Trauma Medicine for Massive Hemorrhage: Combat Gauze versus Celox

If you are looking to update your medical kit with effective and proven products, consider adding hemostatic agents. Over the course of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan trauma medicine has markedly improved with hemostatic gauze being one major advance. These clotting agents have proven so effective; they are standard in every medic’s trauma kit on the battlefield. As such, it is worth comparing the two most popular brands sold under the names QuickClot®Combat Gauze and Celox.
First of all, one should understand that clotting agents have been around for some time and have undergone an evolution in both composition and the mechanisms by which they work. Both Combat Gauze and Celox are the current result of this evolution and are far safer and more effective than their earlier ancestors. For example, the original QuickClot® essentially cauterized a wound with heat from a chemical reaction, which caused serious burns and contraindications. As a result, it was removed from medical kits and replaced with newer and better hemostatic agents. Today’s products are impregnated with hemostatic agents that facilitate blood clotting by complimenting or enhancing the body’s natural clotting faculties to stop massive hemorrhaging. Both Combat Gauze and Celox do this well, but which is best? Both also are used broadly by military, law enforcement, and rescue units around the world. However, these products are not cheap so if one is to invest in only one product, I recommend Celox for your medical kit.
Hemostatic agents in Combat Gauze and Celox allow for the formation of much larger clots than normal, which are more stable and more difficult to dislodge. This is critical for effective stoppage of heavy bleeding, especially, when a patient will have to be moved and clots could be jarred loose such as on the battle field. Further, both require the gauze to be used with constant firm pressure to be effective and allow the clot to form. Both are essentially used in the same manner. The specific location of the massive hemorrhage is located in the wound (usually a severed artery or large vein), is quickly wiped clean so that the wound location is identifiable, and the gauze is placed firmly and directly upon the bleed. For penetrating wounds such as gunshots, the cavity is then packed tightly being careful to maintain constant pressure on the bleed location while completely filling the void with tightly packed gauze. The packing is then held in place with a compression dressing. The gauze should be so tightly packed that it forms a gauze golf ball in the wound channel. The critical aspect for effective application of both products relies on their correct placement on the bleeding vein or artery and the maintenance of constant pressure until the bleeding stops. It is also worth noting that plain sterile gauze packed in a wound in the same manner using direct pressure is also still highly effective for stopping hemorrhaging.
Even though both products essentially are used the same way, Celox has notable advantages. First, in tests and operational employment, the Celox simply worked better at stopping serious bleeds. When similar wounds were unpacked in a surgical setting, it was clear from the degree of blood saturation that far less blood was lost in a patient when Celox was used. Specifically, in like wounds that severed the femoral artery of patients, Combat Gauze was unpacked and laid out showing over 12 yards of blood saturation whereas Celox showed approximately 12 inches before the gauze was blood free. This large difference could mean the difference between decompensated shock induced by severe blood loss and then the death of a patient or the complete prevention of hemorrhagic shock and survival of the patient. Further, the thicker Z-Folded Celox was much easier to handle and pack into wounds than the old school style of rolled Combat Gauze. Nothing is worse than having an entire roll of sterile gauze unwind into the muck on the ground just as you are trying to pack the wound of a severely hemorrhaging patient.
Evaluations of wounds treated with Celox and Combat Gauze also revealed that the clots formed by Celox tended to be larger and more stable. This may be due to how Celox and Combat Gauze clot. With Celox, the clotting agents are inherent in the compound so that they react instantly when they come into contact with blood. However, Combat Gauze relies upon concentrating the body’s own clotting agents (platelets) as they contact, accumulate, and react with the gauze. This is problematic since often, as a body enters shock from blood loss; the body naturally shunts blood flow from the core preventing the critical clotting compounds from reaching the wound site and the gauze. Further, when intravenous fluids are given without the addition of platelets, it reduces the effectiveness of Combat Gauze’s clotting mechanism because the fluid dilutes the blood’s natural clotting compounds.
Celox and Combat Gauze both help blood to begin clotting, but Celox is designed to work across a much broader range of patients. Specifically, Combat Gauze is designed to work with the narrow body chemistry of healthy fighting age patients. Celox on the other hand is designed to be effective across a much greater range of patients to include geriatric, those taking medications, and those taking blood thinners. This alone makes Celox a better “civilian” choice where it is more likely the patient will not fit into the perfect physically fit specimen of a fighting age soldier. In short, Celox employs a hemostatic agent that applies to everyone, whereas Combat Gauze is only designed to be effective in healthy fighting age soldiers.
In the recent DoD comparative study, Celox Gauze had the least overall blood loss, the highest survival and the highest overall hemostasis of all products. This study corresponds to the empiric evidence that I have gathered over the years using a variety of these products operationally.

By Guiles Hendrik
July 8, 2014
All rights reserved.

Department of Homeland Oppression and the FBI Target Gun Owners in Walmarts across Virginia

Think your latest purchase of a firearm or ammunition from Wal-Mart was innocent? The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), aka Department of Homeland Oppression, in coordination with the FBI doesn’t think so and wants to know who you are. In fact, they believe you may be a potential domestic terrorist according to reports from Wal-Mart sales managers.
Over the last two weeks our field reporters dispersed across Northern Virginia to question sales representatives selling sporting goods throughout Virginia after rumors surfaced of agents questioning sales representatives. What they found should is shocking. In Wal-Mart after Wal-Mart, our reporters were able to verify that FBI and or DHS special agents had recently visited the stores requesting information on any suspicious buyers. According to sales managers working in the retail chain Wal-Mart, special agents requested information about anyone that appeared suspicious, attempted to buy ammo in bulk, or made anti-government comments. The special agents inquired specifically about anyone that made statements relating to sovereign citizen movements and buyers that seemed out of place to the sales manager warning that they could be potential domestic terrorists. In the event the sales manager had information, they were instructed to contact various agents from the FBI and DHS.
Make no mistake; DHS and the Justice Department consider you a threat to the US. If you buy ammunition in bulk to save money, exercise your constitutionally protected First Amendment, or are otherwise having a bad day your name and information could be passed on to the FBI or DHS for investigation as a potential terrorist. This information then goes to fusion centers across the nation where you are labeled and placed on watch lists as a domestic threat. Often this information is then used to generate faux “probable cause” to obtain a search warrant that will be justified under the nebulous national security exceptions to the rule of law and basic civil “RIGHTS.” Once a warrant is obtained, agents will execute a high risk, “no-knock” warrant most likely in the middle of the night and heavily armed to arrest you and ransack your home looking for anything they can construe as a threat. Often things as innocent as duct tape, old wire, and water barrels that many of us have in abundance are cited as “bomb making” materials or evidence of “terrorist” activities. God forbid if you are caught with a book that is politically incorrect on top of the duct tape and old wire.
If you think you have nothing to hide because you are “innocent” and have done nothing wrong, don’t be fooled because you are not exempt. Remember, all it takes is the impression of a Wal-Mart sales clerk to get labeled. Who knows, perhaps, you came across as unfriendly, maybe you were disturbed that they didn’t have any 9mm ammunition in stock, or maybe the sales clerk is just a bad judge of character. Either way, it doesn’t matter in a spy state where intimidation tactics abound and citizens are coerced into spying on their fellow neighbors by the government. Many honest Americans have had their lives ruined by being “swatted” or by unjustly becoming the subject of investigation by an overly militaristic gestapo agent at DHS or the FBI. Being “watch listed” is an extremely dangerous threat. We have seen numerous examples of how these “tips” have led to egregious acts on the part of law enforcement. At best you are questioned and labeled for surveillance. However, the worst examples include raiding the homes on innocent victims, which led to the incarceration of harmless citizens, pets being shot, children kidnapped by Child “Protective” Services, and even the killing of the unsuspecting homeowner that reached for a gun in self-defense as gestapo agents broke down their door in the middle of the night.
You need to protect yourselves. Option one is to maintain a low profile and not use traceable means of commerce such as credit cards instead of cash when purchasing guns or ammunition from retailers. However, that alone apparently constitutes you being a potential threat according to memos released by DHS and doesn’t solve the issue. A better method may be to use sunlight to disinfect and inoculate your local stores before the feds can hijack your information. Use the size and finances of these companies to fight our battle for freedom. To do this, directly contact your local sporting goods retailers and have a frank, honest, and open discussion about these gestapo tactics with their management. Make it clear to store managers that you are not comfortable shopping at their stores if you know you are going to be spied on and your information potentially handed to the government. Insist that your privacy is respected and demand proof. Further, ensure their employees are briefed on the underhanded government tactics and how that violates basic civil liberties.
Contrary to what the government desires, companies still require profits to exist and no matter what the government wants, the companies; especially large retailers like Wal-Mart, will begin to push back against the government (legally if necessary), when they are boycotted and their profits begin to shrink. We have witnessed this in the case of internet companies and NSA spying. Even Google and AT&T have begun to legally push back against government spying as they recognize their profits are not immune and free men and women across the globe will take their business elsewhere if their privacy is not ensured. The bottom line is if the management pushes back on protecting our basic civil rights, organize local and regional boycotts of the retailer. Make it impossible for them to conduct profitable business if it becomes clear that they are supporting domestic targeting of innocent Americans. When the knowledge of what the retailer is doing goes viral, contemporary precedents suggest that the retailer will cave to customer demands.

By Guiles Hendrik
All rights reserved.
July 14, 2014

The O’Reilly “Fiction:” Setting the Factor Straight

Against my better judgment, I decided to watch a segment of “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News to hear his points on the latest developments in Iraq. In O’Reilly’s defense, he has been a brilliant talk show host and highly successful writer and businessman. However, at the end of the day, O’Reilly is still a journalist with limited real world expertise on many of the topics he provides commentary on. Specifically, O’Reilly poses as an expert, but is totally lacking in experience when it comes to matters of military application and foreign affairs. O’Reilly has never served in combat, is not an intelligence analyst, and so far has not demonstrated himself as a policy maker. So to no surprise, when I tuned in, O’Reilly was expounding his usual pompous, ill informed, bomb them all rhetoric with respect to the Islamic extremist army dubbed ISIL or ISIS. Within thirty seconds of listening to O’Reilly’s poorly informed diatribe, I remembered why I had stopped watching Fox. As such, I feel as though Fox News and Bill O’Reilly needed some better informed input to ensure Fox lives up to its “fair and balanced” moniker and openly challenge O’Reilly to a debate on Iraq policy.
First of all, I want to make it clear we lost in Iraq. Bill O’Reilly is still grasping to a false reality and believes we actually accomplished strategic objectives (won) in Iraq before our retreat. The fact the US was defeated is tough to deal with, but nonetheless fact. It in no way diminishes the honor of our veterans. Suggesting otherwise to those that cannot dissect honor from the success or failure of an army in battle is ridiculous. The notion that loss in battle or war dishonors our troops is no more logical than suggesting soldiers of losing armies across thousands of years of recorded history had no honor. For example, the many British army units fought with the utmost honor in the American Revolution, soldiers fighting for the Confederate Army during the American Civil War fought with great honor, and Rommel’s Afrika Corps has been distinguished again and again for its honor by historians, but all of the above armies ultimately lost their respective wars. In fact, honor is not hinged upon whether one wins or loses, but in how one conducts himself in combat. Iraq was never pacified and never made safe for Americans, but we maintained our honor. The US certainly isn’t calling the shots across the nation now. The end state achieved was a strategic setback for US interests across the region by strengthening our foes. No matter how much the Obama Administration whitewashes our retreat from Iraq, the enemy was still fighting and still holding ground when we left.
For those of you who did not fight in Iraq and have not visited Iraq since our retreat, you should know that Mosul was never pacified and maintained its status as a hotbed of Al Qaeda (AQ) activity. Neither President Bush nor President Obama finished the war. To the present day, Mosul has been a part of the ratline of jihadists making their way to fight in Syria. In fact, US intelligence has been well aware that Mosul has been a key staging point for AQ training and equipping jihadists en route to joining ISIL for years. Mosul has also been effectively “no-go” territory for westerners and has been controlled since before the US retreat by Sunni extremists. As such, the fear and panic that ISIL has “captured” Mosul is overstated. It is true they kicked out the token government forces, but the Iraqi military never controlled anything beyond the ground below their feet hiding behind the walls of abandoned US military bases. Beyond kicking out the token Iraqi forces, the only difference appears to be ISIL formally cemented their previous control of that city and surrounding regions with the execution of anyone supporting the Iraq government. So, if O’Reilly was consistent and well informed, he would have recognized that Mosul and neighboring cities like Tikrit with a large presence of Sunni extremists “falling” to ISIL was not in and of itself a game changer.
Second, O’Reilly fails to remember that it was the Sunnis, during the “Awakening,” that allied with US forces to fight the Shia militias attacking and killing Americans daily. In fact, I distinctly remember Sadr’s brigades of Shia militia backed by Iran attacking US military personnel with zeal throughout the war. I also remember the Shia going from house to house in what was originally mixed Sunni-Shia neighborhoods of Baghdad and ethnically cleansing the population. The Shia death squads brutally murdered any Sunni they found and turned Baghdad into a Shia city. However, it is now the Sunni extremists that O’Reilly has repeatedly called “savages” that deserve to be bombed. I would argue to O’Reilly that both factions have lived up to the pejorative term savage and have demonstrated their eagerness to kill Americans before their fellow Iraqi time and again and as such, we should be happy to leave them to their demise. In short, they are getting what they deserve and I see no reason Americans need to be again placed in the line of fire and paying to “save” savages that want us dead while they are busy killing one another.
Third, O’Reilly has totally forgotten that it was Maliki and the Iraqi government that refused to grant the US a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that would have protected our troops and allowed them to remain in Iraq beyond their set date of retreat. True, President Obama used the SOFA as a means to justify the US retreat out of Iraq, but nonetheless, the Iraqis wanted American forces out of their country. O’Reilly should perhaps volunteer himself for military service in a country that he is not invited and where killing, even in self-defense, will be deemed murder. Perhaps he does not realize the very real legal dangers our troops will be faced with as they return to Iraq. O’Reilly’s insistence on the deployment of military forces creates a conundrum for the troops because they are being deployed outside of war, to a sovereign nation, and violating its laws. Does O’Reilly actually believe Maliki’s word that our troops will now receive immunity and that President Obama will do whatever is necessary to ensure Maliki is held to his word? I think not.
Third, O’Reilly just doesn’t seem to get the fact that the war as fought under Bush was a disaster and later under Obama was also a disaster. I guess O’Reilly missed the fact that when the war began, Saddam Hussein was killing extremists for free and had nothing to do with 9/11 beyond being the fall guy for Saudi Arabia. It was Saudi Arabia, not Iraq, which was responsible for carrying out a state sponsored act of war against the US on 9/11. This fact is why Representative Walter Jones from North Carolina wants the classified 9/11 Report released so that the public will know the truth and the lies perpetrated by the US government. If US strategy was effective, there would be LESS, not more extremists. Of course it is overwhelmingly clear our strategy failed judged by this bar. O’Reilly also seems to forget that by toppling Saddam’s regime, we created the vacuum that allowed these extremists to flourish to the point they now occupy their own autonomous Islamic state. When this point is made, O’Reilly flies into defense mode and charges the person as an “apologist.” O’Reilly solely blames the Islamists, but fails to recognize the very clear order of events of cause and effect leading to this situation. O’Reilly can believe what he wants, but is not allowed to create his own facts and cherry pick from his arbitrary timeline of events. For example, O’Reilly makes the point that we invaded Iraq to rid the country of Saddam and for humanitarian purposes. On this point alone, O’Reilly must have deleted his memory files much as the IRS seems to have deleted emails. We did not invade Iraq for the purposes O’Reilly states. We invaded Iraq because we were made to believe that Iraq was an existential threat that possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD) that it would not turnover to U.N. inspectors, was going to use the WMD against the US, and was supporting AQ. Nothing short of creating this existential threat would have brought American into the war. As the invasion kicked off and the contrived lies became clear, the Bush Administration had to save face. The Administration then made a deliberate policy decision to change the motive for the war effort to regime change and humanitarian issues. As such, O’Reilly’s stated purpose for the war is completely fictitious. Further, O’Reilly has chided every democratic administration for humanitarian military operations, but somehow thinks he can hang on to that rationale to defend the disaster Bush created in Iraq.
O’Reilly claims we did Iraq a great favor by ridding the country of Saddam, but again, suspends logic by implying that a full invasion was the only way to “rid” Iraq of Saddam. O’Reilly has to know that there were numerous opportunities and plenty of other options to eliminate and or contain Saddam and any threat he could have possibly posed to the US. In stating this, O’Reilly totally undermines the deaths of near 1,000,000 Iraqis throughout both wars with Iraq. More importantly to me, he also dishonors the American veterans that fought in Iraq by incorrectly believing that perpetuating political lies and propaganda he somehow brings honor to their unnecessary injuries and deaths. Only by telling the truth and prosecuting the political liars within our own government that sent them out to fight a senseless war would he actually do these honorable men and women justice. However, O’Reilly continues to pander to his establishment masters to the disgrace of all who served. Although the likes of Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney may applaud O’Reilly, Bill becomes vile in the eyes of veterans those traitors sent to an illegal war. I am positive that very few of the million dead Iraqis posed even the slightest threat to America and would be much happier if they were alive for starters. I am also confident that the thousands of Americans who lost loved ones or that were horribly wounded would also be better off alive and well today, even if Saddam was still in power. No matter what O’Reilly believes from his ivory tower about how we improved the lives of the average Iraqi, the millions of wounded, displaced, starved, and dead would find comfort in knowing the US would never come to “help” Iraq again.
Fourth, our bombing didn’t work, yet, O’Reilly is adamant about the positive effects “heavy bombing” would have for the US against ISIL. O’Reilly seems to think that if we just carpet bomb one more convoy we will win. He seems to “know” that our pilots can positively identify targets flying at nearly the speed of sound or faster and often from above 35,000 feet as long as the “bad guys” are in the open desert. I would laugh, but he is actually serious…and using his own words, a buffoon. I guess he fails to understand how the fact ISIL is operating with the same US provided military vehicles that the Iraqi military is using can complicate targeting. If perhaps, O’Reilly had actually served in combat as a Joint Tactical Air Controller, he would know that his line of logic is ridiculous, but since he did not, let me enlighten him. Just because there is a convoy of trucks with guns in the Middle East does not positively identify the convoy as “bad guys.” In fact, the factions fighting often look indistinguishable even from the ground and much less so from the air. Without good intelligence and legitimate boots on the ground observing, identifying, and marking targets for air, O’Reilly’s airstrikes will not only be futile, but 100% counterproductive. I also think that O’Reilly must have somehow shelved the knowledge that ISIL possesses “Stinger” missiles. Even though I would argue that the likelihood is the bulk of these man portable, surface-to-air missiles are advanced Soviet designs smuggled into Syria by our very own CIA from Libya (hello Benghazi), the missiles nonetheless exist and pose a significant threat to our aircraft operating at low altitudes. I wonder if the loss of an American pilot and an F-16 is worth it to O’Reilly?
Finally, O’Reilly went on to say that ISIL does not recognize the Iraq-Syrian border and that we must pursue ISIL into Syria. I do not disagree that the border has long since ceased to exist and that to prosecute an effective campaign, you must not allow the insurgent sanctuary. Too bad we didn’t use this same logic in Afghanistan where even the dullest of officers recognized that to decisively defeat the Taliban, one must either secure the border or cross into Pakistan, but I digress. Moving back to bombing ISIL in Syria, O’Reilly completely demonstrates his hypocrisy and wins the award for pinhead. Time and again, O’Reilly has been on air demanding President Obama support the rebels in Syria and has attacked the Administration repeatedly for not doing enough, yet, he fails to realize that he is simultaneously demanding we bomb ISIL and support ISIL. O’Reilly is naïve and or ignorant if he fails to make the connection that we have been covertly organizing, arming, training, and equipping the rebel forces in Syria to fight President Assad and it is these same forces, which are now rampaging throughout Iraq. The savages that O’Reilly demands we bomb are the savages we created just like in Afghanistan and Libya. In fact, if we bomb ISIL at their points of origin as O’Reilly suggests… in their training camps in Syria (Jordan and Turkey too O’Reilly), I wonder if he realizes we will be killing American special forces and CIA ground branch officers currently training these terrorists. So I ask O’Reilly, who are the good guys and who are the bad guys because I am very confused.

By Guiles Hendrik
All rights reserved.

New White House Scandal Emerges: US Covering Up Loss of Stinger Missiles in Syria to ISIL

1

Media reports (see: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/06/16/us-made-stinger-missiles-have-likely-fallen-into-isis-hands-officials-say/), later tacitly confirmed by the Department of Defense (DOD) before burying the subject, have identified that ISIL possesses Stinger Missiles.  The US manufactured Stinger missile is a highly potent, man portable, shoulder launched, anti-aircraft missile that has advanced technology to defeat aircraft counter measures.  To see a video of various Stinger Missile variants in action click here: (http://www.military.com/video/guided-missiles/surface-to-air/the-fim-92-stinger-missile/1107957918001/).  These missiles pose an extreme threat to any low flying aircraft to include passenger jets.  The missiles are considered a highly sensitive weapon system and are heavily controlled due to their potential lethality.  As such, the DOD goes to great lengths to prevent these weapons from falling into the wrong hands and they are accounted for individually.  Nonetheless, these very dangerous weapons have somehow made their way into the hands of ISIL extremists.  The scandal and cover up precipitate from the answer of how these weapons found their way into the hands of ISIL.

The White House would have been happy if the media had never reported that ISIL possessed Stinger missiles.  However, it soon became clear that ISIL did possess the missiles and this could not be suppressed (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/17/iraqi-shiites-take-a-stand-against-sunni-extremist/?page=2, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant, http://www.military.com/video/guided-missiles/surface-to-air/fsa-downs-helo-with-stinger-missile/2207383115001/; http://beforeitsnews.com/strange/2012/08/cia-provides-stinger-missiles-to-syrian-freedom-fighters-2442552.html).  Therefore, the White House created a narrative about how the US missiles found their way into terrorist hands.  The White House blamed the Iraqi military and claimed the Stingers must have been captured when ISIL overran Iraqi military bases in Mosul.  There is just one major problem with this claim.  The DOD did not provide the Iraqi military with Stinger missiles and none were stored in Mosul.  The truth is that the Stinger missiles ISIL possess were not captured and did not come from Iraq.  The White House is fully aware of this fact and has intentionally attempted to cover up the truth.  The Stinger Missiles ISIL possesses are missiles the CIA directly provided “moderate” rebel groups in Syria to help them overthrow Syrian President Assad.  President Obama cannot plead ignorance on this matter because he had to personally sign the covert action “finding” to arm the rebels with Stingers.   President Obama granted this approval after the rebels pleaded for a capability to shoot down Syrian military aircraft that were persistently bombing rebel positions.  Counter to President Obama’s claims of supporting only “moderate” rebel factions and our “ability” to ensure any military weaponry the US provides the rebels would not fall into extremist hands, this is exactly what has occurred.  President Obama has at best allowed and at worse given terrorists anti-aircraft missiles and is now in complete denial mode!

The White House has been caught in another lie and the media is simply too bought and or too ignorant to identify another major cover up right in front of them.  Minimal investigative journalism would have allowed a decent reporter to put the pieces together on wear in fact the ISIL Stinger Missiles actually came from in Syria.  What makes this most recent White House scandal so damning and dangerous is the fact that, as we have warned, these anti-aircraft missiles will most likely be used against civilian passenger jetliners in the near future to kill Americans.  WHEN it happens, the Obama Administration will no doubt be “caught by surprise” and will have a readymade excuse blaming someone else (like the Iraqi military) for their utter dereliction of their duties to protect Americans.  It is your job to make sure the word gets out and you can help fix this if you contact media outlets and your elected representatives and grill them over this scandal.  Demand all military aid and support for the terrorist backed rebels in Syria be immediately cut off.  Further, demand a full investigation into how these missiles were given to terrorists and insist on prosecution of those responsible under the federal acts prohibiting material support to terrorist organizations.

For more see:

http://voiceofrussia.com/2012_10_24/Russian-Military-Chief-US-supplying-anti-aircraft-missiles-to-Syrian-rebels/

 

By Guiles Hendrik

All rights reserved. 

 

The Disintegration of Iraq: US Military Action in Iraq neither Wise nor Suitable

As the hordes of American/Saudi/Qatari sponsored terrorists race across Iraq in what appears to be a blood orgy of Islamic extremism of the worst sort, Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki has appealed for help. Maliki’s forces, to include two divisions of American trained Iraqi soldiers, have broken and fled leaving all of their equipment behind to the attacking extremist army. Although, I believe the takfir blitzkrieg will be blunted once it hits Shia neighborhoods as it presses its advance into Baghdad and initially bypass the city for key oil infrastructure, it is clear Maliki has lost control of what used to be Iraq. In spite of the incompetence of the White House and senior advisors, this occurred exactly as we have been warning and predicted over a year ago.

See:

http://www.blackboxwire.com/2014/03/17/pm-maliki-accuses-qatar-and-saudi-arabia-of-waging-war-against-iraq/

http://www.blackboxwire.com/2014/01/31/the-rise-of-the-islamic-state-of-the-levant-as-iraq-fractures-so-does-the-middle-east/

http://www.blackboxwire.com/2014/01/10/as-we-predicted-syrian-and-iraqi-civil-wars-merge-as-president-obamas-claims-of-a-defeated-al-qaeda-crumble/

http://www.blackboxwire.com/2013/05/12/iraqs-descent-back-into-violence/

http://www.blackboxwire.com/2014/02/05/the-other-shoe-drops-syrian-kurds-declare-independence/

http://www.blackboxwire.com/2013/09/09/al-qaeda-rebels-in-syria-begin-killing-kurds/

http://www.blackboxwire.com/2013/09/09/media-missed-the-biggest-coup-in-the-middle-east-and-it-wasnt-in-egypt/

Now that Iraq has fully disintegrated, the Kurds are now effectively independent, the Sunni areas are consolidated under extremist Sharia rule, and the Shia areas are left relying on Iran to save them from being completely massacred and conquered. This critical juncture has policy makers grappling with whether or not to send in US military support to which I emphatically warn is a horrible idea. I say again, INTERVENTION IS A HORRIBLE IDEA!

Now that Iraq has collapsed, many in the US are demanding the US military again be deployed to defend “gains” previously made in Iraq. These individuals are the same hacks that never fought in a war and led US “strategy” to a complete failure in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact many of these snake oil policy makers hid from reckless wars like former Ambassador John Bolton and profit handsomely from the industry of war. Further, when one hears Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain expound upon how the US must bomb the extremist army before it seizes Baghdad, consider these are the same senators that also demanded that President Obama do more in Syria to arm this very same army and bomb President Assad. Ironically, it was Assad that has been fighting this extremist army from the beginning and pleading for help from the international community. Further, it was Russia that warned the US that this army was in fact composed of radical extremists, but we ignored them and called them liars when it was the US that was lying. After all, we knew from the beginning the army was made of jihadists because the CIA’s ground branch is what organized, armed, and trained this army. If you do not see the obvious hypocrisy, bias, lobbyist dollars, and stupidity all wrapped up in US Middle East Policy, you should remove the blindfold now and engage your faculties of logic.

The problem with the logic of intervention in Iraq is multifaceted. First of all, it completely ignores the fact that just across the Iraqi border to the west in Jordan, Syria, and Turkey, the US is covertly and now clandestinely (yes, these are different) arming, training, and equipping these terrorists to fight Syrian President Assad, which I have argued from its covert beginnings could only end bad. Second, to believe an overthrow of Maliki’s government somehow translates to lost gains presumes one actually bought into the White House’s lies and propaganda respective of accomplishing anything decisive in Iraq. The reality is the US was strategically defeated in Iraq and used the hand over and pullout as a face saving maneuver to explain its retreat. I would invite anyone that disagrees with the notion of US defeat in Iraq to attempt to walk through Iraq without being killed, kidnapped, or imprisoned. Note that we will see this strategic defeat repeated in Afghanistan. However, in Afghanistan, it will be to greater American detriment since we are currently planning on leaving 10,000 personnel in that country to be captured in killed by the Taliban when they launch their offensive to regain power shortly after the US reaches the 10,000 level of troops. Third, Iraq refused (to no angst of President Obama, who was looking for an excuse to pullout) to agree to a status of forces agreement (SOFA), which would have provided legal protections to any potential future US forces stationed in Iraq. Without a SOFA in place, US personnel could be tried under Iraqi law. As a soldier that potentially would have to kill an Iraqi in self-defense, the prospect of being tried for “murder” in Iraq made any future garrisoning of troops in Iraq untenable. Finally, it is insane to think that the US can drop a few bombs and stem the tide of events in Iraq. Events have long moved beyond the effectiveness of a few bombing raids. We spent a decade vainly trying to subdue Sunni extremists while simultaneously being attacked by Sadr’s Iranian backed Shia forces. Both sides hate us and have proven they prioritize killing Americans above killing each other. To this end, American intervention would only waste more precious blood and treasure that we can ill afford.

To avoid another quagmire, it would be best to stop aiding terrorists in Syria as a reasonable start. We should then be quite content to let the factions fight it out amongst themselves while reinforcing the Kurds and letting Assad press the extremist army from the west. In particular, the Kurds have access to ample oil, are better fighters than the Arabs, have a functioning government and infrastructure, hold a strategic geographical position and are welcoming of US bases, have proven to be pro-American, and are religiously moderate. The US Department of State, for reasons that in all respects appear to be a systemic ethnic prejudice, has persistently degraded US relations with the Kurds and at every opportunity placed Kurdish interests far below Sunni and Shia interests in Iraq. If there was ever a time to change policy and embrace the Kurds, now would be it. Finally, the US must address and stop Saudi Arabia. Saudi funding is the true catalyst of the Islamic extremist movement. The US has turned a blind eye to Saudi actions far too long and it is time the US demands Saudi Arabia stops the exportation of Wahhabism and capture, kill, and or arrest the senior Saudis responsible for the export of terrorism. Continuing to ignore the Saudi gorilla in the room is tantamount to knowingly fighting the wrong adversary while simultaneously claiming to be confused why they real enemy is still growing stronger and able to attack you. After all, it is no surprise that since the “War on Terrorism” began, Islamic extremism has done nothing but expand and strengthen. Might that have something to do with the fact we are fighting a faux war against the wrong enemy? Mark my words, until someone dismantles the Saudi extremist industry, the threat of Islamic extremism will continue to spread and grow. Radical sharia law is already upon our doorsteps, but for reasons of political correctness, ignorance, and or lobbyist dollars, our government has been derelict to the point of treason addressing the growing existential Saudi threat.

By Guiles Hendrik
June 22, 2014
All rights reserved.

As gas prices prepare to skyrocket, thank President Obama and the Saudis

I would like to advise our readers that now would be a good time to buy any fuel you may need for the coming months in bulk if you have the option. At the least, you might as well fill your gas cans and fuel tanks because the price of gas is not going to be getting any cheaper anytime soon. Due to the support provided by the United States (Authorized by President Obama) and Saudi Arabia (Qatar and Turkey to lesser extents), we have armed, trained, and equipped the largest Islamic extremist army of modern times and unleashed it on the Middle East. This army is now massacring thousands across Iraq and Syria to include countless Christians. The actions of this terrorist army will soon come home to haunt Americans that were too apathetic and or foolish to demand President Obama and Congress cease support to terrorist rebels in Syria.
As Iraq implodes, it is the Saudis and Qataris who are handsomely profiting from the spike in oil prices. The spike is a result of Obama’s schizophrenic foreign policy disaster that made it all possible. As America’s badly battered economy faces another blow it can ill afford you now must spend even more money you don’t have to just fill your gas tank, remember it was President Obama and his pals in Saudi Arabia that hooked you up. Oh, and just in case you didn’t catch it, the US government is using your tax dollars to fund terrorists that want to kill you. President Obama is claiming the US needs gun control while using your tax dollars to hand military grade advanced weapons to 100% ardent, hardened, American hating, terrorists. To add insult to injury, this is all being done while simultaneously the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is chasing domestic boogiemen at home. Remember, DHS is claiming you, your veteran uncle, and your 90 year old grandmother are potential terrorists so you must be subjected to total surveillance and physical searches that in the extreme could be considered forcible sodomy. Don’t worry though; this is all for your “security” and to “protect” you.
As I write, the extreme of extreme Islamists forces are massacring their way to Baghdad. To date, the Iraqi army has been totally routed and has fled leaving all of the weapons and equipment for the enemy. The true test of the Islamist army will be when it begins to enter Baghdad and the first all Shia neighborhoods. This army is not immune to the same carnage any army would face in urban combat where the fighting is up close and brutal. As such, I expect the onslaught to be stalled in Baghdad and perhaps even to bypass Baghdad for key oil infrastructure. Nonetheless, the Sunnis have defeated and subjugated the Shia in Iraq before and it is likely they could again. Even if the extremist forces are halted entering Baghdad, they will most likely turn the thrust of their advance to the east and bypass Baghdad. This will allow the army to seize and or destroy key oil infrastructure. This all but guarantees disruptions to production and that the cost of oil and therefore fuel is about to skyrocket.
What can be done about this for now is most likely nothing. We can watch and enjoy the spike in gas prices as our contracting economy shrinks even faster. However, I would recommend you take a whopping five minutes out of your day and cut and paste an email to your two senators and one representative in Congress and demand Congress freezes any form of support or aid to the rebels/terrorists fighting Assad and now campaigning in Iraq. You may also want to call into your favorite talk radio show and discuss these topics. Finally, come November, vote out every single incumbent and replace them with independent representatives.
By Guiles Hendrik
June 18, 2014
All rights reserved.

Failed Launch of Russian Rocket Carrying Advanced GPS Satellites No Accident

Understanding geopolitical maneuvers implies recognition that timing of events globally are not coincidental. The latest example is the failure of the latest Russian rocket launch carry highly advanced satellites to bolster Russia’s own GPS array so that it does not have to rely on US military satellites and infrastructure. This failure of a proven Russian rocket system only days after Russia announced it was ceasing space based cooperation with the USA is not accidental. Instead, this was the latest take down in a growing number of high profile cyber attacks launched by the US and perhaps the first major military strike against Russian in a new era of warfare.

Ominously, the Russia’s cyber capability is advanced and capable of significant attacks on a large scale against targets inside the US unlike countries such as Syria and Iran. One should expect Russia to see the launch failure as a clandestine military attack regardless of whether or not it actually was. Again, perception is reality and Putin cannot afford the public perception that Russia’s vaunted space program is incompetent. In retaliation, Russia will strike back. Whether Russia uses cyber warfare or not is yet to be seen, but Russia will exact a price for the loss. As I have warned, Russia recognizes that Afghanistan is an easy place to exact revenge and bleed the US so the US military should not expect a smooth retreat this year. Further, our military space launches and vulnerable satellites may become logical targets for Russian retaliation so don’t be surprised if months from now our satellites experience failure or a new NGA satellite
being launch fails to make it to orbit.

Washington is playing a dangerous game with Russia but fails to recognize the US has far more to lose. Even more disturbing is the fact that the White House has repeatedly been outmaneuvered and beaten by Russia on every foreign policy initiative and appears paralyzed under Obama’s leadership to decisively act. US policy makers have shown no ability to differentiate between the capability threat of countries like Iraq and Iran and those possessed by Russia. The White House appears drunk on hubris and forgets that it cannot bully everyone on the playground. Historically, this hubris has led to strategic miscalculations of massive proportions leading to events like World War I. Even in the best case scenario, the US gets beat geopolitically and another chunk of America’s little remaining influence and prestige is eroded away. As such, expect to see a continued resurgent Russia and a waning US.

An Open Letter to President Obama and Congress on US Policy toward Ukraine and Russia

1

As the United States races forward to develop policy to deal with the escalating crisis in the Ukraine, many citizens have been left totally uniformed respective of our regional interests and policies toward it. As a concerned citizen, I am respectfully requesting a pause to allow professional debate on the subject before the Administration effectively locks America into another Cold War with Russia. I, like many Americans, remember the days of the Cold War and do not wish to return to the fear of nuclear annihilation, incredible levels of defense spending, and never ending guerrilla wars across the globe.
Sadly, logic rarely plays any part in policy development and seems to have had almost no impact on the current administration’s policy decisions.  Further, as a mere voiceless citizen amongst the masses, I have little reason to suspect my voice matters or will ever be heard in front of our policy makers. As such, I risk being labeled a radical for daring to demand answers to critical questions all Americans should be concerned over as President Obama and the US Congress steer our nation toward a head on collision with Russia.  America, as every nation, has made many mistakes in its past.  Can we not, at least once, learn from these mistakes and try to get a policy right?  Rather than simply complain and point out the failures, I will offer solutions.  To that end, I recommend an initial, vigorous, public debate to inform upon and explore all policy options before our political knee jerk reactions land our nation in very dire waters. 
I am of the mindset that sanctions are the extreme extent of economic warfare, which is inextricably linked to waging warfare in the classical sense. Therefore, a declaration to destroy a nation’s economy is, in effect, the same as war. To assume otherwise is a dangerous oversight in respect to high stakes political brinkmanship. Perhaps the Russian oligarchs will still have steak and caviar, but sanctions will mean joblessness, hardship, and starvation for millions of Russians.  These deprivations upon the public amount to little difference from a shooting war.  Russia intimately understands this, but unlike Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, Russia has the ability to effectively fight back against global bullying. Before walking further down this treacherous road with Russia, a formidable adversary I must add, I would like the President, Congress, and ultimately the American public to definitively answer and defend in open debate the following elementary questions:
What and specifically, whose interests are being served by our involvement in the Ukraine?  What vital national interests are at stake?  What will we receive in exchange for our involvement in Ukraine?  What are our policy goals in respect to Russia and Ukraine?  What end state do we seek by sanctioning Russia? What is the timeline by which we determine success in our policy?  How far are we willing to go to achieve those goals?  Will we commit to military action should sanctions fail to achieve our policy goals?  Are we willing to risk nuclear war?
What is the projected global economic impact of sanctions on Russia for the US economy?  Are sanctions our only tools?  What price is the US willing to pay for enacting painful sanctions on Russia?  If Europe won’t support sanctions, why should the US?  Do we truly have a global economy?  If so, wouldn’t hurting the Russian economy also hurt the world economy?  If Europe is correct that sanctions would hurt the EU’s economy, wouldn’t it by default also hurt the US economy?  Can the US economy afford more negative economic pressure?  Is sanctioning Russia over Ukraine worth billions of dollars in losses for the US economy?  How many dollars in losses are we willing to endure to achieve our policy goals in Ukraine?  Will one billion dollars in loans be enough money to stabilize Ukraine?  If not, how much are we willing to spend and what will we expect as a return on investment?  What is the actual probability the US taxpayer will be repaid for the loan to Ukraine?
Why can’t Ukraine fight for itself?  Isn’t Ukraine a European issue?  Why must the US fight Europe’s battles?  What are the historic consequences of intervening in Europe’s civil wars?  What is the historical precedent for American success in this type of intervention?
Who are the leaders in the Ukraine that we are now supporting?  Did they not take power through a violent overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government?  Who supported that revolution? Could the Russians have viewed this as a threat? If the tables were turned, would we approve of similar action on our borders? How do we decide who is and isn’t the legitimate government in the Ukraine?  Who are we to decide which coups, in a string of overthrows and power grabs, are legitimate after unilaterally deciding the formerly recognized Ukrainian government was illegitimate?  How do we know the current regime in power in Kiev will work toward America’s best interests?  If the leadership we back in Ukraine becomes unpopular and fails to deliver positive change, will we continue to back the regime?  If the leadership we back in Ukraine is itself overthrown, what is the potential damage to US interests in the region?
Will sanctions actually achieve our goals by altering Russia’s decisions or just further alienate a rather large and powerful nation?  How long are we willing to continue sanctions before we assess policy failure or success?  If sanctions fail to have the desired effect, what are plans B and C?  What is the cost of inaction?  What would be the benefits to supporting Moscow over Kiev?  Have we even considered supporting Moscow?  What are the Russian grievances?  What does Russia have to gain or lose in Ukraine?  How far is Moscow willing to go to defend what it considers its vital national interests in Ukraine?  How much pain is Russia willing to endure to achieve its policy goals respective of Ukraine? Are we willing to inflict that amount of pain to force our will on Russia? How much pain will doing so entail for the US?
Are we as a nation prepared to step firmly back into a new Cold War landscape for the indefinite future?  Is the US willing to play the game of chicken to its full conclusion?  If not, why should we engage in the dangerous game of brinkmanship in the first place?  What retaliatory measures will Moscow take in response to sanctions?  Where and how could Moscow feasibly hurt America the worst?  What are the implications of Moscow shutting down the Northern Supply Route to Afghanistan during our planned retreat in 2014?  What are the implications of Moscow authorizing advanced weapons sales to countries like Syria, Iran, and China?  What if Moscow attacked the US militarily?  What would be the most likely course of action for Moscow?  What would Moscow’s most dangerous course of action be?  Do Americans realize further escalation could lead to the deaths of many Americans across the world as Russia begins to retaliate?  Is this something that America considers an acceptable loss?
I would argue that if these very basic, yet critically important questions were honestly answered and publicly debated, the policy decisions respective of the situation in the Ukraine would be patently clear.  What Americans would realize is that intervention in Ukraine is not in our vital national interests.  The US could only derive a net loss to our global geopolitical stability, security, and strength.  The public would see that US actions will be ineffective, counterproductive, and ultimately futile.  Americans would not be willing to pay the true price of a reckless intervention.  
Perhaps, I am an unbending ideologue for asking that basic logic to be applied to our policy decisions.  Maybe, I am just a blind and backwards isolationist for wanting to avoid more foreign conflict.  Certainly, I must be a cold pragmatist for the mere insinuation that one should place American interests before foreign interests.  We might as well assume I am also greedy for suggesting I am not willing to have more of my tax dollars looted to pay the debts owed to foreign banks by foreign elites.  No doubt I am also unpatriotic for not rushing to arms to support military intervention in the Ukraine.  If so, then I stand guilty as charged. 

Sincerely,
Guiles Hendrik
April 20, 2014
All rights reserved.

Contact: Please send questions or comments to guileshendrik@gmail.com

Why Fear Global Warming?

Recently, the Climate Change/Global Warming crowd has been growing ever more alarmist about dire consequences related to the alleged warming of the Earth. This should come as no surprise since the climate change movement traces its history directly to environmental extremists. However, it has only been a relatively recent phenomenon that environmental extremists teamed with the political left to craft an agenda designed scare people into submitting to their ideological fantasies and control. This has led to an ever increasing list of suffocating regulations, new laws, more bureaucrats, and even more burdensome taxes. In spite of the constant barrage of doomsday environmentalist propaganda I dare to inject logic and reason into this politically charged debate and ask the question: Why can’t “Global Warming” be good? What I find is that after stripping away the rhetoric, economics, and politics to expose the fundamental truth, I ultimately find that warming is not just good, but our best case possible climatic future.
Let’s begin by laying some basic groundwork. Much of the “global warming” hysteria is based upon highly politicized and government subsidized research by admittedly biased environmentalists. What you often don’t hear is that for every scientist sounding the alarm bells, there are just as many scientists dissenting and saying that the research doesn’t support the degree of fear mongering currently epidemic in government and the media. Further, these predictions are based on climatic simulations and models that are spit out of number crunching computers (black boxes) and are no better than the data fed into them. As such, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of widely used models that all claim to “predict” weather and climate patterns, yet the “Farmer’s Almanac” has a better record of predicting climate and weather patterns than your local weather man. Even short duration predictions are flawed! How many times have you gone for a weekend outing only to find out the “sunny” forecast turned into a rainy monsoon? Even worse, when has the hurricane season actually been consistently, accurately predicted? The fact is our best scientists can’t even give you accurate localized, contemporary forecasts and are even less capable of predicting global weather a hundred years into the future! To this point, scientists have not been able to accurately predict climatic patterns demonstrating that scientists still do not know and cannot accurately quantify the causal effects of what forms the Earth’s climate. At best this is an imprecise science and at worst climatic alchemy. Due to this one must rationally conclude that the models at best have limited to no predictive capability and at worst provide totally false data.
One has to concede that our historical baseline of global climate is limited and imprecise. This makes basing any future models inherently flawed because it is based on partial data sets that we can’t say for sure are even accurate or representative for the period in question. What we do know is that the Earth’s climate has continuously shifted between warm, wet periods and cold, dry periods (ice ages). The Earth has been warmer than it is today and the Earth has been much colder. What we don’t see is climatic stasis. Cycles do occur and the climate is perpetually in the process of either cooling or warming. This continual climatic variation lends validity to the broad term of “climate change,” but certainly doesn’t imply the Earth and all of its living creatures are doomed if any change occurs. In fact, humans have already survived through multiple ice ages and warm periods long before the industrial age. However, what a macro analysis of research from multiple scientific disciplines show is that it has always been during ice ages when humans faced their greatest challenges and NOT during the relatively short periods climatic warming. The reason for this is very simple. Biological diversity thrives in warm wet climates such as the Amazon Rain Forest, but must struggle to survive in harsh cold and dry climates such as the Arctic and Arabian Desert respectively. Thus, it is actually quite easy to conclude that not just man, but the vast majority of living creatures depend on warm, wet conditions to survive and thrive.
Assuming that the climate scientists are indeed correct the Earth is warming, this is reason for relief, not alarm. Yes, it is true that as the Earth moves through climatic cycles localized weather patterns will change. Yes, it is also true that in some cases this will have a negative impact, but globally speaking, during warming periods, far more areas will see a net benefit from warmer and wetter climate. With warmer temperatures and more rain, we will see parched desert land once again become fertile. The soil of the land we currently farm has become worn out and warming could be just the miracle farmers need to unlock new and vast fertile regions to meet the growing world demand for food. We will be able to plant crops further and further north and south and reclaim land that was once frozen and not suitable for sustained habitation. We will also see aquifers, lakes, rivers, and streams recharged with desperately needed fresh water. Even though some areas will become so dry, as weather patterns change, they will no longer be habitable, that is okay because the net result would make far more land available. Coastal cities may indeed see some flooding if the dire predictions prove accurate, but that too is ridiculously overblown. Governments for centuries have fought to create jobs and relocate insolvent cities. A sea level rise would provide the needed stimulus for nations to finally overhaul their horrific urban planning and put millions back to work. Most cities are in desperate need of or are beyond repair because they were never engineered to handle the massive number of residents they now sustain. Many cities also no longer occupy a strategic location and are dying since their original purpose for existence long ago disappeared. Instead of sitting idle and waiting for the water to rise as climate alarmists predict, why not seize this opportunity to build much more sustainable cities where they will be most viable? Trade routes, economic centers, travel hubs, and populations have all undergone major changes in just the last two decades and much more since most of the world’s major cities were first populated so isn’t it time to update instead of letting them die a slow death like Detroit?
Remember that if the Earth is not warming, it is cooling. Contrary to the climate alarmists, it is certainly possible that what we are witnessing is the last stages of a warming period as the Earth shifts into a cooling cycle, which notably, is climatically overdue according to the geological record. This alleged ramp in temperatures may in fact be cyclical and actually have almost nothing to do with the “greenhouse effect” and carbon emissions. I for one ascribe to this potentiality far more than I do one of prolonged warming. Cooling would be a true climatic disaster for mankind unlike the warming alarmists would lead you to believe. Much of North America, Europe, and Asia would be covered in thick ice sheets. Western Civilization would all be forced to relocate or perish. The food stresses on the world population as a result of massively reduced arable farmland would lead to unprecedented famine and starvation. Migration pressures on the equatorial latitudes would be overwhelming and lead to warfare and even greater death. Adding to the global disaster would be the fact that during cooling periods the Earth becomes much drier as water is locked into massive ice sheets. This would leave the Earth much drier than it is today in respect to land not covered by ice or permafrost. Desert like conditions would become pervasive and would exasperate conditions of famine as the global net total of arable land plummeted. By the time mankind reached equilibrium with the new carrying capacity of the Earth, more than two thirds of the world’s population will have died off. As such, logic would again dictate that given the choice between warming or cooling, warming is the overwhelmingly preferred option if your motive is to sustain maximum human life.
To date, an ice age isn’t what is being predicted by the scientific community. Instead, we have been told that we will face higher temperatures and rising sea levels; although, it seems that the climate change “experts” now seem to attribute any and all weather to the nebulous “global warming.” This fact alone is a red flag and screams of faux science. The most recent example has been to say in the same breath we have had a record cold winter because the temperatures are rising. Really? Has anyone taken a moment to rationalize how absurd statements like these are? I personally get a laugh out of the idiots running around trying to tell me that the Earth is warming because of bovine flatulence. What scares me far more than any potential global warming is that these extremist nut jobs seriously believe this garbage. They are either complicit in or oblivious to the fact that bovine flatulence has nothing to do with global warming and was only a special interest agenda lumped into the debate by animal rights extremists in a thinly veiled attempt to economically attack cattle farmers. Even a middle school student that has taken basic earth science knows that a hypothesis (global warming in this case) that purportedly claims to be proven valid no matter what outcome presents, irrespective of the dependent and independent variables, is utterly useless. This type of flawed hypothesis is called a non-falsifiable hypothesis (it can’t be proven wrong so it equally cannot be proven correct) and appears to have found favor within political propaganda circles. However, if a student were to use the same non-falsifiable logic for his science fair project’s hypothesis, the student would fail. Nonetheless, prestigious “scientists” still can’t seem to remember the basic, fundamental rules of the scientific method!
No matter what the future holds, paranoia, fear mongering, and alarmist hysteria will neither solve the problem nor improve our situation (although quite a few seem to have made a good living off of the scare tactics…Al Gore). Climate change has been a perpetual part of Earth’s history. Only through sheer hubris and reckless endeavor would man think that he can controllably alter this natural cycle and improve his outcome. One may rightly claim that it is a fool’s errand to try and play god with the weather. Climate change cannot be stopped any more than the weather you will wake up to without utterly destroying the Earth’s natural balance in real and quantifiable ways. Instead of alarmism, isn’t it time man embraced the change? Man’s responsible course of action is not to panic, but to adapt. After all, it has been man’s ability to think and adapt, which has allowed him to survive to present day.
In closing, I have a clear conscience as I add another log to my wood burning stove, which warms my mountain (soon to be ocean front) redoubt while I look out at my pickup truck with a big V-8 engine knowing I have done my part to sustain mankind. As for the rest of you driving around in a Prius, just say thank you.

By Guiles Hendrik
April 4, 2014
All rights reserved.

Russia Laughs at Obama’s Red Line in Russia: What’s Next for Relations?

President Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry have to be the laughing stock of the foreign policy world.  In less than a year they have managed to draw two “Red Lines” only to have them almost immediately ignored, crossed, and forgotten.  With this track record the word impotent comes to mind in reference to US Foreign Policy and particularly President (Carter) Obama.  Not to be trifled with, President Obama and his partners within the EU managed to order the assets of a handful of Russians frozen, obviously leaving Putin quaking in his finely crafted leather shoes.  The act is almost comical in that it seems to show even less resolve than if Obama and the EU had done nothing.  After all, freezing the non-existent US assets of a couple dozen Russians long after they hid and/or offshored anything of value can only be viewed in one of two ways.  Either the US is as weak as it appears or the US never intended to truly oppose Russia’s aims to annex Crimea and this is all political show so that they can say they “stood up to Putin.”  Further, at least one of victims of Washington’s sanctions appears to have nothing to do with events in the Ukraine and everything to do with Russia’s Christian grounded stance against homosexuality, which at least someone high up in the Obama Administration took exception.  This random list of targets unrelated to the events in the Ukraine undermines any shred of legitimacy the sanctions purportedly were imbued with.  Either way, Putin has to be concluding that at this point the US and the EU have zero resolve when it comes to actually opposing Russia’s annexation of Crimea.  Nonetheless, Putin, the same man that would order a former Russian defector assassinated with a rare radioactive isotope placed in his cocktail in a fine London bar, is not likely to take Obama’s cheap shot lightly.

Now that Washington has proved it couldn’t resist taking a cheap shot, what can we expect Russia’s response to be?  First of all, Putin has shown that unlike Obama, his actions speak for themselves and he doesn’t need to talk.  Since Washington and the EU attacked Russia financially, it is likely Russia will respond financially.  Last week, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared that any sanctions introduced by Washington against Moscow will have a “boomerang” effect.  Senior Russian Presidential Advisor, Sergey Glazyev, one of the individual’s sanctioned by Obama’s executive order, suggested Russia would dump US treasuries and walk away from the US Dollar as a reserve currency.  It is questionable how much of an impact this would have, but it certainly wouldn’t help the US economically and add to the growing list of countries dumping the US Dollar as the world’s reserve currency.  American businesses operating in Russia may also suffer retaliation in the form of their assets being frozen, confiscated, or shutdown.  Further, Russia has the ability to call in billions in debt from the Ukraine and cut supplies of gas to the Ukraine and EU.  Cutting gas supplies to the EU would certainly hurt Russia too, but this logic is fundamentally flawed if one believes that it will deter Russia.  Russia is renowned for its ability to suffer austerity.  In fact, one of the critical failures in US-Russia policy has been the inability of our senior policy makers to recognize Russia’s ability to endure extreme hardships and willingly cut off its nose, leg and hand to spite its face if it means victory can be assured.  The US and EU are not willing to go to those extremes so, by that fact alone, Russia will prevail in any developing economic stand-off.

Respective of Russian natural gas and oil, I produced a paper a half a decade ago that looked into the future political ramifications of Russian geopolitical power as Western economies waned and Asian economies waxed.  What became apparent was that once Russia completed pipelines in its east that could link their large gas and oil fields to China and coastal ports in the Pacific, Russia would gain significant leverage in what had previously been a status quo relationship with Europe between supply and demand.  Until recently, Europe has always felt safe in that at worst, Russia would only cut gas supplies during a political crisis for a short period of time because Russia needed the money as much as Europe needed the gas.  However, with pipelines now directly extending supply to China, Russia is more than able to divert supplies from Europe, southeast to China.  This is a game changer, which increases Russia’s geopolitical maneuver space.  China welcomes this and is happy to buy all of the petrol resources it can obtain from Russia so that its supplies are more reliable.  Further, China will be likely to back any move that drives Russia to sell to China at more favorable rates, which to date, have been below what Russia was willing to agree to sell at.  China would also see the advantage of a marginalized Russia that dumps the US Dollar and is willing to trade directly in their respective currencies.  Remember, China seeks to replace the US Dollar as the world’s reserve currency and sees that transition as critical to achieving super power status and eclipsing the US.  Considering the above, it is highly likely that China will not just quietly support Russia, but actively back Russia against the US and EU.

Russia also has the ability to increase the sale of military weapons to countries such as Iran and Syria.  In particular, the S-300 air defense system would be a highly sought after leap ahead in technology for both the Iranian and Syrian militaries.  This system alone would be penetrable by American airpower; however, it would significantly increase the complexities and cost of carrying out any type of air attack against either nation.  Russia could also dangle the idea of selling an even more advanced S-400 air defense system, which if fielded, would mean that US would be at a high risk of losing significant numbers of aircraft in the event they attacked any nation using the system.  Respective of countries such as Israel, the S-400 would make it all but impossible for them to successfully carrying out an air attack making any suggestion of the sale of the weapon system a serious threat.  Respective of the civil war in Syria, Russia could begin sending ship loads of various weapons and even advisors and troops to support President Assad.  This would tip the balance in favor of Assad just as his army is gaining ground on the rebels making it possible to achieve a decisive victory.  Ensuring Assad’s victory would have the added benefit of snubbing Washington while stopping Qatari efforts to build a gas pipeline to Europe that would reduce the European reliance on Russian gas.

Finally, among numerous options for retaliation, Russia has the ability to make NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan extremely painful.  First of all, Russia has the ability to shut down all supply routes to and from Afghanistan from the north.  This would disrupt NATO’s ability to sustain the current forces in Afghanistan and retard efforts under way to retreat with all of its equipment in tow.  Further, it would force NATO to pay premium prices to Pakistan to move all of its equipment out of the country via Karachi.  The Karachi route is extremely dangerous and once it is clear that the US must use this route, the Taliban could concentrate its attacks along the entire stretch of this road network.  Even darker is Russia’s proven, albeit very covert ability to provide the Taliban with substantial support and weapons.  Should the Russians decide to really make life a living hell for the US, expect to see the Taliban suddenly supplied with more sophisticated weaponry capable of destroying armored vehicles from long range or even engaging NATO aircraft and drones.  Imagine what NATO’s retreat from Afghanistan would look like as troop numbers dwindle and the remaining isolated outposts begin to be overrun, supply convoys are wiped out by sophisticated  laser beam riding anti-tank weapons, and aircraft are suddenly being shot down by the modern Russian equivalent of the Stinger missile.

In truth, the US is far more exposed than many realize.  Should Washington decide to ratchet up pressure on Russia by continuing to try and subvert Russia’s historic sphere of interest, expect Putin to begin playing cards he has so far politely held in reserve.  Putin’s trump cards are for, let’s say, more uncivilized forms of diplomacy, which Washington now seems to want to engage.  Obama’s thug style Chicago politics may have worked within the confines of the decrepit US political system, but Barry will be sorely mistaken if he thinks he even remotely approaches a match for Putin in the global arena.  As Putin has repeatedly demonstrated with very little talk and decisive action, Washington is a paper tiger that not just lacks teeth, but a functioning brain.

 

By Guiles Hendrik

March 23, 2014

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