Archive for October, 2007

Iraq Won?

Andrew Bolt brings to our attention this essay on why the war in Iraq has been won. Its very much worth reading. I remain an cautious optimist, wars are only won when one side gives up. So far, despite pressure from the US Congress, leftest media and the usual suspects, Bush has not surrendered. If Al-Queda is leaving Iraq then it may explain the increased fighting in Afghanistan. My guess is that victory will become obvious to everyone in time for the next Presidential election. The Left’s reaction to an Iraq victory and another Republican President would be hilarious.

Iemma’s coming private battle

New South Wales is in for exciting times after the Federal election. The state government has signaled several major reforms including the privatisation of electricity generation and selling off the ferries. The unions are not going the like that. The Carr government tried to privatise electricity several years ago but was rolled by the unions. The government is not going to announce anything controversial while theres a Federal election on, but after 24 November expect interesting times.

Bombs away?

It looks increasingly likely that the recent Israeli bombing on Syria was on nuclear facilities:

Syria erases its ‘nuclear site’

By Mark Heinrich in Vienna

October 27, 2007 03:05am

Article from: Reuters

NEW satellite pictures show Syria has razed the site of what might have been a secret nuclear reactor under construction apparently bombed by Israel last month, an atomic research institute says.

Syria has denied illicitly hiding a nuclear site from the the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and said the only facility in the area in question was a desertification research centre.

In commercial satellite images taken on Wednesday and issued by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a suspected reactor building visible in aerial photos before the September 6 air raid had vanished and the ground underneath scraped clean, the institute said.

“Dismantling and removing the building at such a rapid pace dramatically complicates any (IAEA) inspection of the facilities and suggests Syria may be trying to hide what was there,” the report by the Washington-based group said.

Tractors or bulldozers could be seen in the pictures where the building once stood, said ISIS, which is headed by former UN weapons inspector David Albright and tracks nuclear activity that could pose bomb-proliferation threats.

What appeared to be a trench might point to the Syrians excavating buried pipelines running between the demolished building and a nearby structure still standing, which could have been a pumping station to supply water to the reactor, it said.

The Vienna-based IAEA had no immediate comment…..

Ominously, it looks like American forces are preparing a raid on Iranian facilities:

US flags B2 stealth bomber MOP upgrade

October 27, 2007 01:00am

Article from: The Australian

NESTLED deep in George W.Bush’s latest $US190 billion ($210 billion) request to Congress for emergency funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is a tantalising little item that has received scant attention.

The US Department of Defence has asked for an additional $US88 million to modify B2 stealth bombers so they can carry a 13,600kg bomb called the “massive ordnance penetrator” (or MOP, in the disarming acronymic vernacular of the military).

The MOP is an advanced form of a “bunker-buster”, an air-delivered weapon with an explosive capacity to destroy targets deep underground.

Explaining the request, the administration says it is in response to an “urgent operational need from theatre commanders”.

What kind of emergency could that be?

It’s possible that the US Air Force wants more firepower in the hunt for Osama bin Laden and al-Qa’eda as they skulk in their caves in Afghanistan.

But that wouldn’t require stealth bombers – the sleek, black-skinned, radar-dodging darts of the US military.

The Americans own the skies over Afghanistan and Iraq and could, if they wished, blanket the two countries with all manner of bombardment from low altitude in broad daylight.

So what lies somewhere between Iraq and Afghanistan that might demand the urgent deployment of a stealth aircraft that can quietly drop a 13,600kg bomb and destroy something several storeys below ground?

The secret wine cellars in Tehran that house the illicit stash of vintage clarets belonging to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

The vast collection of grey polyester suits and Iranian goody bags that lie in wait for the next batch of luckless British sailors?

Pat yourself on the back if you correctly identified the subterranean nuclear enrichment facilities operated by the Iranian Government in its pursuit of an epoch-altering bomb…..

I hope the Americans don’t bomb Iran, not because I don’t believe they are not developing nukes, (although recent history of US intelligence has to give us doubts) but because its not needed. The Reagan administration managed to bring down the Soviet Union, a far, far, greater threat then Iran will ever be without having to take direct military action. Similar methods can also be used to bring down the Iranian mullahs.

Fine crimes

The Sydney Telegraph is running a crusade against Lemma’s fine crimes. They even have a petition. I’m beginning to think we should extend them, to include pie-in-the-face and tar and feathering of public officials.

Thanks, Sergeant

Thank you Sergeant Locke, rest in peace.

Australian soldier, Matthew Locke, killed in Afghanistan

SAS soldier Matthew Locke was a genuine hero who won high bravery honours before his death in Afghanistan, it has been revealed.

The Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) sergeant, fatally wounded in a firefight yesterday with Taliban militia in the province of Oruzgan in Afghanistan, was recognised only last year for his courage under fire.

Sgt Locke was awarded the Medal for Gallantry for his fearless conduct in battle during his first deployment to Afghanistan.

The Medal for Gallantry ranks behind only the Victoria Cross and the Star of Gallantry in military honours.

The Perth-based father and husband was hailed for displaying “courage of the highest order” during an operation on June 2 last year, in a rugged area known as the Chora Pass.

While second in command of an SAS patrol charged with setting up an observation post over a Taliban sanctuary, Sgt Locke was recognised for numerous acts of bravery as his team faced attack from the enemy.

After trudging 10 hours up the side of a mountain, the patrol was called into action to support coalition forces engaged with Taliban fighters set up in a nearby valley, his citation says.

When the battle was over, Sgt Locke’s patrol remained in place, calling in air strikes over the next day in an attempt to disrupt the enemy.

But the enemy fighters managed to turn on the small and isolated Australian unit.

As the Taliban attempted to overrun and surround the patrol, Sgt Locke, without regard for his safety, led a two-man team which found and killed them, regaining the upper hand and protecting the patrol from being overrun.

During another episode, Sgt Locke was subject to intense rifle and machine gun fire as he moved to an exposed area of higher ground, where he blunted the Taliban attack until air support arrived.

His actions ultimately ensured the patrol was able regain the initiative from Taliban forces and eventually leave the area safely on foot……

Sea Power

The Sea as well as Space, has enormous potential to provide civilization with large scale energy, so I’m glad to see that the Australian government is supporting an Australian company attempting to commercialize sea power.

The CETO system uses the wave power of the undersea:

Commercial wave-powered water desalination and electricity generation is one step closer to reality, according to Australian developers.

Trials of a technology called CETO have yielded promising results, says Dr Michael Ottaviano of Carnegie Corporation, which is developing the system in the southern hemisphere.

The tests, carried out in Fremantle, Western Australia, verify predictions of how much electricity and water the technology could produce under various wave conditions.

“We’ve found a perfect correlation between the results our models predicted and what we’ve actually measured in the ocean, which is a major technical milestone,” Dr Ottaviano said.

The CETO technology, first conceived by Perth-based inventor Alan Burns in 1975, consists of submerged buoys connected to seawater pumps fixed to the seabed.

As each buoy moves back and forward with the swell, it generates energy to pump seawater onto land at high enough pressures to drive a reverse osmosis desalination plant as well as hydroelectricity turbines.

The company has just spent two years developing a computer model of the buoy and pump system, which calculates how much power and water it can deliver back on shore according to different wave conditions.

The computational fluid dynamics model uses the same software used to design racing cars and boats for the America’s Cup.

“We can also now go to any number of sites, measure the wave conditions there, plug those conditions into our models and then tailor a design of the unit to each specific site that we go to,” Dr Ottaviano said.

He says tailoring the units to particular sites would involve changing the buoyancy of the buoy and the design of the pump….

Going for the criminal vote

This is just disgusting, our State Labor government decided to reduce penalties against property crimes the level of speeding fines:

But Morris Iemma says he hasn’t gone soft. The plan, announced by the Premier yesterday, will see offenders issued with on-the-spot criminal infringement notices (CINs) in much the same way as traffic tickets are issued now.

The offences, also including possession of stolen goods, offensive conduct or obstructing traffic, will not be recorded and any fingerprints taken will be destroyed after 21 days.

Only those offenders who contest their CIN in court, and are then found guilty, would see the matter recorded on their criminal record.

“It’s an absolute disgrace,” opposition police spokesman Mike Gallacher said today.

He criticised CINs as soft in comparison to fines meted out for other offences, such as smoking at a Sydney railway station, or driving without a seat belt.

“If I’m down at Central railway station this afternoon having a smoke and I get caught by one of those grey security guards, I get a $500 fine,” he said.

“But if I get caught unlawfully in your car I get a $250 fine.

“What’s worse, if I get caught not wearing a seatbelt I pay the $238 fine and it stays on my driving record forever.

“Under this government’s proposal that we have now, if I pay my $250 fine for being unlawfully in your car, I’m a clean skin tomorrow.”

This is a government which can’t provide adequate public transport, can’t manage hospitals and can’t even provide enough water. Now they have given up on one of the essential duties of government; providing law and order.

The federal coalition government will lose badly in November, but without Howard to blame their own failures on, I expect the Libs will kick these losers out next state election.