Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kill All Kittens!

Lance Corporal Spazweki once asked me: "How come you always shoot every animal we encounter Sir?"

Always one to impart knowledge, my response was exceedingly simple, "Because you never know son, you just never know..."

Army Public Health Command poster

From Bruce via Wired.

Friday, October 21, 2011

He vowed to die a Martyr but instead he died a coward

Moammar Gadhafi was born in 1942 and abandoned Geography studies to pursue a military career. He rose to power at only 27 after a bloodless coup against King Idris in 1969. In the 70's he laid out his Third Universal Theory which walked a line between communism and capitalism and oversaw the rapid development of Libya with regards to her oil industry and military. He improved living standards making him popular with the poor at least initially.

As other Gulf nations such as Saudi Arabia also improved oil production to the same degree, Libyans noticed that the standard of living in these places was becoming much higher whereas in Libya; while the economy and infrastructure was improved - freedom and liberty became severely restrained. All political parties were banned and any attempts at creating one were met with execution. Intrusive surveillance was set up in government, education and industrial sectors. 10% of the Libyan people became informants. Freedom of expression was outlawed and any objections to the regime were met with public mutilations and dismemberment. Adultery was punished by flogging, homosexuals were jailed and thieves were amputated. The list goes on, but I'll stop it there...

Castro and Gadhafi BFF
Growing increasingly Islamist, Gadhafi supported militant groups in the Philippines and Indonesia. In '79 he supported the Iranian revolution and later in the '80's he supported the Red Brigades in Italy and the IRA in Ireland. However not content with supporting others, he got his own hands dirty by having his diplomats murder a British policewoman in London, his agents bombed a nightclub in West Berlin but perhaps his most heinous act of all was personally ordering the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988 which killed all on board and more in Lockerbie, Scotland the town on which the aircraft debris fell. These events saw many UN countries impose trade sanctions against Libya.

President Reagan set Libya as a high priority for his administration in '81 due to the madman's support for extremist groups. SecDef Haig wanted pro-active measures against him and after year of occasional skirmishes over Libya's claim over the Gulf of Sidra in the Mediterranean, Operation El Dorado Canyon was launched. 18 F-111 bombers dropped 60 tons of munitions on military targets in Tripoli but alas, Gadhafi survived.

In the mid 1990's Gadhafi seemed to reassess his image and began a process of atonement by extraditing the "Lockerbie bombers" to Scotland. Due to a fall in oil prices in the early 2000's, Gadhafi publicly renounced terrorism and once Saddam Hussein was captured in Iraq in 2006 he renounced his own WMD programme. It seemed Libya was finally coming in from the cold as I noted then.

In February 2011, with vigour infused by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, there were major political protests against Gadhafi. The protesters were met with stiff opposition as the tyrant claimed all who opposed him were drunk and had consumed drugged Nescafé. When he ordered that his troops begin gunning down the protesters "like dogs and rats", that was the final straw for the Libyan people and a full-scale civil war began, and the world took note.

While President Obama promised "no boots on the ground" the U.S. war machine joined it's NATO allies including france and the United Kingdom as they began an intense bombing campaign against Gadhafi-controlled military targets. They systematically whittled down the numbers of his forces with precision strikes and  over several months, city by city, allowed the Libyan people to retake control of their country, a privilege denied them for over 4 decades.

Sirte, the dictator's birthplace, became the last bastion of Gadhafi's regime after the fall of Tripoli to the rebels - who had since become The National Transitional Council [NTC]. There on Wednesday evening, RAF Tornados flew surveillance missions which cleared the way for french fighter jets to fly a sortie. The same frenchies that grew some balls and actually started NATO's campaign in Libya earlier in the year,  on Thursday morning together with U.S. Predator drones, attacked a convoy at a roundabout two miles west of the city. Over a dozen armed trucks were destroyed killing 50 or so but some of the personnel escaped from their wreckage - among them, unbeknownst to NATO was Colonel Gadhafi himself!

The tyrant fled with a handful of loyal men into a storm drain but the forces of the NTC were in hot pursuit. They fired anti-aircraft guns into the drains before going in on foot. After an intense firefight, the loyalists were dead and a snivelling whimpering Moammar Gadhafi was dragged out from from the sewer pipe in which he was trapped like a rat. 

The 69 year old 'Mad Dog' begged for his life, a far cry from his trademark defiant posturing while in power. He was beaten with shoes as a sign of great disrespect, but just in case he didn't get the message he was summarily executed like "a dog in the street" by the very people he had treated worse than animals. His body was hauled onto a truck and dragged around Sirte before being brought to Misrata where it was driven about the streets as the jubilant inhabitants rejoiced shouting "God is great".

"He called us rats, but look where we found him," said Ahmed Al Sahati, standing next to two stinking drainage pipes under a six-lane highway.

The entrance to this now-famous storm drain in Sirte is already a monument. The graffiti says "The hiding place of the vile rat Gadhafi."
The man has no basis in any event of reality we exist in. He is, in my opinion quite mad. It's obvious he's playing out some sort of insane plot in his head and the Libyan people are simply playthings in his sick game.
Upon taking power a Lieutenant simply promotes himself to Colonel and starts dressing in completely over the top elaborate military uniforms - I mean what's up with that? Today, if someone just promoted himself to Colonel and started wearing dozens of medals and badges on an array of colourful uniforms and declares that he's in charge -  I hope that this would be a sign to people that this bozo needs serious professional help... or a bullet - to prevent a madman from taking power again.
 -Excerpt from a declassified psychological report on Colonel Moammar Gadhafi prepared by Lieutenant Colonel C. Creedon, USMC in 1998 for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

May the victims of the Lockerbie bombing and all those even among his own people finally rest in peace now that this tyrant has been sent to rot in hell.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Steven Seagal: Border Sheriff

There was some unfounded speculations that after he left the governor's position that Arnold Schwarzenegger would pick up a weapon and stand on the U.S. / Mexican border to prevent illegal aliens from crossing - but he didn't, he's going back to acting. So you therefore have to hand it to fellow 80's action star Steven Seagal though, because next year he's grabbing a gun and going to do it instead!

Give a man a badge. [via Splash]
That's right, this is not, I repeat not Creedon's insane ramblings for the week this is real! In January 2012, Seagal will be swapping Louisiana for Texas where he has just been sworn in as Sheriff's Deputy this week to go out on patrol in Hudspeth County, which runs along the Rio Grande east of El Paso. Yes Seagal will be on the front line in the border wars against drug lords and to stop illegals from crossing the border, or at least a 98 mile long stretch of it.

Seagal, 59, a 7th dan black belt in Aikido, will bring his martial arts prowess to bear in protecting the border, as well as offering up his expertise to train the other sheriff's deputies, working full-time to help secure the border Texas shares with Mexico.

As you know from reading here that for the past couple of years cameras have been following him around Jefferson Parish, Louisiana where Seagal is a fully-commissioned Reserve Deputy Sheriff. What's the bet that those camera's will be heading Southwest now too?

"Holy Shit! They're coming through the fence - don't just stand there slackjawed! You gotta badge now! Just point an shoot!" [picture via Splash]

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Special Investigation Committee formed

On Friday the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services at the request of the Security Council announced the appointment of a Special Investigation Committee to examine the manpower, assets, finances and procedures of UNPASID after a number of high profile debacles put the directorate under scrutiny. The committee will also jointly assess UNETIDA with regard to manpower and budgetary issues being faced by many countries who contribute personnel and assets to the organisations.

The five permanent member countries of the Security Council will be represented on the committee by: Professor Wai Chen, Chinese Academy of Sciences [Peoples Republic of China], Lt. General Andrew G. Kelly [Ret.], NASA [United States], Deputy Director Sergei Sitnikov, FSB [Russian Federation], Rear Admiral Oliver Braithwaite III CBE, Defence Intelligence [United Kingdom] and Cardinal Antoine Pascal, Roman Catholic Church [France].

The committee will be chaired by Mrs. Anna Scherzer, a senior economist with the Swiss Financial Markets Authority and will make recommendations to the UNSC together with a report of the committee's findings in due course.

All UNPASID and UNETIDA directors, officers, personnel and staff have received instructions through the organisations respective Inspector Generals offices to comply with the wishes of the committee and to make themselves available for questioning at their behest.

Friday, October 14, 2011

World War Z without guns?

The filming of the movie adaptation of Max Brooks' World War Z starring Brad Pitt hit a snag this week as Hungarian police confiscated some 100 weapons at Budapest's Ferenc Liszt Airport destined for use on the movie.

Apparently Hungaran police were dissatisfied with the methods that the London armourers used to deactivate the real weapons from being able to fire live ammunition. Janos Hajdu, head of Hungary's Counterterrorism Center, explained that in Hungary; weapons were considered to be deactivated only if the process "was irreversible," while the weapons seized could still be fired even though screws had been used to fill the end of the barrels.

Bela Gajdos, a weapons supervisor for World War Z, said Mafilm, a Hungarian film company based near Budapest which had the guns brought to Hungary, had the necessary permits, including a detailed list of the weapons in question, issued by local police authorities. Gajdos was questioned by investigators who thoroughly searched his Budapest home before dawn Monday and confiscated the permits.

In an unrelated story, Lt.Colonel "Spinner" Kilar, Chief Logistics Officer for the United Nations Paranormal and Supernatural Interdiction Directorate [UNPASID], was arrested along with several other personnel today under charges of conspiracy and misappropriation of UNPASID assets. The charges were as a result of some 100 UNPASID weapons not being reported as missing over a number of weeks. The weapons whereabouts are unknown at this time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

OEF 10 years on

The factory-applied layer of silver polish had just about worn off my first set of eagles, when I was given command of Task Force Razor - not two weeks after the twin towers fell. Rummy gave me my orders in the executive bathroom of the White House of all places. There would be no records - I had to flush the orders after reading. The man stood there and watched as I did so. "We're not declaring war so anything goes" I was told. "Don't let torture, or the Geneva Convention stand in your way, but keep the civilian kill-count on the minimum because you never know who will be watching you, or if you will know who will be watching them watch you." Classic Rummy.

We deployed 'in country' on Sept 23rd 2001 and from then until mid '02 we did some crazy shit over there let me tell you. We took our commands from a company spook called "Smith" from the Special Activities Division. We marked the targets for the October 7th airstrikes, helped coordinate anti-Taliban forces on the ground with U.S. firepower from the air and generally eliminated anyone we found with a 'banana clip' at least until we found one that talked, or persuaded to do so later.

Some "influential" donkey senator got word that there was a rogue CIA op causing havoc in the Kandahar province and that their leader was called "د هغه سړي سره کوم روح" [the man with no soul]. We got shut down pretty quickly after that. Smith vanished and my team were absorbed into regular SpecOps forces under Col. Mulholland and I was sent stateside to assist the selection process fot MAR DET ONE. At that point the U.S. was trying to win the hearts and minds of the local populace to thwart the efforts of the insurgents and to be fair it wasn't helpful that we were accidentally shooting women and children every couple of months.

It's because I can remember it as yesterday is what makes it so hard to believe that President Obama marked the 10th anniversary of Operation Enduring Freedom on Friday, honouring those who have served and noting their efforts toward bringing the war to a responsible end from a position of strength. Despite the tremendous losses of almost 1,800 American patriots, he noted progress in taking the fight against violence extremism to the source. “In delivering justice to Osama bin Laden and many other al-Qaida leaders, we are closer than ever to defeating al-Qaida and its murderous network,” he said in an address.

Personally I think enormous challenges remain it's certainly worth noting that the Taliban have been pushed out of their key strongholds, Afghan security forces are growing stronger and the Afghan people are in a better position to craft their own destiny if they can manage to hold onto the freedom and hope that the U.S. and coalition allies have brought them over the subsequent years.

Mulholland the aforementioned colonel is now a Lieutenant General and ending a tour as commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command. “We’re moving toward an increased special operations role,” together with U.S. intelligence, he said, “whether it’s counterterrorism-centric, or counterterrorism blended with counterinsurgency.”

So basically while most American troops prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014, the CIA and military special operations forces who were first to fight will also be the last to leave as they begin girding for the next great pivot of the campaign, as they continue to train and support the Afghans and closely observe if they have what it takes to keep their country above the mire of terrorism. That in itself is no small task and one that could stretch their war up to another decade.

Sources: U.S. Department of Defense / Marine Corps Times

Friday, October 07, 2011

Aw crap! "That guy!" died! RIP Charles Napier

You probably won't recognise the name Charles Napier too quickly as he wasn't particularly famous for it, but because of his voice, his face and the square-jawed tough guys and military types he played in many movies and TV shows, he will be remembered forever - even if only as "that guy!"

Gen. Gilmore [Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery]
Napier was born in Scottsville, Kentucky, served in 11th Airborne Division and studied teaching before becoming an actor. He made his film debut in Cherry, Harry & Raquel! in 1970. Among his more memorable movie roles were Murdock, the intelligence officer in Rambo: First Blood Part II and Lt. Boyle in Silence of the Lambs. Less serious roles included Loaded Weapon 1 and as generals in the first two Austin Powers movies. His role as Judge Garnett in Philadelphia was described  [by those who saw his whole performance] as "career defining" but sadly much if it was cut for running time.

Col. Briggs [The A-Team]
Napier was just as recognised for his numerous television appearances. He guest starred dozens of TV shows like Mission: Impossible, The Incredible Hulk, The Rockford Files and Knight Rider. He also did two episodes of The A-Team. His most memorable TV work is of course the role of Adam the "space hippie" in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Way to Eden". 25 years later he returned to Star Trek to portray Lt. General Rex Denning in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Little Green Men".

On Star Trek - Adam [L] and Gen. Rex Denning [R]
The voice of Duke Phillips [The Critic]
Napier's voice is instantly recognisable. He voiced many of The Incredible Hulk's growls in the '70's has also provided several guest voices for episodes of The Simpsons. Fans of the animated Superman series in the late 90's and later The Justice League will know his voice as General Hardcastle. His greatest voice work in my opinion however is as the Ted Turner-esque media mogul Duke Phillips in the 1990's animated series The Critic.

Napier was married twice and had three children. He collapsed in his home on Monday and was found the following morning and taken to Memorial Hospital in Bakersfield, California. He was taken off life support just before 1pm EST on Wednesday and died shortly thereafter. He was 75.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Dempsey replaces Mullen as CJCS

Admiral Michael Glenn "Mike" Mullen, retired from the United States Navy at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. on Friday Sept. 30. He passed the reigns as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Army General Martin E. Dempsey during a change of responsibility ceremony there before an audience that included President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of Defense Panetta, senior military officers and other distinguished officials.

Gen. Dempsey [L] and SECDEF Panetta [R]

In his final speech as Chairman, Adm. Mullen said he reminded Gen. Dempsey that he will not only be the POTUS' advisor, but also the representative of 2.2 million members of the armed forces. He said that his successor's biggest challenge will be in Afghanistan "making sure that the security gains we have made are not squandered by the scourge of corruption or the lack of good governance."

“Time is both his best friend and his worst enemy. I never seemed to have enough of it to do the things I wanted, and it’s hard to believe it’s over,” Mullen said as he finished a 43 year career.

Gen. Dempsey was sworn in at the 18th Chairman and he thanked his predecessor for his patriotism and friendship. He vowed to maintain and strengthen the military during his term in office. In his speech, Dempsey said U.S. armed forces “are powerful, responsive, resilient, versatile and admired. [They] provide leaders with a wide range of options to counter threats and crises. And when sent to do the nation's bidding, we are an unambiguous signal of our nation’s resolve.”

Adm. Mullen [L] shakes the hand of his sucessor
“Our people -- America’s sons and daughters -- are our decisive edge ... We’ll change and we’ll be challenged, but when I complete my tenure as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I intend to be able to say exactly the same thing: We will be the joint force the nation needs us to be, so help me, God.”

"I am supremely confident of the future because we have the strongest military force in our history and in the history of the world," SECDEF Panetta said. "And it is strong exactly because we can replace one great warrior with another."

On Monday, General Dempsey briefly spoke with reporters in his office at The Pentagon. While the session was considered off the record, Dempsey's staff allowed some details about the general's office to be revealed: He sits behind a 4 by 6 foot desk, the same one Gen. Douglas MacArthur used in the Philippines during World War II. He said his desk at home is one used by Gen. Omar Bradley, the first chairman. A larger than life painting of Gen. George C. Marshall hangs in the office in such a way that the chairman can see it clearly from his desk. On the desk however is something uniquely Dempsey's: a box that holds cards he had made when he commanded 1st Armored Division during its '03-'04 deployment to Iraq. The cards each bear the photo, personal and family information for a division solider killed in action there.

Credits: Jim Garamone & Karen Parrish, American Forces Press Service

Monday, October 03, 2011

You wait for ages and all of a sudden: 7 of them show up at once!

A Supernova, the death cry of a star. One supernova is a rare occurrence but in the galaxy designated Arp 220, a mere 250 million light-years from our Solar System, not only one supernova is occurring - but SEVEN!

According to IO9, a team of astronomers at Chalmers and Onsala Space Observatory found that all seven supernovas went off in the last sixty years (allowing for the 250 million years for the light to reach Earth). In cosmic terms, that's the blink of an eye. European Southern Observatory astronomer Rodrigo Parra explains: "In Arp 220, we see far more supernovae than in our galaxy. We estimate that a star explodes in Arp 220 once every quarter [century]. In the Milky Way, there is only one supernova per century."

Astronomers believe it's proof that Arp 220 is one of the most efficient galaxies in the universe when it comes to making stars...and then destroying them. There's so many stars that have formed in that galaxy that there's always plenty of potential supernovae, even allowing for the fact that exactly when each star explodes in its own lifetime can vary by a whole lot more than sixty years. Team member John Conway adds: "Arp 220 is well-known as a place where star formation is very efficient" as well as being a supernova factory.

Astronomers however are not privy to the information gathered by UNETIDA. Acting Intelligence director for UNETIDA, Colonel "Whopper" Creedon, said that the multiple supernovae are consistent with information that he acquired recently regarding an ancient conflict. A conflict between two immensely powerful empires a quarter of a billion years ago in Arp 220 or Sangesh'ka as it was known locally. "Basically you had two immense empires, the Jurathi and the Wevnarr," explained Creedon. "Both were highly technically advanced and quite belligerent. We understand that each expanded their rule from a single world at either side of the Sangesh'ka galaxy conquering all they encountered - until of course they encountered each other. We are now witnessing the final moments of their eons-long war as they wipe each other out – totally, in a way we can barely fathom - by destroying their suns."

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Advertisment leaves three dead!

A poorly conceived advertisement for a Cork city music event at a nightclub has left three dead in the wake of a UNETIDA raid on the premises on Friday morning.

The advertisement for a music event sponsored by a prominent European beer company was presented in a "wrap around" format over the real cover of the local newspaper. It presented the ad in such a way that it posed as the newspaper's headline "MIDDAY INVASION" [in the Impact font as 44mm high lettering]. It also featured a green "tractor beam" over the nightclub venue,  doctored photographs of extra-terrestrial spacecraft over the prominent Shandon landmark and testimony from a non-existent professor from a society that was invented for the purposes of the advertisement. Only a tiny message at the bottom  identifies the page as an advertisement [4mm high non-bold Times New Roman lettering].

Friday morning shoppers in Cork city were horrified to see a group of helicopters deposit two dozen armed men on the roof  and an armoured car simultaneously plough through the front doors of the ground floor of the nightclub; which by day is a small shopping arcade. Witnesses saw flashes from windows and heard small explosions and automatic weapons fire.

A UNETIDA statement later in the afternoon revealed that a Special Operations strike team was promptly dispatched to raid the venue described in the newspaper. A ground unit entered from street level while helicopters deposited a second unit the roof of the establishment where they blew in skylights and windows to gain access. The team reported that they "encountered resistance" once inside. They terminated three targets who were reported as "babbling and screaming alien language" and were disguised as cleaning staff. A fourth target was wounded and apprehended.

On Saturday, Colonel "Whopper" Creedon, Acting Director of UNETIDA Intelligence revealed that personnel, acting on the information presented in the newspaper, did perform an assault on the premises and shot and killed one Lithuanian and two Polish nationals employed by a local cleaning firm to service the establishment. He also slammed the newspaper and the European beer company for presenting the information in the manner that they did so, which he described as "grossly irresponsible". The only good thing about the ad according to Creedon "is that it covers George Hook's exceptionally ugly mug from being seen".

"UNETIDA is a fast-reaction force to this type of threat" added Creedon, "that sometimes means we don't have time to read all the way down to the samll print at the bottom of a page."