Destroying an Iraqi nuclear reactor, 38 years ago

On June 7, 1981, Israeli F-16 fighter-bombers destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor near Baghdad.  It was known as Operation Opera (also called Operation Babylon in some circles).  It put an end to Saddam Hussein’s hopes of developing his own nuclear weapons. 38 years later, the pilots who undertook that mission have been reminiscing about it. Thirty-eight years after Operation Opera — the Israeli air attack that destroyed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor at Osirak — surviving pilots gathered to mark the event, noting “one of the greatest ironies in history”: that the attack was enabled by the Islamic Revolution in Iran. When Israel discovered

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Mexico’s president meets reality, and doesn’t like it

Mexican President Lopez Obrador is apparently peeved with US President Trumpover the latter’s economic retaliation against Mexico for not stemming the tide of illegal alien border-jumpers. In a pointed letter released Thursday, López Obrador lashed out at Trump for what he described as the U.S. president’s “turning the United States, overnight, from a country of brotherly love for immigrants from around the world, to a bolted space, where there’s stigmatizing, mistreatment, abuse, persecution, and a denial of the right to justice to those who seek — with sacrifice and hard work — to live free from misery.” López Obrador said that

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Desperation makes them risk their lives – and many lose them

Earlier this month, I wrote an article titled “Why African migrants will flood the world over the next half-century“.  As if to highlight the sheer desperation for something – anything! – better that most migrants exhibit, the BBC has published a remarkable in-depth article about a young Ghanaian man who decided to try to document the risk, abuses and crimes faced by literally millions of would-be migrants as they journey through Africa on their way to the Mediterranean Sea and, hopefully, Europe.  It’s chillingly blunt about the dangers they face. Here’s a brief excerpt from a very long article. It was night when the

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Follow the money, and all becomes clear

I mentioned last week that the brouhaha over President Trump increasing tariffs on Chinese goods was exactly that – a brouhaha, not a real issue.  However, we’re still seeing alarmist articles in the mainstream media almost every day suggesting they’ll precipitate a recession, throw the USA into economic doom and gloom, and so on. MarketWatch puts things in perspective. Most of what the public is being told about these tariffs is either misleading or a downright lie. . . . President Trump just hiked tariffs from 10% to 25% on about $200 billion in Chinese imports. In other words, he just raised

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The not-so-scary reality of President Trump’s tariffs against China

Corporate agriculture has been ringing alarm bells about President Trump’s latest tariff increases against Chinese products, because retaliatory tariffs threaten their exports to that country.  Karl Denninger – no fan of the President – brings the smackdown against such scare tactics. So over the first seven months [of tariffs] we’ve collected $41 billion and change in duties over the $22 billion and change last year.  That’s $19 billion smackers in additional tariff revenue. Total ag exports to China are approximately $24 billion a year. All of them. Well, so will be the tariffs over a 12 month period. So with that tariff revenue, should the Chinese decide they

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Why African migrants will flood the world over the next half-century

CDR Salamander has an interesting series of charts about Africa at his blog.  They’re all factual, and I’ll leave you to read about them for yourself.  I’d like to highlight this one in particular.  (Click the image for a larger view.) The reasons for Africa’s pyramid-like population distribution and youthful population explosion are many, including (but not limited to): Improved medical care, which has greatly reduced child mortality and diminished the impact of traditional “killer” diseases like malaria, dengue and other fevers; The AIDS epidemic, which has killed many older Africans and disproportionately increased the ratio of young to old; Improved nutrition, particularly

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“After Empire” – a doctor reflects on Rhodesia and Africa

Following my series of three articles on Africa last week: Rhodesia and white supremacists Revisiting the Rhodesian War What to do about Africa? I thought it might be useful to provide some additional perspective. Theodore Dalrymple (a pseudonym) is a British doctor who’s traveled extensively in Africa, and (to my mind) understands African culture very well.  He writes about it trenchantly and without any attempt to sugar-coat the bitter pill that is often one’s experience of Africa.  His portrayal of the aftermath of the savage, brutal Liberian civil war, “Monrovia Mon Amour“, is a heartrending look at the destruction of

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What to do about Africa?

Following my article a few days ago about Rhodesia and white supremacists, I received this e-mail from a reader. Feel free to publish my comment, if you like — but please do not publish my name. I think that it is clear from your writings that you oppose the Apartheid approach to the ordering of civil society in Sub-Saharan Africa.  I think that it is also clear that you acknowledge that current conditions in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe (and, perhaps, to a somewhat lesser extent, in South Africa) are simply dreadful  —  for both whites and blacks. What is not clear to me is

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IQ, countries, and coping skills

Readers who’ve been following my series of articles on the current Ebola crisis in Congo will recall that one of the biggest problems is cultural blindness to the seriousness of the problem.  This article sums up the local cultural approach.  The root of the problem is, one’s dealing with a very low local level of average intelligence.  I’m not being racist or discriminatory in the least by saying that;  it’s a scientific, measurable fact.  That lack of intelligence overall makes it very, very difficult to educate the locals into a healthier, more rational approach to the problem. (That doesn’t only apply to

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Challenging conventional wisdom about Special Forces

I’m very interested to see the debate currently going on in the US Marine Corps about its Special Forces component (MARSOC), their contribution to SOCOM, and the mission and future of the Corps itself.  Military.com reports: Dakota Wood, who worked as a strategist at Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command from 2012-2013, released a 60-page report on Thursday titled “Rebuilding America’s Military: The United States Marine Corps.” It was published by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank where Wood serves as senior research fellow for defense programs. Facing relentless operational tempo and ongoing budget woes, the Marine Corps should reevaluate

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