Feinstein Followup

Simple followup, really, to the other day’s disclosure by Sen. Diane Feinstein that U.S. drones may or may not operate from bases in Pakistan.

I’m so, so shocked that Pakistan was railing against American intrusion, while secretly giving a wink and a nudge.  Really, I’m so shocked that I’m…not shocked.  I figured they had to approve, in a subrosa fashion, of these operations.  If they didn’t approve of them in some fashion, they would have actually taken substantive action, despite their supposed puppet status.

Even if it had been Bush and Co. keeping the Pakistanis from objecting in some fashion, the attacks have continued under Obama.  So if the only factor preventing the Pakistanis from actually doing something had been Bush (and I seriously doubt that he’s been keeping them down this past year; did he or anyone else in his adminstration cause fear in the hearts of anyone in the past year?), that has been removed; wouldn’t the drones have stopped by now?

However, I do think that their protest after the ground operation last year was genuine.  I don’t have any specific evidence, but I have a gut feeling that it just went too far for them to even privately approve of.  Drones shooting missiles are one thing; they aren’t physically on the ground.  Despite how much the Pakistani government has bent over backwards to perform for the US government, they do still have a sense of national pride.

Honestly, I’d figured out that the Pakistanis knew several months ago.  I didn’t expect that they might actually be operating from Pakistan.  Let’s wait and see how the story pans out before we really rush to judgment.

(If this doesn’t make much sense, it’s because I haven’t had enough sleep.  I will be getting more momentarily.  Any comments are welcome, and any improvements to my logic and thought would be greatly appreciated.)

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Rep. Feinstein’s Foot, Meet Rep. Feinstein’s Mouth

Whoopsies.

A senior U.S. lawmaker said Thursday that unmanned CIA Predator aircraft operating in Pakistan are flown from an airbase inside that country, a revelation likely to embarrass the Pakistani government and complicate its counterterrorism collaboration with the United States.

The disclosure by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, marked the first time a U.S. official had publicly commented on where the Predator aircraft patrolling Pakistan take off and land.

[snip]

The CIA declined to comment, but former U.S. intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, confirmed that Feinstein’s account was accurate.

What I think is that Pakistan needs Obi-Wan Kenobi right about now: “These aren’t the drones you’re looking for.”

Draw your own conclusions on how screwed the Pakistani government is now.

Imagine Pres. Zardari saying “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” (I couldn’t resist)

(H/T Information Dissemination)

obi-wan_headshot

The Meaning of “Ceasefire”

Apparently, Israel is preparing to proclaim a unilateral ceasefire.  Good news for the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip.  The reason that the ceasefire is unilateral is because Hamas is refusing to back down:

 

Hamas has said a cease-fire alone is not enough.

“We are working in every direction so we can achieve our objectives in stopping the aggression, lifting the blockade, opening the crossings, and the compensation of our people and the rebuilding of the Gaza strip,” said Hamas delegation spokesman Salah Bardwill.

 

Alright, Hamas, do I really need to explain what the word “ceasefire” means?  It means that you stop shooting at each other while negotiating a permanent end to the fighting.  Get real, Hamas!  The only way you can achieve those objectives is if you and Israel stop fighting and start negotiating.  Your military, in conventional terms, cannot match the IDF.  That’s why you sit in Gaza and pop off rockets at them.  So the only way, let me repeat, that you can stop the Israelis from bombing you and get them to open up again, is through negotiation.  I thought that was the strategic calculus behind attacking the Israelis terrorist-style.

I suppose, though, there is one way army_of_the_deadthat Hamas could conquer Israel (because that’s the only way they’ll be able to achieve that without negotiation).  Let’s say Aragorn (you know, from the Lord of the Rings) comes along, and brings his super awesome horde of ghosts (at right).  If Hamas could persuade him, he might lend them the Ghosts to help them beat Israel.  Oh, but I forgot, they all went away.  Tough.  Guess Hamas will have to sit down and negotiate with Israel.  But first, a ceasefire.  Because it’s the right thing to do for the people of Israel and Palestine.

Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right

Okay, I’ve dished out some criticism some of the anti-Israeli people out there.  So, just to be fair, it’s time for some pwnage of pro-Israeli Americans, and it’s not like this is really hard.  Honestly, it’s like shooting goldfish in a bowl.  Their analogies are the worst ever.  For instance, there’s George Will, saying, “All Americans know what we would be doing if rockets were landing in San Diego from Tijuana.”  (I like Jon Stewart’s response: “Yeah!  We’d open them up and pull out the tequila and hookers!  Am I right, people?  It’s a frickin’ Tijuana rocket!  If you can’t go to spring break, they’ll just fire it to you!”)  Let’s flip these analogies (the rest are pretty much the same).  What if you and your family, along with 1.5 million other souls, have been forced to live, for the past several years, in a very densely populated area.  The economy is virtually nonexistent, and there are some yahoos in the area lighting off rockets at the country keeping you hemmed in.  You’d rather just get on with your life, without all the douchebaggery from both the neighborhood yahoos and the (de facto) occupying power.  Then one day, the people surrounding you get tired of those pesky little rockets (they are, by the by, pretty much all bark and no bite), and start a massive air, ground and naval assault.  They put on a smiley face and say, “We are doing everything we can to minimze civilian casualties.”  And yet you and your family are in the thick of it.  People defending the actions of the occupiers say, “But they warned people to get away before they started bombing.”  The only problem, of course, is that everywhere is a target, and so all the messages do is, in effect, is scare you.  For several weeks, bombs and artillery shells rain down all around you.  Nowhere is safe, and if you go out, you’re liable to get caught in the crossfire.  So do you think you would feel warm and fuzzy things towards the people who are bombing the shit out of your home?  My guess…no.  That is the Palestinians’ perspective.  Before you start barfing out uncritical support of Israel, let’s have some perspective, and see it another way.  And that’s the way it is.

P.S. This is the Daily Show clip about Gaza.  It is excellent.

Open Letter to Israel

Dear Israel,
How’s it going? Probably not so well, huh? Well, let’s hear no more moaning from you. No more, “Oh, but the naughty Palestinians are launching rockets into our lands.  They’re really loud, and we get so startled when they hit!”  I don’t care how startled people are getting, your suffering is not nearly on the level of the Palestinians in Gaza.  Nowhere near that.  Ok?  This is not at all anti-Semitism, it’s just the truth.  So no more whining about the Qassams, please?  See, when a few mosquitos sting you, you don’t get rid of them by blasting away with a machine gun.  You might kill something or someone who isn’t a mosquito, and it’s a terribly inefficient way of killing mosquitos.

Face it, this whole offensive thing is not going to work.  The only way, militarily, you could possibly get rid of Palestinian attacks is if you totally wiped them off the map, like the U.S. did with the Native Americans.  And then everyone in the world would hate you, and the state of Israel would die, since much of your economy is based on foreign trade.

But I’d like to ask a question here, and this is more directed at the high-level chaps and chappesses in the Israeli government: What have you folks been smoking?  For f@&%’s sake, do you even have any sort of strategic goal other than “Kill Hamas”?  How could you have possibly been so stupid as to go into a conflict like this without any real strategic goals?  That has to be the very first rule of warfare: know what the f@&% you want to do before you start doing it.  And your public relations stuff has been s%&#ty as hell.  Okay, it’s not enough to have Twitter and YouTube, you need to have a good message to put on it, or else you’re just wasting server space.

And anyway, let’s face it, people draw their own conclusions.  We goyim out here are not idiots.  When Palestinian dead rise to over a thousand, and there are less than 20 Israeli dead, we can see the disparity.  We can count.

In the end, folks, all this will do is cause the radicalization of a new generation of Palestinians.  Perhaps, when you’re not “accidentally” bombing UN compounds, or claiming they were somehow chock-full of Hamas fighters, you could read this blog post at World Politics Review, about Hamas and the Palestinian will to resist.

The lesson here?  Something that I would have thought Israel, of all people, would have already learned.  You can’t bomb the s%&# out of people and expect them to like you.  It’s very simple.

Oh, and those settlers out in the West Bank?  Put a leash on those stupid motherf@&%ers before they cause another huge uprising in the West Bank.  That would not be cool.  In fact, even if they don’t cause an uprising, you should hold onto them tightly, because they appear to be colossal pricks.  Oh, and pardon my language.  Hope there weren’t any children around (a rule you would be wise to apply to explosive devices).

Stay classy,

Patton

This Is The Army For Me…

The German Bundeswehr, to be precise.  Not only are they more likely to be overweight than civilians, they also get gallons and gallons of beer and wine, in AFGHANISTAN!  Oh, how the mighty have fallen.  Once upon a time, heck, within memory of some living people, the words “German Army” connoted ruthless efficiency and ability.  Even during the Cold War, the Bundeswehr wasn’t that bad.  But this is ridiculous.  Why do the Russians have their undies in a twist about the possibility of the Germans having a bigger military?  Their soldiers are so damn fat they probably won’t fit in the tanks!  Okay, I can understand a college student like me being fat.  I’m not expected to defend my country!  Because there are certain expectations for a soldier.  For one thing, I thought soldiers were at least supposed to make an effort to be fit.  But maybe it isn’t their fault.  Seeing how very few NATO countries have spent the amount on military spending that NATO guidelines ask for, it’s barely possible that they cut back on PT in Germany and spent it on alcohol instead.  And only a few years ago, Europe was supposed to be the next superpower.

Why am I so upset about this?  Partly because the Germans are theoretically supposed to help defend us if something bad happens (It’s in that frickin’ treaty.).  And partly because the Germans have resisted requests from commanders in Afghanistan to move their troops from the relatively more stable north to the volatile south, where they are actually needed.  So the Canadians, and the Brits, and the Dutch, and the Americans down there are taking the brunt of the Taliban’s resurgence, while the Germans are sitting up in northern Afghanistan, drinking tons (literally) of beer and wine.  I’m sure that’s not actually the case, but that’s what it kinda seems like to me.

Holy S***!

This is a crazy video from Iraq, showing a close shave for an American convoy: Close call in Iraq

The only thing I can really say is holy s***!  Watch it and see what I mean.

(H/T Kings of War)