“This rugged, sustainable platform will operate in permissive environments and austere conditions around the world to safeguard our Special Operations Forces on the ground,” USSOCOM Commander Gen. Richard Clarke said in an emailed statement.
Just for context, I’m a lifelong Michigander (incidentally descended from Jews who fled Ukraine back in the 1920s). Cropdusters are still fairly common here in Michigan (and the terrain, I’m told, is quite Ukraine-ish).
My wife grew up in blueberry country, and there are still plenty of fields around her folks’ place, and folks spray them from cropdusters. It is absurd and terrifying how nimble these planes are. Average Joe flyers regularly bring them in below the tree line to dust a field, and then pop back out to dive into the adjacent field. In other words, they can come in over the horizon too low to detect–likely too low to see–and be on top of you before you can bring a turret around.
Given the performance we saw of Russian tanks early in the war in Ukraine, planes like these would fucking mow them down like a goddamned scythe.
… and then I reflect on this SNL skit about the evil scientist contest, and realize I’m being a little twee. Folks don’t build IEDs because they are fair. They don’t fire mortar’s from the alley next to a hospital, or operate out of apartment blocks full of civilians because they “have no other choice.”
War is killing, not “defense” or “peacekeeping.” It is about the maximization of dead humans who aren’t you while minimizing the dead ones who are you. A robot dog with a gun obviously leads to the best dead not-yous per dead-you ratio.
If that is shitty, it’s because war and violence are shitty, not because technology is shitty or imperialist aggressors aren’t playing fair or whatever.
All war is low-key genocide. If you don’t like that, then you better start agitating against war, not just bitching about new robots. The robots are not the problem.
Listen: There is going to be a major attack on U.S. soil between now and, I dunno, probably the end of January 2018. (I personally think it’ll be earlier—possibly by mid-October—but depending on who is attacking, I think they might wait as late as Xmas/New Year’s in order to maximize mayhem).
I’ve been saying this for months, but I think most folks thought I was kidding.I’m not.
REMINDER: We’re likely 2 to 4 months from a major US soil attack. PotUS will use it to consolidate power. https://t.co/wiy1XddbSC
A disorganized defender cannot defend.When your opponent is disoriented, you strike.It’s elementary, and holds in many fields: In business negotiations, in chess, in Go,in court, in bar fights and boxing matches, in battlefields and hardened bunkers.
Readers of a certain age will recall that the success of the 9/11 attacks was widely attributed to a “failure to connect the dots” within the Executive Branch (especially within intelligence and foreign affairs agencies).Why did we fail to connect the dots?Because there were empty seats throughout the administration, and the folks in many of the filled seats were still coming up to speed.
Rewind 11 months from 9/11, and you’ll recall we had an insanely close presidential election that ultimately needed to be decided by the Supreme Court.As a result, when G.W.Bush took office, his team had significantly less time to pull together their nominations than was the modern norm.100 days in, he was still behind, with only about 35 confirmed nominees (there are several thousand positions that need to be filled by any incoming president, of which about 577 are considered vital by experts).200 days in GWB had 294 nominations confirmed, roughly half of the most vital positions.In other words, on day 200 in office, G.W.Bush still had 283 empty seats in vital parts of the Executive Branch, and many of the seats that were filled had folks sitting in them who’d only had a couple months—maybe just weeks—to digest, consider, and route huge amounts of intel.About a month after that we notably “failed to connect the dots” and 19 dudes crashed four airplanes with the net result of 3,000 humans being cooked and crushed in the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania farm field.
I was teaching school that day, back in my old life.I stood in a room with a bunch of troubled teens and watched folks jump out of the World Trade Center towers rather than burn inside. I walked outside with a coworker.Our school was under several flight paths, but the sky was perfectly clear above us, no clouds, no contrails, no planes, because every plane in the nation was grounded.
But, man, that sky, so blue.So clear.
Within a year I was on a “selectee list.” For the next eight years every time I flew I was pulled out of line, searched, patted down, swabbed for explosives, questioned, stripped down to socks, pants, and undershirt. But, you know, whatevs, right?Terror.Safety.Patriotism.#America.
But my mind wanders.All apologies.More to the point:
How’s Trump Doing?
How’s Trump doing, in terms of getting the right folks in the right seats, and thus preventing another major attack and loss of life on U.S. soil?
As of August 4, when the Senate left town for its August recess, Trump has nominated 277 people for key posts, has had 124 confirmed, and has withdrawn eight of the nominations, according to CNN’s tracker.
The Partnership for Public Service has identified 577 executive branch positions as being particularly essential — and Trump has only successfully filled about a fifth of them.
If I were a gambling man (and we all are now, here in the Zone of Maximum Mayhem) I’d put my money on #3.
Yeah, North Korea seems like an obvious choice: They can hit the U.S. mainland with any number of missiles, and they have a nuke small enough to mount on such an ICBM.They probably don’t have the reentry ballistics quite right just yet, which means the nuclear device won’t detonate properly, but a goddamn intercontinental ballistic dirty bomb plowing into D.C. or NYC is 1) well within N.K.’s capabilities and 2) not something you walk off.
But launching such an attack is actual suicide for that country—especially with our current PotUS—and regardless of what we say about the Kim regime, he’s not an actual lunatic; he has a country to run and a dynasty to maintain.Given how he’s behaving now, and in the absence of us launching a pre-emptive strike, I don’t see N.K. nuking us before Xmas.(See alsoNorth Korea’s latest launch designed to cause maximum mayhem, minimal blowback)
(All of that, of course, assumes the tests they’ve been firing have indeed been tests, and not a killdeer-like misdirection.If N.K. can cripple us in a first strike—say, by nuking LA, NYC, and DC in a single salvo—well, then I imagine they will, and probably sometime this fall.)
So that leaves us with Domestic Terror.I’m thinking it’ll be White Supremacists.The PotUS has done a lot lately to make them feel empowered, and those among them with basic arithmetic and reading comprehension skills absolutely understand that there will never again be a White Majority in this country.But that doesn’t mean it won’t be “Islamists” born in Newark or Peoria, or Antifa/Black Blocers looking to head off the impending pogroms, or good ole Militia/Sovereign Citizen folks (who despise the PotUS just as much as the Antifa folks do).They’re all in the same gang, at heart.
But who fucking cares, right?People are going to die—your friends and neighbors—at the hands of your other friends and neighbors, and a lot more are going to suffer, and we are locked in on those rails now, inextricable.These are how these dots connect, and it is far too late to do anything about it before it happens.
(Alternately, listen to and consider this:Episode 790: Rough Translation in Ukraine’cause maybe I’m wrong, and we’ll go with a whimper, not a bang.And maybe we’re already gone—or, hell, maybe I’m the misinformation that stumbles out of Bethlehem to be born. Your call.)
… ‘course, he goes on to say the exact wrong thing, in terms of reducing or eliminating acts of terror (which, fundamentally, are acts of the alienated—which is why I think he zeros in on the terrorist psyche with such clarity), but he starts strong, and says something that few GOPers have managed in the last 16 years:
Terrorists are humans, crappy, fallible, shitty humans, but humans all the same. Not super villains to be grudgingly admired, certainly not desperate freedom fighters, jut numb-nuts shit-heels who are almost below contempt.