Friday, September 25, 2009

Opening Salvo:

This is the 'Maiden Voyage' of this site dedicated to informing the citizens of the United States of America of our current war fighting philosophy in Afghanistan. The Hope is that with the information gleaned from these pages, the citizens of this Nation will become motivated and tell their elected representation in Washington DC to place the War Effort at the top of their docket. Presently, The ROE (Rules of Engagement) have contributed to many US deaths and will continue to do so until we can twist the arms of elected officials and force them to lift these restrictions on our fighting forces. If not; they need to bring them Home!

The new assessment released by General McChrystal, demands another 40,000 troops and a tighter ROE (Rules of Engagement) than is currently in place. He further states he understands this will contribute to more US casualties. The premise is that by showing the Afghan civilian population that we are willing to waste the precious blood of our Warriors in defense of Afghan civilians, we will engender their support and friendship in our effort. This is naive at best because our view of Afghan society and culture is incorrect. The underlying belief is that all peoples around the world are fundamentally the same and want the same things. It also assumes that all people are basically good and only sometimes stray. Applying this belief to the conditions in Afghanistan, then, allows you to see the three main factions in Afghanistan as either good or evil. It follows this way:
1. Taliban, bad because they oppress the civilian population and live and teach a version of Islam that requires the killing of all non-muslims.
2. Afghan civilians, good because they are just largely a population of poor people who only want to carry on in their lives, peacefully.
3. ANA and AP (Afghan Nation Army and Afghan Police), good because they are the national guardians of the nation and the civilian population.

The single element missing in this discussion is the ideology which is the underpinning of the entire society and the Taliban and that is the version of Islam that is followed there. There is no significant difference. All parties ascribe to the same belief. The difference is the level of comittment to the ideology each group is willing to bring to the table.

The Taliban, which is largely Pashtun in make-up, is dedicated to the point of being totally sold out to it. They are the 'Warrior Monks' of the ideology that are in the process of purifying the faith by destroying all non muslim and apostate believers. Apostate believers are first on the hit list because they have known the truth and strayed. They are largely unrecoverable, in the eyes of the Taliban and a scourge to the religion. That is why you see many more bombings in civilian bazaars and public areas than you do against US troops. They do not kill the entire population of apostates for practical reasons. They use them as they see fit until they are of no further use.

The Civilian population is more complicated. They are largely Apostate believers but there are the true adherents as well. It is in part from this group where one could expect to find treachery and recruits as the apostates move toward the core of their ideology. Because there really isn't any way to 'measure' a persons inner sense of comittment to the faith, you can't 'vet' them with any measure of confidence. If you cannot vet them confidently, how can you trust them?

The ANA and AP are at the least, incompetent and from the civilian population. This means their willing adherence to the tenets of the faith can not be determined either. They display incredible corrupt personal behavior and have been said to be 65%-80% drug infested. We also know there are moles among their number. Are these then the people that General McChrystal expects to attach to operational American Combat Units?

After Apostates you have the Infidel community which is broken into the 'Crusaders' and the 'Zionists'. The Crusaders are people with largely Christian heritage and the Zionists are Jews. These two groups are largely to be destroyed as part of this purification plan.

Knowing all of this; exactly where is the common ground upon which we will build confidence, friendship and alliances which is what this assessment says we need to do? And if we launched this war 8 years ago with the specific mission of bringing Al Quaida to justice and any who would aid, abet and harbor them (Taliban) as well as to deny them safe harbor for training and to deny them battle space; why would we even care? The reason is that the mission has morphed into a broader COIN operation (Counter Insurgency) where one focus is to defend the civilian population and here lies the muddy water. We are now no longer interested in defending United States Citizens and US property, we are now nation building. We are going to re-create Afghanistan into a democracy and lift the Afghan people from their plight. The problem is two-fold; the Afghans see us as the Infidel and everything we are as evil. So what makes anyone think they want what we have, even if you buy into the nation building mission? Secondly; we are by General McChrystals own words requiring our men to die for another country of people who, by the way, hate us ideologically. Our men did not swear an oath to support and defend the shores or people of another nation and our elected officials were not given the mission of shoring up another nation on the blood of our sons and daughters!!

I will continue to build the case and forward the growing list of articles, blogs and sites that are dedicated to this subject in the following days and weeks. I invite everyone to participate in this Blog. We all need, as a Nation to become more informed on this and to hold our elected officials collective feet to the fire.
Semper Fidelis;
John Bernard

22 comments:

  1. Thank you for this site. I am with you. I agree!! Let them fight or brng them home!! What I have been telling Bingaman, Udall and Teague but they don't really care because I (we) are small in number unless the public really gets behind us. My son is currently in a Marine Rifle Platoon in Helmand so I am aware of what is going on. I am disgusted. From Bingaman I received a motomail about Iraq when I wrote and called him regarding A-stan. From Udall I receied a short paragraph about waiting to assess Obama's strategy??, and from Teague nothing!!!

    Keep up the good work and my the Lord bless and comfort your family. Your son is my hero!!!

    Respectfully,

    Desert Pete USMC 1964-1968

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  2. I mean e-mail not motomail. Motomail, as you are aware, is what I send to my son.

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  3. Uncle John

    As you work to to spread the news on the east coast. Out here on the west coast it as if there is no war going on and the people live as if no major world events occur. I hope with the work you are doing America across all 50 states takes notices. I'll pass the site on to friends and co workers.


    Love
    Noelle

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  4. 1stSgt, thank you for starting this blog. I am following and will post everything on Twitter as well. The word needs to get out there, the word that we refuse to accept this BS without a fight.

    My son made it home after three tours in Iraq as an Infantry Squadleader. I am saddened that your son did not, and offer my prayers and condolences to your family. Joshua epitomizes the word 'hero'.

    Semper fi ...

    Marie Anne St. Jean
    MSgt, USMC, Ret

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  5. First Sergeant,

    Thank you.

    If you ever need anything, just ask. If I can help, I will.

    Very Respectfully,

    Scott E Allen

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  6. I am forwarding the address of this website to several of my friends and relatives and ask them to forward it to their address book. Thanks for this site!!!

    Semper Fidelis
    Desert Peter
    USMC 1964-1968

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  7. Tell them like it is but please tell them that the worse thing of all is to wait, and maybe fall, while our leaders dither!

    Semper Fi from a Vietnam Marine!

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  8. Obama in Copenhagen to bring back the Olympics, i'm sure deal already secured because the messiah can't fail, meanwhile our young men and women ignored. McChrystal ignored! Yes, John Sykes, our leaders are dithering and it can be a deadly dither but do they trouble themselves? I can't believe what I am witnessing! Congress seems full of "gypsies, tramps and thieves", not original with me but so true. I believe I am witnessing the dismantling of the USA. I trust I am wrong.

    Semper Fidelis!!!
    Desert Pete
    USMC '64-'68 (RVN '67)

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  9. Saddest "Commander-in-Chief" I've ever seen going off to Holland is it(?) to see about bringing the Olympics to Chicago - while the troops are dying in combat! Oh, and then there's Healthcare. Sorry to say even though I'm a Navy veteran and love my country, he is not my President because he does not and never will care about us or our country - especially our brave warriors fighting for ours and his - yes, even his sorry...you know what. God forgive me, but at least have the decency to stay and make decisions for these finest of ours putting their lives on line for us. Have a backbone and tell them to fight with all they have in them. Let them fight for us, America, and for them. Stop bowing down to every nation (oh-except Israel)like we owe them something. Don't you know we are the greatest nation on earth and have given more than any other nation on earth? Do something or crawl back into the woodwork like a cockroach because most of us wouldn't notice - except for the positive change! I prefer to raise my voice and hands to worship my almighty God and say my pledge to the flag of the United States of America, which is still one nation.

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  10. If you won't decide NOW to let them fight with everything they've got, bring them home. Don't draw this war out like Vietnam. I hope and pray they aren't that foolish. God bless our troops and their families.
    Carol
    NavyVet

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  11. This discussion may be missing the broader issue, which can be summed up as: Why are we still here? The goals you say were laid out at the beginning of the war were accomplished more than seven years ago, so why didn't the previous president bring the troops home then? The Taliban was all but wiped out, Al-Qaeda had fled to neighboring Pakistan, and all seemed peaceful. Fast forward to today: After more than six years of failing to follow through on promises of development and supporting an obviously corrupt government, America and its western allies have lost the faith of the Afghan people. The west, for all intents and purposes, set up the Afghan government and is, in the minds of Afghans, party to its corruption. Not surprisingly, Afghans aren't quick to trust anybody from outside their communities - be it the central government in Kabul or the U.S. military. There is, at the national level, a credibility vacuum.

    This vacuum is being filled by the only group that has provided anything like stability since the 1970s: the Taliban. Though not officially in charge, Taliban shadow governments rule with the people's tacit backing in much of the country. For the most part the Taliban isn't made up of Kabul power-brokers. They are local men who, while perhaps distasteful to many Afghans, represent the devil they know. They may extort bribes in exchange for security, but that, in the estimation of the people, is better than no security at all.

    Is this a bad thing? The Taliban, a home-grown movement, never directly threatened the national security of the U.S. or its western allies. It did, as we all know, indirectly support Al-Qaeda, providing a so-called "safe haven" from which the terrorist group could launch attacks against the west. Would it make that mistake again and, if it did, what would the "innocent" Afghans do about it?

    Whether or not we commit more troops to the fight here - or indeed whether we decide to stay at all - hinges on the answer to this question. The First Sergeant seems to have formed his conclusion, but the matter is not nearly settled in the minds of the Afghans. Taking advantage of that uncertainty appears to be part of Gen. McChrystal's aim, but we don't have long before the Afghans decide which way they want to go. The General's strategy offers Afghans a chance at success; the First Sergeant's offers them more of the same.

    Matt
    Currently serving in Afghanistan

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  12. There is nothing intrinsically bad about 'stability' in that region. As far as I'm concerned, if the Afghan's are happy to suffer under the domination of the Taliban, have at it. The problem is that the Taliban don't share our live-and-let-live attitude. Theirs is one of global restructuring with Sharia as the governing doctrine. I don't know about you but I don't intend to have my daughter subjugated by a force of people whose religious ideology considers women chattel and unbelievers something to kill.

    The reason we are there is because men of this ideology chose to come here and kill us and don't forget that was not the first instance in modern history. Our first modern era encounter was 1979 in Tehran. This is not about our offering the Afghan's a chance; they have had a 'chance' their entire existence. They live the way they choose. The way they choose, allows thugs like Al Qaeda and the Taliban the opportunity to export death to us. This war we are engaged in is about our survival - not theirs.

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  13. Sir, Thank you for your service and your son's service and sacrifice. From a Soldier currently serving and witnessing exactly what your blog and painful experience is about, thank you for initiating this blog. It is past due. Most of us here who can still think for ourselves are stupified at the current misguided policy. We're doomed without responsible leadership. This place is far too dangerous for irresponsible leadership to be allowed to squander the mission they have inherited. Frankly I'm baffled how some people have risen to such levels of responsibility given their impression of what is out here on the battlefield. No doubt our leadership is well educated; however, something is amiss in their logic facalties, and this handicap is already having deadly effects. I'm trying to be nice and respectful but quite frankly it is disgusting. Thank you for helping get the message out, it is an important and urgent message. Please don't stop, your message is essential. God bless you and your family

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  14. gunpilot: I also have mulled over the lack of leadership and just plain stupidity and cowardice. The leaders who know how to win are afraid of the almighty Obama and the others are academic eggheads. Let's put Gates in Helmand with a rifle and tell him he can't fire at the T-ban who are raking him with full auto because he can't see a weapon!! Am I really seeing this lunacy unfold before my eyes? Where is the first MAN who will resign and say: I can't contrain my young men to live by these rules? Where is the McChrystal who, if he were a man, would rescind the ROE and if he is told to reenact them he would resign? They are NO WHERE because the only men any longer in our military are "in the trenches" fighting an emboldened enemy because they know our game plan. They are my heroes, they are the ones this nation needs, not the fools in government: Obama, Jones, Gates, Mullen, and McChrystal! My dad's youngest brother who was with Basilone on Guadalcanal and was wounded would be disgusted if he was still alive. My dad, who was in the Army and was wounded on Saipan would be likewise digusted. My uncle, now deceased, who was on the USS Cabot when a Kamikazi crashed into it would also be disgusted and sick with what has happened to his country. My Uncle Ed who won a bronze star with the Army in Europe during WWII would vomit at what is happening today. My other uncle, who was at the Normandy with the Coast Guard and picking up wounded and dead GIs and ramming barges into the beach (he was there or the first assualt) is still alive but not doing well but I can't believe he would be pleased with what is happening to the country he fought for. My two younger uncles both vets of Korea are beside themselves with this marxist government! The Taliban laughs, they know our MO, the Russians, Chinese, Indians, Brazilians, Iranians, etc. hardnosed and pragmatic are doing everything they can to secure resources for their nations, whether we agree with them or not is not the issue, they are nationalists. To our government that is a four letter word. The most unpatriotic group today in this nation is our Congress and executive branch and the beehive of 20 something year old staffers who swoon at their every word. I'm not sure any longer what is the best course of action. I am convinced of one thing and that is if we keep our young men and women in A-stan they MUST be unfettered and allowed to kill the enemy, if not them bring them home!!!! I cannot believe I am seeing, what I believe the destruction of our nation. Obama can go to Copenhagen to pimp for his thugs in Chicago but can't be troubled with A-stan and our brave young men and women who are fighting there. Can we much longer survive as AMERICA? Our nation is being destroyed by those who hate her and have wormed their way into public office! Sir, these young men and women are my heroes. First Sgt., your son is my hero. Thank you for this blog. May the Lord bless you and your family. Semper Fidelis!!! Patriot Dynamite USMC 1964-1968 (RVN '67)

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  15. My Dad also would be disgusted. He was in the Navy and fought in WWII and Korea. He passed on awhile back and, although I miss him, I can say for certain that he would be even more displeased with the spineless person they call the president of these states. I for one, do not consider him my president. I ask God to forgive me for this, as I have never denied any American president as acting for myself and my country. This one however, is a totally different matter. Obama cares for no one but himself and his agenda is to glorify himself. Perhaps if there were something in it for him, he might change the mission in Afghanistan? Only God knows. God bless our troops, their families, and America.
    GoNavy
    '73-'77

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  16. From the Times OnLine:

    From the Times OnLine:

    Specialist Alexander Miller had been watching a mysterious Afghan standing in a cornfield for 20 minutes. But it took only a split second for the American soldier to be mortally wounded.

    As Miller turned his back momentarily, the Afghan picked up a weapon hidden at his feet and fired a burst. One of the rounds tore into the 21- year-old soldier’s groin. Troops rushed to apply pressure to the wound as they called in a helicopter, but he was dead on arrival at the nearest field hospital.

    Miller, a keen roller-hockey player with a goofy smile, left behind a girlfriend in Clermont, Florida. He was one of three American soldiers killed in the battle for Barji Matal, a village in the eastern province of Nuristan that nestles in a fertile valley surrounded by the barren peaks of the Hindu Kush.

    Nuristan’s rugged landscape, dotted with stone huts encircled by farmland, formed the backdrop to Rudyard Kipling’s short story The Man Who Would Be King, written when the province was still called Kafiristan or “Land of the Infidels” for its struggle to resist the spread of Islam. American commanders say little has changed since the story was written: the province’s clans still retain a fierce independence.

    Related Links
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    US troops clash daily with Taliban militants over control of this isolated region on the Pakistan border. But as President Barack Obama reconsiders his overall strategy in Afghanistan, military officials on the ground are questioning the purpose of sending soldiers into sparsely populated areas such as Barji Matal when the army lacks the resources to hold on to them. They argue that such battles reduce the military’s capacity to conduct counterinsurgency operations along the porous border with Pakistan.

    It was in mid-July that President Hamid Karzai asked for 100 American soldiers to go to the village after Taliban militants overran it.

    The soldiers believed they could secure Barji Matal within a week, allowing 500 farmers to return to their work in the flour mill and cornfields. But the date for their withdrawal came and went with soldiers bogged down in close-quarter combat. One was killed instantly when a Taliban fighter popped up 10 yards ahead of his position and loosed off a burst of machinegun fire.

    “We made the decision to stay to ensure that we didn’t spend all that money, blood, sweat and tears for nothing,” said Captain Albert Bryant, commanding officer of C Company in the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division.

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  17. The battle, in which dozens of soldiers were wounded, proved so severe that soldiers from C Company joked that they should receive the Purple Heart before boarding helicopters to the village. The fighting dragged on for two months.

    US soldiers have now withdrawn from Barji Matal, leaving behind a poorly trained, ill-equipped militia to fend off the Taliban’s inevitable attempts to retake it.

    As they returned to their base at Combat Outpost Monti in the neighbouring province of Kunar, worn down by weeks of sleeping rough and hiking up mountains to destroy enemy positions, some of the men wondered what had been achieved.

    Helicopters and troops that could have been used to prevent militants crossing the border from Pakistan had been sucked into a futile fight, they said.

    “I guarantee the Taliban will be back inside a week. If you can’t hold the village then what’s the point in going in there in the first place?” Bryant said. “As soon as you leave, it will be back in enemy hands within two or three days, and that’s not worth a soldier’s life.”

    This view is gaining ground at the most senior level. After four years of bloody battles in provinces such as Nuristan, General Stanley McChrystal, the top US commander, has called for the withdrawal of troops from areas with few inhabitants which are deemed too problematic to be brought under control.

    Instead, in his confidential assessment of counterinsurgency efforts last month, he urged US and Nato forces to focus on “critical high-population areas that are contested or controlled by insurgents”.

    In Nuristan, little has been achieved in the way of development since troops were first deployed three years ago.

    Commanders admit that plans to build a road network in the province, whose capital Parun can be reached for only half the year because of snow, were ill-conceived. Just four miles of road has been constructed, most of it running from a US base.

    “I think people realised it [the road network] wasn’t as great an idea as they had originally thought,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Forsyth, the officer commanding the 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, in Nuristan. “We could use our forces more effectively in other parts of the country.”

    The vertiginous terrain that US forces struggle to patrol allows militants to cross from Pakistan and reclaim one village after another.

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  18. When they stormed Barji Matal, the district governor and his American-trained police force were forced to flee.The Taliban then began to harass the villagers, stashing weapons in their homes. Karzai asked the Americans to chase them out. They went in spite of a directive to ground forces in July in which McChrystal said: “Sporadically moving into areas for a short time does little good and much harm.”

    In the second week of July, as US commanders finally ceded to Karzai’s demands, America was reluctantly drawn into a battle it had not wanted, as two US platoons landed in the cornfields of Barji Matal at night.

    As dawn broke over the platoons and their Afghan army counterparts, a Taliban sniper fired two rounds before ducking back into cover to change his position. US soldiers said the sniper’s self-discipline — never firing off more than two rounds from any position — and his ability to avoid detection suggested he had received training abroad, perhaps in Chechnya.

    The fighting intensified, with more cross-border militants joining from Pakistan and driving locals into the mountains. The two sides traded small arms fire, mortar rounds and rocket-propelled grenades.

    “They cut down the corn after Specialist Miller was killed,” said First Lieutenant Tim Mergen, of C Company. “Fighters were stashing weapons in the cornfields and then leaving. They could pick them up, fire, dump the weapon and then flee.”

    Some of the soldiers had narrow escapes — one sniper’s bullet grazed a soldier’s neck while he scanned the mountains.

    “There’s no way I want to go back there. That place was hell,” said a US soldier who spoke of Taliban attacks every day for two weeks.

    Although plans to pull out of Nuristan have already been drawn up by American commanders, some US officials say this will only facilitate the movement of weapons from Pakistan.

    McChrystal nevertheless believes that troops drawn into battles such as Barji Matal should be used to shield greater numbers of people from violence. The Barji Matal offensive forced commanders to cancel strike operations against known Taliban sanctuaries because all available resources were absorbed by the fighting. Their capacity to cut off militants crossing the vast border along key infiltration routes was also severely hampered.

    American commanders hope that if McChrystal’s strategy works, battles such as Barji Matal will become forgotten footnotes in books about this long, costly and bloody war.

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  19. Please forgive me for the long posts, I can't even believe what I am reading?? Is this true???

    NOW FOR MY COMMENT: Are our president, security advisor, chairman of joint chiefs of staff, Gates, McChrystal and various others in the decision making circle reading this?? Probably not; too busy playing golf, appearing on Letterman, Leno, black caucus, naacp, la raza, shooting hoops, pimping for his thug city of chicago, making speeches full of lies on this unconstitutional health care bill, lying about climate change (has he ever heard of the sun, probably not, he didn't even know how many states we have), going on his whirlwind "hate America tours". lying about how govt is helping the economy, lies, lies, lies, all he does is lie about everything including afghanistan! 10 soldiers kllled. What about Specialist Miller; he should have been allowed to kill the that guy. What does McChrystal think he was doing, observing the weather??? The T-ban already know our MO, the entire world knows our MO. Read this article; what caused this??? ROE ROE ROE ROE!!! When will one of these fools cowboy up and tell the prez the way it is and put his career on the line as our young men and women are doing every day in A-stan??? Where have all the men gone, gone to wimpville everyone, when will they ever learn?? NEVER!!! We have become a nation of cowards inside the beltway. Our real heroes are fighting for their lives with no support from their government, no CAS, no Artillery, no nothing. What the hell are we doing in that god forsaken country. I just read that an A-stan police officer kills 2 U.S. troops!!! OMG- what has happened to this nation??? We are afraid to offend anyone and in the name of, probably diversity, we have the ANA and AP patrolling with our guys!!! I am ready to vomit. I must go!!! Semper Fidelis!!!

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  20. Welcome to the world of politically correct warfare...

    SF

    JB

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  21. usmcwarrior: yea you are correct but must we live in this environment?? All the chatter on the radio about how McChrystal is frustrated with Obama!! Then, dammit, why doesn't he rescind the ROE and let our guys kill the enemy. My son just called and told me about an ambush they were in about a month ago. He had a T-ban in his sights but couldn't kill him because he couldn't see his weapon. I think McChrystal has done a disservice to our forces. He should do what is right for our forces, orders if they are immoral are not to be followed. The problem is I think McChrystal believes in protecting the civies at all costs. What has happened to our generals. Wimps one and all. Spec. Miller would be alive if he could have killed the T-ban in the cornfield this past weekend. Instead he was killed because he couldn't see the damn t-ban's weapon who was hidden at his feet!!!!! Obama, Jones, Gates, Mullen and McChrystal are ALL to blame dammit. Why make excuses for any of them?? Put these fools in a helmet with a rifle and send their asses to A-stan and see if they can live by the ROE!!!!!!!!!!!! Hell no they can't.

    Respectfully,

    Patriot Dynamite

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  22. To answer your question; NO. We don't live this way or abandon our guys on the field of battle - even as those who have been entrusted with them, have. Unfortunately for now all we can do is keep the pressure on through political aggravation (letters) and the occasional interview and blogs, etc. The next thing is to become fully educated on the whole argument. Right now we are arguing things that are common sense to us but are losing the greater argument about who the enemy really is. If we don't win that one we are doomed as a nation anyway. http://www.andrewbostom.org/loj//component/option,com_wrapper/Itemid,46/ You need to go to this site and read the preface and then order the book. Once you understand the real problem; spread the word - and the book.

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