Using Water As A Weapon Of War

Herschel Smith · 03 Aug 2014 · 9 Comments

Next City: In a war, anything can be a weapon. In a particularly ruthless war, such as the conflict that has been raging in Syria for more than three years, those weapons are often turned against civilians, making any semblance of normal life impossible. Such is the case, experts say, with the way the nation’s water supply is being manipulated to inflict suffering on the population. According to an article posted by Chatham House, a London-based independent policy institute, water…… [read more]

Hezbollah Attacks Australia

BY Herschel Smith
8 years ago

Our friend Mike at Cop the Truth sent me an interesting (but not surprising) link from the Herald Sun in Australia.

An Iran-based web site run by Hezbollah has run this picture of Hezbollah rockets allegedly hitting an Israeli ship last month.

 

  

Examine the features of the blast.  Now look at this picture below, of the intentional sinking of the Australian destroyer-escort HMAS Torrens in 1998 upon being retired and decommissioned:

 

  

Right click on the picture and notice the link URL.  It is from Defense Industry Daily.  Examine the features of the explosion in this frame and compare it with the frame above.

The real question is how anyone who views the Hezbollah web site could be so stupid as to believe that this was a picture of the Israeli ship.

The picture is obviously taken from the air (i.e., a helicopter) based on the oblique angle.  And it cannot have been taken from much more than about 1 km away.  So in order to believe that this was the Israeli ship, someone would have to believe that either:

  1. Israel has a helicopter in the air that day taking time lapse photograpy, and then decided to release this picture to the press showing its failure to protect its ship, or
  2. Hezbollah now has an air force and it made it to within 1 km of an Israeli war ship without being molested; the occupants of the aircraft knew when the Hezbollah missile was launched, and took time-lapse, fast shutter speed photography at the time of the missile impact.

The Herald Sun reported that since its publication of these pictures, the Hezbollah web site had removed its post.

Not so.  At the time of this post on the Captain’s Journal, the Hezbollah web site still has this post online.

I just can’t figure out who the clowns are: Hezbollah or their followers.

GIs Attack Militants in Ramadi Mosque

BY Herschel Smith
8 years ago

From the AP (courtesy of Military.com):

BAGHDAD, Iraq – U.S. forces fired tank rounds at a mosque in the restive city of Ramadi Friday and exchanged heavy fire with militants inside, the U.S. command said, as Iraqis looted a base in the south after it was vacated by British troops.

One U.S. soldier was lightly wounded and three people were reportedly killed inside the mosque, while five people were killed elsewhere in Iraq in a relatively peaceful day in the country wracked by sectarian and Sunni insurgency violence.

Militants inside the Al Qadir Al Kilami mosque fired small arms, machine guns and rocket propelled grenades at U.S. forces, a statement by the U.S. command said. They also hurled hand grenades and a bomb, it said.

American soldiers returned fire at first, and finally unleashed several rounds from M1 tanks into the mosque, said the statement. “The mosque suffered serious structural damage to the dome and minaret,” it said.

It said the attack occurred at about 12.30 p.m., a little before Friday prayers were due to start. It was not known if any worshippers were already inside.

Permit me what may seem a rather pedestrian comment (since I am not in Iraq and do not have a sense of the Iraqi population or the various exigencies of the battles now being fought).  The U.S. has long shown deference to the various religious holidays (e.g., if you will recall, we have even ceased hostilities during Ramadan) and locales (we have avoided firing upon Mosques, even to the point of allowing al Sadr to hole up in a Mosque when he was initially being hunted during Paul Bremer’s watch).

I thought then, and will think in the future, that this was and is, respectively, the wrong strategy, and that it sends the wrong message.  We endeavored to be liked, when we should have endeavored to be respected.  Each and every time we have tried to be kind, compasionate and respectful, we have been taken advantage of and looked the weaker for it.

If from the beginning we had dropped leaflets informing the Iraqi citizens that upon receiving fire from a Mosque the U.S. forces would return fire ten-fold regardless of whether there were worshippers in the Mosque, my bet is that even if they did not believe us the first time it happened, if we had been true to our words, they would have believed us the second time.  More to the point, my bet is that there wouldn’t have been a second time.

What do you think Patton would have said if the Germans had holed up in a church?  God, please give us another General Patton.  No, correction: Give us ten more.  And hurry.

Does this help explain Jihad a little better?

BY Herschel Smith
8 years ago

With all of the silly and dangerous definitions of Islamic Jihad out there (e.g., a “peaceful internal striving,” etc.), it is good to see moral clarity and precision.  Michelle Malkin has a great piece today on the case of Lina Joy, in which she converted to Christianity from Islam, and wants to marry a Christian man.  She is now facing death threats (as is her lawyer), and the case has gone to the highest court in Malaysia.  But apparently the civil courts routinely refer cases to the Islamic court, and:

While the Quran states there should be “no compunction” in religion, Islamic authorities world-wide consider apostasy both a sin and a crime. In Malaysia, Islamic courts can sentence apostates to “rehabilitation” in prison-like re-education centers that sometimes use caning as part of their program. 

Sounds nice, doesn’t it?  Rather like the Gulags? 

Continuing, we learn why Islam refuses to allow people to leave the faith:

“If Islam were to grant permission for Muslims to change religion at will, it would imply it has no dignity, no self-esteem,” said Wan Azhar Wan Ahmad, senior fellow at Malaysia’s Institute of Islamic Understanding.

“And people may then question its completeness, truthfulness and perfection.

There you have it.  These are some of the major differences (there are so many to choose from) between Christianity and Islam.  Christianity believes that God changes hearts and minds, not man.  Islam believes that caning can assist in “rehabilitation” in matters of religion.  Christianity welcomes a battle of ideas, confident in the victory of its world view if people will only be logical and if God chooses to change hearts and minds.  Islam tethers its self-worth to what man thinks.

Folks, these are critical differences.  This is why Christianity will not shoot others in the name of God, and why Islam believes that it is acceptable to spread Islam by the power of the “sword.”  It is because in Islam, man is doing the work rather than God.  If you believe that it is by your efforts that man is saved, then why wouldn’t you use all means at your disposal to spread your salvation?

This helps explain Jihad.  It makes perfect sense; it is the seed of violence within Islam.  All attempts to explain it away fail.

[And please, do not send me any moronic e-mails about Eric Rudolph or Timothy McVeigh.  Neither one carried out their actions because of religious motivation.  Rudolph was a white supremicist, while McVeigh didn't very much like Ruby Ridge or the U.S. government.]

Marines Getting all Funding Needed? Really?

BY Herschel Smith
8 years ago

On the heels of the report by the Center for American Progress that I posted on (Marine Corps Equipment & Dollars), we see this from North County Times:

The chairman of the House Armed Service Committee said Wednesday there has been no shortfall in money for Marine Corps combat-readiness and equipment needs as was suggested in new report from the liberal Washington think tank, the Center for American Progress.

U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-El Cajon, said the Marine Corps and the Army are getting all the money the two service branches need and have asked for to repair and replace aging equipment and aircraft. 

“We are funding every dime that the Marine Corps and Army have identified as being needed and we are adding more money than they have asked for,” Hunter said in a telephone interview before a press conference he conducted on the subject in San Diego.

The think tank’s report, released Wednesday, said the Marine Corps had lost 3,500 pieces of ground equipment and 27 helicopters in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in March 2003.

The report said that providing the service with the ground and aviation equipment and restoring those elements to their pre-war level will cost $12 billion as well as an additional $5 billion for each year the U.S. remains in Iraq.

“Because Marine Corps equipment needs have been neglected in the past and the Iraq campaign has proved more protracted than anticipated, stresses are beginning to appear in the service’s capacity to supply its troops with the best war-fighting tools available,” said Larry Korb, co-author of the report and a senior fellow at the center, which bills itself as a nonpartisan research and educational institute.

The report says that war planners did not anticipate a lengthy stay in Iraq, nor the losses of equipment incurred in combat actions.

“Like the strain on its personnel, the Marines’ inventory of equipment exhibits increasing signs of wear and tear,” the report says. “This stress is already eroding the readiness of units outside Iraq and could eventually impede operations within Iraq.”

Hunter said that during classified and public hearings with Marine and Army officials before the House Armed Services Committee earlier this year, the services told lawmakers of their specific equipment needs.

Of the $11.7 billion the Marine Corps said in January that it needed, Congress responded a short time later by allocating $5.1 billion. The remainder of that money and some additional funds is in a 2007 defense appropriations bill now in negotiations between the House and Senate, with resolution expected soon, Hunter said.

In addition, Hunter said he and Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., have agreed to add $20 billion to an existing $50 billion “bridge” fund established two years ago for the services to draw from to meet immediate equipment needs, the congressman said.

“We have made sure that we won’t run short of the money for equipment that is needed in the war-fighting theater,” Hunter said, adding that funding bills are continually being adjusted as new needs arise.

Similar steps have been taken to assure that the Army has all the money it needs to maintain and replace equipment, Hunter said.

“While the priorities of our military are numerous and constantly changing to meet the challenges of the war on terror, we will continue responding without hesitation to the most immediate needs of the war fighter,” Hunter said.

In an interview with the North County Times on Monday, Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis, the new commanding general at Camp Pendleton, said he is confident that Congress will appropriate the money needed for new armored personnel carriers, aircraft and other major components used to move and protect Marine forces.

“We have to keep pace because this is going to be a long fight,” Mattis said.

Psssst … listen a minute.  Here’s how it works.  The Marines are a little bit scared (well, scared might be the wrong work to use about a Marine).  They are (rightfully) concerned that if you give them more money, then you might just go messin’ with their stuff, meddling in their affairs, and picking apart what they do and how they do it.  After all, Washington has a history in these things, do they not?

Representative Hunter, if you and your colleagues will promise to be wise and circumspect about what you ask them about what they do and how and why they do it, and promise not to meddle too much in their affairs, the Marines would likely be a little more forthcoming to you about what their true needs are.  Just don’t get too nosey.  The Marines don’t like it, and for good reason.

I am sure that the brass could tell you stories until you were tired about their aircraft, troop transports, other aging equipment, and the need to increase salaries (go take a look at the pathetic salaries in the E1, E2 and E3 ranks).  I will leave the heavy lifting to the brass.  Let me mention one thing to you.  Body armor.

I posted some time back on “Heavy Battlefield Weight,” in which I cited reports that showed that the heavy body armor weight not only decreased agility in combat, but was so heavy that some Marines were actually opting to leave it behind when they went into combat in Iraq.

I also posted on “Thermobaric Weapons and Body Armor,” in which it was shown that more research is needed to design lightweight, state-of-the-art body armor that is effective not only against ballistics, but air-fuel weapons as well.

If the brass didn’t tell you these things, then they weren’t being completely forthcoming.

So I told you.

There.  That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Flotsam and Jetsam

BY Herschel Smith
8 years ago

Concerning my post “The Decision has no Teeth,” someone named WW writes:

When did you begin hating your own country and everything it ever stood for, anyway?

Concerning my post “Fight them there or fight them here: Get it?” WW opines:

The “fight them there or fight them here? slogan is a lie. Iraq never had anything to do with 9/11. Even your lying Fuhrer now admits it.

I get all comments via e-mail, so I am filing this under “Hate Mail.”  Besides, I want to populate this category.  How am I doing?  I have flagged these comments as spam, not because I didn’t want people to see them; in fact, I am giving these comments prime billing by posting on them.  I flagged them as spam because I am a small blog, and if you look over to the right, there is a list of recent comments.  I want meaningful comments there rather than flotsam and jetsam.

In response, WW gets the prize for the most profoundly irrelevant comment on any post in the total of 140 comments received since we started up a couple of months ago.  The post concerned the SCOTUS decision to treat enemies like citizens, a decision that was a first in the history of mankind.  I advocated letting them rot in prison, a sensible approach to sensible people.  But not to WW.  I suppose that he would advocate the SCOTUS approach.  Now WW, who is the America-hater?  The one who wants to kill our enemies or the one who wants to treat them as citizens?

Concerning the second comment … oh brother, this is so embarrassing.  I have to change my mind right in the middle of a post.  Now I think this comment is the most irrelevant in the 140 received since we started up.  Your previous comment only comes in a distant second place.  This one was more stupid than the last one.  No offense, WW.  Really.

I do not know who a Fuhrer is and I have none of which I am aware.  I do not know anything about who has admitted to what in the world that you live in, but still, it is all profoundly irrelevant, since the post did not mention 9/11 and had nothing to do with it.

WW, you have studiously avoided study, and would do better to read the post before you comment.

But thank you for the hate mail.  It helps me to populate the “Hate Mail” category, and as my faithful readers (all one or two of them) know, I am trying to compete with Michael Fumento.  How am I doing?

Okay, okay.  So I have a long way to go!  So what?

Israel now Considers Missile Defense System

BY Herschel Smith
8 years ago

I posted a while back on the fact that I thought that Israel should have invested in THEL (Tactical High Energy Laser) to help against the Katyusha rockets coming across the border.  From Haaretz:

Contrary to the approach of his predecessors, Defense Minister Amir Peretz believes it is of the “utmost strategic importance” for Israel to “come up with an effective solution as soon as possible” to the threat of Katyusha rockets and missiles. Peretz thus appears to be shaping a new security doctrine before the defense establishment has talked about the matter in depth.

Peretz plans to convene a discussion on the matter in the coming days.

Even without the minister’s determination in this regard, senior defense establishment officials agree on one immediate conclusion from the recent conflict in Lebanon: Israel must press ahead quickly with initiatives to protect the home front against high-trajectory weapons – missiles of various kinds, including Katyusha and Qassam rockets.

But even now, the concept has its detractors:

“As a researcher, I believe that the entire notion of developing means to intercept Katyushas or Qassams is superfluous,” says Yiftah Shapir of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University.

According to Shapir, a former Israel Air Force intelligence officer, “A Katyusha is in fact an artillery shell, and no one talks about the need to develop means to intercept shells. … With the existing technology, it is difficult to deal with tens of thousands of Katyushas or Qassams or shells. There’s no end to it, and it is not economically worthwhile.”

Well, perhaps.

But it seems to me that the smartest approach is a defense-in-depth concept of security.  Assuming that the money is available — and this is a big assumption — Israel should invest in and deploy a THEL defense system, in addition to working towards the disarming and relocation of Hezbollah.  If the resources are available, it should not be a matter of either-or.  It should be both-and.

Marine Corps Equipment & Dollars

BY Herschel Smith
8 years ago

The Center for American Progress has this study in “Marine Corps Equipment After Iraq:”

The United States has understandably focused on the tremendous human costs of the war in Iraq, yet there are other costs that must be addressed as well. Earlier this year the Center for American Progress and the Lexington Institute compiled a report examining the impact of the war in Iraq on Army equipment. This report does the same for the Marine Corps, the other service that has borne the brunt of the occupation.

Over the past three years the Marine Corps has maintained 40 percent of its ground equipment, 50 percent of its communications equipment, and 20 percent of its aviation assets in Iraq. This equipment is used at as much as nine times its planned rate, abused by a harsh environment, and depleted due to losses in combat. To maintain acceptable readiness levels, the Marines have been taking equipment from non-deployed units and drawing down Maritime Prepositioned stocks, including equipment stored in Europe, thus limiting their ability to respond to contingencies outside of Iraq.

Resetting and recovering the force will be expensive. The cost of restoring the Marines’ ground and aviation equipment to its pre-Iraq level, as of the summer of 2006, will require $12 billion plus an additional $5 billion for each year the Marines remain in Iraq.

Recovery will also not be easy. The Marine Corps, like the Army, must incorporate the lessons of Iraq into its future procurement plans while upgrading its forces. The Marines may prefer expeditionary operations to acting as an occupying force, but urban counter-insurgency and peacekeeping operations will more likely be the rule rather than the exception in the future.

Read all of the report at the link I supplied above, including near term and long term recommendations.  I have a few observations of my own to make.

First observation: I believe that we should more radically re-evaluate our deployments around the globe than even Rumsfeld has advocated.  Our NATO presence should be reduced, our bases in Germany should be cut or closed altogether, and our forces moved to the locales in the world where they need to be in order to engage in this 25-year war on radical Islamic facism that we are just now beginning.  Look folks: the cold war is over, and we need to deal with it immediately and radically, not as if we are slow and stolid and dense.  So it doesn’t bother me too much that we are depleting the equipment that would otherwise be used in Europe, for example.  But I seriously doubt that this comprises a large portion of the deployed equipment or Marines, so this might be a moot point.  Either way, Europe is the last thing that should be on our minds right now.

Second, as you might be able to tell from my posts, there are things that I wish I could tell you about Marine training and indoctrination, but cannot because it would get my son into trouble.  They are very clear that the men are not supposed to speak to those outside the “family” of Marines about what they experience.  I have suggested two books in my earlier post: “Making the Corps” and “Into the Crucible.”  I would also suggest a movie: Full Metal Jacket, a sort of cult classic (my son Daniel recommends it).  Note: Get the movie and watch it, but don’t believe everything you read in the Wikipedia link I gave you just now.  Full Metal Jacket begins to tell you what boot camp is like, but still doesn’t do the job.  It just doesn’t.

I have given you hints with the 20 mile humps with 40 lbm of body armor and 100 lbm backpacks, trying to sleep with artillery shooting, pulling leeches off of each other after waking, going two or more days without eating or sleeping, etc., etc.  But these are still just hints.  How the Marines make emotionally, physically and mentally hard men is a story that has not really been told yet, and will not be told by me.  The secrets of Parris Island are haunting and will remain with the boys who have been there.  As one who has only heard these stories, I cannot tell them with honesty.  I think its one of those things where you had to be there.

Where am I going with this?  Just this.  American wants the Marines.  American needs the Marines.  Just trust me on this.  So the thought of a funding cut (or even failure to grant a funding increase) is just not on the radar screen.  Note to Congress: Grant the Corps what they requestThey will request less than they actually need.  That’s the way they are.

Third: The saying goes “The Marines go in first, the Army gets all the equipment and gets to clean up.”  I know, I know, the Marines relish austere conditions, hardship, going without, and having less than you need.  And I know, one reason for this is the feeling that if you actually get funded, you might have to compromise your standards and become like … well, someone or something else.  You need to get past this … sort of.

Listen.  You are the President’s own, you do battle when he says so, and sometimes without the approval of much of the American people or Congress, into strange lands and without clear mandates or charges.  You are accustomed to murky goals and hard conditions, and you have to train your people that way.  But … you need to play the politics of funding in order to get the equipment you need to do the job, right up to the point of compromising and becoming politically correct.

This you will not do.  I know.  But more funding is the order of the day.  You deserve a larger portion of the pie, and unless you are willing to step forward and say so, you will continue to go without, to the detriment of your boys and your mission.

Marine Corps Equipment & Dollars

BY Herschel Smith
8 years ago

The Center for American Progress has this study in “Marine Corps Equipment After Iraq:”

The United States has understandably focused on the tremendous human costs of the war in Iraq, yet there are other costs that must be addressed as well. Earlier this year the Center for American Progress and the Lexington Institute compiled a report examining the impact of the war in Iraq on Army equipment. This report does the same for the Marine Corps, the other service that has borne the brunt of the occupation.

Over the past three years the Marine Corps has maintained 40 percent of its ground equipment, 50 percent of its communications equipment, and 20 percent of its aviation assets in Iraq. This equipment is used at as much as nine times its planned rate, abused by a harsh environment, and depleted due to losses in combat. To maintain acceptable readiness levels, the Marines have been taking equipment from non-deployed units and drawing down Maritime Prepositioned stocks, including equipment stored in Europe, thus limiting their ability to respond to contingencies outside of Iraq.

Resetting and recovering the force will be expensive. The cost of restoring the Marines’ ground and aviation equipment to its pre-Iraq level, as of the summer of 2006, will require $12 billion plus an additional $5 billion for each year the Marines remain in Iraq.

Recovery will also not be easy. The Marine Corps, like the Army, must incorporate the lessons of Iraq into its future procurement plans while upgrading its forces. The Marines may prefer expeditionary operations to acting as an occupying force, but urban counter-insurgency and peacekeeping operations will more likely be the rule rather than the exception in the future.

Read all of the report at the link I supplied above, including near term and long term recommendations.  I have a few observations of my own to make.

First observation: I believe that we should more radically re-evaluate our deployments around the globe than even Rumsfeld has advocated.  Our NATO presence should be reduced, our bases in Germany should be cut or closed altogether, and our forces moved to the locales in the world where they need to be in order to engage in this 25-year war on radical Islamic facism that we are just now beginning.  Look folks: the cold war is over, and we need to deal with it immediately and radically, not as if we are slow and stolid and dense.  So it doesn’t bother me too much that we are depleting the equipment that would otherwise be used in Europe, for example.  But I seriously doubt that this comprises a large portion of the deployed equipment or Marines, so this might be a moot point.  Either way, Europe is the last thing that should be on our minds right now.

Second, as you might be able to tell from my posts, there are things that I wish I could tell you about Marine training and indoctrination, but cannot because it would get my son into trouble.  They are very clear that the men are not supposed to speak to those outside the “family” of Marines about what they experience.  I have suggested two books in my earlier post: “Making the Corps” and “Into the Crucible.”  I would also suggest a movie: Full Metal Jacket, a sort of cult classic (my son Daniel recommends it).  Note: Get the movie and watch it, but don’t believe everything you read in the Wikipedia link I gave you just now.  Full Metal Jacket begins to tell you what boot camp is like, but still doesn’t do the job.  It just doesn’t.

I have given you hints with the 20 mile humps with 40 lbm of body armor and 100 lbm backpacks, trying to sleep with artillery shooting, pulling leeches off of each other after waking, going two or more days without eating or sleeping, etc., etc.  But these are still just hints.  How the Marines make emotionally, physically and mentally hard men is a story that has not really been told yet, and will not be told by me.  The secrets of Parris Island are haunting and will remain with the boys who have been there.  As one who has only heard these stories, I cannot tell them with honesty.  I think its one of those things where you had to be there.

Where am I going with this?  Just this.  American wants the Marines.  American needs the Marines.  Just trust me on this.  So the thought of a funding cut (or even failure to grant a funding increase) is just not on the radar screen.  Note to Congress: Grant the Corps what they requestThey will request less than they actually need.  That’s the way they are.

Third: The saying goes “The Marines go in first, the Army gets all the equipment and gets to clean up.”  I know, I know, the Marines relish austere conditions, hardship, going without, and having less than you need.  And I know, one reason for this is the feeling that if you actually get funded, you might have to compromise your standards and become like … well, someone or something else.  You need to get past this … sort of.

Listen.  You are the President’s own, you do battle when he says so, and sometimes without the approval of much of the American people or Congress, into strange lands and without clear mandates or charges.  You are accustomed to murky goals and hard conditions, and you have to train your people that way.  But … you need to play the politics of funding in order to get the equipment you need to do the job, right up to the point of compromising and becoming politically correct.

This you will not do.  I know.  But more funding is the order of the day.  You deserve a larger portion of the pie, and unless you are willing to step forward and say so, you will continue to go without, to the detriment of your boys and your mission.

Iran Double-Speaks: World Believes

BY Herschel Smith
8 years ago

Commentary from Ynet:

Professor David Menashri, head of the center for Iranian studies at Tel Aviv University, tried to explain in an interview to ynet what the Iranians really mean when they say they are “interested in entering a dialog.”

It appears that no one really believed that Iran’s response to the package of “unspecified incentives,” in exchange for suspending uranium enrichment would be positive.

The only potent question was how would the Iranian “nay” be said – would it be vague or clear. Iran’s goal to gain as much time as it can for its nuclear ambitions and to avoid international sanctions as much as possible, is clearly evident.

According to Prof. Menashri “it would have been quite unlikely for the Iranians to have provided a clear ‘yes’ but instead it was obvious they would give a vague answer. As is typical of the Iranians, they close the door but at the same time they open a window.

They say the package is ‘a good basis for continuing dialog’ and they try to discuss trivial matters rather than the core issues, and this was definitely not the intention when the proposal was offered. 

Of course.  But here is the really interesting thing.  I predicted that there would be calls to “dialogue” and “negotiate” with Iran.  Indeed there have been.  And does the world believe that the U.S. has the will finally to confront Iran, or does the world believe that the U.S. will buckle under the collective weight of international pressure?

Well, the price of oil dropped today upon news of a slight rise in the U.S. oil and gas supply.  Prices would not be dropping if the commodities brokers and traders believed that the U.S. was going to finally deal a blow to Iran.  They are betting on the U.S. “negotiating” with Iran, and this is a big time bet.  This is no poker game at the local yokel hardware store.  These are oil traders — who have a lot of money — and whose livelihood depends upon being right.

In other news about the Iranian intentions, Thetrumpet.com reports that:

In yet another sign of Iran’s far-reaching ambitions, an Iranian general recently revealed a plan to form a global axis of major powers against the United States.

In a meeting with the leaders of the Basij militia in Tehran on May 9, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi said, “China, Russia, India and Iran are capable of establishing a pole of major powers in Asia, opposing the policies of America? (WorldTribune.com, May 26). He spoke of Iran playing a role in uniting these countries in an alliance that would produce a “face-to-face clash with the global arrogance? embodied by the U.S.

Safavi revealed Iran’s efforts to recruit other countries into this coalition, including Venezuela, another leading energy producer that is increasingly becoming a thorn in Washington’s side.

As bigheaded as these comments may sound to Western ears, they fairly represent the developing reality of the world today. China, Russia and India have all remained staunchly supportive of Iran in spite of Western furor over Iran’s nuclear program. China’s and Russia’s status as permanent members of the UN Security Council guarantee the UN’s worthlessness as an organ in effectively dealing with Iran.

Safavi made the case for how strong, even indispensable, Iran has become in the world today. “In the last 27 years,? he said—referring to the period since the 1979 Iranian Revolution—“the Islamic Republic of Iran has always been at the center point of the political, economic and even military confrontations of the West, and at the present, Islamic Iran enjoys the role of a geopolitical heavyweight in the region.?

Uncomfortable as it may be, those statements are hard to dispute.

Cop the Truth also points out another bet taking place.  Iran is betting the store that the U.S. will not act.

The Marines Got Here First

BY Herschel Smith
8 years ago

From deseretnews.com, another example of Marines fighting for truth, justice and the American way:

A man who had just been released from jail was sent right back Monday after police say he picked the wrong store to attempt a robbery. 

The 30-year-old man was in line at a 7-Eleven, 2175 E. 9400 South, just before 8 p.m. When he got to the counter he asked the female clerk for a carton of cigarettes, said Sandy Police Sgt. Victor Quezada. But after he received them he walked out without paying, Quezada said.

The clerk told another female clerk who followed him outside the doors and told him to stop.

Instead, the man turned around and punched the clerk in the face, Quezada said.

James Sjostrom was standing in line right behind the man who took the cigarettes and saw the entire thing unfold.

“He just turned and clocked her,” Sjostrom said. “He pounded her face. It was pretty vicious.”

That’s when Sjostrom went after the man who assaulted the store clerk.

As he went outside, Sjostrom said he saw the man standing over the clerk, who was kneeling over on the ground, as if he were going to punch her again. When the man saw Sjostrom coming at him, he took a swing at him, too.

But the attacker quickly found out he was no match for the bulky Sjostrom.

Sjostrom is a former Marine who taught hand-to-hand combat and currently teaches a course on Russian kettlebells, or the martial art of strength training, at the Sports Mall in Murray.

“I grabbed him, threw him on the ground, put his hands behind his back, sat on him and waited for the cops to come,” Sjostrom said.

In just a matter of a few seconds Sjostrom had the man pinned. When the man realized he had no chance, Sjostrom said he became “pretty quiet.”

“Anybody would have done the same thing,” he said. “Another guy in the store said he was in the Army and asked if I needed any help.”

With a grin, Sjostrom replied to the man, “The Marines got here first.”

This isn’t the first, and will not be the last time that a Marine defends himself or others.


26th MEU (10)
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