Posts by BeauBo

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  • US continues airstrikes in Tikrit despite involvement of Iranian-backed Shiite militias

    03/29/2015 8:55:10 AM PDT · 14 of 14
    BeauBo to stylin19a

    Iran still wants their folks to go in and wipe out the opposition. They are clear in their eventual goal to establish a Shii’te dictatorship that is allied with Iran.

    They want to win over the Shi’ite population by being their saviors and champions, and shape the future by killing, impoverishing, and ethnically cleansing their likely opponents.

    The US s trying to keep Iraq together, so that the groups keep each other in balance - Keep the Kurds in, don’t let Sunnis and Shia massacre each other, etc. Despite the tensions and the agitators, Iraqis still have a strong patriotic sense of themselves as Iraqis - even many Kurds, but desire for independence is most popular among Kurds.

    Even if (as seems clear) the Obama administration at the high levels is collaborating with Iran and making secret deals, the bureaucracy of the Defense Department and Department of State continue to work with longstanding policies and relationships in the area, as well as the fundamental opposition of vision and interests (i.e. reality).

    Lots of reporting out there, that there will be a deal unveiled with Iran between now and Tuesday, that gives away the store - lifts sanctions, Iran keeps all its nuclear and ICBM gear and facilities, without inspections. The only thing worse would be for the US to start paying for their program and send technical experts to help. So that is no doubt a big factor in what is going on.

    The reaction in the region is intense, with war spreading and more countries in the region mobilizing.

  • Thrift Store Shopper Finds Loaded Gun Inside Used Golf Bag

    03/29/2015 8:26:03 AM PDT · 6 of 63
    BeauBo to rktman

    Who knew Arizona golf courses were so rough?

  • Saudi Deploys 100 Fighter Jets, 150,000 Soldiers for Anti-Houthi Campaign (Yemen)

    03/28/2015 10:20:18 PM PDT · 140 of 148
    BeauBo to SunkenCiv

    I agree that China has some serious structural weaknesses, and I think that they have had their big run.

    Some of their bad practices are catching up to them, and the main things that propelled them seem to be running out, or in danger of reversing (e.g. they are not the low cost labor providers any more, and new money is going elsewhere to set up new business).

    One big difference between them and the Soviet Union, is that the Soviets (like the Russians today) were hugely dependent on oil for the lion’s share of their economy and income. Many have pointed to the collapse in oil prices as the shot that finally killed the ailing Soviet Union.

    Although China is extraordinarily dependent on export of manufactured goods (and import of raw materials and oil) as you point out, they are also exceptionally dependent on infrastructure investment. To keep high economic growth numbers, the government there has pumped out stimulus after stimulus for “shovel ready” jobs.

    They have been building roads, bridges and tunnels like never before in the world. Whole cities have been built, that no one seems interested in occupying. These “ghost cities”, and their “zombie factories”, also propped up with gov’t stimulus past the point where their business case had died, has produced a mountain of debt, secured by assets that are often decaying away without producing a return. That debt will have be written off at some point.

    In addition to malinvestment in projects that will never pay themselves off, these programs were rife with corruption and outright theft, which funded a diaspora of low-level Party functionaries fleeing the country with their families and new fortunes. The California real estate market is booming, driven by Chinese paying cash.

    The Federal Gov’t in China just put restrictions on local governments to prevent them from issueing new debt for most types of this “stimulus” (i.e., no new project starts). Just these restrictions on local governments, are estimated to take 4% off of GDP, starting to hit this month.

    It is interesting to see the timeframes that you pointed out, for the life of the Soviet Union, and that of Communist China. Even though many factors seem different, maybe there are some underlying commonalities, like the rate of corrosion - how long does absolute power take to corrupt a system absolutely? Maybe it is human lifespan - how long until the skills and spirit to really get things done dies out of the workforce?

  • U.S. Begins Airstrikes in Support of Effort to Liberate Tikrit From Islamic State

    03/28/2015 9:31:40 PM PDT · 35 of 35
    BeauBo to KC Burke
    The Iranian led militias reportedly have over 20,000 men - light infantry - with some Iranian soldiers firing some artillery and flying some helicopters for them. The Americans required them to be pulled back out of contact with ISIS during the bombing - which prevents them from getting accidentally killed, or committing a bunch of war crimes on the Sunnis and their houses.

    They had huge press in Iraq when they convoyed up from Baghdad and Samarra with flags flying and everyone twitting and posting. They attacked on 2 March, and got bogged down into a high casualty stalemate. There has been a lot of press about them pulling back for the Americans to show them how its done.

    Here is Internet media hog, Abu Azrael, who posts online as frequently as a Kardashian:

    He has been a big inspiration to the popular mobilization units (militias), and the Shia public.

    The Iraqi Army and paramilitary Federal Police have a few thousand each - but much better armed and trained - supported with very heavy air attacks, including the bunker busters which can defeat the fortress-like old palaces of Saddam, where ISIS has been safe until now. All the regular Army guys need to do is identify ISIS positions and call them in, then report how well they blew up. They can wait until the door is blown open and unguarded before advancing.

    Three nights will be pretty good, but a week of this will be very good for them. It is dawn in Tikrit now, after the fourth night. There were reports that the Army was probing more heavily on Saturday. The initial target sets have probably all been hit by now, so they are probably trying to provoke ISIS into firing, so they can see where to drop the next bomb.

    ISIS is reported to have from 100 to 800 hundred survivors, but consensus seems to be more like 200-400, or even less. They are probably losing a few dozen per day, with injuries mounting and guys getting punchy from explosions nearby, lack of sleep, and seeing all the gore and death close in on them. No surprise what is coming for them - they are trapped.

  • The Real Reason Harry Reid is Retiring

    03/28/2015 8:09:27 PM PDT · 20 of 20
    BeauBo to CommerceComet

    “Prosecutions for felonies can proceed whether Reid is in office or not.”

    He won’t put the Democrat seat in jeopardy, if he is not in it. Nevada has a Republican Governor who would appoint the replacement if Reid is convicted. So the mob bosses, I mean the Party bosses may have a say in the decision as well.

    Once he is out of office, the pubs are even less likely to pursue him, with little to gain beyond just reestablishing the rule of law. Where is the payout for that?

    Maybe a Ted Cruz administration would prosecute on principle.

  • Al-Qaida in Syria Seizes Large Parts of Northern City

    03/28/2015 3:16:44 PM PDT · 10 of 10
    BeauBo to BlackVeil

    This may also have been part of the very bad week that Iran had.

    The Americans shunted aside their militias in Tikrit and took over the battle.

    The Saudis launched against the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, with a pack of other countries, including Egypt firing warning shots at Iranian vessels.

    On the Turkish front, the Iranian-backed Assad Regime got torn a new one.

    Maybe its that spry new Saudi King hitting the ground running.

  • US continues airstrikes in Tikrit despite involvement of Iranian-backed Shiite militias

    03/28/2015 3:03:05 PM PDT · 8 of 14
    BeauBo to stylin19a

    “the militia’s themselves said they would no longer engage, if there were US air strikes.”

    That was just political posturing.

    They could not blast ISIS out of Saddam’s fortified palaces, so American firepower was needed.

    The Americans didn’t want participate in an operation which includes major war crimes, as part of the plan, or set a precedent for sectarian violence, so they required the militias to back off, “to avoid fratricide”.

    The Iranians and their special group militias have been systematically purging and ethnically cleansing areas as they advanced. Tikrit is the Motherlode for them - home to the elites of the Ba’ath Party, and some of the wealthiest and most powerful Sunnis. One of Iran’s main war aims is to massacre their Iraqi domestic opponents, and to consolidate areas where they totally dominate - like the they made the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, for their Hizbullah militia. Diyala Province has kind of become that for the Badr Brigades. The Iranians and their special groups have long lists of names and addresses in Tikrit to kill and burn out.

    So the American plan was for the Iranian backed militias to be held out, while the national Army and Police secure the victory, and get the credit with the public. The militia leader just said that they had decided not to participate, so it did not look like they failed, or were not in charge. Sour grapes.

    The militias did not convoy back to Baghdad and disperse though, they are sitting close by, ready to pounce after the bombing has done its work. If they ravage the Sunni population, then the Sunni civilians of Mosul will know that they have little choice but to fight till the death in the upcoming Battle of Mosul, which will be the main event, for what I call The Summer of Death.

  • Al-Qaida in Syria Seizes Large Parts of Northern City

    03/28/2015 2:35:23 PM PDT · 9 of 10
    BeauBo to BlackVeil
    Apparently, this al Queda affiliate made good use of American TOW missiles, supplied to the "moderate" opposition.

  • U.S. Begins Airstrikes in Support of Effort to Liberate Tikrit From Islamic State

    03/28/2015 2:18:58 PM PDT · 32 of 35
    BeauBo to Cedar; caww; PGalt

    The NY Times reporting on the battle in Tikrit today, said
    that:

    “large explosions rattled the windows of the Salahuddin Operations Command building as bombs dropped by unseen aircraft from the coalition brought satisfied smiles from the assembled military men.”

    and also:

    “the American-led coalition began bombing on Wednesday, with explosions heard in the city as often as twice a minute at night... “There is a plan, and we are going as planned,” said Lt. Gen. Riyadh Jalal Tawfiq, the commander of Iraqi Army ground forces.””

    Apparently, Saddam’s palace complex in Tikrit is not only strong enough to withstand Iranian rockets and common artillery, it is also connected by a series of tunnels, which has allowed ISIS to shift around, protected and undetected. America has bunker busters able to destroy both the palaces and tunnels - and knows them well, after having had troops stationed in them for years.

    So I would expect that a command center run by Americans has those Jihadis under constant observation and electornic monitoring. And that they have a deliberate plan to take them apart in steps - denying them mobility, attacking their command and control, destroying their food, water, sewage, ammo, vehicles, electricity - perhaps even their air in some instances - all while inflicting a steady stream of killed and wounded, while not letting them sleep at night.

    They have had three fitful nights of bombing, and probably would have trouble doing simple math by now, much less coming up with any good plans. They will be moving slower, firing less accurately, and start making stupider mistakes. The walking dead.

    The Shia militias, or popular mobilization units, which have conducted extra-judicial reprisals against Sunni ISIS supporters and former Ba’athists (and many bystanders), which amounted to a kind of ethnic cleansing over the last few months (as well as in years prior); have been pulled from frontline engagement before the American bombing, replaced by regular Army - holding ISIS in place and picking off any heads that poke up.

    The Iraqi Government is bringing forward a large force of Federal Police (more like paramilitary Carabinieri than beat cops) to reestablish civilian control in the liberated city, but the militias are standing close by like slavering wolves, ready to rush in for pillage and payback after the bombing does its work.

    A lot individuals in the Shia militias are recent recruits, honestly responding to the ISIS threat to the Holy sites of the Shia, and to their families. Such guys are subject to strong emotions and are just not well trained or disciplined. The leadership of these militias however, are professional gangsters and ambitious politicians, eager to murder their opponents and eliminate Sunni influence by any means.

    Iranian intelligence and some of their allied militias have long lists of the names and addresses of political opponents (and even veterans of the Iran/Iraq), to hunt, kill and burn out of town. If they do this to Tikrit, as they have been doing to the other villages as they advanced, than the Sunni civilians in Mosul will know that it is do or die for them, and resistance could be fierce this Summer, during the culminating Battle of Mosul.

    The Summer of Death.

  • Lee Kuan Yew's Other Legacy: Why Singapore Has One Of The World's Toughest Militaries

    03/27/2015 8:41:05 PM PDT · 18 of 57
    BeauBo to sukhoi-30mki

    Singapore also entered into strategic partnership with the USA, hosting Naval assets when the Philippines closed Subic Bay.

  • Lee Kuan Yew's Other Legacy: Why Singapore Has One Of The World's Toughest Militaries

    03/27/2015 8:40:23 PM PDT · 16 of 57
    BeauBo to sukhoi-30mki

    Singapore also entered into strategic partnership with the USA, hosting Naval assets when the Philippines closed Subic Bay.

  • Pro-ISIS Magazine Bombed in Istanbul

    03/27/2015 7:43:48 PM PDT · 8 of 13
    BeauBo to E. Pluribus Unum
  • Iraqi Forces Advance On Central Tikrit after U.S.-led air strikes on ISIS

    03/27/2015 5:57:42 PM PDT · 6 of 6
    BeauBo to SeekAndFind

    Probably just probing after the airstrikes for now - moving up into any gaps, and drawing the ISIS guys into firing or moving, to reveal their positions for future targeting.

    A few nights or a week of this will really take the ISIS holdouts down a few notches.

    The Iranians and their Shi’te militia friends did not have the firepower to breach Saddam’s old palaces - built to withstand Iranian rockets - with lots of thick, high-strength, heavily reinforced concrete. You need some serious bunker busters, fire and smoke to clear fighters out of those strongpoints. The Shia could drive ISIS into the Palaces, but could not get them out without a mountain of casualties.

  • Saudi Arabia refuses to rule out building nuclear weapons to counter Iranian aggression

    03/27/2015 3:02:11 PM PDT · 15 of 22
    BeauBo to dennisw

    The Independent (UK) published this today:

    “Western intelligence agencies believe that the Saudi monarchy paid for up to 60% of Pakistan’s nuclear programme in return for the ability to buy warheads for itself at short notice, the Guardian newspaper reported in 2010.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-says-it-wont-rule-out-building-nuclear-weapons-10139229.html

    And from the Wall Street Journal on 11 March:

    “Fears of Mideast arms race heighten as Riyadh secures nuclear deal with South Korea” http://www.wsj.com/articles/saudi-nuclear-deal-raises-stakes-for-iran-talks-1426117583

    That Article reports:

    “In recent years, Saudi Arabia has also signed nuclear cooperation agreements with China, France and Argentina. Riyadh and Buenos Aires formed a joint-venture company, called Invania, specifically focused on developing nuclear power. “

    I guess South Korea, facing a nuclear North Korea and an unreliable American protector, are covering their butts for the future with a nuclear weapons program as well. And Saudi Arabia is diversifying its sources to reduce their risk, and building a program totally under their control.

    “In 2010, Saudi Arabia established the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, commonly known as K.A. Care. K.A. Care, a government agency, says on its website that it aims to generate 17.6 gigawatts of electricity using nuclear power by 2032, through up to 16 new reactors.”

    Like the AQ Khan nuclear proliferation effort, different components (like enrichment) might be outsourced to other locations for a while, until a complete program can be established.

  • Saudi Deploys 100 Fighter Jets, 150,000 Soldiers for Anti-Houthi Campaign (Yemen)

    03/27/2015 11:49:56 AM PDT · 128 of 148
    BeauBo to Kenny Bunk

    I am guessing that Egypt is getting the main contract to conduct the Yemen Op.

    I wonder if Turkey has contracted to conduct a Northern Front against the Shi’ites? Syria? Mosul?

  • Saudi Deploys 100 Fighter Jets, 150,000 Soldiers for Anti-Houthi Campaign (Yemen)

    03/27/2015 11:45:25 AM PDT · 127 of 148
    BeauBo to Kenny Bunk

    Most of their ground forces will probably be from other countries, as always.

    One thing I found interesting during the Gulf War, was that the Saudi National Guard outperformed expectations somewhat. When operating near their own areas, the bedouin country boys did not break and break and run.

    They will probably mobilize some National Guard to reinforce their border areas, while soldiers of other countries engage the enemy, with some Saudi Ministry of Defense troops and officers accompanying - getting photo ops and some on the job training. Maybe they will surprise us, and start toughening up for the new MAD Max Middle East, beyond the ObamaDome.

    If the Saudis send their own citizens over the border, I bet that it would be more to test/train a few of them, and for domestic political reasons. Serious military objectives will most likely be covered by mercenaries - oops, I mean the militaries of allied coalition members.

  • Saudi Deploys 100 Fighter Jets, 150,000 Soldiers for Anti-Houthi Campaign (Yemen)

    03/27/2015 10:13:56 AM PDT · 122 of 148
    BeauBo to expat2

    “I suspect that the Saudis have procured their own bomb from Pakistan”

    The Independent (UK) published this today:

    “Western intelligence agencies believe that the Saudi monarchy paid for up to 60% of Pakistan’s nuclear programme in return for the ability to buy warheads for itself at short notice, the Guardian newspaper reported in 2010.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-says-it-wont-rule-out-building-nuclear-weapons-10139229.html

    And from the Wall Street Journal on 11 March:

    “Fears of Mideast arms race heighten as Riyadh secures nuclear deal with South Korea” http://www.wsj.com/articles/saudi-nuclear-deal-raises-stakes-for-iran-talks-1426117583

    That Article reports:

    “In recent years, Saudi Arabia has also signed nuclear cooperation agreements with China, France and Argentina. Riyadh and Buenos Aires formed a joint-venture company, called Invania, specifically focused on developing nuclear power. “

    I guess South Korea, facing a nuclear North Korea and an unreliable American protector, are covering their butts for the future with a nuclear weapons program as well. And Saudi Arabia is diversifying its sources to reduce their risk, and building a program totally under their control.

    “In 2010, Saudi Arabia established the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, commonly known as K.A. Care. K.A. Care, a government agency, says on its website that it aims to generate 17.6 gigawatts of electricity using nuclear power by 2032, through up to 16 new reactors.”

    Like the AQ Khan nuclear proliferation effort, different components (like enrichment) might be outsourced to other locations for a while, until a complete program can be established.

  • Saudi-led coalition strikes rebels in Yemen, inflaming tensions in region

    03/26/2015 11:10:09 PM PDT · 16 of 35
    BeauBo to garjog

    “Is this the first time that Saudi Arabia has sent troops to fight terrorists in the region?”

    In 2009-2010 Saudi Arabia got into it with the Houthis near the Saudi border. A Saudi border patrol was ambushed, so the Saudis launched air strikes on the Houthis, sent some Jodanian and Moroccan special forces after them, and kept killing them for a couple of months after the truce, to make sure that it stung.

  • Saudi Deploys 100 Fighter Jets, 150,000 Soldiers for Anti-Houthi Campaign (Yemen)

    03/26/2015 10:39:22 PM PDT · 109 of 148
    BeauBo to gleeaikin

    That was the Egyptians who retaliated in Libya for the murder of Egyptian Christians.

    Al Sisi of Egypt has broken new ground for an Egyptian President, for relations with their Coptic Christian community. He was the first ever to go to a Christian Church on Christmas, to offer good wishes.

    The Saudis don’t allow Christian churches to even exist in their country.

  • Obama's Mideast 'free fall'

    03/26/2015 10:29:17 PM PDT · 25 of 48
    BeauBo to john mirse
    "Can anyone think of anything so tragic and laughable in the history of man as when the Noble Prize was given to a person, Obama, who had not yet done anything?"

    How about giving a Peace Prize to to someone who HAS done what Obama has done?

    The Middle East is on fire. Between the Arab Spring, deliberately destabilizing Libya and Syria, allowing the atrocities of ISIS, enabling the expansion of Iranian militias throughout the region leading to the disintegration of Iraq and Yemen; Obama has initiated the biggest movement of refugees since WWII.

    As another Freeper alluded, Obama should be getting the Nobel War Prize for what he has done.

  • Saudi-led coalition strikes rebels in Yemen, inflaming tensions in region

    03/26/2015 10:09:35 PM PDT · 12 of 35
    BeauBo to Jim Robinson
    A site called defence-blog.com, reports:

    Egyptian navy has fired warning shots at Iranian warships near Bab el-Mandab Strait.

    They go on to say that "The Saudi navy’s western fleet has also secured Yemen’s main ports including Aden and Midi. (and) has imposed a naval blockade on Bab El-Mandab strait which connects the Red Sea with the Indian Ocean."

  • Saudi-led coalition strikes rebels in Yemen, inflaming tensions in region

    03/26/2015 9:48:56 PM PDT · 5 of 35
    BeauBo to Jim Robinson

    From the article:

    “Hundreds of explosions ripped through Sanaa overnight”

    ...and “3,000 to 5,000 troops from the Saudi-led coalition are expected to reach Aden... in the next three days”

  • Palin Facebook Statement - Bergdahl

    03/26/2015 9:39:08 PM PDT · 13 of 26
    BeauBo to Resettozero
    The six soldiers who died during the operations to find Bergdahl:

  • Bergdahl describes maltreatment at the hands of the Taliban

    03/26/2015 9:08:12 PM PDT · 61 of 61
    BeauBo to maine-iac7
    "When he was turned over to us - he was dressed in a tailor made outfit, a special gift of friendship from the tallies - He had become a ‘brother’"

    It looks to me that he had become a boy toy (Bacha Bazi), an all too common situation in Afghanistan.

    In the history of Islam, going back to the time of the Prophet, pre-pubescent boys were not considered men, and were therefor exempt from prohibitions on homosexuality. Young boys for sex have been a significant part of the Islamic slave trade ever since. They grow up, and Afghan society is full of them. The warlord's were famous for flaunting elaborately decorated Bacha Bazi during the Civil War, and they are a common "perk" for powerful men in Afghanistan today, especially in the North.

    Here is an example of a characteristic outfit for a dancing boy, which resembles Bergdahl's:

  • Bowe Bergdahl, Once Missing U.S. Soldier, Charged with Desertion (Army presser 3:30 p.m. EDT)

    03/26/2015 8:22:05 PM PDT · 211 of 211
    BeauBo to kristinn
    Guess which one played the "girl"

    This shows some of the torture he endured. The earrings he was promised to go with his dancing boy hat were never delivered. They were simply unbearable teases.

  • Allegation: BREAKING, EXCLUSIVE: Allen West Has Sexually Harassed At Least Two Women

    03/26/2015 7:48:50 PM PDT · 25 of 102
    BeauBo to Kevin in California

    In one case the look in his eyes spoke volumes of patriarchical oppression to his terrified victim, as he passed by her on a crowded street without speaking.

    In the second case, a poor woman was made to feel degraded and uncomfortable, upon seeing a photo of Alan West.

    Just more of the Republican’s war on women, and the Democrat Party’s practice of trying to scare voters that black men are after their women.

  • Hero CIA officer who led the hunt for Bin Laden and converted to Islam is removed from his post in

    03/26/2015 7:28:43 PM PDT · 30 of 33
    BeauBo to null and void; Regulator

    “Muslim convert? WTF?”

    He had to go, because there is no way that this administration would trust a Muslim Convert in such an important position.

    The new guy will have to be a natural born Muslim, with impeccable family credentials in the Muslim Brotherhood or Communist Party.

  • Yemen: Egyptian Navy Chases Iranian Warships to Retreat from Port of Aden

    03/26/2015 4:04:37 PM PDT · 17 of 33
    BeauBo to monkeyshine

    “An Army General in charge of a shipping lane?”

    As CENTCOM Commander, all the Service Component Commands in that area are under his command.

  • Yemen Ground Invasion By Saudi, Egyptian Troops Imminent

    03/26/2015 1:24:12 PM PDT · 79 of 90
    BeauBo to dfwgator
    "Bout time the Saudis do some of the dirty work to clean up the neighborhood."

    The Saudis have often been criticized for being all chiefs and no Indians in the their military, and attempting to outsource any real fighting.

    But the Saudi Minister of Defense was recently called to a remote area within the Kingdom, to review what is believed to be an actual Saudi combat soldier. The amazement is palpable.

    Upon inspection, he was found to be a personnel specialist who was enamored of military memorabilia, and had purchased a protective vest and helment online. And also some tactical-looking goggles.

    So the contract was given to Egypt and Pakistan.

  • WHY IT MATTERS: The Saudi-led intervention in Yemen

    03/26/2015 12:18:30 PM PDT · 41 of 42
    BeauBo to Jim Robinson

    The NY Times and the Financial Times are now reporting that the the former long term President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, is a major force behind the Houthi takeover in Yemen.

    Saleh was forced out in 2012 during “Arab Spring” tumult, under pressure from the Saudis. These reports say that Saleh loyalists throughout the government enabled the Houthi advance.

    The NY Times reports that Saleh wants to install his son as the next President. It also reports that Egypt has committed air and Naval assets to the operation, and will commit ground forces if needed.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/27/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-houthis-yemen.html

  • WHY IT MATTERS: The Saudi-led intervention in Yemen

    03/26/2015 10:12:06 AM PDT · 11 of 42
    BeauBo to Jim Robinson

    Well, it looks like the USA will be providing intelligence for airstrikes in support of al Quaeda in the Arabian Peninsula for a while, instead of against them.

    Both Iran and Saudi Arabia now have their regular militaries engaging in combat. The Sunni/Shia War is growing and spreading.

  • Bergdahl describes maltreatment at the hands of the Taliban

    03/26/2015 9:57:05 AM PDT · 44 of 61
    BeauBo to PROCON
    Prisoner of Love

    Face up or face down? "Yes, please", he whispered raspily.

    Modeling the Emir's favorite Dancing Boy hat, and giving the camera some 'tude, because he didn't get they earrings that they promised.

    I guess if they leave him with that pen, they were not worried about him fighting.

  • U.S. Begins Airstrikes in Support of Effort to Liberate Tikrit From Islamic State

    03/26/2015 9:06:52 AM PDT · 16 of 35
    BeauBo to cookcounty

    “Did the US demand Iranian Qassem Suliemani and his Kuds Force back off before helping the Iraqis in Tikrit?”

    Apparently so. The US is reported to have insisted that operations be coordinated (i.e. commanded) out of the command center in Baghdad (rather than Suleimani’s hooch on Camp Speicher).

    Ostensibly (and objectively) this is to minimize fratricide in the air operations. Effectively however, it means that the the Shia militias and Iranian special groups are shunted aside as failures.

    The new plan is that they will sit across the river or outside of town, as the Iraqi Army walks over the rubble of the last ISIS strongholds and raises the flag in victory - provided of course that the Americans come across with enough air to wrap this up.

  • U.S. Begins Airstrikes in Support of Effort to Liberate Tikrit From Islamic State

    03/26/2015 8:51:03 AM PDT · 14 of 35
    BeauBo to aegiscg47

    I like to think that Obama administration policies are driven by a mix of total ineptness, corruption, political pandering and malign intent.

    It just helps to explain their outrageous behavior.

  • Fathers and Daughters – Is This a Missing Key to Modesty Today?

    03/26/2015 8:37:42 AM PDT · 8 of 56
    BeauBo to Salvation

    Very insightful and compassionate.

    It really opened my heart toward girls with missing fathers. I knew well how boys often turn out so much worse without fathers (prisons are full of them), but this opened my eyes to the sad effects on girls.

  • The Racial Wealth Gap: Why A Typical White Household Has 16 Times The Wealth Of A Black One

    03/26/2015 8:28:28 AM PDT · 41 of 127
    BeauBo to Responsibility2nd

    Part of the labor market disparity, is the effect of criminal convictions.

    Young black males commit a dramatically higher rate of crime, relative to the population at large. With a felony conviction, many employment opportunities are lost. When time is spent in prison, no seniority is earned, so former prisoners earn entry level wages later in life.

    The high crime rate is highly correlated to the absence of a father, so a lot of this effect comes back around to stable families, when you look for an objective policy solution.

  • U.S. Begins Airstrikes in Support of Effort to Liberate Tikrit From Islamic State

    03/26/2015 8:14:51 AM PDT · 1 of 35
    BeauBo
    A bad week for Iran.

    Their proxies in Iraq have been shifted off to the East side of the Tigris River after failing to push ISIS out of Tikrit, while the Western-backed Iraqi Army steps into the lead, with US and coalition (reportedly including France) airstrikes begin. A few nights of airstrikes and gunship patrols will make a big difference.

    The US airstrikes began on Wednesday, and the Saudis/GCC began airstrikes on Thursday against the Iranian proxies in Yemen. Probably not just a coincidence.

    The Saudi-led coalition, which is now at war against the Iranian-led coalition, may involve powerhouses like Egypt and Pakistan. Drawing them into hostilities, if it happens, would be huge strategic blows against Iran.

    Diplomatically, it seems that the Saudis may have flipped Sudan from cooperating with the Iranians - which just by itself would have marked a very bad week for the Iranians.

    Petraeus coming out and saying that Iran is the real threat to Iraq no longer seems like an isolated event. The ground has shifted under the Iranians in a major way this week - militarily, politically, and diplomatically.

  • Saudi Deploys 100 Fighter Jets, 150,000 Soldiers for Anti-Houthi Campaign (Yemen)

    03/25/2015 11:54:51 PM PDT · 39 of 148
    BeauBo to justa-hairyape
  • Why Ted Cruz’s presidential candidacy is important

    03/25/2015 11:43:10 PM PDT · 25 of 30
    BeauBo to 2ndDivisionVet

    “what you call a Republican that gets 40% (of Hispanics) in a national election?”

    Mr. President.

  • Why Ted Cruz’s presidential candidacy is important

    03/25/2015 11:41:57 PM PDT · 24 of 30
    BeauBo to jcon40

    I don’t think that Cruz is fluent in Spanish. He describes his capability as Spanglish, and won’t do debates in Spanish.

    But he does have a good feel for the culture, and is a credible insider.

  • Why Ted Cruz’s presidential candidacy is important

    03/25/2015 9:33:48 PM PDT · 11 of 30
    BeauBo to 2ndDivisionVet

    Rally to the sign of the Holy Cross (Cruz, in Spanish).

    It is a sign from God!

    The first Ted Cruz ad released after he announced was in Spanish, so he seems to be bucking for their votes.

    It would be interesting to see how well he has done among Hispanic voters in Texas previously.

  • Saudi Deploys 100 Fighter Jets, 150,000 Soldiers for Anti-Houthi Campaign (Yemen)

    03/25/2015 9:20:51 PM PDT · 9 of 148
    BeauBo to kristinn
    I heard that they were coming out with a new version of Mad Max this year, but didn't realize it would be the whole Middle East.

    Onward to Victory!

  • Breaking: Saudi Arabia Starts Bombing Yemen: U.S. Officials

    03/25/2015 8:30:37 PM PDT · 101 of 112
    BeauBo to kristinn

    I was wondering who the rest of the ten countries were.

    Sudan is important, as they had a growing Iranian connection, and could provide the Houthis quick support from closeby, and are just across the water from Mecca if the fight ever comes to there.

    Little Eritrea, just across the water from Yemen, was just hosting Houthi and Iranian delegations - so I guess that they are in for a little “Come to Mohammad” meeting with the Sunnis (Eritrean muslims are almost all Sunni).

    Pakistan is the real potential trump card against Iran. Pakistan coming over Iran’s back door would be worse for Iran, than the Houthis coming over the Saudi’s back door would be for the Saudis.

    When you add up Turkey, Egypt and Pakistan, things could look a lot worse for the Shia.

    Things are shaping up for quite the Summer of Death, as the wave of military mobilizations spreads.

  • Saudi Arabia Could Buy the Bomb

    03/25/2015 7:43:11 PM PDT · 21 of 21
    BeauBo to Olog-hai

    Another surprise was the Saudis recent deal with South Korea to build some reactors in the Kingdom itself.

    Looks like they may be looking for a deliberate program entirely within their control, rather than just a contingency option that has some risk of getting jammed when needed.

  • ORNL-led team demonstrates desalination with nanoporous graphene membrane

    03/25/2015 7:38:29 PM PDT · 12 of 26
    BeauBo to ckilmer

    I remember seeing that the Gates foundation had come to the conclusion that the greatest good that could be done for the greatest number, was to find ways to provide plentiful and cheap fresh water and energy.

    Pretty much the rest could work itself out, but these were the long poles in the tent of improving the human condition.

    I guess that such filters could have a big role in waste water treatment as well.

  • Russian hopes of money, glory die on Ukraine battlefields

    03/24/2015 4:14:45 PM PDT · 19 of 37
    BeauBo to tcrlaf

    That is the same analysis that I have heard - the Russians only want the heavy industrial areas in the southeast, linking them to the Black Sea and Crimea, where they have lots of ethnic Russians - Luhansk and Donetsk.

    The poorer agricultural areas in the West with a higher percentage of Ukrainian speakers, are more of a charity case whose bills they would rather foist onto the West.

  • Russian hopes of money, glory die on Ukraine battlefields

    03/24/2015 4:07:53 PM PDT · 18 of 37
    BeauBo to tcrlaf

    “Kiev’s “infiltration teams” don’t seem to last very long, especially in the cities, because the civilians turn them in”

    If the population is with the Russians, it will be a steep uphill climb to retake those areas militarily.

  • Russian hopes of money, glory die on Ukraine battlefields

    03/24/2015 4:04:28 PM PDT · 16 of 37
    BeauBo to Zhang Fei

    It is a bloody mess there for sure - a tragedy.

    I think that Ukraine is bankrupt now. That could be a factor driving a settlement.

    Domestic politics in both countries might also shift in a big way from the costs of the war.

  • Russian hopes of money, glory die on Ukraine battlefields

    03/24/2015 3:50:52 PM PDT · 13 of 37
    BeauBo to Zhang Fei

    Good points.

    Also, Ukrainian soldiers are very close in capability to Russian soldiers, whereas there was a wider advantage for American soldiers and marines over the Iraqi irregulars.

    And the US had the advantage of the Iraqi government participating with them on most objectives, with lots of resources and incentives.

    The Russian way of way inflicts a lot more collateral damage - artilery duels in the cities and such.

    I wonder if the Ukrainians will adopt guerrilla tactics in occupied areas to bleed the Russians, like IEDs and snipers?

  • The U.S. is helping China build a novel, superior nuclear reactor

    03/24/2015 1:58:28 AM PDT · 27 of 28
    BeauBo to logi_cal869; ckilmer

    “But they have not done so to reduce CO2...”

    I believe that China is installing a lot of solar panels largely to provide a market for its factories, so they can achieve some economies of scale. It is industrial planning on their part - an effort to use government subsidies to gain an advantage over competing manufacturers in other countries. They want to dominate the solar panel market.

    In my opinion, the big flaw with their approach, is that they are subsidizing the production of a technology that is not yet worth the cost. Current solar panels need to be subsidized to compete with grid electricity - which is to say that it is not competitive. They are wasting part of the value of every dollar that they spend on a less efficient option - malinvestment.

    If better nuclear, or fracking or something reduces grid electricity cost in 10 years, that will further weaken the return on investment for older generation solar panels, which usually plan on a 20 year return.

    When solar technology matures to something truly cost competitive, it may well be a totally different production process, and the manufacturing capacity that they subsidized could be obsolete.