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October 2007

Rebuilding the Iraqi Air Force

Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in a DoD-sponsored Blogger's Roundtable with U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Wobbema, Chief of Staff for the Coalition Air Force Transition Team. His job? Help rebuild the Iraqi Air Force.

With the recent MQ-9 Reaper kill that I briefly talked about over on Defense Tech, my first question was Lrs_iraqi_air_force if UAVs were going to be included in the the future Iraqi Air Force. With ISR assets (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) such a large part of any operation, I was curious if the success of any Coalition UAV ISR program is in the cards. COL Wobbema's reply:

I do not think that we have any kind of unmanned vehicle program established in the long-term planning. Basically what we're doing is we're using a manned form of the same type of intelligence-gathering equipment in the form of a Caravan, a Cessna Caravan, that we've put an ISR suite on, which is operated by a sensor operator that's actually flying in the aircraft.

My next question centered around what sort of aircraft the Iraqi Air Force can be expected to be flying in the near future:

Well, in the future, of course, you know, I've been a fighter guy my whole career, and a lot of the Iraqi air force pilots are all former fighter pilots.  And, of course, if they had an unlimited budget and didn't want to worry about anything else, we'd be buying F-16s, F-18s for them. Or they would be buying them for themselves. That's what they'd be wanting to do.

But we have to walk before we can run, and right now we've got some C-130 aircraft on the ground that they're operating. There are some MI-17 for the rotary-wing side. They've got a few Hueys. And then we've got this Cessna Caravan. The Cessna Caravan will also become -- there will be an armed variant of that that will come online. And then they'll move into -- the next iteration will be a light- attack aircraft of some sort, probably a propeller-driven kind of light-attack aircraft that can take care of their most immediate need, and that is to deal with the insurgency that's taking place inside their own borders.

From there, then, it will migrate to being able to develop an air defense capability to protect their borders from outside influence. And then, from there, you know, who knows? At some point in time I suspect that they will ultimately migrate to becoming a fully integrated part of the world community.

Thinking back to the air order of battle that existed in Iraq 17 years ago, those days are far in the future. Currently any external threat that may require a robust air defense capability can and will be handled by coalition aircraft that remain in theater or are operating offshore from carrier strike groups. Same goes for Close Air Support (CAS), either on-call from a CAS-stack or some form of alert launch, in support of ground operations. Self-determination from a military aviation perspective is in in the cards, but not for a while. COL Wobbema has a number of other fascinating things to pass on in this interview and you can read the article from DefenseLink News here or read the transcript of the roundtable here.

Crossposted at Defense Tech

What the Hell is Wrong with Nickelodeon?

[screen shot of video playing on Nickelodeon TV and web site about troops torturing prisoners and efforts to impeach the President]

Time to get into high gear on this one.  ArmyWifeToddlerMom has the scoop:

Nickelodeon is trying to brainwash your children in the morning, or a leftist primer

Please watch this, in its entirety. It is imperative that you SEE what Nickelodeon is showing at 5:00am.



Pay particular attention to the second and fourth stories. 

This Nickelodeon "news" program, is not a news program, it is a but this show was a primer on how to be a "left-wing radical REBEL".

I am not a blind follower of our Government, and I also think that Government should be watched by it's citizens. It is our civic duty.

However this program led by Ellerby, is anti-war, anti- GWOT, anti-military. 


She shows a group, of "tweenagers" walking around in orange jumpsuits, hooded and yelling from a bullhorn. "We are not ok, with people being tortured by American soldiers!" "Are cooperation's priority over human lives?"

There is also a call for the impeachment of the President in the second segment of the video, "democracy is at stake because of the President violating the Constitution"...

I went and watched the clip and it's even worse that AWTM says it is.  To say that I'm shocked by this kind of propaganda on a children's tv station is an understatement.

Read A-dub's entire post.  At the end, she provides email addresses of Nick, Viacom, and an advertiser, Hasbro:

...You can drop a line to the folks at Nickelodeon here

I would love for you to write a note to Viacom HERE

And PLEASE contact Hasbro here, make sure they know what Nickelodeon really thinks of corporations and Nerf guns.

Let them know what you think about Nickelodeon's foray into leftist politics.           

[H/T to MilBlogs]   

Why it sucks to write for a dead tree mag

Poor Mark Kukis, Time writer in Baghdad. He has a deadline to get his copy in so Time can kill a few hundred thousand trees spreading lies and defeatism. But he catches a lucky break when the news of 20 lovely decapitated bodies comes in. Oh Bliss, his editor will love this and it ties in with the overall Time stylebook requirement that any positive accomplishments in Iraq, must be offset by 4 times as many reports on bad news, real or fake but accurate. "Just follow the narrative son, you'll be fine."

Has the surge reached it's limits?

He punches the reader right in the guts with his highly edited and fact-checked reporting in this opening paragraph.

The horrible discovery in Diyala province Monday was disturbing even by the standards of Iraq's running sectarian violence. Iraqi police said they found 20 decapitated bodies dumped near a police station west of Baquba, the capital of Diyala province.

That would be horrible if it had actually happened, you maroon. Just another terrorist press release printed in full and given the MSM seal of approval.

It is kinda fun watching the MSM do a beautiful slow motion sinking, kinda like the Titanic. I can't wait until Leo slips under the water.

UK band greets Saudi King with Vader's theme

Go ahead and watch the vid so you can join me in giggling your ass off. (h/t the Corner)

Readers might remember that after 9/11, the military band at Buckingham Palace broke with tradition and played the Stars and Stripes. Yesterday, as king Abdullah of Saudi Arabia arrived to meet Her Majesty the Queen, they played a somewhat different tune to greet the visiting monarch's arrival: Darth Vader's theme music.

Just Wrong

The next time someone tells you the American "regime" is immoral or dishonest and needs to be overthrown, ask them why this regime shouldn't go first.

Here's a story of what life is like to grow up in a prison camp from birth. How complete isolation from the real world can make the human mind believe anything, including that it is natural for children to pay for a parent's "sins".

The first two days of torture started with threatening questions about his family's conspiracy. Shin Dong-Hyuk had no answers because at age 14, he was required to live in the dormitory with other teenagers in North Korea's notorious political prison camp No.14, north of Pyongyang. He had not seen his parents and brother for weeks.

The next morning, Shin was hung upside down with his ankles cuffed, all day long. He wondered why his mother and brother tried to escape, if what the authorities claimed was true. Surely, they should have known that anything short of being out of place in this camp is punished by death.

On the fourth day Shin was dragged into cell No.7, the secret underground torture chamber. Completely stripped, legs cuffed, hands tied with rope, his legs and hands were hung from the ceiling. The torturers lit up a charcoal fire under his back. He struggled. But they pierced a steel hook near Shin's groin to keep him from writhing. Amid the sounds and smells of flesh burning, Shin then blacked out.

Continue reading "Just Wrong" »

Hank Reinhart, RIP

If you know edged weapons, and you know historical weapons, then you know Hank Reinhart. He may have been best known to the larger public for his previous work with Museum Replicas and Atlanta Cutlery, but there was much more to the man and his work with that. Hank taught knife and edged weapons to the military and law enforcement, as well as to those who showed they were willing and ready to learn. I don't have details, but have been informed that he passed away this morning. I have paid a small tribute to him at my blog and I am glad for knowing him in a small way. Hank, it was a pleasure. I keep, and ask you to keep, his wife Toni Weisskopf, his children, and his many friends in your thoughts in the days ahead.


My increasing support of waterboarding

Uncle_jimbo_drinks You all know how much I love it when the left hates on me. I giggle like a schoolgirl and the fact that I am unashamed infuriates them even more. The current raison d' hate is my firm support of waterboarding, the Halliburton of coercive interrogation. I don't believe that it constitutes torture and that makes me the purest kind of an evil police statist. Sadly, No.

And speaking of some of my biggest fans, they had the quote below as the reference to me in their post about what a reprehensible reprobate I am.

I especially like the screenshot they took from one of the Freeflys for a picture. The caption read "Uncle Jimbo and his best friend". Funny how they had to crop Kev out of the freakin' picture to make the lame ass insult. Plus I damn sure don't drink Vodka and Coke FFS! My best friend that night was Bacardi Anejo.

I think I need a new tag line and while they are hatin' they do have some entertaining ways to refer to me.
Vote on your favorite or make up lovely new ways to insultingly name me in the comments.

Take famed right-wing milblogger Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive, for example; in his latest post on the virtues of a police state, he has this to say:

Famed eh? Sadly, not very. But I do enjoy being the representative of all that is evil with the neocon, global imperialist agenda. Some retro-commies had a fresh and tasty tag for me. I don't know if they are real or pseudo-lefties, but they definitely have a bone to pick with me.

But none stranger than this from the inimitable Unclue Jimbo at Blackfive:

I wrote a piece this weekend in response to a Wash Post story about "secret" CIA prisons and my support for them and most of the mean things we do to people in them. It was in the style of Grim's magnificent piece "On the virtues of killing children", and this may be a genre we should continue. Malcolm Nance wrote a piece for Small Wars Journal titled "Waterboarding is torture, period" and both went up late Sunday night. I hadn't read his piece until someone linked to it in the comments. Once I read it I added a link to it and stated that it was an excellent piece. I still think so, it was informative, definitive and persuasive. It just didn't and won't persuade me. I disagree on the judgment that the act of waterboarding fits the proper definition of torture or even the more restrictive definitions employed by human rights groups and the left.

Without going into the whys of that, let me pose a simple question.

If waterboarding is torture and torture is illegal, then didn't Congress break the law every year when they passed a military budget that contains funds specifically dedicated to conducting waterboarding as a matter of course?

Mr. Nance conducts waterboardings professionally or did, and yet he believes that the procedure is fine for our troops, but somehow not fit for our enemies? I have a very hard time wrapping my brain around that concept. Congress banned the use of torture in the Detainee Treatment act of 2005. So, if it is torture we shouldn't be doing it to ourselves, but if Congress authorizes the military to do it, then it can't be torture. Congress is not allowed to authorize money for patently illegal activities, therefore their knowing authorization explicitly says that waterboarding is not torture.

I will grant that the procedure is horrifying and repulsive, but that is part of it's effectiveness. The fact that it causes no lasting damage at all is another reason to favor it's use. But the number one reason to use it is because it works. It is the perfect answer to the lie that you cannot coerce useful information from bad guys. KSM broke very quickly and the info we got from him allowed us to scarf up dozens of AQ killers and saved countless lives. While other methods may have eventually procured this intelligence, the time spent doing so made it more likely his info would be out of date and we would miss the chance to capture or kill the terrorists. As awful as that makes me, I think that means we have an obligation to do it and I would consider it's banning a blow to our security.

One last tagline that is in play, from my devoted compadres at Crooks and Liars

Even the wild dude Jimbo, from the right wing site Black Five called the event “lame”

It is entertaining to enjoy this level of disapproval, I will ratchet things up a notch.

State St. Indian Summer linkage

Man oh man, what a beautiful day here in the Mad City 68 degrees and the bluest skies. I headed to my local cafe with wi fi and voila. I'm at work. Yes the girl behind me is smokin' hot, model pretty, her friend too. Bliss.

Here is an email I got yesterday.

Listened to you this morning on Allman and Crane.  Love your site.  Check out www.myspace.com/marchalli when you have a second.  A song I wrote about our fallen troops overseas.  Enjoy.


His email indicates he works for the local NFL team in St. Louis, but I won't name them as I think they are having a bye year. Heh. Great song though.

Rocky sends a link to this cool way to, well Say Thanks to the troops.

Otto has a look at our efforts to buy the gear that stops us from getting blown up, kinda important eh?

And Herschel Smith continues his good work at Captain's Journal examining whether we can legally ventilate the Cole bombing terrorist the Yemenis just released. I vote we add him to the dead tango tally so  I can do the DT dance. Eugene Volokh is considering a similar dilemma regarding the targeting of military leaders during wartime.

What To Do When Attacked By Pirates

Since the times of Stephen Decatur, John O'Bannon, and Thomas Jefferson, pirates have come up against the United States Navy.... and been found wanting. (Sort of like the jihadists of their day). Today I came on a story too good to pass up.

Read it and laugh.

                        NAIROBI, Kenya - A U.S. Navy destroyer off the coast of Somalia helped sailors who retook control of their vessel Tuesday in a deadly battle with pirates who hijacked the North Korean-flagged ship, the American military said.

A helicopter flew from the USS James E. Williams to investigate a phoned-in tip of a hijacked vessel, and demanded by bridge-to-bridge radio that the pirates give [up] their weapons, the military said in a statement. The sailors then overwhelmed the hijackers, leaving two pirates dead, according to preliminary reports, and five captured, the military said.

Three seriously injured crew members were brought onboard the Williams, it said.

And there's more from the previous days events.

If you can't stand the heat, better stay out of the kitchen. Even if you feel lucky, it probably isn't wise to poke the Navy with a sharp stick. We've done pirates. Even better is that it was a North Korean vessel which was saved by the USS James E. Williams. Stats here (Of course the ones that count are Pirates 0, Williams 1) Imagine how old Kim Jong Il will handle that one. Can't wait to see what Jihad Gene does with that.

Subsunk out. (Laughing maniacally all the way)

Continue reading "What To Do When Attacked By Pirates" »