Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts

Sunday, June 10, 2018

How to defeat terrorism

Photo: Pixabay
Stopping terrorism is not like gambling, in poker, there are different variables that can affect the outcome but it fighting terror the only way to win is to fight to the end.

Many people think that the terrorist feels they have been wronged by something or someone and that giving them something will end the fight be it land or money, but history has repeatedly shown us that by appeasing the terrorists we are only giving them what they want and prolonging the fight. They will continue to take everything they are given but they never stop wanting more.

An example of this is clear in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. Israel allows the PLO to return to the west bank and Gaza and form the Palestinian Authority, Israel supplied weapons and the Americans provided training to the Palestinians so they could start an army to fight crime and terrorism.

Israel was repaid by the terrorists by suicide bombings in malls, restaurants, clubs, and busses. 

More recently Israel pulled all Jews from Gaza and gave all the land to the Palestinians. The Israelis left behind infrastructure and greenhouses, which could have been used for businesses by the Palestinians. The moment the last troops were out of Gaza the terrorists destroyed what the Israelis left behind and again repaid them with rockets on Sderot and Ashkelon, two Jewish cities bordering Gaza.

Many of you are thinking that these problems were brought on by the Israelis stealing Palestinians land, but what was it that the United States did that angered Al Qaeda?

Many will say it is because America has troops in Saudi Arabia where the two holiest locations to the Muslim people are, these people are wrong. This fight is not about the terrorists wanting America out of the Middle East. 

This was is about the pride of one individual. Osama Bin Laden, and that’s all it is about. 

In 1991 when Saddam Hussein Invaded Kuwait, Saudi Arabia was worried and was looking to get help to protect its oil fields. Osama Bin Laden offered his assistance to help protect his homeland with the help of his Mujahadim, who had helped protect Afghanistan from the Russians in the 80's.

But rather than gamble on Bin Laden's holey warriors, the Saudis asked for help from the United States, and this wounded Bin Laden's pride. Now Bin Laden is on a quest to show the world that he is the true protector of Islam, do not be fooled this is a war of religion.

The only thing that has ever worked is not to try to negotiate with these people but to fight them with force. You will find that with any military action against terrorists once you start to make some headway they will start to yell about a Hudna or temporary cease-fire.

When you are in a poker tournament in Casinos Online or land-based and your opponent is almost out of chips, do you back off and let your enemy regroup or go all in and force him out.

The Only way to defeat terrorism is to fight terrorism whenever and wherever it shows its head and to never let up on those who would use terror to forward their goals.






Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Bombers of the Second World War

Lancaster Bomber - Photo: Pixabay
The Lancaster is probably the most famous of all the bombers of the second world war. According to Capt. Donald Macintosh (ex-second world war bomber pilot, and author) it was a lot smoother to fly than the Wellington; the experience of which was close to that of a fighter plane (with no payload, of course). 

Survival rates on bombers. 
The life of a second world war bomber pilot was probably the most dangerous of all the armed forces of the second world war. Less than 50% survived their tour; each tour consisted of roughly 25 operations or raids with the chances of survival for each raid being 96%. That is what the commanders always told the crew before a raid to keep up morale. But if you compound 96% over 25 times, the survival rate was closer to 50%. When Donald looked at his Florida academy group photograph after the war, he counted around half of those still alive. 

WHAT KILLED BOMBER CREWS? 
Training 
Enemy fighter planes
Lack of rear radar (called Monica: only introduced later in the war)
An incompetent navigator
An incompetent rear gunner
Flak
Poor attitude
Bad luck

TRAINING - Rushed training caused a few deaths. President Roosevelt wanted to train pilots within 2 years which would be woefully short in peacetime, but due to the high chop rate, they had no choice. Donald sometimes saw burnt-out bombers on the runway from fatal mistakes made by cadets. A fairly experienced New Zealand pilot and his crew died in a ball of flames in the air during training. They speculated it was because one of the crew members had smoked during the flight. 

Also, the bombers used in training were not maintained properly, if at all. All the good maintenance staff were looking after the bombers flying real operations. This could cause engines to fail, which killed a few crew members. 

In fact, Donald had several very near misses himself in just such scenarios. The excerpt: "The Landing" from his book is just one example of inexperience nearly killing him. "Russian Mechanics" is another; the Russians didn't have the competence or equipment to maintain planes as Donald found out. 

ENEMY FIGHTER PLANES - Fighter planes out-gunned and could out-manoeuvre bombers. The typical fighter tactic was to dive under the bomber and swing around and up, shooting up at the undercarriage. This wasn't without total risk to the fighter, as the explosion of the payload could also destroy the fighter if he was too close. Donald experienced a Focke Wulf 190 first-hand using just this tactic. 

The best defence was the cork-screw dive. This meant diving 45 degrees to the left, then 45 degrees to the right and then fly back upwards 45 degrees left. The odds though were still against you. At night time, if an enemy fighter was detected soon enough, the cork-screw dive was very effective at shaking them off. 

LACK OF REAR RADAR - Rear radar, or Monica as it was called, saved countless bomber crew's lives. This enabled the crew to detect an enemy fighter sneaking up behind very early. The cork-screw dive manoeuvre was then quite effective. Using Monica, during night-time raids especially, allowed the bombers to easily shake off enemy fighter planes. Monica saved Donald's life when it was introduced. It was a pity that his Squadron Leader also didn't have it when he battled a German ace. See "Squadron Leader" for this story. 

AN INCOMPETENT NAVIGATOR - According to Donald, the navigator was absolutely crucial to survival. If you got lost over enemy territory, you had had it. Not only could you accidentally fly over enemy fighter bases or flak installations, but your fuel would run out. Donald's bomber crew experienced their fuel running out twice, once in training and once over Russia. 

AN INCOMPETENT REAR GUNNER - Although the rear gunner was not as important as the navigator, he needed to be very alert for detecting enemy fighter planes coming in from behind. He would call out the ranges and shout out the exact time when the pilot should cork-screw. The actual gunfire was usually inadequate to bring down the fighters; it distracted them more than anything else. 

FLAK - At the end of the war flak was largely ineffective. This was because the German flak crews were the old men or inexperienced young boys who weren't trained well enough to operate them properly. Of course, you could be exceedingly unlucky. If a professional flak crew was shooting at you, then you would be in trouble. When Donald was carrying out a raid over Holland, he flew over German Naval Gunners who shot down the plane three behind him, killing all but three of her crew. 

POOR ATTITUDE - Those pilots and crew who didn't put everything into it, who didn't really want to be there, were often the ones who got what they wished for. Donald tells of an Australian pilot Tyrell, who had an apathetic attitude always asking when his leave was etc. He died on his first mission over Stuttgart. 

Another important factor was teamwork amongst the crew members. Some crews couldn't get along with each other. They constantly argued, even disobeying orders. Unsurprisingly, this raised the probability of not making it over a raid. 



Nervous disorders were a common problem with crew members who were nearing the end of their active duty. In fact, according to Donald, at this stage of their careers just about everybody had some sort of nervous disorder, whether it was a nervous tic or the handshaking when lifting up a glass or teacup. It was far worse with bomb-aimers. They saw everything below: flak exploding just beneath them etc. Bomb aimers were usually relieved earlier of their duties than most since after a while they would crack up. "The Mad Gunner" is a short story of a bomb-aimer who had done around 70 raids and had completely lost it. He was allowed to continue because he loved doing it and also the fact that he was very good at his job.

BAD LUCK - A lucky flak shot or something critical overlooked in maintenance was what usually happened. When Donald had to choose his bomb-aimer, he had a choice between Pete or his friend, George. They flipped a coin and Pete became his bomb-aimer and lived; George, however, never made it to the end of the war. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Capt. Donald Macintosh flew over 40 raids from D day until May 1945, including: 
3 attacks on battleship “Tirpitz” (sunk) including the flight to Russia;
1 destroyer, Gdynia harbour, night; prob sunk;
2 heavy gun emplacements;
3 dams;
2 oil refineries;
4 viaducts;
3 bridges;
3 submarine pens;
1 ammo dump;
2 flying bomb sites;
2 cities;
Finally, Hitler’s home at Berchtesgaden, April 25th.

After the war, he flew for another 30 years in civil flying some of which was almost as lethal as wartime. Based in the Bahamas, he flew Yorks and Lancastrians for British South American Airways and then went on to fly the world’s first passenger jet, Comet 1, to Africa and the Far East.




Thursday, March 22, 2018

Imperfect Presidents

George Washington Caricature - Photo: Flickr
More important than proving perfection on your parties side, is a willingness to seek out the mistakes and correct them; to improve; to monitor your integrity. In the face of the opposition bashing away and looking for any sign of weakness, it is tempting to deny any fault at all, but it is still weak to ignore potential improvement. For a leader to inspire confidence, he must maintain a balance between claimed efficacy and a willingness to examine and adapt when changes will make a real impact; Not because the opposition is demanding apologies for not adhering to their views, when their only cause is your destruction, and only when reason makes a strong case. 

There are those so hungry for a disaster to blame on a president, nothing will prevent their finding fault with the opposition while their party's errors are given a pass.

I've been reading 1776 by David McCullough. George Washington was a confident optimistic leader in public while in his personal conversations and correspondence he admitted great concern for the Patriot Army's success. He made several bad decisions in the defense of New York City; splitting his army against a superior force; picking the wrong leader for a post and then switching midstream. The changes which confused soldiers prior to battle. Washington also overlooked a lesser used Long Island road which allowed the British to flank and surrounds his troops. 

Fortunately for Washington, he didn't have a post-battle press conference with reporters loyal to the enemy demanding he admits he was a failure. No, he had done his honest best and he and his troops learned and grew better eventually defeating Britain, which was considered the period's military superpower. Though he made mistakes, he was still the best man available for the job. Though he did modestly tell congress he felt inadequate to the job, he put all into its success. The enemy made many errors as well, but if Washington had been dismissed for his lack of perfection, our history would be much different. Congress knew of his error's but saw past them to his leadership and intelligence, rather than using every opportunity to improve their political positions.

Politicians today tend to look for anything that can tarnish the opponent, with no regard first for the facts, and no regard for damage to the country. The media plays along amplifying the agenda, to the detriment of the business at hand. More and more of us see through the shrill deceits of the knee-jerk politicians. We see who is working for our safety and who is busy spouting whatever sounds good to their political circles. If they only knew how nutty, how empty their words are, how devoid of purpose and integrity they appear to the discerning public.