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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Cluelessness on CNN 
Now I remember why I don't have a TV.

I was in the lunch room at work today, right before coming home, and Wolf Blitzer was on, talking to some retired general about the incident in which 14 marines were killed by 1 IED.

The general was trying to make the point that the IED was a "monster IED," and a shaped charge IED at that, and that it is not even clear that a Bradley or even an M1 Abrams tank crew could have survived that particular blast at that range.

The marines, apparently, were riding in a LAV or similar armored fighting vehicle:

The explosion flipped the 31-ton troop carrier over and caused it to burst into flames. It was not immediately clear how many of the marines had died from the explosion or from the flames.


That's right. The explosion flipped a 31-ton APC.

And what is Wolf Blitzer's argument? That the military didn't provide good vehicles in the Al Anbar Province. And that -- and I quote verbatim, -- "an up-armored Humvee would have stood a better chance."

Do the math. If the explosion flipped vehicle weight 31 tons (plus another ton and a half or so of marines and gear), then what are the survivability chances of a 4-ton uparmored Humvee?

I'll tell you:

Anything left of the Humvee would have been parked in Syria, dumbass.

The retired general was being too diplomatic to tell Blitzer he was being a moron, but Blitzer kept pressing the point. "I'm very disappointed that we don't have the good vehicles in the Al Anbar province," he says. "It's a very sensitive issue for me, because I was there in March.

Yeah, Wolf. How was the ride to the hotel?

This is the kind of dimwittery posing as military analysis in the media.

Reporters, next time you hire an expert for backgrounder because your producers know the on-air talent doesn't know crap, LISTEN TO HIM!

Meanwhile, the media morons are going to press the politicians to press the military into going into the defensive mode, when we should be asking the military what are we doing to capture or interdict the terrorists when they're out trying to set up the NEXT IED?

Splash, out

Jason

Comments:
This takes the cake for media cluelessness I have seen thus far. One would think that someone with the savvy to 'make it' in the world of broadcast news would at least have an understanding of how 31 tons relates to the weight of a large SUV. Apparently not.
 
Just for clarity, the vehicle in question was an Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV7A1). It weighs approx 57,000lbs (28.5 tons).

All points made above apply...
 
Just for clarity, the vehicle in question was an Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV7A1). It weighs approx 57,000lbs (28.5 tons).

All points made above apply...
 
Wolf Blitzer is a mainstream media reporter. So don't expect him to understand mathematics.
 
Thanks for always pointing out these inaccuracies, Jason!

I don't know what irritates me more, the glaring inaccuracies or the desire to always make it "all about them". This is a howler: "It's a very sensitive issue for me, because I was there in March." Oh, you brave, brave man, I had no idea you were actually there! Expensive Italian shoes on the ground, as they say.

Wayne's World had Blitzer's number back in the first Gulf War:

Wayne: Okay, Worst Name. CNN Pentagon Correspondent, Wolf Blitzer? Shyeah, right!
Garth: It's so obvious the guy made it up for the war!
Wayne: Yeah! I know, it's like, "Hi, we now take you to our War Correspondent, Howitzer Explosion Guy."
 
How is it possible that WB doesn't know that? It's not. Well, at least I'm finding it easier to believe that he is more evil than stupid based on his reporting style.

CNN just thinks their audience is that shallow on the intellectual side of the house...

Jason, you do focus our attention on important things, and we do appreciate you; but you really have to quit giving these anti-American reporters the benefit of the doubt!

*grin*
 
I don't understand why there is no sizable protest movement like there was in the 70's for Vietnam? We have become so lazy in this country that hearing the reports of kids getting killed in Iraq generates no reaction. What blows me away is that the entire nation now knows that we went to war for the wrong reason (WMD) and our government admits it (bad intelligence), our troops STILL do not have the proper gear (bulletproof HUMV) and yet there is NO PROTEST. Why? - JRW
 
The kids in Irqq are putting their money where their mouth is - they are patriots. Are you?

JRW, are you listening?? Are you so stupid that the points made in the article went way, WAY over your head? THERE AIN'T NO SUCH THING AS A BULLETPROOF HUMVEE, you idiot!

Protests about the war? Oh, yeah, there've been many - from the Looney Liberal Left. "No oil for war", etc. etc. etc., which just goes to show how shallow their thinking is. BTW, they *did* find WMDs in Iraq - but your thinking is so muddleheaded that you couldn't recognize an atomic weapon if one went off in the city next to you... Read the reports, you loon. Don't depend on the mainstream media for your information, though - they are so biased to the left that they CAN'T be trusted to report the truth any more. The original reports are available to any and all who peruse them. Ask questions about the chemical items they found in the Iraqi munitions dumps. Ask questions as to what were behind those carefully sealed, almost bombproof vaults in those dumps. Ask about what Saddam was poised to purchase from our good friends in Germany, France, and Russia.

Above all, start excercising your brain, you poor sheeple...

Igor
 
So the 14 armed Marines should have been riding in a 4 seat Humvee like some kind of clown car? That would make them safer?

He is truly an idiot.
 
YAY!
Finally someone not afraid to call 'em like you see 'em...
Blitzer is a dumbass. THANK YOU for saying so!

Awesome rant, and most excellent comparison to the vehicle which was destroyed. Five of those Marines are local boys- they're all from an Ohio unit, but five are from Cincinnati.
 
a former Marine told me yesterday that he wouldn't want to come up against a Marine there any time soon.. Said this week, it will be "one shot TWO kills"

Thanks for taking on "coyote wizzer" for us...
 
Blitzer may have a point. Look back at the WW2 films. US forces would have a tank pushing a roller or a truck with a mechanism whipping chains against the ground, out front. There are better ways to detect mines than to have brave heroes die. Hell, it would not take much effort to rig a Hummer to run via Radio Control, and have it equipped with ground penetrating radar. There is much that our nation can do to "support the troops" that it is not doing. The bravery and professionalism of the military people can overcome shortcomings in equipment. But it will not provide fathers to the children whose dads just died.

I wish it was different.
Matt
 
Blitzer may not be a moron but he definitely is woefully ignorant of the defensive capabilities of military vehicles against high explosives. Blitzer isn't really totally to blame for his lack of information about the matters military, probably nobody has ever tried to correct him about any of his misaprenhsions since he bacame a big name media star.

the fact that Mr. Blizer is firmly intrenched in his main stream media cluelessness doesn't mean that some attempt shouldn't be made to enlighten his audience. The retired general who appeared on the show with Mr. Blitzer should not have tried to save Mr. Blitzer's on-camera face with vague platitudes about differing military capabilities but instead should have politely definitely corrected his misperception with the same information that Jason so eloquently presented in his post.

Blitzer may not have gotten it but some of his listeners probably would have.

The lesson to be learned here; If you ever have a chance to enlighten one of the looney liberal horde take it, you probably can't change their mind but you just might light a little light in the minds of some of your audience.

John Bouler
 
Matt, you ignorant slut...

1. A blast that flips a 28 ton AV isn't goping to much care if it's got a damn mine roller or flail in front of it.

2. Command detonated mine. Developed to deal with mechanical mine clearance. Some haji with a cell phone waits until the mine roller goes over then presses the button. It's the same old arms race: offense vs defense.
 
Awww...Wolfie is soooo concerned about up armoured vehicles and proper equipment in that area because HE was there...
Wow...Im so impressed with this bogus sentiments....

I'm thinking Michael Yon could teach him a few things..... and Im freaking thrilled Michael scooped him on ABOT!

Once again Wolf displays complete ignorance on a subject he professes to know so much about...all while tainting his "objectivity" with his real agenda as supported by the MSM! Nuff said!
 
Its just not WB that is ignorant,its the whole goddamn self richeous bunch at CNN. They constantly find fault with the war, and absolutley refuse to support our troops. They have the intelligents of JF!
 
Just to nitpick, Jason. While it's not clear if the vehicle was an LAV or amtrac, 15 Marines would be pushing the limits of an LAV-25 by quite a bit.

Granted they might have been riding on top but "American officers said the marines had been riding in an amphibious troop carrier" probably refers to a 'trac. The LAV is amphibous but it is not usually referred to as a troop carrier.
 
For warfare against cellphone based threats, we have 3 choices. The first, is to do nothing, and let our men die. The second, fly over with the EA6B Prowler and radiate enough electromagnetic energy that the all civilian radios will be burned out. The third, do something similar with a microwave radiation source on a vehicle. The third, use the cell phone technology to our advantage: Improvise, Adapt, Overcome as Gunny Highway would say. Cell phones and the towers communicate to know which cell phone is in which cell. Put your cell phone next to your AM radio and every minute or so, you'll hear "clicka clicka clicka" and that is the phone and the cell tower exchanging communications and ID numbers. So, if the enemy is using cell phones, our forces should put up a "spoof" cell phone tower, and send out the message "all cell phones register now". This is done by your cell phone company anyway. Hackers do it also to steal phone numbers in the US. Then, have an automated dialer call every number that is there, at 3am. If you hear a boom, the bomb went off. And it might have gone off on the enemy's workbench. heh heh heh.....

The Isrealis do this. I have heard on the news that the Russians do something similar in Chechnya.

Also, when the cell phones register in, that is when radio direction finders can locate the position of each phone. If the position of the phone is the highway that some troops will be traveling on, it might suggest that a bit more investigation be done.

In terms of ground penetrating radar, think of a system similar in concept to how the P3 aircraft would find Ivan's subs out in the ocean. A map that was made of the earths magnetic field could be compared against a new map made in realtime. If there is a difference, and there is no surface ship present, then Ivan is found. The radar could be used to map the ground under the roads. The next time a check is done, if there is something different, then be afraid. The radar is used on construction to find pipes already, and to map out construction areas before the earth is moved. Lots of computers are needed to work this.

The more I know, the more ignorance I know I have.

I can't sleep at night thinking about what our troops are facing. Our nation can do more for them.
Matt
 
Ok, Matt...what are YOU doing for them?
 
I was stationed in the Pentagon during Desert SHield and Storm. I worked in Army public affairs. Blitzer was CNN's Pentagon defense reporter then, and I assure you he hasn't learned a thing since 1991. The man is as clueless as a box of rocks. He actually said on the air - I heard him - that on the first night of bombing at Storm's opening, "the entire Republican Guard has been destroyed." Yeah, all 150,000 of 'em, wiped out in one bomb raid. Like I said, clueless.
 
little more than prayer, a few care packages, letters to editors, congressmen, and taking the boys to the Veterans day parades. I am always eager to heed the advice of those wiser than me though.
Matt
 
I have seen Blitzer do some very good analysis and commentary. Though either his employer did not have a policy on the subject of a good analysis agreed with the policy.

More and more when I see him he is just repeating is employers line for the day, who cares about facts or logic. Not trying to put the best possible light on his employers policy just rote repetition of talking points

It’s a shame. At his best he can do very good work.


 
I also send bucks to people who raise money for the Fisher House in Landstuhl, where families of wounded soldiers can stay while medical treatments happen.

http://www.fisherhouse.org/theHouses/europe.shtml

Matt
 
The more I see of "journalists" like Wolf Blister the more I am convinced that journalism majors have to take a course in asking stupid questions and making stupid comments.

Remember this folks: good journalists simply repeat what they are told; bad journalists can't remember what they were told and make it up as the go along.
 
Just a comment - armchair generals should not assume our military is not doing something, just because they don't announce it. The more you tell the enemies of your counter-defenses, the more he can counter them.

No system is foolproof. Statistically, some attacks will always get through. You don't hear about the attacks that were thwarted.
 
Take the whole dumbass CNN crew over there and march them ahead of the troops like "Polish minesweepers." That would solve two problems at once.
 
Kinda makes you appreciate truly heroic reporters like Steven Vincent. BTW did anyone see the complete BS that Neal Gabler put out in the name of Mr. Vincent tonight on Fox Newswatch? Disgusting, the family should bring this to court just to shine the light on Gabler for the partisan hack he is.
 
Great job.
 
Now you guys are finally starting to make sense! What are any of you doing watching CNN? Aren't you supposed to be tuned into Fox? I thought that was the home of proud right wing neocons.

You guys love to blather on and on about the accuracy of Wolf Blitzer's characterization of a military vehicle rather than discuss the death of 14 Americans. Shame on all of you. It's pretty easy to claim you know all when it's not your ass out there in the desert getting shot at so George Bush and his corrupt cronies can feel like men.

Why don't you think about the concept of unjust wars? Is it cool to die in a foreign country for a bunch of white men who never had the balls to serve themselves? Is it cool to create a desert shooting gallery where terrorists can practice by killing our compatriots? Is that patriotic enough for you? Is it cool that thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children have died while we're over there "saving" their country?

Please put down your fantasies and focus on what really matters.
 
You know, I always thought the media was biased against the military, but more and more I think they're just stupid.
 
lindsay,

Yeah, let's dwell on the negatives and ignore the fact Iraqis are rid of a regime responsible for tens of thousands of mass graves that are still being dug up as we speak, have elected a democratic gov't in its place, have hundreds of free radio stations, newspapers, and television stations, and are now writing a constitution that guarantees the basic rights of all Iraqis.

Put down your fantasies, indeed.
 
If they had been riding a Hog, they would all be home by now .. without a plane.
 
Are you serious with the Queer idea, Matt? (For the record, Queer wasn't intended as a derogatory remark towards Matt...it's simply a derogatory remark towards the EA-6B). That much electromagnetic radiation would start to seriously screw with people's bodies. As it is, we can't even use the new microwave weapon because it's "cruel."

The cell spoof idea actually seems to be somewhat feasible, although if the Israelis use it, as you say, I would be surprised if we haven't picked up on it. The ground penetrating radar, on the other hand, would seem to be way too expensive, although I don't know enough details about it to say for certain.

Lindsay, you don't seem to understand. We're upset at Wolf Blitzer because he's using an outright lie to try and make negative points against the Bush Administration. He accused them of being "cheap" and not providing good enough vehicles for the troops when it was pretty apparent that the heaviest vehicle we have (an M-1 Abrams) probably would not have withstood the blast, to say nothing of the vehicle he suggested, a relatively puny uparmored HMMWV.

I'm not going to dignify the rest with a response. And yes, I know you'll probably accuse me of being a right-wing mouthpiece who stifles debate. Go read some Clausewitz, Sun-Tzu, Boyd, et al. and get back to me when you can debate foreign policy and war coherently instead of being a shill for the Fatman himself.

@Neo- well said. To think, my beloved Air Farce has consistently tried to kill off quite possibly the deadliest airplane...ever.
 
I met wolf on his March trip when he swung by the ESG5 ships. His producer (then - and maybe now) is married to a USMC Col she met in OIF.

He and she should know better, and if not, the hubby should set them straight.

On the plus side, he didn't display any divaish behavior, even when we couldn't get the sat feed working for his live reports. He let his tech people do their thing and stayed out of their way.
 
Lindsay:

My younger brother joined the Marines a little over a year ago. I knew that people were going to know why he did it, so I asked him. He said "Yeah, there's a war on. I could die, I know.. but I think that they deserve a chance to be free."

He said some more, but that is the gist of it.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I don't think your assertion that these 14 died for "George Bush and his corrupt cronies" or "a bunch of white men who never had the balls to serve themselves" holds water.
 
So Wolf's erroneous characterization of the vehicle was really a Bush slam in disguise? Okay, thanks for clueing me in. I forgot, anytime a reporter or journalist recounts something negative about the war, it's really a subliminal liberal slam against the Bush administration.

You know, that whole issue about sending our soldiers over there with less than effective armor should be disturbing to anyone who cares about our military. Regardless of the reasons for them being sent over there with less than what our technology and money are capable of buying, regardless of who is currently sitting in the White House, it should be unacceptable to do less than everything we possibly can to give our soldiers the best chance of surviving. It has nothing directly to do with George Bush--it has to do with protecting our finest.

Some of you seem to enjoy indulging in that ridiculous practice of deciding who is patriotic or American, and who isn't. Generally, anyone who doesn't agree with you must be anti-American.

America has become the nation it is because its people were unafraid to question the status quo. It is possible to love this country and still disagree with its leaders. It's what all of you do when there's a Democrat in the White House.
 
So, if the enemy is using cell phones [...] Then, have an automated dialer call every number that is there, at 3am. If you hear a boom, the bomb went off. And it might have gone off on the enemy's workbench. heh heh heh.....

I like this idea. I like it a lot. Why aren't we doing this?


BTW:
America has become the nation it is because its people were unafraid to question the status quo.


Wrong.

America became the nation it is because people were willing- not unafraid- to put their lives, their fortunes, and their honor on the line and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

All the current crop of 'dissidents' do is bitch.
 
The Air Force does "bomb burns" along convoy routes every day with an EA-6b Prowler. The idea is that the aircraft throws out such massively powerful EM radiation that anything with electronics is fried. That this is done is common knowledge.

I wish I could tell you the other things we do, but I can't. OPSEC and all.

Now, Lindsay...you can't rant about vehicles here. The particular blast in question used a very, VERY large explosion. Bomb-out-of-airplane big. I can't say how big, but I can guarantee there is no vehicle in the US inventory, M1A1 Abrams included, that could have survived that blast. Fortunately, logistics concerns greatly limit how many of these the terrorists can assemble, so I assess these won't be very common.

The bomb did serve it's point, however: draw disproportionate attention to the situation. The current reaction from the media and individuals like yourself is exactly as planned. We're losing the war in the media...and this disturbs me.
 
Matt,

I like your creative ideas. I'm sure a lot of such ideas are being implemented without our knowledge, but in reference to jaming and tracing cell phones, I believe that cell phones are heavily used by civilians in Iraq and to interefere with them would be very bad for our relations.

Lindsay, I respect your opinions and general spirit of disagreeing with the status quo. Do you realize what happened to people in Iraq who were passionate about disagreeing with their president?

Most of them are dead. Saddam killed more Arabs than anyone else in history and now his nation is free to speak and build itself as it likes. The insurgents are Iranian and Syrian (etc). We are liberating iraq from invaders, truth be told. And we've saved far far more lives by stopping saddam than this war cost. Do the math yourself if you dont believe me.
 
Lindsay:
Please put down your fantasies and focus on what really matters.

Like the news over at Chrenkhoff?
The stuff that MSM isn't reporting? OK, it's boring. Stuff like:

The projects include the construction of a veterinary centre in the rural centre of Darraji, a veterinary medical storage facility at As Samawah, renovating the As Samawah grain silo laboratory, providing equipment for Al Muthanna media outlets, constructing an animal waste disposal unit in As Samawah, building an ambulance station at Al Khidr, providing a mobile health clinic for the Al Muthanna province, renovating a community centre at Al Salman, and supplying water testing kits for the Al Muthanna province.
and
Other projects planned in the city include the Al Shorta Substation with a cost of $3.8 million and a water treatment unit at Rmol Al Shebl for $215,000 and the Najaf Teaching Hospital. The hospital is a viable operational outpatient clinic capable of outpatient surgeries and emergency room visits is ready for the next phase of renovation which will include an industrial kitchen, multiple stories and many outlying buildings. The project has a total cost of more than $15 million.
and
The first of 27 new compact water treatment units officially opened in Sadr City July 19.
and
The army engineers will soon be adding a lot of electricity to the Iraqi grid: "A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers repair project at the Qudas electric power generating station 25 kilometers north of Baghdad is 85 per cent complete. Engineers predict the work will be finished within a month. Once operational, Qudas could increase the nation's electric production ten per cent. The plant's output capacity is 492 megawatts."
and
The US Army Corps of Engineers, in partnership with the Fallujah City Council and the Fallujah Reconstruction Committee, has made considerable progress in restoring water, sewage and electrical service in the city of Fallujah to levels that existed prior to Operation New Dawn (Al Fajr) in November 2004.

Elevated water storage tanks have been repaired and water is now at pre-November 2004 levels. Projects are underway to increase the capacity of the current system to modern standards. These projects will upgrade the current capacity of fresh water in the city by three million gallons per day.

The Fallujah Electric Department and the USACE have worked together to bring the level of electrical distribution up to approximately 80% of the existing systemق€™s capacity. They plan to bring the system up to 100% of its pre-November 2004 capacity by December 2005. The existing system is also being brought up to current standards. Every home and business in the city is scheduled to have safe and modern electrical connections by next spring.

A modern sewage collection system is under construction, which will replace the septic tanks currently in use. The system is 80% complete, and will remove waste from 3,100 homes. Construction of a sewage treatment facility is scheduled to start in about two months.

Over the next several months, the USACE will finish construction on a health clinic, four schools, and four 250-man police stations. Construction of a 500 man police station will start later this year.

and even
The capture by Iraqi commandos of Hamdi Tantawi, an Egyptian associate of Al Qaeda's number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a raid on a farmhouse near the town of Yusufiya on July 27.
and
"Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces from Task Force Freedom seized a large weapons cache, detained eight suspected terrorists, and killed five terrorists during operations in northern Iraq July 17 and 18. Iraqi Police with support of Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment seized a large weapons cache during a raid operation in western Mosul July 18. The cache consisted of over 1,000 mortar rounds, over 25 mortar firing systems, 150 rockets, 450 rocket propelled grenade rounds, 26 RPG launchers, numerous missile firing systems, shape charges, improvised explosive devices, and over 30 assorted rifles";

Were you aware of any of this? Were you aware that these are just a few quotes from the latest of 32 multipage fact'n'figure articles that MSM just doesn't care about, as there's no blood, guts, or anti-Bush spin to be had from them?

Were you aware that there are 26 nations' armed forces in Iraq at the moment?

As for this:
You know, that whole issue about sending our soldiers over there with less than effective armor should be disturbing to anyone who cares about our military. Regardless of the reasons for them being sent over there with less than what our technology and money are capable of buying, regardless of who is currently sitting in the White House, it should be unacceptable to do less than everything we possibly can to give our soldiers the best chance of surviving.
What evidence do you have that the troops don't have the best "that or technology and money are capable of buying"? If we were to do "everything we possibly can" to protect the soldiers, the first thing we should do is cut all speed limits in the USA to 5 MPH. That would dramatically decrease the road toll, and is doable. Of course it has some undesirable side effects, like making travel over any distance infeasible.

Similarly, we can't have an armed force capable of doing its job when every soldier has 100% protection against even huge shaped charges. Instead, we have a lot of professionals and engineers who do the best they can, within the constraints of what the US taxpayer will put up with. They get things 99% right, and constantly seek to improve that as circumstances change, while knowing that they'll never get 100%.

In this case, we have someone in the Mass media who is expected to know something about military matters stating something so completely off-the-planet (like we should transport heavy loads via a Yugo not a 30-tonne truck because a Yugo has more carrying capacity) that it demonstrates a fundamental disinterest, ignorance, or insuperable political bias.

Look, I'm not even American, and who you have or don't have in the Supreme Court or even White House is a matter of supreme disinterest to me. I don't care about your petty political squabbles. The point is, you are not just an ally, but the most important ally we have in this war. So the sheer volume of partisan political disinformation and pig-ignorance shown by US media, and which is then reflected by disinformed and ignorant opinion within the US electorate, that is a concern.

Lindsay, please, by all that is Holy, mate, go read Chrenkhoff. Follow up any of the tens of thousands (literally) of links he gives, the pictorial evidence, and then ask yourself why you didn't know about any of it.
 
The Air Force does "bomb burns" along convoy routes every day with an EA-6b Prowler. The idea is that the aircraft throws out such massively powerful EM radiation that anything with electronics is fried. That this is done is common knowledge.

Opsec my ass. The Air Force doesn't do jack with EA-6B prowlers because they don't have any. EA-6B Prowlers are NAVY aircraft, always have been. Interservice rivalry being what it is, you should know that. The sea gray color and the letters N A V Y all over the aircraft should help too.

The easy solution is cell phone jammers deployed with every convoy. They are an off-the-shelf commecial item.

They'd need to jam the 49 hz range that is used for remote-controlled cars, and the FRS frequencies, too.
 
Good job, Jason.
 
Repeat,Out
 
Lindsay:
1)It is right to point out Blitzer's ignorance. How can he reveal the truth when he focuses on trivia because he doesn't know
 
Lindsay: 1)It is right to point out Blitzer's ignorance. How can he reveal the truth when he focuses on trivia because he doesn't know much? 2)Some of us here have been shot at for their country. To say that only combat veterans can support wars is like saying that only teachers can support education, or lawyers the rule of law. Don't you believe in civilian control of the military? 3)Bush and Rumsfeld served. Condemning them for being white and male is racist and sexist. 4)To reduce 100 years of geopolitics and 2000 years of religion to "Bush has to show he's a man" says more about your mental level than it does about his motivations. 5)Most of our men are being lost to suicide bombers, who have no chance to pass on the benefits of their brief combat experience. 6)It is sad that Iraquis die. Their loss, however, is part of building a better future for their people; when Saddam killed them, it was just loss. And don't the religious nuts who are blowing them up bear some of the blame too? 7)Those that fought in most of our past wars had no better protection than a shirt. At great expense, we now armor our men. If you have ever complained about the size of our military budget, and the cost of this war in particular, please do not use this line of argument. 8)The patriotism of the Left would not be questioned if they would just show some. They claim to oppose religious fanaticism, sexism, homophobia, and political oppression, but they will embrace anyone showing these evils if they declare themselves to be enemies of the United States. Instead of complaining about others questioning your patriotism, you should 'put down your fantasies' and question it yourself.
 
Rev Sensing;

Speaking of Desert Shield/Desert Storm, I remember one time in particular -- it was a tipping point for me on CNN's reliability as a broker of information. Their cameras showed the audience a briefing. Then Blitzer did a standup and said the exact opposite of what the stars up from had just told us.

I realized I had to pick at least one:

Ignorant? Agenda-driven? An enemy of the country?

And I have to figure that, in times of war, there can be no benefit of the doubt. Wolf BLitzer at least -- and quite probably most of CNN -- are on the other side in this one.

Mark Alger
http://www.babytrollblog.com
 
Jason:

Fred Grimm manages to combine the cluelessness of Wolf Blitzer with something more. I don't have printable words for it.

Regards,

SWLiP
 
Ignorant? Agenda-driven? An enemy of the country?

No, yes and yes.

According to GlobalSecurity.org defense analyst John Pike (as cited by Pauline Jelinek of AP), "If they had been riding in an Abrams [tank] this probably wouldn't have happened, but there's not enough Abrams to go around."
 
Draven, the Prowlers are frequently flown by Air Force guys these days. It's called 'Jointness'. The AF gave up the F-111B 'Raven' (because it was a pig) and agreed to put all operational funds into the Navy's Prowler fleet; the Navy agreed to remove the F-14's (com/targeting issues) as part of the same deal.
 
Lindsay:

You know, that whole issue about sending our soldiers over there with less than effective armor should be disturbing to anyone who cares about our military. Regardless of the reasons for them being sent over there with less than what our technology and money are capable of buying, regardless of who is currently sitting in the White House, it should be unacceptable to do less than everything we possibly can to give our soldiers the best chance of surviving. It has nothing directly to do with George Bush--it has to do with protecting our finest.

I'm with you. We need to look to the past 40 years and see who has consistently supported and who has consistently cut defense spending.

Do you think you'll like the answer?
 
Opsec my ass. The Air Force doesn't do jack with EA-6B prowlers because they don't have any. EA-6B Prowlers are NAVY aircraft, always have been. Interservice rivalry being what it is, you should know that. The sea gray color and the letters N A V Y all over the aircraft should help too.


Draven, a quick google search would have prevented you from looking like a complete horse's ass.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/ea-6.htm

It wouldn't be so bad if only people weren't so damn militant about their ignorance.
 
Lindsey:
If you’re under 25, your parents should give you a spanking. Why 25? Because that is the same as 18 for the last generation. Go away and learn about the world, little girl.

Draven:
It very possibly could be “AF” EA-6Bs (well Joint Service anyway). EA-6Bs are Low Density High Demand Assets until EF-18 “Growlers” are fielded.
From: http://www.afa.org/magazine/nov1999/1199airdefense.asp
“In addition to acquiring these new "killer" airplanes, the Air Force and Navy will embark on a joint effort to enhance their jamming capabilities. The Air Force and Navy share the EA-6B Prowler tactical jammer, in that the two services each contribute funding for the system and use it for combat support. Some Air Force pilots and weapons systems officers fly the EA-6B, which can also shoot the HARM.”
From: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/ea-6-history.htm
“In 1995, Program Budget Decisions 752 and 753 detailed the commissioning of 5 EA-6B squadrons to replace the USAF EF-111A Raven in fulfilling the Joint Electronic Attack role. It is understood that SEAD is much more than jamming and anti- radiation missiles. All services bring complementary capabilities to the overall J-SEAD effort, and all services reap the benefits of the resulting air superiority. By integrating Air Force pilots and electronic countermeasure officers who were once being employed in such aircraft as the F-4G and EF-111 into the Navy's EA-6B Prowler, the Navy and Air Force have an effective enemy air suppression team capable of protecting coalition assets in any contingency.”
So it may say Navy on the outside, but it could be Intel(ligence) on the inside.

BTW:A-10s are nice, if you’ve got troops on the ground. They need each other.

Check 6!
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"Is it cool to die in a foreign country for a bunch of white men who never had the balls to serve themselves? "

Sorry, dood, but I have to point out that the Clinton administration is out of ofice.
 
re: Lidsay

YOu stated that the brass should do everything to make sure the soldiers SURVIVE. I thisnk that is a bad assumption on your part. I think they are supposed to provide everything our soldiers need to WIN.
 
I would like to correct some minor misconceptions about counter-measures to IEDs.

Ground penetrating radar used by satellite can find large underground bunkers but cannot discrimintate IEDs from a large buried rock. Vehicle mounted radar systems have been developed domestically for highway maintenance and could be applied to the same task - if the bomb is planted in the road instead of next to it.

The reference made about P3 Orion aircraft was incorrect - they do not detect submarines from radar (except when some part is above the surface). Electromagnetic waves do not penetrate water very well. In order to communicate with submarines, megawatt very-low and extremely-low frequency transmitters are used to SEND messages to submarines. The P3 aircraft detect submerged vessels acuostically (sonar buoys) or magnetic-anomoly detectors. MAD gear in theory could be used to find IEDs, assuming the bomb has a significant ferrous content. But how much good will would be generated by buzzing a highway regularly with an aircraft at 100 to 200 feet in order for such gear to be used? An the detection would be subject to the movement of metal objects in the area that would be innocent (move a car or a bike 10 to 100 feet closer to detector track).

Cellular spoofing methods are likely to provide the best bang for the buck. The jihadies are likely to construct their bombs to be as simple as possible - its not likely they would create a PC based triggering system with safeguards and fail-safes that might be rendered useless by a bug in Windows. They will use common items that would not raise suspicion when acquired - cell phones fall into this category. Calling every cell phone in an area at 3AM is just going to p***-off the locals. A better idea would be to detect nearby cell phones and block them from receiving a call if they are not already connected as the convoy passes through. The lead vehicle catches the ID of cell phone close by, radios the cell site to block calls for the next two minutes if a call is not already in progress - and by the way, record who is trying to call that number and where is that phone is within the network.

Finally, my two-cents about CNN's talking-head.... What do you expect? He's no more informed than the guy operating the teleprompter.
 
1. This is NOT THE FIRST TIME CNN shows its bias and cluelessness. its a recurring theme.



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JRW, your answer is here:

"Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors; he will make war on his own people. And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them."

President Clinton
National Address from the Oval Office
December 16, 1998
http://clinton4.nara.gov/WH/New/html/19981216-3611.html


"Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein, and those who believe today that we are not safer with his capture, don't have the judgment to be President, or the credibility to be elected President.

No one can doubt or should doubt that we are safer -- and Iraq is better -- because Saddam Hussein is now behind bars."

Senator John Kerry (Democrat, Massachusetts)
Speech at Drake University in Iowa
December 16, 2003
http://www.jsonline.com/news/gen/dec03/193182.asp?format=print
 
RE: USAF and EA-6B

There are no AF pilots in the EA-6B any more. The last ones left NAS Whidbey Island a few months ago; it's all USN and USMC now.

The EA-6B *did* take over the mission from the EF-111, but the joint operations between the USN and the USAF were sunsetted, with the need for the prowlers extending past the length of the agreement.

(The unit to which I am assigned provides repair support to these aircraft when they are deployed.)
 
As someone who has ignored his wife and three children for the last two years working on IED countermeasures, I assure you that it is not a trivial matter. It's a race of one-ups-man ship. I can jam or inhibit any cell phone, but what if the IED is programmed to explode upon the loss of signal, commanded by a land line, or by an idiot in the hole with the bomb (a trick the Japanese tried in WWII)? Right now the gear we've deployed has to be adaptable to a whole host of other things I won’t go into.

Also the urban environment makes the problem even more complex, one that aircraft are very unsuited for (not to mention that the threats the EW electronics of the prowler were designed for are a couple of octaves higher than the threat seen in Iraq).

Every time the bast@&#$ set one of these things off I get torn up inside. I'm going to miss another ballet recital, and my 20th anniversary is coming up, but I'll be at "customer" conference. Yet my kids know their Daddy is coming home from the office today so I'm not complaining.

The thing is this, we have many successes, you just don't hear about them. And you won't because 100 unmolested convoys and a bunch of unexploded IEDs along the way isn't news, but one flaming vehicle is the lead on CNN. No context is given to our ability to move forces, no context is given to how hard the enemy is hurt, no context is given to how we've responded and adapted to the enemy who are constantly trying to adapt and respond to us. No commentary on CNN illustrates that the IED are, in and of themselves, an admission by the enemy that they they’ve lost the initiative and are unable operate or maneuver against our troops.

The the enemy uses IEDs as a static propaganda weapon, not as an offensive one. If the enemy weren’t on the ropes the explosion of an IED would be a signal to start an ambush and for the real killing to begin; however, in Iraq, that’s all you get - an explosion. Which is the signal for the defeatists like Wolf to show their concern because, y’know, he was “there in March….” The enemy knows it can’t face our troops so they fire the bomb and get the hell out of Dodge praying and hoping that CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and the New York Times will do their dirty work for them. For that is the ONLY way the terrorists can win, and WB et al are following their lede hook line and sinker.
 
Matt: re P-3s, you are talking about MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detection), not radar. MAD analysis, at its best, is an art and not a science. What the operator is looking for are real-time changes in the existing field due to the movement of a large metalic body. I'm sure you can appreciate the differences between doing this over empty open ocean and attempting to discern a stationary target in the midst of a populated city.

Good thinking, but not practicable.
 
Re the anonymous post at 11:17 PM. I would hope you are looking at remotely controlled scout vehicles that could go ahead of a troop carrying vehicle. Such a vehicle could be controlled from the following vehicle. By being on the ground, as opposed being in the air, it could visually inspect the ground for recent disturbance as well as have the ability to detect buried metal associated with IEDs. Once detected, a single use vehicle could be dispatched to the identified site to explode the IED. (A simple RC unit containing a shaped charge directed downward.)

This, of course, would not solve the problem for IEDs' in parked vehicles or in vehicles with a driver looking for 72 virgins.
 
11:17PM Anonymous wrote:
>As someone who has ignored his wife and three children for the last two years working on IED countermeasures, I assure you that it is not a trivial matter.

Sir, you have my admiration and respect. I hope that "someday" we see on the History channel the story of this effort, as we see things now about earlier decades.

To the others, thanks for the education. ;-)

Matt
 
Hey Texican: You stated earlier that we (the govt.) should give our soldiers everything they need to WIN.

How do you define WIN?

what does a WIN look like? Please explain--would love to know what a win in Iraq is.

Lindsay
 
A Win in Iraq (as this guy sees it):
This can be complete, or partial.
It would be comprised of the following outcomes, in the longterm:
- Iraq is not a threat to the people of the US
- Iraq is not a threat to the interests of the US
- Iraq is not a threat to the allies of the US
- Iraq has some level of representative government
- Iraq represents a stepping stone towards an improved condition of human freedom, one that the people of the Middle East can look to with hope

That is it for now. Five items, one for each of my fingers. ;-)

As far as the last one, I had an 'interesting' conversation at work with a guy named Mohammed from Iran. I generally choose not to discuss politics with people at work, especially those people that I expect are going to lead to some levels of animosity. In general I find that talking to veterans and people who know people who died on 9/11 is usually safe for me.

He said to me, "do you know what many Muslims think about George Bush?" I figured, "uh oh, I got my problems with Bush also, but it is wartime, and I am going to stand with my country". I mumbled something vague, like the opinion is probably very diverse.

He said, "It is like President Lincoln, he freed the slaves. Bush is setting the Muslims free."

That is just one man's opinion, but quite shocking to me. The man was educated in the US and works for a technology company. He did mention that he thinks he is followed by the secret police when he goes home to visit his parents.
Matt

ps: item 6 of a 'win': we take care of our warriors who need to be cared for
 
Matt: I like your WIN list, and it seems to me that all but the last one has already been accomplished. Iraq is not a threat to us, Iraq is not a threat to our national security, Iraq is not a threat to our allies, not a threat to our interests, and has a representative form of government. Now all it needs is to be able to stand on its own two feet--though truly I think there is little hope of that any time soon (within the next 10 years at least). So, once again we're in it for the long haul, when the whole mess had little to nothing to do with either our national security or terrorism. Can't imagine being the family member of a soldier killed in Iraq. All the platitudes in the world can't help mitigate that kind of grief--especially in an unjust war.

If Saddam Hussein and his appallingly inhumane and criminal treatment of his own people was our real reason for going in there, how do we justify picking and choosing which murderous despot to take out?

The Iraq war is a Bush family vendetta conveniently played out against the backdrop of 9/11 and the tragic irrationality of its aftermath. Afghanistan--yes, Iraq, not even close.
 
Lindsay
If Saddam Hussein and his appallingly inhumane and criminal treatment of his own people was our real reason for going in there, how do we justify picking and choosing which murderous despot to take out?
Good question.
How about these as qualifiers:
1. Must already be engaged hostilities, such as regularly shooting at US aircraft
2. Must either already be at war, or have egregiously violated a cease fire with the US and/or UN
3. The same regime must have invaded at least 2 neighbouring countries under the last 20 years.
4. We must have the military ability to actually go in successfully.
5. They should have a nuclear weapons programme.

Note that No 4 means Kil Jong Il doesn't qualify, and besides which, although he's ordered acts of war against several nations, he hasn't invaded anyone yet.
 
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