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Grim
Interests: history, philosophy, mythology, military science.
Recent Activity
If God sends us a second Joan of Arc, I'll be the first to follow her where she wills.
Toggle Commented Oct 10, 2014 on Women in the Combat Arms at BLACKFIVE
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I think it makes more sense to apply a hard rule against women applying, to be honest. Cassandra of Villainous Company points out the consequence of what I said in the OP here: we have to remember that these women have been training for this set of tests, so they've maximized their potential for them at a level that isn't probably sustainable across the course of a career. Cass' term is "hot-house flower," but although that's evocative of her point, I hesitate to use it out of respect for what these women have in fact accomplished. What she's after is that this is a level of performance that is achievable with a lot of time and effort -- and it still results in a failure rate of 28 times higher. We have to recognize some truths about the physical structure of the different bodies. A woman may be strong enough potentially, and she may even be strong enough actually for a little while if she devotes herself full-time to it. But even that strength is fragile in a way the ordinary male Marine's is not, and fragility has no place in the combat arms. The reason isn't out of fear for the woman: it's the cost of her fragility on the Marines next to her.
Toggle Commented Oct 10, 2014 on Women in the Combat Arms at BLACKFIVE
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So, the Marine Corps has been running some tests. I know you've read about the top-line ones, such as women testing at the Infantry Officers' Course. But it's a much broader effort, and some of the results have begun to be analyzed by independent agencies. Now, remember that these are women who have already succeeded in becoming Marines, and have further self-selected by volunteering to be tested as examples of female strength and endurance. They're the very best, in other words, and deserve a great deal of respect both for achieving the title of Marine and for putting themselves forward in this way. So look at the results, and let's talk about whether this policy is the right one for the US military. Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
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Maybe you're getting the hang of this, Mr. President. President Barack Obama wants everyone to know "how we roll": The US always takes the lead in international crises. ...Obama was asked why the US is contributing such a significant portion of the military coalition against the jihadist group known as the Islamic State or ISIS. Obama responded by arguing that other countries were not stepping up. "When trouble comes up anywhere in the world, they don't call Beijing, they don't call Moscow. They call us. That's the deal," he quipped.... "That's always the case. That's always the case. America leads. We are the indispensable nation," he said. "We have capacity no one else has. Our military is the best in the history of the world." Your people should reach out to us. We can help you with this one. After all, a lot of us are the ones who did it last time. We're the ones who know the right people by name, and have sat on their couches and eaten oranges or drunk boiled coffee. Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Funny thing: Yemen suddenly exploded at the same time.
Toggle Commented Sep 23, 2014 on So it begins... at BLACKFIVE
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Détente!
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I continue to field, every day, new requests to join our efforts. Unfortunatley, so does the enemy. Everyone saw the propaganda video of the execution of the journalist, although apparently it was released too early. Most likely they filmed it at the same go as when they brought the journalist out to threaten him at the tag end of the Foley video. Clever, in a way, and it obviously prevents the success of any future rescue videos should the video give away some detail that could be used for location by US intelligence. On the other hand, the revelation of the trick undermines the effectiveness of hostages in the future: we have no reason not to assume the hostages shown on camera aren't already dead. Their magazine is much better. The Tattler focused on the high-dollar language, but buried deeper in the piece are powerful messages designed to get Westerners of a certain kind to come and join them. It's not just disaffected youth they are targeting. It is also those who have succeeded and gotten jobs, but find in the workaday misery and alienation of modern life reason to burn it all down -- people like Zaccarais Moussaoui, who had a Master's degree when he joined al Qaeda and learned to fly airplanes. The modern day slavery of employment, work hours, wages, etc., is one that leaves the Muslim in a constant feeling of subjugation to a kāfir master. He does not live the might and honor that every Muslim should live and experience. It is as if Bilāl... never were emancipated to live a free man, the Islamic State of Madīnah were never established, and the verses of jihād, jizyah, and war booty were never revealed upon the Prophet of the Muslim Um - mah! What a life to offer a young man! What is there to compare with it, either in the 'thug life' of unemployment and minor crime for those young men who fail in our societies, or even the 'successful' life mocked by Office Space, by the very professors who prepared young men for that life? It is no wonder ISIS is succeeding at convincing hot-blooded young men to leave everything and come to them. Do not say to yourself, “I might get arrested.” That fear is unsure and the obligation of hijrah is certain. It is not correct to nullify what is certain with what is unsure (as has been stated by Shaykh ‘Abdullāh ‘Azzām in some of his speeches and writings).... Do not worry about money or accommodations for yourself and your family. There are plenty of homes and resources to cover you and your family. Very likely many will go. These are the ones who can also return to us most easily: they have passports, speak the languages, have contacts in the countries they might wish to infiltrate, and can get money there. Your enemy understands them, both that it wants them and how to call to their hearts. Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Don't be too surprised. Lots of blue-collar soldiers like the Dropkick Murphys, and if it's good enough for them, we can overlook the occasional difference. As for your strategic advice, it's not bad. I assure you we're not planning anything like anything you've seen before.
Toggle Commented Aug 30, 2014 on "We don’t have a strategy yet" at BLACKFIVE
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You're in luck. We have one. We're in week three of execution. Volunteers are working on several fronts. If anyone at the administration would like to discuss it, and how they can support it, the email is on the sidebar. No irony here -- we can help you. If any of you have been thinking about wanting to take the war to ISIS, and haven't yet reached out, drop me a line. Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
CNN is reporting that the fracture story is false, but the issue you're raising to the side was the point I wanted to make. It doesn't only matter what the one guy believed. It also matters what the jury believes, and indeed what the judge and prosecutor believe. Do they in fact believe he was in fear, and do they believe the fear was a reasonable one? I suspect he'll walk, but the process is a little more complicated.
Toggle Commented Aug 22, 2014 on Was the shooting in Ferguson justified? at BLACKFIVE
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Why don't you email me? We aren't going to be getting on a plane right away, but there are things you could do right now to help us put this together.
Toggle Commented Aug 21, 2014 on "Here I am. Send me." at BLACKFIVE
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Speaking of World Peace Media, is it at the Youtube Channel stage, or is there something else people should be checking daily?
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If you've been sent, I can use you. We just have to find the way.
Toggle Commented Aug 21, 2014 on "Here I am. Send me." at BLACKFIVE
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I agree that it's very important that AR 670-1 doesn't end up on the streets. The mustache regs alone are an affront to human dignity.
Toggle Commented Aug 20, 2014 on This Scourge Must End! at BLACKFIVE
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Court cases in MO must be fast. "Are you sure you were in fear for your life when you killed your fellow citizen?" "Yes, sir!" "All right then, you're free to go."
Toggle Commented Aug 20, 2014 on Was the shooting in Ferguson justified? at BLACKFIVE
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The New York Times asks, "Who will stand up for the Christians?" We have also seen the beheading of our countryman, and many others. We have heard that they will drown us in blood. Our first week of standing up a volunteer organization was very productive. There will be updates regularly as the process continues. As of now, I'll give you our informally-chosen theme song. But if you wish to say as the headline says, watch this space. Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Good advice, although these days it's probably just as legally perilous to start up any kind of business in America. :) I suppose we'll have to provide health care!
Toggle Commented Aug 13, 2014 on Volunteers for Kurdistan at BLACKFIVE
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Then you're in you want to be, Deebow, but it isn't "they" who are going to put this Expendables crew together. It's us. I've begun having some discussions in the back channels about it. Planning is very initial, but I'm quite serious about this.
Toggle Commented Aug 13, 2014 on Volunteers for Kurdistan at BLACKFIVE
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As even the Pope is on board now, surely there can be little objection to a few of us making a ride out to Kurdistan to defend the Yazidi and the Christians, and to strike a blow against this "Caliphate." The main problem will be funding, not finding volunteers. Logistics is always the problem, and the government of the United States will not be reliable at least as long as the current bunch is in charge. All the more reason to do as our ancestors from Tennessee did when they rode out to Texas to contest Santa Anna, or as our ancestors from the American Volunteer Group did when they rode out to China to contest Imperial Japan, or as many others have done in the history of these conflicts. We will need some money, ladies and gentlemen. We'll have to build an organization from the ground. It has been done before, though, and often in the history of the West. There is no reason we cannot do it too. Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
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When America was operating with what Bush called 'the coalition of the willing,' the idea was that the exercise was illegitimate because it wasn't broadly international. Now you have Russians and Iranians alongside NATO forces from Turkey and the US. Pretty international, that. So is it good news? Of course not -- now we're to be criticized for not being able to exert enough influence, because we've got too many international powers on board. I get it. Any stick is good enough to beat us with, and you'll gladly use whichever one comes to hand. But you'll forgive me if I don't take the criticism very seriously. The ideal outcome in Iraq from my perspective is a free Kurdistan, a free Sunni area under tribal leadership rather than ISIL's, and a smaller, less-powerful Baghdad whose alignment to Iran will be less pernicious than before the war (and which will no longer have the power to act viciously toward Sunni and Kurdish citizens). We don't need to be able to put much pressure on Maliki to obtain that, since the partition has happened in spite of him and his forces. What we need to do is to support the Kurds, and reach out to our Awakening allies among the Sunnis who want not to be subject to ISIL (a group they remember very well, whose abuses were a major part of what triggered the Awakening).
Toggle Commented Aug 10, 2014 on Airstikes and Reality at BLACKFIVE
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I agree we shouldn't double the bet. A sound policy shouldn't involve us deploying several divisions like last time. It should involve us deploying FID assets and air assets to keep the Kurdish region free (and safe for hosting an air component). As you say, they're the only friends we have. After that, I'd proceed by reaching out to our former Awakening allies to see if they'd like to try to take charge of the Sunni insurgency from ISIL. If they would, I'd offer clandestine support.
Toggle Commented Aug 9, 2014 on Airstikes and Reality at BLACKFIVE
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Whether it was wise or a blunder depends on how it turns out, doesn't it? And we're only part way into the game. We might have been done with the game, if we'd kept some folks on the ground -- especially to enforce Maliki to keep his word with the Kurds and the Sunnis. But we didn't, and he didn't, and it's his fault that we're having another round. In the meantime, the real issue isn't that water under the bridge. It's that there are wicked men conducting genocide against a helpless Yazidi and Christian population, and we have the means to do something about it. I'd ride in that cause whatever came before, and whatever comes after.
Toggle Commented Aug 9, 2014 on Airstikes and Reality at BLACKFIVE
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We have entered an age of genocide and ethnic cleansing, as a persual of the news will make clear. If you are on the Left, you are perhaps most concerned about Israel. Juan Cole wonders if "Zionists" are talking about a "Final Solution" to the long problems with Palestine. He links to an Israeli writer who seems to be wondering just when genocide is permitted as a defensive measure, a question the answer to which will be disappointing to the author.* If you are on the Right, you are probably thinking about ISIS/ISIL, who are waging a genocidal campaign against both Christians and Yazidis. This is being done according to the old forms: systematically killing the men and male children, taking the women and girls as sexual slaves. The Iliad was built around a war of this kind, as are some of the Old Testament books (especially the Book of Joshua). The Beowulf ends assuming that this fate awaits the Geats with their mighty king dead and their warriors humiliated. The Koran appears to advocate this in some of its verses as well. This was the way things were, and now it is the way that they are again. The question is therefore not why the age of genocide has returned, but why it ever stopped. The answer is that there was a brief window of history in which Western Christian states were the chief world powers, and those states had developed a religious and philosophical tradition of restraining war's violence against noncombatants. They wrote the rules of this tradition into the laws that are supposed to govern violence in our world, and they did something to enforce them or live by them. They failed at times -- especially the Germans did during the Nazi period, but there were other failures including our own treatment of certain American Indians -- but as a civilization they believed in these rules as if they were laws, and were willing to pay a cost to make them real. They believed in it so much that they wrote their laws as if "civilization" itself was synonymous with this tradition's understanding, though no such tradition existed in much older civilizations elsewhere. They used their power to compel, urge, bribe, or coerce the most of the world into signing documents attesting to these principles they called laws. True belief in these principles, though, was not as widely shared as the signatures would suggest. The reason that the age of genocide has returned is not that the West has ceased to believe, although much of it has, but that it has ceased to be strong, or willing to pay a cost. For decades the last true force of the civilization belonged to America, with a few brave warriors from allied nations though those nations as a whole increasingly voted against strength. When the American people chose the same path, the return of genocide was inevitable. * The answer is that, under the system of international laws to which he is appealing, it can never be justified as a punitive measure. The only case in which genocide might be justified is one of supreme emergency, and even that is controversial. Still, if Hamas represented in fact the existential threat to Israel that it wishes it were, it might be justifiable -- not to punish, but for Israel to defend itself against actual annihilation. Israel might reject that system in favor of a Biblical one -- just as ISIL rejects the Western tradition outright, and asserts its justification in its understanding of the Koran -- but Israel has invested quite a bit in the international laws against genocide. Indeed, having tried Eichmann under an assertion of universal jurisdiction, any Israeli linked to genocide would be subject to prosecution by any court of any nation worldwide by their own national precedent. Of course, if the system of international law is dying in any case -- and it will die, if no one steps up who is willing to pay the cost to enforce its norms -- Israel may have no more to lose than has ISIL. Yet I would wait, if I were them: it may well be that some strength remains in the West, though it is hidden for now. Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
You're on.
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If BLACKFIVE.net has to put forward a champion for a duel with the sword, with all due respect...
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