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unhappycamper's Journal
unhappycamper's Journal
March 2, 2012

How Does One Flummox The United States Air Force?



tr.v. flum·moxed, flum·mox·ing, flum·mox·es Informal

To confuse; perplex.

ThesaurusLegend: Synonyms Related Words Antonyms

Verb 1. flummox - be a mystery or bewildering toflummox - be a mystery or bewildering to; "This beats me!"; "Got me--I don't know the answer!"; "a vexing problem"; "This question really stuck me"

baffle, bewilder, dumbfound, mystify, nonplus, perplex, puzzle, amaze, stupefy, gravel, vex, pose, stick, beat, get
stump, mix up - cause to be perplexed or confounded; "This problem stumped her"

befuddle, confound, confuse, discombobulate, fox, bedevil, fuddle, throw - be confusing or perplexing to; cause to be unable to think clearly; "These questions confuse even the experts"; "This question completely threw me"; "This question befuddled even the teacher"

riddle - set a difficult problem or riddle; "riddle me a riddle"

elude, escape - be incomprehensible to; escape understanding by; "What you are seeing in him eludes me"

Never fear, Lockheed Martin is here.


F-22 Woes Continue to Flummox Air Force
March 01, 2012
Military.com|by Michael Hoffman

It was not the first grounding for the $77 billion fifth-generation fighter fleet. Officials restricted missions to below 25,000 feet after Haney's crash before grounding the fleet altogether for five months in May 2011. And still the Air Force can't figure out why pilots can't breathe.

unhappycamper comment: These are the same guys building (and attempting to sell) the F-35. In other words, that first $77 billion dollars didn't do the trick. Let's throw another $384 billion dollars at them and maybe we can get an airplane that works.

March 1, 2012

Wha chu smoking, dude?


Schwartz defends cost of next-gen bomber
By Jeff Schogol - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Feb 29, 2012 12:52:52 EST

At a breakfast with reporters Wednesday, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz explained why he expects the bomber’s sticker price to stay at $550 million a pop.

unhappycamper comment: A frickking F-22 costs $418 million dollars. B-2 bombers cost $2.4 billion dollars each. Shit - a Predator drone costs around $36.3 million dollars. Those Hellfire missiles we use to kill 'insurgents' costs $160 grand.

Where do you think you can find a bomber for a lousy $550 million dollars?

Don't bogart that joint, my friend.
March 1, 2012

Iran, Syria, Who’s Next?


Iran, Syria, Who’s Next?
Berliner Umschau, Germany
By Charly Kneffel
Translated By Ron Argentati
27 February 2012
Edited by Casey J. Skeens

Whoever believed America's policy changed when George W. Bush was replaced by Barack Obama was poorly informed. At any rate, it’s now taking greater pains to propagandize, and appears to be counting on recruiting more countries into its coalition of the willing while taking more care to not totally alienate the citizens of those nations. But that's about all. In substance, not much has really changed. Under the pretense of “humanitarian assistance,” pressure is being applied to governments in various forms, whereby the military option is always on the table and, in fact, has already been applied in Iraq and Afghanistan, showing that it is by no means the trump card of last resort.

The bottom line is domination of the Middle East, where the largest reserves of petroleum and natural gas are found and the control of which is essential to the preservation of Western society. A side purpose is to exclude global competitors such as Russia and China and run them out of the region. This has far less to do with human rights than it has to do with geopolitics. Another strategic side issue of some importance is Iran, where the change from a Shah, who was completely in America's pocket, to a council of ruling Mullahs remains a thorn in America's side to this day.

Since then, America has resorted to a policy of international isolation, economic sanctions, covert intelligence actions, exploitation of real tensions, political maneuvers — some with the threat of military action — and open interference in Iran's domestic affairs, accompanied by occasional olive branches that have the effect of making it impossible to judge whether or not they were genuine or just designed to show Iran in a bad light, and therefore incorrigible.

A sober political assessment can be made of events over the past decade, showing their relative risks and limits: Iraq's vicious dictator was overthrown but (considering the economic costs and the cost in human lives) this resulted in little more than a ruined country where conditions conducive to civil war abound and whose foreign policy orientation looks hopeless, even to those responsible for the changes. In Afghanistan meanwhile, an actual civil war is in full swing and the population is completely against the foreign invaders, and not just since the Koran-burning incident. What will come out of those countries that underwent the “Arab Spring” remains to be seen. In Libya's case, at any rate, the outcome was a thinly veiled military intervention by Western powers.

March 1, 2012

Quran Burning Came as a Gift from Heaven for the US


One torture method or one humiliation more or less will not easily upset them. They have developed an undefined threshold for pain. But do not touch their faith; then there are limits to their tolerance.

Quran Burning Came as a Gift from Heaven for the US
Volkskrant, The Netherlands
By Ferdows Kazemi
Translated By Anne Hukkelhoven
27 February 2012
Edited by Janie Boschma

Bin Laden is dead, Afghanistan is a mess, negotiations with the Taliban have resumed and the Americans can leave. “Afghanistan has again been pushed back 50 years in history; mission accomplished,” asserts Ferdows Kazemi, columnist for vk.nl.


Whoever knows the Sunni Islamic faith even slightly knows that such an act will surely not remain unpunished. The Quran is the word of God and therefore the holiest of the holy in Islam. You are to touch the holy book only after you have ritually cleansed yourself. You are not allowed to put a book or other object on top of the Quran. You can never take the Quran to places that you suspect to be unclean. And burning the Quran is even worse in Islam than violating the Ten Commandments in Christianity.

Afghanistan is not the first Islamic country that has been attacked by NATO. And the Americans have had enough friendly Islamic countries sitting with them at the table for decades. You would expect the American soldiers to be well-informed on the consequences of such a deed. That they have apparently overlooked this simple fact demonstrates a large lack of professionalism. That they pee on corpses and torture prisoners might be understandable. They do not endanger their own lives or the lives of their colleagues with these.

Before the reports and pictures of these crimes surfaced, they had long landed back in their safe haven. Moreover, the Afghans have become accustomed to such acts during the already decade-long wars, the suppression and the bloodshed. One torture method or one humiliation more or less will not easily upset them. They have developed an undefined threshold for pain. But do not touch their faith; then there are limits to their tolerance.
February 26, 2012

The Playbook

From an interview with rummy on 3.30.2003 on ABC:


SEC. RUMSFELD: Not at all. If you think -- let me take that, both pieces -- the area in the south and the west and the north that coalition forces control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

The 2012 version:


Mark Steel: Iraq was such a laugh, let's do it to Iran
Friday, 24 February 2012

Governments and commentators keen on promoting a war against Iran should be stridently opposed, not so much because of the threat to world peace, but because their reasons display a shocking lack of imagination.

The most common one is that Iran has "Weapons of Mass Destruction". How pathetic to pick the same excuse twice in a row. They should make it more interesting, by revealing evidence that Ahmadinejad has built a Terminator, or plans to fill the Strait of Hormuz with a giant Alka-Seltzer so the Persian Gulf fizzes over Kuwait.

What's become of Western leaders, that they can't think up new stories to justify a military attack? Are they going to re-use all the old ones, so if this doesn't work William Hague will say "Iran is threatening the sovereignty of Prussia".

That would be more persuasive than the US government's effort, reported in the Wall Street Journal as "US officials say they believe Iran recently gave freedom to five top al-Qa'ida operatives". It's as if the last outing was such a laugh, they want to do everything exactly the same. The British are probably already on the lookout for a weapons expert with suicidal tendencies.

February 25, 2012

Then and Now







58,264 names are etched on this Wall.

And here's how:

February 25, 2012

A Tale of two Ships

$900 million dollars --> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Queen_Mary_2

$683 million dollars --> http://www.navytimes.com/news/2012/02/coast-guard-2013-budget-2-cutters-removed-022412d/

The USCG Bertholf is 2.7 times more expensive per foot.
February 16, 2012


On a side note, there's one hellova conversation going on about the F-35 and other expensive war toys at dodbuzz.com.

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