Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun


Life Comes at You Fast


Congressman Mike Bishop called into Paul W Smith on WJR Detroit - here were the highlights:

- Bishop was at first base; jump to the ground while shots went overhead.
- Lots of shots fired - well over 50 - rapid fire successions. (Definitely sounded to me like a leftist who is a really bad shot and just played vidya games.)
- Scalise at second base was the target; they really went after him
- Scalise shot in the hip; didn't look fatal
- One GOP staffer shot in the chest; looks real bad
- One GOP staffer shot somewhere else; doesn't look as bad
- Multiple magazines and time to change between them
- Bishop estimated 8-10 minutes total
- Scalise's security men were outside the diamond; came in; had revolvers (he originally said pistols but said they were just service revolvers); the security men charged the shooter who was very keen on Scalise; they took some hits themselves but also brought him down with far fewer shots.
- The other Congressman and staffers, including somebody's 11 year old boy, were in the dugout or batting box - whatever is the structure as he kept saying there was just one structure they could get into, but if the gunman had gotten to it, it would have been over since there was just one entrance.
- And the diamond had a backstop so they could not flee; only one exit; the guy had clearly planned this and scouted it out before hand. Vox Popoli: Assassination attempt on House Republican


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 14, 2017 7:52 AM |  Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
There's a tried and true American approach to suppressing terrorism,
and it worked quite well during Gen. Sherman's 1863 Kentucky campaign and Gen. Phil Sheridan's subsequent reduction of the Shenandoah Valley. We don't have to be particularly smart; we merely have to do some disgusting things. Sherman and Sheridan suppressed sniping at Union soldiers by Confederate civilians by burning the towns (just the towns, not the townsfolk) that sheltered them. In other words, they forced collective responsibility upon a hostile population, a doctrine that in peacetime is entirely repugnant, but that in wartime becomes unavoidable. By contrast, the peacetime procedure of turning petty criminals into police snitches has backfired terribly. No doubt we will learn that the perpetrators of tonight's horror at London Bridge were known to police, like the Manchester Arena suicide bomber and most of the perpetrators of large-scale terrorist acts in Europe during the past several years. The remedy is time-tested and straightforward. We merely require the will to apply it. Counter-terror lessons from America's Civil War | Spengler

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 4, 2017 7:42 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
“A little girl’s hair.”

Saffie Rose Roussos: 8-Year-Old Girl Identified As Manchester Arena Bomb Victim

I begin with a little girl’s hair. That I know is a good thing at any rate. Whatever else is evil, the pride of a good mother in the beauty of her daughter is good. It is one of those adamantine tendernesses which are the touchstones of every age and race. If other things are against it, other things must go down. If landlords and laws and sciences are against it, landlords and laws and sciences must go down. With the red hair of one she-urchin in the gutter I will set fire to all modern civilization. Because a girl should have long hair, she should have clean hair; because she should have clean hair, she should not have an unclean home; because she should not have an unclean home, she should have a free and leisured mother; because she should have a free mother, she should not have an usurious landlord; because there should not be an usurious landlord, there should be a redistribution of property; because there should be a redistribution of property, there shall be a revolution. That little urchin with the gold-red hair, whom I have just watched toddling past my house, she shall not be lopped and lamed and altered; her hair shall not be cut short like a convict’s; no, all the kingdoms of the earth shall be hacked about and mutilated to suit her. She is the human and sacred image; all around her the social fabric shall sway and split and fall; the pillars of society shall be shaken, and the roofs of ages come rushing down, and not one hair of her head shall be harmed. — G.K. Chesterton, What’s Wrong with the World (1910)

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 24, 2017 9:42 AM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The First Terrorist War [Written 2003]


[Note, May 23, 2017: It is some 14 long years since I wrote the essay below. And after 14 years the West still has not summoned the will to destroy Islam. And so, deep inside the bosom of Europe and America the vipers continue their pogrom of homicide bombings. The West responds with its vigils, its candles, its pallid proclamations that responding in violence to the source of these attacks "is not who we are."The weak and weeping West responds with the piling on of useless defensive "security measures," when what is needed is war to the knife on the centers of Islam.

A dear and close friend becomes upset whenever I mention that this disease of Islam needs to be eradicated root and branch. She condemns me for thinking it and for saying it. I tell her, "Very well, get ready to lose a city to the Islamic bomb. Get ready to lose families and children." This angers her because she sees it as an irrational response, an evil and hateful response. She is right. It is irrational, evil, and hateful. It is a response not from my mind but from the surge in my blood and my bone of my ancestors' spirit. My blood and my bones call for a war of fire; of an annihilation that is utter and complete.

But these things are "badthink" and my rational mind says to wait. As does hers. As do most minds in the West. And so it goes.

And so it goes on, and so we lose children, all because our rational minds, our moral minds, tell us we cannot kill the number of innocents we would need to in order to eradicate the black evil at the center of their faith. We cannot yet do what we know we will have to do.

And so we wait to lose a city. We wait for the Saxon to begin to hate. I am of the bloody Dutch. I am of the Highland Scot. I am of the Saxons.I am an irrational man. Yes, I hate... but I have not yet begun to hate.

[Arabs] were incorrigibly children of the idea, feckless and colour-blind, to whom body and spirit were for ever and inevitably opposed. Their mind was strange and dark, full of depressions and exaltations, lacking in rule, but with more of ardour and more fertile in belief than any other in the world. They were a people of starts, for whom the abstract was the strongest motive, the process of infinite courage and variety, and the end nothing. They were as unstable as water, and like water would perhaps finally prevail. -- T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom
1. Calling the War By the Right Name. In a war, "Know your enemy" is one of the first axioms in formulating a strategy for victory. It is an axiom the United States has studiously ignored for over two years. In its place we’ve seen a host of euphemistic notions and slogans thrown up in the belief that, having had many decades of a life where ugly things are given pretty or neutral names, Americans can no longer "bear very much reality."

In the two years that have unfolded between September. 2001 and today, the public has had little asked of it and has seen less happen on our own ground that alarms it. All seems well, all is quiet here on the home front.

Foggy thinking, however attractive in politics, has no place in war. War requires a habit of mind that is precise, cold, and unrelenting. War requires that we call things what they are and cease to skirt issues that make us, in the damp parlance of our times, "uncomfortable." Vague names let us slip into fluffy policies hamstrung strategies and wishful thinking. This is where we are drifting.

To say we are "involved" in a "war on terror" and to repeat this phrase ad infinitum extends our decades old infatuation with euphemism and obfuscation into dangerous territory. The vagaries of the phrase lull us into a state where all dangers seem unclear and distant. The "war on terror" joins an expanding list of "wars on..." such as drugs, poverty, or profuse paperwork in government. The "war on terror" implies a "process" rather than a campaign; an indeterminate series of unresolved encounters rather than decisive actions that lead to an end, to peace.

Peace is the goal of war in civilized countries. To accept a perpetual "war on terror" is to accept a plan for mere "management" rather than a path to victory. And the failure to make a plan for victory is the construction of a plan for defeat.

To those with a clear vision of this war and a knowledge of history, it is a lie that we are "involved in a war on terror." Our media pundits and our policy wonks may prefer it that way, but this war is not at all similar to being "involved in a business slump" or "involved in a troubled relationship."

While wishful souls in the West may see the war as a "process" -- an exercise in supply chain management -- our enemies do not. Our enemies do not involve themselves with vague thinking and phrases front-loaded with vacillation and pusillanimous wishing. Their thinking is driven by an ancient religious doctrine designed to manipulate, exploit and harness societies into servitude. Their commitment to our destruction is adamantine. It is no accident that many of their spiritual leaders speaking from the centers of their faith call for the death of the "Crusaders." They see what their goals are in this struggle. Obfuscation has no place in their goals. They are the same goals they have held for more than 500 years. They are the goals announced several times a week in tens of thousands of mosques throughout the world. For our enemies, the wars of the Crusades and the wars surrounding the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire were merely the prologue to this war.

Our present reality, brought home to us in the cataclysm of September 11, is that we are now fighting The First Terrorist War. We had best know it by that name. When we persist in calling it the "war on terror" our implied goal is control and containment; a "management problem" This is a dangerous illusion.

In war the only acceptable outcome is complete victory. A negotiation does not end a war - - as Oslo shows. A partition does not end a war - - as we learned in Vietnam. A cease-fire does not end a war -- as we saw in the Gulf War. The Cold War taught us that a wall does not end a war. Only victory, clear and decisive, ends war and creates peace. To date, we have failed to learn this lesson and when a lesson is not learned, it is repeated.

In war, language is a strategic asset. Indeed, we see daily how language, here and abroad, is used to weaken the resolve of the United States. The central problem in calling The First Terrorist War the "war on terror’ is that f the phrase soothes us into accepting less than victory, and resolves the war to a new normality where terror is accepted as the status quo. This is the state in which Israel has existed for decades as terrorist violence becomes the scrimscreen screen against which life goes on. Although our present foreign policy may impose this on Israel, it may, over time, prove less popular at home. We are not yet the kind of country that easily accepts The Forever War.

2. Not Process But Victory Restores Freedom

An open-ended "war on terror," like a ‘war on drugs" invites a continuing erosion of small liberties. As this persists, once rare infringements on liberty become the norm. If it is to be the case that the shoes of all air travelers are to be inspected from now until the last ding-dong of doom, we will all be wearing sandals on airlines for the rest of our days. In this, many are correct to be wary of the long term effects of The Patriot Act.

Short of military conquest, a free society does not lose freedoms gained. Rather, freedom is lost through small infringements on liberty and dignity in the name of security. In a perfectly safe state, freedom is seldom found. If our policies essentially sustain rather than defeat our enemies, we are to that degree held hostage to them. When war is reduced to a process, that process become a self-renewing system in the same way that the "war on drugs" has become institutionalized in our lives -- a normal part of the background noise that defines our days. A strategy based

Posted by Vanderleun at May 23, 2017 10:23 PM |  Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
There's MOAB and then there's FOAB




Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 13, 2017 6:43 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
London Calling


London calling to the faraway towns
Now war is declared and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls
London calling, now don't look to us
Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain't got no swing
'Cept for the ring of that truncheon thing

The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growin' thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear
'Cause London is drowning, and I, I live by the river

- - London Calling, The Clash


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 24, 2017 10:45 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Desert Called Glass by Author Unknown


They were all gathered in one place. The Hajj was the perfect time to have a strategy and coordination meeting. The blessings of Allah and his prophet were on them all. They had just sat down to a meal of traditional rice and lamb and were going to save the business talk for later. They had time. Their sources told them that their enemies were on the run and had unilaterally given up and gone home. The hated Americans had no stomach for a fight and abandoned Iraq, Afghanistan, and the rest of the Islamic world. Even the filthy Jews seemed to have pulled back their spies and allies to their own territory. This was the perfect time to go on the offensive. The entire Western world would learn submission.


On the border between India and Pakistan, a different conversation is taking place. A junior captain in the Indian Strategic Rocket forces has an uncontrollable smile on his face. “REALLY? You would not be shitting on me like this?” His commander confirms, “it is an order, from the top. We will be eliminating our nuclear stockpile as part of our new treaty with America and the Russians. A Global peace initiative.” The Indian captain smiles broadly. Good cheer spreads to the other officers in the room and he sat at his control console and began to enter the instructions.

35,000 feet over the Islamic Republic of Iran, an obsolete Russian Airplane was lumbering along on a direct path to Tehran International Airport. The pilot was hand chosen. He had lost his only son when Islamic terrorists stormed the child’s school years earlier. He didn’t really care about the orders he had. Something about global peace initiative to reduce nuclear stockpiles. But he was really happy to be delivering this particular cargo.

Mecca – Coffee was being served and greasy hands were being cleaned on shirt fronts. Servants were carrying away the remains of the feast.

Then it all changed in a blink.

The people inside did not even have time for their minds to register confusion about what was happening to them.

And then they were gone.


35,000 feet over Mecca. A US B-2 bomber turned gently onto a new heading. LTC Brown muttered into the coms, “one down, three to go”. He noticed large bright flares in the distant horizon at two other points. He calmly mutters, “Get Some” and looks back at his checklist.

India — The captain hit the launch button, firing his entire battery of nuclear tipped missiles into Pakistan. He remembered the faces of his cousins who had been butchered in a market bombing a few years earlier. He muttered, “Burn in Hell” as he watched the rockets leave their launchers.

Not all the bombs hit at the same time. Some Islamic nations had more time than others to contemplate what was befalling them. But it didn’t matter. The results were the same. The 1000 largest Islamic population centers in the world had all just been obliterated. Other targets had been destroyed using conventional weapons when they bordered on “friendly” areas. 60 percent of the Islamic population of the world had been instantly incinerated. Half of the survivors would die in the following days due to exposure, disease, fallout, and starvation. No international organizations were organizing humanitarian relief efforts to come save them. The effect was dramatic and permanent. Most of the world had expended most of their nuclear arsenals and their stockpiles of evil cluster bombs and was determined to live in peace with each other henceforth.

The world lived happily ever after.

[HT: Fuel Filter at February 24, 2017 in Total War? You Can't Handle Total War @ AMERICAN DIGEST]

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 24, 2017 8:42 AM |  Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Safe" Spaces of the Ultra-Rich: Bunkering Up In The Middle Of A City Is A Bad Idea


What’s amazing to me is that the wealthy, but not very intelligent, people having these bunkers built for them don’t understand is that if things get bad enough that they NEED the bunkers, the bunkers aren’t going to help them very much. At least not for very long. All the designs in the article seem more driven toward maintaining a standard of living rather than living to survive. This is a case in point:


A garage full of luxury cars is more than a little useless.

Those expensive cars are going to be rather useless simply because of the amount of resources required to keep them running. Especially logistics related things like fuel and oil. If things get bad enough that everything shuts down, then deliveries are going to stop, especially to places like Napa CA. All it’s going to take is a couple of armed BLM roadblocks and it’s going to get ugly fast. There’s also no point in trying to grow food, if, A. you’ve never done it before, and B. the power you are relying on to light the underground garden is reliant on a rapidly diminishing supply of fuel. As for the game room and swimming pool, well those are useless. The swimming pool water can’t even be used as potable if it has pool chemicals in it and if it doesn’t the water is going to get ugly quickly. Standing, open water is not a good way to keep water drinkable and disease free.

These bunkers are the result of narcissists who are afraid to face the consequences of the actions they have taken and the world they tried to create. Unlike the revolutionaries of the early 20th Century these people don’t have the courage to put themselves on the barricades. Instead they naively believe that they can hide away as the SHTF and hope that somebody, anybody, will return things to normal.

RTWT @ ===>> | The Arts Mechanical

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 2, 2016 8:42 AM |  Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Wind in the Heights

New York, NY- WTC heavy winds cause a wind swept dust strom around the ring of honor at the bottom of ground zero during the one year anniversary of the tragic event. Photo: David Ryan

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

           -- Christina Rossetti

-- Headline, New York Post, September 12, 2001

AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY I lived in Brooklyn Heights in, of course, Brooklyn. The opening of the Brooklyn Bridge on May 24 of 1883 transformed the high bluff just to the south of the bridge into America's first suburb. It became possible for affluent businessmen from the tip of Manhattan which lay just over the East River to commute across the bridge easily and build their stately mansions and townhouses high above the slapdash docks below. Growth and change would wash around the Heights in the 117 years that followed, but secure on their bluff, on their high ground, the Heights would remain a repository old and new money, power, and some of the finest examples of 19th and early 20th century homes found in New York City.

When I moved to Brooklyn Heights from the suburbs of Westport, Connecticut in the late 90s, it was a revelation to me that such a neighborhood still existed. Small side streets and cul-de-sacs were shaded over by large oaks and maple that made it cool even in the summer doldrums. Street names such as Cranberry, Orange and Pineapple let you know you were off the grid of numbered streets and avenues. Families were everywhere and the streets on evenings and on weekends were full of the one thing you rarely see in Manhattan, children.

Brooklyn Heights had looked down on Wall Street and the tip of Manhattan from almost the beginning. It hosted the retreat of Washington from New York City during the Battle of Long Island, the first major engagement of the Revolutionary War. To be in the Heights was to hold the high ground and all the advantages that position affords.

Brooklyn Heights today enjoys a kind of armed hamlet existence in New York. Outside influences such as crime, poverty and ghetto life don't really intrude. Since it has long been a neighborhood of the rich and the powerful of the city, it has been spared some of the more doleful effects of city life. It doesn't have walls that you can see, but they are there, strong, high and well guarded.

Traffic, that bane of New York life, is controlled in the Heights. To the west, the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, once planned to cut through the Heights directly to the Brooklyn Bridge, was rerouted by a deft application of money and power; placed below along the harbor. To the east, all traffic coming off the Bridge is pushed along Cadman Plaza to Court Street and off to Atlantic. This forms the eastern border of the Heights whose edge is further delineated by the ramparts of Brooklyn City Hall, Courts of all flavors and a rag-tag collection of government structures that exemplify the Fascist Overbuilding movement of the early 70s when, expecting 'The Revolution,' governments built towards gun-slits rather than windows. The south of the Heights is sharply drawn with Atlantic Avenue, a street given over to a long strip of fringe businesses and a corridor of Islamic-American mosques and souks and restaurants. The north is quite simply the Brooklyn Bridge and its approaches that shelter the now slowly evolving sector devoted to overpriced raw loft spaces and bad art known as DUMBO, for "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass."

The best thing about the Heights is the Promenade. This is a long pedestrian strolling area that runs from Remsen on the south to Cranberry on the north end. It's a brick walk high on the bluff above the Expressway below. Over the baroque railing you can see far out into the harbor, beyond the Financial District and Wall Street on the tip of Manhattan, beyond the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island to the distant silhouettes of the cranes and wharfs on the Jersey Shore. You can see north up the East River past the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge to, maybe, the merest wisp of the Williamsburg Bridge. Across from the railings are a selection of gardens and backyards with water fountains and shaded benches. It is one of those hidden, off-to-the-side areas of respite that are secreted across all the seven boroughs of the city. You discover it by being taken to it by someone else who has already been there.

The Promenade is a fine place on any day but best on a Sunday afternoon when the weather is clear. Then you can stroll with your fellow citizens and catch a bit of the constant breeze or a bracing wind. Under most conditions, this wind is one of the best elements of Brooklyn Heights. Usually you just take it for granted -- as you do all the small mercies of life in New York City.

When the wind came from the south off the harbor those who lived on the Heights got to breathe the sea air first before the rest of the city had its way with it. And it usually did blow from the south even if there were days when it blew in from the west across the southern tip of Manhattan. At least, I think that it did on numerous days even if I only remember it from one.

I don't remember the wind from that day because it blew hard and long. The winter, spring and fall brought many blizzards and storms to the Heights with winds that would howl over the roofs and pulse in the chimney of my parlor floor apartment. In winter it would slam against the stones of the facade and rattle the windows while rolling snow so fine against the door that a dusty drift would work its way through the weather stripping and into the foyer by morning.

So if I think about the storms I can say they always came to the Heights on the big shoulders of a bigger wind, but I don't really remember any one of those winds. In my memory, I just assume they were there, a part of the storm. Winds always are a part of any storm. Just as the French say "Never a rose without a thorn," so "Never a storm without a wind."

Except once and then the storm came later. And even if that wind has now become a faint foreign breeze moving over a distant landscape of sand and rubble and blood, it rolls along still and will in time make its way back to where it began.

The wind came when the pillar of fire became, in what seemed a moment outside of time, a pillar of smoke. We had been standing on the Promenade that morning in our thousands watching death rage at the center of a beautiful September morning. It was a morning with a clear and washed blue sky; the kind of rare New York morning when you can believe, again, that anything is possible in that city of dreams that so often dissolve into disappointment.

Anything, of course, except the two towers whose peaks were engulfed in flames.

Anything, it would seem, but what we were seeing.

And it was a morning, as I recall, that had no wind at all. That was why the flames and the smoke from the flames went almost straight up into the sky, a long sooted streak that bisected one side of the blue sky from the other.

It was, except for this one insane thing happening in the middle of our panoramic view from the Promenade, a most beautiful day; made even more so by the absence of any irritating noise from passenger jets overhead.

The last two jets into New York airspace that morning would be the last for days to come. In New York you become so used to the sound of jets overhead in New York that you don't really hear them. What you did hear on that day was the silence of their absence. When the sound of jets came back later that afternoon it was not the sound of passenger jets but of F-16 fighters, and we were glad to hear them.

But in that mid-morning all we could see and think about were the souls trapped in the twin torches about a quarter of a mile away from us on the other side of the East River.

At a certain point in that timeless time you noticed that specks were arcing out from the sides of the buildings from just above or just below or just within the part that was in flames. Looking again you saw that the specks were people flying out from the building and plunging down the sides to disappear behind the shorter buildings that ringed the towers. You tried to imagine what must have been going on in the offices and rooms of that building that made leaping from 100 floors or more above the ground the "better" option, but you didn't have that kind of space left in your imagination. And so you looked on and watched them leap and distantly, silently fall, locked within that morning that had no time, in which all of what you had known, believed, and trusted in came, at once and forever, to a sudden frozen halt.

And then the first tower came down.

We've all seen, most of us on television, what happened next. We've all seen the dropping of the top floors into the smoke and then the shuddering impact and then the rolling and immense cloud of ash that exploded up the island of Manhattan overtaking thousands running north and laying thick slabs of ash over everything in its wake. The tape was played and replayed until, by order or consensus, it stopped being played. World Trade Center and north up the island -- center stage in death's carnival on that day.

That wasn't for me. I was part of the sideshow in Brooklyn Heights.

Lower Manhattan is a welter of thin 17th century streets lined with tall 19th and 20th century buildings. When you take the mass of two buildings the size of the Twin Towers, heat it to the point that steel bends, and drop it straight down into the center of this maze, it does not all go just one direction even if that's where the video cameras are. It moves out radially in all directions. Standing on the Promenade you are in front of many different channels for this atomized mass and the plumes of smoke and what it holds will come at you. And it did, very fast and very dark.

It seemed to come out of the streets that opened onto the South Street Seaport like some Titan's grime clotted fingers, and roiled across the river as if the distance was a few hundred feet rather than a few thousand yards. You saw what was coming and you turned to flee from this black wind with no storm, but there were thousands of others who had come to watch and they too were turning to run out of the exits from the Promenade that had, moments before seemed broad, but now impossibly narrow.

As the wind-driven cloud came over us and things became murky then dark, panic began and shouts and screams could be heard inside the dense smoke. Through some miracle, the crowd ordered itself and those who had brought children with them were eased out in the sudden darkness and others followed in a rapid order. The cloud lightened and then darkened again and the wind rose and fell away and came back. It rippled your clothing, and the smoke must have had a smell to it because it hurt the lungs when you breathed, but I don't remember the smell only the sensation of small needles in my lungs and the gray mucus that came up when I coughed.

The wind pummeled my back for the five minutes it took me to make my way to my apartment, get inside and shut the windows. I stood there at the windows and watched the others rush by, blurs in the smoke, and noticed when, as suddenly as it had come up, the wind died away and the air was almost still. The smoke and the ash still moved in the street outside and high overhead. The day was still darkened but the initial violence of the blast and the wind had passed.

In time, everyone had passed by as well and the street was empty except for the settling smoke. I looked outside the window where a Japanese maple grew and noticed that its wine-dark leaves were covered with small yellow flecks. I looked down at the sill outside the windows and saw the yellow flecks there as well.

At some point in the next few minutes it dawned on me that there would be few bodies found in the incinerating rubble across the river. I knew then -- as certainly as I have even known anything -- that all those who had still been in the towers had now gone into the flame and the smoke and that, in some way, the gleaming bits of yellow ash were their tokens, were what they had become in that plunging crematorium.

And I knew that all they had become had fallen upon us as we ran in the smoke; that we had breathed them in when the wind reached us; that they were covering the houses and the sills and the cars and the sidewalks and the benches and the shrubs and the trees all about us.

What they had become was what the wind without a storm had left behind. Now that the wind had passed everything was, again, silent and calm. The blue sky above the houses on Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights were beginning to emerge from the fading smoke as the breeze of the harbor shifted the plume away from us, moving it north, uptown, into Manhattan, leaving the Heights again as an elite enclave, above and to the side of New York City.

The yellow flecks remained, resting like small stars on the surface of everything in the Heights for three days until the first rains came on a late afternoon to wash them away. I walked out into that rain and back down Pierrepont Street to the Promenade where for months yet to come the fires would burn across the river.

The rain came straight down that day. There was no wind. As I walked down the sidewalk I noticed the rainwater washing those yellow flecks off the trees and the buildings and moving down the gutter to the drains that would take it on to the harbor and on to the sea. And that water was -- for only a minute or so before it ran clear -- golden.

Posted by Vanderleun at Sep 14, 2016 12:21 PM |  Comments (42)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What I Saw: Notes Made on September 11, 2001 from Brooklyn Heights


[What follows is a slightly edited transcript of what I saw and how I felt on the 11th of September, 2001 from Brooklyn Heights in New York City. On that day I was posting to a West Coast Computer Conferencing system known as The Well. As a result, even though I was writing from Brooklyn Heights directly across the river from the Towers, the time stamp reflects PST. Real time is +3 hours.]

Tue 11 Sep 01 08:07

Saw the first tower collapse from the Promenade across the river in Brooklyn. Fine white and pale yellow ash everywhere. Lower Manhattan covered in smoke with ash still drifting down.

Military jets overhead every five minutes or so.

Lower span of Brooklyn Bridge jammed with people walking out of the city, many covered with white ash. Ghosts. The Living Dead. BQE empty except for convoys of emergency vehicles.

Sirens in all directions. Ferry ships emerging from the smoke heading to the Brooklyn shore riding low in the water fully loaded.

This is monstrous.

Deaths in the thousands in New York.

My body is trembling with sorrow and rage. I saw the first tower fall. Everyone in it would have been killed. This, all this, must be stopped. Those who have done this must be wiped out to the last.

War with whom?

Any and all terrorist organizations, foreign or domestic, must now be brought to a swift and complete halt no matter where they are located.

I watched this happen. The enormity of it cannot be communicated. Vile and bestial.

We need to destroy any and all capacity of anyone living anywhere to do anything like this ever again. There were thousands in those buildings. Thousands.

There is no justice swift enough or sure enough.

All that we have must be brought forward and used without restraint. This is an act of war beyond Pearl Harbor.

Military jets overhead again.

More ash on the street. I am cooled down. Way down.

This is pure evil.

*Tue 11 Sep 01 12:33 *

There is no World Trade Center visible from the Promenade. But you can smell it from there -- a sort of burnt stench as if someone lit newspaper in a trash can and then poured water on it. That kind of wet, burnt stench.

It is bright in the sunshine now except for where the Trade Centers stood, and there is still a plume of thick brown smoke smouldering up from there making the sun behind it look dim and oily.

Just now I saw three large military helicopters land across the river from the Heights on the big pad at the foot of Wall Street. People on the streets are talking quietly -- many of them on cells now that some of those nets are back up.

Everything is as quiet as it was this morning when I got up and began to take a shower.

Posted by Vanderleun at Sep 11, 2016 4:34 AM |  Comments (74)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Missing


Their silence keeps me sleepless for I know
Within that smoke their ash still falls as snow,
To settle on our flesh like fading stars
Dissolve into sharp sparks at break of day.

At dawn a distant shudder in the earth
Disclosed the flight of fire into steel,
The shaking not of subways underground,
But screams from inside flowers made of flame.

We stood upon the Heights like men of straw
Transfixed by flames that started in the sky,
And watched them plunging down in death’s ballet
Too far removed to hear their falling cry.

By noon that band of smoke loomed low
Upon the harbor’s skin and made us gasp;
A hand of smoke that in its curdled crawl
Kept reaching to extend its lethal grasp.

The harp strung bridge held up ten thousand souls
Who’d screaming run beneath the paws of death,
Like dusted ghosts that lived but were not sure
If they lived in light or only for a breath.

They’d writhed and spun within that storm of smoke
And stumbled out to light and clearer air,
To find upon the river’s further shore
No sanctuary other than despair.

The sirens scraped the sky and jets carved arcs
Within a heaven empty of all hope,
That marked its epicenter with one streak
Of black on polished bone where silver'd stood.

By evening all their ash had settled so
That on the leaves outside my window glowed
Their souls in small bright stars until the rain
Cleaned all of what could not be clean again.

We breathed that smoke that bent and crawled.
We learned to hate that smoke that lingered so.
We knew that blood could only answer blood,
And so we yearned to go but not to go.

Within that city shrines were our resolve.
We placed them where our grief would best anneal.
Upon our walls and trees their faces loomed
To gaze at us from time beyond repeal.

Their last lost summer faded into ash.
Their faces faded into name scratched stones.
Our years flowed into endless desert seas
Where warplanes prowled in search of bones.

In time their smoke and ash became but words
In stories told at dinner, told by rote,
Or in the comments made by magazines
For whom the "larger issues" were of note.

In time their faces faded with the rains,
The little altars thick with wax were scraped,
But still beneath clear plastic they endure
Reminding us that we have not escaped.

Their silence keeps me sleepless for I know.

* For the process of how this came to be written see The Arrival @ AMERICAN DIGEST

Posted by Vanderleun at Sep 11, 2016 3:51 AM |  Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
September 10, 2001: "Make no mistake, it's not revenge he's after. It's a reckoning."

He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

-- Easter, 1916 by William Butler Yeats

I've been trying to remember September 10 but it's no go.

I know what I must have been doing, but I don't remember what I did. I kept no notes on that most ordinary of September days. I kept many notes on the day that followed and the days, weeks, months and years that followed that day. What I do know is that whatever might have followed September 10 was taken from us all that day never to be returned or recaptured only avenged. What I do know is that "justice being served" has no part in it, and never did.

I can, of course, assume what I did -- what I must have done -- on a routine Monday in Brooklyn Heights. I would have gotten up and showered in my strange bathroom with half a tub. I would have dressed for work; maybe a white shirt and a tie and a suit. I would have walked a block and a half to the Clark Street Station and taken an elevator 11 floors beneath the surface of the earth, ridden a train deeper still under the East River, and gotten out at Penn Station, walked across the street and taken the elevator up to the eleventh floor, and worked my way through my day before repeating the journey back to Brooklyn Heights. I must have done those things and done them without knowing it would be the last time I would do them in a heedless fashion. It was just the pattern my life had come to in all the long New York years leading to September 10.

I can, of course, look and see what the nation and the world was concerned with on September 10. John O'Neil, the FBI's leading counterterrorism expert was dining at Elaine's Restaurant on the Upper East Side, and telling his fellow diners, “We're due. And we're due for something big. Some things have happened in Afghanistan...." O'Neill would be dead within 24 hours when the South Tower collapsed. On the same day, Iran denied, not for the first or last time, that it was trying to develop nuclear weapons. Down on Wall Street the Dow Jones index remained flat at the close of business and the New York Times wrote, not for the first or last time, of “the darkening economic outlook” while noting that most economists didn't "anticipate a full-blown recession." Overall the hottest news story in the nation concerned Michael Jordan's pending return to professional basketball. The news that day was a case of the banal overshadowing the mundane.

It was against that background of works and days that the doors of history swung open and we all walked through them forgetting to ask, "What fresh hell is this?"

We were soon to know the nature of the new hell and we were all thrust into it without repeal. The days turned to months and the months turned to years and now we have turned around and a decade is gone. What might have been ours, for good or ill, in that decade was forever stolen from us. Stolen from us not -- never doubt this -- by one man alone, but by a host of savages and throwbacks spread around the world and here among us and dedicated to our destruction. A host that will use any means necessary to destroy this nation while this nation "serves justice" up in spoonfuls and creates "Rules of Engagement" with which to hamper those who would defend it with their very lives.

What the nation has become, through death by fire, bravado, war, forgetfulness, treason, and blunt stupidity could not have been foretold on September 10, but here we are -- a lurching ship of state captained by a malicious hater of the American soil. That same captain, maddened by his own stunted heritage, will today disgrace the soil of Ground Zero. It is a difficult reality that has been dealt by the hands of fate; one that is still being played out.

Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death.

-- SEPTEMBER 1, 1939 W.H. Auden

Now over a decade has passed, "a low dishonest decade," since the day after September 10 and the thing that looked like a man, the monster that set the events of the 11th in motion, has been expunged from the Book of Life. Too easily and too quickly for my tastes but my tastes in these matters are rooted in Scots' blood, and that blood demands punishments too severe to write down here or to hold in the mind for long.

Some would say that his death with a bullet to the brain and then the use of the body as food for crabs and worm on the bottom of the ocean means "Debt paid" and "War over" and "Victory." Let that be to them as it will be, but my blood says that it is not paid, not over and not a victory.

My blood says that all of those in his line need to be expunged, and that all of those who emulate and revere his manner of thinking need to be expunged, and all of those in his part of the gene pool need to be drained away and destroyed, root and branch. My blood says, "Carthago delenda est."

From what little I know of history, what little I know of our enemies, I know in the marrow of my bones that there will come a terrible day in which that final judgment will be rendered and that final act shall be done. And as it was on the day after September 10, I remain relentlessly for this reckoning; a reckoning that is still to come, but like September 11 itself, certain to arrive.

Posted by Vanderleun at Sep 10, 2016 11:28 AM |  Comments (41)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Toying with Genocide: The "Unthinkable" Can and Is Being Thought

The 4 COAs of the Apocalypse [COA,military: Course Of Action. Image by Butch**]

[Note: Given current world conditions it seemed a good idea to repost this meditation from December of 2006. Some details have changed. Some players have changed. New players have emerged. And always changing for the worse, of course.]

"What is the most terrible and terrorizing thought of the 21st century?"

Stick around and I'll tell you.]

1. The Most Dangerous Game

LURKING BENEATH OUR INTERNAL ARGUMENT concerning the relentless demographic expansion of Islam into the West without assimilation, is the persistent background question, "Oh, my, whatever shall WE do with THEM?"

WE are, you see, like muddlers and fiddlers since Nero, worried about THEM. Our doltish conservative muddlers and fiddlers worry about what "THEY will do to US" if we aren't very, very careful and selective about which of THEM we capture or kill while WE seek to give THEM the "gifts" of freedom and democracy. Our brave new fiddlers on the Left fiddle about worrying if THEY have enough to eat, enough to wear, enough respect, enough, in short, of the love THEY deserve for not killing US today.

Both bumbling groups may differ in the focus of their fretting, but fret they do. For the problem, as they have defined it, has to do with what is commonly stated as 'a statistically small group of Muslims around the world' who need to be dealt with in some manner so that greater Islam can get on with the historic task of being "a religion of peace and understanding." The majority of both camps of muddlers and fiddlers agree on this one thing: It isn't Islam that's the problem, just a few heretics that have gotten out of hand in their zeal to obey the will of God, and, hey, who hasn't done that from time to time?

One solution, commonly referenced as "the Left/Liberal" position is essentially "leave them alone and they'll come home. They know its for their own good." The other solution, "the Right/Conservative" position, is to force assimilation, modernization, reformation and democratic mechanisms upon Islam "for its own good."

The two positions agree that "something must be done." They differ only in their specifications for "a New!, Improved! Islam" that can play well with other religions and nations in the post-modern world where "business as usual" is worshipped more than any other state of affairs. Both positions, whether they focus on "giving" the benefits of the modern world to the West's Islamic populations spread out in its cities and nations, or "bringing" the same benefits to the center of Islamic mass in the Middle East, share the belief that Islam can be "fixed."

Once you understand that the question posed by both enclaves of political "thinkers" boils down to "How can WE best fix THEM?" the subtext of the whole Big Argument starts to echo Richard II:
Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth,
Let's choose executors and talk of wills....

In short, both sides think that in some way "Islam is broken." Is it?

Finding myself in neither political camp, it strikes me that Islam -- especially if you look at the fertility rates of Muslims, mosque construction and attendance, and the retention and conversion of the faithful around the globe -- is doing just fine. It strikes me that a religion that doesn't view itself as broken is unlikely to take kindly to the notion that it needs fixing. Still, that's the proposition advanced by both camps in our broken and shattered society. But it is a proposition that is advanced only sotto voce, in whispers, because to ask, right out loud, if Islam wants to be "fixed" or indeed can be "fixed," is to know the answer in the act of asking.

The answer is a resounding "No." And that brings the persistent background question, "Oh, my, whatever shall WE do with THEM?" into sharp relief in the foreground of Western minds. If history is any guide that is the single most dangerous question one group of humans can ask about another. It is a question no sane member of the West nor sane member of Islam would ever want thrust into the foreground, for it begins the process of transforming a group with whom a society lives in peace into the "Others" with whom a society cannot live in peace.

Posted by Vanderleun at Aug 7, 2016 6:05 PM |  Comments (57)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sunday Song for August 7: "Give me Christ Or give me Hiroshima"


You'll see a woman hanging upside down
Her features covered by her fallen gown
And all the lousy little poets coming round
Tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson
And the white man dancin'

Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St. Paul
Give me Christ
Or give me Hiroshima

Destroy another fetus now
We don't like children anyhow
I've seen the future, baby
It is murder

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
Has crossed the threshold and it has overturned
The order of the soul

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
has crossed the threshold
and it has overturned
the order of the soul
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 7, 2016 1:37 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Unwitting Martyrs for Muslims: The Media say that the motive for the attack was "unclear."

Time for the West to turn its outrage into RAGE!

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 26, 2016 10:20 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
ISLAM'S AFTERMATH: This is What It Looks Like Once Your News Filters Are Removed

WARNING: *Very Graphic*

"Want to help the Western world and help prevent attacks like this in the future?

Then spread this video and all like it. It is time that the anger and awareness of Western peoples reached fever pitch. There is no point being constantly insulated from the violent truth, especially when tens of millions of people indulge in Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, watch horror films, and play video games where players maim and kill others.

"Whether they realized it or not, every person who voted for leftwing parties in recent French elections, and even the “center-right” UMP, voted for the continuation of terror attacks. Every other competitive party but the National French have shown no interest in tackling the immigration disaster that is fueling terrorist attacks, ethnic minority crime and overall cultural capitulation from Paris to Nice. The Socialists and UMP were so scared of the National Front that they even banded together to make sure it did not succeed. That said, the main blame can be attributed to French voters themselves, who were too interested in idealized and fake happy narratives than preventing more of the attacks and social disunity that otherwise make them weep and complain." 80 Killed In New French Attack, Police Don’t Want Video Uploads To Compromise Narrative Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 15, 2016 11:43 AM |  Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Tell me what the strategy is and I'll tell you if it's working....."

CIA official: You said a program should be renewed. I'm asking is our strategy working?

Peter Quinn: What strategy?Tell me what the strategy is and I'll tell you if it's working. [Silence] See, that right there is the problem because they - they have a strategy. They're gathering right now in Raqqa by the tens of thousands, hidden in the civilian population, cleaning their weapons and they know exactly why they're there.

CIA official: Why is that?

Peter Quinn: They call it the end times. What do you think the be-headings are about? The crucifixions in Deir Hafer, the revival of slavery? Do you think they make this shit up? It's all in the book. Their fucking book. The only book they ever read - they read it all the time. They never stop. They're there for one reason and one reason only: to die for the Caliphate and usher in a world without infidels. That's their strategy and it's been that way since the seventh century. So do you really think that a few special forces teams are going to put a dent in that?

CIA official: Well what would you do?

Peter Quinn: Are you offering me a promotion?

CIA official: I'm offering you a hypothetical.

Peter Quinn: Two-hundred thousand American troops on the ground indefinitely to provide security and support for an equal number of doctors and elementary school teachers.
CIA official: Well that's not going to happen.

Peter Quinn: Then I better get back there.

CIA official: What else? What else would make a difference?

Peter Quinn: Hit reset.

CIA official: Meaning what?

Peter Quinn: Meaning pound Raqqa (ISIS’s stronghold) into a parking lot.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 15, 2016 8:04 AM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
No More Civis Romanus: the protection with which Americans assume their country is surrounded by is -- or was at least in this instance -- a sham.

As with so many other issues, the brilliant Richard Fernandez brings a focus like a laser beam:

The true story of Benghazi is in many ways more disturbing than the wildest conspiracy theories can be. It suggests that the protection with which Americans assume their country is surrounded by is -- or was at least in this instance -- a sham. The assumption undergirdingall the theories alleging the administration withheldhelp assumed the existence of that relief force. The real scandal was there was no provision for the help or that any would be needed, at least not on September 11, 2012.

The Washington Post observed it will take the entire police force of France to monitor the Jihadi suspects they have have in-country now. The military has been battered by cuts, political correctness and many calls upon its strength. It is any wonder it can't be everywhere at once?

And when one comes to think of it the Benghazi response times are in line with those the public can observe. The data fits. In Paris and Orlando the victims probably thought the police would come within minutes. In actuality decisive help took as long as 3 hours to arrive even in the middle of a big city with ample police forces all around. It's no surprise that 8 hours after Obama directed action nothing had come to the aid of the beleaguered Americans in distant Libya. Benghazi shows the true expectation of help is rather longer than advertised, given the defense choices society has made and the vulnerabilities it has accepted.

Help is what is you can generate yourself until relief can be organized. And that could be some time. The Enemy Doesn't Coordinate With Your Narrative | PJ Media

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 30, 2016 1:46 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What Pisses Me Off About "See Something, Say Something" -- If You Have to Keep Saying "Intelligence" You Might Be Covering Up Stupidity

Gun Shop Reported 'Suspicious' Omar Mateen to FBI - Breitbart

Robbie Abell, owner of a Florida gun shop, says he alerted authorities that a suspicious man had come in asking about body armor. Five weeks later, Omar Mateen – equipped with weapons he bought at a different shop after Abell’s employees refused to sell to him – killed 49 people and injured as many at Pulse night club in Orlando. UPDATE: Abell has since confirmed the agency he contact was the FBI. nThe Wall Street Journal quotes Abell as telling them that his store, Lotus Gunworks of South Florida, “shut him down on all sales” after be began asking bizarre questions about body armor and bulk ammunition. “The questions he was asking were not the normal questions a normal person would be asking… He just seemed very odd,” Abell said. The armor Mateen asked about is not traditionally available to civilians.
Abell noted that he made a phone call during his time in the store, and appeared to be speaking in Arabic. Mateen is from an Afghan family, and his father – a prolific pro-Taliban Youtuber – is known to speak at least two Afghan languages, Dari and Pashto. Mateen’s wife, Noor Salman, identifies as “Palestinian,” which would make her a likely Arabic speaker. She has confessed to shopping for weapons with Mateen.
Abell says his store alerted authorities to the suspicious man, though he did not say which authorities– whether he spoke to local police, FBI, or Homeland Security. Local CBS 12 notes that Abell’s store appeared to be following the procedures “in line with the FBI’s push for people to ‘see something, say something,‘ if they witness anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.”

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 20, 2016 1:19 PM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"What took place in Orlando, Florida wasn’t because of a gun"


What took place in Orlando happened because of the ideology that pulled the trigger.

The ideology sought the weapon, the ideology fired the rounds, round after round, until 49 were killed and over 50 more wounded. It was the same ideology that hijacked our planes on 9/11 and flew them into the twin towers and the Pentagon, it’s the same ideology that exploded 2 pressure cooker bombs filled with nails at the Boston marathon, the same ideology that slaughtered Americans attending a Christmas party in California. It’s that same ideology that has never changed, nor will it ever change no matter what kind of weapons it uses. Nor is its ideology concerned with class distinctions, economics, or the means of production. Today our enemy fights not for earthly reasons to serve a tangible here-and-now but to serve a transcendent reality, to serve Allah in the name of Islam.
Yet, we continue to ignore this ideology at our own peril and as I wrote back in November following the terrorist attacks that took place in Paris killing 130 and injuring another 350 others, the strategic incoherence in the Wests’ ability to counter jihadist attacks will, in the future, be increasingly measured by news stories and reports that reveal the governments inability to answer basic questions about the nature of the enemy and his environment. Future jihadist attacks will come to manifest themselves in official responses to such attacks that are progressively less reality-based as those professionally and constitutionally tasked with keeping citizens safe continue to lack awareness, understanding, and even professional curiosity about the doctrines that drive the enemy to action.
On Sunday morning over 100 Americans suffered the consequences....

READ THE REST AT - - – Nick Short's Politically Short

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 15, 2016 10:19 AM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The First Terrorist War - Five Ten Eleven Fifteen Years Later -- and counting....

'I heard 20, 40, 50 shots,' Alamo said. 'The music stopped.'
'They were kissing each other and touching each other and he said, "Look at that. In front of my son they are doing that". And then we were in the men's bathroom and men were kissing each other.' Seddique said Mateen had a job in security and attended Indian River State College, as well as having an associates degree in criminal justice. He was 'on the radar' of U.S. officials for some time, law enforcement officials told ABC News. However hewas not the target of a specific investigation. Manteen had a Statewide Firearms License and was trained in firearms, according to Fox News. Assistant FBI Agent in Charge Ronald Hopper said Mateen made 'threats in the past that he has ties to terrorist organizations'. Several ISIS-linked Twitter accounts have praised Mateen's actions, although there has been no official claim of responsibility. -- Daily Mail


'Humm, where shall I go tonight to have fun and let off some steam against these gay infidels?'

Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection
Send my credentials to the House of Detention
I got some friends inside

When the music's over
Turn out the lights
Turn out the lights
Turn out the lights, yeah

Doors, When The Music's Over


[Originally published @ American Digest in it's first year, October, 2003 ]

"Beyond victory in the First Terrorist War is a greater goal. What we must seek is not merely the "control" and "containment" of terror, for terror in this guise cannot be controlled or contained. We must come to the deeper understanding that only a complete victory over the global Radical Islamic forces can prevent the onset of a confrontation more terrible than the current war." -- AD, 2003


Sections of "The First Terrorist War"

1. Calling the War By the Right Name.
2. Not Process But Victory Restores Freedom
3. Playing for Time is Playing to Lose
4. The Goal of Radical Islam is Our Destruction
5. The War of Two Religions
6. The Unspoken Role of the Ballistic Missile Submarines
7. Avoiding the Islamic War by Winning the Terrorist War

"[Arabs] were incorrigibly children of the idea, feckless and colour-blind, to whom body and spirit were for ever and inevitably opposed. Their mind was strange and dark, full of depressions and exaltations, lacking in rule, but with more of ardour and more fertile in belief than any other in the world. They were a people of starts, for whom the abstract was the strongest motive, the process of infinite courage and variety, and the end nothing. They were as unstable as water, and like water would perhaps finally prevail." -- T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

1. Calling the War By the Right Name.
In a war, "Know your enemy" is one of the first axioms in formulating a strategy for victory. It is an axiom the United States has ignored for over two seven years. Instead we’ve seen a host of euphemisms and slogans thrown up in the belief that, having had many decades of a life where ugly things are given pretty or neutral names, Americans can no longer "bear very much reality."

In the years between September 2001 and today, the public has had little asked of it and seen nothing happen on our soil that alarms it. All is quiet on the western front. [Update April 2013. This is no longer true.]

Foggy thinking, attractive in politics, means defeat in war. War requires "a mind of winter;" a mind that is precise, cold, and unrelenting. War requires that we call things what they are and cease to skirt issues that make us, "uncomfortable." Vague names create fluffy policies, hamstrung strategies, and wishful thinking. This is where we are drifting.

To say we are "involved" in a "war on terror" extends our infatuation with euphemism and obfuscation into dangerous territory. The phrase lulls us into a state where all dangers seem unclear and distant. The "war on terror" joins an expanding list of "wars on..." such as drugs, poverty, or profuse paperwork in government. The "war on terror" implies a "process" rather than a campaign; an indeterminate series of unresolved encounters rather than decisive actions that lead to an end, to peace.

Peace is the goal of war. To accept a perpetual "war on terror" is to accept a plan for mere "management" rather than victory. The failure to plan for victory is the construction of a plan for defeat.

To those with a clear vision of this war and a knowledge of history, it is a lie that we are "involved in a war on terror." Our presidents, pundits and policy wonks may prefer it that way, but war is not the same as being "involved in a business slump" or "involved in a troubled relationship."

Wishful souls in the West may see the war as a "process;" as an exercise in supply chain management. Our many millions of avowed enemies do not. Our enemies have no truck with vague thinking and phrases front-loaded with vacillation and pusillanimous wishing. Their thinking is driven by an ancient religious doctrine designed to manipulate, exploit and harness societies into servitude.

Our enemies commitment to our destruction is adamantine. It is no accident that many of their spiritual leaders speaking from the centers of their faith call for the death of the "Crusaders." Obfuscation has no place in their plans except as if creates confusion and doubt among us. Our enemies' goals are the same goals they have held for more than 500 years. They are the goals announced several times a week in tens of thousands of mosques throughout the world. For our enemies, the wars of the Crusades and the wars surrounding the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire were merely prologues to this war.

One such wave (and not the least) I raised and rolled before the breath of an idea, till it reached its crest, and toppled over and fell at Damascus. The wash of that wave, thrown back by the resistance of vested things, will provide the matter of the following wave, when in fullness of time the sea shall be raised once more." - T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Our present reality, brought home to us in the cataclysm of September 11 (and last week in Mumbai), is that we are now fighting The First Terrorist War. We had best know it by that name. When we persist in calling it the "war on terror" our implied goal is control and containment; a "management problem". This is a lethal illusion.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 12, 2016 7:21 AM |  Comments (38)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Interviewing Eagles of Death Metal's Jesse Hughes about the Bataclan attack in Paris that killed 89 of his fans


Takimag: It’s hard to talk about the attack without sounding like you’re blaming the victims, but it’s impossible to deny fear of Islamophobia and fear of guns led to a lot of deaths that night.

Jesse Hughes: I saw fear fall like a blanket on the whole crowd and they fell like wheat in the wind—the way you would before a god. I was totally alert from the very beginning. The first thing I needed to do was find my girl. Fear took a backseat and “where’s my girl?” took over. I could smell gunpowder in the backstage area and I knew someone fired a round back there. I saw a guy with an FAL and when he turned to face me his eyes looked like marbles. He was stoned out of his mind, and we now know they were on Xanax and cocaine. I recognized him. I’d seen him earlier in the day and noticed him staring at us......

Takimag: I went to Paris after the attacks and was disgusted by the lack of rage. They didn’t blame Islam. In fact, many blamed the Jews. They seemed more concerned with us promoting xenophobia than laying blame on the terrorists.

Jesse Hughes: I hung out with plenty of Parisians who were fucking pissed off, but it was mostly cops and military. During the attack, one cop finally realized it wasn’t a hostage situation and yelled out, “It’s a turkey shoot” as he charged in, holding his gun. He got shot right through the hand and into the neck and kept going. He took a terrorist out, chased another one into the hallway, who then blew himself up, and did it to another guy, who blew himself up on stage. Our amplifiers were a gory mess.

Did that cop live?

Yes, I met him in triage. I hung out with him. Great guy.

You went to the hospital?

I had pieces of teeth and human bone pulled out of my face. A girl got shot right next to me by the shooter at the top of the stairs who I had met earlier. She stepped one step in front of me and her head just exploded. It blew pieces of her teeth and skull into my face.....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 18, 2016 12:20 AM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Duty. Honor. Country. -- Transcript of Final Moments of Russian Spetznaz Officer


Russian 'Rambo' called in airstrikes on HIMSELF when surrounded by ISIS fighters

Trapped behind enemy lines, surrounded by jihadists and with no possible means of escape, Alexander Prokhorenko, 25, took the decision to end his own life by calling in Russian warplanes to obliterate his location. The special forces soldier, on a secret mission in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, has since been hailed as a hero in his native Russia. His wife Ekaterina, who is pregnant with their first child, today revealed she had no idea he was fighting in Syria.

And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap...
-- Henry V.

Officer: They are outside, conduct the airstrike now please hurry, this is the end, tell my family I love them and I died fighting for my motherland.

Command: Negative return to green line

Officer: I can’t command, I am surrounded, they are outside, I don’t want them to take me and parade me, conduct the airstrike, they will make a mockery of me and this uniform. I want to die with dignity and take all these bastards with me. please my last wish, conduct the airstrike, they will kill me either way.

Command: please confirm your request

Officer: They are outside, this is the end commander, thank you, tell my family and my country I love them. Tell them I was brave and I fought until I could no longer. Please take care of my family, avenge my death, good bye commander, tell my family I love them

Command: No response, orders the airstrike.


[Via Never Yet Melted サ ]

Brave and valiant men like this -- Russian, American or other -- always fill a lesser man such as myself with respect and abiding admiration. What did Alexander Prokhorenko sacrifice for duty, honor, and country? Everything....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 2, 2016 8:21 AM |  Comments (20)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Duty. Honor. Country. -- Transcript of Final Moments of Russian Spetznaz Officer


Russian 'Rambo' called in airstrikes on HIMSELF when surrounded by ISIS fighters

Trapped behind enemy lines, surrounded by jihadists and with no possible means of escape, Alexander Prokhorenko, 25, took the decision to end his own life by calling in Russian warplanes to obliterate his location. The special forces soldier, on a secret mission in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, has since been hailed as a hero in his native Russia. His wife Ekaterina, who is pregnant with their first child, today revealed she had no idea he was fighting in Syria.

And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap...
-- Henry V.

Officer: They are outside, conduct the airstrike now please hurry, this is the end, tell my family I love them and I died fighting for my motherland.

Command: Negative return to green line

Officer: I can’t command, I am surrounded, they are outside, I don’t want them to take me and parade me, conduct the airstrike, they will make a mockery of me and this uniform. I want to die with dignity and take all these bastards with me. please my last wish, conduct the airstrike, they will kill me either way.

Command: please confirm your request

Officer: They are outside, this is the end commander, thank you, tell my family and my country I love them. Tell them I was brave and I fought until I could no longer. Please take care of my family, avenge my death, good bye commander, tell my family I love them

Command: No response, orders the airstrike.


[Via Never Yet Melted サ ]

Brave and valiant men like this -- Russian, American or other -- always fill a lesser man such as myself with respect and abiding admiration. What did Alexander Prokhorenko sacrifice for duty, honor, and country? Everything....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 2, 2016 8:21 AM |  Comments (20)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What Pisses Me Off About The Brussels Terrorist Attack

Stefan Molyneux speaking off the cuff is not amused by those who made the Brussells bombing happen. And that's not the Islamic scum.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 23, 2016 9:59 AM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Shall We Pre-Cull the Muslim Herd or Just Wait Until the Next 9/11, and the Next, and the Next, and the Next, and the.... ?

What do you think is the maximum number of slaughtered Americans we will have to absorb before we start killing off the Islamic terrorists wholesale with fire from above?

The nuclear incineration of San Francisco? After all, Muslims don't suffer homosexuals lightly. (Remember, pals, that the SF blast radius will roast Berkeley right down to the pizza stones in Chez Pannisse, and take out Silicon valley right down to Google and Facebook so it can be seen as a win-win-win.)

No? Not enough? How about a nice Iranian/Korean nuke in the Los Angeles basin on Academy Awards night? (Hummmm, might be cleansing and cut down on the traffic jams at the same time.)

Nope? How about frying New York City? (All the boroughs and when the schools are in session so the Muslims can kill a lot of our children. Think of it as a way of pre-unloading of all those stifling student loans.)

Nope? Howse about DC during the Inauguration of the next president? (Didn't Tom Clancy already do that? Yes, but not with a cute nuke so he got all the DC offices and the suburbs.) It would solve the Trump and Obama issues at the same time.

Nope? How about some nice Saturday afternoon machine gun slaughters at about, say, 20 big shopping malls on the last big shopping weekend before Christmas? (Easy-peasy. The Muslims have already got their sleeper cells in place, complete with weapons and ammo, and the 60-80 odd sleeper cell phones they'd need to co-ordinate at, say, noon Pacific time so a lot of folks are sitting in the food courts that the assassins will start shooting from.)

How many slaughtered Americans (Unlike 9/11 and San Berdo the next time will take out a lot of our children) will it take before we start to cut out this spiritual syphillis from the body politic?

Brussels bad? Nah. A mere scratch compared to Islam's plans for the Great Satan. As we lean in the holy script of Next of Kin: “You ain't seen bad yet, but it's coming.”

Children screaming while being evacuated from Brussels Metro

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 22, 2016 9:13 AM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Vicious Snake

Never forget. Never forgive.

On her way to work one morning
Down the path along side the lake
A tender hearted woman saw a poor half frozen snake
His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew
"Oh well," she cried, "I'll take you in and I'll take care of you"

She wrapped him up all cozy in a curvature of silk
And then laid him by the fireside with some honey and some milk
Now she hurried home from workthat night as soon as she arrived
She found that pretty snake she'd taking in had been revived

Now she clutched him to her bosom, "You're so beautiful," she cried
"But if I hadn't brought you in by now you might have died"
Now she stroked his pretty skin and then she kissed and held him tight
But instead of saying thanks, that snake gave her a vicious bite

"I saved you," cried that woman
"And you've bit me even, why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I'm going to die"
"Oh shut up, silly woman," said the reptile with a grin
"You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 22, 2016 7:51 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Another Ratchet Click: Putin Orders Military To "Immediately Destroy" Any Threat To Russian Forces


Russian President Vladimir Putin has ratcheted up the rhetoric in what appears to be one step closer to the potential for direct conflict with The West. While not detailing 'who' he was focued on, amid the obvious Turkey-Russia tensions, Putin told a session of the Defense Ministry's collegium that "I order to act extremely tough. Any targets that threaten Russian forces or our infrastructure on the ground should be immediately destroyed." During the meeting of the most senior defense officials, ITAR TASS reports that Putin also warned against "those who will again try to organize any provocations against our servicemen."
"We have already taken additional measures to ensure security of Russian servicemen and air base. It was strengthened by new aviation groups and missile defense systems. Strike aircraft will now carry out operations under cover of fighter jets"
| Zero Hedge


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 12, 2015 9:50 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What It Would Take, 2004: Killing New York City


Back in 2004, I wrote the following "scenario" of what it would take to kill New York. I've updated it once or twice since, but it still works. I see that currently terrorists are thinking a bit smaller and simpler. And if they miss, they all think: "No matter. We'll come back tomorrow. We're sure to get a winner one of these days."

The Elements:

One City: New York

Three Locations: The Brooklyn Bridge, Union Square, Penn Station

Terrorists: 4


Plastique explosives (15 pounds)
Backpacks: 2
Ten penny nails and ball bearings: 4 pounds
Anthrax: 2 Liters
Machine Guns: 4 (Small) with 2 extra clips each

Time: Late September to Early November when the weather makes wearing coats common.

Intellectual Equipment: An understanding of the New York subway and bridge system, an understanding of symbolism in America, a willingness to die.

The Method:

For over a year after the Eleventh, I used to think about the nature of the Brooklyn Bridge, and how easy it would be to damage this 19th century structure every time I walked across it -- which was often.

On the 11th I stood at the Brooklyn end of the bridge handing out water to the ash covered ghosts that came walking across it in endless droves.

After the 11th it was closed except for emergency vehicles for weeks on end. After that the bridge was guarded and vehicles vetted on a random schedule for months. For all I know this goes on today.

The Bridge and what it represents and, more importantly, what it controls in the way of access to and from NYC, makes for an exquisite lynchpin for a memorable workday morning in New York City. The way to work this little terrorist scenario is as follows:

Four dedicated homicide terrorists decide on a date certain to carry out something they have only rehearsed before. (Surely we've still got four sleeping somewhere near the Brooklyn mosque on Atlantic avenue about a half a mile from the bridge. After all, this is America where we hold all forms of religious expression sacred.) Because they are religious in nature and not given to alcohol or drug abuse, they've all held jobs in Manhattan for years and their morning ritual is nothing unusual. If there are any guards or surveillance people at any of the points these men pass through they've been seen thousands of times already. Always at about the same time. They are 'routine.'

One gets up and takes the A train to Penn Station at about six in the morning on, say, a Tuesday. Gets there and pops out of the entrance at 7th avenue and 31st street, turns right and walks about a half a block to the Starbucks, orders a latte and sits down to read the Times. Backpack/bookbag on the chair beside him. As usual.

The second one takes an express under the river and gets off at 14th Street/Union Square on the East Side with his off-brand little naughahyde attache. It usually contains his lunch and a selection of papers. Today it contains a couple of modified fire extinguishers -- the kind you can pick up at the local hardware store or, say, the Costco along the Brooklyn waterfront about three miles from the Atlantic Avenue mosque. Just a little something he's bringing to the office 'in case of fire.' You'd have to look carefully to note the seals have been broken.

He comes out of the subway and bides his time at the McDonalds on Union Square with a fine little Egg McMuffin.

The third man stops by an apartment building along Atlantic avenue to hook-up with his friend. They always walk together to work across the Brooklyn Bridge. They have for years. His backpack usually has some workout clothes for the gym. Today it contains a small Uzi and extra clips. The fourth has a similar backpack that usually also has some workout clothes. Today, before he leaves the apartment, the fourth man places a sequence of shaped plastique charges with either a cell phone detonator or a dead-man switch into his backpack He's probably armed as well.

All four have cell phones. All four have set up the speed dial numbers long ago.

When the last two have reached the stairs that lead up to the pedestrian walkway on the Brooklyn side of the Bridge at, say 7:30, the 3rd man phones the first two and gives them the 10 minute warning.

The man at Union Square goes down into the Union Square station and stands in the crowds on the platform near the uptown / downtown platforms. The trains have to stop on a curve here and the loading and unloading is always slower. If you stand to the end of the platform you can cover two lines at once. You tend to fade into the crowds coming and going as the morning rush begins to build.

The man at the 7th Avenue Starbucks goes into the bathroom stall upstairs and, opening his backpack, inserts the detonators into his explosive vest packed with a couple of layers of nails and ball bearings. Checking to make sure it is armed and good to go, he makes his way back to Penn Station. He gets in the back of the long lines waiting to buy rail tickers or subway passes in the midst of hundreds of people milling about.

The two on the bridge stroll past the security folks that may or may not be at the pedestrian entrance of the bridge. They walk about 150 yards out onto the span to where the cable is just a short little walk across the metal struts from the walkway. Pausing, one takes out his cell phone and gets the other two conferenced in while the other takes the shaped plastique charges from his backpack.

Now are, at about 7:40 Tuesday morning, all dressed up and with a lot of things to do in a very small amount of time.

The two listen in on the cell phone as the man on the bridge goes to work while the other stands ready.

Step one: Remove automatic weapon from backpack and empty a clip or two into the pedestrians, the bike riders and also into the cars below.

The resulting dead bodies and carnage from the accidents in the cars below essentially bring the bridge to a halt and give his partner some working room.

Step two: Walk across metal struts to cable with the plastique explosive belt from backpack and sort of loop it around the cable. If your explosives technicians know what they are doing, this is a shaped charge that will, at the very least, damage a main cable if not sever it.

Step three: Say your prayers to Allah and trigger the device.

When the cell phone connection to the men on the bridge goes dead, the fellow at 14th Street probably shoots a few people near him to give him some working room, takes the modified fire extinguishers out of his case and unloads a large cloud of anthrax or some other chemical or biological agent into the uptown and downtown tunnels at Union Square. The vast amounts of air pushed by the trains will disperse it quite nicely up and down the line.

The third man at Penn Station decides he doesn't need a subway pass for the next few instances of eternity, puts the cell phone away, gets to the center of the crowd and triggers his explosive vest. At about quarter to eight in the morning the immediate result is hundreds of shredded, dead, and wounded New Yorkers who never saw it coming.

Four men. Three cell phones. Maybe about 15 pounds of plastique and a couple of liters of anthrax. That's all it would take. New York would, in a moment, come to a complete halt and stay that way for some time.

Political result? Hard to say, but it would create a political climate in the United States where the nuclear option would become very, very real. New targeting instructions would be passed to the submarines and the land based missiles within three hours if they were not already there. Muslim round-ups would ramp up into the stratosphere. Voices urging restraint and respect for individual freedoms will be steamrolled into silence. John Kerry would know in an instant that the only thing that will keep him from becoming the Senior Senator from Massachusetts will be Teddy Kennedy and that little alliance will be kaput.

So, as you can see, the understanding of American symbolism is not lost on our enemies. They love this sort of thing. One might even say "They're just dying to do it."

Then again, since our security is now first rate, the best that billions can buy, it can't happen here. Can it?


From MARCH, 2004: What It Would Take -- A Simple Scenario @ AMERICAN DIGEST

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 8, 2015 11:42 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
All Foreseen in 2006: President Bush's State of the Union Address
In a time of testing, we cannot find security by abandoning our commitments and retreating within our borders. If we were to leave these vicious attackers alone, they would not leave us alone. They would simply move the battlefield to our own shores.

Terrorists like bin Laden are serious about mass murder and all of us must take their declared intentions seriously.

They seek to impose a heartless system of totalitarian control throughout the Middle East and arm themselves with weapons of mass murder.

Their aim is to seize power in Iraq and use it as a safe haven to launch attacks against America and the world.

Lacking the military strength to challenge us directly, the terrorists have chosen the weapon of fear.

When they murder children at a school in Beslan or blow up commuters in London or behead a bound captive, the terrorists hope these horrors will break our will, allowing the violent to inherit the Earth.

BUSH: But they have miscalculated. We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it.


In a time of testing, we cannot find security by abandoning our commitments and retreating within our borders. If we were to leave these vicious attackers alone, they would not leave us alone. They would simply move the battlefield to our own shores.

There is no peace in retreat.

BUSH: And there is no honor in retreat.

By allowing radical Islam to work its will, by leaving an assaulted world to fend for itself, we would signal to all that we no longer believe in our own ideals or even in our own courage.

But our enemies and our friends can be certain: The United States will not retreat from the world, and we will never surrender to evil.


America rejects the false comfort of isolationism. We are the nation that saved liberty in Europe, and liberated death camps, and helped raise up democracies and faced down an evil empire.

Once again, we accept the call of history to deliver the oppressed and move this world toward peace.

President Bush's State of the Union Address -- 2006

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 7, 2015 8:58 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Data and terror: An Excerpt

"The year 2014 turned out to be the deadliest on record since the US government began collecting this type of data. The trend lines are sobering and don’t require sophisticated analysis:


"It becomes even more difficult to avert our eyes from the emerging human disaster when terror attacks with at least 100 fatalities are charted....


"Someone in the audience (I will let you, good reader, guess who) finally asked the obvious question: “We have reams of data, yet all the charts show a huge spike in terror fatalities. Can you name an instance, supported by good evidence, of better data making for better counterterrorism policy?”

"I heard the audience gasp, and a flicker of consternation crossed the pale faces of the presenters. They recovered quickly, however.

"The data, said one of them brightly, shows that whatever we are doing isn’t working very well....

"....The young men and women who massacred 130 innocents in the theaters and restaurants of Paris were carriers of a deadly but preventable virus.  Terror researchers stood in the same relation to that horror as pathologists in the Center for Disease Control would to a severe outbreak of avian flu.  They weren’t interested in spectacular events:  their job was to protect and immunize the population.

"A cure was possible, at least in principle.  All we need is rigor and research.  Whatever we have done since 9/11 hasn’t worked very well, but that just means we should try harder.  We should gather more data, make more correlations, test more hypotheses, until the inevitable scientific breakthrough arrives.  (By then, inshallah, all the people in the room will have retired.)  Persistence, of the well-funded kind, is the key.

"This, let me suggest, is the opposite of cynicism.  The sophisticated minders of terror data, like the most naïve Americans, looked on the placid surface of their social relations, and discovered universal forms. Read the rest @ the fifth wave

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 24, 2015 10:26 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On Not Believing What the Islamic Terrorists Say About Their Devotion to Islam

"It must be incredibly frustrating as an Islamic terrorist not to have your views and motives taken seriously by the societies you terrorize, even after you have explicitly and repeatedly stated them.

"Even worse, those on the regressive left, in their endless capacity for masochism and self-loathing, have attempted to shift blame inwardly on themselves, denying the terrorists even the satisfaction of claiming responsibility.

"It's like a bad Monty Python sketch:

"We did this because our holy texts exhort us to to do it."

"No you didn't."

"Wait, what? Yes we did..."

"No, this has nothing to do with religion. You guys are just using religion as a front for social and geopolitical reasons."

"WHAT!? Did you even read our official statement? We give explicit Quranic justification. This is jihad, a holy crusade against pagans, blasphemers, and disbelievers."

"No, this is definitely not a Muslim thing. You guys are not true Muslims, and you defame a great religion by saying so."

"Huh!? Who are you to tell us we're not true Muslims!? Islam is literally at the core of everything we do, and we have implemented the truest most literal and honest interpretation of its founding texts. It is our very reason for being."

"Nope. We created you. We installed a social and economic system that alienates and disenfranchises you, and that's why you did this. We're sorry."

"What? Why are you apologizing? We just slaughtered you mercilessly in the streets. We targeted unwitting civilians - disenfranchisement doesn't even enter into it!"

"Listen, it's our fault. We don't blame you for feeling unwelcome and lashing out."

"Seriously, stop taking credit for this! We worked really hard to pull this off, and we're not going to let you take it away from us."

"No, we nourished your extremism. We accept full blame."

"OMG, how many people do we have to kill around here to finally get our message across?"

. - Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Facebook

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 22, 2015 7:48 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Mark Steyn on "The Real Containment"


The presidential-gubernatorial split is an interesting development. Obama has responded with a brand new hashtag: #RefugeesWelcome. If you live in Hashtagistan, this is another great hashtag to add to such invincible hashtags as #PeaceForParis, #JeSuisCharlie, #UnitedForUkraine and, of course, #BringBackOurGirls.

If you live in the real world, the magic hashtags don't seem to work so well, and these governors seem to think #RefugeesWelcome will perform no better for New Mexico and New Hampshire than the others have worked out for Paris, Ukraine and Boko Haram-infested West Africa.

So reality is not yet entirely irrelevant - and reality is on the march:


An Italian priest is fighting for his life in northern Bangladesh after being shot and seriously wounded by unidentified gunmen.

The attack on Wednesday is the latest in a series targeting foreigners in the country, which have been blamed on Islamic militant groups including Islamic State.


A Jewish teacher has reportedly been stabbed in Marseille by three people claiming to be ISIS supporters... The suspects, who were reportedly wearing ISIS badges, made anti-semitic comments before stabbing the teacher.


A married couple plotted an Isil suicide bombing of the London Underground or Westfield shopping centre around the tenth anniversary of the 7/7 suicide attacks, a court heard on Tuesday.
Mohammed Rehman, 25, and his wife Sana Ahmed Khan, 24, had enough bomb material to "cause multiple fatalities"...

Honduras Detains Five Syrians Said Headed To U.S. With Stolen Greek Passports

The man arrested Tuesday trying to enter Parliament carrying a hidden meat cleaver probably has mental illness and isn't a terrorist, the head of the RCMP said Wednesday.Toronto man Yasin Mohamed Ali, 56, was arrested outside the Centre Block of Parliament in Ottawa and appeared in court Wednesday.
Hmm. "Mentally ill" "Toronto man"... But then, as John Kerry has assured us, all of the above is nothing to do with Islam.

Read it all: The Real Containment :: SteynOnline


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 19, 2015 11:41 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
[Russian] Bombs Away!


From The Daily Beast: Russia Pounds ISIS With Biggest Bomber Raid in Decades

Putin’s air force just used its nuclear bombers to lay waste to the capital of the ‘Islamic State.’ But they also hit areas that have little to do with ISIS.

The Russian air force just pulled off one of the biggest and most complex heavy bomber missions in modern history—sending no fewer than 25 Backfire, Bear, and Blackjack bombers on a coordinated, long-range air raid against alleged ISIS forces in Syria.

The Tuesday mission, which launched under the cover of darkness from a base in Ossetia in southern Russia, signaled a significant escalation of Moscow’s air war in Syria—and heralded the rebirth of Russian heavy bomber squadrons that once had withered from a lack of funding.

Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of Russia’s general staff, announced the raid on Tuesday, calling it part of “a new plan [for] the air campaign.”

“During a massive airstrike today, 14 important ISIL targets were destroyed by 34 air-launched cruise missiles,” Gerasimov said, using an alternative acronym for the terror army. “The targets destroyed include command posts that were used to coordinate ISIL activities in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, munition and supply depots in the northwestern part of Syria.”

The Russian Defense Ministry released a video depicting three types of Russian bombers arming, taking off, dropping munitions, and then returning to base, escorted along their flight paths by Su-27 fighters.

The swing-wing, jet-propelled Tu-22M Backfires apparently carried unguided “dumb” bombs. The video depicts airmen loading clusters of cruise missiles in the bomb bays of the propeller-driven Tu-95 Bears and the huge, swing-wing Tu-160 Blackjack jets, which at 177 feet long are the biggest combat planes ever built.


From War Is Boring: Russian Heavy Bombers Fly Huge Raid in Syria

On Nov. 17, Russia sent nearly 40 heavy bombers and escorting fighter jets on a massive air raid in Syria. Moscow has now showed off almost all of its aerial arsenal in strikes in the embattled Middle Eastern country.

Flying from bases in Russia, 25 Tu-160, Tu-95MS and Tu-22M3 bombers launched more than 30 cruise missiles and dropped dumb bombs on targets in Idlib and Aleppo provinces. A dozen Su-34 and Su-27SM fighter jets escorted the bombers on their mission.

The operation is the first ever combat mission for the massive Tu-160 Blackjack bomber. Similar in their basic configuration to the American B-1 “Bone,” the larger four-engine swing-wing bombers can fly twice as fast as the speed of sound and carry some 40 tons of bombs and missiles in two internal bomb bays.

The smaller, twin-engine Tu-22M3 Backfires can lug more than 50,000 pounds of weapons – similar to the B-1. The huge turboprop Tu-95MS Bears have the smallest maximum load – more than 30,000 pounds – of Moscow’s bomber fleet.

Already flying missions over Syria, the Su-34 Fullbacks are among Russia’s most advanced fighter jets, combining a highly maneuverable design with powerful radars and other gear. The Su-27SMs are the latest members of Moscow’s Flanker fleet and the most recent upgrades incorporate technology used on the Su-35 Super Flanker.

[Original video --Russia: Intensified air campaign kills "about 600" militants - General Kartapolov - YouTube -- taken down]
Published on Nov 18, 2015
Colonel General Andrei Kartapolov of Russia's armed forces announced from Moscow, Wednesday, that "one of the militant groups lost about 600 people," on the first day of Russia's redoubled air strike campaign against militant groups in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier gave the greenlight to intensify airstrikes following news that Russia's Metrojet airliner was downed in Egypt by a bomb attack.

SOT, Andrei Kartapolov, Colonel-General, General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (Russian): "Yesterday, in accordance with the Air Operation plan, the first massive aviation attack was carried out against 206 terrorist targets. In total 127 sorties were made."

SOT, Andrei Kartapolov, Colonel-General, General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (Russian): "According to the information that we have, on November 17 one of the militant groups lost about 600 people."
、C/U Bombs being dropped footage *NO SOUND AT SOURCE*
、SOT, Andrei Kartapolov, Colonel-General, General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (Russian): "In recent years, ISIS and other extremist groups have established a so-called "pipeline on wheels" in controlled territory. Hundreds of trucks transfer thousands of tons of crude oil to Iraq. This is one of the main sources of terrorist funding."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 18, 2015 8:09 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
To address a scourge such as Islam we must think in terms of extermination. Think: Dresden; Think: Hiroshima and Nagasaki;


What if Medina, the burial place of Muhammad was wiped off the face of the planet? What if the Dome Mosque on the Temple site in Jerusalem was blown up? The greatest weakness of Islam is that it is hopelessly tied to sacred cities and buildings. If these cities and buildings were destroyed, Islam would die within a generation as it would be apparent to all that its god could not protect the three holiest sites in Islam. The Achilles Heel of Islam | 5 Pt. Salt

While all is being said, not much is being done.
To address a scourge such as Islam we must think in terms of extermination. Think: Dresden; Think: Hiroshima and Nagasaki;
Collateral damage? Every time some unfortunate guy gets beheaded and the video goes viral? Really, collateral damage? You're worried some kids or old people are gonna get killed? When they kill one of ours, we kill one hundred of theirs.
It has been seen and experienced in most every other country in the world, from the "super-powers" to the Third World yocky-dock countries: Islam is not a good thing. It benefits nobody, apparently not even the adherents.
We are all listening to rumors that something bad is gonna happen. Instead of cowering and hoping that it won't happen near us we should be fire-bombing Baghdad and other concentrations of Muslim terrorists. Can't find 'em? Enlarge the target area.
The justification, if one is needed, is that the Muslims are Evil. Whether we are spiritual or worldly, believers or atheists, young, old, gay or straight, male or female, White or Black, or any other combination of the above, the paradigm in which we all repose dictates that some things are good, some bad, and some Evil.
The remedy to the damage and destruction, the murder most foul and the barbaric actions of Muslims can only be met with a force strong enough to overcome once and for all that which threatens all others. Death sudden, overwhelming, final, no hesitation, and thorough by whatever means will accomplish the end result — elimination of the Evil. Wait until they break out the nukes.
Posted by: chasmatic @ The "Droneiacs" Way of War
Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 17, 2015 10:39 AM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What Defeating ISIS Would Look Like by Kurt Schlichter


Here, at night in the heart of the caliphate, the only sound was the laughing of the ISIS fighters lounging about in the safety of their capital. The screams that had pierced the air when the jihadis had captured the Syrian city of Raqqa on the northern bank of the Euphrates were gone; those infidels who had not been butchered had fled.

But there was a rumble in the sky, but not like from one of the few American jets that would occasionally drop a bomb and then depart. No, this was deeper and more distant. The jihadis stopped talking to listen, puzzled. Then they and their world were torn apart.

The first wave of 12 B-52H’s emptied their bays of 750-pound dumb bombs directly over the heart of Raqqa, followed by a second wave, then a third. Crack Air Force ground crews were waiting back at the base in Saudi Arabia, and rearmament took less than two hours. Then they headed north again. In 24 hours, Raqqa ceased to exist.

One Month Earlier

“And those are our proposed courses of action, Mr. President,” concluded the CENTCOM commander.

“When I was elected, I told you I wanted to be briefed on your plan to utterly destroy ISIS, General,” the President said. He was young and usually quite calm, but as a Cuban-American son of immigrants, he understood tyranny and knew how to deal with it. “General, what you gave me are timid half-measures that don’t begin to meet the intent I expressed to you. Now, I may not have served myself, but I understand the old game of manipulating civilian leadership by providing just the options you want instead of the ones the commander-in-chief requested. You’re relieved of command, General. Fired. Agents, show the general out.”

He turned to his chief of staff. “Get the Wildman on the line.” As the Secret Service agents bum rushed the stunned four star out of the Oval Office, the President took the phone.

On a Florida golf course, the secure cell phone of the retired Marine everyone called “The Wildman” rang, ruining his putt. The Wildman was a legend for his aggression, hence his nickname. President Obama had naturally felt it necessary to replace him with a more pliable, passive CENTCOM commander. He answered, then listened.

“General, this is the President. We need you. I am ordering you off the retired list and back to active duty as CENTCOM commander, effective immediately. I want to see your plan for the total destruction of ISIS in 72 hours. Your rules of engagement are simple. Wipe them out.”

Read the rest HERE

"We are here. Aqaba is there. It is only a matter of going."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 17, 2015 10:26 AM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Report from the Killing Floor: "As I lay down in the blood of strangers waiting for the bullet to end my 22 years...."

No time for a gentle rain
No time for my watch and chain
No time for revolving doors

No time for the killing floor
No time for the killing floor
There's no time left for you
No time left for you


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 16, 2015 2:57 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
With Terror and Slaughter Return


The Moment Muslim Gunmen Started Shооting At The Bataclan Music Theatre In Paris Filmed From Inside


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 15, 2015 1:53 PM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Time for a Reality Check

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 15, 2015 10:26 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"On the French coast the light Gleams and is gone;"

Samuel Barber - "Dover Beach", Op. 3 Fischer-Dieskau, Juilliard Quartet

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

- - "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 13, 2015 2:45 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Sacrifice and the Reckoning: Sleepwalking

BullWomanChild.jpgWe have made a dark bargain with ourselves to let one of our cities die.

First published: October 2004 Read Part II below or at The Sacrifice and the Reckoning: The Event

"We haven't had a real-time nuclear demo since Japan, 1945, and that was with one of the prototypes. We've never had a real-time nuclear demo live on TV, but it is on their schedule. What we can't face is that the next time, many more than 3,000 will die and a lot of the dead will be our children. Just what do you think our mood will be the morning after they slaughter not only thousands of adults at their desks like they did on the 11th, but thousands of our children as well?" -- In conversation, July, 2004

THE RUTHLESS DEDICATION OF OUR ENEMIES TO OUR DESTRUCTION was written across our sky with two pillars of flame and smoke in our largest city. We've seen that dedication continue, punctuated by car bombs, mortars, and random attacks against our soldiers. We've seen it continue in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Spain, Russia, Italy and England.

Our unluckiest citizens have had their heads severed from their bodies as pilot episodes of what promises to be a long running reality television series in which American heads are held up, to our horror and for the delight of those many millions that support those that take the heads. The message beyond this madness is that they would be pleased to extend this television series to 300 million beheadings in which each of us would have his "star" turn. Our enemy has not yet taken a woman or a child for a beheading, but both clearly on their programming schedule.

All these things we know. We know the nature and goals of our enemy well. Our army is at the ready and in the field. And yet we hesitate.

We hesitate because we believe our search for a moderate, modern outcome will somehow determine what actions our ancient enemy will pursue. We are a foolish people grown fat and fearful during the long peace.

We stay our hand and hobble our warriors and walk on wrapped in our suburban slumber.

The party in power shambles about speaking in color codes and hushed words of warning. It mumbles of "they" and it seeks love from where there is only hate. It is a party of quislings led by a traitor.

We are soothed on the days when our media feeds us only thick streams of pap concerning grisly murders of obscure women by their husbands, the latest fornication festivals of the lightly talented in music and the cinema, and estimates of how long a woman famous for finger-bowls will spend in jail. We are relieved because the media's relentless focus on the tripe and detritus of our culture tells us that the day of the sacrifice is not to be this day.

And so we dream on. We imagine that the cliff is not really directly in our path, believing on some persistent level that merrily, merrily our life is but a dream, rather than a somnambulant march through the gates of history that is all too real and, for as yet unknown thousands of us, all too lethal.

But this world is not a dream and our awakening will be into nightmare.

Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 23, 2015 12:56 AM |  Comments (101)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Hard Day on the Planet

The dollar went down and the President said
Who's in charge, now? I don't know, take your pick.
A new disease every day and the old ones are coming back
Things are looking kind of gray, like they're going to black

Don't turn on the TV, don't show me the paper
I don't want to know he got kidnapped or why they all raped her
I want to go on vacation 'till the pressure lets up
But they keep hijacking airplanes and blowing them up

It's been a hard day on the planet
How much is it all worth?
It's getting harder to understand it
Things are tough all over on Earth.

It's hot in December and cold in July
When it rains it pours out of a poisonous sky
In California the body counts keep getting higher
It's evil out there, man that state is always on fire.

Everyone has a system, but they can't seem to win
Even Bob Geldorf looks alarmingly thin
I got to get on that shuttle get me out of this place
But there's gonna be warfare up there in outer space


I've got clothes on my back and shoes on my feet
A roof over my head and something to eat
My kids are all healthy and my folks are alive
You know, it's amazing but sometimes I think I'll survive

I've got all of my fingers and all of my toes
I'm pretty well off I guess, I suppose
So how come I feel bad so much of the time?
A man ain't an island John Donne wasn't lying


It's business as usual; some things never change
It's unfair, it's tough, unkind and it's strange
We don't seem to learn; we can't seem to stop
Maybe some explosions would close up the shop

You know, maybe that would be fine: we would be off the hook
We resolved all our problems, never mind what it took
And it all would be over, finito, the end
Until the survivors started up all over again

It's been a hard day on the planet
How much is it all worth?
It's getting harder to understand it
Things are tough all over on Earth.

[For a live performance recorded at Peabody's Down Under in Cleveland Ohio on April 27, 1993,]

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Sep 10, 2015 10:09 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Fourth Reich by V.S. Naipaul "In the absence of the cat, the rats ran riot."

Required reading: How ISIS is the reincarnation of the Nazis by V.S. Naipul.


Isis is dedicated to a contemporary holocaust. It has pledged itself to the murder of Shias, Jews, Christians, Copts, Yazidis and anyone it can, however fancifully, accuse of being a spy. It has wiped out the civilian populations of whole regions and towns. Isis could very credibly abandon the label of Caliphate and call itself the Fourth Reich.

Like the Nazis, Isis fanatics are anti-semitic, with a belief in their own racial superiority. They are anti-democratic: the Islamic State is a totalitarian state, absolute in its authority. There is even the same self-regarding love of symbolism, presentation and propaganda; terror is spread to millions through films and videos created to professional standards of which Goebbels would have been proud.

Just as the Third Reich did, Isis categorises its enemies as worthy of particular means of execution from decapitation to crucifixion and death by fire.

Whereas the Nazis pretended to be the guardians of civilisation in so far as they stole art works to preserve them and kept Jewish musicians alive to entertain them, Isis destroys everything that arises from the human impulse to beauty.

Such barbarism is not new to history and every nation has suffered mass murder and barbaric cruelty in the past. That a European country in the 20th Century launched a holocaust on the basis of race is a matter of the deepest shame.

That Isis has revived the religious dogmas and deadly rivalries between Sunnis and Shias, Sunnis and Jews and Christians is a giant step into darkness.


Islamism is simpler. There are rules to obey, a jihad to fight against the civilisation you can’t comprehend, a heaven to go to when you martyr yourself and now a real fighting force in the world which you can join to simplify and solve your existence: no history to complicate your self-awareness, no art to distract you, no ambivalence and choices that ‘Western’ civilisation offers you, no doubt about the fruits of martyrdom, no allegiance to the country in which you were brought up and which gave you a free education and perhaps welfare benefits. A gun, a half-understood prayer and the simplicity that a simple and singular upbringing craves.

That is why they go. And volunteer for death, and die.


Isis has to be seen as the most potent threat to the world since the Third Reich.
Its military annihilation as an anti-civilisational force has to now be the objective of a world that wants its ideological and material freedoms.

The entire essay is at V.S. NAIPAUL writing in the Daily Mail

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 24, 2015 9:33 AM |  Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
War in the Absence of Strategic Clarity By: Mark Helprin Posted: September 17, 2003

True in 2003. Even more true today....

The enemy must and can be defined. That he is the terrorist himself almost everyone agrees, but in the same way that the United States extended blame beyond the pilots who attacked Pearl Harbor, it must now reach far back into the structures of enablement for the sake of deciding who and what must be fought. And given the enormity of a war against civilians, and the attacks upon our warships, embassies, economy, capital, government, and most populous city, this determination must be liberal and free-flowing rather than cautious and constrained, both by necessity and by right. The enemy has embarked upon a particular form of warfare with the intent of shielding his center of mass from counterattack, but he must not be allowed such a baseless privilege. For as much as he is the terrorist who executes the strategy, he is the intelligence service in aid of it, the nation that harbors his training camps, the country that finances him, the press filled with adulation, the people who dance in the streets when there is a slaughter, and the regime that turns a blind eye.
Not surprisingly, militant Islam arises from and makes its base in the Arab Middle East. The first objective of the war, therefore, must be to offer every state in the area this choice: eradicate all support for terrorism within your borders or forfeit existence as a state. That individual terrorists will subsequently flee to the periphery is certain, but the first step must be to deny them their heartland and their citadels.
An excerpt from War in the Absence of Strategic Clarity

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 14, 2015 3:52 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Repulsive Islam


Daphne from 2008-11-29 at the now gone and much missed Jaded Haven : "Scheherazade Needs A New Tale:"

"I find myself increasingly repulsed by Muslim practices and beliefs. Middle Eastern, African, Asian, American, the country of origin makes no difference. Women and children treated as chattel, genital mutilation, child brides, honor killings, culturally accepted pedophilia, the black drapes and head coverings, no rights, no votes, little to non-existent educational opportunities, no voice, no choices, no recourse. Persecution of homosexuals. Imprisonment, stoning and whipping for morality crimes. Lack of free speech. The foul treatment of non-Muslims in Islamic countries. The demented hatred of Jews. Sharia Law. Wahhabism. Madrasas. Blind obedience to Mullahs.Praying towards Mecca - a place on the map few will ever see. Individuality is shut down, originality and freedom of the mind discouraged. Islam pisses on human talents that fall outside the dark walls of its faith. Hell, I even dislike their dislike of dogs....
My lip curls at their love of theocracies, a willingness to subjugate themselves to the whims of dissolute rulers along side an ancient text they can’t even begin to comprehend, subsuming their divine individuality to a tide of dogmatic mandates. I have no use, or respect, for the people who follow this religion. I’m past tired of their bombing, shooting, acid throwing, coup d’etat loving, rioting asses and it looks like the rest of the world could stand a break from these murdering bastards, too.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 13, 2015 8:13 PM |  Comments (33)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Ten Steps to a Lasting Pax Americana by Shibes Meadow

1. Amend Constitution; reword First Amendment to exclude Islam.

2. Pass enabling legislation forbidding the practice of Islam in the U.S.

3. Shutter all mosques, masjids, and madrassas in the U.S.

4. Round up all members of same; place in former Japanese-American internment camps

5. Deport all internees who openly profess Islam.

6. Set up shibboleth, e.g., a copy of the Koran in a bucket. Force each remaining internee to piss on the Koran. Immediately deport those that refuse to do so.

7. Issue Ausweispapiere to remaining internees, who must present them monthly at the local police station or on demand

8. Strip all internees of U.S. citizenship; remaining internees are visa holders, renewable annually upon pain of deportation.

9. Create Christian Expeditionary Force of 500,000 volunteer infantry, plus artillery, armor, and support units.

10. Upon occasion of next Islamic attack, declare war on all nations with Islamic governments; invade and conquer same; install puppet governments in each; outlaw Islam as Shinto was outlawed in Japan and Nazism in Germany post-WW2; maintain occupation for ten years or until all occupied nations are Christianized.

But we won't -- not until the U.S., Britain, France, etc. are first re-Christianized.

Posted by Shibes Meadow as a comment to AMERICAN DIGEST: Comment on No More Vigils. Vengeance: After Paris

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 8, 2015 10:13 PM |  Comments (26)  | QuickLink: Permalink
No More Vigils. Vengeance: After Paris I, more than ever, feel the same way I felt on the afternoon of 9/11/


The Muslim Insects: Shoot On Sight

Below is an excerpt from What I Saw: Notes Made on September 11, 2001 from Brooklyn Heights. Nearly a decade and a half later it remains true. How many more have to die from these insects and their vile belief systems called "Islam" before we begin to scrub it off the face of the Earth? Dozens in Paris. Thousands in NYC. None of this seems to be enough to raise our blood up beyond another "vigil;" beyond pathetic piles of flowers and candles. What will it take? Will it be an entire city? Perhaps but.... sooner or later.... Better it be sooner.

What do I feel? I don' t know what I feel --- except that I want vengeance. I want everything this country possesses put onto the people who did this, and the people who supported this act, and the people who believe this is the way in which political ends are achieved.

I want there to be war until these people are eradicated whoever they are, and where ever they are. I want it made clear that anything even approaching this evil act will be met with utter destruction -- people, families, villages, cities, nations. This is an act of war and war must be the response.

We will be having a long series of mass funerals for many weeks. I only hope that this country finds the stomach and the resolve to carry retribution forward until it is complete.

That is what I feel, now, today. And I 'm not alone. I' m not alone at all.

Too bloody minded? Not by half. We're way beyond "love, peace and understanding."

An item from 2006 tells me there were at that time "751 No-Go Zones in France." Today there are doubtless many more. This means zones in which the French police do not enter. Time to go into those zones with the military. Here too. Everywhere this blight on humanity has taken root with its black mold.

World Wars do not end by talking your enemy to death. They end by decimating his armies, his roving bands of guerrilla, and his population base.

Well-begun is half done.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 8, 2015 9:25 AM |  Comments (33)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Beslan: Pieta for the 41st Photograph

Note: This essay was written September 4, 2004 -- In another life. In another place. In another time. But then, given Pakistan today, not really another place or another time after all.


handwithcrucifixbeslan.jpgThe boy that lies in his father's lap covered with crusts of blood gazing upward at nothing, nothing at all except his own pain.

The soldier with the unlit cigarette carrying the little girl in filthy underwear with a long smear of blood across her nose and down her chin.

The child's small hand with the dry pool of blood in the palm and the small gold crucifix lying in it.

The stretcher being run past the camera carrying what might, under the burns and the blood, be a young girl.... and another, and another, and another, and another, and another....

I began to gather these images yesterday, I think. Or was it the day before? I'm not really sure. The cascade of outrages, the piling of atrocity on top of atrocity, has become so unremitting that it is sometimes difficult to know where one episode of evil ends and another begins.

The waves keep coming and, because they are always to your back, they keep slamming you down into the hardpacked sand. You pick yourself up and spin around to face the next wave, but this sea of evil is cunning and the next wave will always come from behind your back no matter which direction you face. All you can know now is that there will be another one, and it will come at your back in the way the bullets came for the backs of the children in Russia.

Because I am both too old and too distant to either pick up a weapon to defend, or offer help and comfort to the wounded or the dying, I am forced back on silly, futile, small gestures such as gathering images of the atrocities. In this I disgust myself and, like those who did not stand with Henry V, hold my manhood cheap.

I thought that, perhaps, I could gather enough of them and arrange a kind of gallery as a testament, my own small memorial, to the children who were shot in the back or otherwise slaughtered by the diseased "militants" who thought nothing of these lives taken for their vile cause and their vile god. Somehow I would, I imagined, at least bear my own small witness among the millions of others doing the same around the world tonight.

And so I collected the images. I selected ones that showed the fascist smirk that always rises dark above any slaughter of innocents. I selected ones that revealed the courage of those who would try to rescue them. I found and saved some that revealed the chaos and sharp edge of the moment when all that a child may have in front of him is ripped out of him. I saved 10 images, saved 20, saved 40 and then came to the 41st photograph and stopped.

I stopped because in that one image, grainy, indistinct and from the far side of the world in a situation I could not imagine, I saw the one thing I was not expecting to see at all.

No, that's not it. It was not what I saw but what I recognized.

What I recognized was something that I could not see in the picture, but a recognition that came to me through the picture. I knew it immediately and at such a deep level that my first reaction was to look away, to go on to the next picture no matter what it was, to determine to never look at the 41st picture again.

But of course I did. I did because I had no choice. I had no choice because within this one picture I could see two separate episodes of my own life somehow together in one image that depicted an outcome that terrified me to the core of my being.

This is the picture I could not look at. This is the picture I must look at. I will try to explain -- not really to you, but to myself -- why it terrifies me more than all the other pictures.

She kneels among the dead children. She has long black hair pulled back and dresses in a loose black dress as she kneels at the head of her dead boy. She reaches out to touch, or perhaps arrange the hair, of her dead child. Her dark hair is parted in the middle and her arm seems to also be downed with dark hair. Her eyebrows too are dark and her skin olive. If I were to see this woman in another context, in a different and less death dominated photograph, at this focus and at this distance, I would think, for at least a long moment, that I was looking at my first wife.

She had this build, this coloring, the predilection for black clothing, and even an echo of the features of this woman since her ancestors came to America from the Balkans. She too would pull her hair back so. And she had, as I recall, the same ability to make a gesture that was at once strong and yet gentle when reaching out to touch our daughter when she was as young as the small dead boy that this woman caresses.

The life I had with my first wife was all long ago, and now I live far away in time, space and spirit from that woman as well as from that daughter. Now my life's setting is a small town, an ocean to the west, and a woman as different from my first wife as the sun is from the moon. And someone else as well.

In this life there is, to my continuing delight, a child. He's bright and funny and breathtakingly striking ten-year old boy so topped off with life and joy that he can stop your heart. At the present time, my step-son is fond of Nintendo, not at all fond of girls, keen for a swordfight about every ten minutes of his waking life, and both depressed and elated at the advent of the 5th grade at the opening of his school next week. If I could show you a picture of him you'd agree that he's a very promising young man.

And I can show you a picture of him.

He's up there, just above, my first wife's hand is touching him. Look carefully. You'll see him and her both. Together in one instant, in one impossible image.

If you are a parent, you know as all parents know, the single darkest and most secret fear of all. You know what I mean. Yes, that one. The one we never mention. The fear that it is forbidden to speak of. The one we don't speak of ... ever. The one that we push out of our thoughts before it even finishes forming. It is the fear you see there in that photograph. The photograph that shows you looking down at your murdered child.

That's what I saw in the photograph. I saw a wife and a son -- not mine, I knew, but mine just the same -- frozen forever in an instant that I prayed would never come to me, that would remain just what it was, a photograph of a woman and a child I recognized but did not know.

At some point in the last few days, I put my arms around my wife as we both looked out the kitchen window. From our small window you can see across the green and brindle hills down to the ocean where the slow Pacific swells roll onto Main Beach where a volleyball game is always on the schedule and the seagulls and surfers share the waves.

"Every single day," I said, " I thank God above that we are all here, in this good place, close to each other and still kept safe from things like those going on in Russia."

Next week my stepson will walk up the hill and take the bus to his first day of school. Seats will be assigned. He'll be given books and lists of supplies he must have. Nothing unusual will happen. In the afternoon, he will come home. My wife and I will have dinner with him, he'll do his homework and go to bed. It will be like that day after day. An ordinary life in an ordinary town in an ordinary time.

And the years will flow by and he'll go from strength to strength, from one bright moment to the next. His mother and I will watch him move ever upward into life as he gradually grows away from us and into his own life. This is how it was meant to be and how it will be. He will never be found in a photograph like the one I saw today. There's no place for him in the 41st photograph, the one I couldn't look at but saw just the same.

I am willing to do anything, anything at all, no matter what it may be, to keep him out of that photograph. That's my answer to what I saw. My question is, "Are you?"

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 17, 2014 2:01 AM |  Comments (30)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Nukes South of the Border Will Do, Thank You


Now comes word from Judicial Watch that ISIS is staging just across our border in Ciudad Juarez, and that increased chatter has authorities alarmed that an imminent attack, possibly against Fort Bliss in El Paso, is coming. Oh, and Thursday is 9/11. Articles: Lives for Votes

Then: [First written and posted 2004-11-15 @ 09:51:14, but some nightmares never really go away on waking. Do they?]

Why take your nuke to town when just standing on the other side of the fence gets you all the way there?

Time Magazine is roiling the blogsphere with its warning of terrorist nukes to be smuggled into Mexico and from there into the the United States

Sharif al-Masri, an Egyptian who was captured in late August near Pakistan's border with Iran and Afghanistan, has told his interrogators of "al-Qaeda's interest in moving nuclear materials from Europe to either the U.S. or Mexico," according to a report circulating among U.S. government officials.

Masri also said al-Qaeda has considered plans to "smuggle nuclear materials to Mexico, then operatives would carry material into the U.S.," according to the report, parts of which were read to TIME. Masri says his family, seeking refuge from al-Qaeda hunters, is now in Iran.

And they would "carry material into the U.S.?" The question that occurs to me in that statement is: Why would they bother?

Once you have smuggled a nuclear weapon into Mexico what reason would you have to take another, bigger risk and try and get it across the border into the United States?

Wouldn't it be much simpler and more straightforward just to take the bomb to Juarez, get as close to the border as possible, and then detonate the device. Given the right set of conditions you could achieve your terrorist aims and never have to set foot in the United States. Why risk two security rings when you can risk only one?

Detonating a nuclear weapon in Juarez, Mexico is the same thing as detonating one in El Paso, Texas:

Walk seven blocks south from the heart of downtown El Paso and you’re on the bridge that empties into Avenida Juárez, the tourism center of Juárez, and you’re a few blocks from the city’s cathedral and main plaza. Nowhere else in the world are two major cities of two different countries so closely connected — or so easy to visit from either side. --El Paso Tourist Guide

What would be the advantages of Juarez/El Paso from a nuclear terrorist's point of view? There are several:

  • 1) A combined population of around 2.5 million people. Casualties would be high.
  • 2) A regional manufacturing center using cheap labor and access to the US market has drawn in GM, Sony, and many other plants and factories. Especially popular are plants that can operate with less regulation in Mexico than in the US, particularly chemical plants. The economic consequences would be dire.
  • 3) Right on the north-eastern nub of El Paso, about 7 miles from the border, you have the US Army's Fort Bliss.
    Fort Bliss is the home of the Air Defense Artillery Center of Excellence and is responsible for air defense artillery training of U.S. soldiers and various allied nation soldiers. It also the home of seven Forces Command warfighting units - the 32d Army Air and Missile Defense Command, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade, the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, the 204th MI Battalion, and the 978th Military Police Company. .... With 1.1 million acres, this post is bigger than the state of Rhode Island and can accommodate every weapon system in the Army. Excellent ranges and training area, coupled with the third longest runway in the nation, make Fort Bliss a premiere facility for training, mobilization and deploying combat forces. -- Global Security.Org
    Needless to say, a nuclear "event" could have severe consequences for the base.
  • 4) El Paso is Texas, the home state of the President of the United States and a deep red state as well. This would be a propaganda coup of the first order. The symbolism would not be missed by those who wish America harm.

All of which goes to show that the security of the United States doesn't start at the border, but south of the border, down Mexico way. I don't know what Homeland Security is doing about this, but if I was in the organization, I'd be very concerned about the ports of Mexico right now and be looking very hard at truck traffic coming north towards El Paso.

Then, of course, there's the Canadian border.

Posted by Vanderleun at Sep 10, 2014 9:51 AM |  Comments (22)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Prayer of the Modern Crusader


Dear Lord,

Once again men of Faith and of the West face the swords of the heretics. Once again, those who oppose Thy divine Order surround the remnant of Christian Civilization like wolves against prey. Once again, dear God, we turn our eyes to You and beg Thy gracious aid. If it be thy will, dear Lord, save us. If it be Thy will, raise up a great Leader to inspire Christian hearts in this country and in all the world. If it be Thy will, O Lord, send us a leader, a man to shore up our sagging spirits and rally us to the defense of our faith, our posterity, and our patrimony.

We ask Thee, O Lord, to raise us up a Leader of men like Your servant Emperor Constantine, who, in obeying Your command in hoc Signo vinces, turned the Roman Empire to Your service at the Milvian Bridge; send us a dauntless hero like King Pelayo at Covadonga; send us a uniter and propagator of civilization like Emperor Charlemagne; a daring cavalier like King Jan Sobieski; a triumphant Conquistador like the Servant of God Isabella, Queen of Castile, and her royal husband Ferdinand King of Aragon; an implacable defender of the Church and the West like their grandson Emperor Charles V. Send us a soldier like Charles Martel; a warrior like Don John of Austria; a grim defender of Faith and Nation like Gmo. Francisco Franco. Lord God of Hosts, send Thy people a man of war who will take up the sword of Christendom and crusade against the enemies of Christ and His Church.

If it be Thy Will, send us too a crusading Vicar of Christ like Your servant Pope Saint Leo the Great, who will ride boldly out to meet the Hun in Your Name; a Pope like Your servant Saint Pius V, who assembled the Holy League and rallied the fighting forces of Christendom to smite the Muslim at Lepanto; a Pope like Your servant Urban II at the Council of Clermont, who will stand before the might of Europe-in-arms, point to the Holy Land groaning under the tyranny of the Crescent, and cry "Deus Vult!"

Lord, we pray that you smite the filthy heresy of Islam wherever its ugly stench may waft, and by Thy divine Hand bring into the fold of Your Church all those of that creed who truly seek Thy Face. In this we ask the intercession of Saint James of Compostela, and the spirit of Charles
Martel, the Hammer. We beg you to use us today as you used Pope Innocent III and the strong arm of Thy Church against the Cathar and the Albegensian so long ago. May God rebuke the soi-disant prophet Muhammad and all those who preach his error throughout the world.

God of Nations, restore to the men of Europe and of all nations their true identities as members and protectors of their diverse nationalities, and with a mighty Hand crush the evil global Revolution that seeks to destroy nation, ethny, tribe, clan, sept, and the natural human family and amalgamate all into a corrupt and infernal "new order of the ages". Teach us to live in peace with one another, each color and race in its own sovereign space, each nation united not by artificial propositions or constitutions but the the natural and lasting ties of ancestry, language, culture, and creed; and teach us to recognize as unique the only form of universal human brotherhood that exists: the brotherhood of men separated by nationality but united in Your Church.

Dear God, restore our civilization. Bring all of Your servants to the happy renaissance of a robust, lively, orthodox, and crusading faith.

And, if such be not Your Will, we beg Thee to take the mantle of Christian leadership from us, your unworthy servants of the West, and lay it upon the men of China, or Korea, or Japan, or whatever such nation You deem fit to carry the banner of the Cross down through the ages remaining before you subjugate death, hell, and all worldly powers unto Thyself.

If any of these petitions are unworthy in Your sight, may we come to know Your displeasure through your gracious and loving correction, and may Our Lady's prayers be efficacious on our behalf, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.

- S.M., August A.D. 2014

Shibes Meadow in a Comment on The Dead Dark Heart of Islam

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 20, 2014 6:31 PM |  Comments (18)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Dead Dark Heart of Islam

"That's my boy!"

Well, I sailed through the storm
Strapped to the mast
But the time has come
And I’m seeing the real you at last
-- Dylan

The chittering insects that scuttle across the wastes of the middle east under the black flag of ISIS are masters of the maniac’s use of “social media." They make videos of the pleasure they take in laying hundreds of prisoners down and riddling them with machine gun bullets. They provide Facebook pages with photographs of the children’s heads they have impaled on stakes in the land where they hold sway. They pass around the Instagram moment of a man holding up the dress draped body of a little girl with her head taken off and her neck a bloodless stump. They “tweet” the 'That's my boy' image of an Australian member of their hive getting his son to hold up the head of someone, among thousands, that they have killed and killed filthy.

In all this they have done an invaluable service to the feckless and cowardly western world of the 21st century. They have not only killed those who have come under their rule and power. They have killed, now and forever, any wisp of an argument that the religion of Islam contains within it any significant “moderate" elements who are devoted to the idea of devout peace. There is no such “moderate Islam." There never was a “Moderate Islam.”

Islam is ISIS and ISIS is Islam. There is no other Islam.

Islam is religious Ebola and its only cure is fire.

Once the question was ”How can we help the moderate Islamics to help the others to a peaceful transition into the modern, multicultural world.” Now the question has become, "Can we find the leadership and the political will to burn this disease out of the human race root and branch?"

Those that seek to persuade you that somewhere within the foaming psychosis of Islam there is a moderate, peaceful religion struggling to get out, striving to be heard, are those that want you -- and your loved ones and your children -- to lie down in the shallow trench in the dry dust and have your children beheaded before you just before the sword slices through your supine and surrendered neck.

Lately there have been a plethora of posts scattered around concerning the kindly provision of Islam that if you like your religion you can keep your religion. All you have to do is pay a tax, set by Islam, on an annual basis. Deal or no deal? Either way it is a lie. What Islam wants is what is has always wanted; the enslavement and death of the infidel.

You cannot negotiate with psychopaths. There are no deals to be made or negotiations to be had with Islam. It is, first, last, and always, a perverted and vile system that has no spirit in it whatsoever. God? God’s got nothing to do with it.

Some weak and wet slaves of Islam still say, as they said to me after 9/11, “There are a billion muslims in the world. You can’t kill them all.” A billion you say? Big job. Well begun is half done.

Only by fire is fascism finished.

"There is nothing more dangerous than the conviction that diplomats should be America's first line of defense. ...America will get tough or it will get terminal." --Norman Liebmann

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 19, 2014 9:03 AM |  Comments (24)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Granted it's a little tense out there, but when it comes to July 27ths and 28th the world's seen worse.



In the final week of July 1914, after a decade of confrontation and near misses, mounting tensions between the two main European alliance blocs finally came to a head. Seizing on the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand as a pretext, Austria-Hungary delivered an ultimatum containing unacceptable demands to Serbia on July 23. European diplomats scrambled to defuse the situation, but on July 25, Serbia, assured of Russian support, refused to knuckle under—and Austria-Hungary, likewise assured of German support, rejected the Serbian response, laying the groundwork for war. - - Mental Floss


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 28, 2014 7:31 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Just Another Number in the War of All on All


A body lies in a wheat field, in the wide debris field of Thursday's Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in Ukraine on July 18, 2014. - In Focus

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

-- Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 18, 2014 12:10 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Picture This

From The obduracy of the leftist project found at Barrel Strength

"Picture an ad showing throngs of Muslims screaming in streets, shouting anti-US or anti-Christian slogans, burning embassies, preaching hate on televisions, beheading and stoning adulterers, converts, apostates, and blocking streets in European cities with praying men, butts in the air.

"The voice-over comes on:

“Imagine there is a religion which believes it is the duty of every one of its adherents to kill, enslave and degrade anyone not belonging to it.

“Imagine there is a religion whose adherents believe in removing the clitorises of young girls to secure their sexual constancy and obedience to their husbands.

“Imagine there is a religion which takes as its divinely-ordained human model a man who married his twelve year old niece, disavowed his adopted nephew to do so, slaughtered thousands of prisoners of war, and who made his lusts the criterion and authoritative guide of all male behaviour for all time?

“Imagine a religion which says its primary texts are not just divinely inspired, but are the dictations of God to man, literally and fully authoritative, even though one fifth of it cannot be logically or grammatically deciphered, even it its original language?”

“Imagine a religion that considers all inquiry, of whatever kind, to be formally forbidden”

“Imagine a religion that believes that if God says two plus two makes five, then there is no human basis for disputing that absurdity, and that to do so would merit death?

“Imagine a religion which says that the match does not light the gasoline, but that all physical events happen directly and without intermediation or operation of physical laws, but by the will of God alone?”

“Imagine if there were a religion which says that everything that happens in the universe: every molecule jiggling, every event that happen to a human, every bird falling from the sky, happens by the will of God alone?”

“Imagine the effects on scientific education and rational inquiry, when all possible subjects of inquiry: religious, philosophical or scientific, are forbidden.

“Would you not want to defend yourself against this religion? Would you not seek to have it disputed in public places by people in authority?

“If there were such a religion?”

I can see the hate-crime prosecutions now, but I can see the ad very clearly, and so do many of you, dear readers, without the benefit of televisions or computers. It is running every day, just the voice-over is missing. And now you have one."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 17, 2014 10:33 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Will the Sleepers Awake? (May, 2002)


[Preface to an Old Essay: Before there was an American Digest, there was another American Digest. It was begun as a response to 9/11 and was hosted on the servers of which was, of course, a subset of Penthouse Magazine. In that time and in that place I was the VP in charge of for Bob Guccione, the man that owned the company then. Both that man and that company are now gone from the face of the earth as is the first iteration of American Digest/New York City/2002. Except, of course, for some pages snagged and held at The Way Back Machine.

One of my readers reminded me of these scattered back pages the other day and looking through them I found a couple of items that still had some relevance to them from a time and a city under siege. This is one of them. The title, “”Will the Sleepers Awake,” is taken not from the famous Bach cantata (although that works well with the piece) but from a much more obscure book by the now forgotten poet Kenneth Patchen called Sleepers Awake on the Precipice. At that time, 2002, and in that place, New York City, it seemed to be an adequate title for a country roughly awakened and -- even then / even so soon -- slipping back into the arms of Morpheus, god of dreams.... back into the dark arms in which we slumber today.]

Just before dawn in Brooklyn Heights a dream woke me.

It was one of those troubled dreams where emblems and visions and snippets of your past and present lives cascade in an obscure but oddly familiar setting; a setting I’ve seen before in dreams; a setting I call “The Eternal City.” In those years I kept a notepad by the bed and, upon waking, I dutifully scribbled dream notes for discussion later in the week with my therapist. In those years I’d take notes for my therapist both out of fear of forgetting, and out of fear that I would again find myself “in session” with nothing substantive to talk about that seemed worthy of discussion.

Millions of Americans know, have known, or will know this petty little fear; you've paid for the hour, the hour is "all about you," and yet this stuff, your 'stuff ', seems only shameful and small and not really worth discussing at all. It’s, frankly, boring.

Millions also know the response to this complaint from the therapist. 'It is your therapy and it is supposed to be all about you, and it's in these petty and small details that you find out the larger truths that will, it is hoped, will lead you into some future where, when all is understood, all is forgiven.'

In therapy, confessions, or even "sessions of sweet, silent thought," the secular seek this odd forgiveness for what we have become in ever increasing numbers. We seek it because we live in a culture that has given us nothing larger than ourselves and, even though we might yearn for things larger than ourselves, there seems to be nothing but ourselves at hand. So we work with this small lump of clay that will never be the stone of Mt. Rushmore.

Abandoning God to his heaven in the sphere outside the universe, we seek recognition and forgiveness from the therapist, even though he insists it is ourselves that will forgive us. Rediscovering God we seek recognition and forgiveness, even though our priests cannot be trusted and will tell us to "Go and sin no more.”

Now, it seems, we seek forgiveness from our dreams.

But we wake up from dreams and the world awaits us, much the same as it was the day before, and the work of the world is also there to be done, whatever our roles in that work may be, most of which are, if we were frank, absurd.

And the world is not all about ourselves but pressingly, inevitably and enduringly about all the others with whom we share the world, its sordid and strange past, it's perplexing present and its unknowable future.

In our immediate orbit of work and family it is, in a sense, "our world" and is what we make it day by day. But our world is a small splinter of the larger world of every expanding and overlapping circles where greater issues and duties than our small needs, fears and hopes hold sway. And, at times, these larger circles of events and moments impinge on our small and pleasant worlds and draw our attention to them.

In these last eight months [since 9/11], I've been reading an inordinate number of books and articles on war and on history and on what the immediate future might bring. Like millions of other Americans, the 11th of September drew my attention in an immediate and violent manner. I've become, I think, both more thoughtful about the present state of the world, as well as angry about America's somnambulant and unprepared condition. Living where I do I've also become very sensitive to the sound of airplanes overhead. (A single engine plane is heading west to east at this moment, the sound fading to silence instead of an explosion so I assume that it is safe and being safely handled and tracked.) Indeed, it is usually not dreams but the jets overhead on track to an from LaGuardia or Kennedy that wake me in the morning.

Smiling foolish experts sitting knee to knee with the nation's foolish morning television mavens tell us that lots of New Yorkers have trouble sleeping these last months because we have "unresolved issues and anxieties." I demur when I hear nonsense like that. I like to think New Yorkers simply know first hand how quickly our enemies can effectively destroy your city, and that other Americans have yet to learn this lesson up close and personal. A lesson that I hope they will never learn, but one that I am resigned to seeing taught again in the near future, since many in my country seem not to have learned it yet, even those who breathed in the ashes of all those who died in the Towers.

In America in 2002 it still seems to me that we have an inordinate fondness for sleep, dreams and forgetting.

All of which is to say that, strangely, after waking and scribbling down the notes about the dream before they escaped me, my first thoughts went to a passage in a book I've been reading, "Culture and Carnage: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power" by Victor Davis Hanson. This is a book in which one deadly encounter between nations or other powers is detailed from the battle of Salamis in 480 BC to the Tet offensive in Vietnam. Two days ago I read Hanson's report on the fate of American torpedo bombers against the Japanese fleet at the battle of Midway. His report makes it clear that these bombers and the American crews were, because of the obsolescence of the machines and the commitment of the crews, doomed to destruction from the outset, but that their selfless courage in pressing forward made the victory of Midway, and the turning of the tide in the Pacific during the opening year of America's Second World War, possible. It's a vivid account of sacrifice for the sake of a greater good and a larger victory. But what came to my mind on waking today was not the details of the battle but of what Hanson writes as a kind of epitaph to the men of the torpedo bombers who sacrificed themselves:

"To the modern American at the millennium, these carrier pilots of more than a half century ago -- Massey, Waldron, and Lindsey last seen fighting to free themselves in a sea of flames as their planes were blasted apart by Zeros -- now appear as superhuman exemplars of what constituted heroism in the bleak months after the beginning of World War II. Even their names seem almost caricatures of an earlier stalwart American manhood -- Max Leslie, Lem Massey, Wade McClusky, Jack Waldron -- doomed fighters who were not all young eighteen-year-old conscripts, but often married and with children, enthusiastic rather than merely willing to fly their decrepit planes into a fiery end above the Japanese fleet, in a few seconds to orphan their families if need be to defend all that they held dear. One wonders if an America of suburban, video-playing Nicoles, Ashleys and Jasons shall ever see their like again."

A light rain is still falling on this street in Brooklyn Heights in the spring of 2002, and I would like to think that the kind of men described in that paragraph can still be called up our of this nation in the kind of numbers necessary to our tasks ahead. We've seen their like on horseback lately in Afghanistan, but these are our 'Special Forces,' and hence limited in number. I'd like to think that we have been woken from the long sleep of comfort, money, and ever-expanding special pleadings that have splintered us with the promise of bringing us together. But I know the temptation is always to roll over, hit the snooze bar, and try to grab a few more years of rest even as the enemies of our world patiently plan to assault us again and again, convinced of the weakness of our Nicoles, Ashleys, and Jasons, and the culture which created them.

Our mortal enemies possess, as they have shown, great patience. More patience than we have shown and far more commitment than we have shown to attaining their dark goals; our deaths. They are the Believers while we are still the Dreamers, waking only briefly to write down a few notes for discussion later in the week, during the hour when all that is in the world is really only about ourselves.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 27, 2014 10:34 PM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Don't Hear Much About Urkraine Lately. Must Be Nothing Happening There

Pro-Russian separatists walk at the site of the crash of the Il-76 Ukrainian army transport plane in Luhansk, June 14, 2014. Pro-Russian separatists shot down the plane with an anti-aircraft missile as it came in to land early on Saturday in the eastern city of Luhansk, killing all 49 military personnel on board. Photos of the Week: 6/14-6/20 - In Focus - The Atlantic

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 24, 2014 12:37 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Debacle

Far-called our navies melt away—
On dune and headland sinks the fire—
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

- - Kipling,Recessional


Meanwhile, in 2014, the always perceptive Belmont Club » On The Subject of Last Helicopters takes a detailed look at the forthcoming humiliation and human disasters wrought by Obama:


"If the embassy is evacuated, it will leave what is perhaps one of the most lavish and expensive diplomatic facility in history in the hands of al-Qaeda. It contains what is probably a huge intelligence facility. “The 104-acre compound — already its biggest and most expensive in the world — currently houses 1,350 U.S. government employees in the heart of Baghdad’s International Zone and will increase its capacity because the U.S. is consolidating overall diplomatic property in Baghdad down by one-third. The most interesting upgrade is the construction of a data hall in an existing classified embassy annex building that will cost $20 to $35 million. It will require ‘electrical/telecommunication system upgrades [and] extensive mechanical and plumbing systems,’ according to a June 12 notice from the State Department.”


"But great though the loss of the buildings will be, the blow in terms of intelligence gathering capabilities, networks, facilities and dislocation will be monumental. No one knows how many translators, sub-agents and locals who have risked their lives for the US will be left twisting in the wind. It will be no easy task to thoroughly efface the work of years. Yet it will have to be done if al-Qaeda is not obtain the greatest intelligence windfall of its career. President Obama may find a way to screw that up too, for even to be properly defeated requires a competence he may lack."


Now it is not good for the Christian’s health to hustle the Aryan brown,
For the Christian riles, and the Aryan smiles and he weareth the Christian down;
And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear: “A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the East.”

Rudyard Kipling.THE NAULAHKA

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 13, 2014 12:35 PM |  Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On the Most Ancient Virus to Infect the Soul


"With the advent of the "Palestinian cause" becoming chic in Western, European, and Liberal circles being infected by virus has once more become acceptable to exhibit socially."

It's baaack! But no, that's not right. Say rather it never really leaves. NeoNeoCon today notes the latest eruption of the disease:

Anti-Semitic drawings and the San Francisco anti-circumcision campaign Zombie illustrates that an anti-Semitic cartoon has been pressed into service in the San Francisco fight to ban circumcision. It was only a matter of time.

Antisemitism is not a sign, a symbol, a bullet or a gas. It is a Virus. It is the oldest known virus to infest the human soul. In those infected, the virus is clever enough to mask it's existence by renaming itself as "anti-Zionism." Through the renaming of this ancient disease as a “political problem,” infected souls can transmit the virus to their friends, families. They can spread their disease at their schools and in their their community, church, or nation. The virus is also transmitted by exchanging infected fantasies with infected ideologues. By changing it's name the disease made it possible for many to deny that they have contracted the virus, and that their souls are chancre-ridden and rotting. This facilitates the current outbreak.

Yes, antisemitism is a clever virus and this shape-shifting is one of its oldest methods of perpetuating itself. Like other viruses currently feasting on humans, this one always has a pleasure principle associated with it. It feels good to get it and we live in the plague years of "If it feels good, do it." Those whose moral immune systems have been previously compromised by other pleasure-born diseases have souls which are particularly susceptible to this virus.

The origin of the virus is unknown, but many suspect the area to be Bablyon and Sumur with an early leap across borders into Egypt. It was later transmitted through not-so-casual contact to much of the world by traders out of Northern Africa and the Roman Empire.

During the period following the fall of Rome, the virus found traction in early Christianity as a common carrier. In this host it thrived, and was able to survive and spread for many centuries. Of late, many parts of Christianity, now that it has become fragmented, have rejected the virus and those who host it, but strains of the virus can still be found at the center of many subsets of the Christian faith today.

Islam, of course, is the not-that-new major religion to not only host the virus, but to celebrate being infected with it, and to actively take measures to make sure that, within the body of Islam, the virus can thrive and expand. What to do about this new and virulent strain of the virus is something that is now consuming a great deal of the attention and treasure of Western Civilization.

In the past, treatment of the virus involved the application of large amounts of steel and fire, but this age is still experimenting with targeted surgery of the infected parts of Islam to see if a less Draconian cure is possible. Recent events confirm that this sort of microsurgery will probably be ineffective since the virus seems to have become the host.

Flare-ups of the virus have been common across Europe throughout the last 2 millennia, but an overwhelming series of eruptions in Europe from England through the lands controlled by the USSR, required a global intervention before the conflagration was deemed to be put out. This, of course was an illusion, since like the root burns engendered by forest fires, it only smoldered underground in the human and social hosts for decades before erupting once again in the vast Petri dish of the Middle East.

With the advent of the "Palestinian cause" becoming chic in Western, European, and Liberal circles -- driven at first by Socialist Progressive romanticism in the late 1960s and early 1970s -- being infected by virus has once more become acceptable to exhibit socially in certain ways. Indeed, in many circles and societies, having the virus has lately become a highly prized fashion accessory to popular academic, media, and state ideologies. It is now actually a badge of pride in many Western circles to appear at various events wearing gold-plated buboes inset with multi-faceted Kaposi's sarcoma that contain the virus at their core. Many now believe this intellectual adornment to actually be beautiful.

In a recent mutation, the virus has shown that it can leap the blood/brain barrier and actually infect Jews -- if they feel safe within their "advanced" society. The current term for this mutation is "Juicebox Mafia" in which self-styled "intellectuals" of Jewish lineage actually feel it is "intelligent" to call for a world in which it is easier for Arabs and other Islamic groups to kill Jews wholesale. This sort of strange host to the virus is replacing the previous host termed "the self-hating Jew." The reason for the rise of the Juicebox Mafia is unclear, but it may well have to do with desires for celebrity and paychecks that exceed the desire to live.

The virus, because it is an ancient and clever virus, can lie dormant for years, and like HIV, can mutate around a lot of therapies designed to destroy it.

As noted above, in the recent past, it has been shown that large doses of steel and fire can eradicate the virus in some populations, but only for a time. A cure is promised, but seems to be always delayed. The only measures that work are, at best, prophylactic. Another strategy is strict monitoring to prevent the spread of the virus. This seemed to be holding the virus at bay for decades. Lately, however, this method has broken down. The virus, like terrorism, has recently been able to piggy-back on the world-circling data-stream, and infect individuals and groups previously deemed immune. The current strain has indeed become so virulent that large blocks of Jewish people, in Europe, America and even Israel, have become infested.

As history demonstrates, there is no immunity to be had from the virus. The only strategy that seems to work is abstinence. This is accomplished by a rigorous rejection of all attempts by the virus to establish itself within an individual host. Constant monitoring and the suppression through education or other means of outbreaks in groups or ideologies or nations is also required.

Since the virus has been present in human hosts for well over 4,000 years, hopes for eradication in our lifetime are slim. Hopes for eradication in the future are better in civilized countries if, and only if, members of the generations now living and infected with the virus become dedicated to not passing it on to future generations. The virus is found nowhere else in nature except within the human host. If it is denied transmission to the young, it can be eliminated from the world in three generations. If... but only if.

Outlook? Not favorable.

nazikikeslebanon.jpg deathtojuice.jpg

[First version posted in 2003.]

Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 15, 2014 3:17 PM |  Comments (42)  | QuickLink: Permalink
OK this is getting out of hand....


On the other hand.....


With the terrorists as Palestinians rather than Tea Party grandmothers for a change. Who knows but that -- taking the long view -- such an event might not be the best thing for the country? But I digress....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 1, 2014 1:15 AM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
George W. Bush The Night of 9-11-01: "Disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger."
Posted by gerardvanderleun at Sep 11, 2013 8:24 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On Forgetfulness

Via EarthCam - New York Skyline Cam

"Forgetfulness occurs when those who have been long inured to civilized order can no longer remember a time in which they had to wonder whether their crops would grow to maturity without being stolen or their children sold into slavery by a victorious foe.

"They forget that in time of danger, in the face of the Enemy, they must trust and confide in each other, or perish.

"They forget, in short, that there has ever been a category of human experience called the Enemy. And that, before 9/11, was what had happened to us. The very concept of the Enemy had been banished from our moral and political vocabulary. An enemy was just a friend we hadn’t done enough for — yet. Or perhaps there had been a misunderstanding, or an oversight on our part — something that we could correct. And this means that that our first task is that we must try to grasp what the concept of the Enemy really means.

"The Enemy is someone who is willing to die in order to kill you. And while it is true that the Enemy always hates us for a reason — it is his reason, and not ours."

from Lee Harris’s Civilization And Its Enemies.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Sep 11, 2013 9:32 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Sacrifice and the Reckoning: The Event

"We have made a dark bargain with ourselves to let one of our cities die."

[First published: October 2004]

San Diego, California. August 6th, 11:36AM

THE TECATE TRUCK was just like all the other Tecate Beer trucks that went back and forth daily at the border crossing, except that it was not owned by Tecate. The driver of that truck spoke fluent Spanish and the truck was always loaded with Tecate. In time the US border guards got used to it. The difference was that this truck had, at its center, a narrow, hollow space shielded with thin sheets of lead so that no ambient radiation would escape.

It had cost The Base over $150,000 to convert the truck at a garage in Ensenada a year before. That was little enough when it came to securing the device which had cost the same group more than $10 million in Russia in 1997. In any event, the truck did its job and passed without incident over the border and into the United States at Tecate, California on August 6th. Dates were important to The Base, and this date was especially significant. After all, what could be more significant than the day on which Hiroshima was destroyed?

After clearing the border the Tecate Truck followed Highway 94 north to it's merge with Highway 8 at La Mesa, California, and then drove west towards Highway 5. It pulled off the road at a rest stop where it picked up a technician in a Tecate uniform who was carrying a case with the necessary electronics and a couple of weapons. After that, the two men followed the road thought the heart of San Diego. It got off the freeway in downtown and quickly made its way to the intersection of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway. It's total travel time from the border to downtown San Diego was just over an hour. It was running close to schedule. It was about 11:30 in the morning.

The truck pulled over and parked along North Harbor drive and the technician took out some binoculars and scanned the harbor beyond the Navy Region Southwest Complex whose entrance was less than 100 yards away. Intelligence was correct. The USS Ronald Reagan was in its home port and riding comfortably at anchor.

The technician opened his case and took a wire that ran from the back of the truck along the floorboards. He plugged it into a jack in the simple switching device in the case. He looked at the driver and smiled. The driver smiled back. They both began to recite a prayer in Arabic while looking over the San Diego harbor. At some point in the prayer, without really thinking about it, the technician threw the switch. In the next instant, at the intersection of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway in San Diego, California on a warm August morning, a miniature version of the Sun appeared on the surface of the Earth.

Posted by Vanderleun at May 9, 2013 9:19 AM |  Comments (58)  | QuickLink: Permalink
An Israeli Soldier's song to the world for Passover

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 25, 2013 2:05 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"The moon in September was special and the war kept going."


"No matter where we walk, the enemy will plant bombs. 

Posted by Vanderleun at Sep 22, 2011 11:36 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13


Major Heather Penny

Posted by Vanderleun at Sep 7, 2011 1:19 PM |  Comments (23)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Marlboro Marine: 2004 and Today


This just in from the intelligent, insightful and marvelous "Iconic Photos," a look at one of the most striking photos of the Iraq war: The Marlboro Marine

The dirt-smeared, battle-weary face with a cigarette languidly dangling from the lips belonged to Lance Corporal James Blake Miller, who would be quickly dubbed "The Marlboro Man" or "Marlboro Marine".

The photo was taken by Luis Sinco of Los Angeles Times on 10 November, 2004; Miller told the intruding photographer, "If you want to write something, tell Marlboro I'm down to four packs, and I'm here in Fallujah till who knows when. Maybe they can send some. And they can bring down the price a bit." The photo was depicted on the cover of more than 150 newspapers and magazines, including the New York Post, whose headline read, "Marlboro Men kick butt in Fallujah." ...

Because of his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder, Miller is now separated from his wife and family and currently lives alone. He is unable to discuss certain things that happened in Fallujah. Read Sinco's touching tribute to Miller here.

The reaction from the feeble Eloi at the time was best summed up by the excrable Naomi Klein in Smoking while Iraq burns:
For a country that just elected a wannabe Marlboro man as its president, Miller is an icon and, as if to prove it, he has ignited his very own controversy. "Lots of children, particularly boys, play army, and like to imitate this young man. The clear message of the photo is that the way to relax after a battle is with a cigarette," wrote Daniel Maloney in a scolding letter to the Houston Chronicle. Linda Ortman made the same point to the editors of the Dallas Morning News: "Are there no photos of non-smoking soldiers?" A reader of the New York Post helpfully suggested more politically correct propaganda imagery: "Maybe showing a marine in a tank, helping another GI or drinking water would have a more positive impact on your readers."
Fretting always about tobacco because their minds are both empty and colonized. Shameful and disgusting people, really.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 28, 2011 11:41 AM |  Comments (20)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Time to Update an Old Proverb


"On an island of unarmed people, the one armed man is king." -- The Fourth Checkraise

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 23, 2011 10:40 AM |  Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Religion of Peace at Work Making Converts: These the Savages That The Administration is Pursuing a Truce With In Afghanistan


Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 18, 2011 10:28 AM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Just a Couple of Rollicking Seattle Terrorists Called "Joe" and "Fred"
Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 23, 2011 2:41 PM |  Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Civil War of Europe vs Islam Looming?

Well, historically speaking, Europe does have some drastic ways of dealing with minorities when pushing comes to shoving.

"It's civil war. It will not be a civil war like in Spain under Franco. It will be a kind of local civil war," del Valle added. "In fact, I think one day it will be so unbearable that the state will be obliged to send in the army."

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 21, 2011 1:42 PM |  Comments (29)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Religion of "Blow Everyone to Pieces" making converts in Moscow

YouTube - Moscow Airport Domodedovo Terrorist Attack Video - Suicide Bombers Explosion Video - 11/01/24

It's official. The most dangerous place at the airport is now the line while you are waiting to go through "security screening." Look for this to be overcome by the creation of "pre-security security screening." Which will make for a line which will then become the most dangerous place at the airport.

This nonsense will go on until the Department of Homeland Security expands to a point where they will send individual "Security Screening Vans" that resemble bomb-disposal trucks to your home or hotel for pickup. You'll be strip-searched before being allowed to get in the van, of course.

After all, you can't be too careful, can you?

The real solution is to starting draining the Religion of Blow Everyone to Pieces' gene pool, but to even get started with that project will cost America at least one city. And even then it's unlikely the current president will have the stones for it.

In the meantime, just get in the lines to the slaughter.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 24, 2011 11:19 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Mosque You Say? Images Some May Have Forgotten from September, 2001



Not yet.

Photographer, David Duncan The Soldier and Wanted: Dead of Alive @ the September 11, 2001, Documentary Project | Library of Congress

Posted by Vanderleun at Aug 25, 2010 2:08 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Killing New York: What It Would Take, A Simple Scenario


A car bomb is parked in Times Square but fails to go off. Result: Preening and "It's no big deal. Amateur stuff. Not to worry. Move along. Nothing to see here." Others take it seriously. Very seriously. As they should.

There's an old Beyond the Fringe routine concerning the end of the world. The Fringers climb to the top of the mountain to observe the end of the world, but when the appointed moment comes, the world goes on -- nothing happens. The last stinging line of the routine is, "No matter. We'll come back tomorrow. We're sure to get a winner one of these days."

Neoneocon cites Steve Coll whistling through his New Yorker graveyard with Think Tank: Terrorism : The New Yorker

There will be more of this sort of low-level terrorism in the United States in the years ahead, not only from self-styled jihadis but possibly also from the extreme right.
Never any shortage of fools at The New Yorker, yes, The New Yorker. I especially love how he conflates "extreme right" with Islamic terrorism. Seems he's forgotten who exactly killed 3,000 of his fellow New Yorkers. Fine. If he sticks around New York long enough, he'll get his lesson again. A fool and his head are sooner or later parted.

Back in 2004, I wrote the following "scenario" of what it would take to kill New York. I've updated it once or twice since, but it still works. I see that currently terrorists are thinking a bit smaller and simpler. And if they miss, they all think:

"No matter. We'll come back tomorrow. We're sure to get a winner one of these days."

cloverfield1.jpgTHIS JUST IN:

SEPTEMBER 16, 2009: FBI agents with bomb-sniffing dogs Wednesday raided the Colorado apartment of an Afghan national linked to Al Qaeda and a plot to attack the New York City subway system.... In the past three days, the NYPD increased its attention to the subway system and its 5.2 million daily riders. Officers were warned to keep an eye out for vans near transportation hubs such as Grand Central, police sources said. The safety zone around subway and commuter stations also was expanded by two blocks, the sources said.

-- FBI unit set for more anti-terror raids in Queens; Colorado home raided

LEADS TO THIS:From the AD Archives, Written March 13, 2004

In the wake of the Spanish outrage, [11 March 2004] an email asks what it would take for the Islamic terrorists to take the next step in the United States.

It turns out that, as in Spain, it wouldn't take much at all. Here's what you'd need and how it could be done. But it is just one way. There are many.

The Elements:

One City: New York

Three Locations: The Brooklyn Bridge, Union Square, Penn Station

Terrorists: 4


Plastique explosives (15 pounds)
Backpacks: 2
Ten penny nails and ball bearings: 4 pounds
Anthrax: 2 Liters
Machine Guns: 4 (Small) with 2 extra clips each

Time: Late September to Early November when the weather makes wearing coats common.

Intellectual Equipment: An understanding of the New York subway and bridge system, an understanding of symbolism in America, a willingness to die.

The Method:

Posted by Vanderleun at May 3, 2010 2:41 PM |  Comments (28)  | QuickLink: Permalink
And Charlie Wilson's War Goes On


Charlie Wilson's dead but we're still a long, long way from home: SEALED WITH A KISS: A U.S. Marine read a letter covered in lipstick kisses at his outpost near Marjah, Afghanistan, Thursday. U.S. and Afghan forces were in the area to seal off escape routes ahead of a major offensive against the Taliban.

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 11, 2010 3:25 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
New World Trade Center Images Released Today: Just In Case You Like to Forget

Deadly: A total of seven World Trade Centre buildings were destroyed that day, killing 2,752 people.

[Click to enlarge]

SO WHY ARE WE SEEING THEM NOW? After 9/11 the U.S.'s National Institute of Standards and Technology collected images from amateur, professional and freelance photographers as part of its investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Centre. It completed its research in 2005. In the summer of last year, ABC saw that NIST was asking the photographers' permission to release the images and filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act to get access to them. The images seen here are ones taken by NYPD helicopters and come from the 2,779 pictures supplied on nine CDs to the news organisation. -- More chilling images at New World Trade Center 9/11 aerial images from ABC News | Mail Online
I was standing on the Brooklyn Heights Promanade, less than a mile away, when this happened. At times I think I'll get over it, get beyond it, move on.... but I never do. And I pray I never will.

Anyone - public official or private citizen - who tries to convince you this sort of thing is over, is trying to get you and your loved ones killed. You need to get in their face and back them down.

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 10, 2010 8:38 PM |  Comments (20)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Traitors of Britain's National Association of Muslim Police


Melanie Philips has more on The thin blue line of jihad that was first covered here yesterday in England's Muslim Police and Muslim Terrorists Evenly Matched. She illuminates the darker implications in the memorandum of the NAMP pit vipers:

Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 22, 2010 9:44 AM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
England's Muslim Police and Muslim Terrorists Evenly Matched

This morning's Telegraph from London softens the blow with the headline The National Association of Muslim Police is in denial over Islamist terrorism. Denial? Here's an interesting pair of numbers from the article:

The 2,000 strong National Association of Muslim Police is clearly in a state of denial regarding the motivation and inspiration behind the vast majority of terrorists in the UK.... And as the Director General of MI5 pointed out, there are at least 2,000 suspected al-Qaeda operatives based in Britain.
If I were a Briton this morning I wouldn't be worried about the "denial" in the National Association of Muslim Police when it came to Muslim terrorists in England. I'd be worried about the overlap. As we saw at Fort Hood, it only takes one to kill and wound many.

Speaking of which, a psychopathic form of denial has evidently infected the Pentagon when it comes to Fort Hood Muslim terrorist:

The Pentagon released its 80-page report on the Fort Hood massacre on Friday - which conveniently fell just before a three-day weekend. Of course, it is devoid of any mention of Islam or jihad. former Army Secretary Togo West even went as far as saying that this had nothing to do with Islam, that it could just as easily have been a radicalized Christian. Really? -- BLACKFIVE: The Pentagon's War on Reason
It would seem that here, as in England, the Muslims in the police or in the army are a "protected species." We may want to recalibrate that designation.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 21, 2010 8:59 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
[June 2003] "Another Reason to Never Fly Anywhere Ever Again"

[An item from my back pages of more than six years ago. Slowly, the world is catching up with me. And I hate it.]

"It does basically make you look fat and naked, but you see all this stuff." - Susan Hallowell (above), Director of TSA's Security Laboratory.

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 27, 2009 12:43 PM |  Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Real President Giving a Real Battle Speech

You go to war with the President you have (or, recently, do not have). Nothing reveals the true measure of a man and President than he must deal with the hard realities of war.

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 7, 2009 8:27 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Afghanistan: The Failure to Plan Is "The Plan"


Now you swear and kick and beg us
That you're not a gamblin' man.
Then you find you're back in Vegas
With a handle in your hand.
Your black cards can make you money,
So you hide them when you're able.
In the land of milk and honey
You must put them on the table.

You go back Jack do it again,
(Wheel turnin' 'round and 'round)
You go back Jack do it again....

-- Steely Dan

From where I sit I see many people underestimating President Obama because they cannot get their heads around who and what this man actually is and what he portends. Instead, historical or metaphoric analysis prevails making Obama like “Lincoln” or “Stalin,” like an "angel" or a "devil." Regardless of the comparisons evoked they all fail because Obama is none of these. He is "None of the above." He is not "That what came before." He is all of "What shall come after."

Politically and personally, Obama is a genetic sport, a Chimera; a now not-so-mythical being composed of multiple parts but functioning a a whole. Neither America nor the world has seen his like before. Attempts to analyze him that appeal to history fail because there is no historical precedent. That was, you will recall, part of his mystic allure. As a result many ascribe motives to the president that cannot be accurate; motives that run counter to the blunt evidence of the senses, to the maxim: “Watch what he does, not what he says.”

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 12, 2009 12:43 PM |  Comments (47)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Treason Punishable by Death


Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

Jerry Pournelle looks at the traitor who killed 13 soldiers at Fort Hood:

I would presume that arming oneself and shooting 43 US soldiers is (1) levying war against the United States, and (2) an overt act, and that Major Hassan should be charged with treason.
Political correctness was the cause of the Fort Hood Massacre, and we ought not forget that. The fact that someone could go through -- at government expense -- an undergraduate education with ROTC, then medical school at a US military institution, and remain a traitor to the United States is a significant warning. A very significant warning that the idea of Political Correctness has consequences we can't afford. Corruption of the Legions is one danger the Republic cannot endure.
The Legions remain faithful; but for how long when their officers are no longer faithful? Hassan had been through ROTC and a US armed forces medical school as a commissioned officer. Why was his failure of loyalty to the armed forces not detected earlier? But of course he was a Muslim, and it would not be politically correct to wash someone out of an armed forces medical school for lack of loyalty to the armed forces of these United States.
We sow the wind. We have reaped one whirlwind.
The politically correct spin is coming like a tidal wave. He is a crazy guy who happens to be a Muslim. All of that misses the point: he was disloyal to the United States, and said so openly and many times; yet he remained a commissioned officer of the United States. That is the point that is being overlooked. Whether the disloyalty is due to a psychotic episode or some other cause is not important.

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 6, 2009 11:41 PM |  Comments (27)  | QuickLink: Permalink
God Bless the Easter Seals!


SOMALI BASIN (April 12, 2009) Maersk-Alabama Capt. Richard Phillips, right, stands alongside Cmdr. Frank Castellano, commanding officer of USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) after being rescued by U.S Naval Forces off the coast of Somalia. Philips was held hostage for four days by pirates. -- Navy News Service - Eye on the Fleet

Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 12, 2009 12:34 PM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
An Open Letter from Obama-Americans to Islam: Please Come and Kill More of Us.

fallingman.jpgTO: ISLAM


It's 9/10 again in America! Our President has said the U.S. "is not and never will be at war with Islam." We say, "Come out, come out, wherever you are! Olly olly oxen free!"

You may have asked yourselves if, with the apotheosis of Barack Hussein Obama, the American supporters of the President of the Millennium are impatient with you. Yes, it's true. You are not fulfilling our desires which we believe we have made clear with our election and deification of Obama. So let's be clear about one thing: as supporters of Obama we thirst for death. Our death. Now that President Obama has signaled we can kill our babies, our brain dead (except if they are serving Democrats), and our too old or too sick, we'd like to move on to ourselves because, as any good Democrat will tell you, there can never be too much death for us!

We would like you, at your earliest opportunity, to slake our deaththirst - especially that of the whitest and therefore most guilty among us - by slaughtering us wholesale.

Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 8, 2009 2:23 PM |  Comments (23)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Our Enemy Endures: "Four Pounds of Anthrax in a Suitcase This Big"

"Kuwaiti Professor Abdallah Nafisi Suggests a Biological Attack at the White House and Prays for the Bombing of a Nuclear Plant on Lake Michigan."from Memri.

HT: Brutally Honest

Transcript after the jump.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 30, 2009 7:44 PM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Afghanistan Bananistan: The 10 Point Plan


Richard at The Belmont Club is taking a hard look at the Obama Effort in Afghanistan and wondering if the President realizes what he's getting himself into. I think he does.

I think he realizes what his needs are in Afghanistan. What he needs to do is end a war in an American defeat while being seen as "trying for a victory." To do that he has to engineer an American defeat. Iraq is already, in the public mind at least, in the win column. So how do we engineer an American defeat? It is simplicity itself. You begin, not with a "surge" but a ripple.

1) Ripple: Reinforce, but only lightly.
 After all, it's not really a "surge."
2) Raise the body count: Tighten the Rules of Engagement on US forces. This loosens the Rules of Engagement for the Taliban which increases the casualties for the US.

3) Look rational: Set “goals” and a “timetable” going in. Make sure these goals cannot be achieved with the resources available in the time allowed.

4) Short Pakistan: Alienate the land power that control the supply routes. Make protecting logistics consume most of the “reinforcements.”
5) Grandstand: When the land supply routes go down, make a valiant “Kennedyesque” resupply “effort” with an airlift for a short period.

5) Look "realistic:" When your goals are not met and airlift fails, announce that you’ve given it the old college try and must regretfully withdraw.

6) Give a history lesson: Make sure you withdraw using plenty of airpower, with lots of large helicopters at the end taking off from Kabul.
 The media will be more than happy to compare and contrast the fall of Saigon.
7) Triumphantly involve the UN: Announce at around the same time that your soft diplomacy has born fruit in Iran, and that Hans Blix and the Mullahs have agreed to UN-type weapons inspections of 20 square blocks of the downtown shopping district of Tehran.

8) Be heroic: Announce that the US remains committed to Afghan democracy and get the Congress to agree to fund the Afghan forces and political establishment for "as long as it takes." This can be easily rescinded at a later date as it was for the South Vietnamese.
9) Mission accomplished : Just in time for, say, a 2012 September surprise: "I brought your boys home, and we'll have enough troops for government to fill your sandbags in Fargo this spring!" Make the defeated army "your" helpful-at-home army.
10) Reallocate funding: Once you transform the army into something that fights natural disasters and not enemies, you can slash their budget to the bone. The Navy's next since there won't be any American power to project or protect. But, hey, you've just funded National Health Care so you don't care. Make sure you've got a lot of burn units near major cities. You can name them after Saul Alinsky.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 29, 2009 10:02 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Iraq After Four Five Six Years In

VMFA-533.jpg[Republished from last year at this time.]

Five years in. An inch of time. Five years in and the foolish and credulous among us yearn to get out. Their feelings require it. The power of their Holy Gospel of "Imagine" compels them. Their overflowing pools of compassion for the enslavers of women, the killers of homosexuals, the beheaders of reporters, and the incinerators of men and women working quietly at their desks, rise and flood their minds until their eyes flow with crocodile tears while their mouths emit slogans scrawled on cardboard. They believe the world is run on wishes and that they will always have three more.

Like savages shambling about some campfire where all there is to eat are a few singed tubers, they paint their faces with the tatterdemalion symbols of a summer of love long sent down to rot with the worms. They clasp hands and sing songs whose lyrics are ash. "We shall... over... come." Overcome what, overcome who? Overcome their nation? Is that their dream? It is the lifelong dream of those that lead them. That much is certain.

Five years in and we see these old rotting rituals trotted out in the streets like some pagan procession of idols and shibboleths, like some furred and feathered fetish shaken against the sky by hunkering witch-doctors, to hold back the dark, to frighten off the evil spirits and graven images that trouble the sleep of the dreamers.

Five years into the most gentle war ever fought, a war fought on the cheap at every level, a war fought to avoid civilian harm rather than maximize it. Picnic on the grass at Shiloh. Walk the Western Front. Speak to the smoke of Dresden. Kneel down and peek into the ovens of Auschwitz. Sit on the stones near ground zero at Hiroshima and converse with the shadows singed into the wall. Listen to those ghost whisperers of war.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 19, 2009 4:36 PM |  Comments (109)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Road to a Democrat Led Defeat of America Goes Through Afghanistan


Once there under the umbrella of "hunting down Bin Laden," it would be only a matter of time before that "mission" was declared either a success or "impossible." -- American Digest, October 4

Well, that didn't take long, did it? Obama Ponders Outreach to Elements of the Taliban

WASHINGTON — President Obama declared in an interview that the United States was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the door to a reconciliation process in which the American military would reach out to moderate elements of the Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq.

What follows is an article I wrote a month before the election on October 4.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 7, 2009 10:53 PM |  Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Agreement For Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq

Michael Yon has the rest and a full PDF HERE

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 4, 2008 12:23 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
What It Would Take to Kill New York -- A Simple Scenario from March, 2004


In the news today, Feds Warn Of Terror Plot Against NYC Subways

A Pakistani immigrant was arrested and convicted for a scheme to blow up the subway station at Herald Square in 2004. There was also a planned cyanide attack on the subways by al-Qaida operatives that authorities say was called off in 2002; another aborted al-Qaida plot to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge in 2003; and a plot to bomb underwater train tunnels to flood lower Manhattan, which was broken up in 2006 by several arrests overseas.
Not, alas, news to me. What It Would Take (below) is republished from American Digest from March 13, 2004. As you and yøur family give thanks tomorrow, you might want to include George W. Bush.

AN EMAIL ASKS WHAT IT MIGHT TAKE for Islamic terrorists to move to the next level in the United States. It wouldn't, as most of us realize, take all that much. Here's one approach, but only one. There are many.

The Elements:
One City: New York
Three Locations: The Brooklyn Bridge, Union Square, Penn Station
Terrorists: 4

The Equipment:
Plastique explosives ( 10-15 pounds) of good quality, preferably military, from one of the stashes hidden years ago around Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn Backpacks: 2
Ten penny nails and ball bearings: 4 pounds
Anthrax: 2 Liters from the New Jersey stash
Machine Guns: 4 (Small) with 2 extra clips each

The Time:
Late September to Early March when the weather makes wearing coats common.

Intellectual Equipment:
An understanding of the New York subway and bridge system, an understanding of symbolism in America, a willingness to die.

The Method:
For over a year after the Eleventh, I used to think about the nature of the Brooklyn Bridge, and how easy it would be to damage this 19th century structure every time I walked across it -- which was often.

On the Eleventh I stood at the Brooklyn end of the bridge handing out water bottles to the ash-shrouded ghosts that had fled across it in endless droves.

After the 11th the Brooklyn Bridge was closed except for emergency vehicles for weeks on end. After that the bridge was guarded and vehicles vetted on a random schedule for months. Sometimes the "security" went so far as to park a police car at the Brooklyn entrance.

For all I know this goes on today.

The Bridge and what it represents and, more importantly, what it controls in the way of access to and from NYC, makes for an exquisite lynchpin for a memorable workday morning in New York City. The way to work this little terrorist scenario is as follows:

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 26, 2008 9:41 PM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What a Single Nuclear Warhead Could Do

Lest we forget exactly what the stakes were in the late election, Brian Kennedy, president of the Claremont Institute and a member of the Independent Working Group on Missile Defense, remind us in this important article from the Wall St. Journal:

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 23, 2008 2:18 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Ain't It Cool?"

Truth: "uncool."

Nineteen-year-old Army Pfc. Aaron J. Ward, a Fort Lewis military policeman whose hometown was San Jacinto, Calif., was killed May 6 in Iraq's Anbar province when his patrol came under enemy fire. - Ranger, sub officer, MP with links to state died in war last month EDITOR'S NOTE: Each month, the P-I remembers the servicemen and servicewomen with ties to Washington who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The American culture of cool has become a nation apart, an alternate-America..."

It was Easter Sunday in 2004 and we were two and a half years into the war. Good Friday evening was one of those nights when, in Southern California, the weather and the combine to create what are rightly called "balmy conditions." Balm, as in a kind of salve to the soul and the skin. The air is warm but not too warm. The skies are clear and the stars seem closer. My then wife and I had just seen some current comic book confection at one of the 20 screen multiplexes that are so numerous in this area that you can see the same movies 15 times within a ten mile radius.

We sat by a large sandstone and marble fountain in the stone circle between the vast theater and the vaster parking lot. It was date night and the beginning of Spring Break for the schools of Orange County. All around us kids from 11 to 18 were whooping and laughing and forming clusters of friends. They were dressed according to the upscale Goth-Surfer/Balkan Refugee dress-code common to the kid culture here on the coast. Most were too young to have tattoos or piercing, but you could see some were already planning where those lifestyle statements would go. They were slim, energetic and heedless of the future. In short, they were just reasonably rich kids in America in 2003. No different now in 2008, seven and a half years into a war they've been trained to hate or ignore.

The war was not and will probably never become these kids' concern. It isn't even something they consider outside of, perhaps, a few classroom exercises of dubious intent or merit. There is no reason they should consider war, nor do I wish that upon them. It isn't, in any real sense, their war. War isn't being asked of us or the affluent kids of Orange County, nor does it seem likely to be. Besides, war isn't what they're into.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 12, 2008 11:48 AM |  Comments (23)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Out? Not So Fast. Our Military Bases in Iraq Are Essential

[Note: First published on September 22, 2004 as WHY WE ARE IN IRAQ : Military Bases Are A Requirement, Democracy is Merely an Elective. Only the names have changed. The songs remain the same.]

"Did you ever get the feeling that you wanted to go?
And still get the feeling that you wanted to stay?"

-- Jimmy Durante

Resolved: To safeguard the personal and economic wellbeing of the civilized world in the 21st century, it is essential for the United States to control Iraq for strategic and tactical military purposes alone.

Let's take a step back from our always entertaining electoral circus to cast a cold eye on what needs to be done in Iraq beyond November and far beyond 2005. Don't watch the hand waving the magic wand around, watch the hand held behind the back. It holds what is going to be pulled out of the hat.

Instead of spending untold hours listening to this or that speech from the two sides of the American coin, it's more instructive to take down an atlas, turn to a spread displaying the middle-east and meditate on what needs to be done to control that section of the world.

And while you're at it here's a couple of things you can forget about:

  • 1) Democracy in Iraq at all costs.
  • Forget that "We" are in Iraq to bring the blessings of "democracy" to the people. It would be a nice gift to instill "democracy" in an Islamic state of the middle-east. We will spend a lot of money trying to achieve this. We will be sincere in our desire for it to be born. It will make our task easier in the short and long term. But "democracy" is not strictly necessary for the current strategic interests of the United States in the region.
Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 7, 2007 12:00 PM |  Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Every Thorn Has a Rose
rosethorn.jpg gazaworse.jpg
  • "Five years ago, Middle Eastern extremists were killing Israelis and Americans. Today they are killing each other. Why is it that some people persist in claiming that Israel's and America's Middle East policy is a failure?" -- Alan Chamberlain

A friend in Israel notes that, during the previous week, whenever the television news would announce a possible ceasefire between the Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fatah, her husband would shout towards the television, "No! No! Don't do it!"

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 14, 2007 5:37 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The New Excuse: Middle East Is "Irrelevant"/ "Doesn't Matter"

The ever-expanding throng of those who want to "get out now even if we have to come back later" seem to be trial-balooning a new Middle East meme. To wit, "That troublesome region? Hah, it isn't really important. Just a bunch of Arabs and Jews bopping about. Who cares?"

The American Interest showcases this devil-may-care attitude with The Irrelevance of the Middle East by Philip Auerswald: "As the 21st century unfolds, the Middle East (leaving Israel aside for the moment) will matter less and less to the United States and to most of the rest of the world." You've got to love that aside about leaving Israel aside.

Posted by Vanderleun at May 3, 2007 3:41 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
There's a Lot to Loathe in the Baker Report

But this conjoined pair of 'Recommendations' floats right to the top of the Surrender cesspool.

RECOMMENDATION 31: Amnesty. Amnesty proposals must be far-reaching. Any successful effort at national reconciliation must involve those in the government finding ways and means to reconcile with former bitter enemies.

RECOMMENDATION 37: Iraqi amnesty proposals must not be undercut in Washington by either the executive or the legislative branch.

It would seem that to the cardboard cut-outs that fashioned this chunk of crap that the criminals who have been building bombs and shooting our soldiers must, for "the sake of the children," "world peace," or the end of Israel, or some such, be let to just walk away. What's more, Baker expects everyone to agree to this going in. No override from the executive or the legislature.

Let's just suppose we, at some time in the far distant future, really do get out of Iraq. In the process, some group of criminals takes aim at a departing brigade and slaughters them by fair means or foul?

I guess that would be, from Baker's perspective, just dumb luck filed under "Shit happens."

That's the problem with all these pabulum reports and swatches of smarm oozing out of our "corridors of power" these days. There is simply no will to put some power in the proposals. Cardboard souls in empty skulls just wishing and hoping that somehow the party years will return and the American Happy World will roll along. As well it might.

For today. For, maybe, tomorrow.

But we all know, deep down, we're just waiting for the day of the bomb.

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 6, 2006 1:06 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Man With A Plan Panama -- Vacation, That Is

One of my more clear-headed email correspondents has a plan for a little R&R for Iraq Operations at this point in the game. To wit:

Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 20, 2006 6:44 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Weaponization of Children

THE NEW BATTLE FLAG now being waved high over the armies of Allah mustering across the world is not the banner of Muhammad, but a flag almost as ancient as the prophet, the Bloody Shirt. Among the weak in arms and courage and righteousness, the Bloody Shirt is their weapon of mass distraction; their attempt to storm the moral high ground and hold it as they wait for their reinforcements of love, peace, compassion and truce to flow in from the far corners of the world screaming "Stop this barbaric war that slaughters, for God's sake, innocent women and children!"

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 31, 2006 10:09 AM |  Comments (23)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"RULES? IN A KNIFE FIGHT?": Redrafting the Rules of Engagement in the First Terrorist War

Harvey Logan: Rules? In a knife fight? No rules.
[Butch immediately kicks Harvey in the groin]
Butch Cassidy: Well, if there aint' going to be any rules, let's get the fight started. -- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

"You hear me talkin', hillbilly boy? I ain't through with you by a damn sight. I'ma get medieval on your ass." -- Pulp Fiction

By rote and by ritual most Americans to assert that they "Support our troops." But as we all know, yet seldom admit, America has more of the known reserves of the world's bullshit than the Saudis have oil. The truth of the matter is that far too many Americans are becoming far too interested in our troops behaving correctly than actually supporting and sustaining them. They blather support out of one orifice while spewing disdain from the other. We hear these clapped-out flatulators daily at work, on the street, and over the tube of the boobs. I don't know about you, but for me these hyperventilating hypocrites are beginning to gripe my hindquarters big time.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 12, 2006 12:11 AM |  Comments (27)  | QuickLink: Permalink
World War III: "The Truth? You Can't Handle the Truth"

BUSH STATES WHAT HAS BEEN OBVIOUS FOR OVER FOUR YEARS ( Bush says fight against terror is 'World War III' ) and the ripping sound of twisting knickers and busted bodices echos across the blogosphere.

Posted by Vanderleun at May 6, 2006 8:18 PM |  Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Fish. Barrel. Bang: Taking Bin-Laden at His Word

If it's a Crusade, let's start crusading....

Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 24, 2006 11:45 AM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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