“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Friday, August 8, 2014

Heavy Thunderstorms, the dire threat of spring set, and the establishment of the Caliphate.


Big storms passing through since about 4:00 this morning.  Spectacular lightning, at first off in the distance and then right around this mountain.  Woke me up so I watched it for awhile from the porch, then went back to bed. When I got up this morning, it was still pouring down rain and ever so often the thunder would roll.

As a result, I haven't done much around the place.  Wasted a lot of time working with Amazon , trying to get a copy of a magazine which I subscribe to on Kindle. Ever so often, an issue just doesn't show up. I guess they figure that you won't notice, but I keep a spreadsheet on magazine issues .I notice.

Four times I called them.  Four times they made me do the same dreary pointless exercises in trouble shooting, which I already knew wouldn't work. And four times, when we got to the point that they didn't know what else to try, the Indian I was talking to would suddenly disappear and a message would come up saying "phone call dropped."  How strange, that it always "dropped" at exactly the same point in our conversation. This is a tendency I've noted before with Indian call centers.  I emailed Amazon in the end, which is what I had to do to get this resolved last time. So much for the much vaunted "Mayday Button" on the new Kindles. It has never done me one iota of good.

Opened a bottle of wine and drank half of it. I don't usually drink wine but I was in the mood. I don't have to feel guilty about not working around the place because it's raining. I don't have anything pressing I have to do on the computer.  Why not just enjoy the rare moment?

I am pondering whether or not I should unload my "ready supply" AK47 magazines and reload the ammo into other magazines. I keep six magazines loaded with 20 to 25 rounds each, as the mood strikes me when I do that evolution.  Guns and Ammo says there is no such thing as magazine spring set. I know of many instances where weapons have stayed loaded for decades and functioned flawlessly. And yet, and yet........ I wonder.


Deus Vult!



Who would have thought?  There's an old Moslem prophecy, that first would come the Caliphate which followed Mohammed. Then would come the era of the Kingdoms.  That would , in the fullness of time, be followed by the restored Caliphate.  Makes you wonder.

Not a good idea to be sending in manned aircraft.  The followers of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi  are armed with most of the equipment we handed over to the Iraqi's, including our own advanced Stingers. Wouldn't be good if the Isis guys got  one of our pilots. What if they got one of our female pilots? What a propaganda coupe that would be for them.

They are massacring thousands. They have thousands of people from an obscure sect trapped on a mountain top, dying of hunger and thirst. In some cities, they've rounded up all the women under 35. That's right out of the original Moslem play book from the 600's.  Reward the faithful with women, and kill off the unbelieving (and inconvenient husbands). Christians can convert, or pay a tax, or die.  Shiites get short shrift from them. Iran, which spoke so boldly of how they would annihilate Isis has backed off. You have to wonder if they think this guy is actually the Mahdi, or really the Caliph.

Turkey could defeat them, but Turkey has big troubles with fundamentalists as well.  The Pesmerga don't have much in the way of arms other than small arms and some light artillery. The Isis guys have the best that money can buy, which we gave the Iraqis and they ran away and left for the followers of the Caliph.


Bishop, Patriarch of Jerusalem: "Convert to Islam, repent later!"



14 comments:

  1. This covers a lot of ground.

    As to mags. I load pistol mags (double stack 9mm Glock) down 1 round and rifle mags (30 rd AR or AK) down 2. The benefits of this could be hotly debated but my mags always work and the difference between 14/16 vs 15/17 (pistol) or 28 vs 30 (rifle) is unlikely to realistically matter in any fight.

    The whole ISIS mess is something I have been following. Bad for the Christians in Mosul. They were there for two centuries and have, at least by the reports I have read been driven out or 'converted'. Granted I suspect those conversions will last as long as ISIS is in charge but still not a great situation.

    As to ISIS. They pretty much ran through the Suni third(ish) of Iraq. Since Malaki was setting up a Shia 'One man one vote, one time' presidency I am not surprised the Suni's were not exactly fighting much.

    They initially stopped upon hitting the Kurds to the north west and the Shia's to the south. As to the Kurds.

    Begin tangent. From my personal experience they are good, honest trustworthy people and capable fighters. I have personally relaxed, chatted and had a nice meal and even napped on a couch in compounds guarded by Kurds.

    They are poor but that can be said of the whole region except a few elites. However unlike the Sunni dumps when you cross over the Euphrates into Kurdistan the trash is picked up, homes are put together and kids are clean.

    I was involved (as was almost everyone) in doing various projects across northern Iraq. If you asked for contracts to dig a well east of the river (Sunni land) 3-4 guys would want 90-100k to dig a well in his own village. On the other hand in Kurdistan we would get 1 bid. That bid would be for a fairly small amount and more interestingly broken down by supplies needed and a pretty solid estimate of their cost. The Kurds were not looking for money, they just needed 200 feet off 6" steel pipe, a pump, a generator to run it and the various little stuff to put it together. They did not want any money for the work, just needed the material.

    They are good people who have gotten a rough break of things. If I were the sentimental type there are certainly worse causes to fight for. End tangent.

    ISIS is not going to expand further south and east. Iranian SF are there working on the defense of Baghdad. Also the Sunni extremists, Mahdi Army, etc, there kept somewhere around 50k American soldiers bogged down for a few years. Granted ISIS are not governed by the Geneva Conention but we are also a lot better than them AND there are maybe 5k of serious ISIS troops. Probably 10 times that many Sunni fighters in greater Baghdad.

    As to the Kurds I honestly do not know how many men the Peshmerga can field but I do know they are generally light on weapons. Considering ISIS has gathered some varied but serious hardware that could be a problem. On the plus side the Iraqi Air Force is now supporting them and our air force is getting involved in the general area.

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    1. The brutality of the ISIS is being played down on American TV because they don't want American viewers puking on the living room floor. To get a real feel for how bad things are, I've been watching Al Jazeera, which is much less concerned about the sensibilities of the viewers. ISIS is beheading women and girls who aren't veiled and sticking their heads on rails around traffic circles, among other charming activities. They are a lot like Mohamed's original followers, long on zealotry and short on common sense.

      I've never heard anything but good about the Kurds from people who have worked with them. The Turks didn't have much use for them when I was working in Turkey, but it the Kurds had their own country carved out of Iraq and Syria, Turkey would be OK with that I'm sure. Thinking back , I can only remember one set of allies we've had in the third world who weren't carbon copies of the South Vietnamese, and that's the Kurds.

      I'm all for supporting them to the max with weapons and air support, logistical support. I say anything you give the piss ant Iraqi Army is just money flushed down the toilet. Let the high and mighty Iranians stop ISIS down there, if they can. I watched a panel of Islamic "scholars" yesterday talking about the fact that ISIS has great appeal to younger Moslem men because it's winning. They are predicting that the Iraqi Army will vanish, that many Shia will welcome ISIS in Bagdad and in the South, and that the Iranians and Sadr's monkey militia won't hold up, but will withdraw into Iran. I haven't heard that on American TV but then again, I haven't heard many people who know anything at all about the region on American TV.

      I was glad to see your comment. A comment by someone who has been there is more valid than one by someone who has "read about it."but never been outside the states.

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    2. It is tempting to look at the Muslim world as one big happy family. Sunni's and Shia's do not get along, like Catholics and Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries do not get along.

      I suspect the 'scholars' were Sunni's which would make sense as most of the Arab media is out of, or funded by, the Gulf states.

      As to the Iraqi Army I don't know. From general guidelines of the 3rd world I suspect the Army is largely Sunni or at least Sunni led. They might actually fight to protect their social and cultural homes.

      Also there simply are not than many ISIS fighters. Best estimates I have heard are maybe 3,500 core fighters plus maybe another 3k in local tribes who may or may not join in a fight depending on the situation.

      Iranian SF have been in Baghdad for awhile.

      I would submit the odds of an Iranian Armored BDE, which would whip on ISIS like Mike Tyson on good ole boys at a local tough man boxing tournament, coming across the border are far higher than ISIS taking Baghdad.

      Sort of like was mentioned in Syria if the worst case is ISIS and the Mahdi Army/ Quuds (sp) force stacking each other up like cord wood I am good with that though I do feel for the normal folks caught in the middle.

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    3. Al Jazeera is claiming twenty thousand fighters for ISIS with more coming in by droves. It seems that ISIS is collecting fanatics from the Moslem communities in Europe at Astounding rates. They have Chechins, Syrians, old Al Qaida stalwarts. If in fact the guy on the Al Jazeera video is their leader he is charismatic in a way Ben Laudin never was. But even if they just hold on to what they have, it's a huge swath of territory and contols Iraq's water supply. Meanwhile, while all this goes on and the Southern border crumbles, the Golfer in Chief prepares to use his little pen to rewrite the immigration laws while Congress is in recess. Sort of a black version of Caligula.

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    4. Harry, Interesting. I'll look at doing some real intentional research on the topic.

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  2. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    I am in an exceedingly foul mood tonight. I have drank three beers so far so I drink very little so three is a lot for me.

    First I gotta say that the stinger missiles I believe have a chip in them that will block them from hitting U.S. aircraft.

    Second, We need to stay the hell out of this mess in the Persian Gulf. There is no winning a thousand year war. All sides are fucking crazy.

    The Christians should have figured out a long time ago that evacuation is a good idea and gotten the hell out years ago.
    Genocide has gone on for millions of years with humans, homideds, cro magnons, Neanderthal's, you name it.

    It ain't right, but it is standard operational procedure.

    I don't like it anymore than you guys do, but we are broke so what are we going to do about it????



    I say we just let the Israelis nuke' em.

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    1. Well, CC, I don't think we should let ISIS establish a Caliphate. If they get that off the ground, then we need to remember it's "The World Wide Caliphate" and that means they will be looking West. Also, we are still dependent on Saudi Oil, and the Saudis won't last long if the Caliphate gets control of the Middle East. We've been fighting these crazy people with sheets on their heads for more than a thousand years, so it's tough to just pull out and hope the ocean keeps them away. Byzantium got pushed into that position and now what used to be Byzantium is Islamic. Saint Sophia's cathedral is the Blue Mosque these days.

      Personally, I think we should smooth things over with Russia, and then the Russians and Americans could settle the Islamic problem once and for all. Russia has the leadership with the cojones to do it. America has a bunch of greedy old bastards who care only about feathering their own nests, and an El Supremo who wears silk panties instead of boxers and worries about his golf game above all else. Maybe the Russians wouldn't even want us as allies, given that.

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    2. The stinger has a transponder that would help identify friendly aircraft but I'm not aware of any failsafe devices on it. I will see what I can find out.

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  3. Harry - as a former intelligence officer who worked with intelligence officers who specialized in the middle east (i specialized in the far east and the two often mixed together due to weapons and whatnot crossing both easts)....and now having been out of the military and gov positions for almost 5 yrs....i honestly can't care about any of it anymore. i know that it might sound like a wimps way out but i just don't. and although you will have to agree that captain crunch is a bit of a whiz-bang nut - heck, even he would agree with that statement (bahahahahahah!) - i think he's right. i am not saying let Israel nuke the crap out of anyone but if that's what Israel wants to do - i really don't care. i know that you stand with Israel...and our minister of foreign affairs is so stuck up Israel's butt that most canadians just want to ship him to Israel - but i honestly and simply don't care. if that makes me unpatriotic(wha?) or a non-caring person - then i guess that is what i am. as cc says - this crap has been going on for so long and for why? i don't know. i just know that we have sent far too many troops into that area and for what? i am not sure what north america has gotten out of any of it. oh ya, we got gaddafi. and some al-qaeda. big whoop. oh and some cheap oil. i feel that thinking about any of this is a huge waste of my emotional and mental energy.....because, i do not completely understand their culture and i don't think any of them can understand mine. and i don't think anyone in the middle east is worried about the aphids ruining my pepper plants.

    Harry please don't be offended by my comment but i know that you appreciate honesty and truth. i normally don't get political but i am actually fed up with all of this nonsense. and to be %100 honest - GLAD to live in a place where no one talks about what's going on in the middle east. do we all live with our heads in the sand. NO - WE DO NOT. we care about what happens on our tiny island, 1/3 of the boys in the canadian forces that we send to the middle east come from this island and i am sick of it.

    i hope you understand this rant. and i thank you for providing a platform where i know i can express my opinions.

    much love to you and yours always Harry. your friend,
    kymber
    (p.s. Harry - if you are curious, jam wants it noted that he has always been a staunch non-interventionest in military matters. he is proud of my military service and canadian peace-keepers in general, but in his mind, no country on earth has sent more soldiers into wars that we did not start, and got nothing out of it, than canada. well, except for some tulips every year from the dutch.)

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  4. Most people don't pay any real attention to what is happening beyond their own horizon. I don't think that anyone can make that decision but the individual themselves. My concern is that events far away inevitably impact lives everywhere.I mean for a woman who likes to skinny dip, wearing a chador that covers you head to toe would be a terrible inconvenience! I don't worry for myself so much as for my kids. Also I detest Islamic fundamentalists and that probably colors the degree of my interest. You are fine with any way you want to be with me, because you are never hateful even where we differ.

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  5. Harry - i was hoping for a more detailed and information-filled response from you. yes, most people don't look farther than beyond their own horizon...but please let me state that when i was involved in gathering, collating and assessing information from thousands of miles away - all it did was provide intelligence to governments who then decided to send young boys from cape breton, and states in the US, that provided no jobs to these boys, and got them to then join the military and go thousands of miles away to fight wars that they had no underlying understanding of, in order to continue the industrial military complex. i cannot agree with that anymore. as for being able to skinny dip - well apparently in most of the US and canada, women are allowed to go topless. not to mention europe where women have gone topless on beaches in several countries for hundreds of years without much ado.

    we, western countries simply cannot go over to other countries who have had certain rules in place for centuries and then just topple those rules and ideas with our own ideals and expect them to be happy about it.

    the west has been stupid enough for thousands of years thinking that we could just go over there, storm troop them and make them follow our rules. we've also been stupid enough to let hordes of them in to our countries so that they can start enforcing their rules on us...and guess what? they are doing a much better job at it than we ever have had.

    Harry - if you really believe it's going to hell in a handbasket, you need to get your kids home and really build up your "compound". you need to start growing your own food. you need to figure out and install alternative sources of power if you are uncomfortable living in the mid-1800's.

    but my greatest advice to you - is to stop worrying about the middle east. it is keeping you up at night, it will and can cause ulcers, it is taking the joy out of your evenings looking at the stars...and it is all for naught.

    i know that you served over there, i understand what you saw and what you experienced. let it go. it's not your problem. it has been going for thousands of years and we have proven that we are incapable of solving their problems. let them solve their problems.

    i think the US has enough trouble with their southern border - maybe some time and effort and military might, might be better used on that border. but that's just my opinion. which i know, whether you agree or not, is valued here. you have always made it clear that you accept and consider differing opinions.

    much love always. can't wait to hear what PP has to say (oh you know that's going to be interesting! bahahahahah!)

    your friend,
    kymber

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  6. I was being facetious about your skinny dipping. I doubt Canada is in much danger from the Rag Heads, they don't like the cold.

    My personal feeling is that ignoring what's going on in the world is dangerous. I keep seeing Chamberlain waving his little paper and saying "peace in our time." Yet I realize the average individual can't influence history except in unique circumstances.

    I really like the Israelis. I've worked with them, and they aren't perfect but they are much like us in some ways. I've seen militant Islam up close and personal, as you point out. I loathe them.

    I'm set up pretty well here, after 28 years of working on it, but there's always room for improvement. What keeps me up at night is not worrying about the Little Sheet Heads.

    I didn't do a detailed response to your comment because I didn't want to seem to be haranguing you. I'm ok with your philosophy of life. Nobody has to be my acolyte to disagree with me as long as they are civil, and you always are. It's ok.

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  7. Senior and I were wondering, what in the world will BO do if they shoot down one of our pilots and behead him on live tv.. ISIS said today they will raise a black flag over the white house. Sad thing is, they know what a coward the President it..
    While I know it should not keep us up at night, it is something to be concerned about. For every action, there is a reaction......

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    1. I couldn't agree more. It's supremely ironic that at this critical time in history, the last super power is led by a shallow, egotistical latter day Huey Long. I don't doubt that now we have engaged ISIS, they will hit right back at us. But it was only a question of time, it's now or later.

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