Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

LinkSwarm for August 5, 2016

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Enjoy a Friday LinkSwarm! A lot of plane and weird news links this time around:

  • Aetna is losing $300 million a year on ObamaCare. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Air Force Declares F-35 ready for combat. (Hat tip: Borepatch, who is more than a little skeptical…)
  • Islamic State Sinai leader Abu Dua al-Ansari killed in Egyptian air strike.
  • Is there any greater bastion of 1%er elitism than New York Times wedding announcements?

    How is it actually acceptable for an ostensibly liberal newspaper to conclude that wealthy, well-educated people’s lives are more interesting and worth more attention than non-wealthy, less-educated people? Everyone laughs about the Weddings section, even the Times itself. But joking aside, isn’t it morally indefensible to treat people as newsworthy in accordance with their elite social status… a paper run by liberals, who would profess themselves averse to inequality, openly treats most of the population as insignificant.

    (Hat tip: Dwight.)

  • Cahnman’s Musings has a really solid review of Jane Jacobs’ classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities and how central planning screwed everything up.
  • Clint Eastwood on various liberal whining over Trump: “Just fucking get over it.”
  • Frau Merkel ist nicht sehr beliebt.
  • Austin’s toy trains are a monument to government waste. (Hat tip: Push Junction.)
  • What Pokémon Go Teaches Us About Capitalism.
  • #BlackLivesMatters is all in against Israel. So what do George Soros and Tom Steyer have against Israel? (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “A point of view should be based on its own merit, not dismissed by a lazy appeal to privilege.”
  • Funny or die mostly does the latter. (Funny or Die still has 95 staffers? Really? It takes that many people to produce mediocre comedy?)
  • Things you never knew about the World’s Strongest Man competition.
  • An Exciting History of Drywall.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Who would have won the battle between a Bismarck-class battleship and an Iowa class battleship? (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Butthurt level: Epic.
  • Airplane trick.
  • Feel good dog story of the day.
  • Behold the legendary crime spree of Dickface Johnson.
  • “Oh no! Not the bees!
  • LinkSwarm for July 29, 2016

    Friday, July 29th, 2016

    Finally, the Democrats have a presidential candidate that combines honesty of Bill Clinton, the electrifying personality of Walter Mondale, the down-to-earth demeanor of Adlai Stevenson, the even temper of Lyndon Johnson, and the humility of Barack Obama.

    In short: The candidate they deserve.

    A LinkSwarm:

  • Angela Merkel decides that she isn’t going to let a little thing like repeated terrorist attacks and mass rape dissuade her from welcoming lots more Muslims into Germany. It’s like she’s a sleeper agent designed to destroy the CDU from within…
  • DNC unable to fill seats, hires actors to fill them up.
  • Did Palestinian flags outnumber American flags at the DNC? I’m sure they did Monday, when the DNC realized they had no American flags…
  • John Stossel explains how Clinton Cash works. (Disclaimer: You just can’t read that site without AdBlock.)
  • Clinton Foundation investigation referred to IRS. I wouldn’t get my hopes up that anything comes of it.
  • It seems some disgruntled DNC delegates altered their HILLARY signs to read LIAR.
  • Seen on Facebook:

  • You’re not allowed to tweet about the Olympics without approval. So much for my live tweeting the 100 Meter Zika Infection…
  • Speaking of futile bans, China bans Internet news reporting. That’s not in any way the last-gasp desperation move of a country whose smoke-and-mirrors economy is imploding…
  • Trump gets big post-convention bounce.
  • UK Union of Students works to make the organization Judenfrei. Funny how “antizionism” starts to look a whole lot like garden-variety antisemitism…
  • Examining top world fighter planes, including the F-22, China’s Chengdu J-20, Russia’s T-50/PAK FA, the Eurofighter and the Sino-Pakistani JF-17. (Hat tip: Bad Blue.)
  • “Nearly 15 Years After 9/11, Retired Colonel Meets the Man Whose Life He Helped Save.” Man, there sure is a lot of pollen in the air today… (Hat tip: Ted Cruz’s Facebook page.)
  • NFL all-pro cornerback Richard Sherman reiterates that all lives matter. I find it hard to believe this is even remotely controversial… (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo? Could work pretty well. He was excellent in Hail, Caesar!.
  • Woman assaults man with burrito, then knife.”
  • Florida Man Charged With Picking Magic Mushrooms While Carrying An Alligator. Oh Florida Man, don’t ever change…
  • Wyoming Man Found with 30 Eyeballs in His Anal Cavity. Authorities are keeping an eye on him…
  • Turkey: Here Come the Death Squads

    Thursday, July 21st, 2016

    “Turkey will temporarily suspend the European Convention on Human Rights after announcing a state of emergency following the attempted coup.”

    After all, you can’t very well let pesky documents stand in the way of your liquidating your political enemies.

    The Turkish Parliament also passed an Enabling Act national state of emergency giving scumbag Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers in the wake of the Reichstag fire failed coup.

    But I don’t think it’s going to be five years between the Enabling Act and Kristallnacht in Turkey. I suspect the death squads are probably rounding up Erdogan’s enemies right now…

    Faster, Erdogan! Purge! Purge!

    Thursday, July 21st, 2016

    Evidently Erdogan’s previous purges were just the beginning. Now he’s declared a three month state of emergency and really cranked up the purge machinery.

    He fired all university deans and suspended 21,000 private school teachers in yet another reaction to an ever-more-suspicious coup.

    And he was just getting warmed up:

    A total of 50,000 civil service employees have been fired in the purges, which have reached Turkey’s national intelligence service and the prime minister’s office.

    The government has also revoked the press credentials of 34 journalists because of alleged ties to Gulen’s movement, Turkish media reported.

    Authorities have rounded up about 9,000 people — including 115 generals, 350 officers, 4,800 other military personnel and 60 military high school students — for alleged involvement in the coup attempt. Turkey’s defense ministry has also sacked at least 262 military court judges and prosecutors, according to Turkish media reports.

    There are even calls to kick Turkey out of NATO, given the severity of the purge. Hell, even John Kerry is saying it, and he’s no Colin Powell.

    Claire Berlinski says that things in Turkey are getting bad:

    It’s hard to overstate how sinister this turn of events is for Turkey. Mass trials are already underway. Defendants have been escorted by men brandishing weapons. They are not soldiers, nor are they wearing police uniforms. While Islamists weren’t the only faction of Turkish society opposed to the coup, the coup has unleashed all of Turkey’s Islamist psychopaths, sociopaths, criminals, and thugs; they have been verbally authorized to walk the streets and defend the nation against coup plots. The government has suggested it should be easier for people to acquire guns so they can defend the nation against coups. (It was not difficult to begin with.) Just as nationalists and police from Erdoğan’s ruling AKP party were recently unleashed against the Kurdish population in the southeast, they have now been emboldened to pursue any and all dissenters in Turkey.

    So far, Turkey’s 15 million Alevis, the country’s largest minority, have been a target of the surge in Sunni Muslim excitement. AKP mobs have reportedly entered Alevi districts and suburbs chanting “Allahu ekbir,” and, “The AKP has come—where are the Alevis?” A memorial to the largely left-wing and Kurdish victims of ISIS’s October 10 bombing in Ankara has been attacked, as have Syrian shops and the offices of the Kurdish-focused HDP. Until now, many Turks have tacitly assumed the military to be the guarantor of last resort against the prospect of spiraling violence, but the military is now too discredited to play that role. Turks are frightened, and with good reason.

    Berlinski also voices an ideas I’ve heard kicking about: That the coup might have been so badly bungled because coup plotters were forced to launch it early:

    According to Ahmet Sık, a journalist who was arrested after writing a book that charged the Gülenists with extensive infiltration of the Turkish state, the weekend coup was indeed headed by Gülenist officers who had been planning to stage it before a promotions meeting in August, when they were due to be dismissed. Their plans were discovered, he writes, and they knew they were to be arrested at 4am on Saturday morning. He believes the officers, aware they had been rumbled, decided to attempt the coup early on Friday night. This would explain why the coup was so poorly planned. Consistent with this, Erdoğan has acknowledged he knew of “military activity” at least seven-to-ten hours before the coup.

    This is not incompatible with my theory that Erdogan had advanced knowledge of the coup and let it happen to consolidate his own power.

    Remember: Erdogan said that all he wanted was the same powers as Hitler. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

    Instapundit Glenn Reynolds says that what Erdogan is really doing is “eradicating the last remnants of the secular Turkish state, as he proceeds to turn Turkey into, instead, an Islamic State. As he builds an enormous palace, consolidates power, and elevates Islamists over secular types, it almost looks as if he’s trying to restore the Ottoman Empire with himself in the role of Sultan. In fact, Erdogan has made that comparison himself.”

    It looks like, thanks to the coup, He’s already a good way there.

    Erdogan Purges Everyone

    Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

    If my own alternate conspiracy theory about the coup doesn’t convince you that Recep Tayyip Erdogan had at least some foreknowledge of the failed Turkish military coup, then the speed with which he’s purged vast number of political enemies may.

    Overnight Turkish president Erdogan’s counter-coup witch hunt continued, when thousands of police officers were suspended on Monday, widening a systemic purge of Erdogan’s enemies first in the armed forces and then judiciary after a failed military coup, now focusing on the interior police force, and raising concern among European allies that it was abandoning the rule of law. Turkey’s state-run news agency says the nation has detained or suspended 20,000 personnel across the country, following Friday’s foiled coup attempt.

    Anadolu Agency says a total of 8,777 employees attached to the ministry were dismissed, including 30 governors, 52 civil service inspectors and 16 legal advisers

    Thirty regional governors and more than 50 high-ranking civil servants have also been dismissed, CNN Turk said. Thousands of members of the armed forces, from foot soldiers to commanders, were rounded up on Sunday, some shown in photographs stripped to their underpants and handcuffed on the floors of police buses and a sports hall. Several thousand prosecutors and judges have also been removed.

    Bloomberg summarizes as follows: more than than 7,500, including more than 6,000 soldiers from various ranks detained by police, Turkish PM Binali Yildirim says in televised remarks. Those detained include 755 judges and prosecutors, 650 civilians and 100 police officers. Separately, about 9,000 from the Interior Ministry, 3,00 judges and prosecutors and 1,500 staff members of Finance Ministry have been removed from duty.

    In total, approximately 20,000 political opponents “purged” just days after the conclusion of the failed coup.

    At the same time speculation that the terribly planned “coup” was anything but came from the European Commission itself. As Reuters adds, the swift rounding up of judges and others after a failed coup in Turkey indicated the government had prepared a list beforehand, according to EU commissioner dealing with Turkey’s membership bid, Johannes Hahn, said on Monday.

    “It looks at least as if something has been prepared. The lists are available, which indicates it was prepared and to be used at a certain stage,” Hahn said. “I’m very concerned. It is exactly what we feared.”

    Turkey may restore the death penalty so Erdogan can liquidate his political enemies the state can execute the coup plotters. The EU, in turn, says that restoration of the death penalty would mean kissing Turkey’s already slim chances at EU membership goodbye. I wonder how much, at this point, Erdogan actually wants EU membership, which might interfere with his plans to fully Islamacize Turkey. Indeed, Erdogan’s Islamist AKP party floated, then withdrew a new Islamist constitution.

    Then again, maybe it’s all about the Mustafas:

    That is just normal operating procedure for Erdogan, who started as a penniless youth in a slum and is now allegedly a billionaire. When prosecutors found millions of dollars in cash while investigating his associates and sons, Bilal and Burak, for bribery, corruption, fraud, money laundering, and gold smuggling, 350 police officers and all the prosecutors involved were simply removed from their jobs. Only interested in his relentless Islamization of Turkey, Erdogan’s core party followers evidently attach no value to democratic principles or legality as such and think it only natural that he and his sons should have enriched themselves on such a huge scale.

    Edward Luttwak is another observer who feels (like myself) that the “Gulenist” plot angle is just a red herring:

    When Erdogan foists the blame for anything that goes wrong — including his very own decision to restart the war against the country’s Kurds — on foreigners, the United States, and you-know-who (the “Saturday people“), his followers readily believe him. That is also true of his wild accusations of terrorism against the U.S.-based Turkish religious leader Fethullah Gulen, once his staunch ally. Having previously blamed Gulen for an aborted corruption investigation, which he had described as a “judicial coup,” Erdogan is now blaming Gulen and his followers for the attempted military coup as well. That could be true to some extent, but Turkish military officers scarcely needed Gulen to egg them on: They blame Erdogan and his AKP followers for dismantling Ataturk’s secular republic; for having built up the murderous Sunni extremists of Syria who are now spilling back into Turkey to conduct suicide bombings; and for deliberately restarting the war against the country’s Kurds in 2015 for crass political reasons — a war that is costing soldiers’ lives every day and threatens the survival of Turkey itself within its present borders. (Kurds are a net majority in the eastern provinces.)

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

    An Alternate Conspiracy Theory About the Turkish Coup

    Saturday, July 16th, 2016

    The Turkish coup appears to have collapsed almost as quickly as it began, with government forces backing Turkish President (and Islamist scumbag) Tayyip Erdogan in the process of mopping up the last coup forces.

    There’s a conspiracy theory floating around that Erdogan staged the coup for his own benefit so he could consolidate his grip on power. This I don’t believe, because the sort of effort required to carry this off (multiple military movements in both Ankara and Istanbul, control of tanks, helicopter and fighter aircraft units, coordination of seizing bridges, airports, TV stations, etc.), plus the significant amount of bloodshed involved, all strongly suggest that it wasn’t staged.

    However, the speed with which is was carried out, and the even more rapid way in which it collapsed, suggests a more plausible conspiracy theory: It was a real coup carried out by elements of the Turkish military, but one that was compromised almost from the beginning from Erdogan sympathizers. Erdogan let the coup happen so he could consolidate his grip on power in the aftermath, which is precisely what happened, with purges of the military and judiciary (which doesn’t seem to have had anything to do with the coup).

    Some puzzles:

  • Why bomb the parliament building, a target of no military significance with great negative connotations? (See also: Reichstag fire.)
  • How did the military censor FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube? I can’t imagine that there’s a giant switch in Ankara that says “Censor Social Media.” That’s more a National Intelligence (MIT) function, and presumably Erdogan has a had a chance to install his own people there. So how would the coup plotters infiltrate that, or the telecoms?
  • For that matter, who are the coup plotters? Except for the Emmanuel Goldstein-like character of Fethullah Gulen (who condemned the coup), none have been named. (Supposedly seven have escaped to Greece, AKA Turkey’s traditional enemy. How convenient.)
  • Why was there evidently no attempt made to kill Erdogen? If you have even partial control of the air force (which the coup apparently did), why not shoot him down as he’s flying back? Taking out the head of state is one of the biggest goals of a successful coup, and it doesn’t even seem to have been attempted here.
  • It’s entirely possibly that the failed coup is just what it appeared to be as it unraveled: an attempt by a faction of the military that fell just short of seizing control which was underdone by Erdogan’s remaining popularity among the general populace. But there are still a lot of unanswered questions…

    Turkish Coup Over? Coup Forces on Bosphorus Bridge Surrender

    Friday, July 15th, 2016

    After lots of government claims they were winning against the coup, we now have some hard evidence of pro-coup forces surrendering on the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul, as shown in this video:

    While the situation in Ankara may very well be different, this is pretty direct evidence that government forces are winning and that the coup has failed in Istanbul.

    Strange that we still haven’t heard anything about who the plotters were, except Erdogan’s assertion that Fethullah Gulen is involved, something Gulen himself (who denounced the coup) has strongly denied…

    Turkish Coup Updates

    Friday, July 15th, 2016

    Random things I’m hearing:

  • Erdogan landed at Ataturk airport in Istanbul, gave a speech, then left again.
  • Large explosions in Ankara.
  • Rumblings that the coup is doomed, but all unsourced.
  • More reports of anti-coup forces engaging coup forces…but all seem to be coming from gocernment sources.
  • Erdogan says coup attempt over…then again, he would.
  • Lots of conspiracy theories that Erdogan launched his own false flag operation to further consolidate power. Like just about all conspiracy theories, it’s unlikely and way too pat. Though bombing the Parliament building did seem a rather heavy-handed “Reichstag fire” moment…
  • Things seem very chaotic…

    Not-so-random links:

  • “Erdogan Has Nobody to Blame for the Coup But Himself
  • Walter Russell mead liveblog. Seems to think coup may have failed, but fighting continues.
  • Turkey’s opposition parties take unified stance against coup attempt.
  • Not-so-random tweets:

    Your Obligatory Coup in Turkey Post (With Video)

    Friday, July 15th, 2016

    So the Coup in Turkey went from attempted coup to deposed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan being refused landing in Germany in about three hours flat. Nothing says “powerless” quote like issuing calls for resistance on Facetime.

    FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube are evidently all blocked in Turkey right now.

    The military regime is at least making noises about protecting human rights and the constitutional state, which is a good sign.

    The army already controls the TV stations and bridges, shut down the airport, successfully disarmed police in Istanbul, and are doing low “fuck you, we’re in charge” plane and helicopter passes over Ankara. I’d say it’s probably all over but the shouting and moping up token resistance from Erdogan’s Islamist AKP party, despite Erdogan’s spokesmen claiming that the coup attempt has been “repelled.”

    This is not the first coup in Turkey’s history; indeed, historically they’ve played the roll as a check and balance to Islamic fundamentalism and maintaining Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s vision of a secular Turkish state. Unlike the rest of the Middle East, after a few months or years, the Turkish military relinquishes control back to a (secular) government.

    Erdogan tried to prevent this through repeated purges of the military. It appears that he failed.

    Meanwhile, Obama continues his amazing streak of backing losers.

    The scene there seems a bit chaotic, with intermittent small arms fire:

    If this video is any indication, people out on the streets seem more festive than resistant:

    Video of Turkish tanks (I’m guessing Leopard 2s, the most modern tanks in Turkey’s armed forces) rolling in the streets:

    Here, on the other hand, we see (I think) an M-60 Patton tank just tell protestors “Fuck you and fuck your car” while they beat at it ineffectually with (I kid you not) long sticks (and later an APC does the same thing):

    This “death from above” video is getting a lot of play on YouTube. The title says this is an AH-1 Helicopter attacking a police station, which makes more sense than it being an F-16 (as labeled in other copies of the video):

    Maybe updates as they occur….

    LinkSwarm for July 11, 2016

    Monday, July 11th, 2016

    I was busy buying books this weekend, so I couldn’t keep up with all the horrific police shootings. So that dominates the top of today’s LinkSwarm:

  • Remember that #BlackLivesMatter is being funded by liberal billionaires George Soros and Tom Steyer.
  • Creating hatred against white people and against police has been the major accomplishing of Black Lives Matter since its inception in 2014.”
  • To that end, Heather McDonald’s new book The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe looks like it could be interesting.
  • 43% of America’s cop killers are black.
  • “Until blacks start changing these pathologies, the whole ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, with its insistence that everyone has to change except for blacks themselves is nothing more than Progressive kabuki theater aimed at diverting attention from the fact that Democrats are facilitating self-destructive behaviors in the black community and that blacks are using the Democrat propaganda machine as an excuse to avoid the terrible (but not insurmountable) challenges that really claim black lives.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • More on the same theme:

    Who, exactly, is in charge of these cities and city agencies about which African Americans do have many legitimate complaints? Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago: Not exactly famous enclaves of conservative Republican political dominance. Because Dallas is in Texas, people sometimes forget that it is a city like any other American city, and Democrat-dominated. In Dallas, as in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Detroit, that Democrat domination is due in great part to a black Democratic voting bloc.

    Eventually, someone is going to figure out that the black progressives protesting municipal arrangements in places such as Baltimore are protesting the municipal arrangements created by black progressives working for the interests of the Democratic party. Dallas’s racial politics aren’t as one-sided as Detroit’s, and neither are its party politics; it is Democratic, but not as lopsidedly Democratic as, say, Philadelphia. It even has had a Republican mayor (the office is technically nonpartisan) within living memory. No doubt somebody in Dallas already is trying to figure out a way to blame that mayor for the murder of those five police officers.

  • “Friends and family tell us that Alton Sterling was a great guy. That may well be the case, but he is also a convicted sex offender felon with a violent temper, who had six arrests for battery, two domestic violence charges, multiple illegal weapons charges, and who had fought with police over weapons before.”
  • The Curious Case of Philando Castile. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Majority of Americans disapprove of the decision not to charge Hillary Clinton over EmailGate. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Maybe that’s why Trump is up two points over Clinton in the latest Rasmussen poll. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Czech President calls for EU, NATO referendums.
  • Fascinating story on a history of the mob in Houston.
  • Mickey Kaus examines who Trump should pick as VP.
  • “Quantitative easing only works when you’re the only country doing it.”
  • “More than 100 Nobel laureates have a message for Greenpeace: Quit the G.M.O.-bashing.”
  • Mass-shootings have declined so much that the left has had to redefine what a “mass shooting” is.
  • Important safety tip: Don’t breast-feed your children while doing cocaine. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • 12 die in Java gridlock during Ramadan.
  • Ted Cruz staffs up for a 2020 Presidential run.
  • Members of Donna ISD school board convicted of extortion. (Previously.)
  • SuperGenius tries to rob gas station, ends up shooting himself in the groin. I also wonder if he’s the towering intellect that managed to clip his own driver’s side mirror at the pump in the video…
  • There’s an anime series that follows the lives of teenage girls who are also assault rifles. Oh Japan, don’t ever change…