Twisters rip through Midwest, South, killing 12; Branson theater district gets heavy damage
By now, you’ve seen all the video footage of death and debris that you need to see for the coming year. Check this website morning and night. It may make a big difference in your day!
Two NATO troops gunned down on NATO-Afghan military base
“More than 70 NATO troops are estimated to have been killed by rogue Afghan colleagues or insurgents who have managed to infiltrate in the ranks of security forces in recent years.
The killings are seen as a major challenge for the NATO coalition, which plans to withdraw all combat troops by 2014 and wants to focus on training and equipping the nascent Afghan army so it can stop the resurgent Taliban and stabilize Afghanistan.”
Fantasy and reality in Afghanistan
By Fareed Zakaria,
“The United States tends to enter wars in developing countries with a simple idea — modernize the country, and you will solve the national security problem. An articulation of that American approach came from none other than Newt Gingrich during a 2010 speechat the American Enterprise Institute. We are failing in Afghanistan, Gingrich argued, because “we have not flooded the country with highways, we haven’t guaranteed that every Afghan has a cellphone, we haven’t undertaken the logical steps towards fundamentally modernizing their society, we haven’t developed a program to help farmers get off of growing drugs.”
Although it is only the 1st day of March, the national news is announcing that the season of whirling winds is upon us. It seems to have descended upon us in full fury, somewhat earlier than normal.
The National Severe Storms Center in Norman Oklahoma is the primary source of predictions of severe weather, watches, and warnings. The daily convective report is a technical wonder that discusses the air masses that will provide or prevent the national weather for that day and two-three follow on days. It explores the causation of severe storms and the factors that contribute to greater or lesser severity.
We’ve managed to expand our understanding of the physical factors and global scale fluid mechanics that drive the atmospheric cauldron over the last half-century. In my youth, tornadoes happened and you found out about them by means of such crude methods as looking out the window. Everyone understood the meaning and feel of “tornado weather” but predicting tornadic storms and their path was still science fiction. As a result of our inability to predict days such as last year’s 27th April, deaths due to tornadoes were much higher than they are today. Our abilities to forecast, find, and track may be giving us a more true picture of frequency and severity than we’ve ever had before.
In Afghanistan, our troops are dying at the hands of mobs of religious fanatics who are unable to separate 7th century behaviors from modern behaviors. We’re trying to modernize a nation that does not care to be and likely cannot be modernized.
As part of this process, we are exposing out troops to grave risk at the hands of Afghan troops and police who consider our men and women infidels, and as such, fair targets. The evidence that proves we are placing our troops at un-necessary risk is mounting with each passing day. Afghanistan is never going to be a democratic nation with modern infrastructure. The tribal nature of the populace will prevent any form of unifying government such as we would wish to leave behind. The religious leaders are not interested in modernization. The primitive tribal makeup of the population allows the mullahs to more easily incite mob actions and violence; while the underlying fanaticism of those tribesmen who do join the army or police force makes them more easily convinced to target our troops for close-in assassination or to carry and deploy a concealed satchel charge or IED.
Nothing we can do is going to modernize Afghanistan or Pakistan. We need to block all access to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and bring our troops home asap.
If Gingrich and his chicken hawk buddies want to play nation-building games, there is a lot of bad road, a lot of old wiring, and a lot of unprotected infrastructure right here at home that needs to be repaired, rebuilt, and replaced.