Pearl Harbors then and now

December 7, 2015

In the last surprise attack on American soil before 9/11, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor:

The end of the USS Arizona

(Credit: Aviation History)

My grandfather was a Petty Officer aboard the USS Nevada during the battle. Below are a couple of pictures of his ship under attack, the only battleship to get underway that day:

…and…

Grandpa was having a bad day

(Both photos credit: Naval Historical Center)

As you can see, they had been hit pretty hard. Thankfully, Grandpa survived.

Fourteen years ago, we were hit by another fascist enemy, Muslims waging “jihad fi sabil Allah,” with casualties 25% higher than Pearl Harbor:

(credit: September 11th News)

…and…

(Credit: Aspersions)

…and…

(Scene at the Pentagon. Credit: US Navy via Wikimedia)

Our grandfathers finished their job. Let’s not do any less, shall we?

RELATED: The story of Lt. John William Finn, the last surviving Medal of Honor winner from Pearl Harbor.

NOTE: This is a republishing of a post I put up each December 7th.


9-11: George W. Bush and his bullhorn

September 11, 2015

Lots of people have written today about that terrible morning: where they were, what they remember, maybe honoring the victims or the many valiant heroes of the battle and its aftermath. I wondered what I would write. I decided that, rather than focus on the day itself, something others have done much more eloquently than I ever could, I wanted to share video of what has become one of my strongest memories from that time: the moment, when, three days later, George W. Bush stood amidst the smoldering ruins from which the dead were still being recovered and rallied a stunned and bloodied nation:

That was the day a man who won a disputed, contentious election truly became President of the United States of America, and I’ll forever be grateful for him.

Note: This is a re-posting, slightly updated, of something I wrote for the tenth anniversary; I think it’s a moment that needs recalling.


Pearl Harbors then and now

December 7, 2014

In the last surprise attack on American soil before 9/11, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor:

The end of the USS Arizona

(Credit: Aviation History)

My grandfather was a Petty Officer aboard the USS Nevada during the battle. Below are a couple of pictures of his ship under attack, the only battleship to get underway that day:

…and…

Grandpa was having a bad day

(Both photos credit: Naval Historical Center)

As you can see, they had been hit pretty hard. Thankfully, Grandpa survived.

Thirteen years ago, we were hit by another fascist enemy, Muslims waging “jihad fi sabil Allah,” with casualties 25% higher than Pearl Harbor:

(credit: September 11th News)

…and…

(Credit: Aspersions)

…and…

(Scene at the Pentagon. Credit: US Navy via Wikimedia)

Our grandfathers finished their job. Let’s not do any less, shall we?

RELATED: The story of Lt. John William Finn, the last surviving Medal of Honor winner from Pearl Harbor.

NOTE: This is a republishing of a post I put up each December 7th.


9-11: George W. Bush and his bullhorn

September 11, 2014

Lots of people have written today about that terrible morning: where they were, what they remember, maybe honoring the victims or the many valiant heroes of the battle and its aftermath. I wondered what I would write. I decided that, rather than focus on the day itself, something others have done much more eloquently than I ever could, I wanted to share video of what has become one of my strongest memories from that time: the moment, when, three days later, George W. Bush stood amidst the smoldering ruins from which the dead were still being recovered and rallied a stunned and bloodied nation:

That was the day a man who won a disputed, contentious election truly became President of the United States of America, and I’ll forever be grateful for him.

Note: This is a re-posting, slightly updated, of something I wrote for the tenth anniversary; I think it’s a moment that needs recalling.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Missing Libyan jets: don’t panic

September 4, 2014
Pentagon, 9/11/2001

Pentagon, 9/11/2001

You’ll recall those missing 11 Libyan airliners I wrote about the other day; a post in The Aviationist, quoting an executive familiar with airline operations**, agrees it’s something to be concerned about, but we shouldn’t underestimate the difficulty of launching another 9/11-style attack:

“I agree the risks [of a missing plane] are there but I would be cautious in several regards: aircraft condition, availability of actual pilots and airfield conditions, etc,” says Tom Meyer, who’s worked for over a decade in all areas of the airline’s operations with Top US Air Carrier.

In fact, the missing airliner must be hidden somewhere (an kept away from the indiscreet eyes of satellites and U.S. drones snooping on terrorist bases in the desert) but a difficult-to-find airport is quite unlikely an airport capable to serve an airliner.

“Airline Ground Operations will need to include: Ground Power or APU [Auxiliary Power Unit) Availability, Fueling, Weight & Balance, FOD Free Ramp, Clear Taxiways and Runways…If any of the items is missing or done incorrectly, the whole scenario unravels. Sorry, Airline operations are complex,” Meyer explains.

It should be kept in mind that the 9-11 hijackers were exactly that: terrorists who seized control of the planes after they were already in the air. They just needed enough training to be able to pilot them to their targets. As Meyer mentions, the logistical needs of maintaining the planes and the facilities they need to take off are not inconsiderable, nor easily concealed.

There’s more, including mention of the difficulty of getting past air defenses, at least in Europe, in post-9/11 age.

Still, no one imagined guys armed with box cutters could carry out the biggest terrorist attack in history, either. Panic may not be warranted, but prudent concern and a strong effort to find those planes is.

**(He’s credited as working with “Top US Air Carrier.” I wonder if that’s a placeholder that got left behind.)

via Blogs of War


Oh, yay! Eleven Libyan airliners are missing!

September 3, 2014
"x11?"

“Times 11?”

Obama’s Libya war — it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Or maybe it’s Pandora’s box:

Islamist militias in Libya took control of nearly a dozen commercial jetliners last month, and western intelligence agencies recently issued a warning that the jets could be used in terrorist attacks across North Africa.

Intelligence reports of the stolen jetliners were distributed within the U.S. government over the past two weeks and included a warning that one or more of the aircraft could be used in an attack later this month on the date marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, said U.S. officials familiar with the reports.

“There are a number of commercial airliners in Libya that are missing,” said one official. “We found out on September 11 what can happen with hijacked planes.”

The author, Bill Gertz, cites experts who describe a range of frightening possibilities, from these jet liners being used themselves as guided missiles, as they were on 9/11/01, to being disguised as normal civilian flights, but carrying armed assault teams of terrorists who could then wreak mayhem. That these aren’t likely to be used against the US homeland is hardly any comfort: much of North Africa, the Middle East, and Mediterranean Europe would be in range. Imagine a multi-target strike a la September 11th (the anniversary of which is fast approaching!) that simultaneously aims at a giant Saudi oil refinery, a soccer stadium in Marseilles, and The Vatican.

And, thanks to a miserably conceived, off-the-cuff war launched by Barack Obama that served no US interest whatsoever, but did manage to overthrow a dictator whom we had tamed and who was keeping his country quiet, we may well have helped armed a future Mohammad Atta.

I’m sure our allies in the region are ever-so-grateful.

UPDATE: Snopes gives this a “probably false” rating, but Gertz is a pretty solid national-security reporter, so I’m not ready to write off his work on the say-so of a fact check site, even one with the pedigree of Snopes. Still I’m including it here for completeness’ sake. (h/t MissFuzzball)


Al Qaeda debuts new currency

March 2, 2014

If the president needs a target for his drone list, I’d suggest finding out where these are printed and then expressing our displeasure with a Hellfire or three.

Money Jihad

Osama Bin Laden bill

Reportedly, Al Qaeda in Iraq (ISIL) is circulating its own one hundred “Islamic” pound note in western Iraq with a picture of the Twin Towers burning on 9/11 and a portrait of Osama bin Laden.

The new bills are quite a curious development considering that Islamists normally regard paper currencies as unclean “infidel” currencies invented by non-Muslim imperialists.  Islamists prefer gold dinars and silver dirhams such as those used by Muhammad according to traditional Islamic texts.

ISIL may have chosen a denomination of 100 because of the popularity of U.S. $100 bills in Iraq, where they are nicknamed “ghosts” because of Iraqi perceptions of Benjamin Franklin’s sprectral appearance.

Presumably, the new currency is more of a publicity stunt than an actual, working currency that could be used to pay the wages of their fighters.  The money would seem to have limited usefulness to ISIL’s men and their families, because…

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