Thomas Wictor

I’m reminded that you never cross the finish line

I’m reminded that you never cross the finish line

Today I was reminded again that I have an entire universe to traverse before I can sleep. I’m trying to improve myself, but there’s no finish line. In this race, you’re either a player in it forever, or you’re sitting on the sidelines.

My problem is not that I’m a misanthrope; I just get furious when people refuse to live up to their potential.

But you know what? It’s none of my business if others don’t live up to their potential. Everyone is free to choose to be as unreachable and unreasonable as they want. My issue is that I still engage the unreachable, which is futile.

This is one of the reasons that I defend Israel. Like so many Israeli and Jewish people, I’m trying to break down that barrier and communicate with the soul hiding behind it.

That can almost never be accomplished.

Here’s the interesting thing.

When I first got on Twitter, I was warned away from one user, because I was told that she’s unreachable. We began following each other, and guess what? Of all the thousands of people with whom I’ve interacted, she’s the only one who’s changed her mind about what she thought were bedrock convictions. She turns out to be a person of impeccable intellectual integrity, because she’s open to competing ideas. My goal wasn’t to “convert” her; she simply asked me to explain my positions in great detail.

What happened today was that a dishonest attack on a public figure appeared on my timeline, and it made me angry, so I tried to engage the people making the accusation. It was totally in vain. I may as well have been trying to communicate with asphalt.

My motivation was simply to expose a lie, but who appointed me Head Exposer of Lies here at Earth, Inc.? What I need to do is stick to the falsehoods that I can effortlessly debunk.

My métier

This should be my focus.

Yemen: Coalition used UK missile in unlawful airstrike

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition used a British-made missile to destroy a Yemeni ceramics factory, a civilian object, on 23 September, 2015, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today, based on field research and interviews with eyewitnesses at the scene…

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have examined the weapon remnants at the 23 September strike site and identified the munition used as a PGM-500 ‘Hakim’ air-launched missile, supplied in the mid-1990s and manufactured by the UK firm Marconi Dynamics.

The airstrike took place between 11 and 11:30 a.m. on 23 September in the village of Matna in Beni Matar district, west of Sana’a. Witnesses and one of the factory owners said that four missiles hit the Radfan Ceramics Factory in quick succession.

The PGM-500 is not a missile. It’s a precision-guided bomb.

The name “PGM” stands for “precision-guided munition” or bomb. And it has a 500 lb (227 kg) warhead. Here’s what one 500-lb bomb does.

The red arrow shows an M113 armored personnel carrier, which is 16 feet (5 meters) long.

This is the earth fountain created by the 500-lb bomb in the video.

And here’s a crater from a 500-lb bomb.

On April 2, 2014, scrap-metal dealers in Bangkok, Thailand, tried to cut up a dud 500-lb bomb from World War II. It was found at a construction site, and the scrap-metal collectors used a blowtorch on it. This is the result.

The roof and all of the walls are gone. Seven people were killed.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch say that four 500-lb pounds hit the “ceramics factory” in Sana’a, Yemen. Here’s the building.

It’s not possible that this structure was hit with four 500-lb bombs. There are no craters, most of the roof is intact, the walls are still standing, and there’s no damage to the interior fixings.

The accusation is that one civilian died, and that therefore this was an “unlawful strike.” That’s a lie. The air strike would only be unlawful if it were done deliberately. Why would the United Arab Emirates drop four hugely expensive precision-guided bombs on a civilian target? If the goal is to kill civilians, you don’t use precision-guided weapons. That’s a waste of money.

Although MBDA—the manufacturer of the PGM-500—isn’t talking, we can determine the rough cost of the weapon. In 2011, the British dropped 1400 precision-guided munitions on Libya, at a cost of $200 million. That works out to $150,000 per bomb. A dumb MK-82 500-lb bomb costs about $2600. See the difference?

In Syria, Russia is showing us how to use aerial munitions on civilians.

One reason why Russia’s airstrikes are killing civilians, according to U.S. officials, is its heavy reliance on “dumb bombs,” as opposed to precision-guided munitions.

This is because the Russians are only pretending to fight the Islamic State. They don’t want to waste super-expensive guided munitions in this silly kabuki. You can clearly see the OFAB-250 dumb bombs in this screen grab.

Note that initially the Russians painted out the national insignia and serial numbers on their aircraft (red arrow). This was to prevent triumphant Syrian rebels from posing with wreckage that had a red star on it.

Here’s the same Sukoi Su-24 bomber with the red star reapplied.

Why are the Russians no longer worried about photos of wreckage and triumphant jihadists? It’s because the bombers are targeting people with no ability to shoot down aircraft. Civilians, in other words.

While ignoring Russian actions in Syria, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are again flat-out lying about the Saudi-led Coalition. These aren’t even convincing lies. Everybody’s lazily, drowsily mumbling, “War crimes” but they never provide evidence. Have you noticed that Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch don’t give you close-up photos of the bomb damage? And where’s the video footage?

The answer is that “human rights” groups are working with the Houthis, who control everything that’s disseminated. And everything disseminated is a lie.

This is the sort of engagement with liars to which I must restrict myself. I can prove without a doubt that Amnesty International and Human rights Watch are lying. When it comes to other fields, there’s no definitive proof. I have to appeal to rationality, and that’s fruitless.

I want you to watch this video. It’s six minutes long, but it explains my own position.

“You have to let things go, because holding on to anger will only stagnate your growth and development.”

Truer words were never spoken.

I was in prison for fifty-two years. Remembering everything I’d blocked out from my childhood freed me, but it also delivered me into an alien world where I didn’t know how to act. In some very crucial ways, I’m just an infant, and I don’t have enough time left to become an adult. Still, I do look to the future. The past is dead. It’s meaningless. I think about it only when I have nightmares, which have become frequent again. And yet they’re just dreams. They don’t exist outside my head.

Now all I have to do is make my actions match my philosophy. If I can someday do that consistently, then I’ll have had a worthwhile life.

Wish me luck.

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