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The Apr04|17 incident at  
Khan Sheikhoun, Syria. 
A series of inquiries. 

KS Post #2: 
Tax Day is almost here.
How Much Did Trump's Grenada Gambit just cost you? 

Post #1
Post #3

Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM)

American presidents are like rodents in a lot of ways, the most obvious of which is that they are dangerous when trapped or wounded, and Donald the Dildo is both trapped and wounded. What makes them dangerous is that most presidents know that Americans are at heart (and in the heartland) a blood-thirsty bunch; they love it when their presidents bitch-slap other countries, so long as the target is powerless to respond in kind. And so when presidents like DTD are up against piss-poor approval ratings, some small country somewhere in the world is sure to get messed with militarily.

DTDís Grenada gambit

It would be an understatement to say that so far things have not gone well for DTD, except, perhaps, his never-ending golf game, which is costing Americans millions of dollars every weekend in AirForceOne operating costs. But part of DTD's misfortune so far (which may change if he doesn't start staying home on weekends) is that he has not had the good fortune of someone putting a bullet in him the way John Hinckley Jr. put one in Ronald Reagan just 61 days into Reaganís first administration.  Reagan won the 1980 election by an electoral college landslide but with an unimpressive 51% of the popular vote, and when a lot of us got the news that he had been shot we thought, "Good, problem solved."  But we didn't count on Hinckley being such a lousy shot that close. By the time Reagan emerged from the hospital beaming and waving, his approval rating was soaring at 73%.    

Of course, he then had to actually began the hard job of governing the country and his approval ratings soon were totally tanked: by 1983 they were about 35%, which is about as low as DTDís are now and about as low as Richard Nixonís just before being run out of the White House. Just putting things in historical/numerical perspective here.

In early 1983 Reagan rolled out his "Star Wars" Strategic Defense Initiative, which he falsely hawked as a way to defend the country against all incoming nukes. Although his poll numbers started rising immediately, late in 1983 he was still well below 50% approval, which did not bode well for his reelection. And it didnít help matters when 241 American servicemen were killed by a suicide bomber in Beirut in October 1983. 

And so, in a time of political peril just before an election, Reagan did what a lot of presidents do Ė he mounted the war-horse, played the Commander in Chief card for all itís worth, and attacked a small country that could not possibly retaliate: Grenada. And it worked.  William McKinelyís reelection in 1900 was saved by the sinking USS Maine in Havana harbor; Lyndon Johnsonís 1964 reelection was saved by his faked Gulf of Tonkin attack in Vietnamese waters; and Reaganís 1984 reelection was saved by his bizarre attack of the tiny island country of Grenada for no discernable reason. Suddenly his approval rating was over 50% and he won the White House by taking every state except Minnesota. American voters just love it when their presidents go out and bitch-slap small countries. Itís a troubling observation to have to make, but itís both true and relevant.


And so the Grenada Gambit is exactly why DTD decided to do a nasty on Syria last Friday when he threw 60 Tomahawk missiles at al-Shayrat air base near Homs. DTDís approval ratings pre-al-Shayrat were even lower than Reaganís were pre-Grenada. The headlines since late January have been a constant string of shit-storm after shit-storm for the DTD administration. It has been an absolute disaster Ė approval ratings bouncing along at 35-40%. No other president since Eisenhower has seen such horrible ratings during what is supposed to be the "honeymoon period," and even Eisenhower, who came in at 30% approval, immediately shot up to 70% where he stayed for eight years. DTD has had an absolute disaster of an opener. Up until now. He hopes.

Maybe youíve noticed . . . every since last Friday, the MSM have not said a negative word about DTD and his motley, bizarre administration made up of inexperienced fools and family members. No more flak about Russians working with DTD to bring down Hillary. No more sniffing around the Flynn transgressions. No more reports of Republican goofiness like Nunes bailing out of an Uber car in mid-town and dashing to the White House to see whatever the hell classified documents he says he saw. No more reports about Congressional committees on Russiagate tripping all over each other. This weekend nobody even noticed when K.T. McFarland, the Deputy National Security Advisor and one-time FOX reporter, suddenly left the White House and was rudely deposited in Singapore where she can sit and stew in her own stupidity without bothering anybody. DTD bitch-slaps Syria and suddenly the MSM is all bonkers and hail to the Chief.  

But history tells us that bitch-slap bounces in poll numbers donít last forever. They have to be timed properly Ė as pre-election surprises for instance, in the case of the Tonkin Gulf, Grenada, and the Maine. And once DTDís insanely premature "Assad gassed his own people" allegations are proven to be bullspit in the next few weeks, a 35% approval rating will be looking like the good old days.

The Tomahawksí .380 batting average Ė seriously?

One of the first factual disputes to arise regarding DTD's attack on al-Shayrat is  what the hell actually happened, never mind why or what the consequences will be.

The missile-count, for instance, is all over the map -- literally. But before doing an inventory I need to throw out this one piece of datum for any US taxpayers who may be reading this during these last few days before your 1040 is due: Those Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) DTD just threw at Syria in your behalf cost you . . .

(MSRP, excluding tax and delivery)

As far as how much the total bill is, somehow the MSMís meme has quickly become gospel: 59 TLAMs were fired from two US Naval vessels. One would hope that when the Navy is throwing taxpayersí money around like that, the MSM would try to be as accurate as possible in its reporting. According to only one report Iíve seen (h/t CNN), Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis has admitted that the number of TLAMs fired was actually an even 5 dozen Ė not 59, but 60. One of the missiles hit the Mediterranean instead of the target. IOW, this was a $120 million bitch-slap instead of a $118 million bitch-slap, but who's counting?  Not the MSM, apparently.   

According to the above DoD photo the 59 TLAMs hit targets in only the 5 areas of the air base circled, meaning there were on average roughly one dozen missiles per circle. That long oval near the top measures out at less than 1200 yards along the long axis. The diameter of the circle at the bottom of the image is about 430 yards. And so, by the Pentagonís accounting, a huge amount of fire power was concentrated into five small areas. And yet, if you compare the DoD photo with your GoogleEarth photo, youíre not going to be able to discern much, if any, damage. Bummer. But then we all know that you donít get much bang for 120 million bucks these days: maybe a couple of round-trips for DTD to Mar-a-Lago, maybe 50 feet of Mexican wall, maybe a few cracked walls in a couple of Syrian aircraft hangers.

But hereís the deal: according to the Russian Defense Ministryís Maj. Gen. Konashenkov, on-the-ground assessments of the al-Shayrat attack indicate that only 23 TLAMs actually hit the base, which might explain why there doesnít seem to be all that much damage. 

Well, OK, so that leaves 36 missiles that must have landed somewhere. The Russians say they donít know where those 36 wild warheads ended up, which is, itself, a statement I find incredibly difficult to believe. Konashenkov is trying to sell the story that 36 TLAMs went flying into Syria in the dead of night and nobody can find any impact craters the next day? If you check out the terrain around al-Shayrat, youíll see thereís not so much as 100 feet in elevation change for miles Ė it is all flat agricultural land. And the Russians with all of their helicopters and eyes in the sky tell us they donít know where any of 36 TLAMs landed? 

Somebodyís obviously lying. Maybe only 24 missiles were fired and the Americans are lying; maybe 59 really did hit al-Shayrat and the Russians are lying; maybe 36 missiles were shot down by Russiaís S400 SAMs and nobody wants to talk about it.

But never mind the obvious lying going on here by someone, to my mind this TLAM attack is scary most of all for the incompetence it demonstrates. Even if only one missile out of 60 went goofy and landed in the Mediterranean as Jeff Davis admits, we have to realize that a lot of those TLAMs packed in US Navy vessels all around the world are nuclear armed. One nuke out of 60 going rogue could have undesirable consequences of the worst possible kind.  Brings to mind the story from January of this year when a test-missile fired by a British sub HMS Vengeance off the coast of Florida changed directions of its own volition and headed toward Disney World. 

And this whole thing is even scarier if the Russians are giving us a straight story and only 1/3 of the TLAMs hit their targets in Syria. I mean, what happens when 2/3 of the missiles in a TLAM nuclear attack go rogue? These things have a range of 1500 miles, which suggests that nothing within a 1500 mile radius of a launch site would be safe.

All of this begs the question: Should Americans be most outraged because: 1) their president has committed an act of war by attacking a sovereign nation that is no possible immediate threat to the US; or 2) because this cluster-fuck cost them $120 million; or 3) because their freaking Navy is so inept that one of their $2 million missiles hit nothing but water and the others didnít do much more than wake up the neighborhood and kill even more Syrian kids?

Wanna' rip into this post?  Why not?  
To have a go send me an Em: denis [at-sign] logophere [dot] com 



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