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The Twisted Genius
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Offtrail, Bernie's and Tulsi's foreign and domestic policy positions are damned near identical. That and the fact that Tulsi was one of Bernie's most ardent supporters in 2016 leads me to believe that they may very well share the ticket. I think they would be a formidable team.
James, If you like Wendell Berry, you may also like someone who I admire, Eric Sloane. He often wrote about early American farmers, their tools and their barns. As an artist he richly illustrated his works. His views about the strong and healthy connections between man and nature are similar to Berry's.
Walrus, Upstate NY'er made the point that struck me. Real coding requires artistic imagination that not everyone possesses. It goes beyond C or C++. My younger son has to envision what parts of a coding challenge are best addressed by any number of the myriad languages available today. Then piecing it all together in a way that avoids all the possible pitfalls requires even more imagination. I'm glad to see you realize that in your response to Upstate. Come to think of it, damned near any endeavor requires skills and thinking skills to execute competently as you aptly note in acknowledging the skills of a machinist and tool maker. Having said that, I agree that Bloomberg's denigration of farming is flat ignorant. He may be good at many things, but his words indicate a certain blind spot to our society. In my opinion, extreme wealth, even if self-made, has a tendency to cause this blind spot. Just like Leona Helmsley or Donald Trump, Bloomberg seems to think he is owed something that the bulk of us are not.
JohninMK, I don't think the shoot down of that Tornado will affect anyone except other Saudi pilots. They will now be scared shitless flying those skies. It was bound to happen whether it was a ground launched AA missile or a MANPAD. I have to admit, the idea of a ground launched air to air missile is pretty damned ingenious.
Leith, Heading to the border and the Bab al Hawa crossing is a big step. I don't think the SAA will try that without a clear assurance from Moscow. I say that because taking Bab al Hawa would make the jihadi presence in most of Idlib untenable. Erdogan made strong efforts to block the SAA advance on the Bab al Hawa-Idlib highway as soon as the 25th made their thrust towards Kafr Aleppo. Those blocking efforts have only increased. I don't know if Erdogan will go all in to resist an SAA strike towards the border. I also don't know if the SAA is willing to chance it at this time without that assurance from Moscow. It looks like the jihadis are going to lose all their positions in west Aleppo fairly soon. In response, Turkey is shelling the hell out of SAA and YPG positions north of Aleppo. We'll have to see if Erdogan is willing to go any further.
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BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:10 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is officially in full control of the Aleppo-Damascus Highway (M-5) after eight years of battle. The Syrian Army said they captured the last points along the highway on Tuesday evening,... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Sic Semper Tyrannis
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Tulsi bet all her chips on New Hampshire just like Mayor Pete did in Iowa. I was up in the Conway region last August and saw billboards for Tulsi all over the place. There was nothing for other candidates. She held well over a hundred town halls in the state. I'm hoping this strategy works for her. I like EVERYTHING about her including her antiwar foreign policy stance and her genuinely progressive domestic policy. I just received this message from her campaign: "Tulsi is on the rise in New Hampshire and we need to be doing all we can right now to keep this upward momentum going!" "First: Local paper The Caledonian Record yesterday released an online poll showing a whopping 67.3% of voters chose Tulsi as the candidate they would “like to see win the Primary.”" "Then: CNN/UNH polling released today shows Tulsi moving into 5th, within striking distance of Elizabeth Warren, with HALF of voters still uncommitted and up for grabs." "It’s the height of irony that CNN’s OWN most recent polling shows Tulsi ahead of Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer and Deval Patrick — all of whom were given nationally televised CNN town halls worth millions just this week, while the establishment network refused to let Tulsi speak. This blatant censorship denied New Hampshire voters (half undecided) the opportunity to hear from all the candidates, and then make an informed opinion about who to support." I hope she does well in New Hampshire. It will be much harder for for the press to ignore her if she does.
Leith, That sounds like it. I've also seen it transliterated as al Zerbah and Al Zorbah. Whatever it's called, the town seems to be a magnate for bombings that supposedly hit hospitals and civilians. Must be a jihadi version of the Warner Brothers movie production lot.
Barbara Ann, Some answers/opinions: 1. That level of intel could come from a variety of sources. It could be traditional recruited HUMINT sources or debriefing of refugees. It could be SIGINT and IMINT. It could also be the work of what is best described as scouts. SAA individual scouts or small recon teams. Behind the line videos/photos are often posted and attributed to the work of such SAA scouts. It's most likely a combination of all these methods. 2. I doubt the possibility of a faux chem attack in Zerba is shaping the actions of the SAA around Aleppo. The SAA and Syrian Arab Air Force have hit Zerba in the past. The jihadis even claimed they bombed a hospital in Zerba last year. 3. A staged attach won't change any minds. Those who want to believe will believe. Those who know it's bullshit will know it's bullshit.
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We all knew it was coming and RT has a preview of coming attractions. ———— The White Helmets have shot a new fake video of 'Assad's chemical attack' in Syria's Idlib, the Russian MoD has said. The movie, co-produced by... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2020 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
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Lyttenburgh, Yes, that was quite a visit to Ukraine. It can be summarized as: 1. Erdogan acknowledged that Crimea is Ukrainian 2. exclaimed Slava Ukraina! 3. promised to give Ukraine $34 million of military equipment. Seems the Sultan is in a major snit over Putin's military actions in Syria and Libya.
Nightsticker, I've seen very few videos of jihadi prisoners. I think a big reason for that is the nature of the combat. The jihadis withdraw rather than die in place or be captured and the SAA doesn't go rushing into close quarters combat where they over run the jihadi positions. I've seen one jihadi pulled out of a hole in Maarat al Numan and one around west Aleppo. The one in Aleppo was whining about the 4th Armored Division's Golan missiles. Probably rattled his brain pretty good.
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25th Division (Tiger Force) soldiers standing on the M4 west of Saraqib BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:40 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) continued their push towards the strategic Aleppo-Latakia Highway (M-4) this afternoon following the capture of two towns earlier... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2020 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
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English Outsider, The body armor worn by the jihadis is undoubtedly of Turkish manufacture although I can't tell by looking at it. They've also used Turkish manufactured vehicles including APCs. Those are unmistakably Turkish. Turkey has a well developed and profitable military equipment industry. The jihadis have also employed at least one Leopard tank. I'm sure that came from Turkey as well. I think Erdogan is resigned to the jihadis' defeat in Idlib, but I doubt he will let Afrin and the rest of the border area without a fight... a jihadi fight, not a Turkish fight.
Bill H, We put out quite a few articles on Novorossiya and the war in Ukraine on SST beginning back in 2014. Patrick is absolutely right. This is a civil war between east and west Ukraine. When the coup in Kiev brought in the ugly ultra-nationalists of Pravy Sektor and Svoboda, these true deplorables called for eradicating the no good "Russkies" living in the eastern third of the country. The eastern Ukrainians only wanted to be fairly represented in Kiev and left to live their lives of Russian heritage. They were content to be Ukrainians. Civil war only erupted when the newly empowered fascists in Kiev moved to physically eradicate, or at least subjugate, the "Russkies" in the east. Those Ukrainians had no choice but to resist. It began as unarmed villagers blocking the passage of a few Ukrainian tanks here and there. As the Ukrainian Army slowly mobilized and the paramilitaries of Pravy Sektor grew, thing got more serious. Russia began providing aid to the rebel defenders of Novorossiya to give them the means to defend themselves. This aid grew into what became known as Voentorg (military trade or commissary). It appears to have been fairly robust consisting of a wide range of military equipment including tanks, artillery and plenty of ammunition for those weapons. However, these supplies augmented those military stores already present in Donetsk and Luhansk along with those stores captured from the Ukrainian Army by the rebels. Russia also provided training and organization to the fledgling forces of Novorossiya, but, again, the rebels were already trained on much of this equipment and how to fight from their time in the Soviet and/or Ukrainian Armies. It was only natural for Russian volunteers to come to the aid of Novorossiya. That happens in many civil wars. I know of no credible proof of Russian Army units fighting among the rebels. The Crimea was a different story. The Russian Army brilliantly moved to secure Crimea when they saw the West was making a move to seize Crimea for themselves. I still believe our ultimate goal was to see Russia lose access to Sevastopol and have it become a major sea and air base for the US and NATO. Russia would have been criminally negligent if she allowed that to happen. The Crimeans appear to be content with being part of Russia once again.
Yeah Right, It's not NCOs in particular. The need is for leaders at all levels from squad to platoon to company and beyond be they NCOs, officers or whatever. It's my opinion that leadership at these lower levels is critical to battle field success. If just one of these levels is missing, you're screwed. As Colonel Lang said, a strong NCO corps is not universal.
English Outsider, As far as I know, there are still several thousand Uighurs around Jisr al Shughour. TIP is primarily Uighour and they have stubbornly blocked the 4th Armored Division's advances there for months. Besides where would they go? Turkey doesn't want them. Nor does China. I guess Erdogan could send them to Libya, but he needs TIP's tenacity to hold Jisr al Shighour.
Yeah Right, I'm sure the SAA units are understrength. That's to be expected. In the 70s many of our Army units were understrength. My rifle platoon never had more than 25 men. The TO&E called for 44. The rifle companies were about 100 strong. Another factor is that the SAA is modeled on the Russian structure where units are characteristically smaller than in the US.
UPDATE Maarat al Numan has fallen without a fight. The SAA left one road out open for the last jihadis to high tail it out of town which they did. A Turkish Army convoy of 30 vehicles including q dozen APCs entered Syria last night on the Azan-Afrin road. They appear to be establishing another "observation point" just south of Saraqib. I doubt the 25th Special Forces Division will be intimidated as they head north on the M5, although some Russian MPs will probably now accompany the advancing forces to keep the peace. Progress is being made on the Aleppo front as well. The 30th Republican Guards Division is now on the outskirts of Khan Touman. Capture of that town will leave the path open to cross the M5. From there the 30th and the 4th Armored Division will be hitting the jihadis west of Aleppo from two sides.
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Front lines prior to the start of the offensive During the last few weeks, the SAA redeployed its forces to the eastern side of the Idlib front. This included moving the 4th Armored Division from Jish al Shigour to Aleppo.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2020 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
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I found an interview with SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell done last October in which she revealed much about Starlink as a consumer business. SpaceX has been testing Starlink on an Air Force contract for the last year and has demonstrated... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2020 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
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In 1989, while assigned to an Army SMU, I used a small satellite radio, the size of a mobile phone of that era, with a small dish antenna pointed at the assigned satellite in geosynchronous orbit. Some satellites were good... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2020 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
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It’s been a good 48 hours since Iran’s missile strike at Ayn al-Assad and Erbil. Both Washington and Tehran stared into the abyss and did not like what they saw. We averted a full fledged shooting war through a little... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2020 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Eric, the embassy attack hurt little more than our pride. Yes, an entrance lobby and it's contents were burned and destroyed but no American was injured or even roughed up. It was the Iraqi government that let the demonstrators approach the embassy walls, not Soleimani. The unarmed PMU soldiers dispersed as soon as the Iraqi government said their point was made. If we are so thin skinned that rude graffiti and gestures induce us to committing assassinations, we deserve to be labeled as international pariahs. Yes, I see Soleimani as a threat, but he was a threat to the jihadis and the continued US dreams of regional hegemony. I was glad we went back into Iraq to take on the threat of IS and cheered our initial move into Syria to do the same. That was the Sunni-Shia war you worry about. More accurately, it was a Salafist jihadist-all others war. Unfortunately, we overstayed the need and our welcome. It's a character flaw that we cannot loosen our grasp on empire no matter how much it costs us.
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States had “clear, unambiguous” intelligence that a top Iranian general was planning a significant campaign of violence against the United States when it decided to strike him, the top U.S. general said on Friday, warning... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2020 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
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