Hutch seems to think so. Zarkman and his crew are still wasting oxygen. The jihadis calling themselves Al Qaeda in Iraq are in a world of hurt right now, for sure. There are other jihadis, some loosely affiliated with the al Qaeda franchise and others who have been around longer. Few Americans differentiate between AQII and all the other bad guys, like Iranian special forces, Syrian special forces, former regime elements, Shiite militias, Sunni tribal gunmen and plain old regular mobsters. I want Zarkman’s head. On a pike. In front of the flag pole at MNF-I headquarters.
Anyway, hutch says:
In 2006, bloggers are now an acknowledged player on the media battlefield. These efforts were dismissed by al Qaeda, and as a result, while al Qaeda hit its target, the effect was grossly minimized due to the fact that the “silent majority” now had tools by which they could be heard. The media created a false picture after the 1968 Tet Offensive, but was unable to do the same in Iraq.
I like that. A sergeant from CENTCOM sent me an email the other day wanting me to blog Zarkman’s video. Now to me, that is offical recognition that I, little old me, who just started this blog and barely knows what he is doing, is a player on the media battlefield. The good guys need more players on the media battlefield. And on the media battlefield, you can be old and fat and used up but still useful. If you can write, write. If you can comment, comment. And if all you can do is lurk, lurk on hostile media sites and acquire targets for blog storming. A lot of people can get involved in the Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group, or the Civilian Information Militia, or the Cyber Minutemen, or the 101st Fighting Keyboardists, or whatever we end up calling ourselves. What are you waiting for?
Ralph Peters asks. Sadly, if not extinct, patriotism among main stream journalists is as rarely seen as Nessie. The vast majority of people writing for the MSM are left-lib socialist, citizen of the world, anti-war, anti-military, anti-Bush Cronkite and Woodward wannabes. Thirty years ago they were friends of them long haired, hippy-type, pinko fags, as Charlie Daniels so eloquently described them. The schism that developed in America over the Vietnam War has only deepened and widened since. How does somebody claim to be a patriot when they are ashamed of their country’s history, vitriolically opposed to their country’s leadership to the point of derangement, and contemptuous of most of their fellow citizens?
The war got personal for many bloggers and readers of blogs today. Not only is there a war of ideas going on in cyber space, there is a kinetic war of electrons being waged. While trying to educate my knuckle-dragging, computer illiterate self on cyber war, I ran up on this from The Jawa Report.
The military lacks the tools to fight the internet jihad.
The solution? There is no government solution. The only people really equipped to counter the online threat are hackers themselves. These cyber pirates have the necessary knowlege, tools, and experience in infiltrating and taking down websites. With minimum investment in equipment, with the assurance that they will not be prosecuted for activities which are normally considered illegal, and with the promise of a reward for each website taken down, these cyber pirates would be turned into cyber privateers. There skills which are normally deemed socially unacceptable, can be used to the advantage of winning the long war against militant Islam.
I wish I was smart enough to hack. If you are reading this, be aware that the enemy has the capability to prevent you from reading this. They can reach out and touch everyone with a computer. The armed forces can’t protect you from this. They can’t protect you from sedition and psychological operations designed to demoralize you. Like the Militia of Flight 93, the Civilian Information Militia will have to rise to the occasion.
BLOGS DOWN: HACK ATTACK
Craig Martelle left this comment over at Threatswatch:
This DoS attack against us directly in the blogosphere only confirms our assessment. We are indeed at war – in the clash of civilizations, which right now is mostly an information war. Let’s see if the MSM, the legacy media as they may be called, picks up on this DoS attack and identifies it for what it is – a demonstration of superior firepower in the information battle of the larger campaign against the free world. Although this sounds sensationalist, if you look at current events through these goggles, many things become much clearer and the inexplicable disappears. Take a a look with an open mind and you’ll see.
Retired Army Col. Robert L. Howard
signs a copy of his citation of the Medal of Honor for a soldier at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation building at Al Asad, Iraq, April 20 speaks to U.S. Marines, Soldiers, and Sailors at the Chapel of Hope on Camp Fallujah, Iraq, April 21, 2006. Howard received the Medal of Honor March 12, 1968, for his gallant and intrepid actions in the Vietnam War. Leaving his helicopter landing zone and moving out to rescue a missing American soldier, his platoon came under attack by a two-company force. During the initial engagement, he was wounded and a grenade destroyed his weapon. Unable to walk, and seeing his platoon leader wounded, Howard crawled to his leader’s aid. After dragging the seriously wounded officer back to the platoon area, Howard was able to rally the disorganized platoon and direct their fire upon the encircling enemy with shouts of encouragement. For three and a half hours, his small force repulsed enemy attacks enough to give rescue helicopters a chance to land. He personally supervised the loading of his men and would not leave the bullet-swept landing zone until all of his soldiers were aboard the helicopters safely.
UPDATE 122409: He came to TQ a year later. I saw him in the Mainside DFAC. RIP, sir.
Strategy Page, April 25, 2006: The recent flap over six retired American generals publicly calling for the Secretary of Defense to resign, also brought out opinions, via the Internet, from lower ranking troops (active duty, reservists and retired.) The mass media ran with the six generals, but got shot down by the troops and their blogs, message board postings and emails. It wasn’t just a matter of the “troop media” being more powerful. No, what the troops had going for them was a more convincing reality. Unlike the six generals, many of the Internet troops were in Iraq, or had recently been there. Their opinions were not as eloquent as those of the generals, but they were also more convincing. Added to that was the complaint from many of the troops that, according to the American constitution, it’s the civilians (in the person of the Secretary of Defense) that can dismiss soldiers from service, not the other way around. While the six generals were only expressing their opinions (which only active duty troops are restricted from doing, because of the different military legal system they operate under), it rubbed a lot of people (military and civilian) the wrong way because of the constitutional angle.
Naturally, the details of this media battle didn’t get a lot of coverage in the mass media. Makes sense. Who wants to discuss a defeat, by a bunch of amateurs no less. But the mass media has been missing an even larger story about the military and the Internet.
Read the whole thing.
Update: The Generals and CDI
Gene LaRoque’s CDI.
Hutch sent me another link: Jed Babbin: Keep the Big Dog running about Rummy being a big dog with a pack of poodles yapping at him.