28 December 2009

(Video NSFW) Jihad Hobbyist = Jihobbyist...

*WARNING* Audio portion of this video is NSFW.

Another 'tard has tried to bring down a transoceanic airliner with chemical explosives. This person, an educated and wealthy Nigerian, appears to have succumbed to the newest condition afflciting disturbed Islamic males, jihobbyism.

Jihobbyism is the extension of taking on Jihad as a Hobbyist . Some disaffected person, after too much extremist cybersurfing, decides to "become one of the martyrs". In this case, the internet - not a war in Afghanistan or Iraq - becomes the recruiting medium for impressionable Muslims. A person endlessly scrolling through pages of propganda, videos and jihadist podcasts effectively self-indoctrinates. There is no need for recruiting cells, almost anyone can become the Islamic equivalent of the Manchurian candidate.

The sooner we confront the falsehoods of this propaganda and challenge all true believers in Islam to reject violence, the sooner we will be able to engage in meaningful discourse and marginalize these zealots.

I often wonder whether South Africa would have been able to shed the mantle of apartheid had the internet existed. Or would they have collapsed into a spiral of fear and falshoods?

Proponents of peace do not blow up airliners.

Until then, we will be forever at war.

17 December 2009

MilBlog Silence...

In solidarity with my fellow MilBloggers – HG&U will be dark through 21 DEC.  There is a need for the free and open expression of ideas, opinions and accurate news.  Our founding fathers demonstrated this adherence to the principle of free speech with aggressive pamphleteering and oratory.  We, as a nation, can not stand by (or sit) while restrictions on the rights of humanity are put in place.  In my mind the internet reflects the ongoing evolution of our planet’s freedoms. 


Wednesday 16 December 2009,

Many if not most, fellow milblogs -- including This Ain't Hell, From My Position, Miss Ladybug, Boston Maggie, Grim's Hall, and those participating in the Wednesday Hero program -- are going silent for the day. Some are choosing to go silent for a longer period of time. This blog will resume operations on Monday December 21, 2009.

The reason for this is two-fold.

First, milblogs are facing an increasingly hostile environment from within the military. While senior leadership has embraced blogging and social media, many field grade officers and senior NCOs do not embrace the concept. From general apathy in not wanting to deal with the issue to outright hostility to it, many commands are not only failing to support such activities, but are aggressively acting against active duty milbloggers, milspouses, and others. The number of such incidents appears to be growing, with milbloggers receiving reprimands, verbal and written, not only for their activities but those of spouses and supporters.

The catalyst has been the treatment of milblogger C.J. Grisham of A Soldier's Perspective. C.J. has earned accolades and respect, from the White House on down for his honest, and sometimes blunt, discussion of issues -- particularly PTSD. In the last few months, C.J. has seen an issue with a local school taken to his command who failed to back him, and has even seen his effort to deal with PTSD, and lead his men in same by example, used against him as a part of this. Ultimately, C.J. has had to sell his blog to help raise funds for his defense in this matter.

An excellent story on the situation with C.J. can be found at Military Times: While there have been new developments, the core problem remains, and C.J. is having to raise funds to cover legal expenses to protect both his good name and his career.

One need only look at the number of blogs by active duty military in combat zones and compare it to just a few years ago to see the chilling effect that is taking place.

Milblogs have been a vital link in getting accurate news and information about the military, and military operations, to the public. They have provided vital context and analysis on issues critical to operations and to the informed electorate critical to the Republic.

On Wednesday 16 December, readers will have the chance to imagine a world without milblogs, and to do something about it. Those participating are urging their readers to contact their elected representatives in Congress, and to let their opinions be known to them and to other leaders in Washington.

Some milblogs will remain silent for several days; some just for the day. All have agreed to keep the post about the silence and C.J. at the top of their blogs until Friday 18 December.

The issues go beyond C.J., and deserve careful consideration and discussion. We hope that you will cover this event, and explore the issues that lie at the heart of the matter. Contact the milbloggers in your area or that you know, and hear the story that lies within.

A Partial List of Participating Blogs:

This Ain't Hell

Boston Maggie
Miss Ladybug
Drunken Wisdom
Grim's Hall
From my position
CDR Salamander

Haze Gray and Underway!

Two cartoonists join in!

Private Murphy
Delta Bravo Sierra

Check them out as well...

If you wish to donate to CJ's defense fund, please use the following address, or click the link below. He's in a serious battle against a serious foe. Read the article to find out all about it.

Grisham Legal Fund
c/o Redstone Federal Credit Union
220 Wynn Drive
Huntsville, AL 35893

Please write "Grisham Legal Fund" in the memo line if you use this option.

Milblogs have been a vital link in getting accurate news and information about the military, and military operations, to you. Today, many milblogs are gone and others are under attack from within and without. Today, you have the chance to imagine a world without milblogs, and to do something about it. Make your voice heard by writing your congressional representatives and others, and by making donations as you see fit.

The battle for freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas is fought on many fronts and in many ways. Without your help, the battle may well be lost.

14 December 2009

Got the power...

Just because I love the M1A2.

Merry Christmas

09 December 2009

Now what...

The President finally made a “decision” on Afghanistan.  Surprisingly, it is very much like the initial recommendation from Gen. Stanley McChrystal.  We will augment our forces in Afghanistan by nearly 40,000 troops, almost two full divisions, and seek almost 10,000 troops from contributing allies.  Recall, this conflict – which started in 2001 – is a NATO operation under Article 5, mutual self defense.


The war was originally executed in a proxy fashion, with indigenous militias, CIA operatives and SOCOM forces.  In fact, Afghanistan was won with only 1300 US troops deployed and no allied help.  We only increased our troop levels to more than 30,000 in 2008.


In essence, we held Afghanistan and maintained control with a fractional force through critical elections and numerous fighting seasons with less than a full division.  This troop level was actually lower than some provinces in the Iraq conflict. 


Now we will see troop levels in the AOR at or near 100,000 in 2010.  This is meant to be a surge through at least July of 2011, many – including myself – will criticize the President for announcing an end date to this effort.  Whether this will result in a successful timeline is unclear.  Our enemy remains elusive, able to melt across various borders and gaining support from numerous proxy players, such as Iran.  There are a host of those with criticism of our strategy, however, Afghanistan is not Iraq, there is no centralized ruling party – nor has there ever been a central government in this tribal nation.


Afghanistan is also not Vietnam.  There is no superpower supporting the opposing side nor are there large standing armies in place.  What we found in the country was a failed state – a victim of having limited natural resources (and thus no national economy).  Afghanistan has also suffered almost continual warfare since the 1970s and a narcotics based agriculture – in which farmers benefit little.


So the question remains, now what?  There are three critical needs.  Establishment of a viable national, central Afghan security force is vital.  Think cavalry in the old west of the United States.  Secondly, the role of the central government must be clarified with some version of power sharing with local tribal leaders.  The central government’s role must be the allocation of resources and fostering of trade and industry.  Finally, some policy which permits recognition of differences of faith without allowing the Taliban to regain control to the extent they had prior to 2001.


This is a huge task.  One which will require more than eighteen months.