Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Now, it is official

I've been waiting to post a thread on this, because I just wasn't 100% certain extradition was going to happen. Now, it is official:
Former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic has been flown to the Netherlands, where he is to be tried at a UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague.
Glad they found him.

Glad they had the fortitude to arrest him.

Very, very glad that justice may now be done.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day, again.

For Americans, this is the day the living salute the dead.

Some of us get to do this twice a year, but today is for the Yanks.

I'm spending the day with some old friends.


An interesting item by John Miller from a few years back, entirely appropriate to the day... presented here with only this as further comment.


Memorial Day, 2011.

Ich hatt' einen Kameraden...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Abyei burns

It looks like al-Bashir's rump-Sudan isn't waiting for any further possibilities of losing more territory by popular secession:
The Sudanese town of Abyei has been set on fire, with gunmen looting property, the UN says.

The town and surrounding area are claimed by both Khartoum and by South Sudan, set to become independent in July. The town was captured at the weekend by northern troops.
Captured, after what is looking more and more like a Gleiwitz Incident-style excuse for Northern reoccupation.

Then, they turned loose the thugs.
Some 20,000 people, almost the whole population of the town, had fled, aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) told the BBC.
If the North-aligned tribal raiders (mostly Arab Misseriya) have their way about it, there won't be much if anything for the expelled (mostly Dinka Ngok) residents to come back to.

The U.N. mission in Sudan (UNMIS) has issued their customary sternly-worded rebuke.

All the context you need.

So American President B. Obama gave a rather 'important' policy speech last week at the U.S. State Department about all things Middle East...

Conspicuous in its absence was any notable applause, even during pauses in the speech intended for such.

Most of it was a restatement of other pronouncements and some dollar figures on how much support the reformist+military governments in Egypt and Tunisia are in line to get. These things are expensive, after all. (More expensive if we don't, the West drops the ball and lets a one-man/one-vote/one-time Islamist regime form.)

A little bit of it was free anti-totalitarianism. Picking on Qaddafi and Assad is pretty easy stuff these days, after all.

But then, someone let their preferences override good sense and statesmanship...

...and the next day got schooled for saying said nonsense.

This is all the context you need to know to understand how Mr. Obama could say what he said, and why Mr. Netanyahu needed to say what he said in reply.

The pity of it all is that the damage is done.

The only question is when the next war starts.


Personal Note: This author, at roughly the time both photos were taken, went to a university with lots of the type on the right, got spit on by some of them, and elsewhere worked with the type pictured on the left. Based on that experience, I to this day choose to associate with the latter. If that is an editorial bias, so be it. My basement; my rules.


edit: photo link corrected.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Now, send in the *real* tiger!

(Guest Post from an unnamed representative of Forces of Evil Local 7...)

Excellent work, minions...

You've managed to spread confusion through the ranks of the security forces.

When they finally did see through our insidiously clever camouflage scheme, they dismissed it as harmless and cute. They think they will find the owner... in Hampshire... MWAHAHAHA... er, well.

Now to commence the second part of our plan:



SOON we will have the leaders of the Western World all in one place...


If this works, think of the possibilities!

Replacing the American Museum of Natural History Lions...

release them against Turtle Bay...



Editor's note: As we here at CompHyp possess only house cats, no tigers or lions, this post can be safely presumed to be satire. Thank you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


The Honduran case-without-peer of the description "All hat and no cattle" is about to make his return... or will he?

Mel Zelaya is an opportunist, a craven adopter of Chavista thinking, and by a number of measures nuttier than a fruitcake, but he's either an idiot-savant of Central American political survival or an exceptionally well-coached tool of someone else (you can probably guess my choice of those two); He's not going to go back to Honduras unless he can gain by doing so.

Here's a little guidance for political operatives on the side of right in this drama:

If Zelaya does go back to Honduras, what *he* does is of no importance. What those who wish to use his return to go back to dismantling the Constitution do is of paramount importance. Quietly, effectively, and if need be slowly politically isolate those actors... particularly from their support base in Chavez-ALBA-land. It matters not one whit what Zelaya says if no one cares to listen. Which leads to...

Whether he comes back or just sits in self-exile and plays troublemaker, the best way to make him a non-factor is to address the *other* matters that make life hard in Honduras. Number One would be Public Safety, but that comes with all sorts of authoritarian risks; Better to go for some successes on the economic front, or in reforming the bureaucracy (especially at the local level) to give the people something to see that the government has done right. I for one don't care if it is as trite an effort as Japan's "Cool Biz" campaign (which was astoundingly popular if rather simple) or something big; just get something done right your electorate can recognize was a good thing.

If one is really willing to gamble, take a whack at Public Health issues... the first Central American country that comes up with a viable (and reasonably affordable) clinic system to bring baseline health care up to some acceptable standard without getting caught up in the Cuban Doctor scam will have something of real value to be proud of.

So here's your shot, President Lobo. Find a way to make Honduras proud of what it has done, not just of what it once did. Do that, and the history books will only mention Mel Zelaya in passing reference.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Then again...

I confess that of all the possible explanations as to the appalling conduct of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, I hadn't considered this one.

Then again...

...even if it is an absurd claim, it might just get him killed off er... arrested.

Friday, May 13, 2011

60 days...

Why is it that I doubt that...

. the Obama administration will comply with the "60 Days" part of the War Powers Resolution?

.. they care one whit as to gaining any meaningful outcome in Libya other than one accomplished by others?

... Congress will press the matter when the resolution is ignored?

.... even given cause, a case suitable to advance to the Supreme Court regarding the constitutionallity (or lack thereof) of the WPR of 1973 will ever see the light of day?


Friday, May 6, 2011

"if he is not aware of his wife's illegal activities..."

This is something I've mentioned before, here, but there is finally a ruling from the court:
Sheryl Cwele, the wife of South Africa's intelligence minister, has been sentenced to 12 years in jail for drug trafficking.
Of course, there will be an appeal. Don't bet on it changing anything, though; this was a pretty darn tight case.

So, what comes now? The real matter of this is how obviously compromised Siyabonga Cwele is, to the point of not being able to do his job nor of anyone *wanting* him to keep doing it. The opposition has said it best:
Opposition parties have called for Mr Cwele to step down, arguing that if he is not aware of his wife's illegal activities, he should no longer be in charge of the country's intelligence-gathering.

"Either the minister knew about his wife's operation to distribute hard drugs and benefited from it, or he did not know about it, casting aspersions on his competency for the role of minister of state security," opposition Congress of the People spokesman Phillip Dexter said in a statement posted on the Polity.org.za politics portal.
The Zuma administration simply has to recognize this is the case and show him the door. Gently into some retirement-of-opportunity, or simply dumping him; either will do.

Just get him the heck out of any job dealing with Law Enforcement or National Security.


And get a goooood look at his address book before he goes.

Chubu Electric to shut down Hamaoka reactors (Updated)

Well, it's a good call on the part of the authorities...

As reported by The AP, (carrying in part Kyoudou wire service's report) the office of the souri-daijin ('Prime Minister') has called for the closure of all three reactors at the Hamaoka complex in Shizuoka Prefecture (between Toukyou and Nagoya, but closer to Nagoya).

Mainichi Daily News has more, also citing Kyoudou, that states:
(Prime Minister N.) Kan said the nuclear power station lacks medium- to long-term measures for protection against disasters, such as embankments.
That's one part of the issue, for certain. The place is, by reputation, an accident waiting to happen. The 30 year predictive for a major earthquake close by that location approaches unity, for one thing.

Other factors (for closure) include the age of the plant and how deeply unpopular that particular power station is with the local population; they've been trying to get it closed for years...

and other factors (against closing it *now*) include the unpleasant truth that with TouDen (TEPCO) running their reserve power stations full-on and still looking at a massive power shortfall come summer in east Japan, having their closest neighbor drop capacity does not bode well for keeping things running without major black-outs this year... or next year... or the year after that...

If you are in the Natural Gas-fired power station business, and you aren't already in-process to get into the Japan market, get cracking. This is a once-in-decades opportunity to get fast-tracked approval to build or re-build power stations... and we are going to need a bunch, and quickly.



Now the compromise has come out:
Japan urged a power company Friday to suspend all three reactors at a coastal nuclear plant while a seawall and other structures are built to ensure a major earthquake or tsunami does not cause a second radiation crisis.
Bold by me, for emphasis.

Oh brother. Half measures when only full measures are called for. Somebody got the ear of the bureaucrats (again).

I stand by my previous assertion: The only good short term answer is to go an alternate generation route. We'll need more nuclear stations, but the decade+ lead time and the need to build them using the latest design type(s) to ensure cold-failure means building something else for now.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Harper gets his majority

The results are pretty much all in... and it sure looks good. The Tories needed 155 to form a majority and they are all-but-certification to get 167 seats.

There is a new Opposition as well; The NDP is the largest out-party with an expected 102 seats. The Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois are literally non-factors after this (and may stay that way for a while). Here are the highlights, from the Globe and Mail:
The extent of the transformation is startling. The Liberals now hold just four seats west of Guelph, Ont. The Conservatives, formerly shunned by Toronto voters, won nearly half of the seats in that city, twice as many as the Liberals.

The Bloc Québécois, which defined Quebec federal politics for two decades, no longer qualifies for official party status. And Green Party Leader Elizabeth May won the party’s first seat, and the right to a place in the next election’s debates.

Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe lost his seat and resigned. Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff lost his riding. Both defeated leaders were squeezed, like many of their candidates, between growth in Conservative support and Jack Layton’s surging New Democrats.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

One less bad guy (Updated2)

This is the breaking news story of the day, so here's the *FLASH* on it:
Sources said bin Laden was killed by a U.S. bomb a week ago. The U.S. had been waiting for the results of a DNA test to confirm his identity.
UPDATES 1 and 2: Ok, the story is coming out. Not a bomb; shot dead. Not a Pakistani operation; American operators went in. Not last week; Op was authorized last week, went down today. Not in some contested area; in a district only 40 miles outside Islamabad, Pakistan. (some reports cite as far as 70 miles away). There's a lot of confirming evidence out there addressing things that were noticed in the area of the operation. I'll wager that behind the scenes, there's going to be diplomatic hell to pay on this.

h/t Bryan Preston at PJ Tattler for the second update.

Here's The Long War Journal rather matter-of-fact report.

...and allowing for a brief moment of celebration, here's a little music:

Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.

Now, back to work.