UK Ueber Alles! — Reporting Terrorist Toddlers

By Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes

Every now and then, we here at Bayard & Holmes are reassured that not all of the political crack heads in the democratic world reside in the US Congress or the White House.

As part of its counter-terrorism and security efforts, the UK has already enacted its “Prevent” program. Under the dictates of Prevent, 44,000 UK health care workers underwent one day of training to teach them to recognize potential terrorists. Now, patients from cradle to grave who enter UK health care facilities are having their terrorist potential evaluated. Fortunately for the Western world, a 9-yr-old extremist has already been identified and “deprogrammed,” thanks to this new human intelligence branch.

 

Armed and dangerous potential terrorist. Note the glee on this future terrorist's face as he contemplates his innocent target.

Armed and dangerous potential terrorist. Note the glee on this future terrorist’s face as he contemplates his innocent target.

 

In a follow up to this, the UK is currently considering a bill that would require all teachers to report children as young as toddlers as “potential terrorists.” One assumes the teachers would also be given one day of training to enable them to distinguish child terrors from child terrorists. (See UK Could Require Teachers to Report Would-Be Terrorists.)

Since both of us raised kids who periodically terrorized us during their adolescence years, we have a few suggestions for the UK to beef up their Counter-Toddler-Terrorist initiative:

 

  • Install CCTVs in each nursery school disposable diaper bin to monitor the true down and dirty activity of the UK’s Most Dangerous Babies. This is a critical task, which should only be trusted to the UK’s most prominent statesmen. Therefore, the top thousand Home Ministry officials will be vested with the duty of monitoring these CCTVs from their laptops 24/7.

 

  • Each toddler will be given an iPad and taught to Google search. GCHQ, the UK’s equivalent of the US’s NSA, will monitor the children and detain any of them who search on “Winnie the Pooh-Bomber” or “Blow Up Paddington Station Bear.”

 

  • All baby monitors will be tuned to the same channel and will be monitored at GCHQ 24/7. Any children babbling “Allahu Akbar” when they should be napping will be immediately detained.

 

  • Some suspiciously unpatriotic individuals in the UK are not taking the Home Office plans seriously, making comments like, “I knew those bastards were daffy!” To inspire those wafflers into the right attitude to maintain the UK’s safety from those who would overrun her and destroy her principles, “God save the Queen” will be replaced by the inspiring Nazi war hymn “Horst Wessel.” A few words of the lyrics will be changed to lend a uniquely British flavor to the song. Heil Home Minister! UK Ueber Alles!

 

 

 

Syria and the Fading Dull Pink Smudge

By Jay Holmes

As of September 22, 2013, the civil war in Syria continues to generate more humanitarian disasters than the world’s observers can tolerate. Identifying Syria as a humanitarian crisis is simple enough. Refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey now house approximately two million Syrians. Various Syrian and non-Syrian visitors feed the media a constant stream of pictures and videos showing the daily casualties. People of all political flavors share revulsion for so many civilian deaths.

Za'atri Refugee Camp, image by US. Dept. of State

Za’atri Refugee Camp, image by US. Dept. of State

In particular, seeing the stark evidence of children killed by chemical weapons attacks or executed at point blank range by a variety of fighting groups has left most of the world with a feeling that something must be done in Syria. Only a ruthless psychopath, a.k.a. Vladimir Putin, could attempt to gloss over the humanitarian crisis. To that degree, the picture of events in Syria is quite clear. However, once we move beyond our widely-shared instinct to respond to the horrors of the Syrian civil war to the question of how to respond, the picture becomes murky.

So what should be done? As is often the case, the devil is in the details. Right now details and devils abound in Syria. When we begin to examine the question of what concrete actions should be undertaken, we find less agreement among sympathizers.

As often occurs during a major humanitarian crisis, many of the world’s ardent leftists are taking a break from their usual full-time occupation of condemning the US for its “interventionist bullying” and are now loudly proclaiming that the US’s failure to forcefully intervene in Syria is the principal cause of Syria’s problems. At the same time, many of the world’s members of the “I’m not a stinking leftist” political club are disgusted that the US has allowed Iran and its Hezbolalalala minions to use their manpower, weapons, and ruthlessness in Syria and Lebanon to suppress Syria’s indigenous Freedom fighters.

This past February, Anne-Marie Slaughter, the former Director of State Policy Planning under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, suggested that the US and any willing allies should create “no-kill zones” in Syria. These seemingly magical “no kill zones” would, in her view, expand over time and eventually isolate the Assad regime. If the allies in question would include Harry Potter and his band of merry magicians, then they might pull it off. If not, the plan needs more work.

Senator McCain, a man who is far more aware than most of us of the consequences of involving US forces in combat operations, has suggested that the US use some of its “stand off” cruise missiles to damage the Assad regime. The emphasis on “stand off” is Senator McCain’s. On the face of it, this seems like a comparatively low cost, low risk option. Depending on which particular model of cruise missile cruises into Syria, the “low cost” would be somewhere between $600,000 to $1,500,000 per missile. That would be a real bargain at today’s interventionist prices.

Senator McCain has been clear that he does not support large numbers of combat troops in Syria. However, it’s safe to say that a few sets of American boots must be on the ground there, gathering information about the dizzying array of foreign boots in Syria and trying to select out the “best boots” with which to share US-financed weapons and other supplies. With those Russian, American, British, French, and Turkish boots that are scampering about Syria trying to avoid stomping on the wrong Syrian feet, it’s difficult to generate a clear implementation of all the muddled policies being proposed by various nations.

The Gulf States are trying to support their favorite anti-Assad factions without accidentally helping all the al-Qaeda vermin that currently infest so many Syrian areas. As a result, confusion is the order of the day. The fact that the many al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda wannabes are happy to murder anyone not currently in their gangs brings even more instability and misery to Syrians. Shipping US military aid to Syria is easy enough. Finding someone likeable to hand it to is a bit more tricky.

When the Syrian civil war began two and a half years ago, members of the Western media managed to cobble together one of their exceedingly rare intelligent questions for President Obama. They asked him what the US should do about Assad’s chemical weapons inventory. The President demanded that we all let him be clear that the use of chemical weapons by Assad’s forces would cross a “clear red line.” Assad’s forces have since used chemical weapons and proven that President Obama’s “clear red line” was a completely meaningless, fading dull pink smudge.

"His Red Lines" by Ranan Lurie

“His Red Lines” by Ranan Lurie

From the American point of view, some interesting events have occurred since Assad’s forces urinated on Obama’s infamous red line. For starters, Vlady Putin claimed that he had proof that it was not Assad, but rather his opponents, that used chemical weapons on women and children in Syria. Those of us who are familiar with the workings of Putin and his old KGB machinery have no doubt that Putin can present “proof’ that Assad didn’t use chemical weapons. If Putin wanted, he could also provide proof that Afghanistan is in South America, and that the USSR invented ice cream. Thanks for all that Vlady.

Putin proposed that Assad send all of Syria’s chemical weapons to Russia for safe keeping. Finding himself on the wrong side of his imaginary red line, President Obama quickly agreed to a deal that will have all of Assad’s chemical weapons shipped to Russia by “mid 2014.” How many Syrian children will be murdered by chemical attacks until then was not discussed as part of the deal.

When the US led the Western world in escalating its Syrian response from frowning and grave concern to shock and dismay, the UK felt compelled to act. UK Prime Minister David Cameron clarified precisely what our “special friendship” partners in the UK would do if the US decided to directly attack the Assad regime. In response to the pressure and stress of the escalated finger waving, the UK parliament voted to surrender. The UK announced that it would not contribute to any military effort in Syria.

This declaration has farther reaching consequences than might be obvious to the casual observer. From my desk at home, I was able to imagine the cheers of joy emanating from La Casa Rosa as Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner celebrated her nation’s military victory in the Falklands. While the Falklands invasion 2.0 hasn’t occurred quite yet, Cristina is overjoyed that the Royal Navy That Has No Aircraft Carrier* will also have no support from the US should she convince Argentina’s military to conquer the oil deposits under the Falklands. We shall see.

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, a.k.a. la argentina feliz http://www.presidencia.gov.ar/

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, a.k.a. la argentina feliz http://www.presidencia.gov.ar/

Cameron would have been much wiser to simply do the usual “Proud Fearless Lion Foot Dragging” that has been the trademark of UK foreign policy since the Suez debacle in 1956. We in the West understand that Maggie is gone, and that the UK won’t even do much of anything about the UK in the near future, let alone Syria or any place further from London than Brighton Beach. Cameron gained nothing by publicly declaring that he would not help Obama and the US. In fact, in what is being celebrated by many in the UK as a landmark moment of British tenacity and independence in foreign policy, Cameron managed to suffer damage from the Syrian war without actually showing up in Syria. Slick move, Sherlock.

In response to Cameron’s stupidity, France’s President Françoise Hollande took the opportunity to announce that France would join in military intervention in Syria. In the US, it was announced as a “France backs the US” political victory for Obama. Take note, Cameron. If you are going to profit by vague promises, this is how you do it. The US is now considering officially changing back the name “Freedom Fries” to “French Fries.” Tears of joy are flowing in Paris, and a few folks in DC are willing to pretend that it’s something other than the usual over-imbibing of wine by Parisians.

Precisely how far the US or other Western nations will go in Syria is still unclear. What is more obvious is that creating a Syria run by Syrians will be far more difficult than toppling Assad. The world’s response to Syria has created much dark comedy and inspiration for journalists and other fiction writers, but the children of Syria have little reason to join in the laughter. Their predicament is yet another reminder of how far the world community remains from operating anything like a useful “United Nations.” The children of Syria have our prayers, but they’d likely prefer to have a real country to live in and a future to contemplate. Whatever action the US takes, we must be careful that it helps the Syrian people by damaging the Assad regime without accidentally helping al-Qaeda and Hezbollah.

Syrian refugee in Turkey, image from Voice of America

Syrian refugee in Turkey,
image from Voice of America

*The UK’s Royal Navy currently has no functioning aircraft carriers, and it is completely dependent on the US Navy for air support at sea. Perhaps someone should mention that to Prime Minister Cameron.

Have the Taliban Evolved? The Attack on Camp Bastion

By Intelligence Operative Jay Holmes*

On September 14, 15 Taliban fighters dressed in US Army style uniforms attacked the UK’s Camp Bastion in Helmand Provence, Afghanistan. The attackers were armed with PKM machine guns, AK-47 assault rifles, rocket propelled grenades and exploding suicide vests. The camp has a perimeter of over 35 km and is a major logistics center for Allied operations in Afghanistan. US Marine Corps Aviation squadrons occupy part of the British base, and sadly, two outstanding Marines lost their lives that night.

Sgt. Bradley Atwell and Lt. Col. Christopher Raible, image from marinecorpstimes.com

Marine Lt. Col. Christopher Raible and Marine Sgt. Bradley Atwell were both killed by an explosion while counter-attacking the Taliban. We offer our sincere condolences to the loved ones of these two great Marines.

The attack is seen by some as something of a hallmark event in the Afghan War. Some feel that it indicates an “evolution” in tactics by the Taliban. The Taliban executed a well-planned attack against a large, well-defended position and managed to destroy several expensive Harrier attack jets, in addition to killing two Marines.

However, in my view the attack is not quite a hallmark event. While the Taliban demonstrated some ability to evolve in their tactics, one must assume that they use some of the abundant time at their disposal to think about their situation and try to identify opportunities. This was hardly a revolutionary combat event. The base has been there for years, and it’s more remarkable that the Taliban took this long to organize an attack against such a valuable and vulnerable Allied asset.

I’m grateful that the Taliban are not commanded by Viet Cong guerillas, Wehrmacht Panzer leaders, Imperial Japanese Army officers, or an L.A drug king pin. If they were, it would be hard to imagine them doing relatively little damage in exchange for fifteen of their own warriors. I’m grateful that few Taliban are capable of reading anything other than the Koran. If they were, they would be far more effective and far more dangerous.

The attack on Camp Bastion will have no impact on US or British policies in Afghanistan. The Allies are in fact already reducing force strength in preparation for a departure from Afghanistan. It’s not like they are going to leave a day early in response to anything that the Taliban or other hoodlums in the area might do.

Some analysts are certain that the attack was “masterminded,” if you can call it that, by the Haqqani brand of Taliban, which has been popular in Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent months. Which particular tribal thug ordered out this particular cadre of suicide fighters is of no great significance because frankly, neither the US nor the British governments intend to do much of anything about it. What would the response be? Would the US military or State Department hold an extra twenty minute meeting with Afghan Gangster in Cheif Muhammad Karzai? What stern phrases would Karzai utter in that meeting? Would he pose for one of his cute “right index finger pointing to heaven while I grimace” pictures? Is there anyone left in Washington or London who could be so gullible as to believe anything that he or his band of thieves would say? I hope not.

My best analysis is that the Taliban were in fact not attempting to impact the Allied mission in Afghanistan by conducting this latest suicide attack. They were more likely trying to impact their own standing within Afghanistan and the region. Once the allies leave Afghanistan, the Taliban face the task of re-asserting their dominance, and they need all the PR help they can get. The Taliban would hate to see anyone else get the profits from those poppy fields.

In the mean time US and Allied military personnel will continue conducting operations against the Taliban and their many local clones while doing their utmost to appear polite and friendly to a population of people that care little about “polite” and know less still about “friendly” when it comes to outsiders. It’s a damned shame that more Allied soldiers and marines will lose their lives while everyone waits for the final departure from this very expensive theatre of the macabre.

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Antonio Wilccoxen, an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon gunner, and fellow U.S. Marines with 1st Platoon, Company I, Battalion Landing Team 3/8, Regimental Combat Team 8, walk through a poppy field during a security patrol from their patrol base in Helmand province’s Green Zone, west of the Nar-e Saraj canal, March 31. Elements of 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed to Afghanistan to provide regional security in Helmand province in support of the International Security Assistance Force. Image from Department of Defense via publicintelligence.net.

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*‘Jay Holmes’, is an intelligence veteran of the Cold War and remains an anonymous member of the intelligence community. His writing partner, Piper Bayard, is the public face of their partnership.

© 2012 Jay Holmes. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact us at the above links to request permission.

Special Edition Libya: What’s Lost if the Devil is Deposed?

By Jay Holmes

In short, what happens if you sell your soul to the devil, and the devil is deposed? European businessmen, the UK, and Italy are in exactly that quandary.

European businessmen and the UK government, under Labor Party’s Gordon Brown, did a deal with Gadhafi. It went like this. Gadhafi promised British Petroleum (“BP”) that it would continue to let it pump more oil, around $900 million, out of Libyan oil fields. He also promised BP and the UK government that he would give UK companies preferential treatment when international sanctions were lifted. In return, the UK would send home Abdel Al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland.

In August 2009, Scotland did release Al-Megrahi, supposedly on humanitarian grounds. He supposedly had prostate cancer and was going to die within three months. He left the UK on a hospital bed and was miraculously healed during his flight to Libya, regaining his ability to walk. He is still alive today.

BP and the UK have yet to fully collect on their bargain, and you can bet some of them are biting their nails to see their back room deal in such peril of falling through with Gadhafi on the brink of being deposed.

The other European country currently gnashing its nails is Italy. While Holmes would dearly love to never, ever drive in Rome or Milan again, lots of folks in Rome and Milan feel differently about that, and they want their oil.

Since WWII, Italy has gotten approximately 70% of its petroleum products from Libya. Also, a natural gas line, the Greenstream Pipeline, that was completed in October 2004 runs straight from Wafa, Libya, to Gela, Sicily. Italy’s energy company, ENI, says Italians only get 10% of their gas from this line, but some sources believe Italy’s current dependence on Greenstream may be as high as 20%. On February 22, the Greenstream Pipeline was temporarily suspended.

From the Libyan perspective, Italy is the biggest importer of Libyan gas, taking 38% of the Libyan gas pie. Germany is also a big player, getting a 19% slice. In fact, Gadhafi’s current worries could be the one thing that finally gets Berlusconi in bed with Angela Merkel, something he has craved for years.

As an aside, this does explain a lot about Berlusconi’s infamous sex life. Having spent more than one unpleasant night in bed with Gadhafi, we can understand his urgent need sleep with beautiful young women to erase that traumatic, prison-like memory. But be sure he’s not holding one of his famous bunga bunga parties over this Libyan situation.

So again, here’s our question for you. What becomes of souls traded to the devil when the devil joins the unemployment line? Anyone have any experience with corporate soul purchases?

All the best to all of you for valuing your souls.