The Jake Files

June 6, 2006

D-Day Anniversary

Filed under: General,Military — Amazing Jake @ 9:52 am

IN all the excitement about 6-6-06 and my impending business closing, I failed to realize that today is the 62nd anniversary of the D-Day invasion at Normandy.

Many thanks to all surviving members of the Allied armed forces during World War II.  Remember in your prayers all those who gave their lives to defend our freedom.

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April 19, 2006

Councilman Sepulveda to Appear at Sun Lakes Country Club Sunday 04-23

As reported on AZCentral.com:

Martin Sepulveda, a Chandler city councilman and a commander in the Naval Reserve who is recently back from active duty in Iraq, will speak at the breakfast meeting of the Jewish War Veterans Copper State Post 619 in Sun Lakes at 9:45 a.m. Sunday in the Mirror Room of Sun Lakes Country Club.

He will speak about his experiences during eight months working with Marines in Iraq. He has been called to active duty four times – Kosovo, the first Gulf War and twice for Iraq.

No word on whether he will discuss City issues, such as why he is entitled to salary continuation while called up to active duty, while rank and file City employees who are called to active duty are not.  Or whether he'll discuss his mishandling of the Pentz firing or the potential recall.  Not sure if there will be recall petitions circulated at the appearance – contact submit@chandleraz.biz to find out.

So, in all seriousness, let's keep one thing in mind.  Councilman Sepulveda should be prepared to discuss all these things, or anything else for that matter, any time he appears at a public event.  But the group he is appearing before is a veterans' group expecting to hear about veterans' and military issues.  If anyone shows up to protest, sign petitions, etc., please be respectful of the venue.  Councilman Sepulveda and the veterans he will address have served our nation and deserve our respect for that service.

April 18, 2006

Iran to Ensure Nuclear Disarmament for Everyone Else

Is this a joke?  Where's the hidden camera?

 Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) – Under threat of United Nations Security Council sanctions for its own nuclear program, Iran has been elected to a vice-chair position on the U.N. Disarmament Commission, whose mission includes deliberations on preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.
(snip)

On Monday, former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said that his country would continue to enrich uranium, and dismissed the idea that the U.S. might attack nuclear facilities in Iran.

"We are certain that Americans will not attack Iran because the consequences would be too dangerous," Rafasanjani was quoted as telling the Kuwaiti parliament.

Dr. Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. said that electing Iran to a leadership position on the UN Disarmament Commission was like asking the "cat to guard the milk."

"Clearly the Iranians have an interest in establishing disarmament rules that protect their clandestine nuclear weapons program," said Gold, author of Tower of Babble: How the United Nations Has Fueled Global Chaos.
(hat tip Infinite Monkeys)

Is this some strange dream sequence that we'll wake up from at the end of the season?  What is going on here?

If there was EVER a thought that the United Nations was not a corruption-ridden, toothless organization that props up thugs and dictators everywhere, this must surely be the sign that will convince America that we should cease cooperation with this useless body.  I expect non-stop coverage on CNN, MSNBC, 60 Minutes, Jon Stewart, and Oprah.  Right after the Tom Cruise Eats Katie's Placenta story or the new suspect in the Natalie Holloway disappearance story. 

Come to think of it, I'm probably expecting too much.

April 9, 2006

Mainstream Media Hysteria on Iranian Nuclear Contingency Planning

From the UK's Telegraph:

The Bush administration is planning to use nuclear weapons against Iran, to prevent it acquiring its own atomic warheads, claims an investigative writer with high-level Pentagon and intelligence contacts.

President George W Bush is said to be so alarmed by the threat of Iran's hard-line leader, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, that privately he refers to him as "the new Hitler", says Seymour Hersh, who broke the story of the Abu Ghraib Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal.

Some US military chiefs have unsuccessfully urged the White House to drop the nuclear option from its war plans, Hersh writes in The New Yorker magazine. The conviction that Mr Ahmedinejad would attack Israel or US forces in the Middle East, if Iran obtains atomic weapons, is what drives American planning for the destruction of Teheran's nuclear programme.

Hersh claims that one of the plans, presented to the White House by the Pentagon, entails the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites. One alleged target is Iran's main centrifuge plant, at Natanz, 200 miles south of Teheran.

This has been all over the Sunday morning news shows.  Seymour Hersch is on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer right now talking about it.

Can I just ask a simple question here?  Does anyone seriously think that we do not have a detailed plan to invade, bomb, or strike with nukes, every single nation on earth?  That's what our military planners do – they make plans for any contingency. 

It would be grossly negligent if we DID NOT have plans to nuke, bomb conventionally, or invade by land, Iran or any other country.  Anyone who fails to realize that, or ignores the fact in favor of a good hysteria story, demonstrates just how little they understand national security issues.

March 11, 2006

Military Robo-dog in development

Filed under: General,Middle East,Military,War on Terror — Amazing Jake @ 12:10 pm

This is pretty cool.

Meet BigDog, a mechanical mutt that does more than snare Frisbees and irrigate fire hydrants. It totes hundreds of pounds of gear so soldiers won’t have to, and it will never spook under fire. Developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from the U.S. military, the BigDog prototype is arguably the world’s most ambitious legged robot. Its stability and awareness of its own orientation make it the first robot that can handle the unknown challenges of the battlefield. The Great Dane–size ’bot can trot more than three miles an hour, climb inclines of up to 45 degrees, and carry up to 120 pounds—even in rough terrain impenetrable to wheeled or tracked vehicles. But this one is just a puppy; Boston Dynamics expects the next iteration, ready this summer, to be at least twice as fast and carry more than twice as much.

Click the link in the article to see video of the robo-dog in action.  Maybe they can mount a chain gun on the front and have it root out terrorists in the caves of Afghanistan.  Let’s just hope that Skynet doesn’t get a hold of it.

February 21, 2006

President Promises Veto if UAE Ports Deal Blocked by Congress

From the AP

“After careful review by our government, I believe the transaction ought to go forward,” Bush told reporters who had traveled with him on Air Force One to Washington. “I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company. I am trying to conduct foreign policy now by saying to the people of the world, `We’ll treat you fairly.'”

Bush took the rare step of calling reporters to his conference room on the plane after returning from a speech in Colorado, addressing a controversy that is becoming a major headache for the White House. He said the seaports arrangement had been extensively examined by the administration and was “a legitimate deal that will not jeopardize the security of the country.”

I find this development highly disturbing.

In five years, President Bush has not vetoed a single bill.  Not a spending bill authorizing a several-hundred million dollar Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska.  Not one.  Not anything.

Now he threatens to protect a deal with a company OWNED BY the United Arab Emirates, a known haven of terrorists?  This is not the time to play nice with our allies in Arab countries that support the War on Terror.  I fully understand the political consequences of halting a sale to an ally that is providing active assistance in our terrorism fight.  I don’t understand why the White House doesn’t understand the political consequences of appearing to give an opening to those who want to kill us.

I can imagine a scenario in which Al Qaeda operatives gain access to the country through this company.  There may well be safeguards in place to prevent it, but the White House has not explained what they are.  The White House has not explained why this is a good deal for national security.  The White House has not explained why it will NOT be possible for a terrorist to use this company as a gateway to operating against us.  And until they do, I think the President has a serious problem.

Really, the President’s going to go to the mattresses over protecting a company from the Mideast when he won’t secure our borders or veto outrageous spending bills?  Is this a joke?

UPDATE:  Hugh Hewitt interviewed Senator Frist today on Hugh’s radio show, and indicated an override of the promised veto is possible.  This is a potentially embarrassing and damaging development for the President, and he needs to get on the right side of this issue in a hurry.  Based on this story, it doesn’t seem likely.  Duane has a transcript of Hugh’s interview here

February 10, 2006

French Unilateralism

Filed under: France,Middle East,Military,Old Europe — Amazing Jake @ 7:11 am

So, did France get Security Council approval for this?

France has secretly modified its nuclear arsenal to increase the strike range and accuracy of its weapons. The move comes weeks after President Jacques Chirac warned that states which threatened the country could face the “ultimate warning” of a nuclear retaliation.

I predict mass protests by peace activists and environmental activists against this naked show of agression.  Well, maybe not.

February 5, 2006

WMD in Syria?

Filed under: Military,War on Terror — Amazing Jake @ 1:28 pm

Press reports in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq speculated on the movement of WMD to Syria.  I remember reading multiple sources on this at the time, but the only one I could find without a lot of effort was Powerline

I found it odd, especially during the daily hourly condemnations by the MoveOn croud that there were definitively no WMD in Iraq (and never were), that more attention was not paid to the theories that the WMD were moved.

Recently, reports have been trickling out again, giving more weight to this theory:

John Loftus, a former Justice Department prosecutor, said a civilian contractor who has been among those examining the Mukhabarat files has found audiotapes of meetings in Saddam’s office where WMD was discussed. The contractor, a former military intelligence analyst, will make the tapes public Feb. 17 at a conference sponsored by Intelligence Summit, a private group that Mr. Loftus heads.

Mr. Loftus wouldn’t disclose the identity of the contractor in advance of the conference, but said his tapes have been verified by the National Security Agency. “This isn’t a smoking gun. It’s a smoking cannon,” he said.

Those who have bet their political futures that Saddam had no WMD may be starting to sweat.

I’m looking forward to the public release on February 17th. 

January 13, 2006

French Aircraft Carrier Stopped by Egyptian-Environmentalist Alliance

Filed under: Environmentalist Whackos,France,Military,Old Europe — Amazing Jake @ 9:52 am

I didn’t even know the French HAD an aircraft carrier:

The misadventures of the French aircraft carrier Clemenceau – once the pride of the fleet – have taken another surprising turn with Egypt refusing to let the decommissioned ship pass through the Suez Canal on its way to an Indian scrapheap, citing concerns that it contained dangerous amounts of asbestos.

The Clemenceau’s two-week voyage, behind a tugboat and with a French naval escort, comes after drawn-out legal squabbling with environmental groups and has sparked a fierce controversy in France and India…
…Hours before the announcement, two activists from the environmental group Greenpeace climbed high on the vessel with banners reading “Asbestos Carrier: Stay Out of India.”
Greenpeace, which has campaigned to stop the Clemenceau from traveling the 4,730 nautical miles to India, or 7,000 kilometers, accused France of acting illegally. Greenpeace contends the ship would pose a risk to Indian shipyard workers.
Will French take Egypt to the UN, or will they act unilaterally to protect their national interests?  (my money’s on unilateral action)  Will France surrender to the Rainbox Warrior?  The Amazing Jake will be closely monitoring this international development.

January 9, 2006

Border Fence

Good old-fashioned ingenuity in Iraq solving real problems:

SINIYAH, Iraq (AP) – Villagers watched from rooftops as U.S. military bulldozers heaved a wall of sand into snaking lines around their homes Saturday in an attempt to trap insurgents believed to be hiding among them.

The drastic tactic in Siniyah came after weeks of increasingly bold insurgent attacks, including almost daily roadside bombs targeting 101st Airborne Division soldiers patrolling the village, 250 kilometres north of Baghdad.

“This is not in any of the courses they teach in the army,” said Maj. Shawn Daniel, who oversees operations for the 3rd Brigade’s 33rd Cavalry Regiment. “But if bad people are coming to Siniyah to attack coalition forces, let’s catch them at the gate.”

Spanning 10 kilometres and broken by watchtowers to be manned by Iraqi security forces, the three-metre tall crude barrier is the army’s latest tool to rout out insurgents.

Construction was expected to last several days. (emphasis mine)  Once complete, all vehicles leaving or entering the village will be stopped as soldiers look for known insurgents, bomb-making materials and illegal weapons.

So, the army can erect a crude barrier in a matter of days to keep terrorists out of an Iraqi town, using nothing but what they already have on hand in Iraq.  The estimates for a fence on the southern US border with Mexico run $1.5 to $2 million PER MILE:

WASHINGTON — The House voted last night to build nearly 700 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border as it began the first major floor debate in years on enforcing immigration laws.
    
    The vote, 260-159, came on an amendment to a border-security and employer-verification bill that is scheduled for a final vote today.

Mr. Hunter’s plan calls for 698 miles of fence at five locations along the 1,940-mile border. The barrier would be modeled from the San Diego fence, a two-layered reinforced fence with roads, surveillance cameras and sensors. Cost estimates run from $1.5 million to $2 million per mile.

So, some quick math leads me to believe it would cost $1 billion to $1.4 billion for just the 698 miles proposed in the bill on December 15th.  To cover the whole border with Mexico, it would cost between $2.9 and $3.9 billion.

If the military can use their initiative to solve a problem like this in short period of time with just the tools they have available, why can’t the Congress and the Dept of Homeland Security do the same thing at home?

The answer:  the political will to do it.

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