Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun

Military Affairs

The War of Two Religions

EXCERPTED FROM The First Terrorist War

4. The Goal of Radical Islam is Our Destruction

The consequences of a political and military stand-down would be to allow our enemies the time, basing and mobility to grow in numbers, advance in training, achieve greater tactical position within and about our borders, and acquire ever more sophisticated and powerful weapons. Once they have advanced to the next level of lethality they will strike us again with an effect on our lives, liberties, property and economy more extreme than 9/11.

The goals of the Radical Islamic forces arrayed against us are the same as their factotums, the Palestinians, have for Israel. In the jihad against Israel we can see what the Islamic forces have in mind for us: the complete destruction of our systems, the occupation of our land, the usurpation of our government, and the death or conversion of all our citizens. These are the goals of Radical Islam as understood by their fundamentalists and as tolerated by the vast majority of believers.

Much has been written about these goals. Most of our scholars conclude they are only fantasies, but a nuclear weapon detonated in Seattle does not care if a fantasy set it off.

Whether the goals of Radical Islam can be achieved is a matter for history to determine. It is the belief that they can be achieved that brings the First Terrorist War upon us. To the extent that we fail to recognize the intensity and commitment of our enemies in this war; to the extent we fail to match their passion for our destruction with our passion for victory; to the extent we cast our lot with process as they cast their lot with their God, we weaken our ability to decisively defeat them.

Ours is a "war on terror" while theirs is a "Jihad." Our efforts are a process. Theirs are directed by divine mandate. Whether you are of a secular or religious persuasion, it is well to remember that if you go to war you'd best have God on your side.

As such it is time to put away the frayed and weak designation of our actions as the "war on terror" for it is not "terror" that shooting wars engage. Wars engage combatants, armies, populations, institutions, nations and religions. It is unpopular, almost unsayable, to designate the First Terrorist War as a religious war, yet all serious people know that this is the case and that this, in the end, is what it shall come to.

5. The War of Two Religions

Through the violent attacks of a Radical Islam, two religions have been brought into conflict. The first is that of Islam, a faith that at its core requires absolute submission from its adherents, and looks towards the subjugation of the world as its ultimate apotheosis. As the youngest of the monotheistic religions, Islam is at a point in its development that Christianity passed through centuries ago. And it is not with Christianity that Islam is currently at war. Islam is saving that for the mopping up phase of its current campaign. The religion that Islam has engaged is a much younger one, the religion of Freedom.

As a religion Freedom has been gaining converts since the success of the American Revolution enabled it to go forth and be preached to the world. Freedom is easily the most popular of the new religions and historically converts nearly 100% of all populations in which it is allowed to take firm root. This is the religion which we have lately brought to Iraq.

The genius of the religion of Freedom is that it allows all other religions, from the venerable to the trivial, to exist without fear of censure or destruction. Indeed, the only thing that the religion of Freedom firmly forbids is the destruction of Freedom itself. "Thou shalt not destroy Freedom" seems to be the only commandment. And Freedom has been shown to resist efforts to destroy it in the most ferocious way. It's enemies would do well to ponder the fate of previous attempts to do so.

On September 11, the agents of Radical Islam began their attempt to destroy Freedom by attacking it at its core. The reaction of Freedom to this assault has been, once you consider the destructive power of the weapons systems it possesses, measured, deliberate and cautious. This is because Freedom, although sorely wounded, does not yet feel that its very existence is threatened. A more serious attack at any time in the future will put paid to that specious notion.

Following a second attack at a level equal to or exceeding September 11, any political opposition to pursuing our enemies with all means at our disposal will be swept off the table. The First Terrorist War will begin in earnest and it will not be a series of small wars with long lead times and a careful consultation of allies. The war will become, virtually overnight, a global war of violent preemption and merciless attack towards the spiritual and geographic centers of our enemy. Arguments revolving around the true meaning of "imminent" will be seen as they are -- so much factional prattle. Due to the nature of the enemy, the First Terrorist War will be fought here and there and everywhere. It does not matter when or where the second serious strike on the American homeland takes place, it only matters that on the day after this country will be at war far beyond the current level of conflict.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 18, 2015 5:37 PM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Fortunes of War: 1 NY Times Reporter Free. 1 British Soldier, 1 Translator, 1 Woman, 1 Child Dead

“I’m out! I’m free!” -- Farrell to Susan Chira, the foreign editor of The Times

Posted by Vanderleun at Sep 9, 2009 9:08 AM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Speed - Mach 3.5 Altitude - 80,000 Feet Over Enemy Territory


This morning at Maggies Farm, one of the most fascinating and inspiring articles in a long time.

"After several agonizingly long seconds, we made the turn and blasted toward the Mediterranean. 'You might want to pull it back,' Walter suggested. It was then that I noticed I still had the throttles full forward. The plane was flying a mile every 1.6 seconds, well above our Mach 3.2 limit. It was the fastest we would ever fly." - Major Brian Shul: "I loved that jet"
I'd tell you to "read the whole thing," but you won't be able to stop yourself.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 8, 2008 8:24 AM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Food Fight

"An abridged history of American-centric warfare, from WWII to present day, told through the foods of the countries in conflict."

Review:Absolutely amazing video for lovers of food and global conflict.

Guide to the nationalities of the foods in the fight is HERE

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 28, 2008 9:40 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Your Academic Tax Dollars at Work


MARINA DEL REY, Calif.-- The popular computer game Unreal Tournament 2003 invited players to become the "ultimate techno-gladiator of the future," blasting foes with "a smorgasbord of ferocious, flesh-chewing weaponry."

Now, researchers are turning the game into a tool for U.S. troops in Iraq — not to make them fiercer in combat, but to sharpen language and cultural skills that could help them avoid a potentially deadly confrontation.

.... no one had ever tried to make a nonviolent modification until a team from the Information Sciences Institute from the University of Southern California came along.

Hannes Hogni Vilhjalmsson, an Icelander working at the institute, has spent the past nine years studying nonverbal communication. His specialty is recreating body language in 3D computer programs.....

Instead of wielding a bio-sludge gun, Tactical Iraqi players use their verbal skills to negotiate a virtual Baghdad populated with numerous Arabic speakers. Missions range from entering a cafe and locating the owner to securing medical aid for an injured comrade.....

"It was actually quite difficult to find information on how to eliminate all weapons," says Vilhjalmsson.

W. Lewis Johnson, director of the institute's Center for Advanced Research and Technology for Education, recalled that "in one of the earlier versions we got rid of the weapons, but one of the testers discovered that if he stomped on other characters, they would explode in blood and guts."

It's the years of teen-age training kicking in here. I don't know about anyone else, but if you are running, say, DOOM II and six zombies show up, do you walk over and talk to them or select "rocket launcher"?

[Pointer from Perez-Miller @ confessions of a failed polymath]

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 5, 2005 2:35 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"One Does Not Simply Walk Into Mortor..."

No. One do not.

[Note: Link repaired and replaced.]

Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 19, 2005 1:37 PM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Recessional by Rudyard Kipling


GOD of our fathers, known of old--
      Lord of our far-flung battle-line--
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
      Dominion over palm and pine--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies--
      The captains and the kings depart--
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
      An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget!


There may well be even more terrible things to come in Iraq than what we have seen already, but there will also be far better things than were there before. And there will come a time, when all those who slandered the efforts -- the Germans, the French, the American radical Left, the vicious Michael "Minutemen" Moore, the pampered and coddled Hollywood elite, the Arab League, and the U.N. will assume that Iraq is a "good thing" like Afghanistan, and that democracy there really was preferable -- after they had so bravely weighed in with their requisite "ifs" and "buts" -- to the mass murders of Saddam Hussein. Yes, they will say all this, but it will be for the rest of us to remember how it all came about and what those forgotten soldiers and people of Iraq went through to get it -- lest we forget, lest we forget....
-- How Far We've Come, Let's Not Forget by Victor Davis Hanson

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 3, 2004 1:30 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
840 JDAM'S FOR ISREAL: Bigger Bombs, Better Accuracy


McDonnell Douglas Corp., Saint Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $17,461,828 firm fixed price modification to provide for 840 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) guided vehicles. The JDAM is a strap-on kit with inertial navigation system/global positioning system capability that provides the user with an improved aerial delivery capability for existing 500, 1000 and 2000-pound bombs. This effort supports foreign military sales to Israel. The locations of performance are McDonnell Douglas, Saint Louis, Mo., and Honeywell Inc., Minneapolis, Minn. This work will be complete by November 2005. The Air Armament Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (F08635-02-C-0060, P00018).
-- DoD News: Contracts for July 22, 2004

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 25, 2004 8:28 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Relax, This is Only a Quiz

AN INTERESTING RUNDOWN OF US PRESIDENTS AND MOMENTS OF CRISIS : TCS: Tech Central Station - Take the Commander in Chief Test

JFK (the original one) in the Fall of 1962. The intelligence community gives you aerial photos they believe show Soviet missile installations being built in Cuba. But they do not know how close they are to being operational, whether they are armed with nuclear warheads or whether the crews and workers are Soviet. Do you go on national TV, deliver a withdrawal ultimatum, threaten mass retaliation and set up a naval quarantine, thus risking World War III? Or do you quietly work behind the scenes at the UN, get more information and try to convince the Soviets they've done the wrong thing?

President Bush in early 2003, just months after 9/11 and anthrax. The Clinton administration had indicted Osama bin Laden, citing ties to Saddam Hussein and had bombed a suspected al Qaeda bio-weapons plant in Sudan with ties to Iraq. Czech intelligence insists that 9/11 plotter Mohammad Atta met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague. UN weapons inspectors are being frustrated in Iraq. British intelligence says that Saddam was trying to buy uranium in Africa. Saddam had invaded Kuwait a decade before and had used chemical weapons on his own people. One of the perpetrators of the first World Trade Center bombing had taken refuge in Baghdad and families of Palestinian suicide bombers were paid by Iraq. The CIA Director, originally appointed by Clinton, tells you "it's a slam dunk" that Saddam has WMD. The French, strongly

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 21, 2004 7:07 AM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Carrier Surge Update

MORE ON SUMMER PULSE -- US CARRIER DEPLOYMENT SURGE: [Original Post and discussion -- Is the Deployment Surge Just an Exercise?. ]

The USS George Washington "transited the Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean Sea and U.S. 6th Fleet's area of operation July 11. " ("Summer Pulse '04"), while "The Enterprise and Harry S. Truman strike groups are in the eastern Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco this week along with ships from 10 other nations as part of an exercise called "Medshark/Majestic Eagle". The U.S.-led event includes 20,000 personnel aboard more than 20 ships." -- Stars & Stripes

To track you'll have to Google Summer Pulse and Majestic Eagle.

The usual source of updates, Navy NewStand, is unavailable."Navy Media center offline until Monday July 19"

Current Navy page for updates and photos is Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 16, 2004 9:34 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Demosthenes, On Enemies Far and Near
Since, however, you all know this, you must take it into account and not let the war pass into your own country; you must not invite catastrophe through keeping your eyes fixed on the simple strategy of your old war with the Lacedaemonians, but arrange your political affairs and your military preparations so that your line of defence may be as far away from Athens as possible, give him no chance of stirring from his base, and never come to close grips with him.

For so far as a campaign is concerned, provided, men of Athens, we are willing to do what is necessary, we have many natural advantages, such as the nature of his territory, much of which may be harried and devastated, and countless others; but for a pitched battle he is in better training than we are.

[53] But it is not enough to adopt these suggestions, nor even to oppose him with active military measures, but both from calculation and on principle you must show your hatred of those who speak publicly on his behalf; and you must reflect that it is impossible to defeat the enemies of our city until you have chastised those who within our very walls make themselves their servants.

And that, as all Heaven is my witness, you will never be able to do; but you have reached such a height of folly or of madness or--I know not what to call it, for this fear too has often haunted me, that some demon is driving you to your doom, that from love of calumny or envy or ribaldry, or whatever your motive may be, you clamor for a speech from these hirelings, some of whom would not even disclaim that title, and you derive amusement from their vituperations.

This is serious enough, but there is worse to follow; for you have granted to these men more security for the pursuance of their policy than to your own defenders.

-- Demosthenes, Third Philippic, 341 B.C.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 27, 2004 5:13 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Who Says America Can't Clean Up the Mid-East Cess Pool?
It was an engineering success on the order of stringing the first cables for the Brooklyn Bridge or coaxing the first glimmer of starlight through some giant telescope to unravel the structure of the universe.

But when it occurred late last month, the achievement remained cloaked in absolute secrecy, marked only by a quiet celebration among participants who may remain forever unknown to history.

Raw sewage was treated in Baghdad.

The stream of treated water that eventually found its way into the Tigris River was hardly more than a trickle, roughly 20 million gallons a day from a city that produces raw sewage at something like 10 times that rate or more. But the accomplishment is all but epoch-making in a city where the sewage plants are in such disrepair that for the last 10 to 15 years, every drop of that muck was poured untreated into the river, fouling everything from boat landings to drinking water systems downstream.

-- A fascinating account via the New York Times at : It's a Dirty Job, but They Do It, Secretly, in Iraq

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 25, 2004 3:02 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Learning from Experience

THE MODERATE VOICE HAS A 10 POINT CHECKLIST ON What We've Learned From The Beheadings So Far

"(3)It's all about body count. The terrorists have shifted strategy from a quantitative body count (911; Madrid) to a qualitative body count (symbolic victims such as an American Jewish journalist, an American Jewish businessman, an American mechanic aiding the Saudi Arabian military, and a South Korean on the eve of his country sending more troops to the region).

"(4)They will likely raise the bar of barbarity to get publicity and continue to shock with the same impact. So far the victims have been males in their 30s and 40s. Will they choose a woman -- or a child? Or a group?"

A gruesome list, but accurate.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 23, 2004 2:59 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
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