Saturday, September 16, 2017

VOTING ADVICE FOR GERMANS.

Via Pressefreiheit 24:





"AN DAS DEUTSCHE VOLK!

Am 24. September geht es um die Zukunft Eurer Kinder, es geht um die Zukunft Eurer Kultur, und es geht um die Zukunft Eures Vaterlandes!

Schaltet Fernseher und Radio aus! Geht durch Eure Innenstädte, ignoriert Wahlplakate und die Stände der Parteien. Schaut Euch stattdessen Eure Stadt an, den Bahnhof, die Schulen, die Kinderspielplätze und die Strassen.

Dann überlegt wer seit Jahren regiert, benutzt Euren Verstand und entscheidet Euch für eine Zukunft, in der Unsere Kinder in Frieden aufwachsen können."



MFBB.

Friday, September 15, 2017

15 SEPTEMBER 1950: THE LANDINGS AT INCHON, KOREA.

It was called Operation Chromite, and in the blink of an eye, the landings changed the fortunes of the South Koreans and their allies. Last year, the South Koreans made a movie about it:





Apparently, the West does not have the monoply on leftist moonbats, as we learn from this article by Michael Fahy over at American Thinker:



"Crackling radio reports early on September 15, 1950 picked up via staticky shortwave radio told Americans of the unexpected, unbelievably high-risk Invasion of Inchon by our armed forces, led by five-star general Douglas MacArthur. That turnaround in the Korean War was the best life-saving military news since five years past, when two A-bombs ended World War II.

In the months before Inchon, American Marines and soldiers had been electrocuted on barbwire, tortured, and pushed south to land's end by the evil forces of Communist North Korea. All but a tiny foothold of South Korea had fallen to the enemy. After winning a war fought on six continents and seven seas, America was being humiliated on that small Korean peninsula. That world in which Americans lived changed on the day of MacArthur's highly successful invasion.

The brilliantly conceived Invasion of Inchon by MacArthur 67 years ago is considered one of the greatest operations in military history. Seoul was liberated ten days after MacArthur's landing and is now among the world's leading cities. The vibrant economy built by free South Koreans would not exist if MacArthur's Inchon invasion had failed."

....


"Today, Douglas MacArthur's bronze statue, ten feet tall atop an 18-foot base, stands high above the invasion site in Inchon's Freedom Park. Statues of men are erected to show gratitude for accomplishments and courageous achievements. In a larger sense, we build statues to leave for posterity so that our great, great grandchildren will forever know of this man, his deed, and this time in which we have lived.

If today you are a college student, your grandfather will tell you that South Korea is free and prosperous because Douglas MacArthur, his officers, and his men saved South Korea from the malignant communism that still enslaves the people's cousins in North Korea. But your professor will tell you that the MacArthur statue at Inchon must be torn down by a mob because Douglas MacArthur was a war criminal who prevented the "peaceful" reunification of North Korea with South Korea. "His statue is a symbol of war. It must be torn down," says Lee Kwang-ho, assistant director-general of the Inchon Sociality for Peace and Participation. A police guard protects the MacArthur statue from professors and their students, organized by the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions. The most violent of several attempts to topple the tall statue failed when thousands of Inchon residents and police protected the monument in 2005."



MFBB.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

RECOMMENDED VIDEOS: MODERN EDUCAYSHUN.




Hat tip Richard Pera over at CDR Salamander.



MFBB.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

SATURDAY NIGHT WIM MERTENS, HANS ZIMMER.

First Wim Mertens with Struggle for Pleasure. From the soundtrack of the 1987 movie The Belly of an Architect.





Wim Mertens is a Belgian/Flemish composer, pianist, guitarist and musicologist, who did the soundtrack for this film drama by Peter Greenaway. In The Belly of an Architect, Brian Dennehy - who I first got to know as the ruthless sheriff in the 1982 Rambo: First Blood movie - plays Stourley Kracklite, an architect whose physical decline throughout the movie is a metaphor for the gradually diminishing stature of an 18th century visionary French architect by the name of Etienne-Louis Boullée. Very few of Boullées low-key designs have survived to this day, and none of his grandiose, even megalomaniac projects were actually built. But both in his own times and in the twentieth century, when he was rediscovered, he exerted a considerable influence.



Hans Zimmer with Supermarine, from the soundtrack of this year's blockbuster movie Dunkirk, but applied to shots from the epic 1969 movie The Battle of Britain, starring a.o. Michael Caine.





After The Dark Knight, Inception, and Interstellar, another fruitful collaboration between two immensely gifted professionals.


Goede nacht. For those living in the area to be visited by Irma - or those living in other areas afflicted by atrocious weather, think Nepal, India, or Sierra Leone - I can only offer my prayers. Stay strong.


MFBB.

HOW TO IDENTIFY A RACIST.

Easy as pie, not?




Leftism is a mental disorder.



MFBB.

Friday, September 08, 2017

RECOMMENDED VIDEO: PAT CONDELL'S "EUROPE IS KILLING ITSELF BY IMPORTING ISLAM."

Pat Condell's latest video:





Hat tip Gates of Vienna.


MFBB.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

RECOMMENDED READS: MARK STEYN'S "DREAMS, DELUSIONS AND DUPLICITY".

Best read on why DACA should be repealed comes imho from, who else, Mark Steyn:


"Readers will know I strongly dislike the contemporary habit of acronymic legislation: The "DREAM Act" is, more precisely, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. The Tea Act that so excited His Majesty's subjects in British North America was, in fact, called "An act to allow a drawback of the duties of customs on the exportation of tea or oil to any of his Majesty's colonies or plantations in America; to increase the deposit on bohea tea to be sold at the East India Company's sales; and to empower the Commissioners of the Treasury to grant licenses to the East India Company to export tea duty-free". If only Lord North had thought to call it the TASTY Act (Telling Americans we're Still Taxing You), the whole unpleasantness of the Boston Tea Party and subsequent events might have been avoided.

But the DREAM Act is not merely an example of fatuous aconyms. It also demonstrates the larger point I've made over the years - of how culture trumps politics. The DREAM Act bombed as politics, but the stupid name took hold in the culture - to whit:

DREAMers Like Me Have Flourished Under DACA. Trump Might Take It All Away

...and a zillion other headlines: "The Dreamers Are Ready to Fight President Trump." "This Dreamer Is Ready to Go to the Army. Will Trump Let Him?" "Congress, It's Up to You to Protect the Dreamers." Etc.

So we have gone from "illegal aliens" to "undocumented workers" to "Dreamers". And Republican voters wonder why they never win anything. Sixty years ago, the US Government was happy to call its "comprehensive immigration reform" plans "Operation Wetback", and President Eisenhower was willing to use the term in public. Now we expect jelly-spined finger-in-the-windy legislators to stand firm against "Dreamers". Yeah, right. As for Europe, if Chancellor Merkel and the EU start calling their legions of sturdy young Muslim "refugees" Dreamers, it's game over."






...


"Imagine one billion inhabitants [of the developing world], imagine they all move north.

I ran his math:

A billion man march, eh? The population of the developed world - North America, the European Union, Japan, Oz, NZ - is about a billion. Of the remaining six billion people around the planet, is it really so absurd to think that one-sixth of them would "move north" if they could?

As we had cause to reflect on Labor Day, no developed nation in the year 2017 needs mass immigration. To judge from the press coverage, the average DACA beneficiary is a twelve-year-old beatific moppet. In fact, Obama amnestied those aged 30 and under in 2012 - which means some of them are 36 now, which means (given that they're either undocumented or using fraudulent documents) some of these dreaming moppets are in their forties. No matter. Those who aren't telegenic infants are, we're assured, serving in the US Army or helping with Harvey relief. As Tucker Carlson scoffed last night, the proportion of Dreamers serving in the military is tiny. And as a statistic it might be more useful if we could compare it to the number of Dreamers serving in, say, MS-13...

Yet Orrin Hatch assures us that Dreamers have to be "of good character". And DACA supposedly requires that a Dreamer...

.. has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety."


...


"And, of course, the minute Dreamers become legal, chain migration will take care of the rest, including their parents, who broke the law in the first place - because, despite the assurances, no one will check that, either.

Nevertheless, in the eyes of the American people, and certainly their media, a Dreamer is a class valedictorian about to sign up for a tour in Afghanistan. So good luck to any Republican legislator minded to argue against that. Thus the power of a single word to frame the issue: "Illegal aliens" are lawbreakers who should face the consequences. But Dreamers are an identity group, like the transgendered or gays or African-Americans: it's as innate as biology or orientation; why blame them?

Perhaps the most depressing aspect of the last 24 hours is the way it has utterly upended the extraordinary events of summer 2015, when Donald Trump did something truly radical for a candidate of either party: He talked about the problem of immigration policy not from the perspective of the Dreamers but of those on the receiving end of their dreams. Back then, several members of the current Trump Administration were outraged by this. In an unprecedented move, Nikki Haley used the official Republican response to the State of the Union to attack not President Obama but candidate Trump and those foolish enough to "follow the siren call of the angriest voices". As I responded:


~ Unfortunately for her, this sentimentalist twaddle is not where the Republican base is. She's looking at immigration policy from the point of view of the seven billion hard-working soon-to-be-vetted Americans-in-waiting around the planet. But one of the changes this election season is that the party base is considering immigration policy from the point of view of the 300 million Americans who are already here.


That was the extraordinary transformation Donald Trump effected two summers ago. Now we're back to all the usual "sentimentalist twaddle" - "hard-working", "family values", "living in the shadows" and (from delusional Republicans) "natural conservatives".



"To be sure, Republicans are still prepared to criticize Obama for his chosen method of immigration "reform" - via executive order, or, as George III would have called it, Royal Proclamation. "We can't burn the Constitution just to do what you want," Sean Hannity told Jorge Ramos on Fox last night.

But why not? We're burning everything else, as one act of illegality leads on to another, and another: The unlawful entry of millions of unskilled immigrants has led to the unlawful corruption of state databases that implicitly accept the use of stolen Social Security numbers, and the unlawful issuance of drivers' licenses by multiple states to non-legal residents, and the unlawful creation of "sanctuary cities" premised on the nullification of US immigration law, and now even the proposed repeal by certain municipalities of the defining privilege of citizenship in free societies - by the introduction of voting rights for non-citizens. Why should the separation of powers be quaintly adhered to when nothing else is?"



...


"The left is quite explicit: Borders are fascist and racist, and thus the organizing principle of the world for the last four centuries - the nation state - is an illegitimate concept. The globalist establishment is not that upfront about it: they're more of the view, publicly, that the nation state is an obsolescent and increasingly irrelevant concept. This is, in fact, "burning the Constitution", and even the very concept of constitutions, and of the Peace of Westphalia - for the two most fundamental aspects of any state are borders and citizenship. If there are no borders, there are no citizens, only competing tribes of identity politics - like Dreamers. And, if , as his name surely suggests, a Dreamer trumps a citizen, and if anyone on the planet is a potential American, then American citizenship is objectively worthless."




At the end of the day, the very fact that there are such large numbers of 'DREAMers' in the country that's the vanguard of the developed world is in itself a sign that the developing countries have failed BIG TIME. I don't feel the slightest inclination to move to Nouakchott or Mogadishu or Sanaa because it SUCKS over there. I am happy to live here, in an as yet somehow democratic state and an environment that is the fruit of unfathomable blood sacrifices with an infrastructure and a heritage that are the result of an frenzied labor effort, technological excellence, and dedication. Sure enough, we have our fair share of lazybones and profiteers and it may, and I fear will, all go to bust in the foreseeable future, but for now "the centre is still somewhat holding."

Now, Europe is confronted by legions of people fleeing hellholes in Africa and the muslim world. The former have post-colonialism now had 60 years plus to get their house in order, and still there are very few hopeful signs from that continent. The latter have had 1,400 years and only those lucky enough to sit with their butts on oil function - somewhat.

The US is assailed by similar cohorts from Latin America. Take Mexico e.g., a dismally functioning country that has seen some 130,000 deaths over the past decade and still tries to pass itself off on the world stage as a 'normal' nation.

I'm sorry, but we in the developed world cannot be held responsible for other people's failures. We enjoy the fruits of our labor and the labor of untold generations before us. Civilizations who preferred to sit under trees and peel bananas have NO F*CKING RIGHT to be envious of OUR still functioning societies.

To import the Third World is to become the Third World.

It should be easy for the GOP to push DACA repeal through. But it's becoming more and more obvious that too many Republicans either simply don't want to win or else should join the democrats.


MFBB.

MERKEL BOOED, JEERED AT IN TORGAU, GERMANY.

Still this monster is set to win in the coming elections. How on Earth is THAT possible?





I only hope they are the same pollsters who predicted a Clinton win.


Hat tip PI News.


MFBB.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

OUTRAGE: FAMOUS BELGIAN CHOCOLATIER GODIVA GOES COMPLETELY HALAL.

At age 52 I have become slightly annoyed when being reminded by foreign nationals that my country is only known for it's waffles, Brussels sprouts, TinTin, beer, moules et frites ... and chocolate. That image is a caricature, since all that stuff is not even in the top ten of Belgium's top export categories.

Be that as it may, there's no denying the fact that chocolate is one of those things that will inevitably be linked for eternity plus three days when mentioning our small kingdom at the North Sea. Top brands include Neuhaus, Côte d’Or, Jean Galler, Daskalidès, Leonidas, and ... Godiva.

It now appears that Godiva has gone full throttle for halal. Via Het Nieuwsblad:





"Belgian chocolate maker Godiva announced that it will no longer produce liquor pralines. In 2008 te concern was bought by the Turkish group Ülker.

Production of liquor-filled pralines was stopped in April of this year already. A spokesman for the group argued a "change of strategy" was needed.

In Walloon media the talk is that the purpose of this move is to accommodate an islamic public. "Our strategy is now to offer one and only one range to everybody", says a Godiva spokesman to Sudpresse. "Pralines with alcohol are only aimed at adults (...). We wish to offer our products in a universal manner to a public as broad as possible".

Godiva Chocolatier was founded in 1926 by Joseph Draps. He opened his first store near Brussels' Grote Markt [Grand Square, MFBB]. In 1967 the Campbell Soup Company acquired Godiva. These sold the Belgian company in turn to Turkish group Ülker in 2008."




What a load of steaming hogwash. "Pralines with alcohol are only aimed at adults". B-O-O-L. When I was a kid and there was some event or party (marriage, Xmas, New Year, an anniversary, you name it) there were ALWAYS scores of liquor-filled pralines on hand, and it was kids who ran away with most of them. "We wish to offer our products in a universal manner to a public as broad as possible". Yeah right cowards, and in order to do that you simply dispense with the alcohol to suit your muslim overlords! Cause you reckon the lame Fleming cannot even be bothered to get out of his chair to protest this umpteenth sign that islamization is proceeding not one step at a time but two, sorry, make that three.

Look, as a capitalist I cannot seriously take issue when a company decides to produce goods and stuff aimed at a particular segment of society. I have no business telling company X or company Y that they should cater to this or that segment of the market.

So if a muslim group acquires a Belgian company and scraps alcohol, so be it - alas, but that's how it is.

But for God's sake, PUH-LEEZE!!! DON'T try to sell this as a "strategy" to "offer a range appealing to as broad a public as possible." It's nonsense, it's a outright LIE, and it amounts to yet another muslim intrusion in a country where islam has no business.

Cause it ain't. It's yet another slap in our face by neo-ottomans. And judging by the following ad for stuff they've been offering for some time now, the decision to ban alcohol was but a matter of time:





It's a crying shame and a g*ddam nightmare. But if companies can choose to produce stuff and goods aimed at this or that subset of consumers, so too can consumers choose to not buy products from these or those manufactureres anymore. It's why I exhort my fellow countrymen and -women...

... to never ever buy Godiva anymore. Halal is for suckers.


MFBB.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

SATURDAY NIGHT SMALL FACES, SKUNK ANANSIE.

Small Faces with Lazy Sunday. Released as a single in 1968.





English mod rock band from East London, founded in 1965 by Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones, and Jimmy Winston. One year later already the latter was replaced by Ian McLagan as keyboardist.



Fast forward twenty years with Skunk Anansie and Charity. From the 1995 album Paranoid and Sunburnt.





Skin looks like a nightmare and I'm not sure I'm gonna put this on my iPod, which is a polite way of saying I'm never gonna do it, but Charity is an essential mid-nineties UK rock sound (the band is generally not regarded as Britpop though). Yes I still got an iPod, prolly ten years old already. Say what you will about Apple products but I have no issues with their quality. Yet.



This post was entirely edited using a Raspberry Pi3 model B, which I bought some 8 months ago via Amazon. Its CPU is a 1.2 GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 superscalar processor. A superscalar CPU allows for some kind of instruction-level parallelism, which means that more than one instruction can be done per clock cycle, as opposed to what single (scalar) processors do. A superscalar processor dispatches multiple instructions to different execution units (on the processor).

My Raspberry Pi (actually only the Starter Kit model) came with a 16GB Class 10 MicroSD Card, which was preloaded with the Raspbian OS and NOOBS (New Out of Box Software). Setting it up was easy as pie. There's a simple browser called Epiphany, and Python, a programming language. There's two editors to edit and debug Python code, but when my first programme, edited in the most recent one, refused to work, it took a lot of cursing before it dawned upon me to try the simpler editor. And that did the trick.

The Pi 3 also has built-in WiFi as well as Bluetooth. The WiFi works great, but while Bluetooth pairing with my iPhone did succeed, I got the message (on the monitor I had hooked to the Raspberry) that 'this device has no services which can be used with Raspberry Pi'. Duh.

Anyway, slaap wel. Thx for tuning in.



MFBB.

NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL, LONDON: MUSLIM THUGS FORCE MET POLICE TO FLEE.

Expect more and more of this:





More info from Liberty GB:

"... According to Ken Marsh, Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, the Notting Hill Carnival should not be allowed "to carry on regardless" after 31 officers were injured during the latest two-day event.

He said officers had blood spat on them, were splashed with a "potentially acidic substance" and had bottles and other objects thrown at them.

He accused the force of treating the statistics on injuries to officers as "almost a matter of fact. As if this is the norm. As if this is acceptable. It is none of the above. It is a disgrace. ... They have families, they have homes to go to. This is not normal. This is not acceptable."



You bet it's not acceptable. But keep voting Liblabcon and avoiding JIM acronyms, my dear inhabitant of Small Britain.

Hmmm. A potentially acidic substance... I recall images from earlier this week of busty girls at the carnival, who would have been sprayed with a 'potentially acidic substance'. Punishment for showing too much flesh?




Guess so. And that's how it goes. That's how the followers of the prophet give subtle hints to stay away next time, lest their sensitivities are hurt by décolletés. I suspect that in 2018, the "potentially acidic substance" will be a bit more HCl and a bit less H2O. And the year after, etc...

And by 2022 Sad Dick Khan will issue a statement that these busty displays were a form of bodyshaming anyway.



MFBB.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

CRYBABY OF THE DAY: JEN PSAKI.

CNN'S Jen Psaki has drunk not only the Obama Kool Aid but the Obama Vinegar as well:

"IT'S TOO SOON FOR TRUMP TO GO TO TEXAS"


"(CNN)Every helicopter supporting a Trump visit to Texas in response to Hurricane Harvey is a helicopter not picking survivors off rooftops.

As President Donald Trump faces the first crisis of his presidency (one that is not self-inflicted) he fortunately has a chief of staff, John Kelly, who knows how to deal with emergency response, and a well-respected FEMA director in Brock Long leading an agency that has rebuilt itself since 2005's Hurricane Katrina.

There will be many decisions ahead about resources and funding at the federal level that will have an actual impact on the recovery of Houston and the other affected communities. These will be far more important than the movements of Air Force One, but the President's decision to travel to Texas just days after the first wave of the storm hit is, at best, surprising.

It is particularly arresting after he credited the expected ratings boost from hurricane coverage with providing the right forum for his Friday night pardon of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. So there is reason to be skeptical about his motivation for the visit."




Psaki, Psaki? Oh yeah, one of Obummer's State Department spokespersons. What a coincidence she's with CNN now!!!

You will recognize her, it's the readhead:





So Trump was off to Texas too soon huh? OK. I get it. Better not get in the way of the relief effort. One year ago, Psaki's boss took the right approach to the catastrophic Louisiana floodings:





Except for Psaki's ilk, it's NEVER okay. You can bet that IF President Trump would NOT have been visiting Texas, she would have lambasted him for not doing so.


Liberals.... bah. Bunch of hypocrites.



MFBB.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

RECOMMENDED VIDEO: BIRTH OF THE B-29 SUPERFORTRESS. UPDATE.



Last month we were in the States and, upon learning that the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum on The Mall has actually a sibling near Dulles, the Steven Udvar Hazy Center, we immediately carted off to it. The collection dwarfs the one in Washington, and what's more, there's much more exciting displays, a.o. the SR71 Blackbird, the Space Shuttle Discovery and... the Enola Gay!!!

I'm having issues with Flickr again, so sorry, no Udvar Hazy Center pics yet, but they're coming.



UPDATE.

Okay, expect photos again. I found shelter at Imageshack for a measly 19 bucks a year. Eat THAT, Photobucket! It's a scandal you dare to charge 400 US dollars a year. You're practically begging to go bankrupt.

Anyway, below a pic I took in the Steven Udvar Hazy Center. In the left upper corner you can make out the passageway which allows a peek inside the cockpit of Paul Tibbets' mount. However, just opposite it the passageway has transparent shields, which I suppose are for deterring vandals.





And here is a photo I took from precisely that passageway. To avoid reflections in the transparent shielding, I held my iPhone above it with outstretched arms, pressed the virtual button blindly, and hoped for the best. It turned out to be a decent pic:







MFBB.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

SATURDAY NIGHT SMASHING PUMPKINS, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS.

Smashing Pumpkins with Today. Album Siamese Dream (1993).





Took me some time to find out James Iha was an XY, actually. But then I'm a slow learner. Sheesh. Where is the time I watched this video over and over again on MTV?



Red Hot Chili Peppers with Otherside. From the 2000 album Californication.





Otherside is about Hillel Slovak, one of the founding members of RHCP and their first guitarist, who died of a heroin overdose in 1988.


Nite. One of these days I have to clean up the mess caused by Photobucket. I've hooked up with Flickr but am not convinced. Think I'll go for Imgur or Imageshack instead.


Goede nacht.



MFBB.

RECOMMENDED VIDEO: AFTER MALTESE AUTHORITIES REFUSE C-STAR ENTRY, MALTESE PATRIOTS SUPPLY THE DEFEND EUROPE SHIP.



More info on Defend Europe:





They act while we - that's me including, alas - whine and bicker. Not all of them have a spotless record, though. And the guy at the 1:24 mark is Martin Sellner, a key member of the Austrian Identitaeren Movement. I've been following him for some time now, and I found it indeed somewhat questionable that in 2009 he paid a visit to the grave of Walter Novotny, an Austrian Luftwaffe ace who was killed somewhere in NOV44 when his Me262 was downed by Mustangs, IIRC. In the great kaleidoscope of facts, anecdotes and decisions that people's lives often are, it's something... I can live with since it seems to have been a one-off incident. Also, Nowotny seems not to have been a nazi caricature. The widespread respect he still enjoys is probably an Austrian thing. If you call Sellner a nazi for visiting that grave, then I will show you transcripts of British fighter pilots (who flew Tempests or Typhoons or Spits, can't remember right away) who were actually sad upon learning of the death of Nowotny, whom they apparently considered a chivalrous adversary. Shall we call them nazis too? Or Ronald Reagan for visiting a German cemetery where, apart from Wehrmacht personnel, there was also Waffen SS buried?

Anyway, I'm mighty glad people like Sellner at least offer token resistance to the insane Population Replacement which is currently underway, with the full support of the EU.


Here's some info about the Maltese who decided to resupply the C-Star, the Moviment Patrijotti Maltin.


MFBB.


Friday, August 25, 2017

BELGIAN SF IN TAL AFAR, NORTHERN IRAQ.

A rare instance of good use of our tax euros. Belgian Special Forces take up position on top of a building in Tal Afar as the Iraqi Army's operation to drive IS out of that town unfolds:











Via ABCNews:


Iraqi Forces said Wednesday they have captured two neighborhoods on the edge of the Islamic State-held town of Tal Afar.

Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Rasheed Yar Allah, who commands the operation, said special forces drove the militants from al-Kifah al-Janoubi on the southwestern edge of the town, and that federal police and paramilitary units took al-Kifah al-Shamali in the northwest.

Iraqi leaders often declare areas liberated when some fighting is still underway.

Last month, Iraq declared victory over IS in Mosul, the country's second largest city, after a grueling nine-month campaign. The Tal Afar operation began Sunday, and is aimed at driving IS from one of the last major pockets it controls in Iraq.

As in Mosul, the U.S.-led coalition is providing airstrikes as well as other forms of support to Iraqi troops, and U.S. and other special forces are operating near the front lines.

British Maj. Gen. Rupert Jones, the coalition's deputy commander, said Iraqi forces are off to a "really positive start" and are "closing the noose" around the militants.

"The key is that they've broken into the city," he told Pentagon reporters via videoconference from Baghdad.

The extremist group has lost most of the territory it seized when it swept across northern and central Iraq in the summer of 2014, and has also suffered major losses in Syria.

But the coalition estimates that the group still has some 2,000 fighters in Tal Afar and 2,500 in the Syrian city of Raqqa, where U.S.-backed Syrian forces are fighting the group.


So SecDef Vandeput really made good on his word, there are SF assisting the IA.

A couple of side notes:

a.) good that apparently a more appropriate camo has been issued, even if it's still a wood pattern in a desert environment, for the regular Belgian army camo would be totally out of place. Even though the pattern has its advocates, personally I have never been very fond, to say the least, about the typical jigsaw camo. You can see it in the video below.

b.) The guided missile system is the Israeli-made Rafael Spike-MR, of which the Belgian Army bought 66 systems for 41 million EUR in 2012. MR stands for, of course, medium range, and in Israel the system is dubbed as "Gil". The weight of the missile is 14 kg (30 lb 14 oz), and its minimum range is 200 m, while its maximum range is 2,500 m (1.6 mi). Given that IS has no armor save a couple of obsolete Russian tanks which by now have probably all been obliterated, the deployment of Spikes may seem overkill, but the missile is not only anti-tank as most articles accompanying these photos suggest, Spikes can also be used as anti-personnel weapons.

The following video shows Belgian troops testing the Spike for the first time in the NATO training area of Bergen-Hoehne, Germany.





In the Belgian Army and SF, the Spike replaces the old Milan systems.


c.) On top of that building there's also US troops from the 82nd Airborne, and their equipment provides an interesting study in contrast with the Belgian detachment's:





I guess that's a BGM-71 TOW. I'm a bit surprised these weapons are still in use, I thought that by now they had all been replaced by FGM-148 Javelins.

Video of that weapon:





d.) Belgian soldiers prefer to sit on concrete blocks, American soldiers apparently think they are on the beach.



MFBB.