Thomas Wictor

Mediocre people usually hate the exceptional

Mediocre people usually hate the exceptional

I’ve never been competitive. Therefore I don’t understand the hostility that the mediocre feel for those who are far more skilled. I was a mediocre student who was accepted into college only because I sent in the strangest application that the school had ever seen. Since my grades were bad, and I didn’t belong to any clubs or school organizations, I took photos of a World War I diorama that I’d built.


Aside from the tank, each piece of the diorama had to be created from scratch. I built masters of weapons and equipment and cast copies using rubber molds and epoxy resin. The person who reviewed my application found the process fascinating, so I was accepted.

Mediocre analysts

When Saudi Arabia began its war with Yemen on March 26, 2015, I had no opinion on how the conflict would go. There was not enough evidence to form an opinion. That didn’t stop world-famous military and political analysts from predicting disaster.

Little by little, I began seeing that Saudis and their allies were conducting the most brilliant military campaign I’d ever seen. There’s was no evidence whatsoever of war crimes, and major operations were carried out in total secrecy. The most impressive was the landing of hundreds of armored vehicles in Aden.

This was the one of the largest amphibious operations in the history of the Middle East, yet not one photo, video, or satellite image of the landings has been published.

That was when I began to realize that Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman is a genius.

When Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) was just 12 he began sitting in on meetings led by his father Salman, the then governor of Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Province.

Impatient with bureaucracy, MbS has been quick to make his mark by demanding that ministries define and deliver key performance indicators on a monthly basis, unheard of in a sclerotic economic system defined by patronage, crony capitalism and corruption.

His sudden early morning visits to ministries demanding to see the books is rapidly becoming the stuff of legend, startling sleepy Riyadh into action and capturing the admiration of young Saudis.

The rest of the piece is garbage, because writer Bill Law doesn’t know anything about military matters. I seem to be the only person on earth who finds it strange that the civilian death toll in the Yemen war went from 6000 in October of 2015 to 1500 as of June 6, 2016. The only source for the death toll is the Houthis. Every alleged massacre I studied turned out to be a lie.

A coldblooded but realistic analysis of the war is that if only 1500 civilians have been killed in a major conflict lasting a year and three months, it’s proof that the Saudi-led Coalition is fighting with superhuman care. After a year and three months of Operation Iraqi Freedom, at least 18,650 civilians had been killed.

Mediocre leaders

Mohammed bin Salman came to the US on June 14, 2016. His visit went exactly as you’d expect.

It was billed by Riyadh’s state media as a trip for Saudi Arabia’s powerful deputy crown prince to meet with President Barack Obama and other senior U.S. officials. But now that Prince Mohammed bin Salman has arrived in Washington, it’s still unclear if the president or any White House officials will meet with him, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

“No confirmation at this time for any WH meetings,” White House spokesperson Dew Tiantawach told Foreign Policy.

The absence of any scheduled meetings with even National Security Adviser Susan Rice is fueling speculation among Gulf experts about a diplomatic snub.

If it is indeed a snub, I’m not surprised. President Obama is a stunningly mediocre man. Mohammed bin Salman is one of the pivotal figures of human history. The mediocre usually hate the exceptional.

The article by Bill Law says this.

“I don’t think anyone in the White House actually likes bin Salman,” [Simon Henderson, a Gulf expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy] added. “The secretary of defense certainly doesn’t. But you have to deal with him.”

I once respected the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, but they’ve become brainless crowd followers who refuse to look at evidence. US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter is a melodramatic buffoon who behaves as though he’s an actor in a movie.

Ashton Carter

He’s a physicist with no military experience. One of his key achievements is the 1994 Agreed Framework signed with North Korea, designed to prevent the Hermit Kingdom from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Excellent job, Ash.


In the US, no amount of failure will damage a politician or government bureaucrat’s reputation. We call it “failing upward”: The worse someone is at their job, the higher they’re promoted. President Obama is the prime example of this phenomenon. The reason this happens is that Americans tend to view criticism of others as criticism of themselves. Therefore, to deny that they themselves have problems, they deny that anyone has a problem.

The entire country has been failing upward for decades.

Not mediocre

Since January of 2016, fourteen Hamas tunnels have collapsed in Gaza. These were not tunnels that were being dug; they were areas of operation (AOs) for the Nokhba, the “elite fighting unit” of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. The Nokhba carry out attacks in Israel, entering through the tunnels. They also engage invading IDF troops in Gaza.

The photos of the men killed in the tunnel collapses show Hamas fighters, not the civilian tunnel diggers.


Leaders of the Nokhba have been killed.

The tunnel collapse occurred in the Shejaiyah neighborhood east of Gaza City, where some of the most intense fighting of the 2014 war between Israel and Gaza-based fighters took place.

The field commander killed in the collapse was named by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades as Abd al-Salah al-Butnaji, 36.

People told me that rain, Egyptian sewage, or inferior building materials was causing the collapses.

Nonsense. It was Arab League commando action. The military tunnels are reinforced with steel and prefabricated concrete.


The only way to collapse them is by cracking the ceilings with explosives. Arab League commandos infiltrated Gaza and used fuel-air explosives (FAE) to create massive shock waves in the tunnels. This is a campaign specifically targeting the Nokhba. Hamas is trained to fight Israelis; these terrorists have never faced exceptionally skilled professional soldiers who can be absolutely merciless.

The sustained Arab League attacks on the Nokhba have paid off spectacularly.

A senior commander in Hamas’s elite commando unit has handed himself over to Israel, according to sources inside Gaza cited by Channel 2.

Reports of his surrender to Israel have been circulating in Gaza ever since the commander - a member the elite “Nahba” unit of Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades - went missing several days ago.

The Nahba spearheads Hamas’s tunnel warfare capabilities, and is specifically tasked with capturing IDF soldiers.

Bassam Mahmoud Baraka was persuaded by a fellow Arab to surrender. He’s the third important Nokhba member to fall into Israeli hands over the past few weeks.

Israel’s internal security service, the Shin Bet, announced last month that Israel had arrested Mahmoud Atawnah, allegedly a Hamas operative who belonged to the group’s military wing for a decade and provided information about the group’s tunnel-digging enterprise.

And this guy.

A young Hamas operative arrested by security forces revealed “extensive information” about the terror organization’s tunnels and plans for infiltrating Israel in order to carry out attacks, the Shin Bet announces Tuesday.

The underage operative conveyed “extensive information on Hamas activities to dig tunnels that are to be used for Hamas fighters to infiltrate Israeli areas,” the Shin Bet says.

During his interrogations, the teenage Hamas member gave his interrogators details of the locations, building strategies and what materials are used in their construction, the security service says.

Interrogators also extracted information “about the routes of the tunnels that will be used in emergency situations by Nachba operatives, the elite unit of Hamas, and also information about the numerous tunnel shafts in the Strip,” the Shin Bet says.

I can only shake my head in admiration for the incredible work that Arab League strategic special forces are doing in the Middle East. There’s an old saying that the right people always come along at the right time.

It sure seems like it.


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