Category Archives: Unconventional Warfare

New Joint “Operating Environment” Analysis

This new analysis is contained in a document called JOE 2035, which was just recently released.  it purports to describe the environment United States joint forces will be operating in for the next 20+ years, and the effects of this environment on our strategy, operations, and therefore force structure.


Like most such documents, it will likely be greeted with peals of laughter by anyone who pulls it out in 2035, but one has to consider the impact of the environment and trends on our own forces. International power, be it political or military, is never unilateral and unopposed, but always takes place in environment with many other actors. these actors have their own strategies, ideologies, and intentions. if past history teaches us anything, it’s that we (and you can describe that “we” as broadly as you like, up to and including the whole human race) kind of stink at seeing the other guy’s point of view.

The document describes four enduring American strategic goals.

  1. Adapt to changing conditions – ensure the United States can adequately cope with emerging changes in the security environment.
  2. Manage antagonism and impose costs – discourage changes to the security environment that are unfavorable to the United States.
  3. Punish aggression and rollback gains – block and undo changes to the security environment that are dangerous or disruptive to the United States.
  4. Impose change and enforce outcomes – introduce desired changes to the security environment that are favorable to the United States.

..Which in turn are met by four “types” of military tasks.

  1. Shape or contain to assist the United States with coping and adapting to changed international security conditions.
  2. Deter or deny to manage the antagonistic behavior of competitors or to impose costs on competitors or adversaries taking aggressive action.
  3. Disrupt or degrade to punish aggressive action by an adversary or to force an adversary to retreat from previous gains.
  4. Compel or destroy to impose desired changes to the international security environment and subsequently enforce those outcomes.

And these are applied across six contexts.


Each of these is somewhat forcibly arrayed into six missions, like this:


And so the origibal graphic can be reimagined from goals/tasks/contexts to goals/tasks/missions .


Our disagreements with this document are many, but two stand out.

  1. JOE 2035 assumes that today;s trends will continue and today’s challenges will be tomorrow’s. Consider what a “:JOE 2005” written in 1985 would have looked like, or a “JOE 2015” written in 1995.
  2. JOE 2035 seems to assume that the present Administration’s defense posture (to wit, supine) is not a transient phase but a new normal.

Regardless of these quibbles, it is an interesting document and it shows what the suits in the five-sided asylum (and their cocktail-circuit DC nomenklatura friends) are thinking.

How Do You Spell Relief? If You’re a Jihadi, that is.

mohammed_cartoonWe almost missed this little note in a Missouri TV station’s website, about a Federal guilty plea in a case that’s been fought as a delaying action by the defendants’ attorneys for twelve years.

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, but the Islamic “charity” had, shall we say, a pretty liberal idea of what charitable purposes were… and used ’em to bust an embargo.

A representative of the Islamic American Relief Agency pleaded guilty Wednesday in Jefferson City, Missouri, to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

The agency, once based in Columbia, also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of obstructing the administration of internal revenue laws.

IARA served as the U.S. office of the Sudan-based Islamic Relief Agency. Authorities say IARA took in between $1 million and $3 million in contributions annually from 1991 to 2003.

IARA was closed in October 2004 after being identified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a specially designated global terrorist organization.

So what did IARA do?

An Islamic relief agency once based in Missouri has admitted in federal court that it illegally funneled $1.4 million to Iraq

But wait… for all that time, Iraq has been at least a nominal US ally. What’s wrong with sending money to Iraq?

Back up, Sparky. Note the dates:

between $1 million and $3 million … annually from 1991 to 2003.

1991-2003. 1991? First Gulf War. 2003? Second Gulf War. That dash in between? the period during which Saddam Hussein’s regime was under US and UN sanctions.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism has more:

The Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA) and several of its former employees and associates were indicted for illegally transferring funds to Iraq, falsely denying that an associate of Osama bin Laden had been an employee of IARA, and engaging in prohibited financial transactions for the benefit of U.S.-designated terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Former U.S. Congressman Mark Deli Siljander was also charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice in the case. According to a Department of Treasury press release, IARA was responsible for moving funds to terrorists in the Palestinian territories, “notably serving as a conduit to Hamas in one Western European country.” Mubarak Hamed, IARA’s former director, admitted he sent more than $1 million to Iraq in violations of U.S. sanctions. He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy and a tax violation for misusing the charity’s tax-exempt status and lying to the Internal Revenue Service. In July 2010, Siljander and Abdel Azim Elsiddig, a part-time fundraiser for IARA, pleaded guilty to conspiring to lobby for the Islamic African Relief Agency, the predecessor to the Islamic American Relief Agency, to remove it from a list of Islamic charities suspected of supporting terrorism. Siljander also pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for lying to FBI agents and prosecutors about the purpose of the lobbying funds he had been paid by IARA. In January 2012, Siljander was sentenced to a year (12 months and one day) in prison and Hamed was sentenced to five years in prison.

Not sure who the mook was in the new charge. Siljander was a Republican Congressman from Michigan, who became a lobbyist (including for IARA) after being defeated in a primary. Here’s info on his guilty plea[.pdf]; there are many more links at the IPT link.

But yeah, this new case shows that Saddam’s sanctions busters finally do get their day in court. However bad the outcome for them, though, it’s not like it’s going to be as bad as their former patrons’ was.

Pity, that.

The Radio Station at Gleiwitz

Sender_gliwiceIronically, it’s inside Poland now: the radio station at Gleiwitz, where the first actual shots of the Second World War were fired. Fittingly, for a war caused by 20th Century European utopian totalitarian ideology, the shots were fired into defenseless captives.

In the city now called Gliwice, the ethnic German majority is gone, never to return. Some fled with the beaten Deutsche Wehrmacht as it fell back before the Red Army; some were expelled postwar. Many of today’s Gliwice families are Poles who were ethnically cleansed from Polish territory annexed by the USSR in 1945.

The radio station’s antenna still stands, and is one of the tallest wooden structures in use globally. That radio station was the scene of one of the most significant false flag attacks in the long history of warfare.

The False Flag Attack on Sender Gleiwitz

On the night of 31 August 1939, a group of SS men under the command of one Alfred Naujocks stormed the station. It was one of a half-dozen or so “false flag” actions that took place to give Hitler the casus belli he wanted to seize the Lebensraum his ideology demanded a Greater German Empire needed.

Essential to the deception were a Polish troublemaker who’d been seized by the Gestapo — the general area of Silesia had mixed Polish, German, Czech, Slovak and Hungarian settlements — and a half-dozen nameless souls from Germany’s already-thriving network of Konzentrationslager. 

In the light of their part in the production, it’s a safe bet that they, unlike the SS men, weren’t volunteers. They probably didn’t know the codename for their part in the operation, which translates to English as “Canned Goods.”

The camp inmates and the Pole were dressed in Polish Army uniforms, and then given lethal injections.

Then, they were shot and their bodies were artfully arranged around the place, while a Polish-speaking Nazi read a script over the radio.

The next day, the media were brought in to see how badly Germany had been put upon. Gullible and easily played, then as now, many of them went along with it.

Did Erdo Stage His Own Coup?

You can’t turn on a glowing rectangle this week without seeing the suggestion that Erdogan’s coup was, well, Erdo’s coup. Was it the Radio Station at Gleiwitz? We’re agnostic on the subject: he could have staged it, but he could merely be refusing to “let a crisis go to waste,” to borrow a phrase. (Indeed, the latter is more likely). Some Turks are even suggesting that Erdogan knew about the coup in advance, and let it go so he could have a crisis not to waste.

Foreign Policy reports that the purges in the wake of the coup have begun to alarm outsiders:

NATO allies have been troubled by the massive government crackdown in the wake of the violence however, which has seen 50,000 people either arrested or fired from their positions. That includes the arrest of 6,000 military personnel — among their ranks over 100 generals and admirals — hundreds of police, and thousands of judges and academics. While events are moving quickly, Stoltenberg said that Turkish military officers working directly with NATO “are safe and secure,” and that the confusion “has not hampered our operations.”

When it comes to the military, Erdogan looks to be taking control. A Turkish government official told the Washington Post that “an outline” of a new military restructuring plan could be floated as early as Wednesday. Speaking on a conference call on Tuesday, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Steven Cook said that in the wake of the crackdown, “the military is now Erdogan, …it is now in chaos and subject to the control of President Erdogan.”

The purge victims include not only all generals not of Erdo’s party, but all college deans, tens of thousands of academics who are secularist or not the right strain of Islamist — particularly followers of exiled mullah Fatih Gulen, whose extradition from the USA Erdogan has demanded — and what is emerging is, in all but name, a sultanate.

The rapidity and breadth of the roundup does suggest that the Erdogan government had a plan (and a list) on file, if not actively in their pocket on the day of the abortive uprising. In fact, Al Jazeera quoted a member of Erdogan’s party as saying the coup was triggered prematurely by the imminent arrest of key plotters.

John Kerry, assuming his usual negotiation position (i.e., supine), has already said, with some weasel words, that if Erdo wants Gulen’s head on a plate — and Erdo most assuredly does — he’s got it. (And that’s literally head on a plate — Erdogan is talking about reinstating the death penalty which had been previously discontinued in hopes of Turkey joining the EU — something that is extremely unlikely now at any rate).

And Now for Coup Nº 2: Armenia

Another coup has been in the news, but at a lower level in the West. It was an attempt by a group of Armenian oppositionists to trigger a revolution — an attempt that has failed and yielded a hostage situation. Richard Giragosian, an Armenian think-tank head based in Yerevan, gives us a run-down through Al Jazeera (again! Has this blog ever quoted Al Jihad twice in one post before?):

More than a dozen people seized the police station, taking hostage several police officers, including the deputy head of the national police, Vartan Yeghiazarian, and Yerevan’s deputy police chief, Valeri Osipian.

The two senior police officials were reportedly taken hostage, willingly or involuntarily, after coming to the scene to negotiate with the group. One police hostage was subsequently released, reportedly for health reasons.

Although the gunmen may have genuinely expected some sort of popular support, they were quickly disappointed. Moreover, the incident and the lack of any popular reaction only confirmed the marginal standing of this radical fringe group within Armenian society.

Yet, this hostage standoff was serious, for two reasons. First, this particular police station was targeted for a reason – as one of the largest depositories of police weapons in the capital, with an onsite arsenal that was seized by the attackers.

Second, the gunmen were veterans of the Karabakh war, with little to lose and with extensive experience in handling the weapons at their disposal.

And after an initial police assault to retake the police station on the first day failed, the gunmen were better prepared, and strengthened their positions, using the hostages as human shields, making any rescue operation especially difficult.

Armenia has increasingly re-subordinated itself to Russia since 1992. For example, Armenia’s borders with non-Russian-controlled states are under the management of Russian border guards; thousands of Russian soldiers are based in the country; its air defense is managed by Moscow and staffed with Russian jet and missile crews.

Russian forces in Armenia, whom the Armenians believe are necessary for protection from Turkey and Azerbaijan, have a most unusual de facto status of forces arrangement: near-complete impunity. Like American sailors and Marines in Okinawa, the Russians have a few bad apples among their ranks, but unlike the Americans’ sensitivity to Okinawan sentiment which leads to miscreants getting the judicial hammering they deserve, Russians’ understanding of their relationship with their junior partners means, essentially, that Russian troops can do no wrong — or at least, bear no punishment for wrongdoing.

Two Russian soldiers, privates Popov and Kamenev, who murdered two civilians and wounded 14 during gunplay (yes, Judgment Juice™ was in da house) in the garrison town of Gyumri were given token sentences and allowed to serve them in Russia — which immediately released them.

In 2015 a Russian deserter, one Valery Pavlovich Permyakov, broke into a house seeking [more] vodka. (Do we see a pattern emerging in this misconduct? Pretty similar to the Okinawa cases, actually, young men and Judgment Juice™). He got his vodka and a change of clothes, leaving behind his uniform, his service rifle, a bunch of expended casings: and six murdered and one wounded members of the family that lived there. The mortally wounded victim, a six-month-old baby, suffered for a week in hospital before expiring from his wounds. The dead included two adult men, three women and a two-year-old daughter as well.

Permyakov was captured immediately — by Russians — and the Russians refused to allow him to be tried in an Armenian court. Instead, a court-martial was convened, but there was a sudden discovery that Permyakov was “mentally deficient” and thus unable to stand trial. (“Sorry about that!”) The fact that he had been drafted, the Russians explained, wasn’t proof that he wasn’t “mentally deficient,” but just a consequence of an error in the draft system. (“Sorry about that!”)

He was sentenced to 10 years — for desertion and unlawful possession of a firearm. The murder trial seems to have dropped out of the media.

If the Russians have lost the capability for dealing firmly with mass murderers, all faith in humanity is forfeit.

The present coup seems to be used, if not intended, like the Turkish coup, to identify, expose, and annihilate political opponents of an authoritarian government. Hundreds have already been arrested in Yerevan in what seems to be a “round up the usual suspects” purge.

The proximity, timing, and ultimate beneficiaries of these coups suggests that their may be a foreign hand in each. We leave his identity as an exercise for the reader.


Does the FBI Need Adult Leadership?

500px-US-FBI-ShadedSeal.svgA bizarre story in the New York Times, on the subject of whether violent news messes with people’s minds, messed with our mind to the extent that we wondered if the managers of the FBI were losing theirs. 

A guide to dealing with terrorism released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation encourages closing your eyes and taking deep breaths to feel calmer.

What happened to everybody that closed his eyes and took deep breaths in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. On the Promenade des Anglais in Nice?

Oh, yeah. They snuffed it, didn’t they?

Taking a walk or talking to a close friend can also help.

Those are all wonderful things to do on a sunny summer afternoon. Confronted by a terrorist? There’s only one right answer: fight back. 

The guide also recommends avoiding alcohol and drugs, exercising regularly and eating healthy foods — basic self-care guidelines that help reduce stress.

Make sure you have a plan to contact your family if something happens, especially if cellular networks are overloaded or transportation is disrupted, but remember that you most likely will not need it, experts say.

via What Is a Constant Cycle of Violent News Doing to Us? – The New York Times. (If that’s paywalled off, here’s the Google Backdoor).

And don’t forget, if you react to the enemy’s attacks, you lose, says the Times.

Lastly, keep your daily routine.

[Some pshrink] said that a primary worry in the field of psychology is people “going out of their way to be so safe that it shrinks their world.”

“Terrorists thrive on this kind of thing,” she added. “They want to see the population change their practices.”

We see this differently. Yes, it’s a mistake to fear terrorists.

But that’s because the terrorists should fear us. 

Surprise in the News

Turkey has a history of coups; this one in 1980 succeeded.

Turkey has a history of coups; this one in 1980 succeeded.

We’re not referring to the truck attack in Nice, France. What’s surprising about that? Were you surprised that the driver was named Mohammed? Of course not.

Nope, the surprise was the Turkish coup, and while it looked last night, as we first drafted this post, like it was going to be a while before its outcome is known, in fact it quickly collapsed.

It’s not known whether the officers who staged the coup were Gulenist (a moderate Islamist faction, compared to Erdogan’s more extreme AKP) or Kemalist (secularizers who oppose Erdogan’s Islamism and antidemocratic tendencies).

The most likely cause was a secularist reaction to the AKP, Erdogan’s party, floating (but withdrawing) an explicitly Islamist constitution this spring.

With the failure of the coup, de facto President-for-Life Erdogan has lost the last check on his power, the Kemalist military, which he has been undermining since being elected in 2003. As his time in power has grown, he has taken many actions to nullify any risk of a future election turning his AKP islamist party out, to increase the power of islamism over Turkish life, and to pack the military with AKP Islamists, Erdogan flunkies, and AKP nepots.

Had the coup succeeded, the Turks might have been saved from Islamism as the Egyptians were. Instead, the outcome is likely to be worse for everyone, and some dude got his car crushed for nothing.

Had the coup succeeded, the Turks might have been saved from Islamism as the Egyptians were. Instead, the outcome is likely to be worse for everyone, and some dude got his car crushed for nothing.

Now that the coup has failed, we expect the increasingly paranoid and extremist Erdogan to seize even more personal power. He’s already shown many signs of wanting to be a dictator: suppressing media and other criticism, using the power of the state to settle personal scores, enriching himself at the expense of his country. In this case, the junta may have been more in favor of democracy than the democratically elected, at least the first few times, Turkish strongman.

A terrible revenge has being promised against the coup plotters, and at lest one rank-and-file soldier was beheaded by an Islamist mob after his surrender.

Some people would be very happy to see Erdogan retain power, even for life: that set includes Erdogan himself, Islamists, and those westerners who see islamism as “authentic” and admirable.

That is the most likely outcome, and it is a bad one from the point of view of the West (despite the fact that the US President would clearly welcome it as much as his Turkish counterpart). But there is a worse potential outcome: civil war. If the rebels don’t give up quickly, and military men rally to them, Turkey could tear itself apart along fundamentalist/secularist lines.

The rapid collapse of the coup, on the other hand, also raises an interesting question: did Erdogan know, and if so, who tipped him? One potential Erdogan ally that has a strong interest in winkling Turkey out of NATO is Russia. The Russians don’t care if Erdogan sponsors terrorists elsewhere, as long as he doesn’t make mischief in the Russian Near Abroad. And if he can, instead, be induced to make mischief for the Americans and Western Europe, well, that’s a double win from the Russian point of view.

Smart Diplomacy!

"Wait, wait, I've almost got it..."

“Wait, wait, I’ve almost got it…”

According to Foreign Policy, Secretary of State John Kerry is in Moscow to negotiate a military alliance with Russia. Objective: some Smart Diplomacy! to take on the campaign trail for their party in the fall.

Kerry, of the double-digit IQ, gigolo reputation and “Gentleman’s C-minus” education as a “legacy” at Yale, is a diplomat without historical peer. He was last involved in negotiating a pact to end Iranian nuclear ambitions, the secret terms of which are emerging to have been, (1) paying Iran approximately $150 billion and (2) accepting Iranian terror-sponsorship and hostage taking, in return for which Iran has redoubled their nuclear efforts under the Farsi banners of Marg bar Amrika and Marg bar Yahud, which probably don’t need translation to this erudite audience. Such a deal!

"Aw. Thought I had it. Those sneaky Iranians. I paid what for the rug?"

“Aw. Thought I had it. Those sneaky Iranians. I paid what for the rug?”

So now, off to Russia to try to cut a deal on Syria and perhaps, relations beyond that point. Since the US’s point of departure is that Boy Assad must go (leaving what? The Moslem Brotherhood President Obama and Secretaries Kerry and Clinton tried to install in Egypt? The terrorist-spawning vaccuum they’ve left behind in Libya, Syria and Iraq? The benign, no, malicious, neglect they’ve delivered to the AfPak region?), and the Russian position is that Assad must stay, where’s the point of compromise?

You heard it here first: the US folds. It’s all Kerry, a moral and intellectual zero, has ever known how to do.

The AP’s Bradley Klapper notes:

Russia would be getting what it wanted since it first intervened in Syria on Assad’s behalf last September — to be a leader in an international alliance.

"Honestly, it's just coincidence that my entire career has served foreign, not American, interests."

“Honestly, it’s merest coincidence that my entire career has served foreign, not American, interests. Because Americans are Jenjhiss Khaahhhn.”

And Kerry is getting what he has wanted all his life — some boots to lick.

Meanwhile, Assad noted in an English-language interview reported in Lebanon that the Russians have given him absolute support, and never asked the de facto king to step down.

While the US and RU have places that they can, reasonably, cooperate, one needs to recall that the Russian president and foreign minister are skilled at foreign and military policy, and their American counterparts are neither competent or even, in the President’s case, very interested in it. And the principal place for principled cooperation — against Islamic terrorism that threatens both our nations — won’t work when the American President and his men of hench deny the very existence of Islamic terrorism.

With the Iranians having gotten Kerry’s pants, one wonders what’s left for Vladimir Vladimirovich to take from him? Rectal virginity? (Wouldn’t that have been sacrificed in prep school already?)

When Infographics Stink

Here’s an infographic that purports to tell the story of “Domestic Terrorism”. There’s only one problem with it — it stinks.


Sponsored by “Regroup,” which is a commercial attempt to spin off Stanford U’s snitch app and related software, the thing was thrown together without any attempt at doing anything but, perhaps, pimping their Stasi-bot.

Here’s just a few of the howlers:


While the authors of the infographic seem mystified by the affiliations and motivations of the terrorists at the Boston Marathon (that would be Flashbang and Speedbump, energized by the local mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston, and al-Awlaki) and their pal at Fort Hood (“Killeen, TX”) (that would be Nidal Hasan, energized by… his local mosque, and al-Awlaki), those of us not handicapped by a Stanford education can probably figure it out.

Also, including the 9/11 dead makes seeing patterns a bit hard. In addition, if we’re going to count the 9/11 dead, what about the 9/11 injured. There were over six thousand of them in New York, and over 100 (106, exactly) seriously injured at the Pentagon. But to these California software salesmen, they apparently don’t count.

OK, next slide, and we’ll see what they screwed up next….


Now, all those groups do exist, in that there’s some sphincter muscle somewhere who claims to be one of ’em. But they don’t have a like impact. If you look back at the heavy hitters from the previous excerpt, you’ll see that they have something in common: the Religion of Peace®. But what do they have here? A half dozen right-wing groups who probably have about the same number of members, one each… and about the same number of teeth. 

Minuteman American Defense, for example, was made up of two criminals who were drop-outs from the larger Minuteman movement, and they murdered a Hispanic man and his daughter in 2009, not in an act of terrorism so much as to facilitate a robbery. The two criminals, Jason Bush and Shawna Forde, were convicted of capital murder and are on death row in Arizona. That is the entire capsule history of Minuteman American Defense: not a terrorist group but a criminal gang with a faux-political name. But at least they killed somebody. 

Veterans United for Non-Religious Memorials appears to be a terrorist underground counterpart of Mikey Weinstein’s group, or the ACLU, militant atheists of Jewish extraction bent out of shape by the Christian cross symbol. All it’s done is set off a small bomb — too small to damage anything — on a Coos Bay, Oregon, memorial.

And Revolutionary Cells — Animal Liberation Brigade is typical of ecoterrorists in that they, too, like to make symbolic attacks on empty facilities. None of the ecoterrorists has killed anybody in this period, although they’ve burned down a lot of facilities, and a good bit of forest (because environmentalism?) and if they keep it up they’ll have a bodycount someday out of sheer dumb luck.

The Ku Klux Klan isn’t as dead as we thought, but it has pretty much checked into Assisted Living at this juncture. Even the SPLC, who see Klansmen under their own white sheets, has only come up with one murder and one uncompleted murder conspiracy in the last 20 or so years. (However, justice still catches up with 1960s-era Klansmen from time to time). Although they do have the potential to kill, they’re pathetic; less like the terrifying Klan that lynched thousands than the “Illinois Nazis” of the movie The Blues Brothers. 

The Sovereign  Citizens do show up more frequently in crime: a triple murder last month, and a double-murder in January 2015 (by an ex-con), and an unrealized 2011 plot to whack a judge, for example. But they are not exactly a terrorist organization: they’re loopy individuals who have convinced themselves that the law does not apply to them. (While the typical Sovereign Citizen is a white extremist, an SPLC roundup of these schmoes includes four rap promoters/criminals). It’s hard to accept these as terrorists — they’re just criminals with a patter.

But while the Shadow of Doom in the shape of non-Islamic domestic terrorism keeps being threatened by the usual suspects like the Southern Poverty Law (and Fund-Raising) Center, when doom actually falls it’s always shouting allahu akbar. 

None of the rest of the groups seem to be a worthwhile use of CT resources, to tell the truth. They seem like ordinary criminals, if sometimes weird and off-kilter in their motivation, and there’s no evidence ordinary police work can’t handle them appropriately.

On to the next, and we’ll talk about the Curse of Innumeracy.


Innumeracy is a true plague, striking down tens of thousands since colleges and even high schools stopped requiring lazy liberal arts students to master some simple maths. For instance, how many victims has the dread terrorist group, Unknown, had? That depends on what end of the infographic you look at. But of course, we already know that they’ve screwed up the numbers by dropping all the Al-Q wounded and by distributing the ISIL and AQAP fellow-travelers and other Sudden Jihad Syndrome sufferers among the Unknown and Individual groups.

By not having a category for Islamic Terrorism, they’re clouding the picture of terrorism, either deliberately or (Occam’s Razor says…) out of sheer incompetence. It simply confuses the picture of terrorism to give credence to every inbred bank-robber or graffiti vandal’s claim to represent some shadowy group.

Gee, who else has a problem giving Islamic Terrorism a name?

Then there’s the long pull quote, suggesting that “right-wing terrorism” like the toothless trailer trash we’ve already mentioned are twice as big a problem as Islamic terror, because twice as many “police executives” (not sworn officers, but political appointees) are worried about the Klan/Sovereign/Minute losers as are worried about jihadis.

If you know anything about terrorism, you’ll know less after you read this shallow, lazy, and inaccurate infographic. And that’s why it stinks.

One wonders just how bad their snitch app is.

She Faced Evil, Alone. And the NHS left her even more alone.

Ingrid confronts killer Adebolajo

Ingrid confronts killer Adebolajo

When off-duty British soldier Lee Rigby was murdered and almost beheaded by two Mohammedan immigrants to Britain, it was an ordinary woman, Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, who stood and addressed the killers and kept them talking as the police, who are always minutes away when seconds count, were slow to respond.

Ingrid was on board the No53 bus travelling past the scene when she spotted Fusilier Rigby’s lifeless body.

She dashed to check the 25-year-old’s pulse — not realising his crazed killers were standing just feet away near where they had crashed their car running him down.

She was a rock. She checked Rigby’s pulse, and he was beyond her assistance. She began talking to the leader of the two killers, who had been practicing the all-overriding 6th Pillar of Islam, murder.

Speaking at the time, she said of Adebolajo: “He had what looked like butcher’s tools — a little axe, to cut the bones, and two large knives. He said: “Move off the body.

“So I thought: ‘OK, I don’t know what is going on here.’ He was covered with blood.

“I thought I had better start talking to him before he starts attacking somebody else.

“I thought these people usually have a message so I said: “What do you want?”

“I asked him if he did it and he said: ‘Yes.’ I asked why and he said: ‘Because he has killed Muslim people in Muslim countries’.”

“He said: “He was a British soldier.” I said: ‘Really?’ And he said: “I killed him because he killed Muslims and I am fed up with people killing Muslims in Afghanistan.”.”

At that point the two butchers were lording it in the street after almost decapitating their victim in Woolwich, South East London.

She displayed remarkable presence of mind, that day. The police arrived and bagged the two jihadis, who got long sentences — it is possible to push even lenient British judges too far. Ingrid was celebrated as a hero by the entire nation; even France honored her.

And then her troubles began.

National hero Ingrid says her son and daughter have rallied around her but feels let down by the NHS.

She added: “I’ve got PTSD and I can’t find a doctor to help me.

“The doctor just says ‘oh well, just a bit of willpower will do’.

“They (doctors) don’t see anything wrong with it. I used to sleep very little, three hours a night, and work a lot and that was fine.

“I feel sick, poor and isolated. What’s the point in being hero if I don’t see it in my everyday life?

“I don’t know where they are. They’re not next to me that’s for sure.

“I have no help to get out of the sickness.”

Hey, that’s the National Health Service in England for you. For some bizarre reason, all the twentysomething experts at the Washington Post and whatnot assure us it would be a much better way of doing things than the stupid American system with too much free choice for the little people. Of course, those are the same experts that think the best health system in the US is the VA, so given the poor results Miss Loyau-Kennett has had, maybe the NHS is like the VA.

Here are the murderers of Rigby. Note the salafi/wahhabi forehead prayer knot from banging one’s empty skull on the prayer mat repeatedly. Note what appears to be a circumcision scar on the neck of the guy on the right.

Abelbolajo Michael mugshotMs. Loyau-Kennett seems to be too kindly for her own good. She has even forgiven, more or less, one of the jihadis, concluding based on her first-hand observation that he was merely a follower, and mentally ill as well. She though his 47-year prison sentence might have been more just as a decade in a mental institution.

via ‘I should have been a coward’: Brave mum dubbed the ‘Angel of Woolwich’ who bravely confronted Lee Rigby’s killers reveals her horror ordeal has ruined her life.

Personally, there’s nothing wrong with either jihadi that a good tune-up with the Mess Webley couldn’t solve.

The Militia Drills (Picture post) Part 2 of 2

Continuing yesterday’s Guest Post from Our Traveling Reporter, 4 July 2016, at the Constitution Center and Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Yesterday, we showed a little of the militia and a Colonial surgeon lecturer/reenactor. Today, we have some more of the reenactors and some of the sights of Independence Hall.

When OTR is traveling, figures he’d turn up in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, on the anniversary of its signing. (Well, actually some of the signatures went on as early as 2 July, and others were added weeks later, but we can’t take the whole summer off for Independence Day, much as we’d like to).

Know Your Enemy: The Grinning Grenadier

This happy gentleman wears the scarlet coat of a British regular, withe the orange facings of the 35th Regiment of Foot, and the insignia of the Regiment’s Grenadier Company.


Is the Grinning Grenadier the anachronism, or is it the stuff behind him? Let’s have him against a more period-correct background. Almost but not quite:


Grenadiers were the elite of 18th-Century Tommies; they were selected as much for an imposing presence as anything, a presence magnified by the tall shako.


A lot of life as a British grenadier was spent on the cleanliness and polish of all that gear.

The Friendly Forces

The bulk of the reenactors seemed to belong to the well-organized 6th Pennsylvania Regiment, based here.  (Isn’t this just the sort of thing you can have in a big city like Philadelphia, and can’t in a small, thinly-settled state like New Hampshire?). This flag looks suspiciously modern.


Here are a couple of members of the 6th. They seem to be enjoying themselves just as much as the Grinning Grenadier. Do chicks dig a guy in a Continental uniform?


Not sure what outfit these characters were with. Are they fife-and-drum men? The one in the foreground seems to be an officer, note the epaulets. They don’t seem to have the combat kit the grunts do:

unk troops poss 6th paVarious logistical things were happening in the background.


This fellow (and camp follower?) represent the 3rd Pennsylvania Light Infantry. (Remember, 240 years ago or today, when they sign you up for “light infantry,” it’s not your pack but your armament and support they’re talking about).


This strikes us as a headquarters tent.


Some everyday artifacts from the life of a soldier on campaign:pa_6th_stuff

(The button on the hat — the hat is the thing that looks like a skunk in a cookpot — tells you which Pennsylvania regiment this is).

Then as now, troops lived in a tent city. Hey, dude, where’s the MWR tent?continental_army_tent_city

The Setting

From here, you can see Independence Hall


More closely framed it looks like this.


…or this… (looks like they were setting up for a band concert and fireworks).


Its most famous artifact? This one.


OTR explored some of the many memorials around here. You see, very historic Washington Square was laid out by Benjamin Franklin, himself…


…but during the war, the British drove the Continental Congress out of Philadelphia, and while they occupied the city, they treated their Continental prisoners poorly (which was fairly standard for the era). Many died and were buried in unmarked graves right here.


Along with that memorial, there is one to all who, while fighting for the light of liberty, died in darkness. It also notes that American soldiers are buried in quantity in this hallowed ground. Amen.


And that one sarcophagus there holds the mortal remains of one Revolutionary War soldier, shriven in honor by his countrymen, with a face and a name known only to God.


OTR remains on assignment. OTR is always on assignment.


The Militia Drills (Picture Rich post) Part 1 of 2

Another photo report from Our Traveling Reporter. 4 July 2016, at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Militia 01

Let’s close in and see what they’re up to. Looks like they’re doing musket drill with some new recruits (on the left)

Militia 02

Looks like they’re hiring! Hey, like Secretary of State John Kerry says, you can stay in college and get a degree and a job, or drop out and get stuck in Valley Forge. Here’s one type of recruiting poster as used then, the kind a local printer (like Ben Franklin?) would run off for the colonel or recruiting officer of the regiment. But as you can see, this one is a bit more current.

Militia 00

And here’s a hand-lettered version, complete with period orthography and abbreviations.

Militia 08

Where’s General Washington when the nation needs him? (Probably about to be replaced on the quarter and dollar by a Transgendered Asian or Pacific Islander, the way things are going).

There’d be no .mil in militia if you didn’t have inspections. Time for junk on the bunk! (And since a blanket is your bunk…). One suspects it wasn’t quite this clean on campaign, but if one of these modern reenactors tried getting period-correct funky at home his wife would hit him with the garden hose. Or a period-correct cast iron fry pan.

Militia 03

Here’s another campaigner’s junk:


The smoothbore muskets of the era could deliver much more rapid fire than period rifles, and that was good enough at combat ranges which were typically under 200 yards. They were also practical bayonet handles. Remember, the pike as a weapon of war was still a living memory around the time of the Founding.

The regiment has a surgeon, who explains his dark arts (in the light of the intervening 240 years’ medical advances) in a scheduled presentation.

Militia 05

There were two paths to becoming a surgeon in the 18th Century: you became a doctor by going to barber college or by apprenticing yourself to a surgeon for six to eight years.

A musket ball hitting flesh, the regimental surgeon says, is like “a rock hitting water.”  (OTR was impressed by the quality of his terminal-ballistics knowledge). Frequently the musket ball killed the man it hit, leaving him no need for the surgeon. The surgical patient was the guy behind him. Teeth, pocket change, and bone became secondary projectiles.

The wound produces a fluid called onset.(?) It is tissue rejection. (? Hey, that’s what was in OTR’s notes. Sometimes he gets telegraphic).

In the middle ages you would hack multiple people with the same sword in combat and do the same thing; Shakespeare mentions it.

The bayonet was a key weapon. Only the tip of the bayonet was sharpened… the three channels of the spike bayonet ripped the wound open.


If the victim survived the bayonet wound then he usually developed a fistula. Antiseptic precautions were unknown.

Revolutionary War surgeons sorted wounds into three classes:

  1. Incised wounds were cuts, as from a sword, etc
  2. Penetrating wounds were holes, as caused by the bayonet. And..
  3. Shattering wounds were the ruination left behind by a musket ball

While the surgeon’s art of 1776 appears primitive today, combat life saving was really rudimentary, and surgery was only used if there was some chance of saving the patient. For many wounded, rudimentary palliative care was all that they could expect.

Surgical instruments. Linen bandages in foreground.

Surgical instruments. Linen bandages in foreground.

Given a potentially survivable wound, a solution of salt and vinegar was used to clean the wound, which was then stitched with a needle and horse hair. The rate of infection must have been staggering.

According to OTR, the surgeon provided “the best explanation of tension pneumothorax I ever heard.” But that doesn’t mean that he could have done anything about it. In 1776, a patient with pneumothorax was expectant, and was set aside to die quietly — within the hour.

Other end of the surgeon's display. Femoral splint in front of bone saw and trepan. No, they didn't clean their instruments between patients.

Other end of the surgeon’s display. Femoral splint in front of bone saw and trepan. No, they didn’t clean their instruments between patients.

Here the surgeon is using a trepan or trephine. It is essentially a hole saw made to remove a section of the cranial vault, to relieve intracranial pressure. Then and now, it is a high-risk operation.


General surgeons then used, and modern neurosurgeons still use, the rule of the palm: you cannot remove more skull than the area of your palm, or “the oatmeal will spill out.”

Some of the doctor’s internal medicine tools, on a portable field desk.

Militia 10


Bleeding was a key therapy at the time. They took six pints of blood out of George Washington, over two days!l


One thing they could do: amputate. Here, the doctor re-enactor walks the audience through how it would be done.


And that’s all for today. Tomorrow, a look at some of the reenactor portrayals, and some of the historical markers and sights in the area.