Thursday, May 26, 2011
The war against terrorism is like the war in Viet Nam, and we are making the same mistakes we made there. The insurgents are choosing the time and place of every engagement. Our "search and destroy" missions are ineffective because the bad guys know we are coming and can hide or slip away and trigger roadside bombs when our troops approach. In Iraq, the militants we are fighting will cheerfully die because they believe they will be sent to paradise. This is the kind of war no advanced military equipment can win. On the other hand, if China were to attack the US, we would be in an untenable situation. Most of our manufacturing capability has been diminished to the point that it is nearly nonexistent. Products stamped with "Made in USA", rarely show up on shelves. Because of protesting environmentalists, we do not drill in oil-rich regions of the United States. Instead, we pay outrageous prices to other nations for something we have in abundance. In order to fight a war against a hostile nation, manufacturing capabilities and ready supplies of fuel for the fighting machines are absolutely necessary. An attack by a nation like China, would have hordes of soldiers manning equipment much less technically sophisticated than ours, but in huge quantities. Even if we have the most advanced equipment available, massive numbers will win out. For example, if the Germans had the quantity of tanks, jet aircraft and fuel they needed, they would have won the war. They had the biggest, baddest tanks and the fastest airplanes. It was America's overwhelming manufacturing might that enabled us to win that war. It was a numbers game: as we produced more they produced less. I fear that a war against a major power will not go well for us.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
When writing my novel, Double Trouble on Corned Beef Row, I had to familiarize myself with military strategy and means of attack and defense. One of the problems I had in writing the book was planning a covert operation to capture an Israeli secret weapon. I had to come up with a scenario that was not only viable but tactically sound. It took me a good while to come up with a solution to my problem, but I believe it was not too far fetched. I was not trying to write science fiction, but a military operation that was unique and plausible. Several people who have read the book have commented on its reality and my knowledge of the processes. Which brings me to the point. I believe the US military has placed far too much emphasis on technology. A single, well placed nuclear device could cripple all of it. A nuclear device exploded in space above the USA could knock out our entire infrastructure from cell phones to traffic lights to water supplies and sewage treatment. If a rogue organization wants to destroy the United States, that is all they would have to do. No more computers, television, automobiles, trains, airplanes, electricity of any kind. The explosion would cause an electromagnetic pulse or EMP that would wipe out anything that uses an electronic circuit to control it from cars to wrist watches. And an ICBM would not be necessary to do it. A rocket launched from American soil by domestic terrorists or smuggled in by enemies could do it, and the military would have no defence against it. Technology is a wonderful thing, but too much reliance on it could kill us all.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I have come to the conclusion that I am glad I will not live too many more years. At 72, I have had a full life that started out wonderfully. Two loving parents, doting grandparents, and a slew of aunts, uncles and cousins nearby. Then came WWII and my father's departure for the Marine Corps. Iwo Jima changed him and my relationship with him. He was no longer the gentle person he had been before. That, and the fact that my mother made him the one who passed out discipline for my misdeeds. I began to fear him more than love him. Still there were good times together. Happy times. I remember times spent at my cousin's waterfront home on Chesapeake Bay where one could look into the water under the pier and see sunfish or bluegills guarding their nests in the shallow water. Not so, now. That same water is clouded with pollutants. In my neighborhood, glistening white marble steps shone in the sun. The ladies of the houses there made sure they were kept immaculate. Not so, now. The neighborhood has been taken over by whores and drug dealers. Those white steps are filthy with car exhaust residue, spilled soft drinks and beer. I have seen the America I love being slowly dismantled by the greed of its people on all levels, the corruption at highest offices of government, and the lopsided reporting of events in the press and on TV. I have seen its industrial might that enabled it to defeat terrible enemies during WWII allowed to crumble and fall into disrepair. There is no longer the kind of pride and patriotism that once existed in our cities. It still exists in middle America, but has been lost in the cities. There, the tenets of citizenship and patriotism have been cast aside for corporate profits and personal greed. Those subjects are no longer taught in the schools. I see my country dying of a lack of morals and general apathy. I only hope I die before it does.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Our grandstanding president (I will never capitalize president before his name) Obama, has managed to pull defeat from the jaws of victory once again. A veteran of special operations critiqued the bin Laden take down and I feel his analysis is on the money. If Obama had kept is big mouth shut and not revealed what had happened to the entire world, the CIA and the other intelligence agencies involved could have quickly deciphered what was in the "treasure trove" of information taken from the Pakistani compound. A followup series of raids conducted within days could have totally destroyed the entire terrorist network. Instead, Obama has alerted them and told them of the death of their leader. Now, they have had a chance to change their locations and strategies. By disclosing the facts and too many details, our chances of eliminating this threat to our security has been jeopardized by the very person whose responsibility it is to guarantee it. Authorizing the strike at Osama bin Laden may have been a great move, but immediately announcing it to the world is a security blunder of astronomical proportions. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
Sunday, May 15, 2011
I just received an email from a boyhood friend about a warning from a former Israeli agent who has lectured on anti-terrorism and is now a consultant to Congress. Sadly, those whom he has informed of the threats think we are too stupid or unable to handle the reality. Israel has a totally different approach to security than the USA. They are proactive, whilst America is reactive. it's a sad thing to say that the leadership of the United States is not informing people of the real dangers that exist. Since taking down Osama bin Laden, the terrorists have vowed revenge. US security policies are filled with political correctness to the terrorists tremendous advantages. Liberals in the United States have crippled our security agencies with things like anti-profiling that aids people who are trying to do us harm. Another attack like 9/11 is going to have to occur before this country wakes up to what it is really facing. I believe that our greatest threat is going to be from home-grown terrorists. Patriotism is a word rarely heard any more. Our schools no longer teach things like civics or American government. The children growing up in this day age have no idea of our history. They have no idea of what those who have gone before them have given in suffering and dying in fighting for their freedoms. We have only ourselves to blame. We have stood by and allowed people to pervert or circumvent our laws. By doing this, we have opened the door and invited in, unwelcome guests. I have met the enemy, and he is us.