NRO Slideshows

The Obama Economy

With the economy officially out of a recession and statistics such as the unemployment rate and consumer confidence seeming to trend in a positive direction, the Obama administration has touted progress on revitalizing the economy.

The Obama Economy

Uploaded: Aug. 29, 2013


Cartoon of the Day
Jul. 31, 2014
Incompetent, by Michael Ramirez (July 31, 2014)
Little Dutch Boy, by Michael Ramirez (July 30, 2014)
Perch, by Henry Payne (July 29, 2014)
Human Shields, by Michael Ramirez (July 28, 2014)
Putin’s Reset, by Michael Ramirez (July 25, 2014)
Presidents During a Crisis, by Michael Ramirez (July 24, 2014)
Wide Open, by Michael Ramirez (July 23, 2014)
Transparent, by Michael Ramirez (July 22, 2014)
Out, by Henry Payne (July 21, 2014)
Why? by Michael Ramirez (July 18, 2014)
LeBron, by Henry Payne (July 17, 2014)
Ha-Mas, by Michael Ramirez (July 16, 2014)
The Pawn, by Michael Ramirez (July 15, 2014)
Tear Down This Wall, by Michael Ramirez (July 14, 2014)
Obama’s Katrina, by Michael Ramirez (July 11, 2014)
Before and After, by Michael Ramirez (July 9, 2014)
I Don’t Know Why They’re Flooding the Borders, by Michael Ramirez (July 8, 2014)
Equal Justice, by Henry Payne (July 7, 2014)
The Times, July 4, 1776, by Henry Payne (July 4, 2014)
Happy Birthday, America, by Michael Ramirez (July 3, 2014)
Help Center, by Michael Ramirez (July 2, 2014)
5-4, by Henry Payne (July 1, 2014)
Rip Van Media, by Michael Ramirez (June 30, 2014)
The Piñata, by Michael Ramirez (June 27, 2014)
The Plan, by Michael Ramirez (June 26, 2014)
Red . . . by Henry Payne (June 24, 2014)
Iran to the Rescue, by Michael Ramirez (June 23, 2014)
White House to the Rescue, by Michael Ramirez (June 20, 2014)
Gap, by Henry Payne (June 19, 2014)
Baghdad Bobama, by Michael Ramirez (June 18, 2014)
Missing, by Michael Ramirez (June 17, 2014)
Dead Broke, by Michael Ramirez (June 14, 2014)
Clinton Problems, by Michael Ramirez (June 13, 2014)
To Faithfully Execute . . . by Michael Ramirez (June 12, 2014)
Broke, by Michael Ramirez (June 11, 2014)
Talking Bergdahl, by Michael Ramirez (June 10, 2014)
Lemon, by Henry Payne (June 9, 2014)
The Imperial President, by Michael Ramirez (June 6, 2014)
Cutting Carbon, by Henry Payne (June 5, 2014)
The Obama Emporium, by Michael Ramirez (June 4, 2014)
After You, by Michael Ramirez (June 3, 2014)
It Was the Weather, by Michael Ramirez (June 2, 2014)
The West Point Address, by Michael Ramirez (May 30, 2014)
First Read About It in the Newspaper, by Michael Ramirez (May 29, 2014)
General Motors Theater, by Henry Payne (May 27, 2014)
Freedom, by Henry Payne (May 26, 2014)
Hope . . . by Henry Payne (May 24, 2014)
Fallen Soldiers, by Michael Ramirez (May 23, 2014)
Outraged? by Lisa Benson (May 22, 2014)
Obamacare, Brought to You by . . . by Henry Payne (May 21, 2014)
Now You Know How We Feel, by Michael Ramirez (May 20, 2014)
#You Think? by Michael Ramirez (May 18, 2014)
#BringBack . . . by Michael Ramirez (May 16, 2014)
Gospel Reading, by Michael Ramirez (May 15, 2014)
Today’s Lecture, by Henry Payne (May 14, 2014)
Truth, by Michael Ramirez (May 13, 2014)
Clinton Celebrity Gala, by Henry Payne (May 12, 2014)
Segregation, by Michael Ramirez (May 10, 2014)
Weather, by Michael Ramirez (May 9, 2014)
Under the Rug, by Henry Payne (May 7, 2014)
Photoshop of the Day
Jul. 31, 2014
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Valley of Dearth, by (July 25, 2014)
Obama’s National Guard, by (July 24, 2014)
Iceberg, by (July 23, 2014)
Leader of the Free World, by (July 22, 2014)
The Bear Is Loose, by (July 21, 2014)
Farther Apart, by (July 18, 2014)
Secure? by (July 17, 2014)
So Many Scandals . . . by (July 16, 2014)
Mainstream, by (July 15, 2014)
Kidsnado, by (July 14, 2014)
Break Shot, by (July 11, 2014)
Pawns, by (July 10, 2014)
Ship of State, by (July 9, 2014)
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Obama’s Pipeline, by (July 7, 2014)
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Obama’s America, by (July 3, 2014)
Blocked Shot, by (July 2, 2014)
The Obama Legacy, by (July 1, 2014)
Tangled Web, by (June 27, 2014)
2.9, by (June 26, 2014)
Raiders, by (June 25, 2014)
Cooperation, by (June 24, 2014)
Battle Ribbons, by (June 23, 2014)
Iraq Advisors, by (June 20, 2014)
Stuff Happens, by (June 19, 2014)
Invisible Hand, by (June 18, 2014)
Ping-Pong Bomb, by (June 17, 2014)
On Advice of Council, by (June 16, 2014)
Borders, by (June 13, 2014)
Bumping the Board, by (June 12, 2014)
Obama’s World, by (June 11, 2014)
Business Regs, by (June 10, 2014)
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Normandy 2014, by (June 6, 2014)
Implementing Obama’s Foreign Policy, by (June 5, 2014)
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Train of Thought, by (May 27, 2014)
Memorial Day, 2014, by (May 26, 2014)
Tea Party, R.I.P., by (May 23, 2014)
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Sharknado Returns!
Jul. 30, 2014
The man-eating superstorm of Al Gore’s worst climate-change nightmares returns in Sharknado 2: The Second One, premiering July 30 on Syfy. Here’s a look at the new fin-fest, and a look back at the original social-media phenomenon.
THE SECOND ONE: Sharknado 2 picks up where the first film left off (or dropped off), changing the setting from Los Angeles to New York while keeping all the maritime mayhem intact. Not since Superstorm Sandy has the Big Apple seen bad weather like this.
Ian Ziering returns as the indomitable hero, ex-surfer Finley “Fin” Shepherd. Say hello to his little friend: A New York Fire Department chainsaw, locked and loaded.
Fin puts his new toy to good use in one of the film’s signature preposterous action sequences.
Fin gets a taste of East Coast public transportation — and misses his chainsaw.
Tara Reid also reprises her role as Fin’s ex-wife April. (And Fin's got his chainsaw back.)
Among the cast additions this time out are Vivica A. Fox (pictured with Ziering), Kari Wuhrer, Kelly Osbourne, Judah Friedlander, and Andy Dick. Al Roker and Matt Lauer also drop by for quick cameos.
In a nod to the social media tides that swept the first film to high ratings, SyFy held a Twitter contest to find the name for the sequel.
Sharknado 2 screenwriter Thunder Levin took a little light-hearted umbrage at the reception brewing for the new fin flick, telling, "See, this is what I don’t understand. Why are people laughing at our very important documentary about global warming?"
THE FIRST ONE: SyFy’s ultra-low budget Sharknado was a snarky ode to schlocky science fiction, combining two memes — ecological disaster and giant sharks — in a pop-culture Cuisinart that exploded on social media.
The unsubtle title pretty much gave away the plot line: Giant tornados lift massive sharks out of the Pacific Ocean and dump them on residents of Los Angeles. As the saying goes: mayhem ensues.
Sharknado starred Ian Ziering of 90210 fame and American Pie actress Tara Reid.
Cheap production values and special effects were the order of the day for Sharknado, which was shot in just 18 days. But none of that seemed to matter.
The audience on Sharknado’s first night was a modest 1.37 million. But all the social-media traffic hat erupted on that first night powered a repeat airing a week later, which garnered 1.89 million viewers. A third airing on July 27 found 2.1 million, a growth curve unprecedented in the basic cable world.
Thousands of viewers flooded Twitter during and after Sharknado’s initial airing, running with its intentionally over-the-top premise. At its peak on that first night, Sharknado viewers were sending out more than 5,000 tweets per minute and more than 600,000 through the evening.
Television critics were largely powerless before the Sharknado juggernaut, with most electing to just go with the flow. Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Mary McNamara opined: “So forget An Uncomfortable Truth. Environmental activists need to set up screenings of Sharknado. My fellow Americans, is this the legacy we want to leave our children? A shark on every rooftop?"
Asawin Suebsaeng, ”The film raises a serious question: Could a sharknado happen in real life? Animals often get caught in the paths of tornadoes, but they typically die before they get the chance to harm Tara Reid."
Jacqueline Andriakos, Entertainment Weekly PopWatch: “It reminds us that we should all be aware of the negative affects of global warming and never underestimate the potentials of Mother Nature."
Winston Ross, “This movie unceremoniously demonizes an already woefully misunderstood creature of the deep."
Serious scientists took a good-natured attitude as well. National Weather Service spokesperson Chris Vaccaro offered some advice to Mother Jones: "As with any waterspout or tornado, the best advice is to be in an interior part of the lowest floor of a sturdy building—and not outside, whether sharks are raining down or not.”
FIN FANS: Twitter lit up with Hollywood celebrities watching on the first night, and even some of the cultural elite chimed in, including this tweet by Mia Farrow joined by author Philip Roth. Beemed Farrow: "We’re Watching Sharknado!”
"I'm not sure about the science in this movie you guys." — Wil Wheaton, actor on Star Trek: The Next Generation
"For those of you already maligning my ending for SHARKNADO 2, you should know 3 things: Henry Winkler. Leather jacket. Water skiis." — Damon Lindelof, producer of Lost
"Somewhere in Hollywood there is a senior executive yelling at a junior executive for not coming up with #Sharknado first." — Greg Berlanti, screenwriter, Everwood
"Can't watch #Sharknado because I'm on the set of my new film Tsunamwolf." — Danny Zuker, producer, Modern Family
"As usual, the beach youths all deserve to die. #rooting for the sharks" — Kurt Loder, music journalist
"If there isn't a channel showing #Sharknado on a loop until the end of time, we have failed as a society…" — Eric Stangel, writer, Late Show with David Letterman
"Dear @SyfyTV: please follow up SHARKNADO with PARTLY CLOWNY. Sky. Clowns. Michael Pare (probably)" — Patton Oswalt, comedian/actor
"SharkFart vs Diarrhea Whale. Call me @Syfy. That's my movie pitch. #Sharknado" — Judah Friedlander, actor on 30 Rock
"I wish I could join in on the shenanigans, But I had a cousin that was killed by a #Sharknado back in '93. #RamonRIP" — Horatio Sanz, cast member, Saturday Night Live
"I'm afraid that now when we have a real sharknado everyone's going to treat it like a joke" — B.J. Novak, actor on The Office
"#Sharknado Hell hath no fury like a pissed Great White Shark that gets sucked out of the ocean and dropped in #90210" — Ian Ziering, actor and star of Sharknado
The intellectual elite weighed in as well. Nationa Review's Jonah Goldberg observed: "They totally stole the ending from Sophie's Choice.”
"When unfairly treated confirmation nominees strike back, that will now be known as a "Borknado." -- John Podhoretz, Commentary
Famous Fins
Jul. 30, 2014
The premiere of Sharknado 2: The Second One — the inevitable sequel to last year’s so-bad-it’s-good schlock disaster flick — is only the latest and weirdest chapter in our enduring fascination with sharks. Here’s a look at some famous fins from the worlds of art, literature, and popular culture.
Shark-related monster movies have proliferated in recent years on cable TV and in direct-to-video titles. Many go well beyond any kind of realism to portray massive, genetically-modified, and even two-headed sharks.
So many low-quality shark tie-ins have been created that it can be hard to tell if you're looking at an actual video cover and a parody.
The shark — and in particular the apex predator great white shark — remains a powerful metaphor for the uncontrollable danger of the natural world, a remorseless killing machine that is one of the last creatures on Earth to occasionally find itself above humans on the food chain.
Sharks are an ancient species going back more than 400 million years in the fossil record and diversifying into more than 470 varieties. They range in size from tiny tots ready for a child’s aquarium to the prehistoric giant known as megalodon, with jaws so big they’re fit for a family portrait.
The Gulf Stream (1899): Winslow Homer’s painting of a man piloting a rudderless ship in stormy and shark-invested waters captured a deep fear of the beast that grew over centuries of maritime travel. Long loathed by mariners, sharks became the object of a wider public fear as more people recreated on beaches.
Jaws (1974): Peter Benchley’s 1974 thriller about a great white shark menacing residents of a Long Island resort town was based on several real-world incidents. The book was an instant smash, staying on the bestseller list for some 44 weeks and selling 5.5 million copies in its first year alone.
In later years, Benchley lamented that his book had contributed to a negative understanding of sharks. Pictured, Benchley (at right) with Robert Shaw on the set of Jaws.
Jaws (1975): Director Steven Spielberg rewrote the playbook on summer blockbusters with his film adaptation of Benchley’s novel, which electrified audiences with its menacing tale of a monster shark and the trio of foolhardy men who set out to kill it. John Williams’s iconic theme is among the most famous in Hollywood history.
Spielberg poses inside the jaws of “Bruce,” one of three breakdown-prone mechanical sharks that proved a major headache during filming. But because he was forced to limit the shark’s screen time, Spielberg ended up with a far more frightening beast for being seen mostly in fleeting glimpses. (The name "Bruce" was a tribute to Spielberg’s lawyer Bruce Raimer.)
One of the film’s most memorable scenes is when Captain Quint tells the story — based on actual events — of the USS Indianapolis, which sank on a secret mission to deliver the A-bomb in the Pacific during WWII, leaving the crew to fend off sharks for days afterward.
The Jaws franchise spat out four sequels that never lived up the high bar set by Spielberg’s original creation, and in some instances became legendary for their awfulness. Pictured, 1987’s Jaws: The Revenge, which swallowed original film co-star Lorraine Gary and British actor Michael Caine.
Land Shark: Feeding on the pop-culture frenzy surrounding the release of the original Jaws, Saturday Night Live cast member Chevy Chase starred in a running sketch gag about a seemingly shy, passive-aggressive shark that baited unsuspecting New Yorkers to open their doors, only to have their heads swallowed for their trouble.
Shark Week: The Discovery Channel launched its popular week-long underwater marathon in 1987, featuring a wide range of shows on the general topic of sharks. The block has become a popular annual tradition on the basic cable service.
Bruce, Finding Nemo: Named after Spielberg’s mechanical actor, Bruce (voiced by Barry Humphries) is a simple shark trying to go right, leading a support group that insists: “Fish are friends, not food.” It all goes well until he gets a whiff of blood in the water.
Don Lino, Shark Tale (2004): Voiced by actor Robert De Niro, the character of Don Lino, an underwater mob boss, plays on De Niro’s extensive mafia movie filmography.
Deep Blue Sea (1999): Scientists working in a secret lab researching a cure for Alzheimer’s genetically modify three Mako sharks, greatly increasing their brain capacity and turning them into even-more lethal hunters. Luckily, Samuel L. Jackson arrives to save the day and rescue everyone from the motherf*****g sharks!
Jabberjaw: Hanna-Barbera’s late 1970s children’s program followed the adventures of a great white shark who played drums in a teenage rock group named The Neptunes. Jabberjaw and his posse toured a futuristic world playing concerts and battling the forces of evil, as sharks are wont to do.
Street Sharks: Created to promote an existing toy line, this mid-90s animated series followed the adventures of a team of crime-fighting half-man/half-sharks who were created in a university professor’s “gene-slammer” device.
In the original Batman the Movie from 1966, the caped crusader battles — OK, sorta slaps around — a shark that nabs his leg as he dangles from the Bat Copter. Luckily, he has a can of Bat Shark Repellant on his trusty utility belt. Some days you just can’t get rid of a shark!
West Side Story: In this 1961 film version, as in the original Broadway musical, the Sharks are the Puerto Rican immigrant gang who really want to come to America but must do battle with the Jets for control of Manhattan’s Lincoln Square area.
Greg Norman: The Australian professional golfer picked up the nickname “The Shark” owing to his imposing stature, blonde hair, and aggressive style on the links.
Helicopter Shark: In 2001 this widely circulated image claimed to show a great white shark leaping from the water beneath the Golden Gate Bridge to attack a Black Hawk helicopter. Ascribed to National Geographic, the magazine quickly disavowed it as a hoax.
Misunderstood Shark: This Internet meme takes a variety of shark imagery and uses captions to impart a sad countenance to the feared underwater predators.
Israel's Arsenal
Jul. 30, 2014
As the Israel Defense Forces continue to pound Hamas militants in Gaza, prime minister Benjamin has warned his nation to prepare for a protracted campaign. Here’s a look at some of the IDF equipment seen in news reports covering the ongoing conflict. Pictured, the IDF's F-16I Sufa fighter.
Operation Protective Edge was launched on July 8 to quell renewed rocket attacks on Israeli cities and to uncover and destroy a growing network of tunnels built by Hamas to infiltrate fighters into Israeli territory.
IRON DOME: On the front lines of Operation Protective Edge is Iron Dome, Israel’s game-changing missile defense system that has proven highly effective against rockets launched from Gaza and other nearby territories.
As of July 30, more than 2,600 rockets have been fired by Hamas from positions in Gaza such as this one, which are often hidden in civilian areas including schools.
Iron Dome consists of a radar station, weapons control unit, and the missile launcher. When a rocket launched is detected, the system’s radar determines its trajectory and target, and quickly plots an intercept course, detonating the incoming missile high in the air.
Not every incoming rocket is targeted; those that are determined to be headed towards unpopulated areas are let through, leaving the Iron Dome system to concentrate on those that pose the most danger to civilian or military areas. Pictured, two Iron Dome missiles find their targets.
MERKAVA MARK IV: The Merkava is the main battle tank of the Israeli Defense Forces. First deployed in 1979, the Merkava — Hebrew for “chariot” — has gone through several main versions, with the latest, the Mark IV, entering service in 2003.
The Merkava is a robust and battle-tested weapon system, featuring heavy crew protection, superior speed and maneuverability, and the latest digital battle management systems.
The Merkava’s highly sloped main turret is designed to deflect incoming rounds that manage to strike the tank.
The Merkava’s main punch is provided by its 120mm cannon, which an fire a variety of high-explosive and anti-personnel rounds. Merkavas also carry a 60mm mortar system that can fire explosive and illumination rounds. Pictured, Merkavas with the 401st Armored Brigade on the move near the Gaza border.
Merkava tanks deploy to the border of Gaza in the early days of Operation Protective Edge.
A tank crew loads a round inside a Merkava.
Older versions of the Merkava tank have also been deployed in the ground element of Operation Protective Edge. Pictured, a Merkava Mark III model on the move.
A closer look at the turret of the Merkava Mark III.
TROPHY: The fighting in Gaza has also seen the operational debut of the Trophy Active Tank Defense System on Israeli armor. Trophy automatically detects and intercepts incoming RPGs and anti-armor rockets from any direction, detonating them with a barrage of ball bearings before they reach the tank. (Illustration: IDF)
Trophy also relays the attacker’s launch location to the crew, allowing a quick response. According to the Foxtrot Alpha blog, Trophy is capable of intercepting enemy threats at a great enough distance to keep nearby IDF troops out of harm's way.
F-16I SUFA: The Israeli Air Force has flown a wide range of aircraft throughput its history, including American-designed jets such as the F-15 and F-16, and has often upgraded and enhanced these aircraft to meet its own operational needs. One example is the F-16I Sufa, the Israeli version of the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
First introduced in 1994, the Sufa — the Hebrew word for “storm” — builds on the proven Falcon platform with new Israeli-designed weapons system hardware, radar, and helmet-mounted cueing system that allows the pilot to launch weapons by sight commands.
Like its American forebearer, the Sufa is a fast and deadly strike aircraft, capable of top speeds above Mach 2.0 and low-altitude runs at nearly 900 miles per hour.
The straight ridge on the spine of the aircraft is is a compartment housing specialized avionics systems.
Some Sufa aircraft are also equipped with “shoulder”-mounted conformal fuel tanks, resting just above the wings on each side of the aircraft, which give the fighter increased combat radius.
A Sufa fighter fully loaded with fuel and weapons and ready to fight.
APACHE GUNSHIP: The Israeli Air Force flies a number of helicopter aircraft, including the UH-60 Black Hawk, the Eurocopter AS-656 Panther (Hewbrew nickname Atalef, meaning “bat”), and the Boeing AH-64 Apache gunship (Hebrew nickname Peten, meaning “adder”) pictured here.
The IDF has flown the Apache since 1990, and it has proven its mettle in combat just as it has for American forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pictured, an AH-64 Longbow — with the distinctive mast-mounted radar dome above the rotors — readies for takeoff.
The Apache’s four-blade rotor and twin turbo-shaft engines are capable of speeds of up to 182 mph and to a combat ceiling of 21,000 feet. Pictured, an IDF Apache looses a missile at a ground target.
An AH-1 Cobra gunship, another American-built import flown by the IDF, joins an Apache AH-64 Longbow on the tarmac. The Longbow model is known in the IDF as the Saraf (Hebrew for “serpent”).
SKYLARK: The drone revolution that has swept the American military is also in evidence in the IDF, where the lightweight Skylark drone has seen use in Gaza. Small enough to be launched by hand, the Skylark can stay aloft for three hours providing live-video feeds.
A member of the IDF’s “Sky Riders” Skylark squadron prepares to launch the Skylark.
SUBMARINES: The Israeli Navy operates four Dolphin-class submarines to provide defense and surveillance operations in Israel’s coastal waters. Like the U.S. Navy’s fleet, the operations of Israel’s submarines are highly secretive.
The latest submarine, the Tanin (Hebrew for “crocodile”) was delivered in 2012. According to the IDF’s blog, another advanced submarine, the INS Rahav, is expected to delivered some time this year. Pictured, inside one of the Dolphin boats.
Su-25 Frogfoot
Jul. 29, 2014
A Russian-built jet fighter little seen in the West has been lurking just under the headlines of the ongoing international crises in both Ukraine and Iraq over the past few months. Here’s a look at the Sukhoi Su-25, known by its NATO codename "Frogfoot."
In Ukraine, Russian-backed separatist forces — or possibly Russian forces operating just over the border — have shot down three Su-25 aircraft flown by the Ukrainian military, including two in the Donetsk region in the immediate aftermath of the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.
Pro-Russian rebels pick thorugh debris at the crash site of a Ukrainian Su-25 near Savur Mogila in eastern Ukraine on July 23. The pilot of the aircraft reportedly ejected safely.
Reports from Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency shortly after the downing of MH-17 suggested there was a Ukrainian Su-25 in the area of the airliner in an attempt to implicate Ukraine in the shootdown.
The Ukrainian military operates a range of Russian-built weapons systems including the Su-25. The highly capable aircraft gives Ukraine a crucial battlefield advantage over separatist forces.
In Iraq, three Su-25s from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force deployed to the air base at Al Rashid in early July, where they will aid Baghdad’s fight against Islamist ISIS forces. According to the Aviationist, the Iranian jets will be flown by four Iraqi pilots and ten Iranian pilots.
Video footage of the Iranian Su-25 fighters arriving in Iraq.
Iraqi crews with an Iranian Su-25. The bloody handprints are stamped with goat’s blood, part of a Shia ritual honoring Abul Fadhl Abbas, who lost his hands at the Battle of Karbala in 680 A.D. and whom Shias believe resides in heaven with wings instead of hands. (Photo: Jassem Al Salamni via War Is Boring)
Defense officials in Baghdad have also purchased used Su-25s from Russia and Belarus. According to Time, an initial batch of five fighters arrived in late June, with a total of 12 aircraft and ground crew on their way. Pictured, Russian troops unload an Su-25 in Baghdad on June 28.
Iraq has long experience with the Su-25, having flown it against Iran during the bloody 1980-1988 war. Ironically, some of Iran’s Su-25s were originally owned by Iraq, and were abandoned by pilots fleeing Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
As a rugged ground-attack aircraft, the Su-25 is ideally suited to battle ISIS forces moving across the country’s wide-open terrain. The figthers will provide welcome support for the army’s beleaguered fleet of attack helicopters.
THE “FROGFOOT”: First introduced into active squadrons in 1981, the Sukhoi Su-25 is a compact twin-engine, single-seat fighter designed for close-air support, able to attack ground targets with a range of weapons systems in all weather conditions.
As a heavily armed and armored close-air support aircraft, the Su-25 is in many ways analogous to the U.S. Air Force’s A-10 Thunderbolt (pictured), right down to the titanium-protected cockpit and emphasis on maintainability in the field and survivability in a combat environment.
Like most Russian-built aircraft, the Su-25 emphasizes simplified systems and rugged construction compared to its Western counterparts, though the aircraft has undergone numerous upgrades and spawned a number of variations for export markets. Pictured, a Bulgarian Air Force Su-25 at Bezmer Air Base.
The later stages of the Su-25’s initial development even included a deployment to Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation, where the aircraft conducted 44 combat missions against enemy forces during April and June of 1980.
The Su-25 went on to fly more than 60,000 combat missions in Afghanistan prior to the Soviet withdrawal. Worldwide, the aircraft has flown in combat against insurgents in the Czech Republic and was widely used by Iraq during the Iraq-Iraq War and by the Angolan Air Force during the civil war of the 1980s and 1990s.
Though it is no longer in active production for the Russian military, a large number of Su-25s are still in service by Russian and numerous other nations. Pictured, Russian air force Su-25s fly over Moscow during Victory Day celebrations in 2013.
With a combat ceiling of 23,000 feet and a combat radius of 230 miles, the Su-25’s maximum speed is around 590 miles per hour. A two-seat version is capable of carrier-based operations.
When fully loaded the Su-25 fairly bristles with weapons, equipped with ten hard points for carrying a variety of air-to-ground and air-to-air armaments, including missiles, guided rockets, and bombs.
The aircraft is also equipped with a 30mm twin-barrel main machine gun, installed on the port side. The gun has a burst rate of 3,000 rounds a minute. Additional gun pods can also be mounted on the wing pylons.
A closer look at the Su-25's main gun.
Memories of August, 1914
Jul. 28, 2014
A unique commemoration of life on the eve of war 100 years ago took place in Liverpool, England, this past weekend as giant-sized puppets walked the streets in a performance that paid tribute to the city’s role in the Great War. Here’s a look.
Held just before the anniversary of the start of hostilities on July 28, 1914, “Memories of August 1914” was inspired by the Liverpool Pals, a battalion of WWI volunteers made up of neighbors and co-workers from the seaside English city.
Some 1,000 men signed up to serve in the war within the first month. In all some 2,800 local men lost their lives in the conflict.
An estimated 40,000 spectators were on hand to watch the giant public show, a creation of the French street-theater company Royal de Luxe.
“Memories” began two days earlier as the 24 foot-tall “Grandmother Giant” lay sleeping in St. George’s Hall, where the Liverpool Pals campaign began a century earlier.
A visitor gets a closer look.
Once awakened, Grandma rose and set out to explore the city. It takes a team of 26 expert puppeteers to operate her.
Joining grandma on her journey was “The Little Giant Girl” and her dog Zolo.
Xolo makes his way down a Liverpool street, followed by a team of controllers.
Royal de Luxe director Jean-Luc Courcoult told BBC he chose to bring the show to Liverpool because they residents “like to talk about the past, tell family stories, and keep them alive.”
Courcoult added that he hoped the show would “reassure us and maybe give us a message of hope” on the anniversary of the start of that terrible conflict.
Two puppeteers sit high above the ground as they steer Little Giant Girl through the streets.
The Little Giant Girl also got a ride on a more modern conveyance.
Grandma rides a wheelchair into a busy Liverpool public square. In all the three puppets travelled more than 30 miles.
A team of puppeteers attends to Grandma’s controls, which briefly delayed the performance.
A crowd favorite, especially with children, Xolo stands nine feet fall and is operated by a 20-person crew.
World War I
Jul. 28, 2014
THE "GREAT WAR": July 28 marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of hostilities in World War I, a massive conflagration that would rage across Europe and far-flung battlefields for more than four years. Here’s a look back at the conflict through the faces of the soldiers who fought on all sides. Pictured, British troops climb out from a trench on the Western front.
World War I saw most of the nations of Europe as well as Russia, the Ottoman Empire, and the United States, embroiled in a conflict that would cause the fall of four imperial dynasties and alter the political landscape of the world. Pictured, Prussian guard infantry mobilize in Berlin, August 1914.
Though largely fought between European powers, the war spread to battlefields in Africa, the Middle East, and as far away as Asia. Pictured, a Turkish machine gun corps holds a position on the Gaza Line at Tel Esh Sheria, 1917.
The war brought unprecedented destruction and loss of life as modern weapons changed the landscape of the battlefield. But even after all the carnage, the groundwork was laid for an even more horrific world war two decades later. Pictured, a British soldier stands amid housands of spent artillery shells.
World War I saw the introduction of numerous new technologies on the battlefield and put established weapons to use on a whole new and murderous scale. The modern tank was among the innovations that changed the face of battle. Pictured, British armor on the move.
Powerful machine guns brought unprecedented carnage to vulnerable infantry, driving them into the protective trenches that would come to define the fighting across the Western front. Pictured, a Belgian soldier mans a machine gun during fighting in Belgium, 1914.
Airplanes were also used by numerous combatant nations for reconnaissance and bombing, and occasionally in aerial dogfights to determine air superiority for the first time in modern war. Pictured, British Handley-Page bombers in the skies over the Western front.
The war also saw the first widespread use of poison gas, a ghastly new weapon that so horrified the world that its use was later banned by international treaty. Pictured, German soldiers run from a poison gas attack near Flanders, September 1917.
The scope of the war made a final accounting of the human toll hard to measure, but an estimated nine to ten million soldiers were killed and more than 22 million injured. At least seven million civilians also perished during the conflict. Pictured, British soldiers carry a stretcher in Flanders, August 1917.
THE FRONT LINES: French soldiers stage a bayonet charge up a steep slope in the Argonne Forest, 1915.
British artillery pound German forces on the Western front.
A German soldier throws a hand grenade.
An artillery shell lands near a trench at Fort de la Pompelle, France.
American soldiers prepare their 37mm machine gun during fighting at Meuse-Argonne, France, September 1918.
U.S. soldiers in action: Battery C, Sixth Field Artillery Regiment, First Division, fire artillery at Beaumont, France, September 1918.
A German machine-gun position on the Vistula River, 1916.
A British machine-gun team preps their weapon.
U.S. soldiers with Company A, Ninth Machine Gun Battalion, man an emplacement in Chateau Thierry, France, June 1918.
Serbian soldiers man a hilltop trench.
Infantry man a position north of Jerusalem, 1917.
A gang of soldiers pull a heavy field artillery piece through the mud along a railroad track.
A German soldier and his horses wear gas masks as they move through a contaminated area, June 1918.
Soldiers unload 1,400-pound “pill box destroyers” on the Western front. These artillery shells would blow a hole 15 feet deep and 45 feet across.
German soldiers celebrate Christmas at the front, December 1914.
British soldiers enjoy a Christmas dinner in a shell crater and alongside a grave, 1916.
ON THE MOVE: French cavalry ride through the streets, c. 1914
British soldiers on the march at Vimy Ridge, 1917.
German troops on the march c. 1918.
Australian light-horse troops on the march in East Jerusalem, 1918.
Highlander soldiers carry sandbags to the front, 1916.
British soldiers on the beach at Gallipoli, with part of the invasion fleet in the harbor, prior to pivotal and bloody battle.
Russian troops on the run after the Russian Revolution, 1917.
British soldiers march into Lille, France, near the war's end in October 1918.
Going Home: American soldiers of the all-black 369th Infantry Regiment arrive in New York City c. 1919.
IN THE TRENCHES: Facing powerful machine gun and the ever-present threat of artillery, armies on both sides dug in for a long and protracted war fought from sprawling trenches. Pictured, a British soldier crouches in a flooded trench near the front line in France.
American soldiers with the Maryland 117th Trench Mortar Battery, load a trench mortar near Badonviller, France, 1918.
French soldiers man an anti-aircraft machine gun in a trench near Perthes les Hurlus.
French soldiers wear gas masks in a trench, 1917.
British soldiers in knee-deep mud at the front lines, c. 1917.
A British soldier cleans his rifle on the Western front.
An exhausted Scottish soldier asleep in a trench near Thievpal, France.
A Dutch soldier writes a letter home while sheltered in a trench.
A posed shot of German soldiers in a trench near the British line, showing their large machine gun and one soldier (at right) using a periscope to observe enemy forces.
The view from inside an ANZAC pillbox near Ypres, 1917.
BUTCHER'S BILL: A British soldier helps a wounded German prisoner, c. 1916
German soldiers support a wounded British soldier, 1917.
German medics tend to soldiers injured in a gas attack.
An American soldier with Company K, 110th Regiment Infantry, is tended by a medic at Varennes-enArgonne, France, September 1918.
German POWs are pressed into service helping push a cart loaded with wounded Canadian soldiers at Vimy Ridge, 1917
THE AFTERMATH: Soldiers stand in a massive artillery crater in Ypres, Belgium, October 1917.
Austrian Fourth Division field artillery soldiers in Chateau Wood near Hooge, Belgium, October 1917
A shattered British MkIV tank near Inverness Copse, August 1917.
Two tanks lie broken on the battlefield at Ypres, Belgium, October 1917.
A bridge snakes through the shattered landscape at Flanders, 1918.
Dead horses litter a battlefield near Ypres, Belgium, 1917.
Lens France
The pulverized ruins of Gommecourt Chateau in France.
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