Thomas Wictor

Photos that tell you all you need to know about war

Photos that tell you all you need to know about war

I’m going to show you two photos that will graphically illustrate what must be done in the name of geopolitics. Sometimes you call attention to yourself, and other times you hide. But first, I have to castigate my fellow citizens.

Photos are treated better

Today, when I came out of the pharmacy, I found a woman lying face down in the parking lot. She’d left a trail of debris as she staggered to her final resting place: purse, shopping bag, energy-drink can, emergency-room discharge papers, and vials of prescription drugs. Lying halfway on and halfway off a grass-covered cement island, she clutched her chest with both hands. Her face was buried in the grass. She wasn’t napping; she’d had a heart attack.

Nobody paid any attention.

I ran next door to the hospital and alerted paramedics, who immediately went to the woman’s aid. They thanked me for caring.

Now normal behavior is worthy of praise?

I’m warning everyone: You’re starting to make me sick. If you don’t shape up, I’m going to shut down this Website.

Here’s an exchange I had on Twitter today.



How is it possible for people to not listen to the words they’re reading? What percentage of us are reachable? About 2 percent?

I’m retreating further and further from humanity. Obliviousness is the reason. I cannot stand it. This clip excludes the best part.

Handcuffed to the bed, Barton Fink asks Madman Mundt, “Why me?”


It’s one of the most satisfying moments in cinematic history. Fink doesn’t listen. He’s a self-absorbed bozo, wandering around in his own little universe.

If you don’t listen, you’ll end up handcuffed to a bed in a burning hotel. Trust me.

Photos are more reliable than pundits

This is currently taking place in Saudi Arabia.

Called “Northern Thunder,” the exercise involves 150,000 troops from 20 countries, according to the Saudi press: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, Oman, Jordan, Pakistan, Djibouti, Mauritania, Senegal, Sudan, Chad, Tunisia, Morocco, Comoros, Mauritius, Malaysia, Egypt and the Maldives. The force allegedly includes 2,540 aircraft and 460 helicopters, according to Saudi media, and 20,000 armored vehicles.

The exercises are being held around the Saudi military facility at Hafr al Batin, which has long been the home of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Peninsula Shield task force, the GCC’s rapid response unit. If the numbers reported by the Saudi press are accurate, this is the largest military operation in the region since the liberation of Kuwait in Operation Desert Storm, a quarter-century ago this month.

Pundits say that these exercises are a sign of Saudi panic. Yemen is a quagmire, oil prices are down, Iran is ascending, etc.

Well, I’ve been following military exercises for almost a year. Every country mentioned above has gone to Saudi Arabia sometime since March of 2015. I theorize that the Israelis and Saudis conceived of strategic special forces called “C6ISR units,” which stands for “Command, Control, Communications, Computing, Cyber Warfare, Commando, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance.”

A C6ISR unit is probably organized along these lines.


Each C6ISR unit has about 800 men, 85 armored vehicles, and sixteen aircraft.

Northern Thunder involves 150,000 men. If we divide 150,000 by 800, we get 188. That’s how many C6ISR units would theoretically take part in Northern Thunder.

The Saudis say 20,000 armored vehicles will be there; 188 C6ISR units would require 16,000 armored vehicles.

The Saudis say 3000 fixed- and rotary-winged aircraft will be there; 188 C6ISR units would require 3008 aircraft.

The Saudis say that Northern Thunder is taking place at Hafr al Batin. That’s where King Khalid Military City is located. Gulf Magazine let the cat out of the bag.


If you know how to look, you’ll always find the truth.

Photos of war

Personally, I don’t believe that the Turks and the Syrian Kurds are at war. Turkish Kurds are carrying out attacks in Turkey, and Turkey has launched air and ground assaults against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). However, I’ve seen no unambiguous evidence that Turkish artillery strikes into Syria are hitting Kurds.

This is a Syrian Kurdish T-72 tank.



They’ve added what’s called “spaced armor” or “skirt armor” to the turret and hull. A regular T-72 looks like this.


Skirt armor is meant to defeat high-explosive antitank (HEAT) warheads. The munition hits the skirt and explodes; the resulting jet of molten metal doesn’t penetrate the turret or hull.

Since the Kurdish T-72 has a female crew, it must belong to the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ). It’s a magnificently beautiful tank.


And it’s spotless because it’s never been used in combat. A tank that has spent only a few days in combat looks like this.


It’s filthy, the glass in both searchlights is gone, a fender is torn off, and there’s evidence of bullet strikes everywhere.

The YPJ tank is a video star, not a fighting vehicle. It’s a showcase.

Contrast the Kurdish tank to the United Arab Emirates armor arriving for Northern Thunder.


The UAE doesn’t want anyone to see what their vehicles look like. What does that tell you?

It tells me that they’re professional warriors, the vehicles have extremely advanced weaponry, and the Emiratis are soon going to be fighting clandestinely in another country.

Photos serve purposes

If you want to appear stronger than you are, you publish a lot of photos of your weapons. It’s also a way to garner support.

If you’re already strong enough to defeat anyone you want, and if support on the home front isn’t a factor because you know you’re going to win, you hide your weapons.

The next crucial battlefield may be the city of Azaz (green arrow), currently held by the Islamist Levant Front and the al-Nusra Front.


Since February 10, 2016, the Arabs of Jaysh al-Thuwar—allies of the Kurds—have taken the territory marked by the red arrow. Today we’re told this.

So far, Turkey has confined its response to shelling YPG positions and warning the Kurds away from Azaz. It claims to have allowed roughly 900 Syrian rebel fighters to cross back into Syria from Turkey last week.

Those 900 men are said to be Arabs headed to Azaz to defend it against the Kurds. However, it isn’t Kurds who are advancing on Azaz. It’s the Arabs of Jaysh al-Thuwar.

And 900 men? Why only 900?


When the fighting starts in Azaz, all sorts of claims will be made. If someone says, “The Turks let in 900 Arab special operators disguised as Syrian rebels and they blew the hell out of us,” nobody will believe it. And Turkey will vehemently deny it.

This is extremely important.

I once asked General David Petraeus, the commander of the 101st Airborne Division in Mosul in 2004, what was the most important advice he could give to his successor. He said, after reflecting for some moments, that his advice would be “not to align too closely with one ethnic group, political party, tribe, religious group or social element”.

What’s the best way to not be seen as aligned closely with one ethnic group, political party, tribe, religious group, or social element?

Don’t be seen at all.

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