The Syrian War Bluff

Millions of pounds and thousands of lives have been spent in the Syrian war. The Americans have been screwing around in the area far too long, with Obama making repeated threats to put “boots on the ground.” The world knows he is all bluff, and most non-Americans consider him to be a supporter of Muslim civil war, supplying arms first to one side of the conflict and then to the other. His renowned referral to ISIS as “the JV team” only furthers the lack of respect in his threat assessment skills, while other countries, such as Russia and France, are pushed to the front lines of the advancing assault of ideals and culture.

The US stepped up air attack against the terrorist group – a term Obama refuses to use in connection with ISIS – with as many as 56 attack in just one week. However, American military pilots are now going against their Commander in Chief and revealing shocking ROE, or Rules of Engagement, that render many of their attacks harmless.

Russia, on the other hand, has stepped up attacks on ISIS and Syrian targets. First came the attack on a Russian airliner, resulting in the deaths of 224 people. And now, Turkey has stepped into the fray by shooting down a Russian fighter jet that had the audacity to fly across a corner of their airspace. To further the outrage and human toll, they reportedly slaughtered the crew members as they parachuted to earth. Reports are that now, despite its denial, Russia has ground troops in Syria.


Predictably, Obama sided with the Turks. So far, out of the long list of allies to the United States, these are only “allies” he has recognized.

Now, Muslim extremists have attacked France. France’s response is to be expected, with air strikes against their enemies.

And, all along, Obama says that he is going to send ground troops to Syria. This type of policy shift would prove suicidal for his political party in the US. He campaigned and gained election by promising to withdraw American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and by promising to close Gitmo, the notorious prisoner of war camp located in Cuba. When he sent troops back into the war zone, it cost hundreds of liberal politicians their political careers, with conservatives taking control in many of the local, state, and national elections during the next cycle. There is no possibility that he will send ground troops to Syria, where the US has no national interest at all. And, at this point, who needs them?



The US administration has forced the resignation of most of the experienced military leaders and pared down its own forces. A majority of Americans even think their president had the famous Seal Team 6 killed in a helicopter wreck, after taking down Bin Laden. The American ROE precludes any real help they might offer on the ground, just as it does from air support.

In the meantime, the Syrian war continues, costing money and lives.

Metal Planters In American Architecture

American architecture has some of its own notable personalities and styles. While many of the styles take their inspiration from European and British schools, there are also innovations that are uniquely American. The 4508550716_674b816ab1_oAmerican Renaissance brought striking mixtures of different styles, along with fresh ideas and interpretations. Along with those interpretations and styles come unique accent pieces. In this case we are going to look at metal planters in American Architecture.

Bespoke Metal Planters

Metal planters can bring quality and function to your home and to architectural settings. Corporations are leaning, more and more, toward using plants and planters in architectural statements on their grounds. Even indoors, plants and their containers will help to define spaces, break up sound transmission, and filter light. To accomplish this, bespoke metal planters make all the difference. Modern manufacturing processes give designers free rein to bend, melt, weld, and otherwise shape metal into just about any form. These versatile designs and materials enrich the areas in which they are placed.

Uses for Planters

Some parking lots, rather than using medians, go a step further by using planters for section definition. A ranch planter, which is straight-sided, rectangular structures, can be manufactured out of stainless steel and used in space definition in parking lots, patio areas, and traffic areas on the grounds around the building. These can be planted with what are often called “windbreak” plants. These are often junipers that have a dense branching pattern with small leaves that absorb sound and dirt. These trees can be left to grow naturally, 8415950442_50c77dba47_bor trimmed into cone shapes or topiary shapes. However, for use in windbreak, dirt, or sound control, the trees are best left to grow in cone shape, at the least. By cutting out the branches you can create attractive shapes that will serve as decorative elements, breaking up the industrial look of man-made structures.

Planters are also used indoors for great effect. One company countersunk 3 metre aluminum circles, reminiscent of stock tanks, in a river rock bed. This was in the center of a huge hotel lobby. These circles were planted with decorative grasses, all of the same species, so that the effect was striking. The similar plantings in each of the metal planters gave a sense of order to their unexpected presence.

Elemental Design

In Elemental Design, you can expect to see long lines and tapered sides, often including asymmetrical angles and edges. These pieces are quite understated, but subtly complex with the prism shapes and unexpected angles. These elemental shapes are usually artistic interpretations of shapes in nature, and of shapes of items humans create to deal with nature. There are seldom curves on these designs, and since straight lines do not exist in nature, the contrast of straight, manmade lines with off-center, asymmetrical lines make these planters natural conversation starters and welcome additions to any landscape or garden area.


These metal planters are available in many different finishes. You can find wrought iron, cast aluminum powder-coat, natural, and many other finishes to these fine works of art.

Surfing In Iraq

Iraq has long been in the international spotlight for very unpleasant reasons. But, there is at least one reason to see this ancient country in a positive light. Iraq is a great surfing destination! Surfing in Iraq is growing increasingly popular as more and more people learn of the great beaches and awesome waves. Don’t expect to get the same waves you would surfing at a Cornwall Surfing School, but you’ll find that Iraq ranks right up there with some of the best surfing experiences.


Iraqi Coastline

Iraq doesn’t have much coastline, and what it does have is in the Persian Gulf. But, what a coastline it is! This is a beautiful beach, and about twice a year, you will find unbelievable surf. The regular weather does not stir up much in the way of surf, and waves are pretty tame most of the time. But, watch the weather reports, and keep your passport handy, because when storms pass over the Persian Gulf from the Indian Ocean, you are in for a great ride. The Arabian Sea is also a great source for weather patterns that can create great surf off the Iraqi coast.

Weather Systems

These weather systems from the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea will often sit on the Iraqi coast for days. Even Bahrain will find that it has decent waves, along with Western Iran and Qatar. Kuwait, which has most of the coastline on the northwestern side of the gulf, will also have some great surfing opportunities.

Sure, you hear about the sandstorms in this part of the world, and men and women serving in the military have watched the beach change shape often. But, while Qatar is getting a tremendous sandstorm, you may find terrific waves in Iraq.

1063602148_4f46757c7f_oRare Waves

There are the great surfing opportunities in Iraq, and then there are the rare waves that give you a shot at greatness. This part of the harbor is dredged regularly, and sometimes the Al Faw Peninsula will peel off a sliding left hander. Some surfers consider it worth the effort to be there when the weather is right, just to cash in on such an opportunity.

Typically, the Al Faw Peninsula will have great learners waves, with swells tending toward the southeast. You can count on an average 2 metre swell off this coastline, with a NW wind. The Peninsula is one of the top rated surfing spots in this area.


You’ll have a little extra preparation if you plan to surf in Iraq. Remember, there is more than just beach sand to contend with. Go prepared to protect all of your electronics, including your camera and phone, from the ever-present sand. You’ll also want to pack plenty of drinking water. Keep the items you use regularly in a backpack or day bag so that you can have it handy at the beach. It pays to take snacks with you, too, to refuel for the next wave.


Finding Work After The Army

Finding Work After The Army


When you leave the military, you are actually facing a career change. And, changing jobs is never easy. Then, you mix the intensity and responsibility of army life with the relatively non-threatening life of the civilian, and you find yourself need to make even bigger adjustments. But there are aids in finding work after the army, and in adjusting to non-military life.

Forces Resettlement

The EU offers forces resettlement help for those leaving the military. Among other things, you will have access to information on job markets. You’ll also be able to get retraining, geared toward training you to use the skills you learned in the military and using them in civilian settings. If you have spent at least 4 years in the military, you can get help with resettlement.
Your resettlement help may even extend to 2 years after you leave the forces. You can have access to a career consultant who will help you to determine the best job market for your personality and skills. You’ll also get valuable information on job availability and relocation.

Areas Of Training

Your skills will probably fit into one of 3 categories: engineering, building trades, or management. Engineering skills are those necessary for people wanting to go into IT work, becoming an electrician, or other such skills. With managerial skills, you’ll find employment in the fields of police work, project management, facilities management, or as a bursar. Building trades are just that: painting, plastering, construction, and other trades.
You’ll receive training aimed at making you successful in the civilian market with these trades.

Other Ways To Find Work

Veterans Day Ceremony

Keep in mind that many companies prefer to hire veterans. In the U.S., the federal government will hire a veteran first. This is out of loyalty for your service, and, very wisely, out of recognition of your willingness to be trained and to work.
There are also organizations all over Europe and the U.S. that help veterans find employment. They will help you to write a professional resume, for starters. These organizations will also help you to post your resume in desired job postings.
They will also help you as you search for jobs, both through individual counseling and online searches. These organizations will also have a media center that matches employees with potential employers. You’ll fill out a profile, and the jobs that fit the profile will come up.
Career fairs are another way to find a job. The organizations that offer help to veterans also have career fairs and job fairs that will give you an opportunity to meet up with potential employers.

Help For Family Members

Most of the help available to you is also available to your family members. This will apply to former spouses who are eligible, for trailing spouses, widows and widowers, dependents, and civilians with the Department of Defense.

Security Clearance

Finally, keep in mind that if you had any kind of security clearance in the military, you could qualify for a civilian job requiring security clearance quite easily. There is always a search for this type of employee in the fields that require security clearance.

The Cost Of The War In Iraq

What is the cost of war? On a philosophical plane, the casualties in human life is staggering, no matter the war. In monetary terms, the results are just as staggering. Currently, for example, the War in Afghanistan costs American taxpayers over $10 – per HOUR! The newest war in the Middle East – the non-war against ISIS – costs the taxpayers nearly $400 thousand per hour just check our cost calculators. This is supposed to be a “clean” war, meaning that Americans and their allies will not be harmed, since there are no “boots on the ground”. As with any political double speak, this is a misrepresentation of the costs of the war in Iraq.

Costs in Lives


The ground war in Iraq started in 2003, following war actions in Afghanistan precipitated by the Twin Towers bombings of 2001. Under still debated motives, the U.S. entered Iraq, and between 2003 and 2012, 4,486 U.S. soldiers have been killed in that country. 800 troops from the UK have died in the war, and another 400 from coalition troops have died. The estimates of civilian deaths, by some accounts, top a half million.
Besides deaths to our soldiers on the ground, it is estimated that there are a dozen suicides a day among Iraqi war veterans.

Monetary Cost

War in Iraq

Since the war in Iraq started, it is estimated that the U.S. has spent over $800 billion dollars on just the Iraqi part of the war. Afghanistan accounts for another $750 billion dollars. So, Iraq accounts for over ½ of the cost of the two wars combined.
Most military advisors said that withdrawing coalition troops from Iraq would destabilize the area, allowing terrorist groups to seize control. That, apparently, has happened, and now, the coalition troops are seeking to re-engage in that area. A “new” terror group called ISIS, or ISIL, if you want to avoid the Syria connection, has arisen, and we now have a new war targeting this group, somehow in exclusion to the wars on other terrorist groups.

The cost of war against ISIS is suspected to be around $300 thousand per hour. However, most reports are that the military is not revealing how much it is spending for this “air action”, and this is an estimate.

Political Cost

Obama AA

The war in Afghanistan had almost full support of the citizens of the U.S. The war in Iraq – not so much, since they had not directly attacked the U.S. Many people, liberals and conservatives alike, believed the Iraq war was based on Saddam Hussein’s threat to a past president of the country, rather than a direct attack. The war has spent a great deal of political capital affecting two American presidents and dividing the country almost as badly as the Vietnam war did, and with dubious benefits, with politicians strategizing both wars.

Numbers that extend beyond our own personal bank balance usually lose their significance. So, to put it in perspective, we’ve “spent” enough human lives and money to fill many, many Empire State Buildings.

Are We Going Back In?

Well, today is the 15th of September and everyone seems to be talking about the situation in Iraq and Syria, ISIS to be precise. The question on everyones lips, will we be heading back into Iraq (where we shouldn’t have been in the first place might I add).

My guess is yes, I think in a few day’s we’ll be hearing about a new assault on Iraq and it will be interesting to see the public reaction. Obviously the US/UK have some other agenda this time, as we all know they just do whatever they want. We’ll see what happens in a few days.