Thomas Wictor

This is why the world is a mess

This is why the world is a mess

I’m an optimist. My view is that in the long run, we’re destined for improvement as a species. The reason that the world is a mess is that far too many people are crippled by idées fixe. They know nothing, but they have strong opinions and act on them. These are the classic low-information citizens who are led around like children, supporting one disastrous notion after another.

Today the Sudanese landed in Aden, Yemen.

Hundreds of Sudanese troops arrived in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden on Saturday, the first batch of an expected 10,000 reinforcements for the Saudi-led coalition fighting the country’s Shiite Houthi rebels, security officials said.

The troops’ mission is to secure Aden, which has seen an uptick in drive-by shootings of pro-government troop leaders and officials as extremists became more entrenched in the city in recent weeks, the pro-government security officials said.

Although nobody’s talking, photos indicate that these are airborne troops.


The shoulder patch shows a parachute surrounded by olive branches, so my guess is that the men are from the 9th Airborne Division, which includes the 144th Special Forces Battalion, Sudan’s counterterrorists.

Since 10,000 Sudanese are going to secure Aden, that means that the Emiratis will be freed up to join the assaults on Sana’a and Sadaa. The red arrows show the direction I know the Coalition will advance, while the green arrows show where I think they’ll go.


After Sana’a is liberated and Sadaa pacified, that’s the end of the war against the Houthis, loyalists to Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Revolutionary Committee, the Iranian Quds Force, and Hezbollah. Then the Coalition will take on and defeat the Islamic State and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

This photo shows an Emirati Presidential Guardsman (red arrow) about to escort the Sudanese into Aden.


Note all the Sudanese BTR-80 armored personnel carriers (APCs).


The Sudanese have only one transport aircraft capable of carrying a very small number of APCs. Obviously somebody else brought in the Sudanese equipment. We don’t know, because there are no photos or videos.

I study the Yemen war daily. If the Coalition were bogged down or losing, I’d tell you. But the reality is that Yemeni, Emirati, Saudi, Qatari, Senegalese, and Pakistani ground troops are pushing back the Houthis and their allies with astonishing speed and ease. Here’s an exchange I had with a guy on Twitter, in regard to the arrival of the Sudanese.




After a very long silence, he posted a link to this Houthi video.

It’s fake. The Houthis attack Saudi border posts in Jizan Province; rather than waste lives, the Saudis temporarily pull back, leaving behind empty vehicles. Then the Houthis film themselves attacking tanks and APCs with no crewmen inside. That’s why you never see any dead Saudi soldiers.

The real war in Yemen is very dynamic, a conflict of rapid maneuver. An earthen berm (red arrow) means that the video was shot at an abandoned Saudi border post, where the tank or APC serves as a bunker instead of a moving fortress.


This is the battlefield in Yemen.




Multirole jet fighters, ground-attack aircraft, and helicopter gunships are flying cover for mine resistant ambush protected vehicles (MRAPs), light armored vehicles, self-propelled artillery pieces, armored personnel carriers, and technicals.


Main battle tanks (MBTs) are very vulnerable to antitank guided missiles (ATGMs) when out in the open. The Coalition tanks I’ve seen are kitted out for urban warfare.


I don’t think MBTs are being used very much in this phase of the war. They’re likely being held in reserve for the assaults on Sana’a and Sadaa.

Too many people in the world have strong opinions that are based entirely on wish-casting. On Facebook, a woman told me that in the US, the government provides money for almost all startup companies, and then the private sector disproportionately reaps the benefits. This was why she wanted much higher corporate and income taxes.

Her view of the world is so uninformed that she shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

Fund your startup yourself.

These days, the costs to start a business are at an all-time low, and over 90 percent of startups are self-funded (also called bootstrapping).

People who have everything exactly backward are functionally insane. Think of all the suffering caused by idées fixe. The woman who told me that the US government funds the overwhelming majority of startups also said this.

“Just because nationalized health care has failed in every other country doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try it.”

Sure. Just because every single person run over by a steamroller has died doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t try it. Maybe I’ll be the one guy to survive! Who knows?

I already lost my doctor because of Obamacare. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires doctors to adhere to so many arbitrary requirements that many simply can’t do it. My doctor retired, and his brother took over his practice. At my last appointment a week ago, I had to wait two hours. Also, my health-insurance premiums have tripled. And this is just the beginning.

You know how I’m going to get around all this? By paying cash for my health care. More and more doctors and hospitals are accepting cash rather than using insurance companies. The cost is often a tenth of what’s being charged under Obamacare. And prices for all of you who supported that incalculably destructive legislation will continue going up, even as the quality of your care plummets. Enjoy!

As for the war in Yemen, the Houthis and Iran are having their butts handed to them. There’s so much more going on than you know.

Vanguards of the Malaysian forces have arrived Sunday at Saudi air bases to join Riyadh’s military coalition battling Houthi militias in Yemen, the Saudi Press Agency reported…

The Saudi Ministry of Defense said the coalition operations center is preparing to merge the Malaysian and Senegalese forces.

It’s almost certain that the Malaysians are from the 11th Special Service Regiment (11 Gerak Khas Regiment or 11 GKR).


This regiment is modeled on the British Special Air Service (SAS) and the US Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance (Force Recon). Although the Malaysian Minister of Defense said that his troops were sent to Saudi Arabia to evacuate Malaysians from Yemen, the Malaysian Air Force had an unspecified number of its AgustaWestland AW109 helicopters painted in desert camouflage.


The paint job is an “operational requirement” for the Malaysian Air Force. It’s pretty clear that the mission is the insertion of special operators.

A while back I spoke for several hours to a man who works for the largest Arabic-language media company in the world. We agreed that he couldn’t interview me because of the hit job that Ali Gharib and Michael Shaw did. They made it impossible for any reputable news outlet to use me as a source.

This man told me that I’m the only writer on earth extolling the skills of Arab armed forces. He said that even in the Middle East, Arabs are seen as bumbling incompetents who can’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag.

Well, I never thought of Arab warriors as bumbling incompetents. Some of the best assault troops of World War I were Arabs.




And now some of the best unconventional assault units in the world are Arab.


They’ve simply recouped. That’s all.

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