Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

Tomorrow is 9/11. What Is the Obama Administration Doing To Keep America Safe?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Tomorrow is the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attacks on World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Thanks to the Obama Administration’s feckless and spineless responses to terrorism both here and abroad, Americans feel less safe than ever:

The exclusive poll reveals that 47% of Americans believe the country is less safe now than before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. That’s a significant increase from even a year after the twin towers fell when in September 2002 just 20% of the country said the nation was less safe. The level of fear across America also is up substantially from last year when 28% felt the same way. In fact, just 26% of Americans now feel the nation is safer than before 9/11.

Americans are worried about America’s safety because Obama seems manifestly disinterested in national security concerns. Americans are being killed by jihadists abroad and Obama can barely trouble himself to break away from his golf game to address the issue.

Tonight Obama is going to give a speech (in Obama’s Big Pop-Up Book of Governing America, “Give A Speech” provides the same universal panacea as “Shoot” does in the Far Side’s book on equine medicine) on ISIS.

Here’s one thing I don’t expect to hear addressed: What is the Obama Administration doing to protect America tomorrow on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. America’s jihadist enemies have frequently observed this anniversary by launching attacks, such as the 2012 embassy attacks on Benghazi and elsewhere.

This is especially worrisome given reports of missing Libyan airliners possibly in the hands of jihadists.

When it comes to foreign policy (or, really, anything beyond electoral politics and advancing a left-wing agenda), Obama shows a distinct inability to learn from his own mistakes. Will there be heightened security at American embassies tomorrow? While their be fighter planes in the air flying CAP, or at least fueled and ready for takeoff on the ground, in case of another 9/11 attack? This piece suggests that government officials are “bracing” for possible attacks, but fails to give any details. If there is another attack, are we going to see another roundup of all the security lapses like we did after the Benghazi attack?

The most essential job of government is protecting the lives, liberty and property of its citizens from enemies both here and abroad. What I want to known is: What is the Obama Administration actually doing on Job 1?

Pictures from the Bovington Tank Museum: British Tanks

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

More pictures from the Bovington Tank Museum, this time of British tanks from World War II.

The Tortoise, an experimental prototype of a super-wide, super-heavy assault tank (actually a self-propelled gun) that made it off the production line too late to fight in World War II.

Matilda I infantry tank. I think most of the Mark I’s were destroyed in the fall of France.

Cruiser Tank Mark I…

…and Mark II.

Maybach tank transmission.

The Valentine Archer.

Valentine Mark II.

The Churchill tank. Not sure why the main barrel was off.

Black Prince, an experimental wider, heavier Churchill.

Churchill Mark III.

Centurion Mark I.

Centurion engine.

Cruiser Comet.

Cromwell Cruiser.

Tank gearbox.

I think this is a Mark VI light tank.

Don’t Look Now, But Russia Is Invading Ukraine

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Russian forces in two armored columns captured a key southeastern coastal town near the Russian border Thursday after Ukrainian forces retreated in the face of superior firepower, a Ukrainian military spokesman said.

The two Russian columns, including tanks and armored fighting vehicles, entered the town of Novoazovsk on the Sea of Azov after a battle in which Ukrainian army positions came under fire from Grad rockets launched from Russian territory, according to the spokesman, Col. Andriy Lysenko.

Well, thank God for Hillary Clinton’s reset button, and Obama’s “flexibility” and smart diplomacy. Who knows what sort of mess that bungler Bush would have made of the situation.

And the UN Security Council is meeting. Since Russia still has a Security Council veto, don’t expect even the usual strongly worded letter.

The Valiant: “One of The Worst Tanks Ever Made”

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Before we get into the British and U.S. tanks I saw at the Bovington Tank Museum, let’s look at one British prototype tank they had there, the Valiant, AKA “One of the Worst Tanks Ever Designed.”

Let’s look at the official Bovington description, shall we?

The Valiant appears to be one of the worst tanks ever designed in Britain. It is difficult to find any contemporary reports that say anything good about it!

The Valiant was originally designed by Vickers Armstrong to meet a War Office requirement for an Infantry Assault Tank for service in the Far East. During development the project was transferred first to the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Co. and then to Ruston and Hornsby Ltd. of Grantham.

The designers were required to apply the thickest possible armour while keeping the weight as low as possible. Inevitably the hull was very small; the front hull casting was virtually moulded around the driver while the turret ring stuck out over the sides of the hull. In comparison the turret appeared to be enormous, as it had to accommodate a three man crew, (commander, gunner and loader/radio operator).

The Valiant used the same diesel engine as the Valentine (See E1949.344), although it had little else in common with the earlier tank. Design documents exist for an improved version, the Valiant II, powered by a Rolls Royce Meteorite engine, converted to diesel operation.

Ruston and Hornsby built one prototype in 1944. Trials in 1944 – 45 revealed serious problems. With a power:weight ratio of 7.8hp per ton, the tank was slow. The ground clearance at the rear was found to be too low and the suspension, located partly under the hull, was easily damaged during cross-country driving. More seriously the driver was almost crippled by the cramped driving position and was in danger of being injured by the controls. Furthermore, the controls required inordinate strength to operate them. The tests were abandoned immediately.

Not surprisingly the Valiant did not enter production, officially because the war was likely to be over before the tank could be introduced into service.

My pics of the Valiant didn’t come out particularly well, but they do show what an odd looking tank it was:

And here’s a better pic from Bovington:

Wikipedia (citing David Fletcher’s book Universal Tank: British Armour in the Second World War), says “The sole Valiant was retained by the School of Tank Technology, where students were treated to an inspection of it at the end of their course and invited to find fault. David Fletcher wrote of this: ‘One hopes they started early in the morning.’”

Pictures from the Bovington Tank Museum: German Tanks

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

I hope you like tanks.

Here’s the first batch of pictures taken at the Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset, which I visited on Saturday as a gift to my inner 12-year old. (There are few prospects more pleasing to the preadolescent male mind than being encased in a 30 ton metal killing machine.) The first batch is all German tanks and tank destroyers from World War II. Let’s face it, the Germans had far and away the best tanks, and shortly after the allies managed to catch up, Germany would be about ready to introduce something better. Germany’s problem (as compared to America or the Soviet Union) was an inability to manufacture enough of them. (Good thing for us.) They had an enormous array of German tanks, and probably the best collection outside Germany’s own tank museum in Munster.

The first picture of the first of two King Tigers (AKA Tiger II, AKA Königstiger, Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B) they had on display. The mosty powerful tank Germany produced during the war, its 88mm main gun could destroy any tank on the battlefield. It didn’t get on the battlefield until 1944, and Germany produced less than 500 of them.

The other Tiger II they had there.

Here you can see the Zimmerite anti-magnetic mine coating the Germans used.

Selfie, with tank.

The first of several tank destroyers.

This is a German tank destroyer that ended up in Finland. Stalin thought he could walk all over Finand, but the Finns tore the Soviets nine different new assholes in the Winter War, though this tank destroyer obviously post-dates 1940.

Alternate barrel used for the Sturmtiger close assault variant.

Here’s an early Panzer Mark I command tank. It’s amazing to realize that the initial German blitzkrieg was carried out with relatively slow, under-armed, and underpowered Mark I and Mark IIs, that, with Heinz Guderian’s new tactics of mechanized warfare, were simply Good Enough.

A Mark II.

I think this is the Mark III, would would be the mainstay of the Wehrmacht armored divisions through the end of the war.

A muzzle-eye view.

Armoured car.

An 88mm field canon.

LinkSwarm for August 8, 2014

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Another roundup of news, a disproportionate amount from the Middle East, disproportionately bad.

  • Old and Busted: “Never again!” The New Hotness: “Genocide? Meh. Case-by-case basis.”
  • More on the ISIS campaign to wipe out the Yazidi and other religious minorities.
  • Obama says he’s authorizing air strikes “if necessary.” Even when threatening military action, Obama manages to sound wishy-washy.
  • There are conflicting reports as to weather ISIS or the Kurdish Pesh Merga hold the Mosul dam.
  • Hamas demands that Israel kick their ass some more.
  • Rick Perry: “Since September of ’08, we have seen 203,000 individuals who have illegally come into the United States — into Texas — booked in to Texas county jails…These individuals are responsible for over 3,000 homicides and almost 8,000 sexual assaults.”
  • Quiz: Real Salon or Parody Salon? Difficulty: Impossible.
  • Leland Yee pleads not guilty to racketeering charges. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Won’t someone think of the poor federal employee who have nothing to do all day but spank their monkey to online porn?
  • Why did Austin mayor Lee Leffingwell proclaim a day in honor of convicted Louisiana felon Ed Edwards?
  • It has to be said: Hillary Clinton doesn’t have the fashion sense God gave a turtle. Two words: Lane Bryant.
  • Soldiers’ military kits from 1066 to 2014.
  • There’s a website dedicated to the world’s tallest men.
  • LinkSwarm for July 25, 2014

    Friday, July 25th, 2014

    Time for another random roundup of news and links:

  • Jimmy Carter looks like frickin’ Bismark next to the feckless dorm-room intellectual currently haunting the golf courses of the greater DC area.”
  • Even Thomas “What’s The Matter With Kansas” Frank calls Obama “ineffective and gutless.” (Warning: Salon Liberal Whining Ahead.)
  • Liberal law professor Lawrence Tribe thinks that ObamaCare is probably doomed due to the Halbig decision. “I cannot see how this Court could do anything other than decide the same way as the DC Circuit did. The statue is clear on its face.”
  • Even “ObamaCare Architect” MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber said the same thing back in 2012: “What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.”
  • Mark Steyn on the Halbig ruling:

    As to Mr Earnest’s point on “what Congress intended”, who can say? No Congressman who voted for the bill read it. Presumably, some legislator’s staffer wrote that actual line about “established by the State”. If we could locate him among the vast entourages of the Emirs of Incumbistan, we could ask him what his “intention” was. Until then, calibrating the competing degrees of deference to a corrupt bureaucracy, a contemptuous executive, a politicized judiciary and a feckless hack legislature brings to mind Samuel Johnson’s line about arguing the precedence of a louse and a flea, with a tick and a cockroach thrown in.

  • Missing from my Gaza roundup: “Shalom, motherf****r.” “I will not apologize for surviving.” (Hat tip: Josh Perry.)
  • Bill Whittle makes the case for Israel:

  • Obama won’t help arm Ukraine because he had a key role in disarming them.
  • Democrats plans for November: All race card, all the time.
  • 50 years of Democratic rule and now Detroit is cutting off people’s water. “Just goes to show that nothing is so expensive as when it is ‘free.’”
  • “That’s not funny.”
  • Republicans should stand firm and let the Export/Import Bank corporate welfare boondoggle expire. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Che Guevara, racist:

  • Maureen Dowd is never so readable as when she’s slamming the Clintons.
  • “Canadian Candidate Drops Out After Masturbation Video Surfaces.”

  • Sarah Palin endorses Joe Carr against Lamar Alexander in Tennessee senate primary. I don’t think anyone who watched Alexander’s “Lamar!” flannel flameout in the 1996 Presidential race has ever really trusted him since…
  • A New York City cupcake truck seems a little unclear on who their clientele might be. (They’ve since deleted both this tweet and the one where they implored people not to “snitch” to cops when they see crimes committed…)
  • Evidently nobody is actually reading Thomas Piketty’s book.
  • In praise of Power Girl’s boob window.
  • Let No One Else’s Work Evade Your Eyes!

    Thursday, July 24th, 2014

    So it turns out that current (appointed) Democratic Senator from Montana John Walsh plagiarized his master’s thesis for the United States Army War College

    Now the New York Times has gone through and marked up Walsh’s thesis, and it turns out Walsh isn’t just a plagiarist, he’s a shameless, ham-fisted, damn-dirty plagiarist.

    (And is it just me, or is 14 pages plus footnotes incredibly thin for a Master’s Thesis? In college I did a piece on Sandinista human rights violations that was about that length (with, granted, about half as many footnotes) in 24 hours on an electric typewriter…)

    And you’ll love his excuse: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    Hey, PTSD is a real thing, and I can imagine it make you jump at loud noises, lose sleep, drink too much, and snap at your friends and family over seemingly trivial items.

    But if it can make you steal someone else’s work and claim it as your own, then it’s an all-purpose “Get Out Of Any Crime Free” card.

    And did I mention that Walsh is up for reelection?

    Not only is he dishonest, he’s criminally stupid for thinking he can get away with it in a 21st century world where text searching tools are so powerful and easy to use.

    So what do I have to add to the story?

    Lobachevsky:

    (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)

    Israel/Gaza/Etc. Update for July 24, 2014

    Thursday, July 24th, 2014

    A whole bunch of news related to Israel’s incursion into Gaza:

  • Protective Edge enters its seventeenth day.
  • Hamas turns down John Kerry’s ceasefire deal. Wait, you mean the designated terrorist organization that uses its own civilians as human shields as part of its jihad to exterminate world Jewry isn’t moved by the verbal blandishments of the Secretary of State for the most feckless U.S. Administration in history? Imagine my shock.
  • And why would they heed John Kerry when they just got $47 million from him? Just think of all the missiles and tunnels those “humanitarian” dollars will buy…
  • Hamas provoked the current round of conflict because they suck at everything else.
  • UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is shocked, SHOCKED that there are rockets at a UN school in Gaza.
  • Roger Simon calls for an investigation.
  • “Hamas hides its rockets in schools and places its command bunkers under hospitals. It wants war, and it wants civilian casualties.”
  • Even the Washington Post has a clue:

    The depravity of Hamas’s strategy seems lost on much of the outside world, which — following the terrorists’ script — blames Israel for the civilian casualties it inflicts while attempting to destroy the tunnels. While children die in strikes against the military infrastructure that Hamas’s leaders deliberately placed in and among homes, those leaders remain safe in their own tunnels. There they continue to reject cease-fire proposals, instead outlining a long list of unacceptable demands.

    One of those demands is for a full reopening of Gaza’s land and sea borders. While this would allow relief and economic development for the territory’s population, it would also allow Hamas to import more missiles and concrete for new tunnels.

  • Sayeth Instapundit in reference to the Post piece: “Because ‘the world’ basically approves when people kill Jews.”
  • Parisian supporters of Palestine hold respectful protests, call for peaceful resolution of Gaza crisis. Ha, just kidding! They go all Kristallnacht on Jewish shops and yell “Gas the Jews!” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Pictures from that “mostly peaceful” protest. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Previously: The Battle of Rue de la Roquette.
  • In related news, students in the West Bank shout “Jews back to Birkenau!” Oh wait, did I say the West Bank? I meant Boston.
  • Chief Rabbi in The Netherlands has stones thrown at him. Next up: Hunting down that Zionist Frank girl…
  • FAA bans American flights taking off or leaving from Tel Aviv Airport, then lifts the ban, but not before Ted Cruz calls the action a boycott of Israel.
  • Cruz also says that the Obama Administration is the most anti-Israel administration America has ever had. Probably, though I know Israel was really not happy with the Eisenhower Administration during the Suez crisis…
  • “Anyone killed or martyred is to be called a civilian from Gaza or Palestine, before we talk about his status in jihad or his military rank. Don’t forget to always add ‘innocent civilian’ or ‘innocent citizen’ in your description of those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza.”
  • Shockingly, Bill Maher Makes Sense on Gaza

    Monday, July 21st, 2014

    Here’s something from the “Blind Squirrel Find Acorn” department: Bill Maher actually making sense on Israel’s incursion into Gaza.

    Some choice quotes:

    “If Hamas had the opportunity, they would kill the maximum number of Israelis, which would be all. And Israel has the capability to kill a lot more and they do not. They seem victims of the soft bigotry of high expectations.”

    “Can we ask why Israel wins all the time? Because they’ve won every war. They have to. You can’t go 8-1 and be Israel. You have to go 8-0 every year to still exist.”

    “Jews have 155 Nobel Prizes and Muslims have two. Maybe it’s who you know, but that seems a big advantage for Team Hebrew.”