American Elephants

This is All Supposed to be a Good Deal, Isn’t It? by The Elephant's Child
January 16, 2016, 10:14 pm
Filed under: Politics

Iran released the ten American military personnel who they arrested and detained on Tuesday. President Obama didn’t mention it during his last State of the Union speech.  State Department officials explained that as soon as they learned that 10 U.S. sailors have been detained, they began pressing Iran into cooperating in their release in an “effort to turn the incident into a good story for both sides.” The whole thing is extremely odd. The story keeps changing, Boat broke down, navigation equipment didn’t work, they got lost, radio broke down. The Washington Examiner reported:

“In terms of a good story, I won’t speak to how Iran will portray this or characterize their narrative of the situation, but I think what we had in mind, what the Secretary had in mind, was that it would be a demonstration of them operating as a responsible maritime operation in the Gulf and a responsible nation that would deal with these things in a way that other responsible nations have in the past and would going forward,” the official said.

Iran saw a chance to humiliate the U.S. and took it, but they want their money back, so they weren’t going to do anything drastic. They have supposedly complied with the terms of the Iran Deal as far as shutting down the Heavy Water reactor and other requirements, but whether the IAEA actually got to inspect, or just was told that they had done it is unknown.

Iran freed the four American prisoners Saturday. They were Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, Amir Hekmati, a former Marine from Arizona, Saeed Abdini, an ex-Muslim convert to Christianity, and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari. Separately, an American student who had been detained, but not formally arrested departed.

The Obama administration, in return released seven Iran nationals who were jailed — or facing charges. The U.S also agreed to drop the names of 14 Iranian nationals it had been seeking from Interpol’s watch list. Most of these cases were tied to violations of U.S. export laws and the sale of dual-use equipment that could be used in Iran’s nuclear or military programs. The Obama administration was not able to get two other American citizens released an oil industry executive Siamak Namazi and former FBI agent Robert Levinson.

Obama’s Insane Iran Policy by Andrew McCarthy, PJ Media

— “This is the Pentagon’s new strategy to defeat ISIS,”  Military Times

— “Rendezvous with Reality in 2016” by  Victor Davis Hanson


Strange Times, Strange War, Strange Announcements by The Elephant's Child

Headline: The Washington Post: “Elite U.S. targeting force has arrived in Iraq to fight the Islamic State”

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – An elite U.S. Special Operations targeting force has arrived in Iraq and will carry out operations against the Islamic State, part of a broader effort in 2016 to strike at the militants and that also includes U.S. Special Operations troops in Syria, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Wednesday.

The targeting force is now in place and is prepared to work with Iraqis to begin going after militant fighters and commanders, “killing or capturing them wherever we find them,” Carter said, speaking to about 200 soldiers at the home of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, which is expected to deploy about 500 soldiers next month to Iraq and Kuwait as part of the campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL.

Is it standard military procedure now to announce everything we are doing or going to do in advance? Or is this Obama, stung by the response to his State of the Union everything is dandy speech trying to show that he’s not either a weak doormat, and does too send needed troops, but can’t manage to do anything without bragging about it first? Seems odd. But then Obama has had a habit of always telling the enemy what we’re going to do, then tacking on restrictive rules of engagement to make sure nobody gets hurt so that he cannot be blamed. But what do I know, I’m just a civilian worrier.

The training the U.S. soldiers will provide to both the Iraqi army and Kurdish peshmerga forces will prove critical, with the peshmerga approaching Mosul from the north and Iraqi troops coming from the south in a “pincer movement,” Carter predicted. Some analysts, however, say that communications between regular Iraqi forces and the Kurds need to improve significantly before any kind of joint operation can be undertaken.

Not All Cyber Attacks Are Committed By Chinese Hackers by The Elephant's Child

You have heard about Cyber War, I’m sure. Not all of the cyber attacks on our power infrastructure are caused by hackers in the People’s Republic of China or Russia or even ISIS. At least that’s what the former Deputy Director of the National Security Agency claims.

“I don’t think paralysis [of the electrical grid] is more likely by cyberattack than by natural disaster. And frankly the number-one threat experienced to date by the US electrical grid is squirrels.” – John C. Inglis, Former Deputy Director, National Security Agency 2015.07.09

The website is all about the declassified cyber attacks they have been able to document up to the present time. They have listed 623 successful attacks by squirrels, 214 by birds, 52 by raccoons, 47 by snakes, 25 by rats, and 9 by beavers.  They offer an interactive map showing the locations of confirmed strikes, a cybersquirrel 1 unit sticker, and a record of mentions in the press. I suspect this is only a small  part of the larger war against squirrels and other varmints by bird lovers who have major trouble with squirrels stealing the bird seed. All in fun, of course. There are books delineating methods for dealing with the bandits. Consult Amazon.

Real Hacking and Cyber attacks are no joke. We have had serious probes of our infrastructure, power plants, power grid, and military installations. There are worries about solar flares and severe solar storms that can cause damage naturally. Everything electric stops.

A real EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack has been estimated to kill 90 percent of the American population. It can be accomplished by detonating a nuclear missile at high altitude, and also by severe solar flares. Here’s a summary of research from the Heritage Foundation, and a survey of EMP preparedness, also from the Heritage Foundation. Or simply Google EMP Attacks, and you will get information, scoffing, how to prepare, and survival equipment and tips.

The federal government is apparently concerned with squirrels, and hardening off the grid will be a state problem. You might want to see if your state is doing anything.

Can You Answer a Simple Question? by The Elephant's Child

Well, no. No I can’t. But please vote for me anyway.

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