When in doubt, bomb the house

Today's look at war from the cheap seats.

Here’s your semi-regular reminder that life does not always go as planned.

Which was the case for a bunch of future insurgents Immigration and Customs Enforcement put in vans for what turned out to be a 39 hour ride.

Under the blistering Texas sun last July, 37 migrant children boarded vans for what was supposed to be a 30-minute ride. At the end of the road from Harlingen to Los Fresnos lay the promise of hugs, kisses and long overdue reunification with their parents, from whom they were taken when the Trump administration began systematically separating migrant families who crossed the border illegally.

But when the children, all between 5 and 12 years old, arrived at Immigration and Customs Enforcement's adults-only Port Isabel Detention Center, rather than seeing their parents, they saw a parking lot full of vans just like theirs, with children from other facilities who, just like them, were waiting to be processed and reunified with their parents.

It was 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 15, 2018.

Not until 39 hours later — after two nights in a van — did the last child step out of a van to be reunited. Most spent at least 23 hours in the vehicles.

Hey…you want an insurgency? That’s how you get an insurgency. Because you’re fucking over an entire generation of immigrants who, if they were treated differently, might turn out to be valued members of American society.

Fuck around and cram them into a van and take them away from their parents, and all you’re doing is feeding the narrative that America is a giant racist asshole.

Not saying that immigrant kids are insurgents.

At least not today.

But treat someone like a criminal long enough, and you’re liable to end up with a criminal on your hands. When that kid and her parents just want to make a new life for themselves somewhere they won’t get murdered by other, actual insurgents.

So yeah, kids in a van? That’s a natsec problem.

Of course, when the alternative in Afghanistan is to kill 11 kids by leveling their house and then deny the fuck out of it, could be that ‘murca’s got a bigger problem than overcrowded vans.

The American-led military mission in Afghanistan initially denied the bombing. Three months later, it confirmed the airstrike down to the exact coordinates of Mr. Mubarez’s house in the small hamlet of Mullah Hafiz. But the American command said that they had been receiving sniper fire from the building, and that “after review, it is our assessment that only combatants were killed.”

Guess they were really, really short combatants.

Fact is that war can be a terribly messy thing, because when you drop bombs on buildings, high explosives can be fairly indiscriminate when it comes to what they turn into a fine red mist.

So you need to be a) more careful, and b) not fucking lie about when you kill kids.

And maybe realize that all the bombing probably isn’t really helping your cause.

Looking at you, AFRICOM in Somalia.

“ISIS-Somalia probably has up to 300 adherents, with the majority of fighters operating across northern Puntland,” said AFRICOM spokeswoman Samantha Reho, referring to the country’s northeastern region. “Although airstrikes have removed ISIS-Somalia terrorists from the battlefield, recruitment efforts in the region may offset some of the terrorist group’s losses.

You know those bombs you’re dropping are just a big ol’ IS recruiting poster, right?

Maybe just drop LSD on ‘em, because that was someone’s good idea once.

Decades before a convention eventually signed by more than 190 nations outlawed chemical weapons, Dr. Ketchum argued that recreational drugs favored by the counterculture could be used humanely to befuddle small units of enemy troops, and that a psychedelic “cloud of confusion” could stupefy whole battlefield regiments more ethically than the lethal explosions and flying steel of conventional weapons.

Dr. Ketchum died on 27 May, after a long and fruitful military career dosing US soldiers with stuff because he figured chemicals were better than bombs. Had quite the budget, too, culminating in “Project Dork” (no, I did not make that up), which was quite the production.

He called this 45-minute black-and-white film “Cloud of Confusion.” With Bela Bartok’s “The Miraculous Mandarin” as mood music, a white cloud engulfs soldiers as a narrator intones, “And on this desert this cloud was unleashed so men could measure the dimensions of its stupefying power.”

Who’s got two thumbs and is never excited about filming experiments on unwitting human subjects?

THIS guy.

At least drug use then was…legal…during his experiments, because the US Navy’s taking a typically super understanding approach for those sailors who might be on the fentanyl.

As with other controlled substances screened by the Navy, any service members now found with fentanyl or its metabolite in their systems could face “punitive action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 112a,” along with mandatory processing for administrative separation which might result in an “other than honorable characterization of service “ which can impact veteran benefits and employment opportunities,” Nowell warned.

So that’s super not great.

I get it, it’s an illegal substance, but maybe more treatment, less punishment, yes?

And speaking of places making money off the drugs, in case you were wondering, besides killing more civilians, how the war in Afghanistan’s going, here’s a hint.


Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

But good news, we’ll be able to take full advantage of the Taliban’s tunneling skills in the next war. Because tunnels are already a problem in this one, which one SAS sergeant found out after having to go after Taliban in some tunnels, wacking some of them with a…claw hammer.

“The mission had only been partially successful because the base was destroyed, but the SAS were after a ‘high-value target’ and he had escaped into the tunnels.”

“It was pretty clear none of the Afghan commandos was going to go in after him so he volunteered.”

“There wasn’t enough room to use a long-barrelled weapon so the Brit used his Glock 9mm pistol and grabbed a claw hammer.”

“He couldn’t see the Taliban but he could hear and smell them. He shot three of them dead one after the other but then his pistol jammed.”

“He fought two more in the dark where the tunnel opened into a larger room which was partially lit by a candle. After he killed those two, he was attacked by another but killed him almost instantly with a single blow.”

Now the US Marines are acknowledging that terrain in future wars might include some kind of underground passageway.

Sounds like someone’s been binge-watching the Resident Evil franchise again, but they’re actually taking it pretty seriously.

The big questions still being worked out are how the Marines will task, organize and equip for an underground fight.

“I think we need to identify the problem, frame it as to who is responsible to this counter tunneling mission and how to train, man and equip for it,” Somers said.

Somers, a career infantryman, sees infantry as more of a security element that would protect engineers with their specific gear such as robots and other devices.

Fuck yeah, let the engineers do it. Go full Hicks.

Sure as shit don’t put me in charge, because like the rest of the world, I too was duped by a single-source story that the North Koreans had executed key personnel thanks to their shitty performance at the summit in Hanoi.

A senior North Korean official, who was reported last week as being the victim of a purge, has reappeared in public sitting not far from the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un.

The reemergence of Kim Yong Chol, a powerful, hard-line former spy chief and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s counterpart in talks with the United States, underlines how opaque the North Korean regime remains to the outside world.

Still, pretty sure that a deal with the DPRK is probably, well…

Like it? Like it enough to pay for it?

That’s cool, you know, either way.

Oh hey, the first month’s free.

Like I said, either way, I am…totally cool with it.