Peace through Superior Firepower?

Who knew? Perhaps deterrence works. In any case, the North Koreans are talking to the Southern ones. That hasn’t happened in a long time. Maybe this is why.

CBS has a report (more bloody autoplay videos, sorry!) that:

Last week, the Pacific Air Forces announced three B-2 “Spirit” stealth bombers with approximately 200 personnel have been deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to the Pacific island of Guam.

The statement said the deployment is intended to provide leaders with “deterrent options to maintain regional stability.”[…]

Last year, flights by B-1B bombers from Guam to the airspace around Korea were a major flashpoint, prompting a warning from North Korea that it had drawn up a plan to target the waters around the island with a missile strike that it could carry out anytime Kim gave the order. The B-2 is more threatening.

It’s the most advanced bomber in the Air Force and, unlike the B-1B, can carry nuclear weapons. It’s also the only known aircraft that can drop the Air Force’s biggest bomb, the 14,000-kilogram, about 30,000-pound, FGBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator.

The “MOP,” capable of penetrating deep into the ground to destroy reinforced tunnels and bunkers, was explicitly designed with North Korea in mind.

That adds on to the CVNs Ronald Reagan, Carl Vinson, and perhaps the Carl Stennis, and the USS Wasp as well, an upgraded amphibious assault ship, with its Marines, and either carrying or capable of carrying about 30 F 35Bs.

That’s all in addition to all the stuff already in South Korea, Japan, and the general neighborhood, and the South Koreans who are no slouch themselves.

I recall SECDEF Mattis commenting that nothing keeps him awake, he keeps others awake. His point was that this administration while having due regard for public opinion, is not going to make policy from what will (XXX) do, the will make policy from what does the United States want to happen. A somewhat subtle but very important difference.

And so we see Whoa Fat’s minions at the conference table in South Korea, after less than a year of Donald Trump’s presidency. Likewise, we see serious demonstrations in the streets in Iran. They may not win this time, but win they shall. We see Egypt and Saudi Arabia talking to Israel, and about no less than a military alliance. We may, perhaps, be watching the dawn of a new era. KSA is reportedly negotiating to buy the Iron Dome system from Israel.

And we even see the people of eastern Europe stand up to their would-be masters in western Europe. Why it’s almost like they didn’t throw off their communist masters only to succumb to the fascists in the west.

The only people I see decrying this is the anti-freedom left in America, and the European governments most of whom have sold their soul long ago for material gain. Are they noisy? Yep. Are they important? Nope. Only when the sheriff is on strike. But the sheriff is on patrol again

And just now I see a report that the two Koreas will march together under a unified flag at the Winter Olympics next month. Not a problem solved, but one that is perhaps on its way, something no one foresaw a year ago.

Not “Peace in our time” but perhaps we are back to where we can say that it is better to “Jaw, Jaw than to War War.”

Quite a year it has been!

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Bad Choices and Stopping the Threat

From Bearing Arms via The Daley Gator.

Ruiz’s son, Andrew Herrera, was shot and killed when he tried to rob a Popeye’s Chicken in Texas. That’s when he came face-to-face with the state’s self-defense laws.

Now, Ruiz has questions.

 “Did my son deserve to be punished? Yes, he did,” Ruiz said.

Police said Herrera, wearing a hoodie and a mask, entered the South Side restaurant with gun and confronted a man and his family who were eating.

After the man told Herrera he had spent the money he had on their dinner, Herrera turned toward the counter and pointed the gun at one of the workers, who was running away.

That’s when the man, who had a concealed handgun license, fired several shots at Herrera.

A police spokesman later said, “Here in Texas, if you’re in fear of loss of life, loss of property, you have a right to defend yourself.”

Ruiz said she understands the man who shot her son was defending his family, but she asked, “Why shoot him four more times? Why did he shoot him five times?”

I hate to break it to Ruiz, but the reason the man shot him five times was simple. You shoot until there’s no longer a threat. The armed citizen judge there was still a risk to him and his family–and the word “family” means no self-respecting man is going to take a chance at that point–and kept shooting until there was no longer a threat.

Shootings aren’t like the movies or on TV. You don’t shoot to wound. A wounded person can still kill you. You shoot until the threat has been eliminated. If the first shot wounds them but they drop their weapon and surrender, so much the better for everyone, but only a complete and total idiot expects that to happen.

Herrera threatened the lives of human beings, and he paid a price for that. It’s a price that Ruiz is being forced to pay, which is a pity, but either she failed to teach him it was wrong to steal, or he failed to heed the lessons. Either way, he tried to rob a chicken place and came face-to-face with someone who was not going to be a victim.

Why was Herrara shot five times? Because he stood there, gun in hand, and threatened the innocent.

Knighton is spot on. Until the threat is ended, the threat is there, and real. Surrender is always an option if one wants to live. Like everyone else, I’m sorry for Ruiz, but her son made the choice, and it came up bad for him this time.

In any case, I don’t do a lot of gun stories, although I see many of them because they are well enough covered elsewhere. Often when you see one here, its because there is an obvious injustice going on, or it’s hard to figure out or something. In this case, it makes a wider point.

In this case, the whole thing is scalable. The same thing that got this guy killed, got Nazi Germany killed, almost got Imperial Japan depopulated, and the list goes on. It is what North Korea and Iran find so entertaining to play around with. America’s old habit is quite simple, we rarely start wars, but we end them rather decisively, and it’s highly unusual for us to lose.

General Patton spoke truly when he said,

Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.

Of course, that’s not to say that our politicians haven’t thrown a couple away after brave men and women won them. That’s why you have to keep them on a short rein.

But generally speaking, poking around at the eagle with a sharp stick is a rather bad idea.

 

Bringing back the Shah.

From Warsclerotic:

Would Iranians really bring back the Shah? American ThinkerMonica Showalter, January 3, 2017

[T]here once was another Iran, one where women had freedoms; living standards were rising; human rights were improving (he learned that the Shah’s much vilified SAVAK secret police, for instance, committed far fewer crimes than Soviet-linked propagandists had claimed); and the country was integrated with, not isolated from the world community.  The Shah, Cooper argued, really did want to see his country advance in the world, and he enacted many democratic reforms.

Is it really that far-fetched that the [deceased] Shah[‘s son, Reza Pahlavi] might be seen as a legitimate alternative for Iran?  Not with these current things going on.  Right now, U.S. policymakers should be ignoring the Stanford establishmentarian elites on Iran and reading Cooper’s book as fast as they can.

He appears to have no ulterior motive other than doing what he can to help his countrymen in Iran and his willingness to become the necessary catalyst to dislodge the current brutal regime.  Reza Pahlavi wants the Iranian people to rise up against the regime and establish a parliamentary democracy based on democratic values, freedom, and human rights.

***********************************

Pundits have marveled at what a big surprise it is that ordinary Iranians have revolted against the mullahs.  It’s a surprise to them, but no surprise to American Thinker’s readers, whose Iranian contributors have kept us posted for years about what is really going on in Iran.

Just look at these pieces by Hamid BahramiReza ShafieeHassan MahmoudiAmil Imani, and Shahriar Kia.  Over and over again, these writers warned there is a problem, and now Iranians’ protests against corruption, soaring prices, environmental ruin, Revolutionary Guards thuggery, poverty, and bank collapses have become the “surprise” story of the day.

One writer at Politico correctly noted that the “surprise” stems from reporters covering only Tehran’s elites, not the doings in the hinterlands.  The hinterlands, of course, are where the trouble started, beginning in Mashhad, and these are the parts of the country American Thinker’s writers have been bringing us information on.  These writers showed long ago that what we are seeing now isn’t your garden-variety protests of city elites seeking “reform” or “fair elections.”  These protests are smaller, but they’re the real kind, revolutionary ones, actual calls for the overthrow of the regime and the initiation of a new government.  Protests now aren’t coming from the comfortable elites who just want a little bit of tweaking.

Now with eyes on Iran, one essay, published six months ago at American Thinker, stands out: Amil Imani’s piece titled “Is Reza Pahlavi the Only Hope to Overthrow the Mullahs?

On the surface, it sounds ridiculous that anyone would want to bring back a king, even as a constitutional monarch in a democracy.  But it’s real.  Here is an account by Voice of America about the rise of the late Shah’s son, Reza Pahlavi, a smart, photogenic, democracy-oriented leader, waiting in the wings as an alternative to the corrupt, sneering mullahs.

 As Imani noted:

Reza Pahlavi is the son of the late Shah of Iran.  I have never had the honor of meeting or speaking with him, although I judge any man based on what he says and what he does.

As I watched this man grow and become a seasoned politician, my admiration for him grew stronger.  In my opinion, Mr. Pahlavi has become the very asset that the opposition has needed for many years.

He appears to have no ulterior motive other than doing what he can to help his countrymen in Iran and his willingness to become the necessary catalyst to dislodge the current brutal regime.  Reza Pahlavi wants the Iranian people to rise up against the regime and establish a parliamentary democracy based on democratic values, freedom, and human rights.

I’m not going to express an opinion about this, really, because I don’t have enough information to have a valid opinion. But I do note that it is easier for people to rally around a person or thing. For Americans, it’s usually the flag, for Brits it’s often the Queen, why could not a new Shah perform the same service. I remember that Iran, it seemed a fairly happy place, as did Afghanistan in those days.

And he certainly might, if the Iranian people agree, provide a counterweight to the mullahs.

Completing the Revolution

My title comes from the theory that the American founders rather than merely revolting against England were putting things right, completing the revolution so to speak. It’s often a useful concept because if things get out of hand, it will often apply. Case in point: Iran.

Melanie Phillips wrote Monday about it, let’s see what she has to say:

The scale and scope of these demonstrations across Iran is unprecedented: estimates suggest they have been occurring in at least 30 cities, including some places long deemed to be the regime’s power base.

With President Hassan Rouhani acknowledging economic “grievances”, a “lack of transparency” and “corruption”, the regime has responded with patent alarm. As well it might. If these protests continue to accelerate, they can produce an upset that was unimaginable until now. For this is an uprising against the regime itself.

Demonstrators have been chanting “Death to Khamenei” (|Iran’s supreme Leader), “Reformists, hardliners, it is game over now,” “Death to the Islamic Republic” and “Shame on you, mullahs.”

They are also chanting: “Forget about Palestine, forget about Gaza, think about us”, ‘Death to Hezbollah” and “Leave Syria alone, think about us instead”.

As Dr Majid Rafizadeh observes here, this uprising is more significant even than the “Green Revolution” demonstrations in 2009. People then were protesting against rigged elections and the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Today they are demanding regime change: an end to the Islamist regime that took power in 1979.

This of course shows up as utterly risible the gloss initially put on these protests by the western media – those outlets, that is, that even bothered to report the demonstrations when they first erupted – that the issue which has brought Iranians onto the streets is merely economic privation.

Well, yeah but what else can they say, they are pretty close to nihilists, believing in nothing beyond false economics, except of course the State and Global Warming. It’s got to be a tough life, going through life disbelieving the evidence of your eyes, mind, and heart, in favor of the party line.

The result has not been merely that the free world has been placed in hugely increased danger. The European/Obama axis also abandoned and betrayed the Iranian people who have been suffering under the cruel tyranny of a regime which oppresses women, jails dissidents and hangs gay men from cranes.

When the people previously rose up in the 2009 “Green Revolution”, they were brutally suppressed. That revolt was put down with the tacit connivance of President Obama who said and did nothing to support them. So why have the Iranian people now risen up again and in such huge numbers? The answer is two words: Donald Trump.

For he has changed the dynamic of the entire region by signalling from the get-go that he has the Iranian regime in his sights. The Iranian people have been thus encouraged to believe they will be backed by the president of the most powerful nation on earth, rather than betrayed as they were by his predecessor.

Since the uprising began, Trump haas tweeted his support several times, saying:

“The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer. The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!”

“Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice. The world is watching!”

“The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change, and, other than the vast military power of the United States, that Iran’s people are what their leaders fear the most….”[…]

Trump’s tweets are aimed at both the regime and the demonstrators. To the regime he’s saying: your time is up and the US will be helping the people make that a reality. He’s saying this to demoralise and weaken the regime. To the people he’s saying: we’re with you. That message of backing from the most powerful leader in the world is aimed at giving the people the courage to continue. Without it they are far less likely to persevere.

If people are to rouse their courage to pit themselves against the might of a regime that can kill and crush them, the support of the rest of the world is absolutely crucial. So far, though, Trump is alone in offering such support. Apart from Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson feebly and pointlessly tweeting his “concern”, Britain and the EU have been silent. They are not supporting the people of Iran against the regime. They are not trying to weaken it. How can they? They have helped empower it. As have their cheerleaders and Obama sycophants in the media. […]

Dr Rafizadeh writes: “The fault lines are completely visible. If you are on the side of justice, freedom, and basic human rights, and if you respect humanity, you will not be able to remain silent. Let us at least give moral support, if not more, to the Iranian people. Justice and truth need to prevail. This is what history has repeatedly shown us. Let us not be on the side of history that would remain silent in the face of such crimes against humanity, let us not join the ranks of other dictators, terrorists, and criminals, that turned a blind eye to violence, and the will of brave, innocent people.”

Alas, on this Britain and Europe are, as so often, on the wrong side.

Yep, completing the revolution. What Carter in his naive stupidity helped to throw away, the Iranian people are attempting to reclaim. Europe, as usual, can only see the Euros they have been making by allowing the suppression of the freedom of the Iranian people. America knows better, freedom is worth pain, sometimes a lot of it. John Kennedy said…

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans […] proud of our ancient heritage–and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

That includes Mrs. May’s government and the rest of Europe. In the threadbare ancient capitals of Europe, it soon will be a time for choosing. For choosing freedom, or choosing to oppress your people, and thus earn the contempt of the United States. And mark my words, once again your best and brightest, will see the wonders of freedom and become Americans.

For once again, “wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the eies of all people are uppon us;” and they see what freedom has wrought, and they will flock to us. This is American leadership, it’s not about easy, nor is it about safe, it is about doing the harder right instead of the easy wrong. It always has been, and it is again.

Ancient Laws, Modern Wars

Victor Davis Hanson reminds us of some ancient learning, and helps us apply it to the present day.

After eight years of withdrawal, what rules should the U.S. follow to effectively reassert itself in world affairs? The most dangerous moments in foreign affairs often come after a major power seeks to reassert its lost deterrence. The United States may be entering just such a perilous transitional period.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/446471/military-deterrence-trumps-leadership-abroad-principles-foreign-policy […]

1. Avoid making verbal threats that are not serious and backed up by force. After eight years of pseudo-red lines, step-over lines, deadlines, and “game changers,” American ultimatums without consequences have no currency and will only invite further aggression.
2. The unlikely is not impossible. Weaker powers can and do start wars. Japan in December 1941 attacked the world’s two largest navies based on the false impression that great powers which sought to avoid war did so because they were weak. That current American military power is overwhelming does not mean delusional nations will always agree that it is so — or that it will be used.
3. Big wars can start from small beginnings. No one thought an obscure Austrian archduke’s assassination in 1914 would lead to some 18 million dead by 1918. Consider any possible military engagement a precursor to far more. Have a backup plan — and another backup plan for the backup plan.
4. Do not confuse tactics with strategy. Successfully shooting down a rogue airplane, blowing up an incoming speedboat, or taking an ISIS-held Syrian city is not the same as finding a way to win and end a war. Strategic victory is time-consuming and usually involves drawing on economic, political, and cultural superiority as well as military success to ensure that a defeated opponent stays defeated — and agrees that further aggression is counterproductive.

via Military Deterrence & Trump’s Leadership Abroad: Principles for Foreign Policy | National Review Read the whole thing.™

There’s more there and they are all true, useful, and important. One that we Americans are very prone to is number four above. It’s always a problem, where is the dividing line. There is a murky area in there as well that some theorists coming after Clausewitz refer to as the ‘operational’. While I see their point, which is valid, these theories are already too complex, so it is best to do our best to maintain a sharp clear line.

If they are doing their job, the TLAM strike in Syria in Syria was strategic. It may or may not deter Hasan, although that is certainly desirable, but it depends on his calculus of survival. If he thinks he is more likely to survive by doing such things, he will. He is, after all, a man of weak morals, caught in a corner. He will do his best to survive, just as Saddam did.

But the point of that strike, which occurred while the President was having dinner with the Chinese Premier, was not Syria. It was Iran and North Korea, and it was notice to their sponsor states, Russia and China, that we were quite unhappy, and that the eagle just might scream in other parts of the world.

It’s important to realize that the United States, while it may be possible to destroy it, it can only be destroyed by what is essentially a nation level suicide-bombing, and only Russia (and maybe China) can do it. America’s only real enemies are internal. And that too has precedent, especially with Rome. Are we there? I don’t think so, but there are troubling signs.

My reading is that the first signs of decline are corruption, venality, and a deterioration of will. I do see these signs in abundance, and we would be wise to check our course. Or maybe we did, and that why we have Trump.

Guns of August, Redux

courtneyskiniSome may well call this a fantasy, but is it? Or is it what happens when America takes the gloves off, and decides some more winning is in order.

“On July 29th 20 Iran successfully launches a Shahab rocket and orbiting satellite, proving it has a formidable functioning delivery vehicle, then announces it has produced sufficient fissionable material at its Natanz facility to build two nuclear bombs in 2017 and begins work on underground test facilities in the basalt formations beneath the great salt desert of Dacht-e-Kavir.

Supreme Leader Ali Khameini announces boldly that his nation has manufactured weapons-grade fissionable material enriched to nearly 100% (in lieu of 5% enrichment for peaceful nuclear reactors).

Two days later Great Satan launches the most audacious regional series of regime changes ever implemented in history, Officially dubbed ‘Operation Boundless Freedom” Allies and enemies alike refer to it as ‘Operation Great Satan”

3 Iranian submarines are destroyed – 1 in the Med, 1 in the Atlantic and 1 in the Indian Ocean. Another surrenders and defects near Barcelona.

Naval and air force assets at Bandar Abbas are hit with a combination of missiles and a French- Saudi Amphibious assault from Qatar and the UAE. Waves of Tomahawk cruise missiles streak through Persian aerospace from ships and subs – effectively targetting the Iranian air force – air fields, missile sites and air defense systems are struck down within hours.

Communications are totally co opted or overwhelmed cybernetically. B2 Stealth bombers sortee to to strike IRRGC command and control HQ’s.

“American warplanes and missiles carefully avoid striking research reactors in Teheran and Ispahan as well as the nuclear reactor at Bousher–less than 100 kilometers from Kuwait–as well as the centrifuges themselves at Natanz in an effort to prevent the spread of radioactive material to nearby population centers.

However, other missiles producing electromagnetic pulses do knock out
virtually all of Iran’s electric grid and computer systems”

Airborne troops from Great Britain and Great Satan sieze all passes through the Zagros mountains – effectively cutting Iran in half.

Special Forces strike and hold especial clerical compounds in Tehran and Qom right before Friday prayers. Nearly 20% of Iran’s ruling praetorian guards and mullahs are captured, killed or missing by breakfast time.

Armed insurgencies break out across Iran as ex and au currant MEK groups strike, sieze and hold towns and cities.

Great Satan’ s seaborne regime changing Marines hit the surf just north of the Litani river in Lebanon and methodically grind and leap frog straight through the heart of Hiz’B’AllahLand.

Known missile batteries and weapons caches (many in innocent civilian rich areas) are captured by chopper borne marines and French commandos or trashed.

HBA’s command complex in Beirut is clamped shut by heavily armed Marines after precision cruise missile strikes.
Al Manar – HBA’s ‘suicide channel’ seems to be co opted – running a marathon of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” in Arabic overdubs. All communications in the ME are totally wacked – from Bashar’s Al Sana network to Al Jazeera – regular programming has been replaced with the most outrageous cable quality programming Great Satan can jam like “Playboys Girls Next Door” and choice selections from ‘Girls Gone Wild’

Within 5 days, Iran is reduced to a state of near paralysis, unable in any sense to retaliate militarily, its entire economic infrastructure in shambles. By this time the largest armored division in history has left Iraq and “Old Ironsides” is within striking distance of a thunder run into downtown Tehran.

via GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Guns Of August, more at the link.

Will it happen like that, of course not, this is a theoretical. But something very like it could happen if Iran pushes Donald Trump. He has given no indication, ever, that he plays to do anything but win. And a two-week war, followed by the other country starting to rebuild itself, and remember Iran under the Shah was a pretty secular place, and there are still lots of non-Moslems there, fits that description, I think.

You, of course, remember all the hand wringing back before the Iraq wars about Saddam’s vaunted troops, how good they were and how we would take enormous casualties, and how they had stood off Iran for a decade. Yeah, the answer is two words “Thunder Run”, or if you prefer “73 Easting”. That we’ve been thrashing around attempting to assassinate individual terrorists for a few years because of a lack of leadership, does not indicate that is all we can do.

And something else here, this version is from Great Satan’s Girlfriend, but the study was written by Francois Heisbourg. The bio states this:

For there are some extraordinary surprises in this consummate, if brief, but brilliantly conceived work by the man who is perhaps Europe’s leading global thinker–chairman of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, adviser to French presidents and ministers of defense and foreign affairs going back to Valery Giscard d’Estaing and top adviser to French arms makers from Thompson to Matra.

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