Drone Not Drone

Drone Not Drone

Sunday, February 26, 2017

On Midrats 26 February 2017 Episode 373: End of February Free For All

Please join us at 5pm (EST) for Midrats Episode 373: End of February Free For All:
Is your head swimming in the 2nd month of the Trump Administration? While we are distracted with intramural politics, the world keeps moving and other nations move forward.

How are the national security and international order reacting to the change in USA leadership? From NATO to China and Russia, what signals are coming from and going to the new American government?

No guests this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern, just our quarterly free-for-all with the show co-hosts, Sal from "CDR Salamander" and EagleOne from "EagleSpeak."

If you'd like to join the conversation, feel free to call the switchboard number at the top of the show page, join the chatroom, or if you can't make the live show, you can send you questions via twitter to @cdrsalamander or @lawofsea.
Listen live if you can or pick the show up later by clicking here. Or you can pick the show up later by clicking that link or by visiting either our iTunes page or our Stitcher page.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday Is Old Radio Day: Candy Matson "The Donna Dunham Case" (1949)

An old San Francisco treat with a woman (shocking for the time) detective:



More about the show at Candy Matson:
Candy, played by Natalie Parks, was hard-boiled in her own way. She never compromised her femininity but she did know how to use a gun and didn't hesitate to use when it was necessary. She didn't take any guff from the guys--the good guys or the bad guys. With a snappy comeback, she could take anybody's head off. Candy was fearless, never hesitating to go wherever she needed to solve a case from the lowest dive to the classiest night club. Candy worked hard to get her goon.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Call Them Mass Murderers: Criminals Who Prey on Migrants/Refugees

Reportedly, the death toll of migrants/refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean for the year 2016 was over 4000 that we know about. Here's a report on how 74 died this year allegedly due to the criminal acts of some who are indifferent to human life, from the UK Express Migrants DROWN after traffickers STEAL their boat's motor at gunpoint:
The bodies of 74 drowned African migrants have washed ashore in Libya, leading to speculation people traffickers removed the motor from their boat during the treacherous Mediterranean crossing.

It is claimed the refugees making the treacherous trip to Europe from Libya came into difficulty after human traffickers intercepted their vessel at sea and stole its motor at gunpoint, according to the Libya Observer.

However, a spokesman for Libya's Red Crescent said the circumstances of the drowning was unknown.
Let's suppose that the report of the theft of the motor is not true - even then, putting people in unsafe boats while charging them for transport to "safety" is just as criminal.

The problem needs to be solved on the shore and that means putting an end to those who trade on the hopes of these desperate peoples. The problem does not lie in the European community, but in the Third World hellholes these migrants/refugees are fleeing.

UNHCR map of Migrant Routes

UNHCR site discussing the Mediterranean situation here

Fun with Fake News: World to End, etc

Sometimes, after a day of scanning various media and electronic things, I have to go to Weekly World News (THE WORLD'S ONLY RELIABLE NEWS), for real fake news (and they are proud of it), for instance, EARTH TO COLLIDE WITH NIBIRU ON OCTOBER 17, 2017!
NASA scientists have reportedly confirmed that the planet Nibiru will
collide with Earth on October 17, 2017 or 17/10/17.

The Nibiru collision with Earth in 2017 has been predicted for a long time, but astrophysicists, cosmologists and astronomers around the world have now come to a consensus that Earth will indeed collide with the planet, which lies just outside Pluto.

Nibiru, in Babylonian Astronomy translates to “Point of Transition” or “Planet of Crossing,” especially of rivers, i.e. river crossings or ferry-boats, a term of the highest point of the ecliptic, i.e. the point of summer solstice, and its associated constellation. The establishment of the Nibiru point is described in tablet 5 of the Enuma Elish. Its cuneiform sign was often a cross, or various winged disc. The Sumerian culture was located in the fertile lands between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, at the southern part of today’s Iraq.
***
Natural disasters are accelerating exponentially and astronomers believe that they are being caused by Nibiru coming closer and closer to Earth.
I guess we'll all have a ring-side seat.

I'll bring the popcorn.

More on Nibiru here.

You'd think those alleged "NASA scientists" would be going more public with this sort of information.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Islam's Schism and the Middle East Mess

Interesting article at The National Interest by Geneive Abdo on "Why Iran's Shia Threat Is Very Real for Faraway Egyptians" Yes, it's the Shia vs. Sunni thing, but an interesting take and well worth your time. Excerpt:
As of 2013
The wars in Syria and Iraq—perceived to be driven by Shia Iran’s hegemonic ambitions in the Arab world—also frame the narrative the Sunnis throughout the region use to bolster their argument that if the Islamic Republic of Iran had its way, the government would rule every Sunni-dominated Arab country. This fear has reached new heights in recent years, after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards, the most militant part of the state’s security apparatus, became heavily involved in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

“The Dawa Salafiyya,” a particular trend in the movement that opposes violence, “has taken up the issue of the Shia to deal with religious minorities in Islam and outside Islam that have deviated from the tradition,” explained el-Shahat, who, at first glance appears a bit frightening with his long beard and stocky frame, but is actually an affable man. “For Iran, the religious and political perspectives are one in the same. They want to create their [Persian] empire again and that means spreading Shiism.”
***
Rather, the Sunnis see the Shia’s primary motivation as tied directly to their theology, and that any political gain in the process is an added bonus. This is the widespread belief among Sunnis across the Middle East, from Syria and Lebanon to Yemen.
***
Although the Shia-Sunni divide has persisted for centuries, the Arab uprisings dramatically escalated the conflict for several reasons.

First and foremost, religious identity has become more relevant to Arabs than in recent decades. The notion of citizenship—being an Iraqi or a Syrian—became less important, due in part to the virtual collapse of states and governments. Second, the political leadership of Shia Iran and its Sunni neighbors, chiefly Saudi Arabia, have openly fanned the flames of sectarian rivalry in their pursuit of power and territory.
***
As I say, well worth the read.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Merchant Sailor Killed, Six Kidnapped in Attack in Sulu Sea

The Philippine Star reports that attack of some sort left one merchant sailor dead in the Sulu Sea :
Gunmen attacked a Vietnamese cargo ship off the Philippines' southern
tip, killing a Vietnamese crewman and abducting six others including the vessel's captain, the Philippine coast guard and the ship's owner said Monday.

Coast guard spokesman Armand Balilo said the Vietnamese coast guard reported that the MV Giang Hai, with 17 crewmen on board, was attacked by pirates Sunday night about 20 miles (31 kilometers) north of Pearl Bank in Tawi-Tawi, the Philippines' southernmost province.

Personnel of the Philippine coast guard, police and marines found the ship had drifted near the province's Baguan Island. Upon boarding the vessel, they found 10 Vietnamese sailors alive and one dead.

Pham Van Hien, head of the safety department of Pham Hai shipping company, the owner of the cargo ship based in Vietnam's northern port city of Hai Phong, said the captain was among those abducted. The attack occurred while the vessel was transporting 4,500 tons of cement from Indonesia to the Philippines, he said.

Dangers at Sea: Remotely Piloted Explosive Laden Anti-Ship Weapons and the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Intelligence Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) Report 16 January - 15 February 2017

An interesting report from Chris Cavas at Defense News New Houthi weapon emerges: a drone boat
The Houthi boat that attacked and hit a Saudi frigate Jan. 30 in the Red Sea, reported earlier as a suicide boat, was instead carried out by an unmanned, remote-controlled craft filled with explosives, the US Navy’s top officer in the Mideast said.

“Our assessment is that it was an unmanned, remote-controlled boat of some kind,” Vice Adm. Kevin Donegan, commander of the Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet and head of US Naval Forces Central Command, told Defense News in an interview here Saturday.

The attack on the frigate Al Madinah appears to be the first confirmed use of the weapon which, Donegan said, represents a wider threat than that posed by suicide boats and shows foreign interests are aiding the Houthis.
Read the whole article, which reflects an opinion that those "foreign interests" are Iranian:
The unmanned boat was likely supplied by Iran, Donegan said.

“I don’t know that it’s Iranian-built, but I believe that it’s production in some way was supported by Iran,” Donegan said.
Why would Iran do this (in addition to just making trouble)? I had thoughts earlier Missile Attacks Off Yemen and the Iran- Saudi Proxy War for Oil Shipping Chokepoints and Fun with Iran: Iran "Naval Ambitions".

Recall that the Bab el Mandeb Strait is a vital choke point (as pointed out in the Cavas article) or as the U.S. Energy Information Administration sets out:
Closing the Bab el-Mandeb Strait could keep tankers in the Persian Gulf from reaching the Suez Canal and the SUMED Pipeline, diverting them around the southern tip of Africa.
The U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence has a warning out here:
Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb Strait and Gulf of Aden Commercial vessels in the region of the Red Sea, Bab el Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Aden should operate under a heightened state of alert as increasing tensions in the region escalate the potential for direct or collateral damage to vessels transiting the region. These threats may come from a variety of different sources such as missiles, projectiles or waterborne improvised explosive devices. Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for an 01 October attack on a UAE vessel. . .
and so to the regular ONI report.