« Michael Flynn's Motion to Compel Brady Evidence is Compelling by Larry C Johnson | Main | An indictment for McCabe is not needed to try him, or is it? »

16 September 2019


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I’m reading the manual for an FY41AP autopilot right now. About $250, made in china.

As for optical guidance, the attacks happened about 0400 - night or dawn?

This autopilot has a video link as well as autonomous and ground based control modes I think. If the Yemenis had a guy with a transceiver near abqaiq, then maybe they could send these things over from yemen using gps and a guy with transceiver provided terminal guidance. If that were to happen the drones would need to be launched at set intervals.

Antoinetta III

Your last sentence is true enough as far as it goes, but also, if Israel were all Zoroastrians (or any other group) the world would have dealt with their paranoid and psychopathic behavior decades ago. The only reason they get away with everything is because they are Jewish.

Antoinetta III


No missiles or flying objects.Just goop shots.Package placed weeks ago and ignited by laser.not shoot and scoot but goop and loop.All the tank surfaces will need to checked


This drone discussion board is interesting:


Bacevich in NYT op ed
behind a paywall, here is a copy
please do not post if it is too long or off topic

Iran Might Be America’s Enemy, but Saudi Arabia Is No Friend

After last week’s refinery attack, Trump should be careful about throwing America’s weight behind an unreliable “ally.”

By Andrew J. Bacevich

Mr. Bacevich is president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

Sept. 16, 2019

Image The American frigate Stark, which was hit by two missiles fired from an Iraqi fighter plane during the Iran-Iraq war in 1987.
The American frigate Stark, which was hit by two missiles fired from an Iraqi fighter plane during the Iran-Iraq war in 1987.CreditCreditMike Nelson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In 1987, an Iraqi warplane attacked an American Navy frigate, the Stark, on patrol in the Persian Gulf. Accepting Saddam Hussein’s explanation that the attack, which killed 37 sailors, had been an accident, American officials promptly used the incident, which came at the height of the Iran-Iraq war, to ratchet up pressure on Tehran. The incident provided the impetus for what became a brief, and all but forgotten, maritime war between the United States and Iran.

Last week, someone — precisely who remains to be determined — attacked two oil refineries in Saudi Arabia. American authorities have been quick to blame Iran, and the possibility of a violent confrontation between the two countries is once again growing. Before making a decision on whether to pull the trigger, President Trump would do well to reflect on that 1987 episode and its legacy.

Back then, the United States had become involved in the very bloody and seemingly interminable Iran-Iraq war, which Hussein had instigated in 1980 by invading Iran. As that war turned into a brutal stalemate, President Ronald Reagan and his advisers persuaded themselves that it was in America’s interests to come to Iraq’s aid. Iran was the “enemy” so Iraq became America’s “friend.”

After the Stark episode, American and Iranian naval forces in the Gulf began jousting, an uneven contest that culminated in April 1988 with the virtual destruction of the Iranian Navy.

Yet the United States gained little from this tidy victory. The principal beneficiary was Hussein, who wasted no time in repaying Washington by invading and annexing Kuwait soon after his war with Iran ground to a halt. Thus did America’s “friend” become America’s “enemy.”

The encounter with Iran became a precedent-setting event and a font of illusions. Since then, a series of administrations have indulged the fantasy that the direct or indirect application of military power can somehow restore stability to the Gulf.

In fact, just the reverse has occurred. Instability has become chronic, with the relationship between military policy and actual American interests in the region becoming ever more difficult to discern.

In 2019, this now well-established penchant for armed intervention finds the United States once more involved in a proxy conflict, this time a civil war that has ravaged Yemen since 2015. Saudi Arabia supports one side in this bloody and interminable conflict, and Iran the other.

Under President Barack Obama and now President Trump, the United States has thrown in its lot with Saudi Arabia, providing support comparable to what the Reagan administration gave Saddam Hussein back in the 1980s. But American-assisted Saudi forces have exhibited no more competence today than did American-assisted Iraqi forces back then. So the war in Yemen drags on.
ImageSmoke billowing from one of the oil facilities hit by drone attacks on two Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq, in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province, on Saturday.
Smoke billowing from one of the oil facilities hit by drone attacks on two Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq, in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province, on Saturday.CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images

Concrete American interests in this conflict, which has already claimed an estimated 70,000 lives while confronting as many as 18 million with the prospect of starvation, are negligible. Once more, as in the 1980s, the demonization of Iran has contributed to a policy that is ill advised and arguably immoral.

I am not suggesting that Washington is supporting the wrong side in Yemen. I am suggesting, however, that neither side deserves support. Iran may well qualify as America’s “enemy.” But Saudi Arabia is not a “friend,” regardless of how many billions Riyadh spends purchasing American-manufactured weaponry and how much effort Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman invests in courting President Trump and members of his family.

The conviction, apparently widespread in American policy circles, that in the Persian Gulf (and elsewhere) the United States is compelled to take sides, has been a source of recurring mischief. No doubt the escalating rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran poses a danger of further destabilizing the Gulf. But the United States is under no obligation to underwrite the folly of one side or the other.

Supporting Iraq in its foolhardy war with Iran in the 1980s proved to be strategically shortsighted in the extreme. It yielded vastly more problems than it solved. It set in train a series of costly wars that have produced negligible benefits. Supporting Saudi Arabia today in its misbegotten war in Yemen is no less shortsighted.

Power confers choice, and the United States should exercise it. We can begin to do so by recognizing that Saudi Arabia’s folly need not be our problem.

Andrew J. Bacevich is president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and the author of the forthcoming “The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory.”

Christian Chuba
"a war on iran will do every bit as much damage or MORE to the west as it does to iran"

And Iran has demonstrated that they can cause months worth of damage on the KSA, the UAE, and Kuwait. I can't believe the number of Congressman who simultaneously believe that Iran was able to glide over U.S. made air defenses without detection and also believe that we can simply carpet bomb their refineries without any repercussion. How can one believe both things at the same time? That Iran is reponsble for a sophisticated ghost attack and that they are incapable of retaliating in a target rich environment.

Not only did Graham say this but the loon from Maryland repeated it. These people are insane but MSM hosts encourage it, just saw Cavuto snear at Ron Paul because he actually made sense. We are so messed up.


I found those gas domes on google maps using the satellite view,

I tagged the co-ordinates as: 25°55'37.3"N 49°41'00.8"E

or in digital format: 25.927015, 49.683559

here's a link that should take you straight there:


use the pic released by USG of the damage to get an idea of the orientation of the incoming projectiles, I used that rectangularish pond behind as an aid,



then progressively zoom out looking to see which country they 'could' have come from?

oy vey!


Everyone keeps misunderestimating the Yemenis.

The Houthis are fighting as part of a coalition that includes a large part of the Yemeni military and intelligence services. This coalition is carrying out a war under guerrilla conditions, but that war is led by professional military men. Yemen had a serious air force consisting mostly of missile systems before the war. Much of it was destroyed by the bombing campaign carried out for Saudi Arabia, but the military organization survived. They have now reconstituted the Yemeni air forces under fire and in the midst of famine, blockade and invasion.

Stock up on popcorn, the show has only just begun.


I'd have more confidence in the reporting if I could match it up better with what I can see in Google Maps/Earth.

The only two satellite pictures I've seen of "burning oil plants" disticntly show a large plume of black smoke centered a little ways away from the actual refinery area, in some kind of rectangular area outside the actual "plant". Are those wellheads burning? or adjacent underground storage? or what?

And the pictured of a burning plant labeled "Haradh Gas Plant" is actually (according to Google Maps & my eyeballs) the Hawiyah Gas Plant, about 60 miles NNE of Haradh.

In Google Maps/Earth, the Abqaiq facility is on the East side of the city/town of Buquaiq, and the details match the recent pix. The plume lines up with an empty square patch of desert at the end of a pipeline running SSE out of the plant.

I've looked all around Khurais, and haven't found anything which could possibly be the "Oil/Gas Infrastructure at Khurais", as the pictures of the damaged facility there are labeled.

Google Earth is big fun.


There is a huge sea water desalination plant not far away that provides all the treated water via pipeline for injection into the oil reservoirs to improve recovery of oil. Target that and not only have you already impacted the processing of the oil produced but would then impact the total volume of oil available for processing. I can see no happy ending short of negotiation between interested parties. MBZ looks to have already reached that conclusion in respect of the UAE. what will be the self preservation response for the House of Saud


Your point TTG was nicely illustrated in b’s video of the Russian guy building in his workshopa turbofan engine that flew . Providing there is a set of plans it can be constructed and it only has to have a one time reliability.
Evidence for what delivered the strike will be found within the complex and there will be a lot of skills on the ground looking for those answers. The projectiles that struck the spheres looked to have had penetrating qualities rather than high explosive, putting a hole in a pressure vessel is sufficient to destroy its usefulness. I would be interested to know if the projectiles that struck the train were explosive to maximise damage there. Do we need to be considering what could deliver multiple targeted projectiles or were there simply multiple independent units or some combination as there were more strikes logged over two target complexes than the ten delivery platforms mentioned in the Al Ansar press release. Was there a flight controller and if so where were they located also comes to mind.

Robert  Waddell

Using my CAD and graphic tools and Google Earth along with the photo showing the four perforated pressure tanks, I have estimated the four vectors as:
E1 280W. E2 279W, E3 281W and E4 273W. I have numbered the tanks from the most eastwards (the furthermost away in the photo). Angles from true north (0/360 deg). This averages as 278N with a STDEV of 3 degrees. Its almost due west. Must be very difficult for autopilots (or real pilots) could perform more than one group-turning maneuver and still maintain final-run accuracy to what was achieved.
p.s. I'm not specialist in this field apart from terrestrial navigation and drafting experience.


I was looking at the engine. The Quds 1 is powered by a TJ100 built in the Czech republic.

There is also the TJ200 built bij Polaris from Brazil with the following description:

"Turbine TJ200
TJ200 was specially designed to be used in either small cruise missiles or small high performance UAVs. The most important advantage of TJ200 engine is small diameter and a relatively low SFC (Specific Fuel Consumption) when compared to other engines of the same thrust, what makes TJ200 perfect to be used in long range small missiles."

That's a pretty specific description. So there are a number of COTS engines out there.


The Czech company which produces the TJ100 does have strong links with Iran.

"2005 TPP Iranshahr Iran, the largest project in the company's history, a turnkey project - four power plant units."

But then again. Creating a crash site in the desert with some COTS components in it is also easy to do. I would be surprised if Iran is launching missiles now. That would be pretty stupid to do.


Frankly, I never thought the "so called moderates" had a leg to stand on. I always thought it was a good cop/bad cop game, seriously played, in so far as one could play a farce" for the trusting souls in Norway, Denmark, the UK, et al. And it works, too.

Look, there are times when even the Supreme Juris-Counsl has to 'drink poison' from the golden chalice. This thing will never get settled without an initial meeting. It will come soon enough.


Oh well, if Iran says they did not do it.......the US govt lies. The Iranian govt lies, the Saudis surely lie. This is not about innocents. That search is for children and mighty young ones at that.


If those benighted peoples of the desert can do this just think what highly motivated Antifa types could build in the warehouses of Portland.


CK There is nothing "benighted" about them. that is a lesson the perfumed fops in Ryadh ae learning.


I found this interesting report on a display of Houthi missiles and drones from June. https://www.mintpressnews.com/uae-yemen-troop-withdrawal-houthi-new-drones-missiles/260253/
I have seen articles over the last month or so (sorry, no links) saying that because they are not able to send large amounts of material aid through the Saudi and U.S. Navy blockade of Yemen, the Iranians sent blueprints and a few engineers and the Ansar Allah have been building them in Yemen.

The Samad 3 is laden with explosives that allow it to detonate a shaped charge which explodes downwards towards its target. Footage provided to MintPress by Yemen’s Operations Command Center shows the Samad landing on an asphalt runway, confirming that the drone is now capable of conducting operations and then returning to base.
from Mint Press, Jul 9, 2019.

Supreme Ayatollah Khamenei has said there will be no meeting until the U.S.ends sanctions. I do not for a moment believe Bolton would have stood for it, and even though he's gone, neither will Pompeo or Pence. Both appear to be fanatically devoted to Israel. There may be meetings between low level functionaries, and Trump seems to want one very much, but Rouhani has said there is no way to trust America, so no point to talking. The situation may change if Netanyahu loses the election, although I have no reason to believe Avigdor will be any better.


Robert Waddell

So, the sheaf of attacks on those tanks was from due west to east?


I know. I was attempting a comparison between the way most Americans perceive the desert peoples and the way most Americans fail to extrapolate from their beliefs of one groups capabilities and motivations and another group closer to home. The perfumed fops in Ryadh and the Perfumed Princes in DC are very similar under the perfume.
I remember in the mid sixties how the "benighted" Vietnamese and VC were on their last legs, unable to do anything militarily significant, that the war would be over in 67. This was that generations perfumed princes attitude towards a people who had been fighting against invaders since the 1850s. I remember 68 and the most unexpectedly successful operational and strategic level victory by the NVA and the VC that was TET. From an infotainment/Cronkite perspective the important thing was that the Saigon embassy was broached. From and operational perspective a "defeated" enemy launched several hundred simultaneous attacks all over South Vietnam while holding down as a diversion the Dien Bien Phu look alike that was Khe San. 51 years 2 and 1/2 generations and today we make the exact same mistakes in evaluating the current situation.
It is the benefit of being a perfumed prince or fop or neo-con that history has no meaning because history ended sometime in the 90's. Somehow I hear the voice of a Rove lecturing:
"That's not the way the world really works anymore." He continued "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

Babak Makkinejad

There is no this in this.

I have regrettably, come to the conclusions that the differences between Iran and the United States are irresolvable.

Babak Makkinejad

Even then discussion were to be in 5+1 forum.

US is in an economic, legal, political, and religious war with Iran. I should think that you would need a cease fire deal before anything else.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad