Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Minor Internet Problems. Still at work.
The President has not chosen the strategy I would have chosen, but at least he is Doing Something. More later.
Assuming the planet is 4,500,000,000 years old and we have been collecting weather data for approximately 200 years, how can anyone assume that we know anything about the planets overall weather/climate. https://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/climate-science-is-not-settled/
This sounds to me like finding a single grain of sand and trying to describe an entire beach that you have never been to.
Not a perfect analogy, but applicable. We just don’t know. We don’t even know what has effectively stopped the warming effects of the last fifteen years although CO2 production has risen by a lot in that time. If you have not read https://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/climate-science-is-not-settled/ you should. It is an important work by a Democrat scientist who has had access to all the information available.
The Kurds have halted the daash near the Syrian/Turkish border.
Kurds Say They Have Halted ISIS Advance Near Syria-Turkey Border
by Scott Neuman
Kurdish fighters claim to have halted an advance by self-described Islamic State militants in an area of the Turkish-Syria border region that has seen masses of refugees fleeing the fighting in recent days.
Reuters quotes a spokesman for the YPG, the main Kurdish peshmerga group in the region, as saying "fierce clashes" were still underway with ISIS, but that the extremist group had been halted in its advance just east of the town of Kobani in northern Syria. The monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirms that the group calling itself the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, have not made any substantial gains in the past 24 hours, Reuters says.
NPR’s Deborah Amos reports that Kobani "had been a safe enclave for Syria’s Kurds about 10 miles from the Turkish frontier, but since June, ISIS has been attacking it and stepped up these attacks with tanks and artillery over the past couple of days."
The intense fighting, she says, is what has caused an "exodus of people" across the border into neighboring Turkey. The estimate of the number of refugees that have crossed over in recent days varies, but Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus has put the number at 130,000.
As we reported over the weekend, tens of thousands of Kurdish refugees have fled.
By way of background, The Associated Press says:
"The extremists’ offensive on the Kobani area near the border with Turkey prompted the leader of Iraq’s Kurdish region to urge the international community to intervene to save Syria’s Kurds from the militant onslaught.
"In a statement posted on his website, the president of Iraq’s largely autonomous Kurdish region, Masoud Barzani, said the Islamic State group’s ‘barbaric and terrorist acts’ on the Kobani area in northern Syria ‘threaten the whole entirety of the Kurdish nation and it has targeted the honor, dignity and existence of our people.’ "
Turkish security forces, meanwhile, clashed with refugees, and Turkey has closed some of its border crossings. The BBC says: "Some of the new arrivals are being sheltered in overcrowded schools, as Turkey struggles to cope with the influx."
There is no information on whether this was known to the Pentagon mission planners, but it is important, and someone should know. This is a prime place for American air action. The Kurdish fighters are not capable of resisting the caliphate without help. Loss of this area in Northern Syria where we already have people on the ground whom we can trust would be a disaster.
Kurdish leader calls for ‘all-out resistance’ against ISIS offensive
ANKARA, Turkey – The imprisoned leader of a Kurdish rebel group fighting Turkey has called for a mass mobilization of all Kurds against the Islamic State militant group which is fighting Kurdish forces in Syria.
In a message relayed through his lawyer late Monday, Abdullah Ocalan said: "I call on all Kurdish people to start an all-out resistance against this high-intensity war."
"Not only the people of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) but also all people in the north (Turkey) and other parts of Kurdistan should act accordingly," lawyer Mazlum Dinc quoted Ocalan as saying.
The call came hours before the United States and five Arab countries on Tuesday launched airstrikes against the Islamic militants in Syria.
Ocalan, who is serving a life sentence on a prison island near Istanbul, leads the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has long fought Turkey for autonomy. PKK is affiliated with a Kurdish party in Syria whose armed wing is fighting the Islamic State group in northern Syria.
The Islamic State group’s offensive against the northern Syrian city of Kobani, a few miles from the Turkish border, has sent 130,000 refugees to seek safety in Turkey in the last few days.
Hundreds of Kurds from Turkey have clashed near the frontier with Turkish police, who fired tear gas and water cannons. The Kurds say Turkey is hampering their efforts to cross into Syria and help their brethren.
Kurds dominate a region that straddles Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey.
Ocalan also accused Turkey of stalling peace negotiations aimed at ending a three-decade-long conflict, while Murat Karayilan, a PKK commander based in northern Iraq, accused Turkey of collaborating with the Islamic militants and declared the peace process to be dead, the pro-Kurdish news website Firat News said.
However, Karayilan said Ocalan would have the "final say" on the future of peace efforts.
The most important thing to remember about air power is that it is best at breaking things and killing people, and it is much easier to break things than to rebuild them. Choosing what things must be broken, and who shall be killed, is the essence of strategy in general, and target selection in particular. You need to know what you should break, and when; and who should die.
There remain other things to worry about:
Fresh Graves Point to Undercount of Ebola Toll
By ADAM NOSSITERSEPT. 22, 2014
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — The gravedigger hacked at the cemetery’s dense undergrowth, clearing space for the day’s Ebola victims. A burial team, in protective suits torn with gaping holes, arrived with fresh bodies.
The backs of the battered secondhand vans carrying the dead were closed with twisted, rusting wire. Bodies were dumped in new graves, and a worker in a short-sleeve shirt carried away the stretcher, wearing only plastic bags over his hands as protection. The outlook for the day at King Tom Cemetery was busy.
“We will need much more space,” said James C. O. Hamilton, the chief gravedigger, as a colleague cleared the bush with his machete.
The Ebola epidemic is spreading rapidly in Sierra Leone’s densely packed capital — and it may already be far worse than the authorities acknowledge.
Since the beginning of the outbreak more than six months ago, the Sierra Leone Health Ministry reported only 10 confirmed Ebola deaths here in Freetown, the capital of more than one million people, and its suburbs as of Sunday — a hopeful sign that this city, unlike the capital of neighboring Liberia, had been relatively spared the ravages of the outbreak.
But the bodies pouring in to the graveyard tell a different story. In the last eight days alone, 110 Ebola victims have been buried at King Tom Cemetery, according to the supervisor, Abdul Rahman Parker, suggesting an outbreak that is much more deadly than either the government or international health officials have announced.
WHO: 21,000 Ebola cases by November if no changes
LONDON (AP) — New estimates from the World Health Organization warn the number of Ebola cases could hit 21,000 in six weeks unless efforts to curb the outbreak are ramped up.
Since the first cases were reported six months ago, the tally of cases in West Africa has reached an estimated 5,800 illnesses. WHO officials say cases are continuing to increase exponentially and Ebola could sicken people for years to come without better control measures.
In recent weeks, health officials worldwide have stepped up efforts to provide aid but the virus is still spreading. There aren’t enough hospital beds, health workers or even soap and water in the hardest-hit West African countries: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Last week, the U.S. announced it would build more than a dozen medical centers in Liberia and send 3,000 troops to help. Britain and France have also pledged to build treatment centers in Sierra Leone and Guinea and the World Bank and UNICEF have sent more than $1 million worth of supplies to the region.
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical
A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) AP
Battling the Ebola outbreak
We are putting boots on the ground in terrible places, and what will they bring home to their families? At least they are not likely to be shot by one of their own officers shouting Allahu Akbar in a workplace incident; on the other hand if they are careless in any way I doubt they will be allowed to come home to recover. But then there will be political pressure to allow them to come home. Of course Ebola will never mutate to be carried by any air or insect borne mechanism, so it can’t possibly be brought back to the United States. Join the Army and see the world. Yes, it’s an all volunteer army, but one suspects those joining did not quite foresee the full extent of what they volunteered for. But it is not usual to send 3,000 soldiers to an epidemic area, while sending none to an area where we have allies under ground attack in a critical area.
Perhaps we need to form a special army of volunteers for this sort of service. A foreign legion…
Hillary: ‘Hello Iowa — I’m back!’