April 28, 2009

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:08 pm

Life in a North Korean prison camp ain’t very dang nice.

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:53 pm

The IDF is beginning to push back in the information space against Hamas. I would argue that a video piece like this isn’t going to affect the mindset of people already convinced about what they see as the facts of the operation, but it’s possible that the video will influence future understanding of what’s going on.

A Small Point Of Light In A Dark Conference

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:32 pm

The UN Watch guys have an agenda, but when they have an axe to grind they find magnificent ways to do it. This time they ground down on the Libyan rep to the Durban farce, by using as their speaker the doc the Libyans tortured in the fake “nurses gave AIDS” railroading. Further description at the New Republic.

But sitting in their chair was not Hillel Neuer, the group’s executive director and usual mouthpiece, but Ashraf El Hagog, the Palestinian doctor who was falsely accused of and sentenced to death for infecting hundreds of Libyan children with HIV (along with five Bulgarian nurses). El Hagog and the nurses were held in Libya on death row for nine years, mistreated and tortured, until their release was negotiated by France last year.

“Madame Chairman,” El Hagog began, staring steely eyed at the Libyan ambassador. “I don’t know if you recognize me. I am the Palestinian medical intern who was scapegoated by your country, Libya, in the HIV case in the Benghazi hospital, together with the five Bulgarian nurses.”

Al-Hajjaji immediately started banging her gavel. “Stop… stop…. I ask you to stop,” she yelled, first looking miffed, then exasperated. “You are, you are not addressing the agenda item… I will allow you to resume only if you address the agenda item we are discussing.” The room immediately fell silent.

I wonder if he was thinking “I’m out of order?

April 27, 2009

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:25 am

Sorry, Eric. I.F. Stone was a Soviet spy!”

April 26, 2009

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:57 pm

From Barry, a photo essay on the North Korean border.

April 25, 2009

A Lovely Evening At The Westin

Filed under: — Chap @ 12:57 am

The hotel’s nice, but they nickel and dime you for lots of little things. Gets annoying after a while. Seven bucks for fifteen minutes on a PC? Buck and a half plus minutes for a phone call? Uh, no. How about maybe a couple of expensive beers and some time with the milbloggers, instead?

I just had a wonderful time meeting old friends I’d never seen before. Blackfive, Greyhawk, the Zs, the This Ain’t Hell guys, Roggio, Johannes, Andi, my wife’s old boss, American Soldier, and a bunch of others who I will have to mention tomorrow or so. Good folks all, and folks I’ve met online who have done great work. I shook the hand of the guy who beat Code Pink to the protest spot in front of Walter Reed. I met some folks I hadn’t met before and will enjoy following.

All in all, a lovely evening.

April 24, 2009

Bonefish History, Still Recent

Filed under: — Chap @ 7:40 am

One of the most valuable posts over at Chaotic Synaptic Activity is the annual series about the Bonefish fire. This year he’s added some more first hand accounts, and they’re painful to read.

April 23, 2009

Filed under: — Chap @ 5:24 am

An angry editorial unhappy with unintended consequences.

Filed under: — Chap @ 5:15 am

Spengler outs himself and will be working somewhere else. I’ll miss his essays and am glad he’ll still publish at Asia Times occasionally.

Shaping The Navy Leadership

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:51 am

The Navy’s captain/O-6 selection list came out today. Some folks I know made it. Some folks I know did not. I had some comments typed up here discussing how I thought the service’s leadership will change based on that, but I think I’ll stop here for the moment.

April 19, 2009

On The Road Again

Filed under: — Chap @ 12:30 am

Time to pack the car for the last in-country leg before deployment. Be about a month or so but first I need to get underway.

‘Scuse me, I’ve got some things to do.

April 16, 2009

A Typhoon Photo Tour

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:38 pm

This is a bit interesting: many many photos of a visit to a Russian SSBN.


The first few shots are of the superstructure; lots of rust can be in a superstructure and the boat can still function. I don’t know how much it would take to get the thing underway, though.

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:10 pm

This is a worthwhile interview by Michael Totten of Tom Ricks. The reason it’s worthwhile is that Totten knows the area, since he’s been reporting on the ground there for a while, and he is of the guild and therefore can talk some shop with Ricks. Sample quote:

Ricks: I think it’s a great story, the last couple of years. I’m just fascinated by it.

MJT: It is interesting, isn’t it?

Ricks: Another difference between Fiasco and The Gamble is that in Fiasco I knew what the events were that I had to write about. I just had to provide context, meaning, and depth. I knew I’d have to write about the invasion, blowing up the UN headquarters, the first battle of Fallujah, the second battle of Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib. In The Gamble, it wasn’t clear to me what the major events were, partly because there was so much less media coverage. The media was less equipped to cover a counterinsurgency. The battle in Basra in the spring of 2008 was a real eye-opener for me. It was a hugely important turn of events. And there was almost no coverage of it. And the coverage it did get was wrong.

MJT: Yep.

Ricks: The press said it was a huge setback for Maliki.

MJT: And it wasn’t. Although it did look that way at the beginning.

Ricks: Yeah. Americans were freaked. There was a conversation on a Friday night. An Iraqi leans over and says to Petraeus, “the prime minister wants to talk to you about doing Basra.” And Petraeus said, “you mean Mosul?” Mosul was first in their plan. And the Iraqi said, “no, Basra.” Petraeus says, “oh?”

So Petraeus goes over to see Maliki the next day, and Maliki says, “yeah, we’re doing Basra.” The plan laid out for me was that we were going to finish Baghdad, then do Mosul, and then do Basra. And Maliki just threw it all up in the air. He rolled the dice. And that’s one of the themes of the book. Americans taught Maliki how to gamble.

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:07 pm

Web presence Zeldman offers his book Taking Your Talent To The Web: A Guide To The Transitioning Designer as a free download.

Filed under: — Chap @ 7:55 pm

Back when we were stationed in California and Hawaii, this would have made perfect sense for a commuter vehicle.

Filed under: — Chap @ 7:18 pm

I’m pleased that Tapper dug into the history of the name Bainbridge. That part of our history is important for several reasons today, eh?

Filed under: — Chap @ 7:16 pm

These guys are saying that laws for public safety don’t always do what they say they do? Horrors!

Update: And we knew this was true decades ago, dangit!

Filed under: — Chap @ 7:13 pm

I observed when in DC that there were two types of Congressional staffers with which I would interact: the interns straight out of college getting the resume bullet, and the professional staffers who ran the place. R.S. McCain identifies the phenomenon a little bit differently.

April 15, 2009

Serious Glamor Shots

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:33 pm

I can’t…look…away! Aaaigh!

(From this very appropriately named blog)

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:13 pm

Fastnav picks up on an implication of stopping a continual rise in pirate attacks and ransoms. His prediction came true in the Malacca Strait a long time ago.

Once you take the polite criminals off the street, the rest of them tend to be rather violent. Doesn’t mean you can’t stop taking the criminals off the street, though.

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