Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Great Dictator - Speech (Charlie Chaplin) & Inception Soundtrack - T...

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible- Jew, Gentile, black men, white…

We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each others’ happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.  

Greed has poisoned men’s souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.  

Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery ,we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together.

The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say “Do not despair.” The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder! Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men—machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!  

In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it’s written “the kingdom of God is within man”, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! 

In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. 

Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill their promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfill that promise!

Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

Sgt MacKenzie - We Were Soldiers Soundtrack with Lyrics - YouTube

Sgt MacKenzie - We Were Soldiers Soundtrack with Lyrics - YouTube

Original Scottish Version
Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun
Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun

When they come a wull staun ma groon

Staun ma groon al nae be afraid

Thoughts awe hame tak awa ma fear

Sweat an bluid hide ma veil awe tears

Ains a year say a prayer faur me

Close yir een an remember me

Nair mair shall a see the sun

For a fell tae a Germans gun

Lay me doon in the caul caul groon

Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun

Lay me doon in the caul caul groon

Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun

Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun

English Translation
Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone
Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone

When they come I will stand my ground

Stand my ground I’ll not be afraid

Thoughts of home take away my fear

Sweat and blood hide my veil of tears

Once a year say a prayer for me

Close your eyes and remember me

Never more shall I see the sun

For I fell to a Germans gun

Lay me down in the cold cold ground

Where before many more have gone
Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone

Where before many more have gone

In memory of Sgt. Charles Stuart MacKenzie
Seaforth Highlanders
Who along with many others gave up his life
So that we can live free

We will remember them

Downed Turkish Fighter, Latakia and the Russian Navy

The Syrians don't randomly shoot down Turkish reconnaissance aircraft and the Turks know full well where the border is between their two countries. So what was the plane doing there?

The Russian Navy, the Iranian Navy and elements of the Chinese military are reportedly in the coastal areas of Syria.

Latakia is the main port for Syria followed by Tartus.

Russia signed an agreement last year and forgave debt to Syria in exchange for reactivating two naval facilities in Syria, one in Tartus and another in Latakia.

An obvious question to be answered is whether the Russians are preparing to load up evacuees or unload those ships holding marines and military equipment. The same probably holds true for the Iranians.

The Turkish plane was flying near Latakia.

Still one wonders why a plane is needed when satellites can tell so much?

In 2011 Syrian ground and naval assets fired on Latakia to quell civil unrest. A naval battle was fought near there between Israel and Syria in 1973. In 1957 Egyptian troops were sent there to block Turkish moves against Syria which was harboring Turkish communist insurgents.

Where are the Russian naval assets going to berth when they are in Syria?  Also if Chinese and Iranian vessels also arrive as is reported, where will they berth? The Russian facility at Tartus was reportedly in disrepair earlier this month.

 Map locates Latakia, Syria, near where a Turkish plane was shot down by Syria. Photo: AP / AP

Indonesia: Bali bomber's life-term dodge 'fault of bungling prosecutors' - Adnkronos Security

Indonesia: Bali bomber's life-term dodge 'fault of bungling prosecutors' - Adnkronos Security

 Jakarta, 22 June (AKI/Jakarta Post) - The failure to convince judges to hand terrorist convict Umar Patek a life sentence is solely the fault of prosecutors, according to terrorism commentator Dynno Creesbon.

"The reason why Patek was not given a life sentence in prison is because the charges were weak and were unable to be corroborated in court," Dynno told The Jakarta Post on Friday over the phone.

Making things even worse for prosecutors in Umar Patek's case is that, according to Dynno, prosecutors generally tend to be on the losing side in terrorism cases.

"Prosecutors will always face an uphill battle in terrorism trials, because terrorists always protect one another in court," he said.

When a convicted terrorist gets a court summons to provide testimony in the trial of a suspected terrorist, Dynno says that the convict will talk to judges in ways that are favourable to the suspects.

Because of this, Dynno denied that the ruling of the five member panel of judges on Thursday was influenced by external factors....

-bth: he murdered 19 people but got only 20 years.

Germany starts to clamp down on Salafists - The Long War Journal

Germany starts to clamp down on Salafists - The Long War Journal

 BERLIN, Germany - Last week the German interior ministry stepped up its efforts against a growing Salafist network in the Federal Republic, stating that "[t]he organization acts in opposition to the idea of constitutional order and multicultural understanding." With those words, German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich justified a massive series of raids on Thursday targeting Salafist organizations across seven German states, the Associated Press reported.
The German authorities conducted sweeping police actions, with a force of 1,000 officers, resulting in the formal ban of one Salafist group, Millatu Ibrahim, and investigations into banning two additional Salafist groups--- Dawa FFM and DWR. The name DWR is an acronym for a group that calls itself "The True Religion." There are an estimated 5,000 active Salafists in the Federal Republic....

-bth: Is this getting any news coverage in the US?  I haven't seen it.  Was this a pre-emptive move by the Germans to head off another terrorist attack?

Pakistan detains al Qaeda operative tied to multiple plots - The Long War Journal

Pakistan detains al Qaeda operative tied to multiple plots - The Long War Journal

An al Qaeda operative connected to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and a Mumbai-style plot against Europe has been reportedly detained in Pakistan. The operative, a French-Algerian named Naamen Meziche, had been living in Iran as of earlier this year. But Meziche was captured inside Pakistan, near the border with Iran, as he was trying to re-enter that country, according to CBS News.
Meziche not only had extensive ties to al Qaeda's 9/11 Hamburg cell, but he was also part of a second Hamburg cell that planned to carry out terrorist attacks against European cities in 2010. Those attacks were to be modeled after the 2008 siege of Mumbai, India and were ordered by slain al Qaeda master Osama bin Laden.
The 2010 plot was also linked to an al Qaeda network operating inside Iran. That network operates, according to the US government, as part of a formerly "secret" deal between the Iranian regime and al Qaeda....

bth: worth reading in full especially about the collaborative link between Iran and certain al Qaeda cells.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

New EOD vehicle to enter service - News - Shephard

New EOD vehicle to enter service - News - Shephard

Marshall Land Systems has announced that a fully integrated mobile Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) vehicle with an armoured shelter is about to enter service with an unnamed European customer following delivery from MAN Truck and Bus and Marshall Land Systems.
The company said it has ‘exploited its integration and manufacturing skills to provide an armoured shelter for EOD teams, together with all their equipment, to deploy and operate from.’

The armoured unit provides kinetic ballistic and blast protection to STANAG Level 1 and is mounted on an armoured cab version of the MAN HX60, 6 tonne support vehicle. Storage facilities for the suite of EOD equipment including bomb disposal robot, robot control station, battery charging facilities and an armoured box for sensitive materials and equipment are integrated into the shelter....

New EOD vehicle to enter service bth: this vehicle is likely to get British EOD teams killed.  Note where the cab is relative to the front wheels that will hit the pressure plate. Also note the weight of the vehicle has being about 4 times less than a US equivalent and with explosives steel matters.  Also note the lack of any evident V hulling to deflect blasts so it appears that the full impact of an explosive will go straight into the underbelly of the vehicle. EOD trucks needs to be designed for an IED environment.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

NightWatch 20120619 - KGS Regarding Russia and Syria

NightWatch 20120619 - KGS

... Russia-Syria: Update. A Brilliant and astute Reader has provided insights on what to watch when the Russian amphibious task group reaches the base at Tartus, Syria.

The Russian ships could signify that the Russians know something about the insurgency we don't and the situation may be worse than generally assessed. If the Russians do indeed load materiel on the ships, it would support that Idea.

If they off-load materiel, that would indicate continued support. If the Russians do both, it would indicate they are hedging their bets and are not sure how it will turn out. Thanks for the feedback...

-bth: I would imagine we have satellite intelligence that shows us what was loaded on those ships.  Also there is the bizarre press release yesterday from Iran claiming that Iran, Syria, China and Russia are going to have joint military maneuvers in Syria and the Med.  What does that mean? 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Poppy Cultivation Downs 40% in Afghanistan: UN Drug Official

Poppy Cultivation Downs 40% in Afghanistan: UN Drug Official

Poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has declined 40% over the course of past four years as Isaf and government forces have secured key towns and village and ramped up eradication, UN anti drug official said.
This year farmers grew poppy on about 143,000 acres in Helmand province, down from its peak of nearly 256,000 acres in 2008, according to Regional Command Southwest.
"In all countries we see links between cultivation and security," said Angela Me, an analyst at the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. "The areas that are more secure are where we had less opium."
Since insurgents are supported by drug revenues, the decline in poppy cultivation has cut into the Taliban's ability to launch operations, according to Regional Command Southwest....

Canadian military equipment trapped in Afghanistan | CTV Edmonton

Canadian military equipment trapped in Afghanistan | CTV Edmonton

Hundreds of containers of Canadian military equipment remain trapped in Afghanistan as the Pakistani government continues to refuse to reopen NATO supply lines into the country.
Thousands of tonnes of equipment including armoured vehicles, guns, ammunition and combat uniforms have already been airlifted out of the country. However, an estimated 400 containers remain stranded in secret locations throughout southern Afghanistan.
Pakistan closed NATO's main transit route from the port of Karachi in November following an air attack on the country's border that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
Supply trucks have sat idle in Afghanistan since then.
"It's engineering stores, it's spare parts, it's camp stores, defensive stores, things of that nature. This is equipment that we want to bring back to Canada," Brig.-Gen. John Mackay told CTV News....

Files Show Neo-Nazis Helped Palestinian Terrorists in Munich 1972 Massacre - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Files Show Neo-Nazis Helped Palestinian Terrorists in Munich 1972 Massacre - SPIEGEL ONLINE

 Forty years ago, the massacre of Israeli athletes and coaches overshadowed the Munich Summer Olympics. Though it was never proved, left-wing extremists were suspected of working with the Palestinian terrorists behind the operation. But previously unreleased files seen by SPIEGEL prove that neo-Nazis were involved instead -- and officials knew about it....

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Son’s Reflections at ‘The Wall’ |

A Son’s Reflections at ‘The Wall’ |

 ...When a war is forgotten, so too, unfortunately, are the sacrifices of those who fought it; and no nation can afford to forget the sacrifices of the brave men and women of their Armed Forces–and the families who support them–who fight to preserve the freedoms that it holds dear....

-bth: an excellent Father's Day tribute and reflection on the Vietnam Memorial Wall by Gen. Casey whose father was killed in that war.  It is well worth reading in full.

Juan Cole: Sectarian Violence Undermines Syrian Regime - Juan Cole's Columns - Truthdig

Juan Cole: Sectarian Violence Undermines Syrian Regime - Juan Cole's Columns - Truthdig

...At its heart, the Syrian crisis is a conflict that pits the urban metropolises (Damascus, Aleppo and Latakia) that benefit from government largesse against the medium-size cities and rural towns that have suffered from drought and Neoliberal policies. It so happens that this divide also aligns, if unevenly, with sectarian cleavages, with the provincial cities and towns being mostly religiously conservative and Sunni, and the big-cities bastions of minority power and secular Sunni business classes dependent on the regime.

The Syrian government’s resort to Alawite death squads in recent weeks, however, has threatened the big-city alliance that has allowed the Baath to survive. The sight of Sunni women and children massacred by the Shabiha in Houla and Mazraat al-Qubair drove Sunni shopkeepers in the capital to instigate a general strike. Protests and small insurgencies are now taking place even in Damascus.

The regime of Bashar Assad squandered whatever good will it had in rural and small-town Syria by its heavy-handed repression of the protests. Among its few remaining assets was the support of Christian, Alawi and secular Sunni middle classes in the large cities, groups that fear the rise of Sunni fundamentalism, are disturbed by the decline of security for property, and benefit from Baath government licenses and contracts. The deployment of Shabiha death squads, however, has clearly pushed many of these former supporters into the opposition. It is now the regime that is threatening public security and fanning the flames of sectarian hatred. If the Syrian revolution finally succeeds, it will be because the Baath regime betrayed its commitments to secularism, socialism and public order, becoming in the eyes of the public just another sectarian mafia. 

-bth: quoted above are the concluding statements of a lengthy analysis by Dr. Cole. It is worth reading in full.  Very difficult to figure out what is happening in Syria.  More to the point, what should the US do as all parties involved seem to have major defects.

Attack on U.S. outpost in Afghanistan worse than originally reported - The Washington Post

Attack on U.S. outpost in Afghanistan worse than originally reported - The Washington Post

KABUL — A June 1 attack on a U.S. outpost near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border was much worse than originally disclosed by the military as insurgents pounded the base with a truck bomb, killing two Americans and seriously wounding about three dozen troops, officials acknowledged Saturday.
The blast flattened the dining hall and post exchange at Forward Operating Base Salerno in Khost province, a frequent target of insurgents in the past. Five Afghan civilians were killed and more than 100 other U.S. troops were treated for minor injuries. U.S. officials estimated that the truck was carrying 1,500 pounds of explosives.
U.S. and Afghan military officials said they killed 14 insurgents, many of whom were wearing suicide vests.
The scale of the attack and the extent of the U.S. casualties contrast with the official description presented by coalition forces on the day of the assault. In a clipped, one-paragraph news release on June 1, the military said U.S. and Afghan forces “successfully repelled the attack and secured the base.”
The statement did not report any casualties, nor that there was a truck bomb.
“It was a very huge explosion,” said Daoud Khan Makeen, head of the provincial council in Khost. He said that houses as far as two miles away were damaged in the blast and that 20 Afghans were wounded, many of them by collapsed buildings...

-bth; LTC Cummings has been gaming the news releases for months.

MRAP trucks near the end of the road in military strategy –

MRAP trucks near the end of the road in military strategy –

 WASHINGTON – The Pentagon's $45 billion investment in armored vehicles to protect troops from roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan has been credited with saving thousands of lives.

Now the truck is approaching the end of the road. President Obama's military strategy, announced in January, envisions a lighter, more agile military focused on action in the Pacific. The heavy, lumbering Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) truck — the principal troop carrier in combat for the last five years — is a poor fit for that future.
"We spent a lot of money on these things," said Col. Mark Barbosa, an Army official in charge of its MRAP program. "The bottom line is that they did exactly what we wanted them to do — they protected soldiers both in Afghanistan and Iraq. They saved a lot of lives."
The trucks, whose V-shaped hulls deflect the force of blasts, proved 10 times safer than Humvees, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates told USA TODAY last year. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are the top cause of casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the military no longer intends to fight long-term occupations that it was designed for after the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan ends in 2014.
It's too heavy, breaks down too often and is too unwieldy to have a future, Barbosa said. Thus it becomes a truck that fits niches not an overall mission. Instead, the Army and Marine Corps are banking on a future truck, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, to become its workhorse vehicle and successor to the Humvee....

-bth: so all this equipment and technology is going to be lost, only to be rediscovered a decade or two from now when we get into a similar conflict.  Military says it doesn't intend to fight another war of occupation!  As if we planned to spend a fucking decade in Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place.  Jeebus.  The odds our military will find itself in a conflict against mines and IEDS is probably 100%.  We just don't know where it will occur.  V-hulls helped immensely, but nothing replaces a lot of steel between you and the explosion.  Odds are our next conflict will be in South Asia or Africa.  Africa is where IEDs developed in the first place, ironically MRAP technology really came into its own from South Africa.