded UN troops from Fiji surrender, which they did. The Fijian troops were taken hostage.

Syrian rebels also demanded UN troops from the Philippines surrender, which they refused to do. The Syrian rebels attacked the Pilipinos, who retreated into Israel as Irish UN forces covered their retreat and Syrian government forces shelled the Syrian rebels to prevent pursuit.

The captured Fijians remain captured. The Pilipinos want an investigation into why the UN commander from India ordered Phillipino and Fijian peacekeepers to surrender to terrorists. Now the officer who refused to surrender to terrorists has been placed on leave.

And that’s the problem with the UN peacekeeping idea in general. Nobody cares if the other country’s guys get killed defending some worthless land in somebody else’s back yard. It isn’t our country so we’re not going to let our guys die for it. But if yours do, well, that’s okay.

Bad enough when it’s UN troops. Worse if it’s American troops. Let Israel off the leash and the problem will be solved in days, if not hours.

Joe Doakes

“Peace” is not always synonymous with “absence of shooting”.

Reindeer Games

Sweden – which has been slowly drawing down the strength of its air force, once the world’s fourth-largest, since the end of the Cold War – is buying more fighter planes

And Finland – which has fought two wars with Russia in the past century – is noticing more Russian incursions into their airspace

Good thing we’ve got President Obama’s crackerjack diplomacy to ease tensions around the world, huh?

Death Cult

In the lulls between Palestinian/Israeli combat, I sometimes forget how very, very depressed I get at how very ill-informed Americans are about the recent history of the Middle East.

I’ve even seen relatively intelligent acquaintances of mine claim that both sides, Palestinian and Israeli, are morally equal.  One trumpeted “both sides are run by extremists!”, by way of excusing the Palestinians.

I’m going to link to this piece by Dennis Prager – the best, simplest explanation of the last seventy years I’ve ever seen.

“The Israelis want to have a state.  The Palestinians want the Jews dead”.

There is no moral equivalence.

An Unexpected Disappointing Tragedy

A guided missile shoots down a Malaysian jetliner carrying over 200 people including almost 2 dozen Americans, is apparently shot down over a proxy war zone.

The President observes the “tragedy” briefly, and then goes back on script to demand Republicans build more airports. 

It’s tiresome to keep repeating “if it’d been any Republican, can you imagine how different the media response would be”.  But it’s still true.

Intellectual Trust Fund Babies

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

As politicians try to lay blame for losing Iraq on Bush’s flawed Mid-East vision instead of Obama’s flawed Mid-East vision, Fernandez points out:

“As recent events in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Iraq show, the problem with Obama’s conception is it doesn’t work.  It is so bad that it makes GWB look good by comparison.

Joe Doakes

One of the standard jokes four years ago was that “everything about Obama’s foreign policy that’s succeeding [continuing Bush's hard line in Iraq and Afghanistan] is a continuation of the Bush policy”.

Simplistic?  Maybe.

Simplistic enough that Biden believed it:

And it’s gotta be simplistic for Biden to buy it.

 

Greater Love Hath No Man…

You’ll search the mainstream media a long time before you find it mentioned, but the hero of the shooting in Las Vegas was…

…a civilian with a carry permit:

…the victim at Wal-Mart was a concealed carry holder who actually successfully confronted the male shooter, but didn’t realize that he had a partner in the crime.
From the report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, police say that the concealed carry holder confronted the male shooter while the female shooter was pushing a shopping cart.

Mr. Wilcox shot the first shooter.  The shooter’s wife then shot Mr. Wilcox in the back.

She then slipped behind the concealed carry holder and shot him at close range, unfortunately.
“He had no idea the wife was walking behind him,” the police official said of the murdered man

This underscores the importance of working on proper shooting drills, especially shaking your head to clear your focus, and maintaining your situational awareness.

But the real point?

. “This guy (Wilcox) was not some idiot with a gun. “He had no idea the wife was walking behind him,” the police official said of the murdered man. “This guy (Wilcox) was not some idiot with a gun. To me, he was a hero. He was trying to stop an active shooter.””

And here’s the important part – while the mainstream media will never report this, Wilcox did precisely what the police are starting to realize is the most important thing to do in mass shootings; get fire on target ASAP.  The psychos who do these shootings carry out their acts in a fantasy, a reverie – and taking return fire breaks the reverie for them.  They then almost inevitably either give up, or shoot themselves (as the killers in Vegas did).

This same exact thing happened three days before Sandy Hook, at the Clackamas Mall in Portland Oregon, when citizen Nick Melo, pointing a pistol at a crazed shooter who’d already killed two, caused the shooter to abandon his carefully-laid plan and kill himself.

Or, for that matter, the New Life Christian Center in Colorado Springs, when return fire from volunteer security wounded a spree killer, causing him to withdraw and, shortly, kill himself.

There is no way of knowing how many lives Joseph Wilcox saved by his action.  Likely many.

And this the example to throw into the fact of the orcs who’d take your right to defend yourself.

They – like the spree killers – live in a fantasy world.

The Right War

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In 2008, Candidate Obama assured us the war in Iraq was the wrong war. He wanted to fight the right war in Afghanistan, against the Taliban.
In 2014, President Obama surrendered the Taliban high leadership back to the enemy and announced American troops will be leaving Afghanistan.
He picked the war. He lost it. His legacy.
Joe Doakes

Even those of us who tacitly agreed that Afghanistan needed the most emphasis have to be disappointed by Obama’s performance.

I Didn’t Fight The Law, And The Law Won Anyway

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The attack on our consulate in Benghazi was long ago.  The President tweets his concern for kidnapped girls.  These incidents are reported as separate dots. Wretchardconnects the dots.

Boko Haram swears alliegence to Al Queda.  Yes, that Al Queda, the terrorist group that President Obama supposedly obliterated when he ordered Osama Bin Laden dead.   But it’s not dead.

Al Queda attacked our Benghazi consulate and dragged our ambassador through the streets.  It arms Boko Harum with weapons stolen in Libya so Boko Harum can kidnap Christian girls to sell into sexual slavery to Muslim slave-owners, all of which they justify by the Muslim religion, which we dare not offend, so Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State and Barack Obama as President didn’t name Boko Harum a terrorist group long ago.

The Benghazi attack and the kidnapped girls are battles in the war Fundamentalist Islam is waging against us, a war we refuse to admit exists and therefore refuse to fight.

This will not end well.

Joe Doakes

As I used to tell my “pacifist” friends (and some of my “anarcho-libertarian” acquaintances today) – just because you eschew war doesn’t mean war eschews you.

“…Being Necessary For The Security Of A Free State…”

Citizen militias have been winning parts of Mexico back from the narcotraficantes.  

To do this, they’ve broken what pass for “the rules”; they’ve fought violence with violence; they’ve used weapons that are utterly illegal in Mexico (assault rifles, obtained by the same illegal means that people always use to obtain guns where guns are banned). 

And it’s worked. 

And it worked against a backdrop of, at best, government incompetence (they’ve never been able to make a dent in the narcotraficantes stranglehold on the area) or complicity (the narcos have bought off or co-opted vast swathes of Mexico’s government, including judges, law enforcement and the military). 

So now that the government is trying to co-opt the one thing that’s worked against the cartels

The government will go town by town to organize and recruit the new rural forces.

“This is a process of giving legal standing to the self-defense forces,” said vigilante leader Estanislao Beltran.

… is it surprising that some of the locals aren’t buying it?

But tension remained on Friday in the coastal part of the state outside the port of Lazaro Cardenas, where other “self-defense” groups plan to continue as they are, defending their territory without registering their arms. Vigilantes against the demobilization have set up roadblocks in the coastal town of Caleta.

“We don’t want them to come, we don’t recognize them,” vigilante Melquir Sauceda said of the government and the new rural police forces. “Here we can maintain our own security. We don’t need anyone bringing it from outside.”

This is precisely why the Second Amendment is, and must always be, a right of the people; because government at best is modestly capable of doing the right thing, and at worst is as bad as or worse than the problem, when it isn’t itself the problem.

War Equals Peace, Winston

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama isn’t just the First Black President, he may also be the Most Belligerent. Aside from the ordinary garrison troops at US bases and embassies around the world, and not counting bombing sorties flown by drones, this President has dispatched American troops to put boots on the ground in conflicts in:

Iraq

Afghanistan

Pakistan

Kyrgyzstan

Egypt

Libya

Yeman

Sudan

Uganda

Central African Republic

Poland

and with this week’s the new agreement, the Philippines.

Can he get another Nobel Peace Prize, please? Because for a man this devoted to peace, one just doesn’t seem like enough.

To be fair, he didn’t start all of these conflicts, and wasn’t the first to send US troops to all of them.

To be even more fair, he got elected promising a foreign policy that relied less on military force and breaking things and making them go boom.

Frog In A Pan

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

US sent 300 paratroopers to Poland to serve as a trip-wire against Russian aggression. Washington Post explains the reasoning.

It’s a dumb idea.

The trip-wire concept is simple: if the Russians attack and kill our 300 guys, the American public will be so outraged that Congress will Declare War as young people run to the recruiting offices and the sleeping American giant will roar to life to crush the Russians in a savage but fully justified act of revenge.

Never happen. Not in modern America. Democrats won’t declare war, Code Pinkers won’t support war, Millennials won’t go to war. Instead, the public consensus will be “Those paratroopers volunteered to serve in the armed forces so they assumed the risk of being killed. We’re not going to suffer for their bad career choice.”

Now, here’s the scary part: are SITD readers the only people who understand this? Does the US military command know those troops are twisting in the wind but they’re sending them anyway because the WaPo foreign policy wallahs want it? Seems like a major breach of faith to me.

Worse, do the Russians know it’s a bluff? Are they already planning how to invade around our people, knowing there only risk is a scolding from the Teleprompter in Chief or his lurching Secretary of State?

It was bad enough when the President’s idiotic foreign policy got our Ambassador killed. We don’t need another 300 bodies to confirm his error.

Joe Doakes

Reading history, it’s hard to avoid a key fact; most wars are backed into.