Boris Johnson

Blond Ambition: The Rise and Rise of Boris Johnson by Nigel Cawthorne. Boris Johnson, who is a dual UK and US citizen and former mayor of London, is likely to be the next Prime Minister of a shrinking Great Britain. Compared to Donald Trump, they are nothing alike. They do have similar hair. Johnson’s hair is real and unruly while Trump’s is ruly and unreal. Born deaf which was corrected by surgery when he eight years old, Johnson is an educated man. Author of several books and an enthusiast of history, particularly Roman history. He is funny and Trump is not. He is an admirer of Churchill; Trump admires himself. He recognizes the importance of immigrants while Trump does not.

Johnson once said, “My chances of being PM* are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive.”

If Johnson is not elected Prime Minister, the likely successful candidate is Home Secretary Theresa May.

*Prime Minister

Afghan assets

The US expects Afghanistan to police itself with an army and police force costing $10 billion per year, yet the revenues of the government are only $2 billion per year. Will foreign aid, principally from the US, make up the difference? Doubtful. Afghanistan’s principal source of revenue today is heroin. Afghanistan is a mineral rich country and someday it may become a wealthy country when those minerals are developed and available to the rest of the world. Afghanistan has a very large supply of lithium ore, essential in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries.

Why are we fighting in Afghanistan?

From The Untold History of the United States By Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick.

“He explained that the United States and its allies had invaded Afghanistan because it had provided sanctuary for Al-Qaeda which was responsible for 9/11. He forgot to mention at least three crucial facts. First, only fifty to one hundred of Al-Qaeda’s worldwide total of 300 cadre were actually in Afghanistan, while the rest of its badly degraded force operated out of Pakistan and received most of its support from citizens of U.S.-backed regimes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates. Second, Taliban leader Mullah Omar had actually opposed the 9/11 attack against U.S. targets. According to the official report of the 9/11 Commission, ‘As final preparations were under way during the summer of 2001, dissent emerged among al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan over whether to proceed. The Taliban’s chief, Mullah Omar, opposed attacking the United States. Although facing opposition from many of his senior lieutenants, bin Laden effectively overruled their objections, and the attacks went forward.’ And, third, terrorists didn’t need a safe haven replete with training camps to conduct clandestine operations. As Paul Pillar, the former deputy chief of the CIA’s counterterrorism center, pointed out, ‘the operations most important to future terrorist attacks do not need such a home, and few recruits are required for even very deadly terrorism. Consider: The preparations most important to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks took place not in training camps in Afghanistan but, rather, in apartments in Germany, hotel rooms in Spain and flight schools in the United States.'”

The US has not attacked the countries supporting al-Qaeda nor Germany, Spain or the US flight schools.

Collateral damage part 2

Estimates of collateral damage from US air and drone strikes vary widely, but one of the lowest ones I have seen recently was 15. We kill 15 innocents for every terrorist that we kill. Think about that for a while. Every one of those 15 have friends and family who will mourn them. Say that totals 100 people who knew/loved the deceased. Out of those 100 mourners, two or more decide to seek revenge for the death of the loved one. That means we create two or more terrorists for every one we kill. Kill 1000 terrorists and create 2000 or more. That is no way to win the war on terror. We cannot kill away the problem of terror, which is a tactic that the weak use to confront the strong. We must seek other means to defeat terrorism. Makes sense to me.

“Rods from God”

“Rods from God” is a nickname for a type of kinetic weapon that lacks a warhead and kills or damages using kinetic energy instead. Small, less than two inches in length, metal slugs were used during WW2, Korea and Vietnam to kill enemy soldiers. They were dropped from airplanes and killed by striking vertically after developing a high rate of descent. “Rods from God” proposes putting satellites into orbit and arming them with tungsten rods that could be fired at targets on earth and destroying them without using conventional or nuclear warheads. The proposed rods would be 20-30 feet long and 1-2 feet in diameter.