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?
Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM)
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
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
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
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 . . .
TWO-FREAKING-MILLION-DOLLARS!! EACH!!!!(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.
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
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
To have a go send me an Em: denis [at-sign] logophere [dot] com