Soviet Union

Dick Cheney Warns Of Massive Terrorist Attack On U.S. Before Decade Is Out

Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was interviewed by attorney, law professor, and broadcast journalist Hugh Hewitt recently for the latter’s nationally-syndicated radio show. During a June 24 broadcast, Cheney- who’s now spearheading the Alliance for a Strong America along with his daughter Liz- shared his views on U.S. foreign policy and warned listeners of the potential for a future terrorist attack on the American homeland “far deadlier” than September 11, 2001. From the exchange between Hewitt and Cheney:

HH: Do you think we get through this decade without a massive attack on the homeland?
DC: I doubt it. I doubt it. I think there will be another attack. And next time, I think it’s likely to be far deadlier than the last one. You can just imagine what would happen…
HH: Yeah.
DC: …if somebody could smuggle a nuclear device, put it in a shipping container, and drive it down the Beltway outside of Washington, D.C.
HH: And do you, by the way, if that were to happen, do you see the government reconstituting? Because it would have to be military rule for a period of time at least.
DC: Well, there was, some years ago, a program called the continuity of government program. It was part of the Cold War strategy that we pursued here, and basically it involved having a government waiting, if you will, ready to go in the event of a nuclear attack on the United States, so that we could always maintain the Constitutional base of governmental authority. I was part of that program for several years, and a lot of it, I’m sure, is probably still classified. But it was very, very important, and we operated and actually trained under circumstances of how would we go about making, providing for a government to survive if you know, we’re having nuclear weapons from the Soviet Union falling all over the country…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

As I noted on this blog’s “About” page back in late 2010, other high-profile, knowledgeable individuals are warning of the same within the next several years. From that page:

This debate asks how likely is it that terrorists will explode a nuclear bomb and devastate a great American metropolis. In the judgment of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, the likelihood of a single nuclear bomb exploding in a single city is greater today than at the height of the Cold War. Nuclear Terrorism states my own judgment that, on the current trend line, the chances of a nuclear terrorist attack in the next decade are greater than 50 percent. Former Secretary of Defense William Perry has expressed his own view that Nuclear Terrorism underestimates the risk.

From the technical side, Richard Garwin, a designer of the hydrogen bomb who Enrico Fermi once called, “the only true genius I had ever met,” told Congress in March that he estimated a “20 percent per year probability with American cities and European cities included” of “a nuclear explosion—not just a contamination, dirty bomb—a nuclear explosion.” My Harvard colleague Matthew Bunn has created a probability model in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science that estimates the probability of a nuclear terrorist attack over a ten-year period to be 29 percent—identical to the average estimate from a poll of security experts commissioned by Senator Richard Lugar in 2005.

-Graham T. Allison, director of Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and author of Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe, in an April 2007 debate

Spooky stuff, to say the least.

But getting back to Dick Cheney. Considering the kind of intelligence the man’s had access to over the years, disregarding such a mind-blowing warning may be foolish.

Especially when the enemies of America look not only to be flourishing, but also emboldened, at the present time.

You can read the entire transcript of the interview on Hugh Hewitt’s website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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North Korean EMP Weapon That Can Strike U.S. For Real?

There’s been increased chatter about the North Koreans having the capability of attacking the United States using an electromagnetic pulse weapon that could fry electronics and power grids. From F. Michael Maloof on the independent news website WorldNetDaily (WND.com) yesterday:

A long-suppressed report prepared by the Department of Homeland Security for the Defense Department concludes that North Korea could deliver on its threats to destroy the United States with a nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack.

The report remains blocked from release to the American public.

However, a copy obtained by Peter Vincent Pry from sources within DHS finds North Korea could use its Unha-3 space launch vehicle to deliver a nuclear warhead as a satellite over the South Pole to attack the U.S. from the south…

Pry said that an EMP attack on the U.S. would not have to originate from North Korea but could be a missile, such as the SA-2, launched from a freighter off the U.S. East or Gulf Coasts. At that point, there would be no missile defense capable of halting such an event.

With a missile launched from a freighter, it could be difficult to identify who is responsible for an attack.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“EMP Bomb Threat Video”
YouTube Video

Peter Vincent Pry. Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity might remember his name, as I blogged back on March 8, 2013:

Enter Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and Director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, both congressional advisory boards. Dr. Pry, a former intelligence officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, wrote on the Family Security Matters website on February 26:

The West consistently and unwittingly cooperates with North Korea and Iran by underestimating the advancement, sophistication, and strategic implications of their nuclear weapon and missile programs.

Despite North Korea’s successful long-range missile test in December 2012, and now its third successful nuclear test on February 12, 2013, the Obama administration and the press keep reassuring the American people that North Korea is not yet a fully fledged nuclear weapons state – that a North Korean nuclear missile threat to the United States is still years in the future.

The facts do not support this judgment. North Korea is already a major nuclear threat to the United States–an existential threat.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Dr. Pry went on to say:

North Korea now appears to be armed with a FOBS capability to make a surprise nuclear attack against the United States–or against any and all nations on Earth–with Super-EMP.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

FOBS? Super-EMP? The author of Apocalypse Unknown: The Struggle To Protect America From An Electromagnetic Pulse Catastrophe explained:

A Super-EMP warhead is a nuclear weapon specially designed to produce an enormous burst of gamma rays that generates an extraordinarily powerful electromagnetic pulse, capable of destroying even the best protected electronics, thereby paralyzing military forces and blacking out power grids and collapsing critical infrastructures everywhere–across an entire nation the size of the United States…

During the Cold War, the USSR experimented with a secret weapon, the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS), that used an ICBM like a Space Launch Vehicle to put a nuclear warhead into orbit, like a satellite. Instead of using the ICBM to lob the warhead on a more accurate arcing ballistic trajectory, flying along the shortest range to target, like an artillery shell, the FOBS lofted the warhead into a “fractional” or partial orbit, sacrificing accuracy for limitless range.

FOBS could reach any nation or threaten any target anywhere on Earth.

A Super-EMP warhead does not weigh much, and could probably be delivered by North Korea’s Fractional Orbital Bombardment System, successfully tested in December 2012, against any nation on Earth. Thus, North Korea already possesses an ICBM and poses a mortal nuclear threat to the United States, and to all nations on Earth–right now.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Scary stuff.

By the way, I noticed Maloof, like Pry, also has a book out on the subject, entitled A Nation Forsaken: EMP: The Escalating Threat of an American Catastrophe.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Malood, F. Michael. “DHS study: North Korea capable of EMP attack on U.S.” WorldNetDaily. 9 Apr. 2014. (http://www.wnd.com/2014/04/dhs-study-north-korea-capable-of-emp-attack-on-u-s/?cat_orig=world). 10 Apr. 2014.

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Quote For The Week

“I’ve said it before, but if Barack Obama had been president instead of Ronald Reagan, I’d still be a citizen of the Soviet Union.”

-Garry Kasparov, Russian (formerly Soviet) chess Grandmaster, former World Chess Champion, writer, and political activist, in a February 22 “tweet”

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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U.S. Military Commanders Being Purged By Obama Administration?

“But as I’ve already said, I have had my military and our team look at a wide range of options.”

-U.S. President Barack Obama, in a statement to the media regarding the Syrian crisis, August 30, 2013

“My military.” Nice.

Champaign, Illinois. Fall 1992. I’m sitting in a Soviet history class I’m taking at the University of Illinois when I learn more about the purges of Joseph Stalin. One of these purges really caught my attention- that of the military. In 1937, the commander-in-chief of the Red Army and seven leading generals were shot. In 1938 and 1939, every admiral and half the Army’s officers were either executed or imprisoned.

Is there any surprise Nazi Germany did so well early on in its military campaign against the U.S.S.R.?

So why do I bring up Stalin’s purge of the Soviet military in the days before World War 2? Well, something I read this weekend on the Investor’s Business Daily website reminded me of it. From an October 29 editorial:

Yet what has happened to our officer corps since President Obama took office is viewed in many quarters as unprecedented, baffling and even harmful to our national security posture. We have commented on some of the higher profile cases, such as Gen. Carter Ham. He was relieved as head of U.S. Africa Command after only a year and a half because he disagreed with orders not to mount a rescue mission in response to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi.

Rear Adm. Chuck Gaouette, commander of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, was relieved in October 2012 for disobeying orders when he sent his group on Sept. 11 to “assist and provide intelligence for” military forces ordered into action by Gen. Ham.

Other removals include the sacking of two nuclear commanders in a single week — Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, head of the 20th Air Force, responsible for the three wings that maintain control of the 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles, and Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, the No. 2 officer at U.S. Strategic Command.

From Breitbart.com’s Facebook page comes a list of at least 197 officers that have been relieved of duty by President Obama for a laundry list of reasons and sometimes with no reason given…

Nine senior commanding generals have been fired by the Obama administration this year, leading to speculation by active and retired members of the military that a purge of its commanders is under way.

(Editor’s notes: Italics added for emphasis)

A purge of United States military commanders by Barack Obama?

Well, it’s been nowhere near the “cleaning house” of 35,000 military officers that was carried out by Comrade Stalin in the late 1930s- that’s for sure.

Although, President Obama does still have 1,172 days left before he departs the Oval Office.

I can understand these officers being removed from their posts for incompetence or something like that. But if the firings are being carried out without cause and over differences in political views, for example, the American public should be worried as our national security is at stake at a time in the world where growing threats coincide with significant budget cuts for the military. Back on October 21, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno even revealed that only two Army brigades are combat-ready these days. A U.S. Army brigade’s strength typically ranges from 2,500 to 4,000 personnel.

As far as I can tell, General Odierno still has his job.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

“Obama’s Military Coup Purges 197 Officers In Five Years.” Investor’s Business Daily. 29 Oct. 2013. (http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/102913-677116-197-military-officers-purged-by-obama.htm). 4 Nov. 2013.

“Army chief: Just 2 brigades combat-ready.” FOX News. 23 Oct. 2013. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/23/army-chief-just-2-brigades-combat-ready/). 4 Nov. 2013.

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Monday, November 4th, 2013 Africa, Europe, Government, Military, Political Parties, War 2 Comments

On TV: American Doomsday

Last Wednesday I mentioned that until my “In Print” series of posts returns (next week maybe), I’ll be talking about TV shows related to the blog’s focus.

Last week it was Preppers UK: Surviving Armageddon 1 & 2.

This week, it’s American Doomsday.

American Doomsday premiered on the National Geographic Channel back on November 8, 2010. From the Nat Geo website:

Explorer: American Doomsday

America’s Doomsday plan. It’s the government’s strategy for its darkest hours – developed years ago, but never used until 9/11.

For a better description of what the show’s about, from the DVD:

America’s Doomsday plan. It’s the government’s ultimate playbook, with a strategy for even the darkest hours—developed when Cold War tensions were high, but never used until 9/11. In American Doomsday, fly in an E4-B—the president’s command, control, and communications center for times of national catastrophe; go inside the secret bunker used by government officials on September 11; and witness how the luxurious Greenbrier Resort became a critical, top secret congressional bunker.


“Inside the Doomsday Plane”
YouTube Video

The show’s producer, Charles Fitzgerald, discussed his experience with the material on the Nat Geo TV Blogs section of the National Geographic website back on November 5, 2010:

My research for ‘American Doomsday” uncovered what I first saw as a Stranglovian world of nuclear paranoia, secret bunkers and elaborate “Doomsday” plans. It was bizarre.

But digging deeper I realized that America’s Doomsday plans were born of a very real and legitimate fear that if the Soviet Union launched a surprise nuclear attack, the nation as we know it may cease to exist.

Many Americans are aware of parts of the Doomsday plans. We’ve seen them in action, but probably don’t realize it. For example, we know that during the State of the Union, one member of the cabinet stays away from the Capitol; that on 9/11, Air Force One, with President Bush on board, flew a seemingly random pattern around the country; that Vice President Cheney frequently visited undisclosed locations after 9/11. It turns out that all of these are part of a massive plan to preserve our government’s very existence in times of trouble.

I watched the show last week, and found it incredibly interesting and informative. In an era where the federal government often appears to many to have its head stuck up its butt, it’s good to know that WTSHTF, there’s a plan in place for the continuity of government here in the United States.

American Doomsday investigated the following plan components:

• The “Nightwatch,” or “Doomsday Plane,” program operated out of Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska
• The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) out of Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado
• The High Point Special Facility inside Mount Weather, near Bluemont, Virginia
• The Greenbrier just outside of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
• Site R (Raven Rock Military Complex) on Raven Rock, a Pennsylvania mountain

From the looks of it, Uncle Sam is prepared for doomsday.

I doubt the same can be said for most Americans.

You can watch the entire show on the National Geographic website here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Signs Of The Time, Part 61

Late last night I took some “me” time to watch the remake of that 1984 cult classic Red Dawn. I blogged back on August 13, 2012:

“Cold Warriors” might remember the flick, which incidentally was the first film to be released with a PG-13 rating. From the IMDb website:

It is the dawn of World War III. In mid-western America, a group of teenagers bands together to defend their town, and their country, from invading Soviet forces.

I also added:

On November 21, 2012- the day before Thanksgiving- Red Dawn 2012 will be released in American movie theaters. According to the IMDb storyline:

A group of teenagers look to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers.

North Korea?

Already, some are saying that the People’s Republic of China with its fast-growing military should have been cast as America’s fictitious adversary in the remake.

Or even the bad-a** Russians (Soviets) again.

But according to Wikipedia:

In June 2010, release of the film was delayed due to MGM’s financial difficulties. The delay came amid growing controversy in China after excerpts of the script were leaked on the website The Awl. The film drew sharp criticism from the Global Times, one of the leading Chinese state-run newspapers, with headlines such as “U.S. reshoots Cold War movie to demonize China” and “American movie plants hostile seeds against China.” One of the articles stated: “China can still feel U.S. distrust and fear, especially among its people. Americans’ suspicions about China are the best ground for the hawks to disseminate fear and doubt, which is the biggest concern with the movie, Red Dawn

In March 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported that MGM is changing the villains in its Red Dawn remake from Chinese to North Korean in order to maintain access to China’s lucrative box office.

So, North Korea became the “new” bad guys.

But get a load what was printed up on the Netflix DVD sleeve label:

Netflix Red Dawn 2012 China Label

“When Chinese military forces invade…”

Too funny.

As for the 2013 remake- not bad. I was pleasantly surprised that the storyline wasn’t exactly the same as the original movie. However, the movie ended somewhat abruptly, I thought. Still, the film was better than I expected. I especially liked the North Korean invasion scene- my butt popped off the couch for that part. And Kalashnikov aficionados will be impressed by the prolific use of AK-variants in the movie.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 Asia, Europe, Firearms, Humor, Signs Of The Time, War No Comments

Cook County Implementing Gun Registration?

Taking to heart Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s opinion about letting no crisis go to waste, both the City of Chicago and Cook County are joining together to push more gun “control” on their law-abiding residents in the aftermath of Newtown, Connecticut. From the Ward Room blog on the website of Chicago NBC affiliate Channel 5 yesterday:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is seeking to broaden a requirement for gun owners to report the loss, theft or sale of firearms to include all of Cook County

For the first time, similar reporting requirements would be expanded to all of Cook County under companion legislation that’s been drawn up.

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle plans to introduce that legislation at a county board meeting on Wednesday.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“To report the loss, theft or sale of firearms to include all of Cook County.”

“Report… sale of firearms.”

Should the proposed legislation pass, when a firearm is sold in Cook County, would information about the gun, seller, and purchaser, now be provided to County officials?

Sounds like this could be a new gun registry in the works.

Back on November 23, 2012, I blogged about Cook County’s recently-adopted $25 per gun “violence tax” on firearm purchases in the county also being a possible gun registration scheme.

Gun registration often leads to confiscation. From the latest edition of Gun Facts, a popular firearm reference book:

Myth: Registration does not lead to confiscation

Fact: It did in Canada. The handgun registration law of 1934 was the source used to identify and confiscate (without compensation) over half of the registered handguns in 2001.

Fact: It did in Germany. The 1928 Law on Firearms and Ammunition (before the Nazis came into power) required all firearms to be registered. When Hitler came into power, the existing lists were used for confiscating weapons.

Fact: It did in Australia. In 1996, the Australian government confiscated over 660,000 previously legal weapons from their citizens.

Fact: It did in California. The 1989 Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act required registration. Due to shifting definitions of “assault weapons,” many legal firearms are now being confiscated by the California government.

Fact: It did in New York City. In 1967, New York City passed an ordinance requiring a citizen to obtain a permit to own a rifle or shotgun, which would then be registered. In 1991, the city passed a ban on the private possession of some semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, and “registered” owners were told that those firearms had to be surrendered, rendered inoperable, or taken out of the city.

Fact: It did in Bermuda, Cuba, Greece, Ireland, Jamaica, and Soviet Georgia as well.

Nothing on the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) website about this. Not surprising, considering how active the gun “control” supporters are these days.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

“Chicago Gun Rules Could Extend to All Cook County.” Ward Room. 13 Jan. 2013. (http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Chicago-Gun-Rules-Could-Extend-to-All-Cook-County-186728431.html). 14 Jan. 2013.

Smith, Guy. Gun Facts Version 6.1. Guy Smith, 2012.

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Nuclear Material On The Loose

“The Obama administration is warning that the danger of a terrorist attack with nuclear weapons is increasing, but U.S. officials say the claim is not based on new intelligence and questioned whether the threat is being overstated.”

-Washington Times, April 14, 2010

I don’t agree with President Obama on a number of things, but here’s one we do see eye-to-eye on:

The threat posed by nuclear terrorism.

Consider recent events in the former Soviet Union. Desmond Butler of the Associated Press reported back on December 9:

Despite years of effort and hundreds of millions of dollars spent in the fight against the illicit sale of nuclear contraband, the black market remains active in the countries around the former Soviet Union. The radioactive materials, mostly left over from the Cold War, include nuclear bomb-grade uranium and plutonium, and dirty-bomb isotopes like cesium and iridium.

The extent of the black market is unknown, but a steady stream of attempted sales of radioactive materials in recent years suggests smugglers have sometimes crossed borders undetected. Since the formation of a special nuclear police unit in 2005 with U.S. help and funding, 15 investigations have been launched in Georgia and dozens of people arrested.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

And what of the years between 1991 (Georgian independence) and 2005? I shudder to think how much radioactive material might have found their way across the Georgian border and into the hands of the bad guys during those 14 years.

According to the piece, highly-enriched uranium has also recently been seized from smugglers in Moldova, another former Soviet republic.

From the Council on Foreign Relations website:

There have been no confirmed reports of missing or stolen former-Soviet nuclear weapons, but there is ample evidence of a significant black market in nuclear materials. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reported more than a hundred nuclear smuggling incidents since 1993, eighteen of which involved highly enriched uranium, the key ingredient in an atomic bomb and the most dangerous product on the nuclear black market.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

That portion of the CFR website was last updated in January 2006.

While the Council said there have been no confirmed reports of missing or stolen nuclear weapons, the same can’t be said of nuclear material. Butler added:

Russia maintains that it has secured its radioactive material — including bomb-grade uranium and plutonium — and that Georgia has exaggerated the risk because of political tension with Moscow. But while the vast majority of the former Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal and radioactive material has been secured, U.S. officials say that some material in the region remains loose.

“Without a doubt, we are aware and have been over the last several years that not all nuclear material is accounted for,” says Simon Limage, deputy assistant secretary for non-proliferation programs at the U.S. State Department. “It is true that a portion that we are concerned about continues to be outside of regulatory control.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“U.S. officials say that some material in the region remains loose.”

If smuggling is taking place and the whereabouts of the nuclear material is unknown, I wonder if the above shouldn’t be changed to “some material from the region remains loose?”

Since illegal aliens and drugs routinely manage to find their way into the United States, it requires no stretch of the mind to envision nuclear material for a terrorist weapon also being smuggled in.

Butler’s incredibly-informative piece be read on the Yahoo! News website here.

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Friday, December 21st, 2012 Crime, Europe, Public Safety, Terrorism No Comments

Quotes For The Week

A two-fer for you this week.

1992 U.S. presidential candidate Ross Perot is back in the news. The billionaire is so concerned about the state of the nation’s finances, that according to Brendan James over at the Yahoo! News blog The Ticket this morning, Perot said in a recent USA TODAY interview:

If we are that weak, just think of who wants to come here first and take us over…

The last thing I ever want to see is our country taken over because we’re so financially weak, we can’t do anything.

Visions of Red Dawn are flooding through my mind right about now.


“Red Dawn Trailer (1984)”
YouTube Video

And talk about an endorsement no American politician from either of the two big national parties would want to receive at this point in the election cycle. The Associated Press reported last night:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has weighed in on the U.S. presidential race, saying he prefers President Barack Obama.

“If I were American, I’d vote for Obama,” Chavez said in a televised interview that aired Sunday.

The Venezuelan leader called Obama “a good guy” and said if the U.S. president were a Venezuelan, “I think… he’d vote for Chavez.”

I’m sure President Obama is grateful for such a glowing endorsement so close to the election.

If Hugo was really that big a fan of the U.S. president, he should have said Mitt Romney would get his vote.

Sources:

James, Brendan. “America could be ‘taken over,’ warns Ross Perot.” The Ticket. 1 Oct. 2012. (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/america-could-taken-over-warns-ross-perot-152428497.html). 1 Oct. 2012.

“Hugo Chavez says he’d vote for Obama.” Associated Press. 30 Sep. 2012. (http://news.yahoo.com/hugo-chavez-says-hed-vote-obama-172412142.html). 1 Oct. 2012.

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We’re An Amerikan Band

One might think a relative of U.S. Senator Joe “Red Scare” McCarthy (R-WI) would go bonkers after hearing the following story.

Nope. Hardly anything from my girlfriend.

Except, “What do you want from the grocery store tomorrow?”

From Stephanie Weaver on the Evening Sun (Pennsylvania) website Monday:

The New Oxford High School Marching Band’s field show, “St. Petersburg: 1917,” will change its name and remove hammers and sickles after it made national news when one parent was offended by the performance he said commemorates the Russian revolution.

Rebecca Harbaugh, superintendent for the Conewago Valley School District, said this morning the district would continue to evaluate the show to see if anything else should be removed. She said the introduction, referring to the Russian revolution of 1917 would be changed, but that the show would continued to feature the music of Russian composer Dimitri Shostakovich.

Fox News Radio reported Monday that a parent who attended a Sept. 14 Friday night football game called the station, voicing his opinions on the band’s show, involved olive military-style uniforms, red flags and other communist symbols.

However, the show didn’t seem to offend the judges of the Cavalcade of Bands Association Inc. show at Manheim Township High School on Saturday, where the band won first place, according to the band’s website.

“It’s showing expression with music,” Sue Thoman Behm wrote on Facebook Monday night.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

In the comment section of a related article on msnNOW yesterday, “bandmomma” left the following:

It’s an artistic show that represents history not a celebration of communism! Whoever found this newsworthy needs to get a life.

I have to agree with “bandmomma” here… as it concerns the newsworthiness of high schoolers being okay with using symbols and making references to a former (recovering?) superpower founded on socialist ideals (if you believe that communism is a higher form of socialism).

You see, not only am I aware that a good number of Americans aren’t put-off by the idea of socialism anymore, but a recent poll even showed a majority of young Americans aged 18-29 have a positive view of it.

From the Pew Research Center website back on December 28, 2011:

Socialism is a negative for most Americans, but certainly not all. Six-in-ten (60%) say they have a negative reaction to the word; 31% have a positive reaction…

Fully nine-in-ten conservative Republicans (90%) view socialism negatively, while nearly six-in-ten liberal Democrats (59%) react positively.

The poll of 1,521 adults conducted back in early December 2011 revealed that among the 18-29 age group, 49 percent had a positive view of socialism as compared to 43 percent having a negative view.

I’m guessing Senator McCarthy is rolling in his grave right now.

Along with the estimated 85 to 100 million people murdered under Communist regimes in the 20th century.

Sources:

Weaver, Stephanie. “New Oxford band show will remove hammers and sickles.” Evening Sun. 24 Sep. 2012. (http://www.eveningsun.com/localnews/ci_21620205/new-oxford-band-marches-hammers-and-sickles%20%3Chttp://www.eveningsun.com/localnews/ci_21620205/new-oxford-band-marches-hammers-and-sickles%3E). 27 Sep. 2012.

“Little Change in Public’s Response to ‘Capitalism,’ ‘Socialism.’” Pew Research Center. 28 Dec. 2011. (http://www.people-press.org/2011/12/28/little-change-in-publics-response-to-capitalism-socialism/?src=prc-headline). 27 Sep. 2012.

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Thursday, September 27th, 2012 Europe, Generational Conflict, Socialism 1 Comment

Izhmash, Kalashnikovs, And Saigas, Oh My!

Fans and operators of the AK (Avtomat Kalashnikova) firearm platform might find a recent article on the New York Times website about the iconic rifle interesting (no, I don’t just blog about AKs- posts about the “Black Rifle” are in the works). Andrew Kramer wrote on August 14:

The nickname of this town, home of the factory that makes Kalashnikov rifles, is the “Armory of Russia.” Over the years, it has armed a good number of other countries, too, as the lathes and presses of the Izhevsk Machine Works clanged around the clock to forge AK-47s and similar guns for insurgents and armies around the world.

But these days, many of Izhevsk’s weapons are headed somewhere else: the United States.

Despite the gun’s violent history — or perhaps because of it — American hunters and gun enthusiasts are snapping up tens of thousands of Kalashnikov rifles and shotguns. Demand is so brisk that the factory has shifted its focus from military to civilian manufacture over the last two years. United States sales of the civilian versions, sold under the brand name Saiga, rose by 50 percent last year, according to officials at the factory, known as Izhmash.

You can read Kramer’s entire piece on the Times site here.

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Red Dawn Remake In U.S. Movie Theaters On November 21

I heard it had been in the works for some time now:

The remake of the 1984 U.S. war movie and cult classic Red Dawn.

“Cold Warriors” might remember the flick, which incidentally was the first film to be released with a PG-13 rating. From the IMDb website:

It is the dawn of World War III. In mid-western America, a group of teenagers bands together to defend their town, and their country, from invading Soviet forces.

All together now… Wolverines!

On November 21, 2012- the day before Thanksgiving- Red Dawn 2012 will be released in American movie theaters. According to the IMDb storyline:

A group of teenagers look to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers.


Trailer – Red Dawn TRAILER (2012) Chris Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson Movie HD
YouTube Video

North Korea?

Already, some are saying that the People’s Republic of China with its fast-growing military should have been cast as America’s fictitious adversary in the remake.

Or even the bad-a** Russians (Soviets) again.

But according to Wikipedia:

In June 2010, release of the film was delayed due to MGM’s financial difficulties. The delay came amid growing controversy in China after excerpts of the script were leaked on the website The Awl. The film drew sharp criticism from the Global Times, one of the leading Chinese state-run newspapers, with headlines such as “U.S. reshoots Cold War movie to demonize China” and “American movie plants hostile seeds against China.” One of the articles stated: “China can still feel U.S. distrust and fear, especially among its people. Americans’ suspicions about China are the best ground for the hawks to disseminate fear and doubt, which is the biggest concern with the movie, Red Dawn

In March 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported that MGM is changing the villains in its Red Dawn remake from Chinese to North Korean in order to maintain access to China’s lucrative box office.

“Access to China’s lucrative box office” There you go. As usual, money talks. And North Korea is cast as Uncle Sam’s enemy.

I wouldn’t get too upset if I were North Korean leader Kim Jong-un though. In the opinion of this movie buff, remakes- like sequels- are rarely better than the original.

Still, while I don’t know if I’ll be heading to the theater to watch Red Dawn 2012, I’m sure this Cold War kid will eventually view it down the road to see how it stacks up against Red Dawn 1984.

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Monday, August 13th, 2012 Asia, Europe, Military, TEOTWAWKI Theater, War No Comments

Sonny Puzikas Out With New AK Training Video

Speaking of the AK-47, the semi-automatic version of the Avtomat Kalashnikova assault rifle has grown more popular among American firearm owners over the years. This Kalashnikov variant is reportedly simple, rugged, and incredibly reliable- just like its fully-automatic cousin.

I just found out one of the most recognizable faces associated with the AK in the U.S. has a new instructional video available for operators of the platform. From the Panteao Productions website:

Make Ready with Sonny Puzikas
Fighting with the AK – Lost in Translation

Saulius “Sonny” Puzikas is a former operator in a Soviet military special purpose unit. He served during tumultuous times from the late 1980s through the early 1990s, and has participated in operations in numerous “hot spots” of the former Soviet Union, as well as other missions. For the past 10 years Sonny has been teaching and instructing multi-national military special operations units, law enforcement officers and civilian clients on topics of CQB, team tactics, personal protection and combatives, as well as more specialized courses for specific audiences.

In Fighting with the AK, Sonny teaches you about the AK like no one else can. He reviews myths about the AK, balancing marksmanship with speed and mobility, transitions, reloading, components of speed, marksmanship, low platform basics, and more. In this special 2 DVD set, you also get Realities of a Gunfight where Sonny talks about the inverted pyramid of firearms training and the art of mobility.


“Make Ready with Sonny Puzikas: Fighting with the AK — Lost in Translation”
YouTube Video

More information about Fighting with the AK – Lost in Translation can be found on the Panteao Productions website here.

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Welcome To Amerika?

Who hasn’t heard of this one by now: Barack Obama is transforming the United States into a socialist country.

While I personally believe Americans are witnessing the strengthening of a plutocracy- rule by the wealthy, transcending political parties- there’s no shortage of Americans who still think we’re headed towards socialism.

I happened to stumble on a Yahoo! News piece this weekend that originated from the news and opinion website The Blaze, a project of former FOX News personality Glenn Beck. What caught my attention was the title- “Are We Headed Toward the Constitution or the Communist Manifesto? This Breakdown Tells You.” Tiffany Gabbay wrote Sunday:

During his Thursday morning radio broadcast, Glenn Beck asked if America, on its current trajectory, is headed toward the values and principles of the Constitution, or rather, those of the Communist Manifesto.

To glean greater insight, The Blaze expanded on each of the Manifesto’s 10 planks and juxtaposed them with modern day American society. The picture revealed, while perhaps not shocking, is unsettling to say the least.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)


Some background music, Comrade?
“Red Army Choir: Oh Fields, My fields.”
YouTube Video

Gabbay’s comparisons in the article are indeed thought-provoking. And I found what she said about “plank” number 4, confiscation of property of all emigrants and rebels, particularly interesting. Militia members, preppers, survivalists, firearm owners, opponents of the political party in power, and Americans making a lot of money and/or with sizeable assets might want to take note. From the piece:

4. Confiscation of property of all emigrants & rebels

This Manifesto pillar is perhaps best laid out in the recent string of government crackdowns on “homegrown militias.” Those who have paid careful attention to Janet Napolitano know that one of Homeland Security’s preoccupations of late has been the “rise” of “homegrown militias.” With this in mind, the department is likely honing in on anyone considered an “opposition group,” be they merely survivalists or those with a more militant bent.

Some may recall the Michigan militia, or “Hutaree,” as they are known — a group of anti-government “rebels” who were allegedly engaged in preparations for a potential future clash with federal agencies. The defendants were accused of conspiring to overthrow the U.S. government, a planned assassination of a police officer, and an ambush of that officer’s funeral with explosives in order to incite an uprising against the Federal government. While the anticipated attack never actually occurred, this did not stop the Feds, under the blessing of Attorney General Eric Holder, from raiding the Hutaree’s various outposts, confiscating its members’ arms and waging an all-out legal battle against the group.

At the end of March, 2012, presiding U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts dismissed the most serious of the charges against the Hutaree, leveling a staggering blow to the Fed. She said the members’ hatred of government did not amount to a conspiracy to overthrow it.

It remains unclear whether the Hutaree were indeed poised to be the aggressors of a violent assault or if they were simply anti-big-government, “good ol’ boy survivalists preparing to “defend themselves” against a perceived government threat. But the Federal agencies’ indictment of the group perhaps reveals how government will deal with homegrown “threats” — be they real or perceived — moving forward.

Another key element, and one that warrants mention due to its relevance in modern day America, is the confiscation of citizens’ weapons. Those who have felt their Second Amendment rights slowly whittle away understand that disarming the public is a crucial step vital to ensuring the state’s grip over its citizenry. In fact, one of the first tasks performed by the then-fledgling Soviet state was the confiscation of citizens’ private arms — even hunting rifles. By stripping people of the ability to defend themselves, the authoritarian state could reign over the vulnerable Russian populace. Many Americans consider this a highly plausible reality given increasingly stringent gun laws and regulations spread across all 50-states.

It should also be noted that IRS liens, levies and seizures are all means by which the Federal government can confiscate a “rebel” entity’s assets — one instance being the recent IRS “shakedown” of Tea Party members. And, in terms of “emigrants,” taxing the off-shore income and assets of American citizens, or causing Americans to give up their U.S. citizenship and flee to foreign lands to avoid abusive U.S. taxes, is yet another means by which the Fed’s confiscatory, overreaching tentacles are changing the American landscape. Statistics point out a rising trend

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Like I said, it’s a thought-provoking piece, which you can read in its entirety on the Yahoo! website here.

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‘Shadow CIA’ Calls End Of Terrorism A ‘Myth’

One last post about terrorism this week. Scott Stewart of the global intelligence company Strategic Forecasting, Inc., or STRATFOR, has authored a series of Security Weekly reports entitled “Fundamentals of Terrorism.” The first of these, “The Myth of the End of Terrorism,” was released on February 23. It’s a good, informative read, and serves as a reminder that just because major terror attacks directed against the United States and its interests haven’t been too successful lately, the threat hasn’t gone away. Reprinted with permission of STRATFOR:

The Myth of the End of Terrorism

By Scott Stewart

In this week’s Geopolitical Weekly, George Friedman discussed the geopolitical cycles that change with each generation. Frequently, especially in recent years, those geopolitical cycles have intersected with changes in the way the tactic of terrorism is employed and in the actors employing it.

The Arab terrorism that began in the 1960s resulted from the Cold War and the Soviet decision to fund, train and otherwise encourage groups in the Middle East. The Soviet Union and its Middle Eastern proxies also sponsored Marxist terrorist groups in Europe and Latin America. They even backed the Japanese Red Army terrorist group. Places like South Yemen and Libya became havens where Marxist militants of many different nationalities gathered to learn terrorist tradecraft, often instructed by personnel from the Soviet KGB or the East German Stasi and from other militants.

The Cold War also spawned al Qaeda and the broader global jihadist movement as militants flocking to fight the Soviet troops who had invaded Afghanistan were trained in camps in northern Pakistan by instructors from the CIA’s Office of Technical Services and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate. Emboldened by the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, and claiming credit for the subsequent Soviet collapse, these militants decided to expand their efforts to other parts of the world.

The connection between state-sponsored terrorism and the Cold War ran so deep that when the Cold War ended with the Soviet Union’s collapse, many declared that terrorism had ended as well. I witnessed this phenomenon while serving in the counterterrorism Investigations Division of the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) in the early 1990s. While I was in New York working as part of the interagency team investigating the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, a newly appointed assistant secretary of state abolished my office, declaring that the DSS did not need a Counterterrorism Investigations Division since terrorism was over.

Though terrorism obviously did not end when the Berlin Wall fell, the rosy sentiments to the contrary held by some at the State Department and elsewhere took away the impetus to mitigate the growing jihadist threat or to protect diplomatic facilities from it. The final report of the Crowe Commission, which was established to review the twin August 1998 bombing attacks against the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, explicitly noted this neglect of counterterrorism and security programs, as did the 9/11 Commission report.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks triggered a shift in international geopolitics by leading the United States to concentrate the full weight of its national resources on al Qaeda and its supporters. Ironically, by the time the U.S. government was able to shift its massive bureaucracy to meet the new challenge, creating huge new organizations like the Department of Homeland Security, the efforts of the existing U.S. counterterrorism apparatus had already badly crippled the core al Qaeda group. Though some of these new organizations played important roles in helping the United States cope with the fallout of its decision to invade Iraq after Afghanistan, Washington spent billions of dollars to create organizations and fund programs that in hindsight were arguably not really necessary because the threats they were designed to counter, such as al Qaeda’s nuclear briefcase bombs, did not actually exist. As George Friedman noted in the Geopolitical Weekly, the sole global superpower was badly off-balance, which caused an imbalance in the entire global system.

With the continued diminution of the jihadist threat, underscored by the May 2011 death of Osama bin Laden and the fall in Libya of the Gadhafi regime (which had long employed terrorism), once again we appear on the brink of a cyclical change in the terrorism paradigm. These events could again lead some to pronounce the death of terrorism.

Several developments last week served to demonstrate that while the perpetrators and tactics of terrorism (what Stratfor calls the “who” and the “how”) may change in response to larger geopolitical cycles, such shifts will not signal the end of terrorism itself.

The Nature of Terrorism

There are many conflicting definitions of terrorism, but for our purposes we will loosely define it as politically motivated violence against noncombatants. Many terrorist acts have a religious element to them, but that element is normally related to a larger, political goal: Both a militant anti-abortion activist seeking to end legalized abortion and a jihadist seeking to end the U.S. military presence in Iraq may act according to religious principles, but they ultimately are pursuing a political objective.

Terrorism is a tactic, one employed by a wide array of actors. There is no single creed, ethnicity, political persuasion or nationality with a monopoly on terrorism. Individuals and groups of individuals from almost every conceivable background — from late Victorian-era anarchists to Klansmen to North Korean intelligence officers — have conducted terrorist attacks. Because of the impreciseness of the term, Stratfor normally does not refer to individuals as terrorists. In addition to being a poor descriptor, “terrorist” tends to be a politically loaded term.

Traditionally, terrorism has been a tactic of the weak, i.e., those who lack the power to impose their political will through ordinary political or military means. As Carl von Clausewitz noted, war is the continuation of politics by other means; terrorism is a type of warfare, making it also politics by other means. Because it is a tactic used by the weak, terrorism generally focuses on soft, civilian targets rather than more difficult-to-attack military targets.

The type of weapon used does not define terrorism. For example, using a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device against an International Security Assistance Force firebase in Afghanistan would be considered an act of irregular warfare, but using it in an attack on a hotel in Kabul would be considered an act of terrorism. This means that militant actors can employ conventional warfare tactics, unconventional warfare tactics and terrorism during the same campaign depending on the situation.

Terrorist attacks are relatively easy to conduct if they are directed against soft targets and if the assailant is not concerned with escaping after the attack, as was the case in the Mumbai attacks in 2008. While authorities in many countries have been quite successful in foiling attacks over the past couple of years, governments simply do not have the resources to guard everything. When even police states cannot protect everything, some terrorist attacks invariably will succeed in the open societies of the West.

Terrorist attacks tend to be theatrical, exerting a strange hold over the human imagination. They often create a unique sense of terror dwarfing reactions to natural disasters many times greater in magnitude. For example, more than 227,000 people died in the 2004 Asian tsunami versus fewer than 3,000 on 9/11, yet the 9/11 attacks produced a worldwide sense of terror and a geopolitical reaction that has had a profound and unparalleled impact on world events over the past decade.

Cycles and Shifts

A number of events last week illustrate the changes happening in the terrorism realm and demonstrate that, while terrorism may change, it is not going to end.

On Feb. 17, the FBI arrested a Moroccan man near the U.S. Capitol in Washington who allegedly sought to conduct a suicide attack on the building. The suspect, Amine el Khalifi, is a clear example of the shift in the jihadist threat from one based on the al Qaeda core group to one primarily deriving from grassroots jihadists. As Stratfor has noted for several years, while these grassroots jihadists pose a more diffuse threat because they are harder for national intelligence and law enforcement agencies to focus on than hierarchical groups, the threat they pose is less severe because they generally lack the terrorist tradecraft required to conduct a large-scale attack. Because they lack such tradecraft, these grassroots militants tend to seek assistance to conduct their plots. This assistance usually involves acquiring explosives or firearms, as in the el Khalifi case, where an FBI informant posing as a jihadist leader provided the suspect with an inert suicide vest and a submachine gun prior to the suspect’s arrest.

While many in the media tend to ridicule individuals like el Khalifi as inept, it is important to remember that had he succeeded in finding a real jihadist facilitator rather than a federal informant, he could have killed many people in an attack. Richard Reid, who many people refer to as the “Kramer of al Qaeda” after the bumbling character from the television show Seinfeld, came very close to taking down a jumbo jet full of people over the Atlantic because he had been equipped and dispatched by others.

Still, the fact remains that the jihadist threat now predominantly stems from unequipped grassroots wannabes rather than teams of highly trained operatives sent to the United States from overseas, like the team that executed the 9/11 attacks. This demonstrates how the jihadist threat has diminished in recent years, a trend we expect to continue. This will allow Washington to increasingly focus attention on things other than jihadism, such as the fragmentation of Europe, the transformation of global economic production and Iran’s growing regional power. It will mark the beginning of a new geopolitical cycle.

Last week also brought us a series of events highlighting how terrorism may manifest itself in the new cycle. On Feb. 13, Israeli diplomatic vehicles in New Delhi, India, and Tbilisi, Georgia, were targeted with explosive devices. In Tbilisi, a grenade hidden under a diplomatic vehicle was discovered before it could detonate. In New Delhi, a sticky bomb placed on the back of a diplomatic vehicle wounded the wife of the Israeli defense attache as she headed to pick up her children from school.

On Feb. 14, an Iranian man was arrested after being wounded in an explosion at a rented house in Bangkok. The blast reportedly occurred as a group was preparing improvised explosive devices for use against Israeli targets in Bangkok. Two other Iranians were later arrested (one in Malaysia), and Thai authorities are seeking three more Iranian citizens, two of whom have reportedly returned to Iran, alleged to have assisted in the plot.

While these recent Iranian plots failed, they nonetheless highlight how the Iranians are using terrorism as a tactic in retaliation for attacks Israel and Israeli surrogates have conducted against individuals associated with Iran’s nuclear program.

It is also important to bear in mind as this new geopolitical cycle begins that terrorism does not just emanate from foreign governments, major subnational actors or even transnational radical ideologies like jihadism. As we saw in the July 2011 attacks in Norway conducted by Anders Breivik and in older cases involving suspects like Eric Rudolph, Timothy McVeigh and Theodore Kaczynski in the United States, native-born individuals who have a variety of grievances with the government or society can carry out terrorist attacks. Such grievances will certainly persist.

Geopolitical cycles will change, and these changes may cause a shift in who employs terrorism and how it is employed. But as a tactic, terrorism will continue no matter what the next geopolitical cycle brings.

The Myth of the End of Terrorism is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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