« How about a Moon Elevator? | Main | Iran, We Got to Do Something? by Larry C Johnson »

19 September 2019


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

English Outsider

An interesting observation in David Gilmour's biography of Kipling. It's suggested that Kipling was not necessarily accurate when reproducing the attitudes and idioms of serving officers and men in India at the time - but that soon afterwards those attitudes and idioms changed to match Kipling's.

"General Sir George Younghusband had served in India for many years without hearing the words or expressions used by the fictional men; puzzled, he asked his brother officers, who confirmed that they too were ignorant of the diction. But a few years later he discovered that 'the soldiers thought, and talked, and expressed themselves exactly like Rudyard Kipling had taught them in his stories ... Kipling made the modern soldier.'" (Younghusaband, A Soldier's Memories, p. 187)

And Somerset Maugham, on his travels decades later, observed that those he met out there talked and even thought straight Kipling, idioms and stereotypes and all.

Didn't the same happen with John le Carre? His world, he confesses, was largely fictional and some of the 'tradecraft' terms invented by him. Yet he discovered later that his invented terms had been taken into common usage in the real Intelligence world.

Life always imitates art. The grim heroes of earlier times might not have been that inclined to fight to the last man to revenge their hlaford, or die defiant in the burning ruins of their fortress. Yet they'd been instructed in the proper manner of conducting themselves by countless Anglo Saxon epics or Norse Sagas so what else would they think to do? These epics did not so much relate what men had done. They taught men what they ought to do.

Obvious enough. But Kipling and Le Carre went further than that, it's suggested, and actually invented the idioms and technical terms that then became common usage. Has this also happened in more recent times? Do the armies and Intelligence forces of today use military or Intelligence terms invented, not in some office or training ground, but in the writer's study?


Larry, Colonel,

It appears that the WAPO is at again with allegations against Trump 'leaking' to foreign leaders. The story is driven by [IMO dribbling idiot] Rep. Schiff (D-Calif) House Intel Cmte Chairman. Seems that Schiff has his panties in a knot and wants access to a purported complaint from an Intel whistle-blower regarding Trump's interactions with a foreign leader. If Schiff doesn't get what he wants, he's threatening legal action:


Terence Gore


trailer for Official Secrets movie

I thought it was well done


Are my eyes playing tricks on me it appears the wreckage the Saudis trotted out shows munitions made for NATO, not Iranian munitions. Blink blink.

JP Billen

Houthi military spokesman Brigadier YahYa Saree claims various kinds of combat drones were used in what he calls the

    Second Deterrent Balance Operation
in the strike on the Saudi oil facilities. Says they were launched from three different locations according to their flight endurance and designated targets.

Says "each of the new drones can carry four precision-guided bombs with fissionable heads every time, and can monitor and hit their targets from several angles." Not sure what he means by fissionable but probably nothing nuclear related, something must have been lost in translation.

He also claimed that the strike drones flew under the flight path of

    "other aircraft"
to mask their flight. I assume he meant another Houthi drone and NOT a Saudi aircraft returning to base. Also says they jammed Saudi radars during the attack.

He threatened the glass towers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai too. I had thought that the Emiratis had pulled troops out of Yemen in July. But apparently they still have control of Yemen's Socotra Island, and still back militias in or near the Port of Hodeidah.


Seamus Padraig

I do remember once reading somewhere (sorry I couldn't track down a link) that some gangster--I think it was John Gotti--talked about how when The Godfather came out, it changed the way the real-life gangsters talked and how they started acting like characters from the movie. He thought it was funny!


Anyone here come across a book by john stockwell a former cia station chief called "in search of enemies".he served in vietnam and angola in the 70's


Sea levels are rising - Pakistan's fertile rice-producing coastline is flooded, salt water contaminating ground water.

In Southern Africa (Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique etc) there is a severe drought.

What of an "ancient Egyptian" solution?
A huge coastline network of desalination plants (instead of the Nile...:)) + extensive irrigation systems to cover as much of Africa as feasible.

Time to act before the locals in the affected areas forget their agricultural know-how, busy migrating to urban ghettos in Africa and Europe


India and Pakistan military take part in a joint anti-terrorist exercise with 6 other countries this week. 100 other countries are there as observers with access to an exhibition of Russian and Chinese weaponry.

One can easily guess the host

Terence Gore


"A U.S. drone strike intended to hit an Islamic State (IS) hideout in Afghanistan killed at least 30 civilians resting after a day’s labor in the fields, officials said on Thursday."


Not only American, but Russian mobsters loved The Godfather movies and saw them as a primer on how mafiosi were supposed to talk and act.


The irony is that this time, Trump is accused of "colluding" with the rabid russophobes of Ukraine and offering weapons to be used on Russians as consideration.

JP Billen

Sorry about the weird formatting. I had thought that the html for underlining was ul, i obviously messed it up.


I see the press is reporting "urgent concerns" over the business owned by the VP's son , the secretary of state's son and others getting a big assist from President Trump.


Whoops, wrong scandal. Apparently that pay for play was AOK, but talking about investigating corrpuption in Ukraine with Ukrainian government officials is only ok if you are not named Donald J Trump. Big O, still scandal free. Thanks goodness. Imagine if Donald Trump Jr. was on the board of a Ukranian oil and gas company. Now that would be a scandal worth reporting on.


Yes, I have it and read into it a while back. You can get the book on Amazon. There are also some reviews. Stockwell has a Wikipedia entry. He actually ran the CIA operation in Angola and became disenchanted. He has had a remarkable career, though part of it has been in principled and costly (to him) opposition. The government went after him legally and made his life hell, I would guess, till finally, I think he had to go into bankruptcy.

This is now a sad and awful history. I can't help remarking here that Patrice Lumumba was murdered by the Belgians--Belgian military officers were involved--in January of 1961, and Dag Hammarskjold's plane was shot down in September,1961, in a crash that investigators have continued to look into over the years. Many conclude that it was surely an assassination. Belgian mining interests seem to assembled a small mercenary army in the Congo in those years (see the film 'Africa Addio') and they were out of control. The Belgian government has acknowledged its part in the murder of Lumumba. Eisenhower had ordered a CIA assassination plot, and funds were allocated, but the Belgians moved faster. I think American intelligence agents were present at the firing squads' execution site --there were three sites for the three black African leaders to be shot--and Stockwell {who knew him well) said that the CIA station chief at, I think, Stanleyville, had Lumumba's body in the back of his car immediately after the executions and was in a predicament for a while. This grisly and sad anecdote also raises a lot of questions, if you ask me. Why, if the Belgians were doing the honors? Lumumba was a good man and is now a national hero in that part of Africa (where things will fall apart worse than we could ever imagine in the next ten years. Kinshasa, a city of seventeen million with no garbage collection system.)

But Lumumba shouldn't have made overtures to the Soviet Union and should have toned down his rhetoric. I don't think he was a communist. I think is needs to be noted that the uranium for the first two American atomic bombs came from the Congo, Katanga, I assume.

It's going to be very bad in Africa, very soon. Worse than this ever was.


the pilot who shot down Hammarskjöld's plane has written about it
suggest you read that
it puts an end to speculation

Babak Makkinejad

Congo and what used to be called Central African Republic has reverting back to the situation obtaining around 1800s in as much as there is no state present on that vast territory.

Babak Makkinejad

France's standard of living is directly related to plunder of Africa. Without that, her GDP ranking would have been 12th in the world. Is it any wonder that Senegalese leave for France?



You cannot demonstrate that France's standard of living has anything to do with Africa.

Babak Makkinejad

I cannot, but I believe that Italian officials who made that comment a few months back.


Remember the one and only mercanary mike hoare.He was a legend in south africa


Here is a good link worth reading



One NEOCON out the door (Bolton), now it appears that another NEOCON (Haley) is being shown the door. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley announced her resignation last Tuesday, and will leave her post at the end of the year.

On another note, the Russian Deputy Defense Minister Colonel General Alexander Fomin said Thursday at a meeting in Beijing, accused the U.S. of carrying out a 13 Drone attack against Russia’s Hmeymim airbase in Syria. He said that the Drones were controlled by a U.S. Navy's P-8 that was on patrol in the Med, and when the Russians cranked up their ECM against the Drones, the Drones went to manual mode control from the P-8 and then to space systems control, the Drones were then destroyed by the Russians.

Russia is now conducting drone trials on their OSNOD [which is their multi-platform combined data, nav, and id comm system] SU-57 variant. Russian company ROSTEC is working to make the Drone fitting to the SU-57s equipped with enhanced encryption and ECM systems. OSNOD can be installed on a variety of platforms, from ground (mobile and stationary], to naval, to aircraft.




Just what proof do you have for that statement?



Haley left a year ago and joined the board of Boeing shortly thereafter.


Putin is saying "No Excuses!" to the Russian Defense Industry. Putin wants the Russian Defense Industry TOTALLY Self-Sufficient and Import Free. These were the words that Putin spoke yesterday on the Defense Industry's 'Professional Holiday'. Gunsmith day is held in Izhevsk where they produce 10% of all global small arms. In Izhevsk on display were the Osa and Tor Defense Systems, which are produced at the local Kupol plant. Kalashnikov small arms range testing ground, where new models of their small arms are tested. As each Kalashnikov is put through production, there are quality control checks to ensure that every piece meets quality standards.

Hundreds of heads of the Russian Defense Industry from all over the country gathered in Izhevsk. The Gunsmith Forum marked the 100th Anniversary of Mikhail Kalashnikov's birthday. At the Forum, Putin praised Kalashnikov as a true patriot of his fatherland.

Russia's defense industry today comprises over 1,300 enterprises, roughly 2 Million workers, that include engineers, designers, and technical all come togeather to develop Russia's new weapons systems. The Russian Government creates youth techno parks like the Kalashnikov Academy that was created in Izhevsk. Robotics, IT, Mechanical, design all come together instructing the future leaders of the Russian Defense Industry. Next year they'll be adding aerial design. Putin held a meeting of Russia's Military Industrial Commission where they discussed problems in their defense industry. Problems like debt load, difficulties associated with import substitutions. Putin stressed that it wasn't just a celebration but a working conference where issues of concern were brought up.

Last year (2018) Russia had to delay several state defense orders due to performance errors.


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