A Modest Thought

Israel kicked Hamas’ ass in the last iteration of the ongoing Gaza War. Hamas and its Western media enablers are trying to spin it as some sort of victory but the fact they accepted the “no deal” terms which had been on offer for a month suggests otherwise.

Which does not change the fact that Hamas is still a terrorist force which is capable of shooting rockets and digging tunnels.

Iron Dome is doing an outstanding job of neutralizing the rockets but what about the tunnels and the leadership bunkers and underground arsenals. The Israeli Airforce and the Army made a good deal of progress but the fact is to take down the tunnel/bunker infrastructure would have required street by street fighting in nasty urban environments. A lot of Israeli soldiers would have died.

So, is there another way?

There may be. Gaza is a very small place much of it is only 6 kilometers wide. It is also a place, as the Hamas tunnellers have demonstrated, which has a soil geology almost ideal for tunnelling: sand, sandstone and loess.

Hamas uses hand labour – including child labour – to dig its tunnels.

Here is my suggestion for the underground equivalent of Iron Dome.

Imagine a couple of these big boys running along the Gaza Israel Border and building a series of tunnels which, in turn would be flooded with water from the Mediterranean. Now it might sound like an unrealistic project but the fact is that these giant machines can grind through 100 plus meters a week of hard soil, in the soft soil of the Gaza border they might well get that up to 200 or even 300 meters a week. Running two machines and focusing on the high priority sections of the border a defensive cordon of counter tunnels could be dug in a matter of a few months and Gaza could be entirely surrounded in a couple of years.

Offensively, smaller, faster tunnelling machines could head into Gaza and directly towards the Headquarters bunkers, arsenals and the locus points of attack tunnels. Here basic automated mining technology could be employed.

This is an intelligent coal mining machine. It can rip through coal – a rock generally harder than the rock in Gaza – at a 100-200 meters per day. The run from the Israeli border to, say Gaza City is a few kilometers. Running a number of these machines into the Hamas underground concentration points would avoid the casualties of a ground attack. The machine could look for and break into Hamas underground structures and then either blow them up or open up the flood gates from the water filled protection tunnels and simply flood Hamas out.

While all of these machines are expensive to buy and to run we’re talking hundreds of millions rather than billions. A sum Israel can certainly afford if it floods out the Hamas rats.

Arabs helping themselves

From the New York Times (via Blazing Catfur) we learn that Egypt and the UAE may well have bombed jihadis in Libya. Apparently they did not ask America for permission.

Twice in the last seven days, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have secretly teamed up to launch airstrikes against Islamist-allied militias battling for control of Tripoli, Libya, four senior American officials said, in a major escalation between the supporters and opponents over political Islam.

The United States, the officials said, was caught by surprise: Egypt and the Emirates, both close allies and military partners, acted without informing Washington or seeking its consent, leaving the Obama administration on the sidelines. Egyptian officials explicitly denied the operation to American diplomats, the officials said. NYT

This is excellent news if true simply because it is well past time for the Arab world to start cleaning up the mess in its backyard. Not asking the americans for permission is also good news as asking would have interrupted the Big Zeros Golf Game of Grief.

The jihadis, whether Libyan or IS or Hamas need a good deal of bombing and Israel only has the one airforce. The feckless Americans seem content to fly the occasional mission to blow up a few IS US Army surplus armoured vehicles but it is a serious of pin pricks. The ladies running US Foreign Policy seem to have a thing about proportionality (indeed, I suspect the “appropriate” word will come up. So the required waves of B-1s with the cluster munitions are sitting idle.

But Egypt and the UAE are relatively unconstrained and willing to fly 2500 miles to at least make an effort to forestall the jihadis.

With a little luck the Saudis, owners of a deeply impressive set of aircraft, will notice that flying time from their northern air bases to Syria or Iraq is about twenty minutes and that those lovely airplanes could drop a load of bombs, fire a few armour piercing missiles and run the ground attack cannon and be home for lunch. If they want to get really ambitious, they could fly a mission in the afternoon as well.

No doubt the ladies at State will have very large kittens at this sort of thing. The President’s back swing, sketchy at the best of times, will go to Hell. IS will be really angry and threaten to drive to Mecca.

So, basically, win/win.

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Climate Explainations

I used to write about climate a lot but when things got busy stopped.

When I did write I tended to suggest that a) the models were uncertain, b) natural variability was a much bigger deal than the warmists admitted, c) things like the Sun, the PDO and the vagaries of the Atlantic Ocean might have had something to do with the warming to 1998. I was certainly willing to concede that humans made some contribution to any warming which might have occurred but I suggested that it was unlikely to be just the CO2 emitting side of human activity. Finally, I suggested that the less significant CO2 was in the scheme of things the less it should signify in policy. In other words, I didn’t think the various carbon dioxide reduction schemes were worth the money.

The warmists, two or three years ago, denied each and every one of these ideas. The warmist position was that the Earth was warming fast and that man made CO2 was the only possible cause of such warming. They cited the IPCC Fourth Report to support their assertions and suggested that anything less was not peer reviewed and thus worthless.

and then, well and then came the pause. And with the pause the realization that the models and reality were gradually drifting apart. And with that drift there arose the need to explain where the heat in the models could be hiding and why it was hiding there.

The scientific immaturity of climate science was on full display as no less than 38 separate and often contradictory explanations for the pause were put forward. Many of which would have been heresy only a couple of years before.

As the explanations have been launched we’ve seen the curious spectacle of grown scientists coming up with enough cooling to overwhelm the observed warming all together. And many of these explanations involve the Sun, ocean currents, clouds and a host of other variables which we were assured could not have any effect on climate just a few short years ago.

It turns out that, in general, the climate science community has been exaggerating the precision of its models and the robustness of its physics. In the face of the unpredicted pause they have had to admit that maybe Nature and not Man might be responsible for at least a bit of the warming which has, well, disappeared.

The one thing which has become absolutely clear: the IPCC science and the policy recommendations based up on it are ungrounded in any serious, measurable, predictable science at all. There is no current theory of climate which implicates CO2 exclusively. And there is a great deal of uncertainty as to what the temperature’s sensitivity to CO2 actually is.

All of which means that any economic or energy policy based upon the theory that CO2 will create extreme climate change needs to be discarded at once before any more money is wasted.

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The Madness of Islam

With all of the usual qualifications as to not all Muslims….Are these people nuts?

The answer – from the killing fields of Iraq and Syria to the rocketeers in Gaza – is pretty clearly, “Yup. Whacked, ready for the cotton box, gaga.”

For the moment the Islamists, and pace the Big Zero this has everything to do with Islam, are lucky in the sense that the American President is both feckless and addicted to golf and the Israelis seem to still believe that world opinion matters.

The Israelis are the near problem. They have just targeted and killed, perhaps with Egyptian intelligence, three serious Hamas military leaders. They may have got the overall military commander of Hamas and, sadly, they certainly got his wife and kids.

The Israelis will, eventually say “Enough with the rockets” and roll over Gaza and let the leftie luvies and the crazed Islamic Hamas supporters in the West wet their pants. Israel has better and more interesting friends in Saudi, Egypt and Jordan not to mention India and China.

Whether or not the Big Zero has the stones to kill the rabid dog of IS is a different question. Frankly, given the size of the Saudi and Jordanian air forces and the Egyptian army (easily dispatched for mercenary duty) there is no reason why they cannot take a big bite out of the rabid dog of Islam.

And they may have to. Because, with the exception of relatively limited air strikes, the Big Zero seems incapable of actually using the American’s overwhelming air capacity much less put boots on the ground.

I am hoping I am wrong. I am hoping that once Obama finally breaks 80 he’ll wander back to Washington, re-introduce himself to the Joint Chiefs and say, “Roll’em up boys.” But I am not holding my breath. That would take courage rather than a low handicap.

But the madness of Islam lies in relying upon the weakness of the West and of Israel. What the dimwits in Hamas and IS see as weakness is largely ill-considered forbearance. A few more beheadings, a lucky rocket beating Iron Dome and hitting a family or a school and first the Israelis and then the Americans will move closer to going Roman.

Late.

(It will be interesting to see if Israel decides to send a drone or a wet team to Qatar. There is a chap there who certainly would do with some killing.)

IS to ISN’T

If ever there was an opportunity to set Islamic terror back a couple of decades that opportunity is now in the wastelands of Syria and Iraq. 

The Islamic State is estimated to have 15,000 fighters out there beheading and crucifying and raping assorted minorities and lots of other Muslims.  They have a few ranks and APCs plus a fair bit of heavy weaponry and lots of cash. (Though given the intelligence failures of the current American regime it would be wise to double those estimates.) 

A division of Marines and serious air strikes – think cluster bomb more than precision munitions  get will stop IS and then Saudi financed Egyptians and Pakistani infantry can go in and kill them.  Not capture,  not take as prisoners,  kill. The actual killing needs to be done by their fellow Muslims and it needs to be done pretty much immediately. 

Soft power has been proven bullshit.  Time to let Is know what happens to bullies. 

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School Hit…Er, well, missed….but let’s drag the bodies

Anyone who has followed the Middle East for any period of time will know just how ruthlessly anti-Israel Islamists are willing to compromise the truth. And we know how complicit the media is in the lies Hamas is telling.

The dingbat who is the Secretary General of the United Nations – without evidence being checked – denounced Israel:

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the attack a “moral outrage and a criminal act” and demanded a quick investigation, while the U.S. State Department condemned the strike in unusually strong language, saying it was “appalled” by the “disgraceful” shelling. cbc

Was it?

A) the school itself was not hit,
B) the only confirmed deaths occured outsde the school where two Hamas operatives were hit on a motor bike,
C) The scene at the school was altered significantly for the cameras
D) Children were placed beside the dead operatives who had been dragged to the school.

Want more? Here you go.

Western media have been willing dupes of the Hamas PR department from the start of this conflict. Without their complicity the value of dead and wounded Pali children would drop and the incentive for Hamas to put children in the line of fire would decline.

There is blood on the hands of Hamas, but there is also blood on the hands of the Western media which prefers staged pictures of injured children to real pictures of rockets being launched from civilian areas. (The first will get you kudos, the second will get you kicked out of Gaza.

Hamas Logic

If you think about it a moment incidents such as the alleged drone strike on a Gaza Hospital (which happens to be where a fair number of Hamas leaders congregate) which turn out to be errant Hamas rockets make a perverse sense.

for Hamas there is no chance of military victory. Their only chance is to muster world opinion to force Israel to stop its activities. To achieve this they need one thing: lots of dead Palestinians – preferably babies and children but any will do. The Israelis know this and risk their soldier’s lives to avoid hitting civilians. So, if Israel is failing to bring the body count up fast enough, what would make sense for Hamas, is to train its rockets on its own population. Lord knows they don’t have an Iron Dome. Not all the rockets of course. Just enough to produce a civilian slaughter every few hours to keep CNN supplied with fresh, bloody, pictures of dead children.

“Resistance” comes in many forms. One is human shields, another is rejecting or violating ceasefires, and another may very well be blowing up your own people “accidentally”. As long as the all important body count keeps going up the barbarians who run Hamas are not going to be particularly concerned as to why.

UPDATE: Oooops.

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Enter Egypt

It is pretty clear that Hamas is not fit to go earn Gaza.  Use your people as human Shields and I say you have lost all legitimacy. 

 

Chin pullers ask… If not Hamas then who? 

 

Well,  long before Hamas,  Gaza was ruled by Egypt.  

 

This might make a lot of sense now.  Egypt is demonstrating admirable vigor in suppressing the Muslim  Rotherham and what is Hamas but the MB’s excitable younger brother. And Egypt could  use some help both in the Sinai  and on its Libyan  border. 

 

Just a thought. 

Go Kurds, GO!

http://time.com/2898883/iraq-turkey-kurd-isis/

If there is any glimmer of light in the Iraq debacle it is that the Kurt are well on their way to sovereignty. The crazed Arabs and equally insane Persians will fight it all out. The Kurt will hold their borders, straighten their lines, and be recognised as a state. One which will prosper and ignore the idiotic of the sale fists and the Khomanists.

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Bye Car

Well, actually, I have not owned a car for 15 years and miss having one about once a month. But here is an interesting thought about Uber the car app: “New York Times article this morning, technology columnist Farhad Manjoo suggests that Uber could one-day lead to the end of personal cars. Especially in densely populated areas served by Uber and competitors such as Lyft, relying on such on-demand, cost-competitive transport networks can be cheaper than buying, insuring, maintaining and parking a car.” yahoo

The argument is purely cost based – why have the cost of a car which you use, at most, 5% of the time? Why indeed? Walking, bikes, the bus and taxis work well for our family most of the time.

Uber is, however, a stop gap until the driverless car as a utility arrives. I’d say it will take about a decade before ubiquitous little autonomous cars will arrive at your door and drop you where you want to go. They will, of course, also pick up your groceries without you actually having to go to the store.

All of which is a function of the falling costs of computing, transactions and communications. It is also a function of a change in the way in which people define who they are. For a long time you were what you drove – now, increasingly it simply does not matter. I mean, seriously, at 100 feet can you really tell the difference between the 20k utility box and the 50k? It is not until you get up over 100k that there is any style to cars at all.

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