Morning Ed: War {2017.06.12.M}

[W1] Ooooh, I want one.

[W2] If there’s a nuclear war with Russia, here is where you don’t want to be. I remember back in the Persian Gulf War I had a teacher that convinced us that nuking Colosse was a distinct possibility.

[W3] The Department of Defense is leaving the citizenship of soldiers in limbo.

[W4] A look at the last days of Saddam Hussein.

[W5] A look at fighting extremist groups in Syria.

[W6] Buzzfeed has a good article on Mosul, demonstrating again how effortlessly it alternates between journalism and trash. Ditto an article introducing us to Venezuelan government minders.

[W7] Daesh families are worried about turning tables.

[W8] Millennials lack nuclear bloodthirst, evidently.


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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53 thoughts on “Morning Ed: War {2017.06.12.M}

    • Operative phrases: ““Our deal is that if there’s another family there, we can be there. Americans aren’t worth more than anyone else.” Yeah, THEY HAVE TO LIVE THERE. You frickin don’t.

      ““I thought, ‘This is not the right place for children,’?” he said. “But then when I got to know them well, I realized this is what makes them happy, and they really believe in what they are doing.” ”
      Yeah, well that’s all the kids have known. Talk to me after the girls and wife are taken prisoner, raped, and sold. All the kids know how to handle a weapon right? ’cause there may come a time when they need to.

      God, “idiocy” doesn’t describe it.

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  1. My questions about the HUD would be 1) ruggedization: how well will this thing hold up to actual combat situations and 2) how easily can the wireless connections be interfered with?

    Well, I did know this. Fortunatly I’ve tens of miles from the Pentagon. But I doubt I’ll survive the “capital wasteland” for long. Damn yao guai!

    Millennials: I’d agree.

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  2. TAR: Now if it can just give you a real time ammo count…

    Limbo: This crap continues to piss me off. You serve, you’re a citizen as soon as you graduate basic. Any delay or conditionals is just jerking people around for politics.

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  3. W1 – One step closer to that Black Mirror episode.

    W2 – In an actual global thermonuclear war, it may be better to live close to ground zero and have it be over quickly.

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    • The high school I attended was seven miles off the end of the runway at SAC headquarters. There were lots of Air Force brats in my class. The consensus was the Soviets’ accuracy at the time was bad enough, so there were a large number of Soviet warheads targeting the base to compensate, putting us inside the overall total destruct radius.

      Surprising in hindsight, given the number of stories I’ve seen about nuclear war anxiety, this seemed to bother exactly no one.

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    • W1 was a horrifying video. Not only was it bad acting, but the scenario it presented about the young girl with the cell phone was pretty much everyone’s nightmare.

      There’s an Apache gunship video from Iraq where the pilots slaughter a couple journalists, a bunch of other Iraqi civilians, and then the ambulance crews and kids to tried to take the journalist to the hospital, all while being convinced, with no evidence whatsoever, that they were killing dangerous jihadist insurgents.

      In the W1 video, the idiot at the ops center saw a thingy on her screen flashing “IED”. Well if we could remotely detect IED’s like the crew of the Starship Enterprise, we wouldn’t keep getting blown up. So then she dispatches a tactical team that’s just following their augmented reality like a donkey chasing a carrot on a stick. Then the idiot in the ops center sees a pretty girl on a cell phone and concludes “The cell phone could be the trigger! Take her out!” And on the soldier’s displays, the girl texting on her cellphone has a big targeting dot with the word “TARGET” superimposed. So the girl looks up to see charging soldiers pointing machine guns at her face.

      How can we get US soldiers to run around like the Waffen SS, shooting innocent civilians in the face because some computer told them to? By deploying TARs as shown in that video.

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  4. W2: This brings back Cold War nostalgia. Lists of potential targets for Russian nukes were evergreen journalism. They were a point of local pride, with people getting quite huffy if their hometown was judged not worth immolating. Being a Navy brat, I generally lived in or near legitimate high-value military targets, so this wasn’t really an issue. Then I went off to college in Santa Barbara, which would be a waste of a good warhead. But I had the consolation that I was close enough to Vandenburgh Air Force Base that I would likely be caught in the fallout.

    In related news. I lived in Philly on 9/11. The local media was rather put out that the terrorists skipped us, going for New York and Washington instead. They worked their way around to being OK with it: while Liberty Place is iconic, that is strictly local; the Liberty Bell would have suitable symbolic value, but isn’t set up right for attack by airliner. So really the terrorists just skipped us due to peculiarities of local geography, not because they have never heard of Philadelphia.

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    • The local media was rather put out that the terrorists skipped us, going for New York and Washington instead.

      I…what….can’t brain that.

      I had students from v. small towns here going “More people died in that attack than live in my entire town….” that really brought it home to me.

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      • Philly has a long-standing inferiority complex. Traditionally this was with regard to New York. Two hundred years ago Philly was the largest city in the US and its cultural center. Then the Erie Canal came along. Philly has never entirely gotten over it. To make it worse, DC has risen as an economic and cultural center, giving rise to anxiety in that direction. Drive north on I-95 from DC and there is a highway sign giving the mileage to Baltimore and to New York. There is no mention of Philadelphia. That sign exemplifies Philly’s anxieties.

        Personally, I think that Philly is a great place. I find New York City exhausting. It would be a great place to be twenty-five and financially comfortable. It’s not for me. DC has its attractions, but in its current revitalized form it is very expensive with awful traffic and a public transit system whose problems are legendary. I can get to the mall in an hour and a quarter on a weekend. I go several times a year to the Library of Congress or to take my kids to museums. It is great for that. I wouldn’t want to live there, at least not in any place I could afford. Philadelphia, on the other hand, is great. It has affordable neighborhoods, center city has great amenities and is very accessible by public transit, and once you are there it is of manageable size. I would happily live there again.

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        • yeah, I suppose my perspective comes from the fact that the “biggest” city I ever lived in was Ann Arbor, Michigan, so I don’t get the “big city pride over other cities” thing.

          I just generally don’t like cities that much. I went to a conference in downtown Chicago a few years back and was like “Now I remember why I picked a rural school.”

          I gripe a lot about not having access to good shopping, etc., but the sheer crush of people in a city gives me the fantods.

          My brother and sister in law live within a reasonable commute of DC (she works there). They seem to like being able to go into the big city but then they did live in one of the inner-ring Chicago burbs when they were first married.

          But back on topic: I would think “not being a target of terrorists” would be a source of relief. (I have a friend who lives within a few miles of Barksdale Air Force Base and she says growing up the joke was, if the “big one” was ever going to drop, to drive to Barksdale, so you’d be SURE to be killed, rather than dying a long, protracted death from radiation sickness or cancer after the fact.)

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  5. It’s been a while since I read “Julius Caesar,” but as I remember, it didn’t end up to well for the dudes who took out Caesar, or, Rome in general…..

    In other words: nothing is quite as simple as people today want it to be.

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