Thomas Wictor

Pragmatism has triumphed over nationalism

Pragmatism has triumphed over nationalism

Having stepped out of society, I’m able to perceive things that others can’t. It’s not that I’m smarter than anyone; instead, I’m simply unencumbered by fear of rejection. If I’m wrong, it doesn’t matter. Ridicule means nothing to me. What I enjoy most of all—after talking with my brothers Tim and Eric and collecting World War I postcards—is being pleasantly surprised. I’m thus overjoyed to discover that pragmatism is the new watchword in the Middle East. The right people are doing the right things for the right reasons.

There was a long period in which the United States military was the premier fighting force on earth. In most ways, we still are. But we’re a pale shadow of what we used to be. The culprit is a combination of political correctness and rigidity.

One of the greatest aircraft ever built is the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, known as the Warthog. It was designed as a tank buster, so it’s armed with the 30mm GAU-8 Avenger cannon, which fires seventy rounds per second.



The A-10 was built for low-level attack. It has a titanium “bathtub” for the pilot, and the control system is backed up twice. This aircraft is famous for being able to absorb a tremendous amount of punishment.



The A-10 entered service in March of 1977—and the US Air Force has been trying to get rid of it ever since.

Idées fixe versus pragmatism

Air Force hostility to the A-10 is not rational. My guess is that it’s a mixture of several factors: The A-10 is slow and ugly, it’s used in close-air support (CAS) of ground troops, and it’s cheap. High-ranking Air Force officers want fast, sexy, expensive fighters, and they hate having to waste their time strafing ground targets. They want to dogfight, a term invented in World War I. “Fight” in “dogfight” was originally a different F-word—because the goal was to get on the enemy from behind—but the Brits cleaned it up.

After decades of surviving Air Force hatred, the A-10 is finally on its way out. The US has about 300 left, and in May of 2015, Congress approved funding to keep 171 aircraft flying for fiscal year 2016. To nobody’s shock, the Air Force has been extremely reluctant to use the A-10 in Syria.

The U.S. Air Force confirmed the recent deployment of A-10 Warthogs in operations against Islamic State militants in Syria but noted the aircraft’s use has been limited, partly due to its vulnerability.

The tank-killing attack plane has seen service in Iraq since last year, but Air Force Central Command confirmed today that the A-10 has also been used in a “few dozen” missions in Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led international bombing campaign against IS.

Speaking Thursday at the Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., Herbert J. “Hawk” Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command, said the use of the A-10 in Syria has been extremely limited because of several factors.


Range was an issue, Carlisle said, “because it’s a long way from where they’re stationed.” But speed is also a problem in what the general called a “contested environment,” where the A-10 is “significantly more vulnerable” than other aircraft, such as the F-22, F-15, F-16 and F-18 fighters.

Another problem is ground forces. Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi military are engaging IS in Iraq, but the United States has less definable allies in Syria. “Who we’re working with on the ground is different in those two different places, and our ability to interact with some is different than others, which, again, lends you to pick an aircraft for different missions and different areas of the conflict,” Carlisle said.

The Air Force made the same argument about using the AC-130 gunship in Syria.


Like the A-10, the AC-130 flies low and slow. The brilliant Air Force plan of replacing the AC-130’s cannons with missiles has been scrapped. Missiles are far more expensive, and they aren’t as accurate. A child would’ve known that.

On November 4, 2015, both A-10s and an AC-130 were deployed to Syria.

A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft operating out of Incirlik airbase in Turkey provided “devastating” close air support for U.S.-backed Syrian-Arab fighters in taking a town in northwestern Syria from the Islamic State, a U.S. military spokesman said Wednesday.

The A-10s were joined by an AC-130 Spectre gunship in clearing the way for the U.S.-aligned group now known as the Syrian Arab Coalition to take the town of al-Hawl and 250 square kilometers of surrounding area in fighting Monday and Tuesday, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.

Take note: The US always refers to the Syrian Arab Coalition of the Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD). We’re not supporting the Kurds in the QSD because that would anger Turkey. Therefore we give air support only to the Syrian Arab Coalition.

However, this video of A-10s over al-Hawl, Syria, was taken on November 6, 2015. According to all Arabic-language sources I’ve read, the date was indeed November 6, 2015. Watch only the first six seconds of it.

I can find no official American military report of A-10s being used in al-Hawl after November 4, 2015. The al-Hawl offensive lasted until November 16, 2015, and involved Kurds and Yazidis as well as Arabs.

Let’s recap.

The US Air Force reduced its fleet of A-10s from 300 to 171 in mid-2015.

The US Air Force didn’t want to use the A-10 in Syria because of the aircraft’s alleged vulnerability.

The US has promised Turkey to not help the Kurds in Syria.

Okay, so what happened to the 129 completely airworthy A-10s that we cut from the fleet in May of 2015?

Pragmatism is the mother of victory

Here’s what Boeing reported.

Boeing Vice President Chris Raymond confirmed that since the Air Force wants to rid itself of the A-10, Boeing is looking to sell the aircraft to U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates at the Paris Air Show Tuesday.

It’s a done deal. This A-10 flying over al-Hawl on November 6, 2015, is camouflaged in several colors.




American A-10s at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey are painted light gray.



Saudis or Emiratis are piloting the A-10s supporting the Kurdish elements of the QSD.

Think how brilliant this is. All of the problems are solved. The Turks don’t get their panties in a wad that we’re helping Kurds, the US Air Force unloads its hated A-10s, and President Obama doesn’t have to worry about Americans being shot down. Total pragmatism.

The QSD took Tishreen Dam on December 26, 2015. At 1:58 in the video below, you hear the unmistakable snarl of the GAU-8 Avenger cannon mounted in the A-10.

But here’s what the QSD said about the operation.

Sources in SDF reported to SOHR that the information about American forces in Tishren dam area helping SDF taking over the dam is not true, and the SDF was the only party who took control on Tishren dam in the 26 of December, 2015.

According to US Central Command, the US has conducted no air strikes in Tishreen, ever. However, the video above shows multiple air strikes.



The powerhouse of Tishreen Dam was hit by two air-to-surface missiles.


Do you think President Obama and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter pounded their desks and shouted, “Damn the Air Force and the Turks! Strafe those targets!” Or do you think the US secretly gave some A-10s to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates?

The Turks are allowing us to use Incirlik Air Base. They began doing so only in July of 2015. How likely is it that they would continue to make Incirlik available to us if the A-10s there were helping the Kurds in Syria?

Below is a video showing an AC-130A firing its two 40mm cannons at an Islamic State target in Syria, in support of Kurds. The galloping ba-bump, ba-bump, ba-bump means two cannons, not one.


Although the US retired the AC-130A in 1995, several of them were “pickled,” meaning put into storage in such a way that they could be returned to duty if necessary. No American AC-130 has two 40mm cannons anymore. The video from Syria shows what has to be an AC-130A. You can hear the turboprop engines.

Western nations have proven themselves incapable of effectively confronting Islamic terrorism, due to our political correctness. It’s also deadly for Muslims in the Middle East to be perceived as stooges of the west. What we needed was trustworthy Muslim warriors who brought pragmatism and skill to the fight. We’ve found them in the Arab League. All they lacked was advanced weaponry. Well, now they have it.

Have you ever noticed that everyone gets along until people start trying to force their views on others? Americans are perfectly aware that there are gays among us. It only becomes an issue when those who have a more traditional set of values feel that they’re being forced to accept something they oppose.

It works exactly the same way in the other direction. If people feel that a traditional set of values is being forced on them against their will, they act out by having parades, wearing leather trousers with no seats in them.

Everyone in the Middle East knows what’s really going on. However, the people flying the A10s and AC-130As are doing so clandestinely in order to avoid giving the impression that they’re forcing their will on others. It’s not altruism; it’s pragmatism. If you’re going to risk the irreplaceable lives of your children, make sure that their sacrifices will not be in vain. See the big picture. Fight to win.

We used to know how to do that.


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