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Prelude to the 73rd Hour of Nightfall
At the same time George W. Bush's Persian soul-mate and twin, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is bragging
that Iran's nuclear fuels processing program has attained a "goal" of operating 3,000 uranium centrifuges, the International Atomic Energy Agency is reporting
that Iran's nuclear fuel production is "well below the expected quantity," meaning that Ahmadinejad's claims are very likely nothing more than propaganda for his own domestic base of Iranian rednecks.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Times
that the Pentagon has drawn up plans for a massive strike on Iran that would wipe out not just its nuclear fuels program, but the entirety of its military capability. The Pentagon planners think the armed forces of the United States can do this with 1,200 strikes over a span of three days.
You read that right: three days
. Air and naval firepower plus 72 hours: presto!
another international problem solved.
Literate observers of this looming scenario might wonder if a word even exists for people so thunderously, impenetrably, persistently, consistently, howlingly ignorant that they simply cannot learn either from history or
from their own mistakes.
For those in search of the mot juste
, here it is: Neo-Conservatism.
In all its thunderous, impenetrable, persistent, consistent, howling ignorance, Neo-Conservatism is once again calling its acolytes to the game table of war without end; and once again, Empire will issue forth the treasures of its gold and young to be wasted for the designs of men and women who will not be disabused of their plans even by the ruins in which the ugly monuments of their prior follies of world domination lie.
The Dark Wraith sees a history written before it has happened.
Update September 3, 2007, 1:48 p.m. EDT
The Sunday Times
article about the plan for a massive U.S. strike on Iran was dated September 2, 2007. On September 1, 2007, a post by "Maccabee" at Daily Kos described a conversation the writer had had with a Landing Signal Officer (LSO) in a battle group in the Gulf of Hormuz: Maccabee's account of the LSO's description of war preparations was relatively detailed and entirely consistent with the subsequent, more general article in the Sunday Times
. (It was also entirely consistent with scuttlebutt I've been hearing.)
Daily Kos has deleted Maccabee's article, apparently affirming that the Right-wing smear-job artists who went on the attack against Maccabee were correct, and Maccabee had made up the conversation with an LSO.
Maccabee's post is still available in cache from Google: click here to read Maccabee's expunged article, "We Are Going to Hit Iran. Bigtime."
Decide for yourself: Is Maccabee credible?
(We shall leave for another occasion the question of whether or not a certain meta-blog, itself, has crafted mainstream respectability at the cumulative price of credibility.)
Second Update September 5, 2007, 9:36 p.m. EDT
The link to the Google cache of Maccabee's article deleted at Daily Kos has now been expunged. Commenter Moody Blue has transcribed the article in successive comments on the thread for this article. Previously, Moody Blue provided the link to an article at Daily Kos supposedly refuting technical details of Maccabee's story. Although Maccabee's article was summarily deleted from Daily Kos, and subsequently removed from Google cache, the rebuttal post is still available, and likely will remain so, at Daily Kos.
Readers are encouraged to carefully read Maccabee's article and then the rebuttal.
If this comes to pass I guess we can kiss the economy goodbye. Surely these morons will take pause, but it looks like they could use any event to let loose.
Hope the neo-con fools wait a few weeks, I sure would like to get my operation over with.
pygalgia has an appropriately tin-foiled post about the build-up....
You quoted imiga: ... Stupid collapsed on itself so far that even the neutrons have collapsed. Stupid gotten so dense that no intellect can escape. Singularity stupid. Blazing hot mid-day sun on Mercury stupid. He emits more stupid in one second than our entire galaxy emits in a year. Quasar stupid. Nothing in our universe can really be this stupid. Perhaps this is some primordial fragment from the original big bang of stupid. Some pure essence of a stupid so uncontaminated by anything else as to be beyond the laws of physics that we know.
This aptly describes the NeoCons and their Dear Leader.
On the other hand, if endless war and impoverishment of much of the middle class of the United States is their real goal, leaving only the rich war profiteers with their heads above water, as it manifestly appears to be, then this plan is guaranteed to do the trick.
Unless the pitchfork and torch carrying crowds can make it through the barricades, kelley b.
In that event, all bets are off on who will be the last man swinging.
The Dark Wraith should probably set up a concession stand somewhere on Pennsylvania Avenue.
CHILI neoCON CARNE slopped onto everything!
Good evening, kelley b.
The neo-cons have felt victorious ever since 9/11. Richard Perle and a few of his minions may have stuttered a few words decrying the strategeries in Iraq, but they couldn't be happier with the proceedings so far, and look forward to Syria right after a brief Iranian overture.
There's a light at the end of their tunnel...choo choo!
Good evening, trog.
That light at the end of the tunnel might very well be an on-coming train of retaliatory hellfire and brimstone from the hills along the Strait of Hormuz.
If you haven't read some of my articles on this, I'd recommend the following:
"Currencies of War";
my four-part series, written in early 2005,
"The 21st Century"
and my somewhat more recent offering,
which hints along the way (and rather ominously near the end) at some of the big and little thugs in the region with vested interests in what we decide to do about Iran and Syria.
Of course, the politicians never listen to me.
The Dark Wraith should probably start making large campaign contributions so he'll have something important to say.
I may have read some of these; I've picked through, not to mention picked up on, many of your past works. Regardless, I shall read these asap...I have no doubt they shall enlighten me.
Please know that what you do here is extremely important, not to mention priceless. There may be no chance for a worldwide conflagration, but small bonfires dotting the plains, lighting the way, stoked by plainspeaking folks, may have to do.
Until it's time to worry no more about keeping the light of this Republic burning, trog.
The Dark Wraith does not think that time is yet upon us... at least, not quite yet.
Good point about the torches and pitchforks, Dark Wraith.
At any other point in our history in response to a government like this I'd be inclined to agree with you.
However, the crooks this time around have unprecedented surveillance of the opposition, a host of brand new "non-lethal" toys they've expressed willingness to try on their own population, preassembled prison camps, a private security mercenary force with a strong financial interest in maintaining the endless war, and a psychotic figurehead- two of them actually- at their helm.
One would suggest that we have the potential here for a mess bigger than what happened in the 1860s.
Oh: and good morning, sir!
Good morning back to you, kelley b.
Your comment about the non-lethal toys of law enforcement these days brings to my mind the extent to which science fiction movies of the past nearly three decades have been foretelling of this current era. The movie Running Man, for example, showed non-lethal capture devices eerily similar to what has now shown up. It also showed the way entertainment, law enforcement, and justice can be melded into an undifferentiated commodity by high technology. Of course, I see vague shades of Bladerunner all the time, but that's just me being a post-apocalyptic kind of fellow. Ditto for The Postman.
I must also tell you that the consulting work I did for years exposed me to technologies that have already begun to show up in very disconcerting ways. I helped small, emerging companies, most (but certainly not all) of which had either developed or gotten their hands on some technological innovation. Strangely, at first blush, I usually didn't grasp the full implications of the technology I was seeing, this despite (or maybe because of) the sometimes-breathless hype the principals would lay on me. It was only after some period of time that I got it.
Almost always, the original entrepreneurs would lose out: they'd get bankrupted; the greed of one would cause the destruction of the collective effort; they'd run afoul of securities laws; they'd make a stupid, off-point investment; or something totally mysterious and unexpected would occur to disrupt their operations. Most of the time, their technology would seem to vanish into that Great Void of Failed Ideas.
Then, perhaps some years later, there I'd see the same technology, usually in an entirely new context.
I think I could relate six major technologies I saw, three of which have now appeared (one in a relatively secret-but-not-so-secret military application fold). Of the three I have not yet seen, I know two are going to pop up, seemingly out of nowhere, within the next three to five years.
If I tell about them, I think most people would say, "Yeah, yeah, we know all about that," even though they're probably thinking in the same way I did as a consultant, not grasping the jaw-dropping change or implications the technology will have in the hands of corporations and malevolent governments.
I've considered writing about two of the technologies I saw, one that's out there now, so common yet so misunderstood, the other just around the corner, seemingly not much more than an extension of what's already available.
I've considered writing such an article, but all I'd likely ending up doing is burnishing my credentials as some kind of conspiracy theorist, which I certainly don't want people to think of me.
Besides, from everything I've ever heard, there really was just a lone gunman.
The Dark Wraith gives the grassy knoll a wide berth.
Good Mornong, DW.
While I continue my reading, I had to comment about a link you provided, a post by Bill Gross for Allianz Global Investors. Obviously Mr. Gross is channeling much of your worldview. His writing, like yours, is fairly easy for me to follow, even though I had to skip over the technical trading vernacular. Unfortunately, because of the ease in grasping the points you both make, I'm starting to see the reason behind the pessimism.
Sometimes I regret not drinking booze anymore. I sure had some heavenly, blissfully ignorant times!
A happy Labor Day to all.
The ability to project microwave radiation with sufficient energy to raise temperatures a hundred yards away is a staggering technological advance, and one that I've written a bit about myself over the last few years. However, given my own experience with technology, I suspect this is nowhere nearly as easy to calibrate as has been sold. Calibrated such that there's only enough energy to cause an unpleasant sensation on the skin for an entire crowd of people? Microwaves, like any form of noncoherent light, reflect, refract, and phase in and out on an uneven surface- like a crowd of people- dissipating or amplyfying depending on the opacity or albedo of the surface they hit.
I suspect the reality is you'd either ignore it completely or suffer minimally third degree burns. Oh, sure, I suspect it's fairly easy to cook someone to the bone 100 yards away. Which is why this "nonlethal" weapon hasn't been used already.
The other weapon I'll confess to a grim fascination about is the x-ray laser. The apparatus is apparently the size of an airline but can slag plate steel 50 miles away. They were originally talking about installing this into a 747. It would fill the airplane- for test purposes. Sooner or later some one in DARPA will figure out it would work far better in a War of the Worlds type mobile cannon set up. No tank force or fortification could stand up to it.
Perhaps these kind of weapons might have their use someday. One certainly hopes it's against Klingons or such, justifying the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars by a seriously demented Department of Defense. One suspects it's more likely they'll be used to keep civilian populations in their place. What good is right to own arms, if the police can charbroil you from a mile away?
Or rather than against raging Klingons, such weapons will be used against introduction of real Logic on earth from a compassionate alien species. Always Star Wars, never Star Trek.
Good afternoon, kelley b.
Technological innovations are moving along several malevolent paths. In civilian law enforcement, we've got all kinds of new stuff already out there, deployed and, in some jurisdictions, in use. More will be coming along, some of it, as I characterized above, simply jaw-dropping (once the implications soak in fully).
In the military theater, weaponry is changing, as are the technologies of intelligence gathering, command and control, and battlefield management. On the weaponry side, it isn't all just about glitzy new things: in the articles of my series, "The 21st Century," referenced above, I describe several on-going programs related to soldiers, themselves, as weapons systems. Remarkable to me is that some of this, from descriptions given to me by soldiers, is already being used. I honestly didn't think we were that close to operationalizing "persistence in combat" technologies at the level of the individual soldiers, but apparently, that's the case.
Also, some of the technological innovations are really quite minor, at least to a civilian observer: IR chem lights are a good example. I never saw an IR chem light, but I sure know how incredibly useful those things could be. And now, I have a kid who's back from Iraq telling me that they have flashing IR chem lights. All I could say was, "Sweeeet." (He got this proud little smile on his face when he saw that he'd impressed me with that one.)
On a larger, more obviously awesome scale, we'll be seeing quite a few things coming up. Most of the issues now are ones of power to make the stuff work efficiently in combat situations. For example, lasers that can, as you described, slag metal are great for downing incoming missiles, but the portability of the units for ground-based use is just not there, yet. Neither is the cycle time, which right now is way, way too high to make them usable against a hail of missiles flying by overhead.
Another example is force fields: the first-generations of the technology are pretty much all right in our hands, but the power requirements for even a single armored vehicle are still on the prohibitive side, although I honestly don't know the extent to which the technology has gotten over that hurdle.
Way beyond that stuff, though, there's some seriously science fiction-oriented things coming. The dangerous part is when the companies building and selling this crap get greedy for multiple revenue streams and start marketing their wares to law enforcement agencies, where it will inevitably get into the hands of rank-and-file officers who have already shown their willingness to use any technology in their hands, from guns to Tasers, to deal with things that move the wrong way.
If I weren't so interested in getting some rest, I might even forego death for a few centuries just so I could see how weird things get.
The Dark Wraith might come back to visit anyway... if for no other reason than to scare the Hell out of kids at Hallowe'en.
And by the way, good readers, in case anyone hadn't noticed, I added an update to the article.
FWIW, this diary article at KOS seems to dispute some of what Maccabee had posted in his article, specifically on some of the military details. There are some interesting comments in the thread, too.
I don't know if this newer diary entry would/could explain why Maccabee's was taken down.
It would seem to me that an accurate article about our preparations against Iran would be removed quickly. This comes under the purvue of military intelligence.
Though I don't see how any of this is any big secret. Our ships are big. They are easy to see. If they are off the coast of Iran, then everyone there knows about it. The only reason then to keep it secret is to keep US Citizens from finding out. And as any neocon can tell you, citizens should never have a clue what their government is up to. After all, if you knew what the government is doing, then the terrorists win. Besides it is staffed by benevolent and wise old men who know what is best for us.
As to innovations disappearing... I had that happen to me with a small patent I applied for, some years back. It was a patent on a technique for gathering performance statistics for computers and networks. We got documentation back from the patent office for a time, telling us where our application was in the process. Then it just disappeared. They kept the money we paid, but lost all records of our application and claim that we never filed. Now my technology is appearing in various server applications.
So I understand that the patent office is a criminal organization. The deck is stacked against the entrepreneur.
The Maccabee article is no longer available.
Maccabee's diary, part 1
"We Are Going To Hit Iran. Bigtime"
Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 03:50:24 PM PDT
I have a friend who is an LSO on a carrier attack group that is planning and staging a strike group deployment into the Gulf of Hormuz. (LSO: Landing Signal Officer- she directs carrier aircraft while landing) She told me we are going to attack Iran. She said that all the Air Operation Planning and Asset Tasking are finished. That means that all the targets have been chosen, prioritized, and tasked to specific aircraft, bases, carriers, missile cruisers and so forth.
I asked her why she is telling me this.
Her answer was really amazing.
She started in the Marines and after 8 years her term was up. She had served on a smaller Marine carrier, and found out through a friend knew there was an opening for a junior grade LSO in a training position on a supercarrier. She used the reference and the information and applied for a transfer to the United States Navy. Since she had experience landing F-18Cs and Cobra Gunships, and an unblemished combat record, she was ratcheted into the job, successfully changing from the Marines to the Navy. Her role is still aligned with the Marines since she generally is assigned to liason with the Marine units deploying off her carrier group.
Like most Marines and former Marines, she is largely apolitical. The fact is, most Marines are trigger pullers and most trigger pullers could care less who the President is. They simply want to be the tip of the sword when it comes to defending the country. She voted once in her life and otherwise was always in some forward post on the water during election season.
Something is wrong with the Navy and the Marines in her view. Always ready to go in harms way, Marines rarely ever question unless it's a matter of tactics or honor. But something seems awry. Junior and senior officers are starting to grumble, roll their eyes in the hallways. The strain of deployments is beginning to hit every jot and tittle of the Marines and it's beginning to seep into the daily conversation of Marines and Naval officers in command decision.
Maccabee's diary, part 2
"I know this will sound crazy coming from a Naval officer", she said. "But we're all just waiting for this administration to end. Things that happen at the senior officer level seem more and more to happen outside of the purview of XOs and other officers who typically have a say-so in daily combat and flight operations. Today, orders just come down from the mountaintop and there's no questioning. In fact, there is no discussing it. I have seen more than one senior commander disappear and then three weeks later we find out that he has been replaced. That's really weird. It's also really weird because everyone who has disappeared has questioned whether or not we should be staging a massive attack on Iran."
"We're not stupid. Most of the members of the fleet read well enough to know what is going on world-wise. We also realize that anyone who has any doubts is in danger of having a long military career yanked out from under them. Keep in mind that most of the people I serve with are happy to be a part of the global war on terror. It's just that the touch points are what we see since we are the ones out here who are supposedly implementing this grand strategy. But when you liason with administration officials who don't know that Iranians don't speak Arabic and have no idea what Iranians live like, then you start having second thoughts about whether these Administration officials are even competent."
I asked her about the attack, how limited and so forth.
"I don't think it's limited at all. We are shipping in and assigning every damn Tomahawk we have in inventory. I think this is going to be massive and sudden, like thousands of targets. I believe that no American will know when it happens until after it happens. And whatever the consequences, whatever the consequences, they will have to be lived with. I am sure if my father knew I was telling someone in a news organization that we were about to launch a supposedly secret attack that it would be treason. But something inside me tells me to tell it anyway."
Maccabee's diary, part 3
I asked her why she was suddenly so cynical.
"I have become cynical only recently. I also don't believe anyone will be able to stop this. Bush has become something of an Emperor. He will give the command, and cruise missiles will fly and aircraft will fly and people will die, and yet few of us here are really able to cobble together a great explanation of why this is a good idea. Of course many of us can give you the 4H Club lecture on democracy in the Mid East. But if you asked any of the flight officers whether they have a clear idea of what the goal of this strike is, your answer would sound like something out of a think tank policy paper. But it's not like Kosovo or when we relieved the tsunami victims. There everyone could tell you in a sentence what we were here doing."
"That's what's missing. A real sense of purpose. What's missing is the answer to what the hell are we doing out here threatening this country with all this power? Last night in the galley, an ensign asked what right do we have to tell a sovereign nation that they can't build a nuke. I mean the table got EF Hutton quiet. Not so much because the man was asking a question that was off culture. But that he was asking a good question. In fact, the discussion actually followed afterwards topside where someone in our group had to smoke a cigarette. The discussion was intelligent but also in lowered voices. It's like we aren't allowed to ask the questions that we always ask before combat. It's almost as if the average seaman or soldier is doing all the policy work."
She had to hang up. She left by telling me that she believes the attack is a done deal. "It's only a matter of time before their orders come and they will be sent to station and told to go to Red Alert. She said they were already practicing traps, FARP and FAST." (Trapping is the act of catching the tension wires when landing on the carrier, FARP is Fleet Air Combat Maneuvering Readiness Program- practice dogfighting- and FAST is Fleet Air Superiority Training).
She seemed lost. The first time in my life I have ever heard her sound off rhythm, or unsure of why she is doing something. She knows that there is something rotten in the Naval Command and she, like many of her associates are just hoping that the election brings in someone new, some new situation, or something.
"Yes. We're go[i]ng to hit Iran, bigtime. Whatever political discussion that are going in is window dressing and perhaps even a red herring. I see what's going on below deck here in the hangars and weapons bays. And I have a sick feeling about how it's all going to turn out."
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