Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.

U.S. embassy in Iraq attacked

Militia linked to Iran today attacked the U.S. embassy in Bagdad, breaking into the compound while chanting “Down, Down USA!” and “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.

Iraqi security forces made no effort to stop the protesters as they marched to the heavily-fortified Green Zone after a funeral held for those killed in the U.S. airstrikes, letting them pass through a security checkpoint leading to the area.

The mob of marchers, many of them in militia uniforms, shouted “Down, Down USA!” and “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” outside the compound, hurling water and stones over its walls. The mob set fire to three trailers used by security guards along the wall. AP journalists saw some try to scale the walls.

Others then smashed the gates used by cars to enter and dozens pushed into the compound. The protesters stopped in a corridor after about 5 meters (16 feet), and were only about 200 meters away from the main building. Half a dozen U.S. soldiers were seen on the roof of the main building, their guns were pointed at the protesters. Smoke from the tear gas rose in the area. [emphasis mine]

The protests were apparently in response to the Sunday U.S. airstrikes against Iran-backed militia in Iraq, launched in retaliation for the killing of an American contractor by those same Iranian militia.

That Iraq security allowed the protesters through their security checkpoints is a very bad thing. It suggests that Iraq, caught between the U.S. and Iran, is shifting its alliance toward Iran.

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  • Cotour

    One interpretation.

    S.O.M. takes many forms, the Neo Cons are not dead.

    Why is it always a Liberal / Leftist / ‘”Progressive” of one form or the other that has us all at our wits end? Because the Liberal / Leftist / “Progressive” agenda and mind is perverted and fraudulent and in their perversion and drive for power they will indeed do anything to attain it, its the nature of the beast. And I mean ANYTHING. And we are witness to that fact in the actions of the Democrat leadership in real time.

    2020 will be a political year that no one has ever experienced before in America, it will be glorious. MAGA

  • Phill O

    The exit from the Iran-Iraq-Afghanistan area may be at hand. Let them fight things out between themselves.

    However, there are experts there on nuclear and biological weapons who are hungry for work. Let them build their facilities then take them out BIG TIME.

    The world will not like it.

    Maybe it is time for the world to step in and fix the problem: Enough AmeriCanadian lives have been given!

  • I don’t know that the Iraqi security forces were in a tearing great hurry to lose their lives over a foregone conclusion. Discretion the better part and all.

  • Phill O

    Experiences in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan etc prove the folk over there will back who they think will be there and win. They are betting the Iranians will retaliate while the US forces will not.

  • Col Beausabre

    Ya ever notice nobody ever messes with Russian diplomats or embassies ?

    “Jan. 7, 1986
    12 AM
    From the Guardian

    The KGB has adopted novel, brutal and apparently effective methods of dealing with terrorists who attack Soviet interests in the Middle East, an Israeli newspaper reported Monday.

    The Jerusalem Post said the Soviet secret police last year secured the release of three kidnaped Soviet diplomats in Beirut by castrating a relative of a radical Lebanese Shia Muslim leader, sending him the severed organs and then shooting the relative in the head.

    The incident began when four Soviet diplomats were kidnaped last September by Muslim extremists who demanded that Moscow pressure the Syrian government to stop pro-Syrian militiamen from shelling rival Muslim positions in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.

    The militiamen, the Jerusalem paper said, did not cease their attacks, and the body of one of the Soviet diplomats, Arkady Katkov, was found a few days later in a field in Beirut

    The KGB then apparently kidnaped and killed a relative of an unnamed leader of the Shias’ Hezbollah (Party of God) group, a radical, pro-Iranian group that has been suspected of various terrorist activities against Western targets in Lebanon.

    Parts of the man’s body, the paper said, were then sent to the Hezbollah leader with a warning that he would lose other relatives in a similar fashion if the three remaining Soviet diplomats were not immediately released. They were quickly freed.

    The newspaper quoted “observers in Jerusalem” as saying: “This is the way the Soviets operate. They do things–they don’t talk. And this is the language Hezbollah understands.”

    Simple, memorable and effective.

  • Dick Eagleson

    As I have written on a number of forums in recent years, the U.S. acted stupidly under GWB in both Iraq and Afghanistan by standing up native national governments almost immediately after having easily conquered both places. We also failed to sift the captured soldiers/militiamen/tribesman for the hardcore troublemakers and fanatics, then jail or execute them. The inevitable result was weak, corrupt and faithless national governments and unending insurgencies.

    The U.S., having forgotten how to effectively govern conquered nations under governments of military occupation run by U.S. generals, as we did, quite successfully, with both Japan and Germany after WW2, has now forfeited the gains bought in blood by our troops largely because of the Bush family’s panty-waisted fear of being called “imperialists” by the domestic and international Left. It seems this stupid course was urged on the feckless Dubya – who, to his credit, had initially seemed inclined, in Iraq at least, to actually appoint a U.S. government of military occupation under a retired U.S. Army general – by idiot associates of his late doofus father. The fear was, it seems, that if we did that we’d be stuck in these places forever.

    So how’s that worked out for us? We’re still stuck in both places, but with no effective leverage to do what’s necessary to actually pacify either place.

    To fix things, one has to be in charge. To comprehensively fix things, at this late date, we have to do several things:

    1. Depose the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan and impose governments of military occupation as we should have done in the first place. Kill anyone who points a gun at an American.

    2. Invade and conquer Iran. Kill all the ayatollahs, the entire Quds Force and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Kill anyone else who points a gun at an American.

    3. Invade and conquer Syria. Kill the Assads and all the senior officials of their regime, their retainers and all the jihadi militias operating there. Kill any Quds Force and Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops found. Kill any Hezbollah or Hamas fighters found. Kill anyone else who points a gun at an American.

    4. If the Israelis are willing – and they likely would be – forcibly move the entire “Palestinian” population from Gaza and the West Bank to the Arab part of Syria and make Gaza and the West Bank permanent parts of Israel.

    5. Stablize Afghanistan by building a border wall separating it from Pakistan, then play whack-a-mole with the remaining Taliban once they have no way to effectively duck out for R&R when the going gets tough.

    6. Stand up a new, independent nation of Kurdistan out of the northern 1/3 of Iraq, including the northern oil fields and the city of Kirkuk, and the Kurdish-majority parts of Syria and Iran. Annex the oil-rich Khuzestan Province of Iran to Iraq in exchange for the northern oilfields dealt to Kurdistan. Peel off some other parts of Iran as well – the Azeri-majority provinces could go to Azerbaijan, for example. Leave Iran a mostly Persian rump. Drive home the lesson delivered to both the Germans and Japanese that aggressive nations, once defeated, lose territory as an object lesson anent better future behavior.

    7. Starting at the local level, build governments in Syria, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan from the ground up, devolving power only as the native politicos who arise are seen to be able to handle their jobs in a fashion consistent with Western ideas of equality, justice and rule of law.

    This is the only solution that has an achievable endpoint and doesn’t simply leave long-open wounds to fester and require recurrent future attention in effective perpetuity. Simply put, we can be in these places forever without solving their problems, leave these places after nearly 20 years without solving their problems – and inviting the certainty of still-worse new problems arising as we saw with ISIS – or we can grab the lot of them by the scruffs of their necks and slap and shake sense into them before putting them back on their own. The latter might take awhile, but there is a satisfactory endgame that can be achieved. It’s already been more than amply demonstrated that nothing short of this is going to work.

  • wayne

    “Your Job in Germany”
    US Occupation training film 1945
    [directed by Frank Capra, written by Theodor Geisel]

  • wayne

    The relevant embassy scene

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