Monthly Archives: September 2007

Wedges and Mauls

The Global War On Terror is misnamed.  Terror is a tactic, not the name of an enemy.  And it’s not really global.  America is not at war with LTTE terrorists in Sri Lanka or Basque terrorists in Spain.  Why can’t we name the enemy and correctly name this war? 

Why has America fought this war with both hands tied behind it’s back? 

Why didn’t President Bush ask for a formal declaration of war on 9/12?

Why is the Middle East not a radioactive glass parking lot by now?

Why can’t anybody in authority answer these questions to our satisfaction and put our minds at ease?

Because the answers contain painful truths that few in authority care to voice. 

This blog is mostly about civilian volunteers assuming the domestic counterpropaganda mission the United States Government has been rendered incapable of performing.   I’ve discussed in previous posts how our defenders have failed us on the psychological front.  Morale Operations are being conducted against the American domestic target audience and our leaders don’t want to talk about that because doing anything about it would cost them precious political capital squabbling with domestic enemies who profit from it. 

All enemies can’t really be effectively opposed when their freedom of speech and civil rights are paramount.  Some of my fellow citizens think unlawful combatants disarmed on the battlefield and transported to Gitmo not only deserve, they are owed all the rights of citizens.  Other fellow citizens agree with me that summary execution is the proper disposition of such cases.   This disagreement over what to do with prisoners is just one of many deep and fundamental fissures in the American body politic that our domestic enemies partner with our foreign enemies to widen.  Our enemies understand our weaknesses perfectly and exploit them very well.  Our leaders downplay our divisions to avoid bringing too much attention to their weakness and ours, thus nobody goes on trial for treason or sedition, everybody gets to say whatever they want without personal consequences no matter how damaging, and the opposing camps within America grow ever more disgusted with each other

We who would attempt to neutralize and mitigate the damage done by the enemy’s propaganda must understand that the enemy in this war owes much of his success in spreading cynicism, pessimism, distrust and  division to the information operations preparation of the battlefield achieved by the enemy in the last war.  And that enemy’s sympathizers use positions of power to carp, criticize, oppose, obstruct, cast aspersions on and otherwise retard progress towards victory.  Violent radical Islamicists aren’t our only enemies in this war, they are just the enemies our military can deal with kinetically. 

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Filed under Idea War, Morale Operations, PSYOP Auxiliaries

The Unorganized Cyber Militia of the United States

Kat is a blogger and a Denizen or  infowarrior in Virtual Warlord John Donovan’s  castle garrison who has just posted a magnum opus that may well be to Pinch Sulzberger what the Declaration of Independence was to King George III.  Future students of this period will recognize this piece as a key treatise in the narrative of the pajamahadeen 

It was only those of us who disconnected from the “Matrix” of the mass media who knew the reality on the ground did not match the “reality” perpetrated by the media.

We few, we happy few, we band of blogs, having looked beyond the Matrix, discussed strategy and pointed to successes long before the media ever knew who Petraeus was or anything about the new COIN manual that incorporated ideas written by Kilcullen and discussed at length on the blogs.

Victory, they say, has many fathers and defeat is an orphan. Some of us refused to abandon it.

Some of us did indeed refuse to accept defeat.  Some of that was plain old Jacksonian stubborness, and some of it was faith.  We kept the faith with our nation’s warriors.  We knew deep down that what we were being told was not the whole story.  And we believed that our nation was a force for good in this world, and that the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines sent forth to break militant Islamicists of their homocidal habits were the best human beings this Republic had to offer . 

Some may believe that it is too early to say that we have won in Iraq. Others will claim that it is only hindsight that allows anyone to believe that they knew all along we would win. But it wasn’t hindsight that had bloggers across the world looking for victory. It was and is a belief that victory should be and could be the only end.

We almost lost the war. Not on the battle field, but right here at home. As General Lynch recently said, the reason people thought it was being lost and now appears to be miraculously won? The media, with its central editorial boards “shaping American opinion” told everyone it was so. And, at least half of the American population was unaware because they had no idea they were being sold a bill of goods. They didn’t disconnect from the “Matrix”.

We have all been the victims of a massive psychological operation. Even those of us who resisted.  Our faith in our armed forces remains unshaken, but our faith in government, media, academia, elites, and many of our fellow citizens  has plummeted.  Many of us no longer look to government for solutions.  Some of us are empowering ourselves. 

The reason that you are failing, the reason the stock in your companies continues to dwindle, the reason that you missed the true story of Iraq in lieu of “the narrative”, the reason that a sitting president invited bloggers to the White House, however limited in its actual journalistic moments that you claim as “real” journalism, is because you and your kind became “the Matrix”; alternate reality created by you and others like you. You are no longer independent. You are no longer individuals seeking “the truth”.

You started believing your own press that you were the people that “protected” the people from the power of the government. You were ‘objective” you said. You told the “truth” you said. All the while you abdicated your self-appointed responsibilities to foreign unknown, ideologically and ethically challenged stringers rarely ever telling your viewers and readers where it came from. You claim you don’t bow down to powers, you bring them down, while all along central editorial boards told you what to write, what was acceptable. They stacked the deck with people like you to “shape the narrative” and “shape public opinion”.

You’re no longer independent, but a slave to the Matrix. What can you do but complain like petty demagogues who fear their throne has been threatened and belittle others who dare to disconnect from the Matrix?

We are at war.  Several wars.  The outcome of all of them depends on control of the key terrain, the battle space between the ears of the American voter.  And for a whole lot of reasons explained elsewhere on this blog, this key terrain has been left undefended.  Will and morale are essential elements of national power that must be defended, if not by Regulars, than by us.

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Watching The Hitler Channel causes Erectile Dysfunction

Cannoneer is in between contracts, so I have been forced –, I mean I want to watch TV with him, so I watch a lot of stuff that I normally would not watch.  History Channel, Military Channel, History Channel International, Discovery Channel.  I normally watch, when I’m not reading, Fox News, BBC America (I love Britcoms),  American Movie Classics — when it’s not John Wayne month), Turner Classic Movies for silly romances and film noir, and Boomerrang for cartoons.  I watch a lot of cartoons — because there is rarely anything worth watching.

So for the last three years I have not had to watch what a man’s man would watch.

Well now I can tell you what channel we are on just by the commercials — on the manly shows I am forced to hear about ED problems until I couldn’t really care less if anyone ever has it.  There are three kinds of ED pills and boy do they flog the  heck out of them.  Also beer is on the Manly Channels along with big expensive autos and meat commercials.

On the Female Channels I see “Boy, are you old, you need this lotion so your man will have sex with you”  – or

“Lord have mercy,  you are so fat you need this diet”

The American advertising industry is driving me nuts with the I’m so old and fat that I need whatever they are selling Chinese water torture. 

Why can’t we drive defeatists nuts with the truth about how well our boys are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan or how we need everyone’s help to keep our hearts and minds open to the possibility of victory?

Cannonette

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Filed under About, PSYOP

This Is My Old Blog

I have been off of Blogspot for a long time, but I like to comment on other Blogspot blogs so reactivated my account.

Please come over to Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group and take a look.

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Filed under G-2

Our Military Has to Serve These Political Masters

These Quislings are out in the open, now.  They are on record.  They do not think  General Petraeus deserves the full support of the Senate and they do not condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all the members of the United States Armed Forces.

Akaka (D-HI) — voted to confirm Petreaus January 26, 2007
Bingaman (D-NM) — voted to confirm Petreaus January 26, 2007
Boxer (D-CA) —  did not vote on Petreaus’ confirmation
Brown (D-OH)  —  voted to confirm
Byrd (D-WV) — voted to confirm
Clinton (D-NY) — voted to confirm
Dodd (D-CT) — voted to confirm
Durbin (D-IL) — voted to confirm
Feingold (D-WI) — voted to confirm
Harkin (D-IA) — voted to confirm
Inouye (D-HI) — did not vote on Petraeus’ confirmation
Kennedy (D-MA) — voted to confirm
Kerry (D-MA) — did not vote on Petraeus’ confirmation
Lautenberg (D-NJ) — voted to confirm
Levin (D-MI) — voted to confirm
Menendez (D-NJ) — voted to confirm
Murray (D-WA) –voted to confirm
Reed (D-RI) — voted to confirm
Reid (D-NV) — voted to confirm
Rockefeller (D-WV) — voted to confirm
Sanders (I-VT) — voted to confirm
Schumer (D-NY) — voted to confirm
Stabenow (D-MI) — voted to confirm
Whitehouse (D-RI) — voted to confirm
Wyden (D-OR) — voted to confirm

These people are part of our government.  These people have the power to destroy any officer or Other Government Agency employee who tries to protect the American people from enemy propaganda.  These people are the reason the Regulars can’t do counterpropaganda.

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Filed under Morale Operations

Commies

“Kill a Commie for Mommy” was a tattoo I admired in my youth.  I never got the tattoo, but I did devote a significant portion of my young life to the art and science of killing Communist armored vehicles.  Did we really win the Cold War?  Doesn’t seem like it.  The Commies just changed their names.  And the American Fifth Column’s ideological affinity with the enemy is out of the closet.  Some convergence:

  the birthplace of Osama’s brand of terrorism was Paris 1968, when, amid the student riots and radical teach-ins, the influence of Sartre, Fanon, and the new postmodernist Marxist champions of the “people’s destiny” was at its peak.   –Postmodern Jihad – What Osama bin Laden learned from the Left 

and some more:

Al Qaeda’s ideology is the lineal descendant of a school of thought articulated most compellingly by the Egyptian revolutionary Sayyid Qutb in the 1950s and 1960s

Qutb blended a radical interpretation of Muslim theology with the Marxism-Leninism and anticolonial fervor of the Egypt of his day to produce an Islamic revolutionary movement.

Qutb was familiar with the concept of the Bolshevik party as the “vanguard of the proletariat”–the small group that understood the interests of the proletariat better than the workers themselves, that would seize power in their name, then would help them to achieve their own “class consciousness” while creating a society that was just and suitable for them. Qutb thought of his ideology in the same terms: He explicitly referred to his movement as a vanguard that would seize power in the name of the true faith and then reeducate Muslims who had gone astray. –   Al Qaeda In Iraq How to understand it. How to defeat it.

But wait, there’s more:

Islam is fast becoming the Marxism of our times.  Had Fritz G. and Daniel S. grown up a generation earlier, they would have become members of the Baader-Meinhof Gang rather than Islamic extremists. The dictatorship of the proletariat, it seems, has given way before the establishment of the Caliphate as the transcendent answer to some German youths’ personal angst.  —  Islam, the Marxism of Our Time

Stay with me now:

Multiculturalism and political correctness are two of the fundamental pseudo-intellectual, quasi-religious tenets that have been widely disseminated by intellectuals unable to abandon socialism even after its crushing failures in the 20th century. Along with a third component, radical environmentalism, they make up three key foundations of leftist dogma that have been slowly, but relentlessly, absorbed at all levels of Western culture in the last decade or so–but primarily since the end of the Cold War.

It just so happens, that these tenets (multiculturalism, political correctness, and radical environmentalism) represent three of the four pillars that are the foundation of an evolving epistemological, ethical and political strategy that the socialist remnants in the world have conceptualized and implemented to prevent their ideology from entering the dustbin of history.   Islam And Marxism — A Marriage Made In Allah’s Socialist Paradise

Almost done:

Both Marxism and Islamism, with their emphasis on Utopian goals which promise to end disappointment and deprivation while directing condoned rage against the external world of oppressors, share this structure.  They facilitate defensive externalization, allow for the free expression of primitive rage, and promise a Utopian consummation, either in an earthly paradise where all desires, material and sexual, can be achieved, or in the heavenly Paradise where the 72 virgins await.  This is the attraction of Islam and Marxism to so many disaffected young people.

Rage at a cruel and withholding universe (often a derivative of infantile frustration) is difficult to tolerate.  Most of us, with good-enough parenting, come to temper our infantile frustrations (which have roots in our infantile grandiosity which is so painful to give up) by using our loving ties to our parents to metabolize the rage which would otherwise be so destructive.  Those unfortunates who cannot do so via love are left enraged and searching for ways to offload the rage to an external victim.  Ideologies that enable such offloading attract the angry and the failed and it is through this pathway that Marx (the angry, anti-Semitic hater of religion) and the Islamists (descended from Qutb, the angry, anti-Semitic hater of secularism) find their true identity.   Islam and Marxism and Unmetabolized Rage

America IS at war, but too many Americans don’t know it, and too many of those that do are on the wrong side.  American success in the Middle East will be disastrous for the Left, which is why they work so hard to prevent it.  The Cultural War and the War On Terror are intertwined. 

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Filed under Idea War

Hope, and Resolve

  I stare out into the darkness from my post, and I watch the city burn to the ground. I smell the familiar smells, I walk through the familiar rubble, and I look at the frightened faces that watch me pass down the streets of their neighborhoods. My nerves hardly rest; my hands are steady on a device that has been given to me from my government for the purpose of taking the lives of others.

I sweat, and I am tired. My back aches from the loads I carry. Young American boys look to me to direct them in a manner that will someday allow them to see their families again…and yet, I too, am just a boy….my age not but a few years more than that of the ones I lead. I am stressed, I am scared, and I am paranoid…because death is everywhere. It waits for me, it calls to me from around street corners and windows, and it is always there. 

There are the demons that follow me, and tempt me into thoughts and actions that are not my own…but that are necessary for survival. I’ve made compromises with my humanity. And I am not alone in this. Miles from me are my brethren in this world, who walk in the same streets…who feel the same things, whether they admit to it or not.

And to think, I volunteered for this…

And I am ignorant to the rest of the world…or so I thought.

But even thousands of miles away, in Ramadi, Iraq, the cries and screams and complaints of the ungrateful reach me. In a year, I will be thrust back into society from a life and mentality that doesn’t fit your average man. And then, I will be alone. And then, I will walk down the streets of America, and see the yellow ribbon stickers on the cars of the same people who compare our President to Hitler.

I will watch the television and watch the Cindy Sheehans, and the Al Frankens, and the rest of the ignorant sheep of America spout off their mouths about a subject they know nothing about. It is their right, however, and it is a right that is defended by hundreds of thousands of boys and girls scattered across the world, far from home. I use the word boys and girls, because that’s what they are. In the Army, the average age of the infantryman is nineteen years old. The average rank of soldiers killed in action is Private First Class.

People like Cindy Sheehan are ignorant. Not just to this war, but to the results of their idiotic ramblings, or at least I hope they are. They don’t realize its effects on this war. In this war, there are no Geneva Conventions, no cease fires. Medics and Chaplains are not spared from the enemy’s brutality because it’s against the rules. I can only imagine the horrors a military Chaplain would experience at the hands of the enemy. The enemy slinks in the shadows and fights a coward’s war against us. It is effective though, as many men and women have died since the start of this war. And the memory of their service to America is tainted by the inconsiderate remarks on our nation’s news outlets. And every day, the enemy changes…only now, the enemy is becoming something new. The enemy is transitioning from the Muslim extremists to Americans. The enemy is becoming the very people whom we defend with our lives. And they do not realize it. But in denouncing our actions, denouncing our leaders, denouncing the war we live and fight, they are isolating the military from society…and they are becoming our enemy.

Democrats and peace activists like to toss the word “quagmire” around and compare this war to Vietnam. In a way they are right, this war is becoming like Vietnam. Not the actual war, but in the isolation of country and military. America is not a nation at war; they are a nation with its military at war. Like it or not, we are here, some of us for our second, or third times; some even for their fourth and so on. Americans are so concerned now with politics, that it is interfering with our war. 

Terrorists cut the heads off of American citizens on the internet…and there is no outrage, but an American soldier kills an Iraqi in the midst of battle, and there are investigations, and sometimes soldiers are even jailed…for doing their job.

It is absolutely sickening to me to think our country has come to this. Why are we so obsessed with the bad news? Why will people stop at nothing to be against this war, no matter how much evidence of the good we’ve done is thrown in their face? When is the last time CNN or MSNBC or CBS reported the opening of schools and hospitals in Iraq? Or the leaders of terror cells being detained or killed?  It’s all happening, but people will not let up their hatred of President Bush. They will ignore the good news, because it just might show people that Bush was right.

America has lost its will to fight. It has lost its will to defend what is right and just in the world. The crazy thing of it all is that the American people have not even been asked to sacrifice a single thing. It’s not like World War II, where people rationed food and turned in cars to be made into metal for tanks. The American people have not been asked to sacrifice anything. Unless you are in the military or the family member of a servicemember, its life as usual…the war doesn’t affect you.

But it affects us. And when it is over and the troops come home and they try to piece together what’s left of them after their service…where will the detractors be then? Where will the Cindy Sheehans be to comfort and talk to soldiers and help them sort out the last couple years of their lives, most of which have been spent dodging death and wading through the deaths of their friends? They will be where they always are, somewhere far away, where the horrors of the world can’t touch them. Somewhere where they can complain about things they will never experience in their lifetime; things that the young men and women of America have willingly taken upon their shoulders.

We are the hope of the Iraqi people. They want what everyone else wants in life: safety, security, somewhere to call home. They want a country that is safe to raise their children in. Not a place where their children will be abducted, raped and murdered if they do not comply with the terrorists demands. They want to live on, rebuild and prosper. And America has given them the opportunity, but only if we stay true to the cause and see it to its end. But the country must unite in this endeavor…we cannot place the burden on our military alone. We must all stand up and fight, whether in uniform or not. And supporting us is more than sticking yellow ribbon stickers on your cars. It’s supporting our President, our troops and our cause.

Right now, the burden is all on the American soldiers. Right now, hope rides alone. But it can change, it must change. Because there is only failure and darkness ahead for us as a country, as a people, if it doesn’t.

Let’s stop all the political nonsense, let’s stop all the bickering, let’s stop all the bad news and let’s stand and fight!

Isn’t that what America is about anyway?

Hope Rides Alone by Sergeant Eddie Jeffers, February 1, 2007

Sgt. Eddie Jeffers was killed in Iraq on September 19, 2007. He was 23.

UPDATED: Rest in Peace Sgt. Eddie Jeffers… 2 Other Pieces Written by Sgt. Jeffers

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The United States alone ensures that bin Laden stays a sick man babbling in a cave

Bin Laden’s problem then is not really tiny Israel or global warming or mortgage interest rates, but an all-powerful and free West led by the United States. It alone has the military and economic power to stop radical Islamists. Plus, we bring the more powerful message of political freedom. And American popular culture, with its informality and egalitarianism, is sweeping the globe, seducing far more adherents than does rote memorization of the Koran.  — Victor Davis Hanson, What does bin Laden Want?

If America loses the will to oppose radical Islamists, who would step up and assume leadership of the counter-Jihad?  What happens if we pick up our marbles and go home? 

UBL has been wildly successful in degrading the will of the American people to oppose his aims. He knows us well. He knows our fissures and exploits our disunity.  He knows he can count on millions of “Americans” to undermine, subvert, hinder, and sabotage the efforts of other Americans.

Maintenance of national morale and resolve is an important task in wartime.  In previous wars, the Executive Branch of the Government had an Office of War Information  or a Committee On Public Information that served that purpose.  In this war, Karen Hughes seems to be the best this Executive Branch can muster.

That’s where we come in.  It falls to us.

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The Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, wittingly or not, put al Qaeda in an almost impossible position

From TigerHawk, via Glenn Reynolds:

We invaded and occupied a country in the heart of the Arab Middle East. If al Qaeda had railed against the mere presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia, the invasion and occupation of Mesopotamia was both intolerable — al Qaeda’s image and self-image could not suffer such a grave indignity — and a tempting opportunity to humiliate the only remaining “superpower.” Al Qaeda had to declare its objective to be the defeat of the United States in Iraq.

Of course, Al Qaeda clearly believed that it could drive the United States from Iraq just as Osama bin Laden believed that we would not have the stomach to invade Afghanistan, or that he and his mujahideen could push Saddam’s armies out of Kuwait without the help of the Americans. Unfortunately, the army and Marines of the United States and its allies proved to be much harder targets than al Qaeda imagined, and George W. Bush and Tony Blair were more able to withstand domestic political opposition than just about anybody expected they would be. [New Media had something to do with that -- Cannoneer]  Soon, it became clear that al Qaeda would not be able to drive the Coalition from Iraq no matter how many Sunni Ba’athists it recruited.

In the fullness of time history will reveal that the polarization of the Arab and Muslim world against al Qaeda is essential for victory against the transnational jihad, and that it was the direct result of the forward foreign policy of Bush and Blair.

Waiting for history to unfold takes patience.  No, children, we are not there yet, but we are on the right road, and traffic is beginning to move.

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“Ad Triarios Redisse!”

It has come to the triarii. 

The Triarii were usually the oldest and very experienced of the Roman army, and their job was to defend against disaster as a last resort, or to shock the enemy with a different look at the right moment. The Triarii were armed with the Roman equivalent of the phalanx style spear, the Hastae. If the heavy infantry were pushed back, the Triarii would charge forward with their spears, hopefully with the effect of shocking the enemy and allowing the Princeps and Hastati time to regroup. They were used as a last resort, and the Latin expression ‘ad triarios redisse’, or it has come to the triarii, became a general phrase meaning that something was in a desperate situation.

Historical analogies are lost on a lot of people, but this one may resonate with my intended target audience.  The War of Ideas, the Culture War, The Global War On Terror, are all being fought over the key terrain that lies between the ears of the American voter, and right now that battle is not going so well.  We are beset with lies, pessimism, and defeatism from which our military cannot and the rest of our government will not protect us.   Some of the most persuasive advocates of victory are former kinetic warriors of the previous century who can appreciate the value of steady hands and clear heads.  Theirs is the command voice that rings out above the din of battle.

STAND!

We must amplify that voice, and echo that command. 

It has come to us.  We are the last line.

H/T:  Grimmy

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Let Us Win

“OK, so there was no WMD. The war was run badly by Bush and Rumsfeld. But now the professionals are running it and we’re starting to win. Let us finish the job. You don’t like them, but you respect us. Don’t let us down, like you did in Vietnam.”This could work. Everything does come down to results. If the Army and Marines can keep winning, I think they’ll keep getting the support of the American people. If the President can shut up and let the military remain the focus of the war, then we might just get through this. War supporters should give people enough breathing room to support the war effort without having to endorse the President. Hell, let him be a scapegoat if we can win. Admit what went wrong. Assign blame. There’s plenty to go around.

The war has to stop being a Republican war. It has to stop being Bush’s war. If it becomes the US military’s war, then it’s everyone’s war. And we can win. It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care about taking credit. The war is more important than partisan points.  —  John Lynch

h/t Glenn Reynolds

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War, Psychology, and Time

From STRATFOR via House of the Rising sons by way of  Infidels Are Cool comes an explanation of why the American domestic target audience is so receptive to enemy strategic communications. 

. . . time has completely undermined the psychological dimension of the strategy. Four years into the war, no one is shocked and no one is awed.

The war, both in Iraq and against al Qaeda, has worn the United States down over time. The psychology of fear has been replaced by a psychology of cynicism. The psychology of confidence in war has been replaced by a psychology of helplessness. Exhaustion pervades all.

That is the single most important outcome of the war. What happens to bin Laden is, in the end, about as important as what happened to Guevara. Legends will be made of it — not history. But when the world’s leading power falls into the psychological abyss brought about by time and war, the entire world is changed by it. Every country rethinks its position and its actions. Everything changes.

That is what is important about the Petraeus report. He will ask for more time. Congress will give it to him. The president will take it. Time, however, has its price not only in war but also psychologically. And if the request for time leads to more failure and the American psychology is further battered, then that is simply more time that other powers, great and small, will have to take advantage of the situation. The United States has psychologically begun tearing itself apart over both the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq. Whatever your view of that, it is a fact — a serious geopolitical fact.

The Petraeus report will not address that. It is out of the general’s area of responsibility. But the pressing issue is this: If the United States continues the war and if it maintains its vigilance against attacks, how does the evolution of the American psyche play out?

Even if the C-in-C was a Great Communicator, even if there were islands of Public Diplomacy competence within the Department of State, even if the English-language Main Stream Media didn’t enthusiastically partner with the enemy to spread gloom and doom quagmire pessimism, even if defeat of the Army and Marine Corps in Iraq wouldn’t bring victory to Democrats in Washington, morale on the home front after six years of war would still be an element of national power to be assessed, preserved and bolstered.  If a frog had wings . . .

Between the ears of the American voter lies the key terrain of this war. 

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People’s Information War

Swedish Meatballs makes me wonder if the Chicoms aren’t reading this blog:

It also put forward the concept of a “people’s information war” for the first time, describing this as a form of national non-symmetric warfare, with the people at the core, computers as the weapons, knowledge as the ammunition and the enemy’s information network as the battlefield. These experts believe that ordinary people can be mobilized to provide global information support, spread global propaganda and conduct global psychological warfare.

Counterpropaganda is a psychological operation.  The American domestic audience is the target.  The source of the propaganda to be countered could be anywhere in the world.  What we once recognized as conventional warfare between the regularly constituted armed forces of sovereign Westphalian nation-state peers is not the war China will fight with America.

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Some Ideologies Are More Sympathetic Than Others

 Collectivism, Cultural Marxism, Transnational Progressivism, Post-Modernism, Environmentalism are welcomed much more warmly in one party than in the other.   The same can be said for Patriotism, Constitutionalism, Federalism and Capitalism.  One party has many members who believe that OUR country is a force for good in the world, and is worth defending, and honors our defenders.  One party has many members who believe that OUR country is the focus of evil in the modern world, that we deserve it when OUR cities are attacked and OUR countrymen are killed, and support our troops when they shoot their officers. 

Those are my words from a few days ago.  Now I find David Gelernter in The Weekly Standard has said what I was trying to say.  My favorite lines excerpted below:

 It’s time for Americans to ask some big questions. Do leading Democrats want America to win this war? Have they ever?

Of course not–and not because they are traitors. To leading Democrats such as Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Al Gore and John Edwards, America would be better off if she lost. And this has been true from the start.

Appeasement, pacifism, globalism: Those are the Big Three principles of the Democratic left.

Liberals are loyal to philosophical abstractions–and seek harmony with the French and Germans. Conservatives are loyal to their own nation, and seek harmony with its Founders and heroes and guiding principles.

It is incomprehensible that the administration so rarely discusses the moral side of our achievement in Iraq.

If you believe in appeasement, defeat in Iraq would show that we were wrong to stop talking and start fighting. If you believe in pacifism, defeat would demonstrate that war is futile even if your motives are good. If you believe in globalism, defeat would suggest that we should have acted strictly in concert with world opinion. In short, if you do believe in appeasement, pacifism, globalism (and many leading Democrats do), your wish for defeat is no evil or traitorous urge. It is merely logical.

It also, of course, contradicts traditional Americanism right down to the ground. Americanism is the set of beliefs that has always held this country together in its large embrace. Americanism calls for liberty, equality, and democracy for all mankind. And it urges this nation to promote the American Creed wherever and whenever it can–to be the shining city on a hill, the “last, best hope of earth.”

I’m a Conservative.  Always have been.  I consider myself Patriotic.  I believe in American Exceptionalism.  I think Political Correctness/Cultural Marxism and White Liberal Guilt and Postmodernism and Transnational Progressivism and Anthropomorphic Global Warming are all bullshit.  That makes me an enemy of the Left.  I am really not a Bushie, nor am I an enthusiastic Republican, and I don’t really buy the Right Wing – Left Wing political spectrum, but I will not accept defeat in the Global War On Terror, and anybody who will is walking on the fighting side of me.  UBL and Zawahiri have been channeling MoveOn.org lately.  There are moonbats having die-ins on my TV spewing verbal diarrhea about matters of which they have not a freakin’ clue.  These people, and those who share their ideology, are the domestic enemies against whom I swore an oath. 

These enemies must be opposed, nonkinetically, lawfully, without laying a hand on them.  Their ideas must be made ridiculous, their ideologies thrown upon the ash heap of history.

H/T: Mr_Moonlight

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Virtual Cyber Militias Must Run with the Ball OGAs Dropped

Who does strategic counterpropaganda?  Who is tasked to minimize and mitigate the effect enemy propaganda has on the will of the American domestic target audience?  The military is sure it isn’t their job, which is a damn shame because they are the only part of the government with any reputation for competence. 

  • FM 3-05.30 Psychological Operations
  • Presidential executive order. DOD implementation policies of Executive Order S-12333, United States Intelligence Activities; DOD Instructions S-3321.1, (S) Overt Psychological Operations Conducted by the Military Services in Peacetime and in Contingencies Short of Declared War (U); and National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 130, U.S. International Information Policy, direct that U.S. PSYOP forces will not target U.S. citizens at any time, in any location globally, or under any circumstances. However, commanders may use PSYOP forces to provide public information to U.S. audiences during times of disaster or crisis
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Counterpropaganda is a PSYOP mission, but PSYOP isn’t allowed to do it for us.

FM 3-05.301 — Countering propaganda is usually the responsibility of PSYOP units within an AOR (Area of Responsibility) and JOA (Joint Area of Operations). OGAs (Other Government Agencies) will counter propaganda on an international scale and within the United States.

The Department of Defense is at war, America is at the mall, and the Other Government Agencies are on their ass in the info war.  The key terrain of the war of ideas lies between the ears of the American voter, and whatever defense of that key terrain is being mounted is not coming from government.

No war of Ideas — Bill Gertz

Sen. Joe Lieberman pressed senior U.S. intelligence and security officials this week on what the Bush administration is doing to counter the ideology of Islamic extremism domestically and internationally.

The answer from the top officials: Not much.

Mr. Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said during a hearing Monday that a war of ideas is needed to counter Islamic extremists.

“Because this is a war, but it is ultimately a war against, and with, an ideology that is inimical to our own values of freedom and tolerance and diversity,” the Connecticut independent said.

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III revealed during the hearing that the FBI has no counterideology response other than its “outreach” to Muslim-American communities so they “understand the FBI” and address “the radicalization issue,” he said.

Asked whether the FBI has a responsibility to wage a battle of ideas within U.S. Muslim-American communities, Mr. Mueller said: “You put that where I would say no, that it would not be our responsibility for any religion to engage in the war of ideas.”

The FBI’s responsibility, he said, is “to explain that once one goes over the line and it becomes not a war of ideas but a criminal offense, this is what you can expect, and to elicit the support of those in whatever religious community to assist us in assuring that those who cross that line are appropriately investigated and convicted.”   [In other words, we come draw the chalk outline on the asphalt after the killing.  Bothering the killer before he has killed anybody would violate his civil rights, and besides, nobody pays us to be proactive and prevent anything, they pay us to catch bad guys AFTER they succeed.]

The comment shows that despite the creation of a dedicated FBI intelligence-gathering branch, the bureau remains limited to investigation and law enforcement.

Retired Vice Adm. Scott Redd, head of the National Counterterrorism Center who has a strategic operational role in countering terrorism, said one of the “four pillars” of the U.S. war strategy is the “war of ideas,” but he noted that there is no “home office” for that effort in the United States.

Retired Vice Adm. Mike McConnell, director of national intelligence, said the intelligence community does not conduct any battle of ideas against terrorists in the United States unless there is a foreign connection.    [Mecca is in a foreign country, Admiral]

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff also said NOTHING IS BEING DONE DOMESTICALLY TO BATTLE ISLAMIST EXTREMIST IDEAS. The department’s incident management team, he said, is focused on civil rights or civil liberties — not fighting terrorists’ ideology.

Hotel Tango:  J. Michael Waller at PoliticalWarfare.org

Now look at RETHINKING INSURGENCY by Steven Metz

Like insurgents, third forces form and survive when states are weak and unable to provide security.  They play many roles in an insurgency: distracting the government from the counterinsurgency campaign, serving as a partner of the insurgents, performing functions the government cannot, or changing the basic dynamic and structure of the conflict. Three forms of third forces are particularly important for contemporary insurgencies: militias, criminal organizations, and private military companies.

Militias. Militias arise from a combination of need and opportunity. The state cannot address the basic needs of a specific group, particularly security, economic opportunity, and a basis for political identity. Colombia is a classic example, with a range of populist militias emerging as public order in the cities disintegrated.24  Some were organized and financed directly by drug traffickers, others by local landowners, still others by military officers acting officially or unofficially.25  Opportunity is the flip side of this: the state is too weak to prevent the emergence of militias. In Africa, for instance, militias are often the personal armed forces of powerful warlords whom the state cannot control.

As William DeMars describes it:

Warlord politics and state collapse are two sides of the same coin. State collapse means that the government nolonger provides basic security and economic infrastructure as public goods. Behind this is a warlord political economy in which rival politicians fund patronage networks through access to international commercial ventures and provide their own security either by fielding their own militias or hiring international mercenaries.26

 

 

In a sense, then, militias may arise from defensive motives when a group faces a real threat, or they may arise offensively when a group or individual seeks to capitalize on the weakness of the state.

Militias have a subnational constituency and focus.  They address the needs of a specific group that is something less than the entire citizenry of a country.  They are “quasi-state” organizations, assuming some functions which the state would normally perform such as the provision of security, administration, and a range of activities designed to facilitate economic activity.

Some militias, like successful insurgencies, develop a coherent ideology based on a persuasive “narrative”which explains why they were formed, what they seek to do, who opposes them, the methods they will use, and why they consider this endeavor justified and legitimate. This narrative and the ideology it reflects normally form a part of the information operations used by the militia. Other militias are more primal, seeing no need to develop a coherent ideology (or having no capacity to do so). Ideological militias have a better chance of developing active public support. Militias may be proxies or subordinates of a more powerful group, political party, or even the state. Others are autonomous. Some militias are extensively linked to other organizations, whether inside or outside the country. Both the quantity and depth of links matter.

One other type of militia merits consideration. Some analysts contend that the Internet has made “virtual” militias (and insurgencies) possible and potentially dangerous.66 That runs counter to the definition of militias used here since “virtual” militias do not control territory or assume state functions. Perhaps, though, virtual militias and insurgents should be considered a separate category. Interestingly, just as the emergence of “real” insurgents sometimes spawn the creation of counterinsurgent militias, the emergence of “virtual” insurgents has led to the formation of virtual counterinsurgent vigilantes. One example is the “Internet Haganah,” part of a network of private anti-terrorist web monitoring services, which collects information on extremist websites, passes this on to state intelligence services, and attempts to convince Internet service providers not to host radical sites.67 The logic is that it takes a network to counter a network. As insurgents and terrorists become more networked and more “virtual,” states, with their inherently bureaucratic procedures and hierarchical organizations, will be ineffective. Vigilantes, without such constraints, may be.

 

 

Us, you and me, we, are going to have to enter the fray. The Regulars have failed us.  Who do we have left to put in?

More at Haft of the Spear

Update:  Public Diplomacy and the Cold War: Lessons Learned — OGA weren’t always this worthless.

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C-in-C Meets IO Warlords

Somebody in the White House must have read Blogospheric Resistance

If you have ever commented on one of the blogs listed below, somebody in the White House has probably read what you said, too.  The President, War Czar LTG Doug Lute, Tony Snow, Dana Perino, Stephen Hadley, and others could be in your audience.

I’m excited.

Read:

First Impressions of meeting with the President.   — John of Argghhh!

So What Did YOU Do Today? — Mrs. Greyhawk

ThreatsWatch at the White House — Steve Schippert

Mrs. G lists

Blackfive

John of Argghhh!
A Soldier’s Perspective
Steve Shippert
NZ Bear
Mohammed of Iraq the Model
Bill Ardolino
Bill Roggio

as the IO War Lords who participated in this loya jirga. 

Push back from the port side of the blogosphere will be entertaining.

DefenseTech Meets With President Bush

President Bush Meets with N.Z., Milbloggers

 

 

 

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Contrarianism Is Creativity for the Untalented

Dennis Miller just said that on O’Reilly, and I just saved it for posterity.  You will see this sentence again.

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We Have To Share A Country With These People

Owen West impresses me.  Read Our New National Divide

Nearly six years into the war on terror–which is being fought by less than 30% of the military and less than one-half of 1% of the nation–and the stark irony of America in modern war has emerged. Our professional warriors who take the most risk believe the nation must commit to a long-term fight that includes Iraq in some form. Overall support for the endeavor wanes with distance.This divergence isn’t new. Those who have battled the enemy up close have always been more heavily invested in the cause. What’s different is that in past wars, the nation was tied to its soldiers and had a familial barometer. Today most Americans have never met a Gold Star family, let alone shaken the hand of a fallen soldier. The military community is increasingly insulated even as the burden of global war swells. Within it there are those who drift in and out of the fight according to orders. But there is also a group that is distinctive–those who join the military to hunt the enemy for a living, and for the rest of us. Doug Zembiec was such a man.

Last month 76% of Republicans expressed confidence in the military to give an “accurate picture of the war,” while only 36% of Democrats did.

This divide is not new.   Major West would probably not appreciate me pointing this out, but our two major political parties quit even bothering to pretend that politics ends at the water’s edge a long time ago.  Collectivism, Cultural Marxism, Transnational Progressivism, Post-Modernism, Environmentalism are welcomed much more warmly in one party than in the other.   The same can be said for Patriotism, Constitutionalism, Federalism and Capitalism.  One party has many members who believe that OUR country is a force for good in the world, and is worth defending, and honors our defenders.  One party has many members who believe that OUR country is the focus of evil in the modern world, that we deserve it when OUR cities are attacked and OUR countrymen are killed, and support our troops when they shoot their officers.  The partisans of both parties find it increasingly difficult to abide the other.  Respect, comity, and plain old common decency is getting mighty scarce. 

Well you can’t beat ‘em up, that’s the wrong thing to do

You can’t live with ‘em and you just can’t shoot ‘em

Libs, I’m talking ’bout libs.

With apologies to the Forrester Sisters.

Hotel Tango SWJ

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TMI O

Too Many Information Operations to keep up with.  CG, MNF-I is doing well with his.  MoveOn.org screwed the pooch with theirs.  Code Pink could hardly have done any more damage to whatever credibility the anti-war movement had left if they had been working for Karl Rove instead of George Soros.    UBL (or somebody playing him on TV) blew the Democrat’s cover all to hell.  Can we question Noam Chomsky’s patriotism now?

9/11.  You either get it, or you don’t. 

I was here, five weeks later. I haven’t been back in the rear on 9/11 since 2003.    United We Stand.  Yeah, right.

Smarter people than me have better words.  Read them.  My heart is full.  I have no words.

The left doesn’t care about winning this conflict. They’ve talked themselves into believing that it’s not that big a threat (“They won’t use a nuclear device. If they do, I’ll stand corrected.” – actual comment from a Qando commenter) They have come to a deeply felt conclusion – that George Bush is a bigger enemy than anything else in the world.

They just can’t bring themselves to separate the War on Terror from their War on Bush. Many of them can’t even find one thing that they agree with Bush on. He can spend $40 billion a year on a socialist-inspired program to give seniors prescription drugs, and the left can only carp that he’s not doing a dozen other things they want. He can sign a bill that limits free-speech in exactly the way a leftist special interest group wanted when they astro-turfed the issue into a “crisis”, and they yawn and shift to talking about public funding of elections to remove all private money. (There’s a great idea for promoting freedom – let the government decide who the legitimate candidates are and disallow the rest from spending any money.)

I’d like those who told us all along that the whole thing would never work to really look at the present situation and see if they can see a way it can. After all, some of their predictions were way off. They kept telling us how 10,000 Americans would die in the military invasion. Folks like Jimmy Carter told us Iraq wasn’t stable enough for an election. Leftist commentators railed during the multi-party negotiations about how the Iraqis would never come up with a structure all sides could agree on.And those who favored the effort in Iraq have our own admissions to make. For example, there’s no “instant cake mix” equivalent for creating a democratic country, especially in a region that’s been dominated by sectarian strife for centuries. We need to face up to the problem of Iran and admit that we have no good options there, only bad ones and worse ones. We need to understand exactly what our military can do in the modern, post-peace-dividend world.Right now, pro-war folks don’t like to talk about such aspects of the Iraq effort. If they do, the anti-war types seize on such admissions the way a coyote seizes a squirrel for lunch, while never, ever admitting that their own understanding and predictions are anything less than perfect, no matter how much evidence is piled in front of them. Heck, we can’t even get many of them to believe that the federal government had nothing to do with 9/11. Or that Bush wasn’t holding up a plastic turkey at Thanksgiving in Iraq. They’ve settled into a gooey, viscous state of mind, in which they are so mentally invested in their own conclusions that they don’t have the psychic energy to question any of them, even the ones that are preposterous.   —  Billy Hollis

More words: 

When 9/11 happened, half the political world woke up. But not the other half, on the Left. The Left can’t be wrong. If the facts on the ground contradict what’s in their heads, the facts must be wrong.

That’s not just true for the Mooney Left, but even for the Hard Noam Chomsky Left. Because the Chomsky Left is only the Mooney Left grown more verbose. Like Chomsky, the Hard Left believes that ordinary people are easily suckered by the Big War-Mongering Corporations, just like the ad campaigns for Coke and Pepsi.  Chomsky calls it “manufactured consent”. That just means that normal people can’t be trusted to think for themselves. They are constantly suckered by the Big Evil Corps.

Reality is too painful for these folks. It’s too scary. They protect themselves by a powerful, invisible shield of psychic Saran Wrap. It’s just like the miracle of plastics.

I never really understood that, because, frankly, it would mean that half of my contemporaries were mad. Or — let’s use a nice word —  they are “in denial.” But not just the normal, everyday denial, the kind that doctors see when their patients are dying in the hospital. Rather, the Left denies entire categories of shared physical danger that are plainly visible to all us, every single day. They just turn those facts upside-down, or shift the responsibility to the wrong side. In Winston Churchill’s perspicacious phrase, they blame the fire brigade, not the fire.  – James Lewis
 

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Cyber Psychological Operations

Tim Thomas, LTC, US Army, Retired, has done extensive research and publishing in the areas of peacekeeping, IO, and PSYOP. He currently serves as a Senior Analyst in the Foreign Military Studies Office, Ft Leavenworth, and has written a fascinating piece entitled Hezballah, Israel, and Cyber PSYOP which I encourage y’all to peruse and comment upon. 

However, an evolving cyber phenomenon is underway: the concept of cyber psychological operations (CYOP, pronounced “PSYOP”)—which are cyber operations (those that use the computer chip) that aim to directly attack and influence the attitudes and behaviors of soldiers and the general population.

While armies continue to compete in digital battlespace, local populations are now caught up in digital influence space battles.   As a result armies can no longer stand between an enemy and the public as they once did.   [And America cannot rely on Regulars to neutralize and mitigate the effects of enemy propaganda on its national will -- Cannoneer].  CYOP is also awash with “unintended consequences,” since we are only now starting to understand what degree of influence, persuasion, deception, and mobilization the cyber environment offers. For example, mobile (cell) phones became “tools for citizen journalism” in Lebanon since they provided people the capability to transmit audio, video and photographs by shortmessage service. Such contributions from “the street” carry their own form of psychological persuasion. 

CYOP is characterized by speed, precision, and creativity.  Speed is recognized due to the quickness of the message-response mechanism.   An incident happens and is reported on the Internet, or via cell phone or video messaging, before legitimate [I'd put "scare quotes" around the word legitmate -- Cannoneer] news services can adjudicate its authenticity.  Notably, these message have infinite—yet precise—reach (some call CYOP precision guided messages ‘PGMs’).  We can target friendly or enemy soldiers and populations with equal ease.  Plus, creativity is an emerging issue.Technologies offer the ability to update time tested PSYOP techniques with new applications not tried or tested.

The cyber element enables traditional psychological operations (PSYOP) such as loudspeakers and leaflets to penetrate not just a few miles into enemy territory, but to intrude directly and pervasively into the local populations’ homes or across continents. The cyber element does so privately and quietly, invading not only computers and cell phones but the psychological well-being of the population as well. Local citizens on both sides of the Lebanese-Israeli conflict are victims of an intense propaganda and counterpropaganda campaign, for the maintenance of public and international support.

According to Yonit Farago of http://www.timesonline.co.uk, [click on Israel backed by army of cyber-soldiers  for a description of exactly what an American Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group should be doing] there is also an intense monitoring and counterpropaganda campaign underway by Israeli supporters.  Special software termed “megaphone” is used to alert Jewish students to anti-Israeli chat rooms or Internet polls.  These students then attempt to influence the course of a debate or an opinion survey by marshalling friends and supporters to take part.  This allows a place where “networks of US and European groups with hundreds of thousands of Jewish activists can place supportive messages.” 

US IO doctrine is weak (in fact, almost nonexistent) on the issue of counterpropaganda, and this is reflected in coalition operations.

. . .  future wars will be personal, deceptive, civil-military, and involve worldwide recruitment. All of these items will be managed and performed by cyber elements . Ye l l o w journalism may also become a real threat.

One thing is very clear: CYOP is not only personal—but persuasive in new ways—some more powerful than any earlier PSYOP attempts. CYOP strikes raw nerves in a different way than a leaflet, due to its targeting precision with all forms of communications—auditory, visual, and print. CYOP appears to be a very invasive form of PSYOP that allows no mental sanctuary.

We must follow the CYOP phenomenon as it picks up momentum. Groups will initiate new and varied techniques, and everyone must be on guard to counter the unexpected.  E-flets, silent loudspeakers, Google Earth, ring tones, and YouTube represent only the start of this phenomenon.  Traditional PSYOP personnel will play a key role in uncovering the advantages offered by these technological advances, and then must creatively apply counters to them in warfare.  [Non-traditional PSYOP personnel such as civilian auxiliaries will be quicker and more flexible, but Colonel Thomas was writing for a military readership -- Cannoneer] CYOP can be private, silent, deceptive, intercontinental, and as full of hatred and prejudice as the initiator wants it to be—and all are issues that should concern us.

Good stuff.  Put your thinking cap on and read it.  The part about hard CYOP is downright scary.  We aren’t fighting Industrial Age warfare between legitimate nation-state peers with Westphalian concepts of combatant and noncombatant, civilian and miltary.  Everybody who can see this blog could be monitoring hostile sites and disseminating counterpropaganda.  If the Israelis can do it, why can’t we?  Y’all could be Cyber Guerillas.

Any cat wranglers out there?

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