Thursday, December 24, 2009

Where is Islamberg and Why is it a Ghost Town?

I know there are those who will never accept any 'anomaly' as evidence and this same segment of the population will never take the time to research this subject to see if what they have been indoctrinated with stands up to the scrutiny of history and sound academic research. For everyone else; here is yet another troubling evidence of the continuing and coming storm. The question we all have to ask is just how many times this 'anomaly' has repeated itself nationwide and for that matter, in Canada and western Europe? Do those in whom we have entrusted our security know the answer to that and what are they prepared to do about it? The events that have unfolded in Afghanistan concerning our 'strategy change' and related ROE have suggested that these decisions are based on a faulty understanding of the enemy and a left-wing agenda. I'm curious to know how many more 9/11's we will have to experience before our sworn Leaders and the Protectors of our Constitution, Land and People are going to be willing to re-visit their flawed perception of the enemy?

The latest revelation surrounding the latest Executive Order that affords diplomatic immunity to Interpol and by extension the ICC suggest much darker times ahead. It is no secret that the ICC and other international governing bodies see the campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan as 'illegal' by their own standards. Until the 17th of this month, that meant little. Now , our own President has laid the ground work necessary to subjugate an entire country which was entrusted to him by 53% of the population. This population which can no longer expect protection from their government from a foreign pestilence in the form of Interpol and the ICC. Our Warriors can no longer expect they will not be held liable for 'crimes against humanity' by a foreign agancy that has already expressed their disdain for America and declared the war we are embroiled in, illegal. It has been feared that they would eventually exploit any opportunity to hold any and all American Warriors liable. This President has given them that opportunity. Can you say Sedition?

Some will say that these things are not inter-related but that is an extremely naive and dangerous view. These things are all related! Applying a battle strategy that has failed historically, in a land of people that have no respect for their own central government and ideologically hate all outside of their ideology, where the human and physical terrain is unforgivable and murderous is insane. Placing our Warriors in this place without expectation of simple, timely, organic fire support from weapon systems like 60mm mortars is murderous - not naive and not unrelated to the bigger picture! It very clearly smacks of a government and government officials that no longer fear their constituency and no longer love or respect the men in uniform that they have placed in harm's way. One can only deduce that they have a new constituency and a new 'first love'. The question is, will this present constituency tolerate the current crop of traitors or will they show them the door in 2010? Will the new crop that replaces them be any different? Will they understand what the current crop has so obviously forgotten; that they have sworn an oath 'to support and defend the constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;' or will they continue the same failing policies of their predecessors and continue to drive this, their country into the ground and into the shackles of some foreign pestilence?

A question was posed to me the other day; 'Power, money, and prestige are motivators toward evil. O for honest men and women to stand up and lead! Are there any out there? Can they possibly rise to the top without corruption?' To which I answer; I don't know. I honestly don't know.

John Bernard

Dr. Paul L. Williams, PhD
Why Is Islamberg Now a Ghost Town?
December 22, 2009

The Wall Street Journal reports this week that U.S. investigators are discovering that more and more young Muslims are vanishing from mosques, madrassas, and Islamic centers.

The disappearances, the Journal notes, are raising grave concerns among FBI and Homeland Security officials who fear that an onset of jihadist activity will take place on American soil in the near future.

Hundreds of Muslim men are also missing from Islamberg and this is not a propitious omen.

The sentry post is gone and no guards are in sight at the entrance to the 70 acre Islamic settlement located in the dense forest between Deposit and Hancock in upper New York State.

Young men in Islamic garb no longer congregate before the makeshift mosque, and no students are in attendance at the one room shack that serves as Sheikh Gilani's “International Quranic Open University.”

Gunfire no longer can be heard from the firing ranges along the eastern parameter of the property – and no grunts come from new recruits at the obstacle course.

A new sign at the entranceway reads, “Welcome to Holy Islamberg: The International Quranic Open University.” Next to this sign, which features the image of a mosque emerging from the mountains, is a pot of plastic carnations. Another sign proclaims that the community is home to the “United Muslim – Christian Forum.”

Such statements of welcome are offset by the “No Trespassing” signs that have been nailed to trees throughout the compound.

On the opposite side of the road leading into the community is a rack of metal mailboxes bearing such names as Abdul-Haqq, Abdul Jalil, Mumim Roberts, Abdullah Simonds, and Salam Insan.

What has happened to this once bustling complex of radical Islamists – a place where the cries of muezzins were accompanied by the incessant rat-tat-tat of machine gunfire? Where are the Arab dignitaries that used to visit this remote community in chauffeur-driven limousines? Where are the armed sentries who warded away all intruders?

A handful of children play in the mud and muck before rows of rusty old trailers, and a few women in full burkas walk along the rutty dirt road that leads to the heart of the squalid Muslim compound.

The few residents who remain in the settlement are not environmentalists. Sewage seeps from septic tanks and outhouses into the creek that flows at the base of the settlement. Bags of rotting garbage remain stacked between the trailers. And the once pristine countryside is now littered with junk cars, moldy mattresses, empty tanks of propane, and old appliances.

Where are the men?

What has happened to this bustling center of jihadi training?

Why has Islamberg become a ghost town?

The same phenomenon of vanishing Muslim men is taking place at mosques, madrassas, and other Islamic communities throughout the country and at other Jamaat ul-Fuqra paramilitary compounds, including one in Red House, Virginia.

U.S. investigators have now discovered that many of the missing Muslims are showing up in the killing fields of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

Five American Muslims recently were arrested in Pakistan following a raid at the home of a member of the Jaish-e-Muhammad, a Pakistani movement designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2001.

The five American Muslims – identified as Ahmed Abdullah, Waqar Hassan Khan, Eman Hassan, Yasir and Rami Zamzam – were planning to join forces with the Taliban to fight the U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Zamzam is a graduate dental student at Howard University, where he served as president of the Muslim Student Association.

David Coleman Headley, another Muslim who disappeared, is a native of Chicago who attended Lashkar-e-Toiba-operated terrorism training camps in Pakistan and helped Lashker-e-Toiba members and others plan and execute the attacks in Denmark against the newspaper which published cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, which Muslims found offensive, as well as the violent attack in Mumbai, in about 170 people died.

At the same time Headley was taken into custody, U.S. investigators discovered that 20 Somali immigrants, who were reported missing from a mosque in Minnesota, had joined the Islamist insurgent group, al Shabaab, and were engaged in fighting Somalia's U.S.-backed government.

And there is the case of Najibullah Zazi, a 24-year-old resident of Denver, who made a trip to Peshawar, Pakistan, in 2008 for the stated purpose of visiting his wife only to show up at an al Qaeda training camp where he received instruction in making and detonating explosives. In September, Zazi was collared by federal officials as he made his way to New York City to carry out attacks with the same back-pack bombs that were used to blow up a train station in Madrid and several subway stations in London.

Where are the Muslim men from Islamberg?

The answer comes from a heavy-set woman in a long black burka who stops to check her mail box. “The men – all gone,” she says in halting English. “All – in Pakistan.”

Islamberg was established in 1980 by Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, a Pakistani cleric who served as the imam of the Yasin Masjid in Brooklyn. A quack practitioner of something called “Koranic psychiatry,” Sheikh Gilani presented himself to the Brooklyn congregation as "the sixth Sultan ul Faqr,” with a lineage that dates back to the prophet Mohammed. He claimed to have supernatural powers that came from his regular reception of visits by jinn and “non-human beings.”

Sporting ammunition belts, Gilani called upon members of a Black Muslim street gang known as Dar al-Islam (DAR) to take part in the holy war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Hundreds answered the call and headed off to training camps in Pakistan, which had been established by Osama bin Laden, and other members of the mujahadeen.

Under Gilani’s direction, the DAR transformed into Jamaat ul-Fuqra (“the community of the impoverished”) and continued its prison ministry under Muslims of the Americas, a new, non-profit corporation. The sheikh soon came to realize that it would be financially advantageous to train new recruits for the holy war on American soil rather than shelling out the freight of sending them to Lahore and Peshawar. He purchased a 70-acre parcel of land near Green Haven, set up a firing range and an obstacle course, purchased a slew of old single-wide trailers and created a paramilitary compound called Islamberg.

When released from the federal prison, former convicts now received not only the customary $10 and a suit of clothes but also a one-way ticket to Gilani’s compound.

What took place at Islamberg and the International Quranic Open University?

The answers came from Sheikh Gilani in his recruitment videos: “We give [students] specialized training in guerilla warfare. We are at present establishing training camps. You can easily reach us at Open Quranic offices in upstate New York or in Canada or in South Carolina or in Pakistan.”

Similarly, in a handbook, published by the university, Gilani wrote that the foremost duty of all students is to wage war against “the oppressors of Muslims.” The students are expected to sign an oath that reads: “I shall always hear and obey, and whenever given the command, I shall readily fight for Allah’s sake.”

Now that the recruits at Islamberg have been trained in the basics of guerilla warfare, they have been deployed to Pakistan for advanced courses in explosives and weapons of mass destruction.

They will be returning home soon.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Real Rules Of War

Another great perspective on the Rules of Engagement, Civilization, the cruelty of war and an argument for reason.

By Warren Kozak

Five years ago, a particularly gruesome image made its way to our television

screens from the war in Iraq. Four U.S. civilian contractors working in

Fallujah were ambushed and killed by al Qaeda. Their bodies were burned,

then dragged through the streets. Two of the charred bodies were hung from

the Euphrates Bridge and left dangling.

This barbaric act left an impression that our military did not forget: In a

special operation earlier this year, Navy SEALs captured the mastermind of

that attack, Ahmed Hashim Abed. But after he was taken into custody in

September, Abed claimed he was punched by his captors. He showed a fat lip

to prove it. Three of the SEALS are now awaiting a courts-martial on charges

ranging from assault to dereliction of duty and making false statements.

This incident and its twisted irony takes me back to an oddly serene setting

many years ago. When I was in college, I joined my parents on a trip to

retrace my father's wartime experience in Europe. We drove from France,

through Holland and Belgium and on to Germany-the same route he had taken

with the U.S. Army in 1944-45. At a field outside the Belgian town of

Malmedy, we got out of our rented car where my father described something I

had never heard before.

During the Battle of the Bulge, in the bleak December of 1944, the Germans

had quickly overrun the American lines. They took thousands of prisoners as

they pushed through in a last chance gamble to turn the war around. One

unit, part of the First SS Panzer Division, had captured over a hundred GIs.

They were moving fast, and they didn't care to be burdened by prisoners. So

the SS troops put the American soldiers in that field and mowed them down

with machine guns.

Around 90 Americans were killed in that barrage. The Germans then walked

through the tangle of bodies, shooting those who were still alive in the

back of the head. The few that survived were brought to where my father was

located in the nearby town of Liege where word of the massacre quickly


My father was never a talker. And in spite of the fact that we were on a

trip to look at his past, he didn't open up much, or couldn't. When I asked

him what the reaction was among the U.S. troops, he answered without

emotion: "We didn't take prisoners for two weeks." I immediately understood

what he meant, and had the sense not to press the issue any further. I just

looked out at the field, now green and peaceful on a beautiful summer day,

and realized he was looking at the same field and seeing something quite


In the weeks following the Malmedy massacre, U.S. troops clearly broke the

rules of the Geneva Conventions. Justified or not, they were technically

guilty of war crimes.

My guess is that the American correspondents imbedded with those troops knew

all about this and chose not to report it. So did their officers. They

understood the gravity of the war, as well as the absolute importance of its

outcome. And they understood that disclosing this information might

ultimately help the enemy. In other words, they used common sense. Was the

U.S. a lesser country because these GIs weren't arrested? Was the

Constitution jeopardized? Somehow it survived.

You don't have to dig too deep to understand that war brings out behavior in

people that they would never demonstrate in normal life. In Paul Fussell's

moving memoir, "The Boys' Crusade," the former infantryman relates a story

about the liberation of Dachau. There were about 120 SS guards who had been

captured by the Americans. Even though the Germans were being held at

gunpoint, they still had the arrogance-or epic stupidity-to continue to heap

verbal abuse and threats on the inmates. Their American guards, thoroughly

disgusted by what they had already witnessed in the camp, had seen enough

and opened fire on the SS. Some of the remaining SS guards were handed over

to the inmates who tore them limb from limb. Another war crime? No doubt.

Justified? It depends on your point of view. But before you weigh in,

realize that you didn't walk through the camp. You didn't smell it. You

didn't witness the obscene horror of the Nazis.

Rules of war are important. They are something to strive for as they

separate us from our distant ancestors. But when only one side follows these

rules, they no longer elevate us. They create a very unlevel field and more

than a little frustration. It is equally bizarre for any of us to judge

someone's behavior in war by the rules we follow in our very peaceful

universe. We sit in homes that are air-conditioned in the summer and warmed

in the winter. We have more than enough food in our bellies and we get

enough sleep. The stress in our lives won't ever match the stress of battle.

Can we honestly begin to decide if a soldier acted in compliance with rules

that work perfectly well on Main Street but not, say, in Malmedy or


In his book, Mr. Fussell probably sums up the feelings of many soldiers when

he quotes a British captain, John Tonkin, who experienced a great deal of

the war. "I have always felt," Capt. Tonkin said, "that the Geneva

Convention is a dangerous piece of stupidity, because it leads people to

believe that war can be civilized. It can't."

Mr. Kozak is the author of "LeMay: The Life and Wars of General Curtis

LeMay" (Regnery, 2009).

Wither Sovereignty

This is probably the single most troubling piece of information to come up in the past year. With this amended Executive Order, Interpol now has authorization to 'Operate' on American soil and for all practical purposes, has control of sovereign US citizens. With the stroke of the pen, the President has perpetrated an act of sedition against the sovereignty of the United States of America and our citizens; and everyone just watches....

Executive Order Amended to Immunize INTERPOL In America - Is The ICC Next?

By Steve Schippert, Clyde Middleton December 23, 2009

Last Thursday, December 17, 2009, The White House released an Executive Order "Amending Executive Order 12425." It grants INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization) a new level of full diplomatic immunity afforded to foreign embassies and select other "International Organizations" as set forth in the United States International Organizations Immunities Act of 1945.

By removing language from President Reagan's 1983 Executive Order 12425, this international law enforcement body now operates - now operates - on American soil beyond the reach of our own top law enforcement arm, the FBI, and is immune from Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

For Immediate Release December 17, 2009
Executive Order -- Amending Executive Order 12425

- - - - - - -

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U.S.C. 288), and in order to extend the appropriate privileges, exemptions, and immunities to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), it is hereby ordered that Executive Order 12425 of June 16, 1983, as amended, is further amended by deleting from the first sentence the words "except those provided by Section 2©, Section 3, Section 4, Section 5, and Section 6 of that Act" and the semicolon that immediately precedes them.


December 16, 2009.

After initial review and discussions between the writers of this analysis, the context was spelled out plainly.

Through EO 12425, President Reagan extended to INTERPOL recognition as an "International Organization." In short, the privileges and immunities afforded foreign diplomats was extended to INTERPOL. Two sets of important privileges and immunities were withheld: Section 2© and the remaining sections cited (all of which deal with differing taxes).

And then comes December 17, 2009, and President Obama. The exemptions in EO 12425 were removed.

Section 2c of the United States International Organizations Immunities Act is the crucial piece.

Property and assets of international organizations, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, unless such immunity be expressly waived, and from confiscation. The archives of international organizations shall be inviolable. (Emphasis added.)

Inviolable archives means INTERPOL records are beyond US citizens' Freedom of Information Act requests and from American legal or investigative discovery ("unless such immunity be expressly waived.")

Property and assets being immune from search and confiscation means precisely that. Wherever they may be in the United States. This could conceivably include human assets - Americans arrested on our soil by INTERPOL officers.

Context: International Criminal Court

The importance of this last crucial point cannot be understated, because this immunity and protection - and elevation above the US Constitution - afforded INTERPOL is likely a precursor to the White House subjecting the United States under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). INTERPOL provides a significant enforcement function for the ICC, just as our FBI provides a significant function for our Department of Justice.

We direct the American public to paragraph 28 of the ICC's Proposed Programme Budget for 2010 (PDF).

29. Additionally, the Court will continue to seek the cooperation of States not party to the Rome Statute and to develop its relationships with regional organizations such as the Organization of American States (OAS), the Arab League (AL), the African Union (AU), the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), ASEAN and CARICOM. We will also continue to engage with subregional and thematic organizations, such as SADC and ECOWAS, and the Commonwealth Secretariat and the OIF. This will be done through high level visits, briefings and, as appropriate, relationship agreements. Work will also be carried out with sectoral organizations such as IDLO and INTERPOL, to increase efficiency.

The United States is not a party to the Rome Statute - the UN treaty that established the International Criminal Court. (See: Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court)

President George W. Bush rejected subjecting the United States to the jurisdiction of the ICC and removed the United States as a signatory. President Bill Clinton had previously signed the Rome Statute during his presidency. Two critical matters are at play. One is an overall matter of sovereignty and the concept of the primacy of American law above those of the rest of the world. But more recently a more over-riding concern principally has been the potential - if not likely - specter of subjecting our Armed Forces to a hostile international body seeking war crimes prosecutions during the execution of an unpopular war.

President Bush in fact went so far as to gain agreement from nations that they would expressly not detain or hand over to the ICC members of the United States armed forces. The fear of a symbolic ICC circus trial as a form of international political protest to American military actions in Iraq and elsewhere was real and palpable.

President Obama's words have been carefully chosen when directly regarding the ICC. While President Bush outright rejected subjugating American armed forces to any international court as a matter of policy, President Obama said in his 2008 presidential campaign that it is merely "premature to commit" to signing America on.

However, in a Foreign Policy in Focus round-table in 2008, the host group cited his former foreign policy advisor, Samantha Power. She essentially laid down what can be viewed as now-President Obama's roadmap to America rejoining the ICC. His principal objections are not explained as those of sovereignty, but rather of image and perception.

Obama's former foreign policy advisor, Samantha Power, said in an early March (2008) interview with The Irish Times that many things need to happen before Obama could think about signing the Rome Treaty.

"Until we've closed Guantánamo, gotten out of Iraq responsibly, renounced torture and rendition, shown a different face for America, American membership of the ICC is going to make countries around the world think the ICC is a tool of American hegemony.

The detention center at Guantánamo Bay is nearing its closure and an alternate continental American site for terrorist detention has been selected in Illinois. The time line for Iraq withdrawal has been set. And President Obama has given an abundance of international speeches intended to "show a different face for America." He has in fact been roundly criticized domestically for the routinely apologetic and critical nature of these speeches.

President Obama has not rejected the concept of ICC jurisdiction over US citizens and service members. He has avoided any direct reference to this while offering praise for the ICC for conducting its trials so far "in America's interests." The door thus remains wide open to the skeptical observer.


In light of what we know and can observe, it is our logical conclusion that President Obama's Executive Order amending President Ronald Reagans' 1983 EO 12425 and placing INTERPOL above the United States Constitution and beyond the legal reach of our own top law enforcement is a precursor to more damaging moves.

The pre-requisite conditions regarding the Iraq withdrawal and the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility closure will continue their course. meanwhile, the next move from President Obama is likely an attempt to dissolve the agreements made between President Bush and other states preventing them from turning over American military forces to the ICC (via INTERPOL) for war crimes or any other prosecutions.

When the paths on the road map converge - Iraq withdrawal, Guantánamo closure, perceived American image improved internationally, and an empowered INTERPOL in the United States - it is probable that President Barack Obama will once again make America a signatory to the International Criminal Court. It will be a move that surrenders American sovereignty to an international body who's INTERPOL enforcement arm has already been elevated above the Constitution and American domestic law enforcement.

For an added and disturbing wrinkle, INTERPOL's central operations office in the United States is within our own Justice Department offices. They are American law enforcement officers working under the aegis of INTERPOL within our own Justice Department. That they now operate with full diplomatic immunity and with "inviolable archives" from within our own buildings should send red flags soaring into the clouds.

This is the disturbing context for President Obama's quiet release of an amended Executive Order 12425. American sovereignty hangs in the balance if these actions are not prevented through public outcry and political pressure. Some Americans are paying attention, as can be seen from some of the earliest recognitions of this troubling development here, here and here. But the discussion must extend well beyond the Internet and social media.

Ultimately, a detailed verbal explanation is due the American public from the President of the United States detailing why an international law enforcement arm assisting a court we are not a signatory to has been elevated above our Constitution upon our soil.

America's Survival Is At Stake

This piece is from and the content dovetails with the problems with COIN and ROE that we have been discussing on this Blog.

Never before in our history has an American president, deliberately and by design, risked our very survival to a maniacal enemy power sworn to remove America from the world. Yet from all appearances, this is exactly what Obama is doing by failing to vigorously oppose Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. But in spite of the fact that over 60% of the public favors militarily destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities, there’s nary a word of protest from the Republicans in opposition. They’re so paranoid about being labeled warmongers, they have shamefully abdicated their own national security responsibilities, just as John McCain did during his presidential run.

Obama is weakening rather than strengthening our missile defenses. That’s how seriously this Administration takes the Iranian threat.

The reality is that the fanatical, messianically driven radical Iranian zealots will pay any price, including Iran’s virtual obliteration, in order to render the U.S. and its major allies non-players on the world scene. The mullahs expect to emerge from the ruins no longer hindered by the “Great Satan,” free to use their huge oil and gas reserves to fund the imposition of their tyranny throughout the Middle East and beyond.

Not only does Obama’s psyche make him incapable of understanding the radical’s mentality but he chooses to totally dismiss their own pronouncements spelling out their sinister intentions. Obama’s determination to make the United States subservient to an international body of nations is now driving him to systematically reduce our nation to a mere shadow of its former power and influence. He seeks to leave us virtually undefended against a missile attack, dramatically weaken our military, leave Iraq on its own, deny us the ability to win in Afghanistan and relinquish our unpopular but all-important role as world policeman. The practical consequences of Obama’s extreme radical left agenda can only be to put our nation at the mercy of a new world order dominated by ruthless tyrants, thugs and spineless states who sell their souls for commercial gain. His first allegiance is to such an international order – not to the United States.

Obama is not only unfit to serve as commander-in-chief in a time of war, he is a menace to our national security. His obvious intent to allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, perhaps under the guise of what would undoubtedly be a totally meaningless agreement not to do so, presents a risk so grave to our survival that it can only be rationally viewed as tantamount to national suicide. Under no circumstances can the mullahs be trusted to honor any agreement, as they’ve proven time and again.

Obama has an agenda that in my view is un-American, for it is absolutely contrary to the most fundamental and essential interests of our nation. Obama seems too willing to ignore internal strife of other nations, characterized by his refusal to lend encouragement and assistance to freedom-seeking Iranian protestors is a moral outrage.

Given the President’s extreme core beliefs and actions, every effort should be made to rally all Americans against him and his policies. How else can we shake our apathetic citizenry out of its blind disengagement with our national security? Tragically, we are sleep walking in a political wilderness in which too few people are willing to wake up to the unfortunate appeasement and equivocating of President Barack Obama.

No president has had a higher constitutional duty than to protect our nation against foreign attack. By almost any standard, Obama is flagrantly guilty of dereliction of duty. It cannot be overemphasized how extraordinarily perilous a situation we are in, especially at a time when virtually the entire Republican Party is AWOL on bombing Iran and strengthening national security. There is no counterweight to Obama’s disastrous policies. Obama himself recently acknowledged that if terrorists get nuclear weapons “we have every reason to believe they will use them.” Despite this admission, he refuses to take the only action that will stop them from acquiring such weapons.

If we citizenry will not take the bull by the horns and demand a total reversal of our nation’s suicidal course, we could very soon experience the apocalyptic end of the America we love and all western civilization. Let us understand that the maniacal, radical Islamic enemies confronting us are irreversibly committed to making such a cataclysmic event happen – no matter how horrific the cost to them. To think that an olive branch of brotherly love could change their goals is sheer madness.

Take heed America, Obama’s policies may be paving the way for a nuclear doomsday.

Roger Chapin
Monday, December 21, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

With Corrupt Vision; Warriors Perish

Eight years after terrorists flew four jetliners toward targets in the United States, we find ourselves embroiled in a war with two fronts. The first is the actual battle on the ground and the second is a battle over philosophy, strategy and a fundamental difference in understanding the enemy we are fighting. The one thing that ties this war with every other war ever fought is the presence of two protagonists on the battlefield. As in all other wars, each side is striving to understand his enemy so he can exploit any found weaknesses in order to gain a foothold and ultimately victory over the other. At least, that is what is suppose to be happening. What we have been watching defies explanation. On the one hand we have an enemy that has made clear his intention to destroy us while on the other we continue to seek ways to placate him in an effort to 'win him over'. We have been and are in the process of using every unconventional method toward that end. In the past several weeks we have been told we are paying them to stop fighting and/or switch sides and we are paying to provide jobs for those who choose to do so. We have also been told that the actual number of 'radicalized' Islamics number in the thousands. That should mean the war is actually over for we have certainly killed many times that in the past 8 years of combat both in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We are also told that the 'insurgency' is not home grown but from other countries. While there are most likely members of the Taliban that are from somewhere other than Afghanistan, it certainly doesn't prove to be true to our Warriors on the ground. In any case, trying to separate the enemy from his ideology fails to understand the enemy and his motivation. Yes they are actively involved in the drug trade. Yes they 'tax' local farmers who grow poppy plants (who grow it because the money is better than for convention crops). Yes they occasionally abuse villagers in various ways but no, there is no fundamental difference between them, the villagers, the ANA and AP and the government. At their core they all ascribe to the same ideology and that is where understanding needs to begin. A failure to understand the religious underpinnings of this culture guarantees a failed strategy because the strategy is based on a false understanding of the enemy.

What follows this failed strategy is what we are all talking about. Counter-Insurgency (COIN) doctrine assumes many things about all elements on the battlefield that in this case are far from reality. It assumes there is a majority of the population that is sympathetic to our cause. It also assumes that the Insurgency is an foreign, unwanted cancer that the 'friendly' population wants excised and that we are the holy warriors that will be greeted by throngs of chanting followers. In an effort to insure the worshipful tone does not subside, we show 'restraint'. This restraint is manifested in an incredibly tight ROE that seeks to eliminate civilian casualties (to garner support from the 'friendly' populace) while artificially increasing casualties for our Warriors. To further show our beneficent restraint, we then glean After Action Reports (AAR) looking for opportunities to prosecute and convict our own Warriors for 'crimes' against the friendly populace. The fact that none of this has ever, nor will ever prove to be successful in transforming the minds of the civilian population from their ideological hatred of us to one of genuine love and respect for us is disregarded. It is disregarded because of the narcissistic personalities that are making the decisions at this time in our history. Make no mistake about it; a failure to understand history and the truth of Islam is a core problem for the strategists but personal ego and personal interest are what drives this inexplicable strategy. No longer are greedy men satisfied to be powerful in their own back yard. We now have the internet and international conglomerates. There are seats of power waiting to be filled by 'men of vision'. The fact that these men of vision are spewing orders that are causing unnecessary casualties for their own countrymen is, apparently, a price they are willing to pay. The fact that honorable men are being prosecuted and personally destroyed for appearance sake is a small thing. You have to keep your eye on the ball you know.

With permission I am including a piece written by three senior Officers which speaks to this and the immoral handling of this nation's finest Warriors. This piece nor this Blog entry or the myriad of other written examples of how horribly we have treated our Warriors is going to change any of this. What we are expecting is for the readers of these things to take action:

1. Get educated on the subject
2. Make sure to educate your family, friends and co-workers
3. Let your elected officials know their collective butts are on the line
4. Support our Warriors

Semper FIdelis;

John Bernard

Stand by our Warriors in Battle

Colonel Andy O’Meara (US Army, Ret)
LTG Thomas McInerney (US Air Force, Ret)
MG Paul Vallely (US Army, Ret)

Men have fought wars throughout the annals of history. Americans have known wars since the birth of the nation with aspirations that set our people apart from all others. These lofty aspirations have tested our people in wars to preserve our freedom with decades of domestic strife to make good our claims to the cause of human freedom. Within the brief span of two centuries, Americans have fought wars to fulfill a destiny defined by our Founding Fathers. Each conflict has tested our courage while shaping our identity which stands apart from the Western Civilization that is our heritage. The struggle to endure and preserve our ideals – the love of freedom and the dedication to self-government – has made us unique and has made America an example that inspires mankind.

Today, we find ourselves in a difficult and new kind of war. It is a war that we did not start nor can we end without destroying those who have declared war upon us. Unique to our experience, we find ourselves attacked by assailants who wear no uniform and claim allegiance to no sovereign state and follow a barbaric ideology that takes no prisoners. Our assailants aspire to world domination and wage war to destroy the very aspirations of freedom and democracy. The terrorists conceal themselves within civil populations that provide human shields to these radical zealots that follow a barbaric ideology that takes no prisoners. Their mode of conflict strikes at the values we hold sacred, while they use our aspirations and self-restraint to conceal and protect their assassins. It is a war that tests our men and women in combat more severely than any conflict we have waged before. We have attempted to keep the faith and honor our traditions as well as our noble culture of freedom. In this time of bitter war, the Armed Forces impose strict rules of engagement upon our soldiers as they confront the barbarism of the radical Islamists who exercise absolutely no restraint. No crime is too heinous and no act of treachery too despicable to deter their quest of victory and ultimately world conquest.

In former times, our soldiers have fought on even terms against foes who in many ways shared our commitment to international law and the Geneva Conventions. Such conflict recognized basic human rights and sought to punish those who violated the “Law of Land Warfare”. Such conflicts saw humane treatment of prisoners as the rule and atrocities were the exception. Yet in the bitterest struggles of World War II, the “greatest generation” resorted to retaliation for unprovoked air attacks upon British civilians that resulted in massive bombing attacks of civilian targets in the Third Reich.

Were we to use such tactics today to obliterate the sanctuaries of the enemies, as we did in World War II, the cry of the international media and the United Nations would be filled with outrage at the American combatants? And the United Nations, which we formed at the end of World War II to preserve peace, would side with our enemies openly declaring the American combatants as war criminals. It is fair to say that we live with double standards today that are ignored by the international media and nation-states that support international terrorism. Americans are trained and expected to conduct themselves with the utmost restraint complying with the most humane rules of engagement, standards of conduct that are simply ignored by our enemies. We are asking a lot of our people. They must fight the enemy with great restraint and even the appearances of transgression of the rules of engagement by Americans are punished most severely by our own military courts.

A recent case of apparent transgression of the rules of engagement occurred in Afghanistan that has resulted in the courts martial of one of our finest young warriors who discovered that their Afghan comrades were enemy agents providing valuable intelligence to the enemy. The results of the enemy agents sequestered in the base of an American company resulted in a series of ambushes that killed and wounded numerous soldiers of the 101st Air Assault Division. The Company Commander, Captain Roger Hill, detained the suspected agents and requested they be evacuated by his higher headquarters which request was denied. Given the limited time detainees are allowed to be held without charges and the lack of support from his superiors, Captain Hill and his subordinates interrogated the detainees. While no detainee was physically injured during the interrogations, Captain Hill was charged with violation of the rules of engagement for making verbal threats during his interrogations. He was called before the equivalent of a grand jury and criminal charges were pressed against him, which could have resulted in the loss of his commission, a dishonorable discharge and a prison sentence. His defense attorney was advised that if he pleaded guilty to the charges that no courts martial would be conducted and Captain Hill agreed to accept the plea bargain. He was fined by his commander and ordered to be “discharged” from the Army under other than honorable conditions – a harsh sentence for a fine professional officer operating under duress in a harsh environment the enemy had successfully infiltrated. Our hope is that the Secretary of the Army will authorize an honorable discharge for Captain Roger Hill or keep his career in tack as a professional Army Officer. This is not too much to ask since they decided to downgrade everything to an Article 15 and allowed him to resign his commission (a way to subtly oust him from the Army). He deserves all Veteran benefits after 4 years at West Point and nine years of honorable service, including two wars. His highest personal decoration is the Bronze Star.

Given the uneven playing field upon which our combatants are waging war and the barbaric attacks our soldiers are subjected to, it is time for a public debate regarding the double standards that bind our hands in battle, but impose absolutely no restraint upon the enemy.

The bottom line is we must support our valiant American fighting men and women. They are fighting under the most difficult conditions and they are being second guessed by military lawyers (JAGs) and bureaucrats holding down desk jobs secure in the rear areas. Our generation will never succeed in protecting our sacred freedoms unless we are prepared to back our men and women on the battlefield. Stand behind our men in battle or kiss our democracy and freedoms goodbye. We must do all we can as to restore the honorable status of Captain Hill and others like him. Our Armed Forces deserve better.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Note to Stratfor on Obama Strategy Announcement

There is no question that the strategy Obama will layout tomorrow night will resound for years to come. I can tell you, without doubt, he is adopting COIN as the theater strategy. He has decided that preserving Afghan civilian lives is of paramount importance, so much so that he has lost sight of the fact that it is not in fact a strategy and that it is deadly to our own Warriors and his fellow citizens. COIN as a part of the urban portion of the overall operation is a no-brainer. Once inside the villages and cities of an occupied battle space, you need to exploit every advantage - terrain, materiel and human. There has never been an instance in our history when we have not considered all of those in the prosecution of a war. Narrowing your vision to one of these is a manifestation of a complete lack of understanding of warfare or its intent. It also suggests a twisted understanding of the responsibilities of the Presidency. Obama is not a 'world leader', rather he is the President of the United States and has sworn to defend these shores and our citizenry. He doesn't have the Constitutional or Moral right to choose to place sovereign American Warriors at the disposal of a foreign entity. They exist to preserve our freedom, property, life, existence. He clearly doesn't understand this and Congress clearly doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to hold him to task, or worse, they agree with him.

Giving General McChrystal the benefit of the doubt (and it hurts to do so), one has to assume he is only formulating a battle strategy that mirrors the 'commander's intent'. Even if that is the case, he is not exhonerated for he should possess the moral courage to tell the commander in chief that this plan places our sons and daughters - the best of their generation at unacceptable risk for an unreliable resource; the Afghan population. Let us remember they are Islamic and follow the Koranic mandate of Jihad. Jihad is a core tenet of the faith that requires war with the 'Infidel'. For those of you who have been asleep your entire lives, the Infidel is us. There are no 'friendly hearts and minds to win'. They are ideologically opposed to our sharing the earth with them. In an actual face to face, our only hope of a peaceful solution is submission to Allah. Short of that we are Dhimmi, or Dead.

It is time this once great country start acting like we had a right and duty to preserve ourselves from the forces that would destroy us. It is high time for the traitors in DC to repent and demand correct action from this country's commander in chief. It is time we showed the least amount of love and respect for our Warriors by allowing them at least timely Air and Artillery support, when requested - not 30 minutes after called for! Wake up!!

John Bernard, 1stsgt, USMC ret.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hearts, Minds and the Poll Tax

Herschel Smith is one of those strategic analysts I have the greatest admiration for. His contribution to the effort to secure the safety and well-being of his fellow countrymen is heartfelt. He has no medals to win, no accolades to receive, no Presidential appointments waiting, no Nobel prize to collect. His concern is for the welfare of our Warriors and to insure the political class remembers to make clear and careful decisions when it affects our Warriors. His current piece is in the first link provided with this entry. So when I write about it; it is with this sense of respect I have for the man, his opinion and his heart in this matter.

While I 'get' the position of the Afghani's in this essay I still can't help wondering why we always seem to establish a second standard; one for us and one for the rest of the world. That old adage 'freedom isn't free' rings loud and clear for those of us who have served and experienced loss, but there is a very clear second standard for those who may be in a precarious situation not entirely unlike ours circa 1776. For whatever reason it always seems incumbent on us to provide the force and pay in blood and gold to secure their 'needs' while watching them stand on the sidelines paying us lip-service about all the 'support' they are/will give as soon as we provide them with security.

We really have to ensure our mission statement is an entirely American mission statement. This week and it's new revelations of what kind of strategy the current administration envisions is troubling at the least, monstrously cowardly at the worst. We now hear that the CIA, other coverts and State Department types are meeting with Taliban to try to convince them to leave the fight by offering them jobs?! Two weeks ago we were paying them to switch sides. There are currently meetings underway to come to a meeting of the minds with them to see how we can overcome our differences. Our differences?! Our differences amount to them wanting us dead and us not wanting to comply.

We have a history to consult and seem to refuse to heed it. The future they may envision for themselves (based on this piece) is unreasonable if they believe that after we have 'won' and move out their problems with the Taliban or other Sharia enforcers will be utterly defeated. History shows us they will only back up and regroup - possibly coming back with greater force. This ideological battle (Jihad/Holy War) is a mandate for them. Giving up the fight to play nice is tantamount to leaving the heart of the faith. It would be no different for a Christian who decided to abandon the Biblical Mandate to share the Gospel, for the greater good and 'world peace'. While there may be weak Christians who would give up on the Great Commission for a little earthly security, the majority of Christians would probably be inspired to re-double their efforts. Expecting the Taliban or their eventual replacements to act with a new found sense of responsibility to anything or one other than the Koran and themselves is a pipe dream.

The actual reality is chiseled in History and the Koran and 'true believers' are unlikely to be dissuaded. Building a strategy based on that hope is more likely to find us facing a stronger, more intent enemy in the future on yet another battlefield of their choosing. While this battle may be frustrating, it is never the less the battle of our present time. Our ability to muster the courage to fight it as Americans, as a uniquely American cause with uniquely American leadership, seeing it through to what should be the logical end of any armed conflict is what history will define as success or failure. Right now we are twisting in the breeze and becoming more unstable every day. I firmly believe our present CIC is completely out of his element and making decisions based on his personal interests in those regions of the world that have called us infidel (and enemy), rather than the best interest of the country he swore to protect. As for the Afghan people; they will do as they have always done and that is sidle up alongside the victor so they don't come up short. We need to fight this as though we had a moral obligation to the future of our country and our people because we do. The sad thing is the enemy is fighting that way and we are going about the business of politically appeasing them for the sake of a little temporary security while paying the 'poll tax' of money, work, promises and leniency on the battlefield.

How did we ever get here? The answer is even simpler than you might think. When the age of the classically taught American ended; so did the ability to reason and form opinions based on good, solid historical fact. What we have been fed and are still feeding students in our hallowed educational halls is an unabashed white-wash of actual events. These current 'historical texts' mirror the desires and intent of the writers rather than expounding on truth. It isn't all that difficult to debunk these abominations but it takes time and motivation. Most people who have dedicated the first 16-20 years of their lives to formal education in these institutions have done so at great cost and a belief that their Professors were teaching them truth. They are now seeking to fulfill their lives in their various trades and with their families. Many have passed into the FHAS stage (Fat, Happy and Stupid) of life defined by their belief that they have paid the price of required 'ticket-punching' in the form of the parchments they now display on their 'Me Walls'. For them; further pursuit of education is a waste of precious money making time. Wake up call: You won't be taking it with you, but the time you spend in trying to undo the damage or at least 'test the spirits' that taught you by re-educating yourselves might mean the difference between straightening out the errors and outright lies of academia and offering the next generation an opportunity... to live.

These links are the latest in interesting fodder for the argument I make that a focused Counter-Insurgency strategy, in this region of the world is doomed to failure: - An observation of the complication of Afghani 'support',2933,576646,00.html - How we treat our Warriors - The abused Afghani women we are trying to help - Another absurd angle in 'COIN'



Monday, November 9, 2009

The Face of Cowardice

And the meltdown begins. The entire US government - President on down to the Congressional 'Leadership' is nothing but a bunch of absolute, spineless cowards! The left has always said the military should only be used to defend these shores, translated - wait until they land in Boston or Manhattan or DC, and then we can fight them. CRAP! They would sell this country out in a heart-beat! How many Marines and Soldiers have died taking and holding ground that the 'Great Generals'(there isn't a decent star in the bunch) now want to turn over to the enemy? Hey,IDIOTS in DC listen up; THE ENEMY IS ISLAM and always has been! Waiting on you to finally develop a spine and some sense of moral indignation is like waiting for you to finally decide there really is a God, a Devil, right/wrong and a responsibility to protect that which you have sworn to protect. You are all useless and now you intend to waste all of those lives spent to deny the enemy ground to go to. Congratulations; you are now officially cowards and enemies of your own country and people! You disgust me to a man - and woman. Start looking for work because we are going to see to it that you all, whether 'D' or 'R' are out of work in 2010!

To everyone else on this list; if you have not been paying close attention to all of this, understand that this is exactly what we have been waiting for; the cowards to finally sell us downstream. The stories that have come out in the past week are unbelievable. From paying the Taliban to switch sides to now relinquishing ground Marines and Soldiers bought with blood, giving it back to the Taliban. We don't need a new 'strategy'; we need to fight the original one with so much intensity that the very rocks cry out for mercy (no intent at sacrilege)! Scorched Earth should be the order of the day. Once again; THERE ARE NO HEARTS AND MINDS TO WIN!!! They are all enemy. The men are Jihadists, the women bare children that become...let me think...Jihadists.

If you don't want to see this country reverted into a 21st century version of a third world dust bowl we had better make sure these bone-heads in the 'Dark City' are ALL on the unemployment line in 2010!

Disgusted beyond any description;

John Bernard
1stSgt USMC ret and thoroughly ashamed of this government

Saturday, October 24, 2009

That 'pesky' Inconvenient History

The White House has announced - weekly, that it intends to have an answer to the question of what to do about strategy/strategy change in Afghanistan 'by the end of the week'. The latest excuse is that in light of the apparent fraud in the election process, there will be a run-off election. Because it cannot be determined with certainty who will be victorious, President Obama wants to wait before sanctioning any troop increases ('approving' the change to COIN is a certainty). It is unclear what the actual hold-up is but the given reasons change with the calendar starting back in June when the White House announced General McChrystal as the new ISAF Commander. Since then we have heard rumor and innuendo about the General's assessment of the conditions on the ground in Afghanistan. What we do know is that the White House has linked the opinion of the Afghan people with whatever strategy changes that will be forthcoming. In effect; the security of the United States lies with the desires of the Afghan people.

General McChrystal has staked his entire reputation, not to mention the lives of our men and women in the field, on a counter insurgency strategy that almost exclusively focuses on population protection. His statement that 'success would be defined by the Afghans' harkens back to the Malayan Emergency and General Templer's contention that 'the answer lies not in pouring more troops into the jungle, but in the hearts and minds of the people'. The problem is, the insurgents in Malaya were different than the Afghan insurgency. Theirs was a political ideology. The 'insurgents' in Afghanistan are hardly an alienated element within the society there. They represent the true doctrine of Islam and, arguably, the hearts and minds of the Afghans in that regard. Success for them is measured in infidels and apostates killed. Yes; they are a mix to be sure with some not much more committed than are common thieves and drug runners but even that number is ideologically tied to Islam. Another thing worth noting is that the combat in Malaysia, while officially over in 1960, never really quelled the hostilities. The insurgents re-emerged in the late 60's and continued in the struggle until 1989. Some might consider it coincidental that the iron curtain fell that same year, but I think an argument can be made that it had a profound effect on the hopes of communists world wide - including Malaysia. If General McChrystal is using The Malaysian Emergency as proof of a successful COIN operation; he has to explain away a lot of inconvenient history.

The Philippine Insurrection (1899 - 1913) causes him yet another problem because even though there are those who suggest it was a counter insurgency, the reality is that it was a declared war by the first 'President' of the Philippines. The war quickly degraded into a war of tribes waging a guerilla style war with many atrocities by the Filipinos recorded. Our response to those atrocities would not be considered 'politically correct' today, but were effective. As the war raged into its final years, the splintered warring factions stepped up their guerilla tactics as well as the atrocities. General Pershing is said to have taken 50 prisoners of muslim persuasion and lined them up for the firing squad. He had the firing squad file by the prisoners, dip their bullets in pigs blood and shoot all except one with those bullets. He then let the remaining prisoner go to warn his brethren. There are also stories of dead Moros (muslim) being buried in pigs skin, face down (so they could not see Mecca) in an attempt to demoralize them and force a cessation to hostilities. I can't imagine the good General is recommending these standards in dealing with the indigenous elements that are the Taliban, in Afghanistan. One must also note that there were several religious ideologies at play in the Philippines and it is not at all apparent that they played a part in the Filipino's decision to declare war on the US or sustain hostilities for fourteen years.

Finally there is Vietnam; the hearts and minds campaign there was an abysmal failure while the chase and kill campaigns were largely successful. This is probably our first literal attempt at a counter insurgency and one of our greatest political disasters. Is the General really taking from the McNamara/Johnson playbook and attempting to 'right history'? There are still many of us with keen memories of that debacle and the shame of Saigon and the horrific treatment our Warriors received when they returned to these shores. The entire political establishment of that decade and a half should have been thrown in prison for letting any and all of that happen!

So if we sum up just two of the three efforts, what we have is a failure of counter insurgency strategy. And with this history, General McChrystal finds solace and hope for success - in a country that is ideologically opposed to us just for breathing the same air?? Even if there was a shred of hope in this strategy succeeding, what gives us the right to interfere in the affairs of another culture that is, by any measure, content with their lot in life? The fact is we don't have the right and, that is not what we went there to do. Again; we went there to chase and kill the enemy that spawned the elements that attacked us on September 11, 2001. In addition we decided to chase and kill those who offered them safe harbor and training bases from which to train and launch attacks. The Taliban, which were the sitting governance at the time, invited Al Qaida into Afghanistan to train and plan. The contention that the Taliban and Al Qaida are somehow diametrically opposed either ideologically or on some other basis; rings hollow in light of the facts. If the Taliban did not want Al Qaida there, they would not have been there. It must have pleased them on some level to have them there because they were there.

This still boils down to whether or not we believe we have the right, duty and responsibility, regardless of international consent, to export violence to deal with a clear and present danger to American property, American citizenry and American interests. As Americans the answer should be a resounding yes. I fully understand that foreign entities and individuals, and those in this country who have not yet felt oppression, death or fear, will say no. I understand there are those who think there has never been nor shall ever there be a justifiable war. I no longer expect you to be a serious part of this conversation. You are living in a land of make believe because I know, and you know how you would react if someone entered your house and threatened your family. You would pick up whatever was available and do whatever you had to in order to secure safety for your loved ones including killing the dirtbags. All you need to do is multiply your family by millions and you might understand the peril that confronts your country.

What we have here is the General involved in a great social experiment, with the plains of Afghanistan as his personal laboratory and our Marines and Soldiers as the rats. History is not on your side General and you are losing time and the support of the only segment of the population of this country who would normally support your efforts.

Admiral Mullen said in a letter to Senators Collins and Snowe (meant for me) that the ROE had not in fact changed with the ISAF Commander back in June 2009; The Rules of Engagement had only been 'clarified'. Ganjgal is but one example of how that 'clarification' is being brought into question. The current investigation, if not buried by the Army, ISAF, SecDef or higher, is going to yield what we already know; that the rules are intentionally vague to offer maximum cover for those who have implemented them while exposing the decision makers on the ground and all at the expense of those prosecuting the war, O-5 and below. It is already painfully obvious to all, especially those on the ground, that before June we were blowing crap up and providing Air and Arty when needed and now; American lives are inferior to Afghan by our own rules and the UN has prosecutors in Kabul, gleaning after-action-reports looking for evidence they can use to prosecute Marines and Soldiers.

What General McChrystal, Sec Def Gates and President Obama need to remember is that they are sworn by oath to defend this country and our people - not protect the civilian population of another country or rebuild their country with our tax dollars and the blood of our children!

Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Letter that Started Everything

So many of you have been so kind throughout all of this. When the AP release hit the net today I realized that most everyone who has been tracking the progress of this effort have never seen the original letter I wrote to our delegation in DC. The issue was important then and and even more so today. Since then, dozens on men have died staying in compliance with the current COIN strategy and its ROE; including my Son.

We have continued this fight because there are still too many Marines and Soldiers on the ground over there who will continue to die because of these Rules of Engagement. President Obama intends to release his decision, by the end of this week, on what the strategy should be as we go forward with the operation in Afghanistan and he is likely to accept much of what General McChrystal has recommended. The one caveat in the Stratfor/AP report of this announcement today was that he intends to lean even more heavily on the side of the civilian population. This means, most certainly, heavier American casualties.

The original letter:

Congressman Mike Michaud 7/09/2009 08:01
1724 Longworth HOBWashington, DC 20515-1902

Dear Sir;

I am writing to you today as an American citizen, 26 year veteran of the United States Marine Corps, committed Christian, Husband, Father of two and a businessman. I am also writing to you as the Father of a Marine who is, as all of his brothers in arms are, in harms way. That by itself is not a cause for concern for me because as a Warrior I understand two things:(1) it is the very nature of the calling to which we have been called that we will be thrust into dangerous, even life threatening situations to fight the enemies of our country and (2) that there could not possibly be a safer place to be than in the company of fellow Marines. In any case, that is the nature of the business and those who serve in this capacity have long since dealt with the realities of life in uniform.

There are, however, certain expectations, an unspoken trust within the ranks of those of us who serve and have served in this capacity. One of those is that we have a belief that as Americans, our leadership will not frivolously spend our blood on unworthy pursuit. To those of us who serve, let me be very clear to those of you who hold our lives in your hands; this means that the reason we may die can ultimately be defined as protecting homeland, family and fellow American lives (spelled US citizens). We also assume we will not be used as pawns in some personal vendetta or worse some career building scheme; that we will not be asked to spill our blood in a foreign land to defend the indefensible. We expect we will be able to do that for which we were trained; export violence with ferocity and drive our enemies to their knees with the ultimate goal of ending the conflict by forcing them to do our will. Such are the dreams and aspirations of the Warrior. Men like this seek to serve side by side with like-minded men prepared to meet their destiny on the field of battle; living a life of honor while testing personal courage in the forge of combat. Our nations Warriors have no other expectations, no visions of grandeur, no careers to bolster, no kingdoms to lord over, no sovereignty to subvert. These men just seek to serve their country.

Now that you have ever so basic an understanding of the intrinsic nature of the Warrior; I hope to encourage you to show them at least the dignity of thoughtful and painstaking decision-making when considering when and where to thrust them into the fires of hell. My demand is that you emphatically understand that this decision will have eternal consequences for the men involved and their families. I also expect this decision to be for the simple reason of defense of country and countrymen (again spelled United States Citizens).

If any part of you still understands that you were sent to Washington DC for the sole purpose of defending these shores and to defend the ‘life, liberty and pursuit of happiness’ of the citizens of this nation; and if you still believe you are first a servant of all, then you yet may possess the ability to understand the immorality of what I am about to share with you and the necessity to change this policy NOW.

President Obama has seen fit to replace the sitting ISAF commander with a General McChrystal (see Bio at Suffice it to say that Gen McChrystal’s understanding of the Warrior ethos is somewhat askew from the mainstream. Also let us cut to the chase and identify him more as a political mouthpiece than a field commander. Add to this the dubious addition of General James L. Jones (see bio at, who unlike McChrystal has actual combat experience but still shares the same ultimate goals and one world vision as both McChrystal and Obama. What you have here is an unholy trinity injecting their shared philosophy of ‘spare the civilians at all cost’ – even though those civilians are not US citizens and are in fact complicit in their own misfortune. The new ROE presented by McChrystal and under which operation Khanjar was mounted is nothing less than disgraceful, immoral and fatal for our Marines, Sailors and Soldiers on the ground. The Marines and Soldiers that are ‘holding’ territories of dubious worth like Now Zad and Golestan without reinforcement, denial of fire-support and refusal to allow them to hunt and kill the very enemy we are there to confront are nothing more than sitting ducks. Denying them even the ability to fight, which is their only purpose for existing, to defend themselves in a foreign land that sees them first as agents of the devil is detestable to the secular world and immoral to the rest of us. And for those of us with ‘vested interests’ thrust into that foreign land; it angers us. The links I have provided will give you some indication of the insanity of the current situation and the suicidal position this administration has placed these Warriors in. I admonish this administration and all those currently in public office whom we have entrusted with our security, well-being and the very lives and well-being of the best of us, our Warriors to start acting like you actually care or even understand the consequences of ludicrous decisions like this one. I then hold you responsible to actively seek to change this immoral policy to one that allows our Warriors the opportunity to do what they were trained to do; destroy our enemies and protect our citizenry.

To those who would suggest that COIN (counter insurgency) is complicated I say hog-wash. This has become the mantra of the one-world ideologues. This has become complicated because leadership has lost its way. It is not the responsibility of the leaders (servants) of this country to re-build a country that has not been destroyed by us nor does the leadership of this country have any intrinsic right to spill the blood of this country’s finest for this cause. I’ll lay it out for you; bad guys entered this country, unannounced and unwelcome and killed Americans on American soil. Bad guys continue to harass and threaten to kill Americans here at home and abroad. Bad guys continue to train in foreign lands and continue to plan to carry out these plans against sovereign American citizens. They have no rights or guarantee of protection under the Constitution of the United States because they are not United States citizens. They are not protected by the Geneva Convention because they don’t fight under any Nation’s Flag. We however, have the right – and responsibility, with historical and Biblical precedent to export violence to crush these Bad guys, wherever they may live and in whatever lair they may hide – relentlessly! If the civilian populations in those areas lack the intestinal fortitude to expel them from their midst or they quietly support them or they actively support them; they are not innocent and may well suffer ill consequences for their cowardice and their complicities.

For those of us who have served in uniform and for those of us who have family forced to serve under these immoral conditions the time to quietly observe and pray has ended. There is a new activist emerging; not like the cannabis induced flailing of the sixties and seventies but one with the discipline, training and tenacity of a Warrior. Those of us who have a history in this Warrior culture and a vested interest on the battlefield will be a lot more vocal from this point on. Those in this culture who do not yet know about this immoral ROE change will soon all know as well as the families of those who are imperiled by it. Those who have actively supported this policy of immorality or are not engaged enough to know of it; they will be re-introduced to your constituencies for their failings. Public service is precisely what it portends to be; service. If there are those among your number who have failed to remember that I can promise you we will make that known within our spheres of influence.

This letter is making its way through the halls of every national news agency as well as the local ones in Maine, as you read this. I have contacted your office by phone, e-mail and now letter to give you a chance to get out in front of it. Consider this a wake-up call.

John J. Bernard
1stSgt USMC ret