Thursday, June 14, 2007


ABOARD THE USS NIMITZ IN THE GULF - A secret aircraft that debuted in Vietnam and usually protects U.S. fighter jets is getting a new type of task over Iraq - trying to stop the scourge of roadside bombs by jamming ground signals from mobile phones and garage door openers. The EA-6B Prowler is thought to be one of the most effective U.S. weapons against the bombs, the biggest killer of American service members in Iraq. But no one can be sure: Even supporters say its effectiveness is hard to measure.

The aircraft debuted at the tail end of Vietnam and was used in Kosovo and the 1991 Gulf War, escorting U.S. attack jets while jamming hostile radars, air defense batteries and military radios aimed at them. These days the Prowler focuses its jammers on smaller signals: those of mobile phones and garage door openers that are used to trigger roadside bombs in Iraq, said U.S. Navy Capt. David Woods, 49, of Ogden, Utah.

Often, it's hard to prove that a roadside bomb failed to explode because of Prowler jamming signals, Woods said. Still, he's confident the plane is making a difference against the bombs, which the military calls improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. "When it's flying we have greater success and fewer IEDs going off," Woods said. "It's kind of an insurance policy."

Woods, the commander of Carrier Air Wing Eleven and one of the Navy's most experienced Prowler pilots, says few people understand the EA-6B's mission, which is to control the electromagnetic spectrum so allies can use it - but not enemies. The Prowler and its electronic warfare system is so valuable it has never been exported - even to close allies. Details about the training of crew members are secret.

The Prowler is a homely plane, hung with torpedo-shaped pods and covered in tumor-like bumps packed with a bewildering array of computers, transmitters, antennae and receivers that can analyze and block ground transmissions. A sinister-looking prong protruding from its nose is a refueling nozzle. The EA-6B's bulbous nose cradles a crew of four: a pilot and three electronic countermeasures officers who operate the jamming gear. Outside experts say the Prowler remains the world's most effective electronic warfare aircraft, but the aging U.S. fleet of about 120 aircraft is overworked.

Still, the Pentagon considers the Prowler critical enough to ensure no U.S. aircraft carrier heads to battle without four or five. There are two squadrons now at sea in Mideast waters: one aboard the carrier USS John C. Stennis, the other aboard the Nimitz. Another two land-based Prowler squadrons are in Iraq, Woods said.

According to outside experts, receivers inside the Prowler's tail collect radio signals from the ground, which are analyzed by an on-board computer. As threats are identified, the plane's crew floods the area with electromagnetic energy that blocks the signal.....

More here



Rather encouraging to see in a British Leftist periodical a relatively balanced evaluation of Communism. He points out however that Britain's major Leftist organ is still Stalinist ("revisionist"). The comment thread attached is interesting too.

There is a disgraceful story here of how a U.S, soldier was deployed into Iraq without a working rifle. Everybody knew it but nobody cared. He eventually had to buy the parts he needed himself over the internet! He was in Iraq for a month before he was fully armed! Fortunately, he was assigned to a training post when he got there.

U.S. lawyers kill U.S. troops: "There may be an unlimited supply of explosives in Iraq, but there is not an unlimited supply of people who know how to wire the detonators. In 2004, CIA operatives in Iraq believed that they had identified the signatures of 11 bomb makers. They proposed a diabolical -- but potentially effective -- sabotage program that would have flooded Iraq with booby-trapped detonators designed to explode in the bomb makers' hands. But the CIA general counsel's office said no. The lawyers claimed that the agency lacked authority for such an operation, one source recalled."

Tony Blair gets this one right: "He said that newspapers no longer respected the division between reporting and comment, surprising many in the audience by singling out The Independent, the left-of-centre newspaper highly critical of Mr Blair over Iraq, as a metaphor for modern journalism. "[ The Independent] started as an antidote to the idea of journalism as views not news. That was why it was called The Independent. Today it is avowedly a viewspaper not merely a newspaper."

Palestinians long for Israel occupation in Gaza: "The general collapse of government functions in the Gaza Strip Tuesday urged several senior Palestinian figures to seriously contemplate Professor Ali Jarbawi's advice to disband the Palestinian Authority. Even before the civil war which Hamas and Fatah are starting in the Strip, Professor Jarbawi of Bir Zeit University maintained that the Palestinian Authority was a mere illusion of power: occupation under the guise of self government, and therefore useless. On Tuesday, a Palestinian journalist likened the Palestinian Authority to a smoke-belching car wreck, adding that it was time to toss the keys to the Israelis. His view is shared by many Palestinian civilians in Gaza, who in recent days have told the media that they are fed up. "We've had enough, we should be so lucky as to see the return of the Israeli occupation."

Fears for NYC revealed: "The NYPD has stepped up its inspections of trucks at checkpoints to protect against radioactive, biological or chemical bombs entering the Big Apple, officials said. Enlisting an array of new detection tools, New York's Finest, working with a host of federal and state investigators, have launched a two-pronged assault against terrorists trying to slip bomb-making materials into the city. On Sunday, about 40 cops using radiation detectors stopped some 50 trucks, trying to determine whether there were traces of radioactive isotopes - the type that would indicate a dirty bomb. They were also looking for other potential explosive ingredients, such as hydrogen peroxide or chlorine, which are favored by al Qaeda".


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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