Archive for the 'Recommended Reading' Category

Monday Reading List

BY Herschel Smith
10 years, 8 months ago

I have a new featured article on Bilderberg, The New American Century And The Rise Of Intelligence.

David Codrea on a U.K. columnist posing the question should the world intervene to stop U.S. gun violence.

If ingrates like Porter and his smug followers don’t like us, our Constitution and our guns, maybe they’d be better off providing for their own defense — that is if they wouldn’t rather just surrender to the coming Caliphate they seem bound and determined to incubate. Besides, it’s not like such effete wankers pose much danger of forming a humanitarian brigade to come over and “liberate” us from our guns, although as is common with their lot, including our own domestic breed of hoplophobe, they’d no doubt cheer on someone else assuming the labor and the risks of carrying out their will.

I second that.  And my reaction when I read this silly U.K. commentary was “How are you going to disarm us when we’ve got the guns and you don’t, and don’t believe in them?  You’re not going to send in the … ahem … U.N., are you?”  As another good rebuttal to this, see Stormbringer (courtesy of John Jay).

Kurt Hofmann on veterans who want to keep their guns being wary of seeking treatment for PTSD.

Their next most likely avenue of attack, then, may very well be to seek new ways to block gun purchases by military veterans who have received any kind of mental health treatment. Over a decade of combat has produced hundreds of thousands of veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The killer is said to have been suffering from PTSD, stemming not from his time in the military, but from his experience helping as a responder at the September 11. 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Yea.  This guy didn’t have PTSD.  I’ve been around a whole platoon of Marines who were diagnosed PTSD, and they didn’t act like that.  If you are a veteran you’re advised to listen to Kurt’s counsel here.  Mental health will be the new whipping boy, despite the observations I’ve made in the past about its uselessness as a determinative indicator of future violence.

Furthermore, while it’s one thing to say that you care about PTSD, it’s another thing to behave that way.  Former Soldiers and Marines who were deployed in Iraq have it tougher than you think, and employers aren’t just falling all over themselves offering jobs.  Veterans, if you’re smart, you’ll be careful just what you communicate to whom.  Your country doesn’t appreciate your sacrifice.

Mike Vanderboegh:

Taiwan develops smart munitions against China – when we refuse to help them.

Like I’ve said concerning that ridiculous “sunshine diplomacy” between N.K. and S.K.  It will end when we stop providing their umbrella of protection and they have to defend themselves.  And not only that, Japan should go nuclear.  They have enough good nuclear engineers to do it.  China is advised to consider a potential nuclear Japan and Taiwan on their shores.  Pleasant dreams, boys!

Next, listen to this lecture on the American Second Amendment.

Only a few blocks away from the US Capitol in Washington, in the heavily guarded US Naval Sea System Command headquarters thirteen civilian and contract workers were killed when two shooters entered the building and opened fire. Police and federal agents were informed and surrounded the base. All streets leading to the base were cordoned off. The first shooter was identified as veteran Navy reservist Aaron Alexis while investigation on the second gunman continues. After the incident, a sombre President Obama paid homage to the “patriots” – who “know the dangers of serving abroad”, but also faced “unimaginable violence they wouldn’t have expected at home”. US flags flew at half-mast, on Friday.

‘Unexpected’ would not be the most accurate description for America’s violent gun problem. Mass shootings in 2012 alone were a damning indictment of the national crisis on the possession of arms: schoolchildren killed in Sandy Hook, people attacked at a local theater in Aurora, devotees shot and killed at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, citizens assaulted in California and, other recent incidents are only some of the instances of gun crime that took place last year. Missing from this timeline of growing gun violence are the victims of gang war from racially gentrified neighborhoods.

The Second Amendment in the US Constitution signifies a citizen’s right to own and arm himself against potential threats of violence. There is favour and opposition by Republicans and Democrats both, on the issue of possession of weapons. However, powerful pro-arms lobbies, such as the National Rifle Association (NRA), successfully resist debate on the curtailing of arms ownership. Opposition to the reckless amassing of guns should not be seen as an offence to the Constitution or the Founding Fathers of the United States. There is enough reason and logic, along with growing proof, that administrative discipline of guns ownership will only help to preserve the values and people of America, and not otherwise, as the NRA would have Americans believe.

How nice.  Pakistan, who allows the Tehrik-e-Taliban to run around unmolested in the Northwest Frontier Province and Federally Administered Tribal Area, and who allows Lahore to become a hotbed of radicalism, while Muslims kill Christians en mass, is lecturing us on our second amendment.

Finally, the AR-15 in Hawaii.

As has been extensively reported, following the presidential election and Sandy Hook, national (and Hawaii) sales of “black guns” have gone ballistic. A December 23 Star Advertiser story reported that OGC Tactical, a Kalihi gun store that specializes in black guns, had a ten-fold increase in sales in the week following the announcement of President Obama’s gun control task force.

Not surprisingly, the sales spike precipitated a block long line of gun owners snaking along Beretania Street, waiting patiently to register their newly purchased arms with the Honolulu Police Department.

How many AR 15s, or in gun industry parlance “Modern Sport Rifles”, are there are in Hawaii?

Numbers from the NRA report that, from 1986 to 2007, at least 1,626,525 AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles were produced in this country and recent press accounts have put the current number closer to 5 million. Suffice it to say, there are thousands of AR 15s in Hawaii and more are on the way.

[ … ]

So who exactly are these people?

A national survey by the NSSF, the gun industry trade group found:

  • The typical MSR owner is 35-plus years old, married and has some college education.
  • Nearly half (44 percent) of MSR owners are current or former military or law enforcement members.
  • 39 percent of all MSR owners purchased their most recent MSR at an independent retail store, with the average purchase price being $1,083.

I flat out don’t believe that statistic, that is, that 44 percent of MSR owners are current or former military or law enforcement.  I just don’t believe it.  Someone has go to prove it to me before I’ll pass that on as fact.

Recommended Reading

BY Herschel Smith
10 years, 9 months ago

John Jay:

my dear friends, the 5.56x45mm nato cartridges being expended at the 25 yard range is to provide and prepare for government agents, whether civilian or national guard, coming to our homes to try and take our guns, or suppress our speech, or inhibit or prevent our right of free association to fight the political oppression we see all around us.

the people at the ranges do not see the need to prepare for a 400 yard battlefield, and set battle.  they see the coming threat on their doorstep, and for that, 25 yard shooting will do just fine.

so, mr. obama and various & assorted minions, be aware that your final few steps in the completion of your plans will be hotly contested.  you may find force entry into our liberties far more difficult than you ever dreamed.

i see that, every day, at the 25 yard target standard.  i see the evidence of that thinking on the ground, in the form of shooting practice for the day a lot of people see coming.

i hear it on the lips of my neighbors, ordinary farmers, workers, small business people, and ex-servicemen who fought in viet nam, in iraq and in afghanistan.

those final steps, obama & minions, will not be taken easily.

I think John is right and it makes perfect sense to me.  I would warn, however, against the perceived ease of CQB.  Government troops should be wary of the boy with the bolt action rifle and high powered scope hiding in the hills and behind the flora.  As for me, I regularly shoot my AR-15 at a paper plate at 100 yards with iron sights.  If I cannot put all or most of the rounds in a magazine on a plate at 100 yards, I need more practice.  Of course, I always need excuses for more practice.

Say Uncle, citing an Army report on a new side arm:

“It’s kind of hard to beat the Smith and Wesson M&P right now,” said one industry insider from a competing company, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “It is a polymer gun with high-capacity steel magazines. It has a positive safety and ambidextrous controls … they simply came out of the gate with the right gun.”

Chance agrees with this statement, and I sure do like my M&P .40 too.  But I demur.  Read the list at the Army Times article.  Missing from the list is the best handgun to be purchased today, the Springfield Armory XDm (mine is a .45).  I shoot both on a regular basis.  The XDm is better.

David Codrea is a nice guy and doesn’t tell the anti-gun folks to go to hell like some of us would do.  He recommends going to NK.  Oh … err … nevermind, it might be hard to tell the difference.

Speaking of David, he reminds us that Obama is a liar (we knew that already), and that the Washington Post is still carrying water for Obama.  I would remind everyone that he and Mike Vanderboegh are responsible for breaking Fast and Furious, so David is in a position to know the details of the WaPo report and how it deviates from the truth.

Kurt Hofmann takes on lawyer and professor Burton Newman.  Bottom line up front.  Governor Jay Nixon is a coward.  He vetoed the proposed Missouri second amendment preservation act.  It’s painfully obvious that Kurt knows more about the law than professor Newman, and Newman isn’t a coward like Nixon, just a communist.  But Newman isn’t finished yet.  If this isn’t clear enough for you, read Kurt’s piece.  I would add that I’ve discussed this case before, and some of these laws are just posturing.  Nullification laws have as much leg under them as states want them to have, no less, no more.  Bottom line up front for my article.  I want to see some federal agents arrested and thrown in with the general prison population for attempting to enforce federal firearms laws.

Finally, Mike Vanderboegh reports:

The old man, described by a family member as “wobbly” on his feet, had refused medical attention. The paramedics were called. They brought in the Park Forest police.

First they tased him, but that didn’t work. So they fired a shotgun, hitting him in the stomach with a bean-bag round. Wrana was struck with such force that he bled to death internally, according to the Cook County medical examiner.

“The Japanese military couldn’t get him at the age he was touchable, in a uniform in the war. It took 70 years later for the Park Forest police to do the job,” Wrana’s family attorney, Nicholas Grapsas, a former prosecutor, said in an interview with me Thursday.

Good grief.  Here is the report.  Barney Fifes with ammunition in their weapons.  The Keystone Cops with automatic firearms.  Idiot totalitarians with guns.  Dangerous, hazardous to men, children and beasts.  If we don’t see you again, mommy and daddy love you.  Run, children, run for your very lives.  Here comes a cop.

Reading List And Commentary

BY Herschel Smith
10 years, 10 months ago

First is Max Velocity, who gives us another good entry on the presuppositions under-girding being able to operate in the field, which he titles More Detail On Rucking Fitness.  This is another valuable post from Max, and he gives us an example of what we should all aspire to achieve.  But I feel like I’m listening to my son (former Marine) describe humping 100+ pounds kit for twenty miles in 105 degree heat at Camp Lejeune.  At some point these guys have got to adjust their counsel for 53 year old guys with a slight belly, who walk five miles a day and get to the gym two or three times a week for weights.  Somewhat in shape, but not nearly the degree to which Max describes.

From Montrose, Texas we have another example of SWAT misbehavior.

“A man identified himself as the SWAT sergeant. He said I had exactly ten minutes to come downstairs or they were going to start tearing my house down,” Castorena said. “About a minute later, the SWAT team runs through my front yard and batter rams my front door.”

Castorena was led out in handcuffs and charged with felony assault.

The whole thing started over loud music.  No, seriously.  Loud music.

David Codrea’s articles are always worth reading, but one in particular bears reading again regarding judge Kidd making the injunction against the Mississippi open carry law permanent.  We’ve discussed this before, and I just can’t help but believe that turning to judge Kidd at all in any form whatsoever is illegitimate, even attempting to get him to overturn his ban.  The man did something unconstitutional, as he has no right to ban laws because he thinks they are unclear.  Judge Kidd is a candidate for impeachment, and if I were the governor and attorney general I would go ahead with the law and call a special session of Congress to throw Kidd out.

Next, read Kurt Hofmann on gun control pushers hoping to exploit the Zimmerman case for more oppressive laws.  Of course they do.  Has a statist ever done anything or taken any action to decrease the power of the state?  Can a leopard change its spots?

Always drop by Western Rifle Shooters Association every day, and I appreciate WRSA for bloggrolling me.  I consider this an achievement.

“The AR-15 muzzle flash is the new torch of liberty” according to Representative Steve Stockman, R- Texas.  Just so.  Related, one commenter at reddit/guns has a post on AR-15s that might interest you, some of it good, some of it so-so, but be warned.  If you carry on that discussion here, we don’t use Eugene Stoner’s name in any other context but effusive praise or hushed reverence.

Finally, Bob Owens has a rifle suggestion for Zimmerman now that he’s a free man.  Not all that dissimilar from mine (excluding the EOTech).  I have my tactical light on an offset mount because I don’t want it under the weapon and in front of the forend grip.

I hold my weapon the way my son taught me to, using the forend grip only as an anchor point rather than grasping it, and thus my hand uses much of the forend of the weapon.  This is also similar to the way Travis Haley teaches, not coincidentally, and the more exaggerated version of this is in vogue with SF where the arm is outstretched straight and gripping the forend of the weapon on the side completely without a grip in order to avoid over-rotation of the weapon during target acquisition (this technique comes from the gamers).

UPDATE: David Codrea has some thoughts on hauling rucks.  When you look at it that way, I guess I’ll bring up the rear with David and die in a firefight while laying down cover fire for the rest of you.  So be it.  There are worse ways to go.

Links And Recommended Reading

BY Herschel Smith
10 years, 11 months ago

Michael Bane:

So I’m in charge of taking care of the menagerie tonight and the television is on to keep me company. I’m listening to a Republican — let me restate that…Republican — analyst state how excited he is about a 2016 Presidential match-up between Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie. Because, see, Chris Christie is the bestest conservative Republican candidate in the whole wide world!

I have to say that Chris Christie would be the final straw…I have been as pragmatic as anyone on wading through this political cesspool…sucked it up for McCain…sucked it up for Romney…but I will be damned if I’ll cast a vote for an antigun floating…well, whatever it is that floats in cesspools…like Chris Christie.

Right.  Chris Christie is a gun-grabber, and take careful note that he appointed a Senator who is the same thing.  His record speaks volumes.

David Codrea notes that the NYPD was rebuffed concerning purchase of a sniper rifle (see WRSA too).

The Survivalist Blog publishes a piece on why one writer got his concealed carry permit.  David Codrea notes why he didn’t.

The Yankee Gunner has a nice piece on open carrying in Connecticut at Newtown.  Yes, Newtown.  You heard that right.

Finally, The Charlotte Observer has a piece on Police Chief Rodney Monroe on his support for gun controls.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe called for a national assault weapons ban on Tuesday, joining a growing number of police chiefs across the country who have said the assault-style weapons should be outlawed.

Monroe said he feels strongest about restrictions on guns with high-capacity magazines, like the one used in the Newtown, Conn., shootings that left 20 children dead.

“We should not be seeing those kinds of weapons on our city streets,” Monroe said. “Back in the early ’90s, when we had the assault weapons ban, we saw a significant decrease in multiple shootings, multiple gun violence, so it only makes sense that we consider that again.”

Monroe called for the assault weapons ban during a meeting of the Business Leaders of Charlotte, a group that brings high-profile Charlotteans in as speakers every month to discuss issues of the day.

“I hope today that we can take away an honest understanding of the gun-control debate in the country,” said Michael Barney, the group’s president.

Monroe also told the group he thinks everyone who buys a gun should be subjected to a background checks.

You know, it’s really a shame.  Years ago the functions of Sheriff and Police were separated in order to stop politics within the functions of police – because the police ought to be policing, not politicking.  Guess it didn’t work out so well.

Today’s Reading

BY Herschel Smith
11 years ago

David Codrea:

“Apparently Square is joining several other payment processors and financial institutions and are now refusing to do business with anyone who has anything to do with guns, ammo or other weapons,” the Guns Save Lives blog observed, adding “Paypal has long had a standing policy of refusing to business with any gun related business, including for things as innocuous as gun magazines. GE Capital, one of the largest lenders in the US recently announced they would no longer work with the gun industry as well.”

“We may decide not to authorize or settle any transaction that you submit to us if we believe that the transaction is in violation of this Agreement,” Square warns its users.

David is covering financial companies who refuse to do business with firearms buyers and sellers.  This is one reason we have tried to close out our bank account with Bank of America.  We’re about there.

Kurt Hofmann:

At the state level, exploiters of murdered children have over the last few months parlayed the Sandy Hook Elementary atrocity into magazine and “assault weapon” bans–in some cases confiscatory bans–and have castigated Congress for not following the same unconstitutional path at the federal level. 3-D printing has already spelled the doom for the effectiveness of such bans, as well as background check requirements and other restrictions on “assault weapon” sales.

We will ultimately win, and I think that’s Kurt’s point.  As for this whole 3D printing issue, I am thus far not impressed enough to do anything more than distribute the files if someone sends them to me.  I’ll stick to what I’ve got and what I plan to get until further advancements in technology (and those advancements will come).  But the paranoia made me more interested than I otherwise would have been.  If the government forbids having the files, I want them.  If you can’t distribute them, I want to be a clearinghouse for them.

Via Say Uncle, another New Yorker will be prosecuted for the ridiculous law.

An upstate man was arrested under the state’s new gun law when troopers found him with a legally registered pistol that had a magazine that held nine bullets – two more than the new statute allows, state police said.

Troopers from the New Lebanon barracks in Columbia County stopped a car driven by Gregory D. Dean Jr., 31, of Hopewell Junction, around 9:45 p.m. Sunday on Route 22 because the vehicle’s license-plate lamp was not working.

While interviewing Dean, troopers noticed a handgun on the front seat, partially covered by a sweatshirt.

The troopers determined the gun, a .40-caliber pistol, was legally registered and possessed. However, when the troopers inspected the pistol, its magazine contained the nine bullets – New York’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Actonly allows seven bullets per magazine.

Police charged Dean with unlawful possession of certain ammunition feeding devices, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation,both misdemeanors, plus vehicle infractions, police said.

Ah, there we go again calling a cartridge a bullet, and New York’s finest spending time shutting down violent gangs on tax money … er uh … harassing gun owners on tax money.

Dave Hardy:

Maryland Shall Issue has filed a lawsuit against the State Police. The gist of it is that the police are taking an average of 55 days to issue permits, while the statutory command is that they do so within 7 days.

But Dave.  They’re the police.  They can do what they want to.  If they can shoot innocent people in SWAT raids, no one will care if they don’t issue carry permits when the law says they must.  By the way, Maryland is one of those states through which I will not drive, and over which I will not fly.

Today’s Links

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 2 months ago

Over at David’s place he is talking about making an AA-12, and taunting the police about it.  Read it at Examiner.

Over at Mike’s place, he is wondering when anyone is going to notice that an awful lot of ammunition is being sold.

You wonder when somebody on the other side besides the analysts in the Three Letters are going to notice. Deep in bowels of the FBI. CIA and DHS, THEY notice and are passing warnings up the chain, or so I am told. But the politicians either don’t believe them or don’t get it.

Over at Kurt’s place he is talking about an awful lot of people unwilling to relinquish their firearms.  Matt Bracken weighs in with comment as follows.

Please watch the new 5 minute youtube mini-documentary “Democide: Socialism, Tyranny, Guns and Freedom.” Socialist dictators (and they were often very popular) murdered over 200 million innocent victims in the 20th century. And in every case, they disarmed them first in the name of “public safety.” (Sound familar?) And in every case, they began the process of democide with “commonsense” gun registration. 1. Registration 2. Confiscation 3. Extermination. Ask the Armenians, the Jews or the Russian “kulaks” if they were treated better, or worse, by their oppressors after they were disarmed and helpless. Actually, they were exterminated. As an older, male, Christian “bitter clinger,” I refuse to be an Armenian Jewish Kulak. Molon Labe!

Over at Bob’s place, he has a different take.  I’m not smart enough to know which is right.  I know which side I’m on, and that’s all I need to know.

Bob is also talking about Colt possibly leaving Connecticut.  Maybe they listened to my warning (although my commenter on this article has a strong demurral – with which I’m not smart enough to disagree).

Bob is also (correctly) pointing out that gun control is part of the overall plan, which is people control (which I also point out here).  I commented thusly.

When the people demand cradle to grave security and overwatch, the state responds with cradle to grave demand for omniscience for itself and cradle to grave compliance by the people.  It’s a deal with the devil for our soul, and America has made it a long time ago.

The demands of totalitarianism are comprehensive.  Finally, Western Rifle Shooters tells us that the recent financial crisis in Cyprus is headed here.

Listen folks.  The only way I know to tell you the state of affairs is this.  Would you stop them with force if they try to take your weapons?  If not, they will.  Let’s take it to the next level.  Would you stop them if they try to take your wealth?  If you have no guns, they will.  The wealth for which you have worked all of your life will be gone in an instant to try to pay for the trillions of dollars of unfunded liabilities in America, which amounts to more wealth than the world has at its disposal (so not even confiscation of wealth will work to save a failing system).

Finally, would you use force to prevent them from taking your child?  As we know, this isn’t far fetched at all.  What if one day your wife takes a picture of you and your one year old little boy, or grandson (a truly precious picture for a life’s memory when you grow old), with your boy unclothed and sleeping on your shoulder or chest, your wife releases that photo to some presumed friends, and suddenly you find yourself staring down the barrel of a gun from a SWAT team member supporting a DSS agent who wants to arrest you and take the child to a father who can raise him with proper sensibilities – and talk about his “private parts being private?”  What is your threshold?  When will you stop them?

Drone Front and Other Recommended Reading

BY Herschel Smith
13 years, 5 months ago

Loyal reader and blogger Rick Keyes has made a contribution for our education this weekend.  Rick has cataloged and analyzed the recent drone strikes in the tribal region of Pakistan.  Make sure to study his report Drone_Front.

Next, the Army has finally published an official historical analysis of the engagement at Wanat.  The study is from The Staff of the U.S. Army Combat Studies Institute, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  It is entitled Wanat: Combat Action in Afghanistan, 2008.

On page 255 three of my articles are listed.  I am proud to have contributed in some small degree to this important work.  I had wanted for a long time to publish Douglas Cubbison’s preliminary work in full, but it was forwarded to me in confidence and I have held that confidence until today.  Now the study is complete, although not exactly in its original form or with all of its original content.

Yon, Lynch, Starbuck, Spiri and Neutics

BY Herschel Smith
13 years, 8 months ago

First up in recommended reading #6 comes Michael Yon, who has been busy on his Facebook page.  He sends this rather remarkable picture along.

Michael is the foremost photographer and journalist covering any war today, and it pays to make regular visits to his site and Facebook page.

Next, Tim Lynch has some very nice words for me.  I sincerely appreciate the undeserved accolades.  I get my tactical views from, ahem, um … one certain Marine I know.  Concerning The Five Hundred Meter War, Tim observes:

I do not know the woman who was kidnapped that well but can say she was one of the more experienced and savvy operators in the eastern region.  The company she works for, DAI, is one of the “big boys” in the reconstruction business and although they are not as nimble or fast as we are they are still damn good.  So here we are in the middle of the surge and the security situation has never been worse.  If the security situation continues to degrade it is just a matter of time before all of us reconstruction types pull up the stakes and go home.  The U.S. Military is the only organization which can effect change now as it is apparent the government of Afghanistan is not going to ever be able to produce security in its present form.  I think I am speaking for the outside the wire community when I say (to ISAF)  ”it’s time to get off the FOB’s and into the fight….or we’re done here.”

Tim is the foremost voice among contractors, and his observations are salient and on point.  One cannot find such hard hitting and accurate analysis anywhere else.  His warnings are ominous and depressing, but need to be heard.

Next, Starbuck at Wings Over Iraq discusses robotic mules and whether the Marines need them, linking my discussion about the best way to ensure that the Marines become irrelevant.  I still think that the best way to help the Marines with heavy loads is the way the Small Wars Manual says to do it, with mules, instead of machines that sound like a million angry Africanized bees and need battery power to work.

Next, visit Jim Spiri who is recently back from Afghanistan.  Finally, visit Hermeneutics: Afghanistan for a first hand account of one Soldier’s deployment.  The pictures and personal account are compelling reading.

Weekend Reading #4

BY Herschel Smith
13 years, 8 months ago

First up, regular comment contributor to The Captain’s Journal Roy Keyes gives us:

Hezbollah: The Party of God

Viewed as both hero and villain, Hezbollah is possibly the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world today. Hezbollah’s worldview is fueled by the perception that the Muslim world is experiencing a period of deep crisis and as a result, members of the organization are encouraged to strike at the forces of evil in the world in order to accelerate the final battle between Muslims and the West (Hezbollah Dossier, 2009).

This is a good one and is well worth some time today or this weekend.

Second, another paper on Hezbollah:

Hezbollah in South America

Hezbollah, Lebanon’s Iran-sponsored Shi’i Muslim terrorist organization, has established global networks in at least 40 countries. Its growing presence in South America is increasingly troublesome to U.S. policymakers, yet there are few experts on Hezbollah and fewer still on Hezbollah Latino America. Hezbollah’s operatives have infiltrated the Western Hemisphere from Canada to Argentina, and its activity is increasing, particularly in the lawless Tri-Border Area (TBA) of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. This research was conducted to expose the actions and objectives of Hezbollah in the TBA. The majority of US officials and operators believe that Hezbollah’s terrorist wing is separate from its political wing, but these are misconceptions from people who “mirror-image” the American experience when assessing Hezbollah. Unfamiliarity with the organization makes these assessors vulnerable to its propaganda, which is a severe problem that permeates the US government and its operatives. People who think Hezbollah is or could be compartmentalized or disunited are not familiar with the organization and perceive Hezbollah through the lens of the organization’s extensive propaganda effort. Hezbollah has a large operational network in the TBA, which generates funds for the party, but its primary mission is to plan attacks and lie dormant, awaiting instructions to execute operations against Western targets.

And one more must read from the Center for Security Policy:

Sharia: The Threat to America

Team B II believes that the role played in this regard by shariah’s most sophisticated jihadists, the Muslim Brotherhood, is of particular concern.  Steeped in Islamic doctrine, and already embedded deep inside both the United States and our allies, the Brotherhood has become highly skilled in exploiting the civil liberties and multicultural proclivities of Western societies for the purpose of destroying the latter from within. As America’s top national security leadership continues to be guided by its post-modernist, scientific, and high-tech world-view, it neglects the reality that 7th Century impulses, enshrined in shariah, have reemerged as the most critical existential threat to constitutional governance and the freedom-loving, reason-driven principles that undergird Western civilization.

I found especially pleasing that the authors were scholarly in their approach.  They traced the contemporary jihadist movement not only back to its original theological roots, but also back to its temporal and contemporary roots in Sayyid Qutb, whom I have know about a long time.  Interestingly, he inveighed:

“`The American girl is well acquainted with her body’s seductive capacity,` he wrote. `She knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs and she shows all this and does not hide it.` These curvy jezebels pursued boys with `wide, strapping chest[s]` and `ox muscles,` Qutb added with disgust.”

Seems that Qutb is giving us a little more information than we need if he actually believes that all of this is true, no?  Is he enjoying this discussion a little too much?

Weekend Reading #3

BY Herschel Smith
14 years, 5 months ago

TCJ was linked at Hannity, and it seems like every time a rules of engagement article is linked, some wise guy drops by and says something like “but this isn’t war, it is a counterinsurgency and in COIN we must prevent killing innocents and thus win the hearts and minds.”

Well now.  I just hadn’t figured it like that.  I hereby rescind everything I have ever written about ROE.  On second thought, nevermind.  Maybe we should consider this for a second.  No one wants to see noncombatants die, and everyone wants the cooperation of the locals.  It’s more complicated than that, leading such experienced hands as Ken White of the Small Wars Council to respond, upon hearing of McChrystal’s tactical directive, that “Aside from the impacts on own forces, the net result is most likely to be more, not fewer, civilian casualties …”

Even Pentagon officials have admitted that the new ROE has opened up space for the insurgents.  The problem is never the intent – it is the unintended consequences of our actions.  I would conclude by reminding us of the robust ROE in place in the Anbar Province, and … ahem … that the Marines’ campaign in Anbar was successful.

Next, The Captain’s Journal appreciates the link by Andrew McCarthy at NRO in Alinsky Does Afghanistan.  And Jules Crittenden has a remarkable find from a military historian named Richard F. Miller.  A short clip of his analysis:

The most important convention these sorts of speeches is first, simplicity of message (e.g., attack, retreat, hold) and next, consistency of message. The latter is key — time and attention spans are short. When a civilian commander, versus a NCO, gives such a speech, multiple audiences have to be accounted for — friends, allies, enemies, fence sitters, etc. This actually puts nuance at a severe discount — clarity is key. Battle speeches are not diplomacy. The same message must be received by all constituencies.

Given the foregoing, but not addressing the policy merits, Obama’s speech was a failure. It transgressed both simplicity and consistency with its call for a July 2011 terminus (since walked backwards and forwards by a variety of administration shills).

The speech was too long, and its length was spent badly. Where he might have outlined some basic tactics (a key according to SLA Marshall) he was silent about details — the numbers matter less than what one does with the troops. (Here both Bush and Petraeus excelled in defining broadly where and how new force would be applied.) Consistency also fell short because he reproached his predecessor, an gratuitous distraction from his message.

Consistency was also violated by the other boundaries that Obama set. For example, in  emphasizing, unnecessarily, in my view, that America’s war-making capacity was subject to economic limitations, should the Taliban to assume that American can be compelled to withdraw by, Heaven forbid, dynamiting the New York Stock Exchange? In general, a battle speech, or call to action is not the place to recite one’s limitations. One can imagine FDR calling for “the inevitable triumph” but “subject to the success of next war bond drive.”

Moreover, civilian commanders-in-chief have a special responsibility in their battle speeches from which their military counterparts are exempt — rallying the civilian population. Here, Obama failed miserably, save for the only segment of the civil population that seemed to matter to him — the Democrats’ left wing.

Good analysis.  Remember also that I analyzed Obama’s speech as a failure.  Make sure to take in Victor Davis Hanson at NRO who is at his best on resetting the reset button.

But didn’t Obama’s new Middle East outreach — stamped with Bush culpability, recognition of Islam’s brilliance, monotonous promises of friendship, and emphasis on Obama’s unique name, heritage, and patrimony — at least bring political dividends?

Hardly. Iran has announced an expansion, not the cessation, of its nuclear-enrichment program. We have achieved the paradoxical result of having polarized our democratic ally Israel without winning over the autocratic Palestinians. The Sunni Arab world assumes that a Shiite Persia will go nuclear, and in response the Arabs will probably seek their own deterrent. Obama’s cozying up to Syria has achieved nothing other than bolstering Damascus’s confidence about re-entering Lebanon and copycatting the Iranian model of nuclear acquisition.

In general, the Arab world is suspicious of those who trash their own. Its leaders interpret Obama’s apologies for his own country as being as much a character defect as proof of any new accommodation. And while Obama repents for America’s misdemeanors, most leaders in the Middle East have no intention of apologizing for their countries’ felonies.

From Foreign Policy, we have this.

When President Obama spoke to troops at Alaska’s Elmendorf Air Force Base last month, the unit there parked a shiny new F-22 fighter plane in the hangar. But according to multiple sources, White House aides demanded the plane be changed to an older F-15 fighter because they didn’t want Obama speaking in front of the F-22, a controversial program he fought hard to end.

“White House aides actually made them remove the F-22-said they would not allow POTUS to be pictured with the F-22 in any way, shape, or form,” one source close to the unit relayed.

It’s difficult to imagine a more un-serious, trivial, childish man for President of the U.S., surrounded by people who could be any more un-serious, trivial and childish than they are.

Last, try to take in Hannity tonight on TV, as our friend Michael Ledeen is on.  I just haven’t yet been able to find a point of disagreement with Michael.  If I could I would parade it around for Michael and you to see.


Weekend Reading #2

Weekend Reading #1

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