Monday, July 31, 2006

Perseverance

Israelis should not be depressed by the world's condemnation of their accidental killing of Lebanese kids paired with its silence on Hezbollah's deliberate killing of Israeli kids. It's fueled by a dishonest MSM, anti-Semitism, and envy. There's nothing to be done about any of these pathologies, so they might as well get on with killing off Hezbollah at minimum cost to themselves.

The 2 day lifting of airstrikes in Southern Lebanon will allow some Hezbollah assets to escape, but leaves those that don't without their protective civilians. They'll be easy to eliminate, and then Israel gets a defensible free-fire zone.

Providing the US keeps the ordnance flowing, there's not much Israel's many other enemies can do to stop it.

With the possible exception of the Syrians, nobody has the combination of the means and motivation - the EU lacks the motivation, and the Muslims the means.

Syria is a risk. It's army and airforce won't survive long but - if Israel's BMD doesn't work - Syria can make a mess of Tel Aviv with Scuds. The Syrian dictator might think trying and losing will win him prestige and another few decades in power.

On the other hand, the Israeli drone images I've seen indicate that they are really world class - high resolution, high bandwidth, nicely image stabilized, and with splendid pattern recognition. So killing the Syrian leaders may not be that hard.

MSM Lies - A Primer

A forensic analysis by Richard North reveals that two dead kids from the Qana bombing were paraded for an entire day by one individual - presumably a Hezbollah operative - to enable Reuters, AP and AFP to stage pictures.

You can read the expose here - what follows is a deconstruction of the fabricated event sequence.

The pictures all show the same man, a claimed "rescue worker" who I've given the code "A", and the dead bodies of two kids, who I've coded "1" and "2".

Here's the sequence using the times given by the agencies:

"Rescue Worker"Dead KidEventTimeAgency
A1Body pulled from wreckage2:21 PMReuters
A1Display for photographer12:25 PMReuters
A1Display for photographer12:53 PMAP
A1Display for photographer1:01 PMAP
A1Display for photographer4:09 PMAP
A1Display for photographer4:30 PMReuters
A2Carrying to Red Cross workeruntimedAP
A2Display for photographer10:44 PAP
A2Display for photographeruntimedAP
A and B2Placing body on gurney7:16 PMAFP
A2Placing body in ambulance10:25 AMAP
None2Body in ambulance7:21 AMAP

It's a tragedy these kids died, but parading their bodies for a day to stage these sequences was disgusting.

The dishonesty does not stop with AP, Reuters, and AFP - the UN and Red Cross workers on the site must have been complicit.

I hope that this analysis is used to train student journalists in the dangers of dishonest reporting. But doubt it.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Buying Online

The laptop quest exposes weaknesses in online vendors and suggests real-world retailers will be with us forever.

Manufacturer websites on my shortlist all have good spec sheets, but don't answer important questions:
- How hot does it get on your lap?
- How annoying is the fan and how often does it cut in?
- How bright is the screen?
- How quickly does it boot up?
- Are keyboard and trackpoint ergonomics good?
- What's the battery life like a) now, with screen on full brightness and b) after a year?
- Does it stop you viewing multiregion DVDs?

You look to online user reviews to answer these type questions - but few new products have them. And when they do, they're either obviously written by their product manager (Fantastic!), or a competitor (Terrible!), or by people enraged by a probably rare quality defect.

That's in part because if the product works, you don't use precious time telling the world.

But if there's a problem with the product, and you're either public spirited or vengeful, you may post - so where are these negative posts?
My experience with CNet & Amazon is that's because negative posts can be suppressed or delayed, probably for legal reasons.

So online reviews are great for books, but I wouldn't trust them for anything else.

That's why people continue to buy big-ticket items from real retailers.

Why Are Muslim Fighters Cowards?

Islamic fighters hide behind innocents, a practice we consider cowardly. I suspect it’s all of a piece with Islam's predilection for rape. The West grew from a high trust religion, Christianity, which emphasizes protection of the weak, whereas Islam is low trust, so treats the weak as fair game.

Western use of human shields is remarkable enough to invite special comment. Here a French WW2 fighter ace described his agonizing decision to proceed with a rocket attack on Wehrmacht tanks the Germans had surrounded by Dutch women and kids.

But Islamic hostage taking is SOP – from the Mullah’s 1981 US embassy hostages, thorough Saddam Hussein’s Brit civilian hostages in the Gulf War, to the present day:
The man suspected in a fatal shooting rampage hid behind a potted plant in a Jewish charity's foyer and forced his way through a security door by holding a gun to a 13-year-old girl's head, the police chief said Saturday.

Once inside, police say, Naveed Afzal Haq opened fire with two semiautomatic pistols.
And Hezbollah hiding behind Lebanese civilians:
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed deep regret on Sunday for the harm inflicted on civilians in Qana earlier when at least 57 civilians - 37 of who were children - were killed as the IAF fired missiles at a building in the southern Lebanese town.

Olmert said that the area was a focal point for the firing of Katyusha rockets on Kiryat Shmona and Afula. He said that from the outset of the conflict, "hundreds of rockets have been fired from the Qana area."
Not to mention Hamas hiding behind a captured Israeli soldier and Arab kids.

I don't think this behavior arises because it’s the only route available to the powerless - these killers clearly aren’t powerless, they have billions of dollars from Iran and Syria. And would an oppressed Westerner think it OK to hide behind innocents? I don't think so.

In fact differing attitudes to the weak lie at the core of the clash of our civilizations – Muslims think our protection of the weak is a weakness, which they can exploit. Their religion focuses on physical strength - men can beat their wives, kids can be raped and hanged, and so on.

But in our societies you don't have to be physically strong to contribute to our prosperity - 13-year-old girls can grow up be a nuclear physicists, or even soldiers. So our nations are rich and theirs are poor.

And that makes the Israelis that died trying to avoid civilian casualties not just local heroes, but heroes of our civilization.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Willkommen!

Wal-Mart discovers Germans are miserable!

Wal-Mart ...,the world's largest retailer said it was now selling its 85 German hypermarkets... a move that would cost $1bn (£540m) in pre-tax losses, it said.

Wal-Mart entered the German market eight years ago...but despite generating sales of $2.5bn a year, it never posted a profit.

Critics said Wal-Mart failed to understand the different culture in Germany. Its attempts to introduce "greeters" to every store, with orders to smile at every customer, is said to have been particularly unpopular.

Germans shoppers would have flocked to greeters who barked orders at them, delayed them with lengthy complaints about their health problems, and barged in front of them.

Weapons Win Wars

Unfortunately few politicians understand this – Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars was a shining exception. Recently, pols in both the US and Israel decided not to deploy essential weapons, and people will die as a result. The president and Mr Olmert should reverse these foolish decisions immediately.

First, a historical example:


The great victory naval over the French and Spanish at Trafalgar was a consequence of one superior Brit weapon – the carronade. This was (p139):
...a short, light, wide calibre gun, with little recoil, known informally as "The Smasher" and…mounted on a fixed carriage. The bores of the guns could be machined with greater accuracy because they were short…as a result, less powder was necessary...

The largest carronade fired a 68 pound ball, making a large ragged and splintered hole in the enemy’s hull, difficult for enemy carpenters to plug. Carronades were, however, useless at long range; Nelson’s tactics were to bring his ships as close as possible to the enemy before he opened fire.
Like all weapons, the carronade was a compromise – devastating, but you had to get in close. It was successful because the Brits had Lord Nelson’s courage, tactical brilliance and leadership to have the Brit ships hold fire until they were very close.

Now consider here's a modern carronade:
On Thursday, July 20, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee cut funding for the Navy’s Conventional Trident Modification Program, a Bush administration plan to arm Trident-2 ballistic missiles deployed on submarines with conventional, as opposed to nuclear weapons.

Opponents have argued that such a weapon could cause Russia, China, or another third party to mistakenly perceive a U.S. nuclear missile attack.
That means that the US will not have the option of using kinetic weapons to take out the Iranian nuclear program.

So now the US must use nukes (which it won't), or lose B-2s and F-15s to the Russian/Iranian missile defenses. The Senate Armed Services Committee’s decision is particularly idiotic because the US can deal with the Russia/China concern (no doubt raised by State pinkos) by just extending the protocol the 3 nations now use to warn each other of test firings.

The Israelis can be doltish too (my ellipsis):
Uri Rubin, former head of the Arrow project (ABM system deployed against SRBMs), told me in an interview from Israel this week that the relatively poor accuracy of the cheap Katyushas has been an argument against investing in an expensive anti-Katyusha defense system. This cost-comparison calculus was one reason Israel shelved plans to deploy Northrop Grumman's THEL system, whose lasers routinely have shot down Katyushas at the Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Speaking this week about the earlier decision, Mr. Rubin said, "You also have to compare the cost of no defense"--for lives or infrastructure.

Mr. Rubin shared with me an unpublished paper he wrote with Dan Hazanovsky on "The Emerging Threat of Very Short-Range Ballistic Missiles," or VSBMs…the same dynamic that makes cheap, fast electronic products available to consumers will do the same to electronic missile weaponry.
Rubin is saying that Israel shouldn’t spend money on shooting down Katyushas – 1500 have hit it recently – but instead worry about an as-yet nonexistent threat of GPS guided short-range rockets. His is a common engineering management failing – he wants to solve tomorrow’s problem rather than use today’s boring and imperfect technology. Especially because solving tomorrow’s problem brings lots of nice R&D contracts! Brits call this reasoning "The best is the enemy of the good".

Israel is fighting for its existence, and the US faces a high mid-term risk of losing cities to Iranian and/or NoKo nukes. Neither nation can afford to entrust its weapons procurement to incompetents.

The president should immediately fund the Trident kinetic warhead as a black program – it’s so inexpensive, nobody will notice it. And put a John Bolton type in charge of the Russian/Chinese negotiation – State will just block it.

The Israelis should deploy THEL immediately – it won’t be perfect, but the IDF will quickly find how to use it best – positioning, provisioning, decoys etc. And, quite possibly, they'll find all they need to de-fang Hezbollah is a THEL screen in S. Lebanon, which will greatly improve Israel's political options.

Friday, July 28, 2006

French Electricity

Brits believe in Free Trade, so tolerate French buying Brit companies even though the French stop Brits buying theirs. But there's a price to putting the French in charge - they kill you.

From London today:
Another wave of power cuts could shut down parts of the capital for the second day running, energy giant EDF warned today.

EDF said high demand caused by hot weather was still putting extra pressure on the network.

In a statement, EDF said it "hoped to avoid" further power cuts today, but said: "the current problems, combined with high demand due to the ongoing hot weather, are continuing to put additional pressure on the local network infrastructure."

Jace Tyrrell, spokesman for the New West End Company which represents traders on Oxford St and Regent St, said: "You would expect a company like EDF to have proper plans in place to restore power supply to the West End and communicate with businesses.

EDF is the French state owned Electricité de France, which in 1998:

Electricite de France (EDF) ...won the battle to buy London Electricity from US owner Entergy for a total price tag of £1.9bn ($3.14bn).
Brits presumably weren't bothered by control moving from a a US company to the French state. But then in 2003:
The French Government has come under attack for its handling of the heatwave gripping the country, which doctors say has claimed 100 lives.

Power remains critical, as French giant EDF urges consumers to reduce their electricity use.
Seems they didn't reduce their power use enough (my emphasis):

2003 European Heat Wave

14,802 people, mostly elderly, died in France from heat, according to the country's largest funeral service.

Many bodies were not claimed for many weeks because relatives were on holiday. A refrigerated warehouse outside Paris was used by undertakers, because they didn't have enough space in their own facilities.

In any other civilized country, a company complicit in 15,000 deaths would have been sued to death - but this was France. It'll be interesting to see if Brit victims of EDF are as supine.

En passant, France could stop the Middle East fighting simply by putting EDF in charge of Hezbollah's power supply - without aircon, the terrorists will be Frit in their bunkers. Mmm.

(Sorry about the formatting - Blogger has gone nuts - maybe another EDF customer?)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Time For The Fallujah Option

Israeli soldiers are dying as they try to protect Hezbollah’s human shields. The IDF should radically reduce its casualties by adopting the US tactics used in Fallujah. Short term, more civilians will die, but long term Israel’s enemies will be cowed by a quick defeat of Hezbollah, reducing future slaughter.

Israeli troops are facing an enemy that - courtesy Iran, Syria and the UN - has had 6 years to dig in, accumulate weapons stocks, establish a robust communications network, survey ambush routes, plant mines etc.

In the Israeli tradition of leading from the front, it has deployed its best and brightest – yesterday in one street fight it lost a Lieutenant Colonel, 3 Lieutenants, 2 Staff Sergeants and 2 Sergeants.
The battle lasted for several hours during which Asor and his men sustained heavy casualties and killed at least 40 Hezbollah guerrillas, some in gun battles at point-blank range.
This kill ratio of 5 Hezbollah to 1 Israeli will get better as IDF tactics evolve, but it's way too high

In hand to hand fighting, barbarians are just as effective as we are - even better, because their moral defects can give them an advantage. Hezbollah's use of civilians as human shields means the IDF has to hunt them retail, rather than just destroying their bases and bunkers from afar. In battle Hezbollah will kill civilians as a matter of policy, be indifferent to their own dead and wounded, and torture and kill captives.

They’re the same as the Dervishes Winston Churchill fought in the Sudan, the Somalis in the Black Hawk Down episode, and a string of other tribes the Brits and Americans have fought over the years.

So fighting barbarians face-to-face is a mug’s game – you need overwhelming firepower. In the Battle of Fallujah, about 70 US soldiers died but the enemy lost about 1300. Here’s Wikipedia (I don't trust their numbers):
The city suffered extensive damage. Before the war, it was estimated that the city had 200 mosques. Some claim 60 of these had been destroyed in the fighting. Perhaps half the homes suffered at least some damage. About 7,000 to 10,000 of the roughly 50,000 buildings in the town are estimated to have been destroyed in the offensive, and half to two-thirds of the buildings have suffered notable damage.
That’s a kill ration of about 20 to 1; a number I suspect has been pretty constant since the time of the Romans.

The big difference between Fallujah and Lebanon was that the US had cordoned off Fallujah, so that anyone still there was almost bound to be a terrorist. That enabled it to use massive bombardment without fear of heavy civilian casualties, so minimizing hand-to-hand combat (although there were still plenty of those).

In Lebanon, the population has not been cleared out and the UN is acting as a human shield – there are analyses of Annan’s duplicity here and here.

Israel is a small nation and no doubt feels vulnerable to charges that it kills civilians and UN observers. So it hasn’t adopted Fallujah tactics, opting for very dangerous house-to-house fighting.

This will work, but at a cost in high quality Israel lives, money, and time. There are said to be about 6,000 Hezbollah, and they can be destroyed as a fighting force by killing their leader and about half their fighters - say 3,000. At 5 to 1, that’s 600 Israeli dead – weighted for population, equivalent to 6,000 Brits or 30,000 Americans. Not huge by WW2 standards, but a big hit for our softer modern societies.

The Fallujah approach would kill more civilians and any UN soldiers daft enough to stick around. But at 20 to 1, only 150 Israelis will die – a lot, but arguably a price worth paying for a few decades of peace.

The Israeli government should demand - perhaps with Canadian support - the withdrawal of all UN troops and non-combatant civilians leave within 36 hours. Then the IDF should use heavy weaponry to kill Hezbollah in its bunkers.

Provided the US keeps the bunker busters and daisy cutters flowing, that should be the work of a few weeks.

The useful idiots will excoriate Israel, but they’ll do that whatever.

The destruction of Hezbollah will teach Israel’s enemies that the human shield tactic doesn’t work against a nation fighting for its existence. Then we’ll have decades of peace and – who knows – Iraqi led democracy taking over the Middle East.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Not So Friendly Fire

The United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) has been a spectacular failure, even by the standards of that corrupt organization, and should be withdrawn to prevent the deaths of more of its un-peacekeepers.

It was tasked with (my ellipsis):

...the following objectives:

(1) Confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon;

(2) Restore international peace and security;

(3) Assist the Government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area.

(4) Additionally, the 2006 mandate extension required assisting the Lebanese government in establishing a "monopoly" on military action, adding impetus to disarm Hizbullah guerillas.

UNIFIL has clearly failed to achieve items 2, 3 and 4. Led by a Frenchman (a French general set up the UN's (un)safe havens in Bosnia), and with 2,000 poorly-equipped men, it was never going to take on Hezbollah. Instead, it supported them and put itself right in the middle of the war it failed to prevent (my emphasis):

Prior to the...Israel-Lebanon conflict of July 2006, Israel had been lobbying for UNIFIL to either take a more active role vis-a-vis Hezbollah (for example, preventing Hezbollah from setting up military posts adjacent to UNIFIL's in the hope this will deter Israel from attacking them), or to step out of the region (thereby voiding the Lebanese government's excuse for not deploying its army along the border).

Letting terrorists to build their bases next to your own is suicidal, since it makes you vulnerable to friendly fire, which kills about 20% of combatants.

UNIFIL's troops should head home and leave the Israelis to clear up the mess they were tasked with preventing.

And the UN should accept that no civilized country will ever again rely on its corrupt, sexually abusive and incompetent "peacekeepers".

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dead Man Talking

The Hezbollah leader talks like an incompetent junior manager – with the difference that making a big mistake in business gets you fired, whereas the Israelis will kill this guy.

This is from Captain’s Quarters (great Minnesotan blog!), a transcript of an Al-Jazeera interview with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah (my ellipsis):
Interviewer: "Did you inform (the Labanese government) that you were about to abduct Israeli soldiers?"

Hassan Nasrallah: "I told them that we must resolve the issue of the prisoners, and that the only way to resolve it is by abducting Israeli soldiers."

Interviewer: "Did you say this clearly?"

Hassan Nasrallah: "Yes, and nobody said to me: 'No, you are not allowed to abduct Israeli soldiers.'

Even if they had told me not to... I'm not defending myself here. I said that we would abduct Israeli soldiers, in meetings with some of the main political leaders in the country. I don't want to mention names now, but when the time comes to settle accounts, I will. They asked: 'If this happens, will the issue of the prisoners be over and done with?' I said that it was logical that it would.

And I'm telling you, our estimation was not mistaken. I'm not exaggerating.

Anywhere in the world – show me a country, show me an army, show me a war, in which two soldiers, or even civilian hostages, were abducted, and a war was waged against a country – and all for two soldiers.

This has never happened throughout history, and even Israel has never done such a thing."
He’s saying it’s not really his fault, because someone in authority told him it was OK, and that he failed to foresee the consequences of his actions.

I once fired a manager who talked exactly like this idiot – he’d bullied a long standing, strategic, and trusted supplier to our company. So they’d shut off shipments to us, preventing us making a key delivery.

The manager claimed he’d mentioned his plan to his boss when they were in the men’s room and his boss hadn't replied (he hadn't heard), and that he never expected they’d shut us down. He was out the door in 5 minutes.

Hezbollah killed the last Israelis they kidnapped, and Nasrallah has probably killed the latest two. So now he knows that, with this Israeli government, he’s a dead man.

It would take a heart of stone, etc.

EUseless Idiots

The Israeli government has neatly shown the EU leaders to be powerless blowhards, so leaving itself free to kill off Hezbollah.

The much-underrated Israeli Prime Minister set the trap:
Israeli leaders yesterday said for the first time that they would consider the deployment of a NATO-led multinational force in Lebanon to monitor a cease-fire with Hezbollah, as diplomats increased their efforts to halt the escalating crisis in the Middle East.
Obviously Israel couldn’t accept a UN force - the UN was complicit in Hezbollah’s kidnapping and murder of 3 Israeli soldiers 6 years ago. That left high-trust NATO. But without the US and Brits (busy elsewhere), NATO couldn’t fight its way out of a paper bag (ironic post here).

But the only point a peacekeeping force is to fight the well-equipped and trained (by Syria & Iran) Hezbollah nutters – if Israel kills them off, the Israeli Boy Scouts could police Southern Lebanon.

So that leaves the Euro pols who want to provide "peacekeepers" facing the certainty that these would face a nasty war, and they’ve reacted with characteristic fortitude (my ellipsis and emphasis):
“All the politicians are saying, ‘Great, great’ to the idea of a force, but no one is saying whose soldiers will be on the ground,” said one senior European official. “Everyone will volunteer to be in charge of the logistics in Cyprus.”

…Germany says it is willing to participate only if Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia that it would police, agrees to it, a highly unlikely development.

…France — which has called the idea of a force premature — withdrew in defeat after Hezbollah’s suicide bombing of a Marine barracks in Beirut in October 1983, which killed 241 Marines and 56 French soldiers.

The challenge of creating a viable international force to secure Israel’s border with Lebanon was captured by Nahum Barnea, a columnist for the Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot. The European foreign ministers were enthusiastic, he said.

“They only had one small condition for the force to be made up of soldiers from another country,” Mr. Barnea wrote. “The Germans recommended France; the French recommended Egypt, and so on. It is doubtful whether there is a single country in the West currently volunteering to lay down its soldiers on Hezbollah’s fence.
I bet the president called John Bolton to share a good laugh about this.

Monday, July 24, 2006

More WSJ Claptrap On Illegals

The WSJ continues its campaign to legalize illegals. Until now, it’s done that by conflating immigration (good) with illegal immigration (bad). Now it’s moved on to another sophomoric trick, claiming that since illegal immigration can’t be completely stopped by enforcement, it must be facilitated. Oddly, it doesn’t apply the same argument to other crimes.

Borderline Insanity
By now it should be clear that "enforcement only" won't solve the immigration problem.
The logic flaw can be clarified by replacing “immigration” with "murder", thus:

By now it should be clear that "enforcement only" won't solve the murder problem.

The body of the argument is even weaker:

In addition to all of the other challenges Border Patrol agents face, there is growing evidence that more of them are falling prey to the temptations of bribery and corruption…

Border agents tell me they could most effectively do their job and contain the spreading corruption within their ranks is if they didn't have to chase down people coming here to work and instead could focus their resources on catching gang members and terrorists.

But isn’t it likely that border patrol agents who “tell” him this are the corrupt ones? Gang members and terrorists offer much better bribes than future bellmen!

And corruption isn’t a “challenge”; it’s a management failure. Every police force faces the same problem, and there are tried and tested ways of cleaning it up - firing the corrupt and improving hiring practices.

Regardless, the argument for adding millions of unskilled workers to the US economy is bunk – as explained here (my ellipsis):

…as many Americans sense and so much research has demonstrated. America does not have a vast labor shortage that requires waves of low-wage immigrants to alleviate; in fact, unemployment among unskilled workers is high—about 30 percent. Moreover, many of the unskilled, uneducated workers now journeying here labor…in shrinking industries, where they force out native workers, and many others work in industries where the availability of cheap workers has led businesses to suspend investment in new technologies that would make them less labor-intensive.
If the WSJ honestly favored more immigration, it would be calling for higher quotas on well-educated Indians, Eastern Europeans etc., not more bellman and lawn mowers. Shame about that – it used to be a good newspaper.

No More Mister Nice Guy

The Foreign Office has been the architect of every Brit appeasement – from Munich to the surrender of Northern Ireland to the IRA, so are now shilling for Hezbollah. I hope the Israelis get the message that whatever they do, the whiners will attack them, so they should stop being Mister Nice Guy.

…Kim Howells, a Foreign Office minister, speaking in Beirut, accused Israel of using disproportionate force and destroying Lebanon. He returned to the theme yesterday after visiting Haifa.

"I am very disturbed the more I hear about the extent of this campaign," he said. "At some stages there are 60 jets out there over the Mediterranean waiting to hit targets."

The 60 loitering planes actually prove the Israelis are being careful, not “disproportionate”.

Hezbollah is firing rockets from villages in Southern Lebanon. As you’d expect, they keep the launcher hidden and at the last minute run it out and fire off a volley. Here’s what they look like:

Katyusha launcher in the crosshairs of an air force jet moments before its destruction.
Photo: IDF

This one was destroyed before launch, but before that could happen, it had to be detected, and Israelis planes have two ways of doing that.

The first is pre-launch, using space and plane based optical, IR and radar scanners that feed pattern recognition systems looking for launchers. These are advanced versions of the cameras that read your number plate on Brit roads. The Israelis will have set their system to minimize false positives - for example mistakenly flagging a drilling rig, as happened a few days back. But low false positives means high false negatives – real launchers being flagged as non-threats. Those lucky terrorists get to launch.

That’s where the next technology comes in – launch detection. This is easy, since Katyusha rockets burn brightly and have characteristic light spectra, called signatures.

On a real battlefield – say a Polish invasion of Germany (kidding!) - a launch signature immediately triggers the destruction of the launcher. But Hezbollah is smart and launches from civilian areas – next to schools, mosques and the middle of villages. So, once they’ve detected a launch, the Israelis have to assess likely collateral damage from a counter strike. That means people sitting at screens back at HQ assessing the population in the launch area. I’m guessing this takes several minutes, giving the terrorists time to move the launcher.

That’s why 60 planes are loitering over the Med and why rockets are getting through to kill Israelis. If the Israelis really wanted to take down the Lebanese, they would have finished the job already, flying directly to their targets and shooting weapons on detecting launch signature. No loitering planes.

Of course the Brit FO knows all this, but once an appeaser, always an appeaser.

My advice to the Israelis is to fire on launch signature – the Brit FO proves they’ll never placate their enemies by being nice guys, and saving Israeli lives is their absolute priority.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

China Won’t Rule The World

There’s a European fantasy that China will soon overtake the US economically and become the world’s kindly guardian, humiliating those beastly Yanks. Here’s why that won’t happen.

Poverty

In spite of its fast growth, China is very poor:

...(it) is still a developing country, with per capita GDP of about $1,000 per year. …the country is still afflicted by such poverty as to qualify for the world’s biggest slice of World Bank assistance. …the Chinese must feed a quarter of mankind with only 10 per cent of the world’s cultivable land, and with only 25 per cent of the global average per capita water supply.

This gives a higher GDP per capita of $1,700 – still very poor.

The Chinese economy just overtook the Brit economy. That sounds good until you consider that they have 1,300 million people to the Brit 60 million.

Finally, at its current 4% growth rate, the US economy grows about $500 billion a year. China’s GDP is about $2.3 trillion. So the US adds the equivalent of the entire Chinese economy every 4 years.

Corruption


Only uncorrupt nations prosper, but China is very corrupt,
rating 78th most trustworthy in the world – a bit more corrupt than Saudi Arabia, Syria and Laos, and a bit less than Lebanon and Rwanda.

(This is why I’m struggling with
buying a laptop from Lenovo – citizens of corrupt states make a virtue of deceit and trickery, so how can I trust them?)

They’re Going To Be Nuked


China is a dictatorship so lives through violence against its own citizens and its neighbors. China's
conquest and ethnic cleansing of Tibet is a crime unparalleled since WW2.

China created North Korea and allowed it to develop nuclear weapons and rockets to menace Japan, South Korea, and the US.


Expansionist dictatorships don't succeed – witness the Nazis and Japanese in WW2. NoKo's weaponry has ensured that Japan is considering a plan to
take NoKo out. (A Japanese friend tells me that they can deploy missiles with thermonuke warheads inside 12 months, and I believe him). So the Chinese dictators have ensured that a vastly more advanced nation can now destroy its client. And them.

If they survive that, the dictators probably won’t survive their invasion of Taiwan. The Taiwanese intelligentsia and army know from the experience of the Tibetans that Chinese occupiers will kill them all. So they must be building nukes as fast as they can – to interdict the Chinese invasion fleet, destroy its missiles, and dust off Peking. Plus they have
formidable defenses:
Taiwan launched two Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) interceptors as part of its largest-ever, live-fire military exercise. The AFP reports that the U.S.-made Patriots were fired from mobile launchers on a beach off the northeastern city of Ilan, and successfully shot down an incoming target missile launched some 30 km (18 miles) away. The military exercises…simulated a Chinese invasion and also included fighter jets and ground troops. “This is the first time Patriot missiles were launched before the eyes of the public … to show our determination to safeguard Taiwan,” said President Chen Shui-bian afterwards…
That’s because:
China has 820 ballistic and cruise missiles currently aimed at Taiwan, according to Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian. Speaking today at a forum of Japanese scholars in Taipai, Chen stated that the People’s Liberation Army had deployed 784 ballistic and 36 cruise missiles, adding that the number of missiles is rising at a rate of 120 per year.
Long term there’s good news for the long-suffering Chinese people. When their dictators are killed, the people can seize their freedom - with a bit of help from the West.

UPDATE 7/24

Fixed mysterious formatting errors & tidied up the text.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Choosing A Laptop

After giving up on Apple, I'm looking for a WinXP laptop.

The Mac Mini has been demoted to backup file server, and I've reverted to my 6-year-old Toshiba Tecra. Even with just 256 MB of memory, its MS Office beats the version on the Mac Mini - on an empty system it loads Word, Excel and Outlook in half the time of the 1.6 GHz Core Duo/1 GB Mac Mini. Presumably because the Evil Empire wants you to buy Win XP.

Choosing the new laptop will take a while, and in the interim I've added a Mac-like dashboard to the Tosh, using Yahoo widgets. Got the tip from Lifehacker, a splendid source of advice - I'll add them to the DU blogroll at the next rev.

Here are the parameters that matter for the next laptop.

Weight

Six pounds is the most I can comfortably handle with my other carry-on stuff (checking luggage is a bad idea in the Southern Med). That has to include a 15" screen, 2 GB memory, a fast 100 GB HDD, and a good DVD R/W.

Heat

As Mac Book Pro owners have found, Core Duo processors generate lots of heat. So if you want something to use on your lap, and don't want its fans running all the time, you need excellent thermal design.

Portability

If you mouse a lot, trackpads are useless, and an attached mouse won't work easily on your lap. So you need one of those trackpoint devices that sits between G, H and B in the keyboard. That limits you to IBM/Lenovo, and high end Toshiba, Dell & Fujitsu/Siemens. You need to try these trackpoints before you buy - if they're too stiff or shiny, they're useless.

Durability

I plan to stay with Windows XP for the life of the laptop. On past performance Microsoft will de-support XP 5 years after Vista ships, which I'm guessing is Q1 next year - that's an expected lifetime of almost 6 years.

I doubt Dell laptops can achieve that - we used lots in a previous company and they usually blew up after 6 months. But their desktops are good, and their laptops may have gotten better - any comments welcome (on this and the other options).

Toshiba is a possible, but the thermal design of my current Tecra is poor - its memory bank loss was probably caused by overheating.

Mrs. G is happy with her 3-year-old Fujitsu Siemens so they're worth a try.

But the favorite is the ThinkPad. I've owned two of them, and they have excellent trackpoints, plus good keyboards, low weight, and sharp, bright screens.

But Lenovo now owns IBM's PC business, and they're Chinese. It would be hard to buy from a Fear State outfit.

Hummers Good, Hybrids Bad

Contrarians will be delighted and politicians heartbroken by the news that a Hummer uses less energy in its lifetime than a Civic hybrid.

I've long suspected this - my Tahoe cost peanuts to service, was made out of bits that had been around since WW2, and had the same gas mileage as the BMW 5 series it replaced. Plus, unlike the BMW, it was a great weapons platform. Now someone has run the numbers, hat tip Tim Blair:
Spinella spent two years on the most comprehensive study to date – dubbed "Dust to Dust" -- collecting data on the energy necessary to plan, build, sell, drive and dispose of a car from the initial conception to scrappage. He even included in the study such minutia as plant-to-dealer fuel costs of each vehicle, employee driving distances, and electricity usage per pound of material. All this data was then boiled down to an "energy cost per mile" figure for each car (see here and here).

Comparing this data, the study concludes that overall hybrids cost more in terms of overall energy consumed than comparable non-hybrid vehicles. But even more surprising, smaller hybrids' energy costs are greater than many large, non-hybrid SUVs.

For instance, the dust-to-dust energy cost of the bunny-sized Honda Civic hybrid is $3.238 per mile. This is quite a bit more than the $1.949 per mile that the elephantine Hummer costs. The energy cots of SUVs such as the Tahoe, Escalade, and Navigator are similarly far less than the Civic hybrid.

If you follow the links, you'll see hordes of enviros howling that the study's author hasn't published his base data & computations. But since when has that stopped said enviros demanding we halve our living standards based on their own whacky predictions?

Anyway, this news will make this nannyish Blairite as sick as a parrot:

David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, yesterday backed the idea of carbon rationing for all, based on smart credit cards that record an individual's energy use.

"Imagine your neighbourhood. Each neighbour receives the same free entitlement to a certain number of carbon points.

"The family next door has an SUV and realise they are going to have to buy more carbon points.

"So instead they decide to trade in the SUV for a hybrid car. They save 2.2 tons of carbon each year. They then sell their carbon points back to the bank and share the dividends of environmental growth."

But now what if the family next door has - say - a Challenger 2 MBT? It has poor gas mileage & 37 MPH max, but compensates by crossing town, country, and traffic jams in a straight line. It also lasts forever, and gets no parking or speeding tickets. Under the proposed scheme, the proud family gets a carbon tax credit!

What's not to like?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Don't Talk About The War

I haven’t quite recovered from my exposure to the Germany psyche, so this brought the horror back.

It's an interview of Annan by the middlebrow German magazine Der Spiegel, from Ray D at David’s Medienkritik:

"SPIEGEL: It seems that every US generation in recent history has had to go through the experience of losing a war."

"Annan: Yes, and it is a bit sad to put it that way. One has to learn from history. Quite frankly, it is almost impossible to have a sense of vision without a sense of history. If history is learned, then it doesn't have to repeat itself over generations."

Most Germans believe this claptrap, so for our extensive Teutonic readership, here’s a brief history lesson on US wars ending after 1944 – for simplicity, I‘ve omitted its allies:

1945: US beats Germany and Japan, founding 2 democracies (that includes you)

1953: US beats N Korea and China, founding 1 democracy

1973: US loses in Vietnam, leaving that nation to generations of tyranny

1983: US withdraws peacekeepers from Lebanon after Hezbollah attack. Lebanon descends into darkness

1983: US wins in Granada, enabling democracy

1989: US wins in Panama, enabling democracy

1991: US wins against Soviet Union, creating at least 12 democracies (Warsaw Pact, Baltics, Ukraine).

1991: US beats Iraq, liberating Kuwait and encouraging it towards democracy

1998: US beats Serbia in Kosovo, but hands back to EU, leaving struggling democracy

2001: US beats Taliban in Afghanistan, founding fledgling democracy (fledgling = a bit freer than Ghana).

2003: US beats Iraq, founding first democracy in Middle East.

So in recent history the US has won all but 1 war, creating more free nations than the 13 German Lander. And where it has failed, death and darkness have followed.

While the US was spending blood and treasure freeing these hundreds of millions, Germany neither fought nor liberated anyone, and Annan’s corrupt buddies in Ghana just liberated lots of aid dollars.

Useful Idiots

Only an idiot denies a nation the right of self-defense - without that right, civilized nations must fall to barbarians. The winners of the Anti-Israel Idiotarian contest are the Pope, the EU and the UN.

The Pope

Seems his omission of Israelis from last year's prayer for the victims of terror was deliberate, since in the current crisis he's backing the Mullahs (my emphasis):
Pope Benedict on Sunday condemned "terrorist" acts and reprisals in Lebanon and Israel, saying the violence was unjustifiable.

He called on both sides to resume dialogue.

"The causes of such fierce confrontation are unfortunately objective situations of violation of law and justice," Benedict said, speaking from his holiday retreat in the Aosta valley.

"But neither the terrorist acts nor the reprisals, above all when there are tragic consequences for the civilian population, can be justified."

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano on Friday singled out Israel, calling its strikes on Lebanon an attack on a sovereign and free nation.
After the Germans bombed London in WW2, the RAF attacked targets throughout Germany. If this man had been around then, he'd have condemned the Brits & if they'd heeded his advice, Europe would have been condemned to centuries of Nazi slaughter and slavery. Maybe that's what he'd have liked.

It must be tough to be Catholic with this man as leader.

The EU and UN

As the terrorists are whittled away, the EU and UN bleat ever louder for a ceasefire. Here the excellent John Bolton patiently explains the problems (hat tip Powerline, my ellipsis):
I think we could have a cessation of hostilities immediately if Hezbollah would stop terrorizing innocent civilians and give up the kidnapped Israeli soldiers. So that to the extent this crisis continues, the cause is Hezbollah.

How you get a ceasefire between one entity, which is a government of a democratically elected state on the one hand, and another entity on the other which is a terrorist gang, no one has yet explained.

The government of Israel, everybody says, has the right to exercise the right of self-defense, which even if there are criticisms of Israeli actions by some, they recognize the fundamental right to self-defense. That’s a legitimate right.

Are there any activities that Hezbollah engages in, militarily that are legitimate? I don’t think so. All of its activities are terrorist and all of them are illegitimate, so I don’t see the balance or the parallelism between the two sides and therefore I think it’s a very fundamental question: how a terrorist group agrees to a ceasefire.

You know in a democratically elected government, the theory is that the people ultimately can hold the government accountable when it does something and doesn’t live up to it. How do you hold a terrorist group accountable? Who runs the terrorist group? Who makes the commitment that a terrorist group will abide by a ceasefire? What does a terrorist group think a ceasefire is? These are - you can use the words “cessation of hostilities” or “truce” or "ceasefire.” Nobody has yet explained how a terrorist group and a democratic state come to a mutual ceasefire.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Helpful Hints For EU Peacekeepers

The EU is weighing deploying peacekeepers, ostensibly to stop Hezbollah and Hamas attacking Israel, and here are DU's suggestions on the force mix they'll need.
The European Union today said it was weighing the deployment of a peacekeeping force to Lebanon to help end fighting between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas.

“It could be that the European Union – or the United Nations – might have a peacekeeping role,” said Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomoija, whose country now holds the EU presidency.

He echoed comments by British Prime Minister Tony Blair who earlier in the day said the “only way” to stop the fighting was to deploy peacekeepers in southern Lebanon to stop Hezbollah fighters from firing rockets into Israel.
Civilian Protection Warheads

All EU weapons will need special sensors that detect the presence of a kindergarten class - such as the one shown below (I think AP, Reuters, or AFP) - and prevent any possible harm to such targets, or their parents or indeed anyone not wearing full-dress Hezbollah or Hamas uniform.


Manpower

About 1,000,000 would do the trick - assuming the EU expeditionary force is about 20% more effective than the available Israeli forces. Of course if Hezbollah and Hamas continue to kill and kidnap Israelis, you'll need to double that to 2,000,000 (and to double all the stuff listed below), to keep the annoyed Israelis at bay.

Space Assets

You'll need the usual mix of imaging and radar surveillance satellites to track down those pesky terrorists. If you ask EADS politely, they might fly these birds in 2020.

Air Force

This will need to be 300 planes of F15I & F16I quality, and will need a tough training program to get your pilots to the best-in-the world Israeli quality. The Eurofighter should be fine, provided the bad guys don't notice its barn-door radar cross section and you can get its radar and missiles to work.

You'll also need 100 plus Apache attack helicopters, 100 troop carrying choppers, plenty of transport planes (Finnair is not an option), a couple of Airborne Early Warning planes, 40 Electronic Intelligence platforms, 20 air tankers, and over 2,000 state-of-the-art drones. I think somebody in Brussels just issued an RFQ for all of these.

Navy

This needs to be 13 missile boats and 50 patrol boats, all with full antimissile defenses. In case things go wrong, you'll need a Rapid Withdrawal Fleet - the French will have this.

Ground Weapons Systems

4,000 Main Battle Tanks should be sufficient, provided they're supported by the Apaches and there are 11,000 APCs for your troops. Plus the usual artillery - 500 towed, 600 self-propelled, and 200 or so multiple rocket launchers. And plenty of state-of-the-art anti-air and anti-tank missiles.

Air Weapons Systems

You'll need about 500 LITENING pods to enable EUAF planes to loiter over the battlefield, spot missile launches & take out the launchers. Plus all the usual precision air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons to deal with Hezbollah, Hamas and the militant wing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (but remember - only if they're wearing uniforms!). I think a bloke in Siemens is working on all this.

Couragous And Disciplined Troops

This will be hard for the conscript armies of Europe (I'm assuming the Brits will be otherwise engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan). But, heh, if Israeli kids can fight, why not Europeans!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hobbes, Churchill and Israel

An Opinion Journal piece argues that wars against barbarians represent a new trend. It ain't so – our history is full of such wars.

Opinion Journal (my ellipsis)

Forget Karl von Clausewitz's dictum that war is a last resort and circumscribed by the methodical actions and requirements of a state and its army…As the authors (of “Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias”) remind us…: "Tribal and clan chieftains did not employ war as a cold-blooded and calculated policy instrument. . . . Rather, it was fought for a host of social-psychological purposes and desires, which included . . . honor, glory, revenge, vengeance, and vendetta." With such motives, torture and beheadings become part of the normal ritual of war.
Winston Churchill’s The River War gives an excellent account of a war against barbarians. Such wars have their own logic – you overcome the barbarians’ courage, personal fighting skills, and ruthlessness with your superior weapons (e.g. Gatling guns), logistics (railways), tactics, and discipline. And, in case of capture, you save your last bullet for yourself.

Thomas Hobbes (1588 –1679) explains:

So that in the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel. First competition; secondly, for safety; thirdly, glory. The first maketh men invade for gain; the second, for safety; the third, for reputation. The first use of violence, to make themselves masters of other men’s persons, wives, children and cattle; the second to defend them; the third for trifles, as a word, a smile, a different opinion, and any other sign of undervalue, either direct in their persons or by reflection in their kindred, their friends, their nation, their profession, or their name.

The Arab wars on Israel since 1948 are clearly in the third category, and the Israeli responses are in the second - as are our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

So Churchill and Hobbes would recognize the Syrians, Iranians, Palestinians and Hezbollah as the latest in a long procession of barbarians driven not by hope of material gain, or self defense, but by a sense of honor. After a lifetime fighting barbarism, Churchill came to have a poor regard the world outside the Anglosphere:

(in) the exchange between Selwyn Lloyd and Churchill when the former was appointed a minister of state at the Foreign Office under Eden in 1951. (Lloyd later said) "I was flabbergasted. I wondered whether it was a case of mistaken identity. . . I said: 'But Sir, I think there must be some mistake. I do not speak any foreign language. Except in war, I have never visited any foreign country. I do not like foreigners.'

He [Churchill] replied: 'Young man, these all seem to me to be positive advantages.'"
Today Israel is fighting tribes of honor-seekers in the traditional way, using advanced weaponry, superior organization, better tactics, and better discipline.

There's no doubt Israel will prevail, at some cost. But when these tribes get city-busting nukes, we'll have no choice but to overcome them with country-busters.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The EU's War On (Victims Of) Terror

Blair's prosecutors won't file charges against the cops who accidentally shot an innocent man just after the London bombings. Instead they're using the Precautionary Principle to prosecute the entire London police force! On similar reasoning, Blair and his EU cronies are trying to stop Israel taking down its enemies.
No police officers will face criminal charges over the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Crown Prosecution Service said yesterday.

He was
shot dead at Stockwell Underground station, south London, last July by anti-terrorist officers who mistakenly feared that he was a suicide bomber.
But (my ellipsis)

The Metropolitan Police will be prosecuted under health and safety law over "operational errors" in planning and communication which fell short of criminal offences.

The trial will force Sir Ian Blair, the...Metropolitan Police commissioner, and his senior officers to seek to prove that they did everything they could to ensure the "health, safety and welfare" of Mr de Menezes, 27, a Brazilian electrician.

...there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the Office of Commissioner of Police for an offence under sections 3 and 33 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAW) of failing to provide for the health, safety and welfare of Jean Charles de Menezes.

Until now, HASAWA has meant that if one of your employees trips over an uncovered cable, you're liable. The prosecution of the cops under this law asserts that they are responsible for the health and safety of all potential criminals, without regard for potential victims.

That would stops cops chasing kids racing cars (they might crash & kill themselves), shooting suspected armed criminals (bad for their health) or arresting nutty pedophiles (they might commit suicide).

This new interpretation stems from the EU's Precautionary Principle - potential harm must be minimized without regard for the consequences. That ignores the reality of tradeoffs - kids racing cars may kill others, as may armed robbers, and pedophiles. Anyone involved in public order has to balance the risk to potential victims against the risk to potential criminals.

But Blair and his EU buddies don't care about victims, which explains why they want to stop the Israelis destroying their attackers:

Big power diplomacy to stop the fighting in Lebanon ground into gear yesterday as Britain and other European states pushed hard for the deployment of an international intervention force on the Israeli-Lebanese border.

Dominique de Villepin, the French prime minister, was already in Beirut to call for "an immediate truce", while President Jacques Chirac urged the creation of an international force with the "means of coercion".

But - as our frog munching friends well know - peacekeeping forces don't fight. That's why the UN handed the population of Srebrenica over for rape and slaughter. So there's no chance they'll stop the head-hackers attacking Israel.

But their presence would inhibit the Israelis from fighting back, which is what the EU's anti-semites want.

The good news is that unlike Londoners and their unfortunate cops, Israel has the US watching its back, so will stop killing terrorists only when its good and ready.

Relaxing In The Southern Med

The Southern Med has its own unique brands of of heat and noise.

We flew back from sunny London yesterday - 85 degrees at noon - arriving to a sweltering 95 degrees and 60% humidity. Now all the household fans are going flat out and the water heaters are off - solar gain keeps the water in the rooftop tank uncomfortably hot. After 7 weeks absence, the yard has been taken over by rampant bougainvillea, plumbago and my tomato plants, all nurtured by drip irrigation. And its very very hot.

It's noisy here too, but a different kind of noisy. London is a vast and clamorous construction site, there are continuous car alarms, emergency sirens, and mobile phone rings. Here we get Church bells, birds singing (these are the smart ones that escaped the local hunters), dogs barking, kids playing in the street outside, and the locals conversing at the tops of their voices.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Bomb Damage

If you know what to look for, a run or walk through London is a compressed history lesson and never fails to inspire.

For a recent birthday Mrs. G gave me The London County Council Bomb Damage Maps 1939-1945. This covers all of the Central London and shows every street and house, recording the extent of any damage, ranging from “Total Destruction” to “Minor Blast Damage”. It also shows where every V1 cruise missile and V2 rocket hit – including the ones that fell in parks, lakes and the Thames.

So now I know why the widows at the back of our flat are post-war metal – a bomb destroyed the houses behind it, blowing out our windows and taking the roof off. Our flats were categorized as “Seriously Damaged, Repairable At Cost”.

The book makes it easy to decide whether an architectural monstrosity slotted into a pretty street is courtesy the Luftwaffe or a modernist architect – in our area, it’s 90% the former.

The book outlines the grand plans for rebuilding London after the war, which:
…could not be fully carried through for a range of reasons, not the least being the lack of investment funds and materials as the nation faced new threats.
So the money went on our nuclear weapons, new planes for the RAF, and on the British Army Of The Rhine, and the gaps in London’s housing were filled as cheaply as possible.


But now booming London has largely rebuilt itself with style and elegance, and the scars are disappearing.

Some signs remain - on my run through Regent’s Park this morning, I was able to pick out the sites of the unusually high number of 13 V1s that hit the Park – depressions and younger trees.

All of which is a reminder of the 30,000 Londoners killed and 55,000 seriously injured by the German fascists, and the mutilation and sudden death happening right now in Israeli towns.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Mullah's Bloody Fingerprints

It's clear that Iran is attacking Israel.

Iranian unguided missiles are randomly killing Israelis:
Hizbollah officials said July 13 that the group is firing a new heavy Katyusha rocket, the Raad-1, that has a range of around 70 kilometers and carries a 100-kilogram warhead. Al-Manar television showed a picture of the missile, which resembled missiles manufactured by Iran under the same name.

Israeli intelligence sources had reported in the past few months that Hizbullah had acquired from Iran long-range missiles such as the 200-kilometer Zelzal and the 150-kilometer Nazeat, both of which could reach Tel Aviv.
Plus:
The Israeli warship struck by a Hizbullah-fired missile, killing two aboard and leaving two others missing, returned to its home port in Haifa on Saturday, according to TV footage.

The ship was severely damaged Friday night after it was struck by an Iranian-made, radar-guided C-102 missile.

Supplying weapons during a war doesn't automatically make the supplier nation a combatant - otherwise the Brits would have attacked France for supplying Exocets to Argentina and Roland missiles to Saddam Hussein, both used by dictators to kill Brit sailors and fliers.

But if the French had fired the weapons as well as supplying them, they'd be a combatant, and that's what Iran is doing.

The Hezbollah headhackers are possibly able, with training, to operate the Raad-1. It's an unguided rocket fired off the back of a truck. But the Silkworm uses active radar homing, and must deployed by professionals.

That makes the Mullahs a combatant. So now we have to take them down - preferably before they "give" al Qaeda nukes to use on us.

Adult Supervision

Federal legal authorities have deftly defused Brit anger over the deportation of 3 fellow citizens to face Enron charges in the US. This has to be the administration's doing - if Blair had been involved he'd have claimed credit days ago!
The Natwest Three, who were extradited to America this week to face wire fraud charges, were granted conditional bail yesterday by a court in Texas.

They will be all electronically tagged until the hearing next Friday and required to stay in the residency of (their) lawyer in the city.

It was considered likely that they would be electronically tagged for the year-long build-up to the trial and for the trial itself, which is expected to last six months.

Ever since the NatWest Three touched down at Houston's George Bush International Airport on Thursday morning, they have been treated in an unusually gentle way, given the traditional rough treatment meted out by the federal authorities in Texas. The men were forced to wear leg shackles and handcuffs for their trip to the court house to be fingerprinted, strip-searched and have their details taken.

But they were allowed to keep on their own clothes and were not forced to wear the green jumpsuits that are the standard issue for the federal detention centre system.

When they made their way into court yesterday morning, they were still in their own clothes after having stayed the night at an undisclosed federal detention centre.

They were whisked through the back door of the building, a privilege not accorded to any other federal prisoner in recent years. As a result they did not have to do the "perp [perpetrator] walk", the enforced parade in front of the international press pack.

When the late Ken Lay was tried in the same court house earlier this year, the disgraced ex-chief of Enron was forced to do the perp walk daily. "We can put prisoners in green jumpsuits, even put the stun belt on and give them a little zap if it's needed," said David Sacks of the US Marshals Service.

"But we don't need to with these three men. They are white-collar suspects and unlikely to be violent. And relations between our two countries are so warm."

The European Court will probably intervene at a later date, but I think the Brit dimension is now defused, provided Blair repeals the UK law that prematurely implemented the unratified treaty. That shouldn't be a problem, since the previous treaty worked quite well.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Existential War

The Israelis fighting aggressors committed to their destruction constitute about half the Jews in the world. If Israel falls, so falls the Jewish people - an outcome apparently sought by the EU, UN and France.

In 2002 there were about 13 million Jews, and guessing at trends since then (Jews fleeing France & high Israeli birth rate) it now looks something like this:

US & Canada 6 million
Israel 5.5 million
EU 1 million (mostly France, UK, and former USSR nations)
ROW 0.5 million

It's doubtful any racial group can survive the loss of half its population and the destruction of its homeland - imagine the 500 million in the Anglo cultures (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) halved to 250 million and the survivors scattered across hostile or indifferent nations - China, the EU etc.

So Israel's struggle is for the existence of the Jewish people, and the EU, UN, and French condemnations of that struggle promote the destruction of the Jewish people.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Train Wreck (2)

The three Brit bankers accused of involvement in Enron just got extradited to Texas and the natives are getting really restless.
The NatWest Three have taken off from Gatwick airport on their way to Texas, having lost their battle to avoid extradition to the US on fraud charges.

The case has caused a national outcry because the three men are being extradited using new extradition rules which are not reciprocated by the United States.
So now the Brit MSM will run pictures of these guys in orange suits, leg irons and manacles (the Brits think these are barbarous), and daily articles about their sufferings in a Texas jail and the grief of their loved ones. When the entire nation is really mad at the US, the European Court will rule the extradition illegal, positioning itself as the defender of the liberty of Europeans against the imperialist Americans and putting the US and UK governments on the spot.

Blair's government should never have ratified this treaty, but having scewed that up it should have put in the fix to get the trial run in the UK. Now it's left to the US to apply some adult supervision on the lines I've suggested.

None of which is to say these guys are innocent - if, as alleged, they made personal money out of the Enron deal, they deserve serious jail time.