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Old 03-03-2008   #21
selil
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How well does armor work in the Darian gap?
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Old 03-03-2008   #22
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Post On that note

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Originally Posted by selil View Post
How well does armor work in the Darian gap?
It may be interesting to note how much of the overall forces ordered to the border show up in WORKING order.

As to the overall how do we suppose the Drug cartels themselves would act to new players in house. Although initially there might be some curiousity about possibilities, one would think most of the big timers didn't get where they are by being overtly stupid. I'm quite sure it would occur to them where their loyalties would end up having to be in order to continue their existence.

Suppose Mr Sulfur smeller thought about that?
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Old 03-03-2008   #23
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The solution to this problem is a $.50 match round.
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Old 03-03-2008   #24
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http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americ...bia/index.html

Colombia is now making claims of recent, substantial financial ties between Hugo and the FARC. $300 million in financial ties, to be precise. The timing of this information's release seems interesting, no?

Uribe is also not redeploying his forces to meet the Venezuelan and Ecuadoran forces. He's leaving his borders more or less unprotected. That's a real melon-scratcher, in my opinion. Any idea what that's about?

Honestly, besides a few new airframes from Russia, what does Venezuela's military have to boast of? The only area in which they would be relatively free to operate would be the south, where the FARC is and where the CAF are not. But the terrain is not at all suitable to conventional military forces, so... ? Plus, the CAF have been fighting the FARC for 40 years, so they're quite experienced. It seems to me that with help from U.S. satellites and AWACS, and maybe a carrier task force in the Gulf of Panama, this would be a very brief and very one-sided defeat for the Venezuelan and Ecuadoran forces. I'm pretty sure the OAS would immediately condemn any hostile action by Venezuela as well. This seems like a one-way ticket to humiliation for Chavez.
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Old 03-03-2008   #25
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Wink Exactly

One thing you can almost count on is for him to do something not so bright.

And I would bet you quite a few of the Venezuelan military leaders know it.

Last edited by Ron Humphrey; 03-03-2008 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 03-04-2008   #26
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Default My take on this would be a bit different: I blame the US.

Post 9/11 the US unilaterally changed the rules of the game, they had significant international sympathy - and the military/diplomatic/economic superpower status did not exactly encourage other states to be too vocal in their complaints. They significantly weakened their position on human rights (enhanced interrogation techniques, Gitmo etc.) and on the norms of international sovereignty (kidnapping foreign nationals in other countries AKA extraordinary rendition) and this week we have seen military strikes in Pakistan and Somalia (presumably by US forces).
What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Having changed the rules others have taken the opportunity to jump on the band waggon. Now it is the 'new norm' for any tin pot nasty-piece-of-work who has control of their countries military - regardless of how they got there - to call anyone they want to get rid of a terrorist and massacre them. If that includes extremely repressive tactics (Russia vs Chechen's, IDF vs Lebanon) or forays into another country (Turkey/Iraq, Colombia/Ecuador) then the new rules say no problem - as long as you remember to call whoever you want to attack a terrorist.
If the US intends to make the rules and then enforce them then they must expect to have to face vastly increased opposition across the board; friends shift to neutral, neutral to hostile and hostile to terrorist.
Just my $.02
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Old 03-04-2008   #27
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Default Sorry....

But this is really nothing new. Blaming the US may be fashionable, but this has cropped up time and again in history. Call them reactionary stooges, counter-revolutionaries, Imperialist/Communist puppets...whatever. The tactic has always been there. Doesn't mean the US was wise in using it, but we certainly didn't invent it.

This seems more like Chavez trying to create some kind of internal unity after his defeat at the polls a few months back. And I think Columbia's wise to not provide any military provocation. Forces Chavez to show his true colors, if his intent is to actually commit forces and not just rattle his saber.
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Old 03-04-2008   #28
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Default Seems to me this ignores a lot of history...

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Post 9/11 the US unilaterally changed the rules of the game, they had significant international sympathy...
While the rest of your comment has has elements of truth in it, the US has thrown its weight around internationally and unilaterally since 1795.

As did great Britain in the day -- and from whom we learned to be assertive -- as have numerous others over the years.

Nothing new here. Look at Ol' Fidel -- he and Che were throwing their weight around before all you young folks realized it and long before 9/11 -- about 40 years before. Go elsewhere in the world and there are myriad examples.

I really don't mind folks blaming the US for all the ills of the world but it would be nice if they'd get their facts straight.
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Old 03-04-2008   #29
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Default That's

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I really don't mind folks blaming the US for all the ills of the world but it would be nice if they'd get their facts straight.
why we need to keep you and yours around a while yet
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Old 03-04-2008   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
I really don't mind folks blaming the US for all the ills of the world but it would be nice if they'd get their facts straight.
I'd like to know where we're keeping the time machine that enables us to go back 5,000 or so years and bring all the evil into the world. After all, the world was a far better place before the U.S. came into existence.
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Old 03-05-2008   #31
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Whenever I read about how the U.S. blew all this "international sympathy" that it had immediately after 9/11, I still have a hard time getting past the memories of all those newpapers and TV reports saying that it was just the U.S. getting what was coming to it. Between the various non-US news networks and some of the papers (not least a particular prominent French newspaper), while there was certainly a lot of sympathy, it was also the occasion when a lot of the haters lifted their veils briefly and came right out and gleefully kicked the victim while he was down.

My sister was working in her HR office that day, and as everyone watched the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers on live TV, one of the Bangladeshi-born software engineers was jumping up and down and laughing.

That day I tossed my carefully nurtured Canadian anti-American views out in the trash, forever. Every country has committed evils, some more than others, but for whatever its evils, past and present, the U.S. is not only one of the most benign imperial powers that has ever existed in modern times, but probably the most magnanimous - and utterly necessary to holding the line against worse evils in the world. Perhaps only Britain in its Imperial heyday even approaches the U.S. in these regards.

It is perverse to view the U.S. as the source of evil; what's more it is envy to want to see it as such, and to see it suffer for its alleged "crimes". Anyone can pick up a copy of a Black Rose Press book and read about the horrible things that America and Americans have done in places like Central America, etc. And a good deal of it is indeed true, and will anguish you in ways that you can't easily shake. But even then, that does not begin to approach the utter inhumanity of regimes like Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany, or Maoist China - or the many "lesser" such examples as Cambodia or North Korea. Most of those who are willing to condemn the U.S. for its crimes - real, imagined, and exaggerated - have owed their place to do so in no small part to the blood, treasure, and sacrifice poured out by the U.S. in quantities that no other Western country is willing to bear in just proportion. Envy is at the root of most anti-Americanism.

It's not clear - yet - whether or not Colombia was justified in making an incursion into Ecuador or not. But if FARC and the "dirty bomb" bit, along with the alleged support of the Ecuadorian and Venezuelan Governments for FARC do indeed turn out to be true, then it's the latter, not Colombia, who have some 'splainin' to do. And so far, Colombia is doing the right thing, by apologizing for the incursion and playing it (comparatively) cool, and not making any quick (military) moves.
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Old 03-05-2008   #32
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Quote:
My sister was working in her HR office that day, and as everyone watched the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers on live TV, one of the Bangladeshi-born software engineers was jumping up and down and laughing.
It was most surreal here as we were in a mission rehearsal exercise for the Balkans and some of our Muslim role players did the same.....considering the US role in that region, it was Twilight Zone stuff.

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Old 03-05-2008   #33
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Default Sorry all

Firstly an apology, I had just waded through the BBC international site and was seething from the unnecessary loss of life and general hatred in the days news. I then made two hasty and provocative posts which, on reflection, should have been toned down.
Sorry Steve and everyone else.

That said I would still disagree with Ken on 9/11 being a watershed in US policy. The birth of the GWOT was not the start of those with power throwing their weight around but it was a major change in policy focus and I would argue counter-productively. As to the Brits in days of empire I would not even consider trying defend some of their actions, opium, East India company etc. etc. I don’t know the origin of the term ‘Gunboat diplomacy’ but I have a nasty feeling we might have spawned it.

Take the missile strikes on Dhoble ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7276535.stm) this is not a town that is likely to have a lot of warm sentiment towards the US but the strikes seem to have stirred up a lot of anger over the civilian deaths. The target – according to press reports – seems to have been either Saleh Ali Nabhan ( suspected of involvement with Kenyan hotel bombing and manpad attack on airliner) or Hassan Turki (UIC & Ogaden) how good the intelligence was I obviously don’t know but there seem to have been hits on more than one site and no claim of any success. What is the net result likely to be? Have the planners been reading their COIN manuals? Newly bereaved relatives ripe for recruitment to the cause and a general shift of the population towards the anti-American end of the spectrum? This town is near the Kenyan boarder and the US is already blamed for supporting the Ethiopian invasion and attendant misery caused. The boarder was closed from the Kenyan side as soon as the Ethiopian invasion began, and remains so. This seems to have been a co-ordinated action between the US and its two local allies in an attempt to apprehend some wanted men thought to be in the area. Any senior UIC, or terrorists, in the area would have had their own bolt holes, safe houses and support networks those that suffered by not being able to get the waiting aid agencies on the Kenyan side of the boarder were – yet again – the genuine refugees. So much misery for so little gain, this pattern of actions keeps being repeated and keeps swelling the ranks and coffers of the real enemy. Don’t back the despots, when civilians need help, help them and make a few friends. So much damage has been done to America’s reputation in the Muslim world it may be a very long time before they start saluting the Stars and Stripes but lets try and at least get a few less burnt.

Last edited by JJackson; 03-05-2008 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 03-05-2008   #34
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Default To my mind, you have no need to apologize, nothing

wrong with saying what you think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJackson View Post
Firstly an apology, I had just waded through the BBC international site and was seething from the unnecessary loss of life and general hatred in the days news. I then made two hasty and provocative posts which, on reflection, should have been toned down.
Sorry Steve and everyone else.

That said I would still disagree with Ken on 9/11 being a watershed in US policy. The birth of the GWOT was not the start of those with power throwing their weight around but it was a major change in policy focus and I would argue counter-productively...
I think that you're partly correct, it was a 'policy change' of sorts -- but only in that it became a stated policy rather than an unstated but actual policy we have pursued for over 200 years. Both Britain and France were horrified in 1801 that we elected to attack the Barbary Corsairs rather than pay tribute and tolerate their enslavement of westerners. As has been said, there is little new under the sun.

What Bush did was flout the rules of international diplomacy; he rejected Kyoto -- but so had the US Senate some years before, it was never going to be ratified. Same thing applies to the International Criminal court; the Senate will never agree to that (correctly in my opinion). Bush didn't change reality, he merely talked about it. Look at pre-emptive strikes for example; we've done literally hundreds over the years; just never announced it as a policy. Bush did that -- that just got a lot of people's knickers in a twist when all he really did was give voice to something we -- and most nations in the world -- have always practiced but wouldn't talk about.

I've been traveling internationally since 1947. Anti-Americanism was present then and it has broadly stayed at the same level since. Viet Nam was a high point; more approbation appeared then than does today.
Quote:
As to the Brits in days of empire I would not even consider trying defend some of their actions, opium, East India company etc. etc. I don’t know the origin of the term ‘Gunboat diplomacy’ but I have a nasty feeling we might have spawned it.
Why would you not defend it? You had nothing to do with it. Britain reacted in tune with the times to events. Did they make mistakes? Sure. However, you did more good than harm. You have every right to be proud of the accomplishments of the empire and no need to be apologetic. I cannot understand this new trait of self-flagellation in the European hearth; I see it as self righteous but self defeating foolishness.
Quote:
...So much misery for so little gain, this pattern of actions keeps being repeated and keeps swelling the ranks and coffers of the real enemy. Don’t back the despots, when civilians need help, help them and make a few friends. So much damage has been done to America’s reputation in the Muslim world it may be a very long time before they start saluting the Stars and Stripes but lets try and at least get a few less burnt.
If everyone was as nice as you undoubtedly are and shared your views, that would be a good wish. regrettably, I fear a good many in this world are not that nice.

I'd also submit that had the US not 'turned the other cheek' so very many times in bowing to international good will pressures in the past and had instead responded fairly and forcefully to provocations we would not have many of the problems that today exist in the world. the meek may inherit the Earth -- but there are a lot of un-meek folks out there who work mightily to preclude that...
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Old 03-05-2008   #35
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Default Chavez Offered to Hold Hostages

More grist for the Andes mill...

Quote:
Colombia: Rebel documents talk of uranium offer
By Tyler Bridge and Jenny Carolina Gonzalez | Miami Herald

BOGOTA — A mysterious "Belisario'' offered to sell Colombian rebels uranium that could be used for a dirty bomb. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez feuded with Cuba. Chavez offered to move hostages held by the rebels to Venezuela — and hold them there.

That's just some of the content in 15 documents released Tuesday by Colombian police, who said they'd been found in the captured laptop of the rebel's No. 2 commander, Raul Reyes, who was killed Saturday when Colombian forces attacked his camp inside Ecuador.
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Old 03-07-2008   #36
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Default Couple of things being floating are....

First, Hugo's bully pulpit and blustering has more to do with the price of oil than almost anything else. Remember, spot oil jumped from right at $100 a Bbl. to right around $106.

The smart money in the oil markets are still saying that Venezuela's oil productions keeps decreasing (slight drops almost monthly), so Hugo's got to keep his cash inflows steady. He's doing what he's got to do to get the cash.

Problem is, it's a short term fix. But as to following through and taking on Columbia, not likely.

To show you how stupid it's gotten, Venezuela has just decreed that all Columbia-Venezuela order trade be curtailed (about $6 bil, give or take). Most of that $6 billion that Venezuela imports from Columbia is FOOD

Guy's a genius. He's going to starve his own people to get back at Columbia.

Second point, there's another player in all of this that few see. Just last month, Columbia & Israel signed a deal to (1) to update the 11 Kfir C7s to the C10 version and (2) acquire another 13 former Israeli Air Force Kfir C10s.

Link

Now, President Hugo has already allied himself with some fairly unsavory characters (from Israel's POV), and hey, guy gets stupid & comes across the Columbian border, who's to say that Hugo's pilots couldn't end up facing some pretty tough, first rate competition in the air (and I'm not talking from the US).

Just a few thoughts....
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Old 03-07-2008   #37
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Default That deal

w/ Israel also allegedly includes a (not mentioned publicly) used Airbus 330 rigged as a tanker with two Drogue pods.

That'll give the Kfirs enough reach to go places...
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Old 03-07-2008   #38
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Default I could see...

a certain small ME nation really looking forward to an opportunity to give a certain loudmouth SA bully type who's spent a lot of time talking smack about them at least a bloody nose, if not worse.

Force projection can sometimes work in mysterious ways (and come from mysterious places).....
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Old 03-07-2008   #39
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Default True and always generally enjoyable to

watch the benefits of single-mindedness in action...
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Old 03-07-2008   #40
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I was watching one of the news networks last night at the gym - closed caption. They showed film clips of the Venezuelan "Army." Typical leftist regime, ideological, revolutionary army - young, brand new uniforms, sloppy drill, etc. In addition, Chavez, being an idiot, sacked all his experienced officers (down to an unknown rank) and replaced them, presumably, if history is any guide, based on ideological purity.

On the other side, Columbia has a professional, well trained, experienced Army.

If Chavez is really stupid enough to start a war, I'll go on record predicting a one sided blood bath.
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