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Boeman

Russian Tanks Invade Georgia

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Wow, the news coverage on this war sucks. In the grand scheme of things, this little conflict is way more important than last years Israeli war with the Hezzies, yet no good coverage!

And wouldn't you think the folks at CNN or BBC would get a heads up for these kinds of wars?

Predictions, anyone? My guess is Russia will occupy all of Georgia and screw around with the pipeline.

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Predictions, anyone? My guess is Russia will occupy all of Georgia and screw around with the pipeline.

That's kind of what I've been thinking too. On the other hand, maybe this is just a message to the Georgians: "Don't try to screw around with us or we'll get really rough."

Michael

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I doubt they were supplied by us.

It's just military fashion. ... It's not unlike when the US Army had spiked helmets in the 1880s. They had looked at the outcome of the Franco-Prussian War and concluded "it's gotta be the helmets."

I recall hearing a theory a while ago about victorious forces appropriating the headdress of their defeated enemies as an in-your-face kind of thing. I suppose it's a more socially acceptable version of eating their hearts and/or brains.

Though ... I've never quite got that whole eat-their-heart/brain thing. I mean, you just beat them, big time. Eating their innards - and absorbing their spirit - is going to make you weaker :confused:

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The Georgian President was on CNN today, AFTER coverage of John Edwards' infidelity, of course. The media knows what is important, after all.

The President seemed pretty cool to me, not panicky OH MY GOD THE RUSSIANS ARE GOING TO CONQUER MY COUNTRY in any way. It looks to me, and I suspect he knows, that this is a limited conflict concerning two areas of the country and some pocket population of Russian loyalists/seperatists. Based on what I see on TV, this doesn't look like an all out blitz to wipe Georgia off the map.

This looks like an Israeli incursion into Lebanon type of thing to me, and I suspect it will blow over soon.

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I recall hearing a theory a while ago about victorious forces appropriating the headdress of their defeated enemies as an in-your-face kind of thing.

Yeah, I don't know when or where it got started, but I think the tradition was well under way by the time of the Napoleonic wars.

I suppose it's a more socially acceptable version of eating their hearts and/or brains.

Interesting thought. I think it's more directly derived from appropriating a defeated enemy's arms though.

Though ... I've never quite got that whole eat-their-heart/brain thing. I mean, you just beat them, big time. Eating their innards - and absorbing their spirit - is going to make you weaker :confused:

Yeah, that one puzzled me too. Seems like eating a defeated enemy is just doing them a favor. Stealing their weaponry makes a lot of sense though.

Michael

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I'm scratching my head over the fact that the Russians bombed Grozny into the stome age to stop them breaking away, but when someone wants to break away from somewhere else, they pull out all the stops in support. That's the Caucasus.

Background from the War Nerd http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=7426&IBLOCK_ID=35&phrase_id=12412&PAGE=1

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According Nash's game, "F**k You Buddy", order is only possible when th motives for wars/everyday life are selfish. So, if Russia truly invaded Georgia because of some 50,000 recent Russian passport holders, then mathematically, more chaos is ahead of us. Hopefully, Russia invaded because of the pipeline in Georgia or some other selfish reason. If not, then more trouble?

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According to its own crawl, CNN had a news crew at the Georgian airfield the Russians bombed. Said crew was 500 meters away from the impact zone. For calibration, my brother, George, now retired from the U.S. Army, said that hostile 120mm mortar fire in Iraq landing a kilometer away was pretty scary and rough on the body, so would imagine the news team probably needs new underwear and will need about a week to get the adrenaline levels back down.

A close friend told me the U.S. ambassador tried to lecture the Russian ambassador on the wrongness of invading a country without provocation, only to be pointedly told, given some of our actions, he had no leg to stand on. I therefore wouldn't count on any swift crisis resolution via moral example.

In other news, we've learned that the Georgians are flying Israeli built Hermes 450 UAVs. There is a very good article on this in the Moscow Defense Brief.

http://mdb.cast.ru/mdb/2-2008/item2/article3/

This article also raises some worthwhile technical issues regarding the whole UAV that filmed its killer scenario awhile back over Abkhazia.

Regards,

John Kettler

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It raises no worthwhile technical issues at all - it is is dismissive without evidence, and is just plain wrong about the real time video issue (for those not bothered to read the article it says that detailed pics are only stored on board and only low res ones are sent due to bandwidth issues....which possibly says something about the state of Russian UAVs...)

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Stalin's Organist,

I've been out of the military aerospace field since late June of 1989, but the way data linked imagery used to work, given the very real storage, processing and transmission issues of the period, was that hi-res stuff was stored on, say, an RF-4C for processing upon landing, but a low-res signal went out via real time data link. What I've seen lately indicates the situation's improved markedly, but hanging avionics on a smallish UAV is an entirely different issue than the relatively unlimited space, weight and power available on the recon plane. This might account for the apparent discrepancy. Here's the Hermes 450. Note URL surgery.

http://www.israeli-weapons. /weapons/aircraft/uav/hermes_450/Hermes_450.html

Observe how this site it has a big, crisp, clear vid of the Abkhazia shootdown, from which I deduce the Georgian Hermes 450s are sporting the Compass payload (see payload box) or similar. Am also wondering whether the UAV's operators may've gotten cueing to look in the direction of the MiG-29. In any event, it's clear whatever hit the UAV shattered it utterly. I found the evidence of the shootdown credible at the time, though I wasn't at all happy with the poor vid quality I had to work from. That said, we have now reached a level of widespread technical sophistication in which, given enough resources and time, just about anything visual can be faked, though I'm told it's much harder to do with an object in motion than in a single still.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Yeah, that one puzzled me too. Seems like eating a defeated enemy is just doing them a favor. Stealing their weaponry makes a lot of sense though.

Michael

It isn't unknown for hunter gatherer types to catch an animal and eat the organs, leaving the muscles for the sands of time/bugs/cold, cold ground/dirt.

Lovely saturated fat laced organ meat, that is the good stuff.

Oh sacred culture, or just god damn biology again.

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Without wanting to give a blanket anthropological answer, the main hook is that you are eating the soul of an enemy warrior. He might have lost, but he was still brave enough to face you. You don't eat the organs of his womenfolk or children.

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Yeah, I don't know when or where it got started, but I think the tradition was well under way by the time of the Napoleonic wars.

Interesting thought. I think it's more directly derived from appropriating a defeated enemy's arms though.

Yeah, that one puzzled me too. Seems like eating a defeated enemy is just doing them a favor. Stealing their weaponry makes a lot of sense though.

In an attempt to unite the two skeins of this thread:

The origin of the word "trophy" comes from the ancient Greek military tradition of the winner of a battle creating a monument on the battlefield out of the defeated enemy's armor and weapons. Derived from the word "Tropaion", from the verb "trope" (to rout). Things haven't changed that much.

And:

Ukraine is practically the only CIS country to openly back Georgia demanding that Russia immediately withdraw its troops from the territory of Georgia. Yesterday Kiev threatened to block the returning of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet to Sevastopol in case the ships take part in a sea blockade of Georgia.

I wonder how far the Hunkies are really willing to go to support their pals in Tiblisi? And what is the US doing --- besides the hypocritical rebuke from our ambassador, that is. We going to leave another East European semi-ally hanging in the event of a Russian invasion? Not like there isn't a precedent...

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One thing is for sure, is that it is going to be interesting to see how this all came about.

If Saakashvili expected a measured and restrained response from Putin, he must have been smoking something.

The entire affair looks like there was no preparation done from the Georgian side (example: emergency pullout of troops from Iraq).

From the Russian side, there is nothing but atrocity and genocide stories, and there appears to be an orchestrated propaganda effort underway (I got a rare chuckle from that War Nerd article where he talks about where he was told to be sympathetic to the Russians, and his last paragraph was surely put there to pass some sort of censorial muster.)

Did Saakashvili and Georgia simply "step in it"? No doubt Russia has been provoking them recently, but are the Georgians that stupid to think that they could wrest these disputed areas away from the Russians by force? I am not sure I can buy that on the face of it.

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Georgia is like the Czechs in 1938 - with no land border to it's desired aly NATO it's out there hanging and there's nothign anyone can physically do to stop Russia doing what it wants short of declaring war and sending in the nukes.

there's plenty of hypocrisy from all sides on this one:

Kossovo - "West" backs small area wanting independance, russia opposes it

Chechenya - Russia opposes small area wanting independance

Ossetia & Abkhazia - exactly the opposite from both "sides"

Basically national status/relations are still operating from the basis of the Treaty of Westphalia 1648, and there's nothing much in it or derived from it over the last 360 years that covers the situation of small "pocket" entities that want to split from larger ones.

JK the Hermes is not a small aeroplane - it is described as a "medium" UAV, and it's wingspan of 10.5 metres is 2 feet short of that of a Spitfre V! It has a 150kg payload - which is plenty for satelite communications with essentially unlimted bandwidth as mentioned in the article I linked to. Indeed the communications hardware is completely independant of teh platform as long as there's room for an aerial - hand launched UAV's have satelite links these days!

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I've been out of the military aerospace field since late June of 1989, but the way data linked imagery used to work, ...

OMFG. No wonder you are so far off the park with your pronouncements.

Technology has moved on quite a bit in the last two decades. There's that whole interweb thingy, as well as mass miniturisation. In 1989 a reasonably spec'd notebook was an Intel 80C286 processor running at 12 MHz running MS DOS 3.31. Internal RAM of 640 KB, a 3.5" floppy, a 40 MB hard drive, and no network capability. An LCD display with CGA compatibility, 640 x 200 resolution in four shades of gray. Weight around 2.8 kg.

Now a notebook comes with Dual-Core processor running Windows Vista at 2.0GHz. 2GB of RAM, DVD R/W drive, 200GB drive, and extensive native networking support. A 1280 x 800 screen with millions of colours, all of it weighing around 1.4kg, and costs about 1/10th of the price.

That scale of advance is standard across the board for all fields of IT and T over that period. Technology always gets better. Over two decades it gets incomparably better. Your technical knowledge and experience might have been cutting edge in 1989 - though frankly I have my doubts - but now it's worthless as anything other than a historical circus sideshow.

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Without wanting to give a blanket anthropological answer, the main hook is that you are eating the soul of an enemy warrior. He might have lost, but he was still brave enough to face you. You don't eat the organs of his womenfolk or children.

I should also add that it's kind of a zero sum game. I could go out now and rob a poor person of everythng they had. I wouldn't get much money off them, but I'd still have MORE money than when I started the exercise.

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OMFG. No wonder you are so far off the park with your pronouncements.

Technology has moved on quite a bit in the last two decades...

Moore's Law - I wonder if he knows that one.

"[faking images]I'm told it's much harder to do with an object in motion than in a single still."

And, why?

Well, moving film is a collection of stills, so you'd have to doctor each frame. Fuzzing it up helps.

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