Qassem Soleimani

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by nosborne48, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    The USAF just moved some B-52s out of Qatar to Diego Garcia. Interesting; Are they anticipating an attack on the Qatar base? Are they worried that Qatar might be upset with the assassination and might ask us to reduce our presence at Al Udeid ? Or is it just a routine rotation? How about it, Capt. Douglas?

    I'm thinking that the B-52 might prove very useful in a bombing campaign against the interior of Iran. Maybe the planes are being sent to safety against that day. I hope not.

    Amazing...those planes are still flying for the Air Force. They are slightly older than I am. But like the DC-3 (for which it is said that the only substitute is another DC-3), there has never been another airplane that does what the B-52 does as well as the B-52 does it.
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It appears the government is unable to support their original contention that an attack was imminent, and that killing him would prevent it. That makes his killing an assassination and a crime. Plus it was a really stupid idea.

    The Middle East is not improving under this administration.
    Stanislav, Neuhaus and SteveFoerster like this.
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I have no idea what their operational objective is in moving those aircraft. But seeing that they have a global strike capability, I suspect it's primarily for show. Your theory about being defensive also sounds plausible.

    The planes aren't as old as you think. The original airframe design is from the 1950s, but it has been modified and updated over the years. (The last B-52H was manufactured in 1962.) The planes receive constant maintenance and refurbishing. The electronics and avionics, of course, are state-of-the art.

    The B-52 was originally designed for high-level nuclear bombing. It acquired a conventional mission as the nuclear threat from the Soviet Union tapered off, so it does a lot of low-level flying now. The B-1 was scrapped by Carter for this reason--it was a nuclear strike aircraft and really doesn't do the conventional bombing thing very well. The B-2 is also a nuclear strike weapon and just too expensive to fly.

    I like the "BUF" (look it up).
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Well, the good news is that there's no danger of that....
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Even so, it's amazing that the B-52 has been in service for 65 years -- a longer duration than from the Wright Brothers' first flight to the first flight of a B-52. And the USAF intends to keep flying them until at least 2045!
  6. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I don't think it will be at all shocking to see what sort of pardons will be issued on President Trump's final days in office. He's already told people to break whatever laws necessary to build the border wall and he would pardon them.

    Aside from things in the Middle East not improving, these are all very serious things for our place in the world as well. The U.S. has a global military network and some of the countries where we have these bases may not be as thrilled to be participants in war crimes. Just because we refuse to accept the jurisdiction of the ICC does not mean that Italy, the UK, Germany et al are willing to do the same.

    I realize that this is all very good news for those who are currently listening to The Angry American by Toby Keith and cleaning a rifle they don't know how to use properly while pleasuring themselves to John Wayne movies, but I feel this is the beginning of a very serious blow to our international reach.

    Empires don't last forever. Ours is no different.
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    As my wife, Paula, has said over these past three years, "This is the decline of our nation."
  8. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Six have just been sent to Diego Garcia, but I believe that those came from Barksdale in Louisiana. It was officially announced that the six B-52s would be available for use against Iran if necessary. I haven't heard about B-52s leaving Qatar, but the Central Command refuses to comment on aircraft movements in its area. (That's why the announcement of the deployment of the Barksdale buffs was unusual, obviously intended as a message to Tehran.)

    Each one can carry 20 Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missiles, a small cruise missile with a 1/2 ton penetrator warhead, precision guidance and about a 600 mile range. Use of these allows the huge, lumbering and defiantly unstealthy "buffs" from getting too close to highly defended airspace. A single sortie of a mere six buffs could put out a swarm of 120 little unmanned attack aircraft.

    They are a deterrent.

    If you look at your map, you will see that a 600 mile range standoff weapon can reach most of Iran from around the periphery without the manned bomber having to enter Iranian airspace at all and risk being shot down.

    And I think that we can be confident that the Navy has plenty of longer range Tomahawks in the vicinity too.

    They aren't fast or maneuverable, and they most definitely aren't stealthy, but they have the advantage of carrying a huge payload in their lumbering way. That makes them the go-to aircraft in many situations. They aren't good penetrators any longer when they are facing highly defended airspace, but they have long carried (since the Cold War) standoff munitions to reduce their vulnerabilities.
  9. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    can't resist

  10. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Lots of reports in the news this morning that seem to be leaning towards that theory. The Ukrainians say that it's one of the leading hypotheses that they are looking at. The US is saying that they suspect that's what happened. The British seem to be leaning that way.

    The Ukrainian airliner never made an emergency call. Its radar transponder abruptly stopped. It appears to have fragmented in the air and fell as flaming fuel and small metal fragments. A former chief investigator from the FAA says that mechanical problems with engines or whatever just don't make aircraft come apart in the air like that. It suggests some kind of powerful explosive.

    There are reports circulating out there that, first off, the US has satellite evidence that seems to show that two surface to air missiles launched soon after the airliner took off. (CBS News is reporting this.) And there are reports floating around that fragments of a Russian made Tor antiaircraft missile have been found along with the airliner fragments. (Apparently a local took cell phone photos of what he/she thought was an airplane part that fell in the garden, and posted photos on the internet. The object has been identified as the guidance package of a Tor missile.)
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
  11. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    John Wayne movies? Seriously?;)
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The simplest explanation, the one requiring the fewest assumptions, is that the Iranians accidentally shot it down. But so many questions remain:

    • It was an aircraft taking off from THEIR territory. How could they mistake it?
    • Why was the aircraft taking off after the events that unfolded hours earlier?
    • Why was the airport even open at all?
    The Iranians would do well to own up to this as quickly as possible, assuming they did it. The longer they equivocate or cover up, the more it will look like something else besides an accident. (Countered by the fact that quite a few Iranians were on board.)
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    BUF, not buff. It's an acronym. It stands for Big"Fellow." Yeah, "Fellow." That's pretty close.
  14. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Let’s hijack this thread to purport a proposition: That esoteric abbreviations be outlawed at DI. I know, it will never happen, but it’s a good chance to point out the problem.

    To wit, let’s take Rich’s use of “BUF.” If you Google “BUF,” you get among other things:
    • Buffer
    • Buffalo-Depew Amtrak Station
    • Buffalo International Airport
    • British Union of Facists
    • Bellingham (WA) Unitarian Fellowship
    • Back-Up Facility
    • Bandwidth Utilization Factor
    • Big Ugly Fella (Polite Form of the B-52 bomber, presumably the definition Rich intended)
    But if you search “BUF Plane,” you also get the Brewster F2A Buffalo, a WWII fighter plane, which would also fit the context of this thread.

    I have recently noticed a multitude of school abbreviations here on DI and have wondered what the hell they mean. The most common at this point is “DSU,” and I actually had to look that one up – who would normally know that it’s Dakota State University?

    Then there was the recent appearance of “NAU.” Which, as everyone knows, is the Naval Aeronautical University. No, I’m bullshitting you – it’s actually Northern Arizona University. Then, of course, there’s FHSU, which DI regulars do know – but newbies never would know that. In fact, said newbies wouldn’t even know the most common school abbreviations that you see on DI – TESU and COSC. Indeed, these habits end up excluding newbies, and while I think most newbies are dumb-asses, I have no desire to exclude them.

    Not to mention the ongoing confusion our more experienced idiots cause when they abbreviate UOP – does it mean University of Phoenix or University of the People? Or that old stalwart, University of Pennsylvania?

    Ditto OU, which is commonly used for Ohio University, the University of Oklahoma (yes, they use OU rather than UO), University of Oregon, etc. Yet one person used it recently on this forum and was referring to Open University in England.

    Why do people abbreviate here so much? For a few reasons – first, because they’re lazy asses. Second, because we live in a mindless Twitter culture in which tweets and texts are limited to 140 characters. Third, because most idiots don’t know how to spell anyway.

    A few years ago, I referred to then-TESC as “Edison.” Some imbecilic twerp tried to call me on bullshit but for leaving off the “Thomas,” But fortunately, I had been to Edison many times. I could actually cite the street signs in downtown Trenton, NJ, directing people to “Edison State College” rather than “Thomas Edison State College.”

    One final note . . . You may have noticed in another thread that I now refer to the Big Four, not the Big Three anymore. That’s because WGU has more than earned its place on the list based on both its pedigree and its enrollment numbers. I have decided that Big Four should be the new norm. I made that decision because I am an expert, and most of you are not. What, you disagree? Ask me if I give an FF. (Flying f…)

    And yes, I am well aware that I’m breaking my own principle by using abbreviations in this post such as DI, TESC, and WGU without explaining them. Tough noogies.

    So if y’all are determined to cause confusion by using abbreviation that no one knows, all I can ask is . . . WTF???
  15. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    "Buffs" is what everyone in the United States Air Force calls B-52's. Officially they've been "Stratofortresses" since the 1950's, but nobody ever calls them that.

    In the Air Force, B-1's are "Bones", for obvious reasons. (Just spell out 'B-1')
  16. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Ukraine should have issued a no-fly warning and grounded its flights in that region, just like others issued such warnings.
    Iran just fired missiles a few hours prior to the Ukranian flight taking off.
    What if the US retaliates while they are taking off? And also as we now suspect that one of the Iranian defense systems radar locked on and downed the Ukrainian flight.
    At a time like these flights should have been grounded.
    US next target could be the reactors in Iran, the President stated that he will not allow Iran getting nukes. Just a thought.
    It appears that the next Iranian move may trigger a response.
    Also, Ayatulas don't want to lose their power and riches so there is a reason for measured first strike and possibly missing targets. Al do Iran claims many soldiers were killed by their attack and those bodies are hidden. Ayatullah saving face in order to politically survive?
  17. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Presumably civil air traffic control knew about it. It was still climbing out of the airport when it was destroyed. If the military air defenses weren't aware of its departure, it shows very bad coordination. It doesn't help that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps operates independently of the regular military. We still don't know precisely who in Iran fired the SAMs, assuming that's what happened. But there's likely lots of inter-service rivalries and one hand not knowing that the other is doing stuff here.

    One would think that if the airline knew that armed hostilities threatened to break out at any moment, they would have postponed/canceled their flight. I wonder how many other airlines were flying normal commercial flights in and out of Tehran at that time? The Ukrainian airline seems to bear some responsibility.


    Pretty much the rest of the world was putting precautionary civil aviation restrictions on the whole region (Iraq and the Persian Gulf as well as Iran), and I'd guess that Iran was trying to look defiant. No, you aren't going to shut us down. But nobody told the missile-men, whoever they were. (Again, assuming that's what happened.)

    Another one: Wouldn't we expect Iranian military and government aircraft to be operating in Tehran's skies? The missile-men couldn't have just been given shoot on sight orders. There had to be some IFF procedure that seems to have failed miserably.
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    "Buff" is how it's pronounced. But because it is an acronym for another term, it is spelled out "BUF."

    I've never heard the B-1 called a "Bone." But, hey, I've only been in the Air Force for 42 years (active, reserve, and retired). I certainly don't know everything, or even most things.
  19. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Well fellow (former) Wyoming Valley dweller, I believe we had a lengthy discussion in years past about the nuance of the abbreviation of "Penn" referring to schools while in Pennsylvania.

    Good times.

    I try to limit my abbreviations to times after the school has been mentioned in full. And Phoenix I believe I mostly refer to as UPhoenix.

    Of course, it all makes me recall an occasion in the USN when my LPO sent me TAD to this NAS OCONUS. See, we had a PR travel with us but he went UA and got an NJP where the CO handed him 30/30 on restriction in the TPU with the MAA. Got off easy as if they had sent him up for a GCM he was looking at a BCD.
  20. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    In the Cold War Navy of the late '60s-early '70s, the big ceramic lawn ornaments folks would (inexplicably) bring back from Thailand were called BUFFEs, pronounced "Buffie", Big Ugly Fat (effing) Elephant. Along with Monkey Puzzle Trees, very good cameras, and unbelievable quantities of Japanese Noritake china, the BUFFE was a clear cultural marker of the West Coast Sailor. I brought home a beautiful free standing butcher block of Philippine mahogany which promptly and nearly fatally cracked in our arid Southwest desert air. I'd have done better with BUFFE.

    The WWII Pacific vets I knew in my childhood sometimes brought home shrunken heads. These, real or not, were inevitably relegated to the garage.

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