Monday, April 18, 2016


SS Division Handshar - Bosnian SS

The ideological underpinnings of ISIS came from WW 2 resistance against Britain and France with the support of Nazi Germany and later Stalin of the Soviet Union.  The fusion of Arab nationalism plus bits and pieces of Arab Socialism aka National Socialism took shape in the Baath Party which held power in Iraq and had been influential in other Arab states.  Nasser and Sadat were both German agents in the period before El Alamein to time the Egyptian Army’s revolt from garrison against the British.

 The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin Al Husseini was a Nazi who raised Bosnian and Arabs SS units.

Fig 1
The pattern of total submission to ISIS version of Islam and the execution of all others is a purely Western notion, the worst examples being the Holocaust and Stalin’s purges.
The default manner of dealing with minorities ethnic groups by Islam from the time of the Rashidun Caliphs, through the Ottoman Sultans was flexible and accommodating of various groups’ values closest to family, village and tribe. 

Fig 2
Proof of the matter is the fate of minorities in Iraq and Syria who have survived the entire period of Muslim rule, and some go back before the Israelites.  The Yazidun, for example go back before Zoroastrianism.   Now for the first time in all that time, they are being butchered like the Nazi Death Squads was loose. 
Under the Ottomans, minorities were ruled in a flexible and conciliatory mode, known as the Millet System. 

“In the heterogeneous Ottoman Empire (c. 1300–1923), a millet was an autonomous self-governing religious community, each organized under its own laws and headed by a religious leader, who was responsible to the central government for the fulfillment of millet responsibilities and duties, particularly those of paying taxes and maintaining internal security. In addition, each millet assumed responsibility for social and administrative functions not provided by the state, conducting affairs through a communal council (meclisimill├«) without intervention from outside. From 1856 on, a series of imperial reform edicts introduced secular law codes for all citizens, and much of the millets’ administrative autonomy was lost.”
Encyclopedia Britannica
Massacre at Sinjar
Fig 3
The early Muslim empires from the Rashidun Caliphs, Umayad, Abbasid, Seljuk, Fatimid and Ottomans offered the conquered a simple choice, of minding their own business plus tax, or converting with a tax break.  The loss of revenue from those converted then, as now, operated as an incentive to keep the peace. 

Otherwise, Islam would have been forced back into the desert instead of fostering a higher degree of tolerance for minorities than the Europe until after the French Revolution allowed Jews to be treated as mensch.  Jews were driven out of Spain and found home in the Ottoman Empire.  Jews and other minority figures could rise to positions of wealth and power, by playing according to the rules.
While many can argue about script and dogma, the treatment of minorities was practical, pragmatic, and profitable. Consequently the arguments used by ISIS to massacre those who Islam has protect for over a thousand years, are insults to the Caliphates they purport to represent. 

It should be remembered that Iraq revolted against the British with Nazi assistance (that didn’t amount to much).   Saddam Hussein’s surrogate father, his maternal uncle Kairallah, had fought in the 1941 uprising against Britain, and suffered thereafter because of it.  The Ba’th (Arab National Socialist) party was nationalist not religious, and subsequent use of religion since 9-11 is convenient propaganda for Saddam’s humiliated legions. 

Fig 4
Saddam’s butchery to his own people are legend, and the tradition continues with ISIS. 
Suffer the Children,

Fig 6

Gordon S Fowkes, LTC USA RET

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Winning the Peace

The Shogan and the Emperor

The Ideal Warfigher is one who fights when necessary to advance the cause of his polity (nation, tribe, family) in ways that support the process of survival.  This is fundamentally, the feeding and breeding of same in ways the nurture and protects the future, children who can cope as in sustained survival of children at puberty at a ratio of 2.1 per couple.  Failure to do so means the polity dies or dies out.
The Psychological Roles needed for Survival for players pro and con

The operative term is protection as in against those who would destroy the ability of the polity to survive.   This is the psychological aspect of nurturing and protecting against threats, often called villains. The process of protection has defensive and offensive sides one of which is directed at the villains own ability to survive. Hence one man’s hero is another’s villain.

Victory in any such conflict occurs when both hero and villain benefit from the arrangements post combat.  And believe it so.  The current imbroglio in the Muddled East is largely due to the inability for the combatants to get to a mutually satisfactory post combat arrangement. 
All the firepower, maneuver, and destruction of war that ignores this is a pure waste and a threat to the survival of all combatants to the party.
If you know your enemy and you know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.

 If you know yourself but not the enemy for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.

If you know neither the enemy nor yourself you will succumb in every battle.

Sun Tzu’s advice applies to all walks of life.  Especially in divorce court.

Family Values
Knowing enemies, friendlies or those on the fence depends upon the array of psychological roles and attendant sociological rules that make up the substance of cultural or marker awareness. 
The Sociological Rules that support the Psychological Roles

For the professional warmonger, T.E. Lawrence’s 27 Articles is a brilliant case study sadly ignored in the late unpleasantness.  Rules such as these change with each culture
  1. Go easy for the first few weeks
  2. .Get to know their families, clans and tribes, friends and enemies, wells, hills and roads
  3.   In matters of business deal only with the commander…. of the army.   Never give orders to anyone at all. 
  4.    Win and keep the confidence of your leader
5.       Remain in touch with your leader as constantly and unobtrusively as you can
6.       Be shy of too close relations with the subordinates of the expedition
7.       Treat the sub-chiefs of your force quite easily and lightly
8.       Your ideal position is when you are present and not noticed
9.       Magnify and develop the growing conception of the Sherifs as the natural aristocracy…
10.   Call your Sherif 'Sidi' in public and in private
11.   The foreigner and Christian is not a popular person in Arabia
12.   Cling tight to your sense of humour. You will need it every day.
13.   Never lay hands on an Arab; you degrade yourself.
14.   While very difficult to drive, the Bedu are easy to lead.
15.    Do not try to do too much with your own hands.
16.   A well-placed gift is often most effective in winning over a suspicious sheikh. Never receive a present without giving a liberal return,
17.   Wear an Arab head cloth when with a tribe. Bedu have a malignant prejudice against the hat,
18.    Complete success, which is when the Arabs forget your strangeness and speak naturally before you, counting you as one of themselves,
19.   If you wear Arab things, wear the best
20.   If you wear Arab things at all, go the whole way.
21.   Religious discussions will be frequent. Say what you like about your own side, and avoid criticism of theirs, unless you know that the point is external.
22.   Do not try to trade on what you know of fighting. The Hejaz confounds ordinary tactics
23.   Allusion is more effective than logical exposition: they dislike concise expression
24.   Do not mix Bedu and Syrians, or trained men and tribesmen
25.   Avoid too free talk about women. It is as difficult a subject as religion, and their standards are so unlike our own
26.   Be as careful of your servants as of yourself
27.   Bury yourself in Arab circles, have no interests and no ideas except the work in hand,

Lawrence at Aqaba

Psychological Operations.

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. Sun Tzu

In short, winning wars that stay won requires knowing the right motivation for the right people in the right place with the right kind of power.   In Cold War terms, these are key communicators, as those who had links to people we could not talk to.  A two-step process.  And who were open to selected themes and symbols.  Of special note, these key communicators are those who may or may not hate out guts.

The Polish Underground in WW2 stopped war production for the Germans for one whole day by issuing a single official looking flyer announcing that all workers could take Hitler’s Birthday, off.  Better than a thousand bomber raid.

All Politics is Local and run by the Construction and Entertainment businesses.
As earth bound creatures, who goes where to do what is implicit in breeding and feeding.  Whether this be a fishing boat, a crib, or in one’s MacMansion in the ‘burbs is the domain of the General Contractor, Building Inspector, Hooker and Pharaoh.   As it is inferred in the Old Testament, Moses was a Building Inspector for the Pharaoh who crossed the General Contractor who got Moses tossed in the mud to make below code bricks (as in without straw). 
Making Brick with Straw ... Code Compliant

Terrain and trafficability analysis by Moses left the pursuing Pharaoh’s panzers swimming with the fishes. 
Moses Parts the Sea

All politics is local, and all local politics is about use and not use of the land.   Getting to local brings the best fruit.  All politicians above the local level succor the support of the construction and entertainment industries.  Therein lies the Achilles’ Heels. 
The Governator

Entertainment. Should one doubt the depth of sincerity herein depicted, it should be noted that Sun Yat Sen’s base of power in China were the Triads, Tongs, and other previously pro-Ming Anti-Machu gambling, prostitution and protection rackets.  Chiang Kai Check’s power base in Shanghai was the Green Gang.
Real Estate. The plantation owners of the Virginia Tidelands dominated US politics until they went South.  When Oil replaced Wool and Cotton, who drilled where and when runs deep in the political bedrock.  A necessary precursor to oil is the steel industry.   The present conflicts in the Ukraine are over the Soviet built Don Bass Iron and Coal triangle.  We call this industrial real estate. 
Highways and Byways, Rivers and Ridges
Commerce and war move along those routes where the going is easiest which normally includes rivers, high ground, and low ground approaches and restricted where high ground intersects such as passes, and cross corridors.  Generally speaking, towns will grow on the opposite side of a barrier, such as a mountain pass, river and big thickets.  This can be represented by a pair of hands:
Movement is best with the grain, opposed across

Whether by commerce, piracy, governance or war, the control of key pieces of ground by one or another goes to three levels of significance: Strategic, Operational, and/or Tactical.  This applies to marketing grapefruit as well as firepower:

Forking, the Indirect Approach.
Liddell Hart, in reaction to the carnage of WW 2, advocated the Indirect Approach, in which the enemy was placed on the horns of a dilemma, trying to cover more courses of action than could be handled:
From Liddell Hart. "In Strategy the longest way around is often the shortest way there. A direct approach to the object exhausts the attacker and hardens the resistance by compression, where as an indirect approach loosens the defender's hold by upsetting his balance".[1]
From Sun Tzu: "In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory. In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack – the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers. The direct and the indirect lead on to each other in turn. It is like moving in a circle – you never come to an end. Who can exhaust the possibilities of their combination?"[2]
The Force
There are two kinds of warriors: Farmers and Hunters.  No combat ready force passes an inspection, and many inspection ready forces are doomed.  Farmers need directions, hunters need an incentive.
German Dead in Russia

The Chain of Command is no stronger than its weakest links.  Nor can it stand alone on the bottom link. Nor can it be separated from the whole of the endeavor. Train from the top down, not the bottom up. The smallest parts only work in the sense of the larger whole; the squad works in the context of battles by four levels up, no less.
Peace on Earth

All living creatures carry battle drill in the genes, often first shown as play.  Hide and Seek is an evasion drill as are hiding in dark or high places. “ Keep Away” is about being the dinner or the diner.  “Ring around the rosey” is about the Black Death.
Keep Away

Battles are won or lost in context of the whole sensory environment; sights, sounds, smells, taste and touch.  Of these, smell is the oldest and bypasses all others to the brain. 
Full Sensory Context of Battle

While once not too many centuries ago, technological change was slow, often centuries in the making. Now it is in the blink of an eye.  Knowing the range of shifting options of the Tactical Imperatives is critical in lasting until lunch.  These are extensions of the parts of the body in four modes which ricochet to create a kaleidoscope of options.
Faster than the blink of an eye

Despite the best efforts of your best, it is best to get the best deal for the standing. 
Home Again, Home Again

Hic finitur Lectio

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Flipping the Bird instead of COIN

Flipping Birds at Counter Insurgency, Flipping Bass Ackwards.
By Gordon S Fowkes,

ST Bartholemew's Massacre of French Calvinits, 1572

Now is the time for Bass Wholes on both sides of the Aisle to bay at the winds and microphones of how “nation building is not a military job” or how “remotely piloted vehicles” with pin point precision is a war crime, unlike carpet bombing of Japan and Germany which were not.   Now is also the time when virgin pundits describe that which never happened in Vietnam, or those whose scope of understanding of the nuances of mortal combat are confused with Four Quarters or Nine Innings. War is not a game, nor is it an election, nor a debate.  War Sucks, but somebody has to do it. 

And it better be done right.

War is not a continuation of politics by other means, it is politics with other means just as an airstrike is no different from a traffic ticket aimed at reducing the speed of the action. Whatever it takes to feed and protect the family is what the fighting is all about, as is all the rest of survival of the adaptive, fit or not.

And if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  That sad tale is how the best equipped, best trained, best led, and best supported military force of the US, was bested by a hollow point between the ears, by a bloated bureaucracy bent on self-aggrandizement and career enhancement.  The latter a sham foisted on those in field grades with eyes on the stars whose chosen slots were shot down by those without branch or insignia.

US MP and German Police on Traffic Duty during Occupation

But enough for the platitudes.  We screwed up, again as we had in the villages and towns of other ancient civilizations. We assumed (ass out of you and me) that our fantasies of what was sacred and absolute truth, were as imaginary as are those of our enemies are towards their own.  

Muslims have this nutty idea that Islam is the central truth of the universe, despite that they aren’t even a (Circle One, or more):
  • American, Texan, Southern Californian, German, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, French, Italian, Russian, Chechen, and/or _________________. 

The fundamental motivation of the Rescuer is to convert the Victim and fight villainy, insanity, and heresy.  Nation building is rescuing and converting the helpless and stupid to worship the ground we walk on.

 Civil Affairs (and Military Governance) works to grease the gears that might not mesh, and fix shot up places get to their own feet.  Regardless of what kind of shoes they wear.  The flip side of CAMG is to flip the other guy’s feet. These include Special Forces and Special Operations.  Psychological Operations supports both stand and flip.


The term counter insurgency became the fad by means obscure to me, as it anoints the counter insurgent with a righteousness not bestowed upon the insurgent.  And, to make it even clearer, what is an insurgent?  The Taliban was the effective government in place in Afghanistan when the US took sides with the Northern Alliance and invaded.  That was a surge against the Taliban, but not an insurgency? The term has a political definition not relevant to military operations. 

Nevertheless, the logical lines of operation (LLO) in the counter insurgency (COIN) as originally spelled out in the Army/Marine Corps manual on Counter Insurgency applies in fact to all of war for or against those whose contributions to success or failure make a difference.  

LLO or LLE or whatever dissected the body politic into functions of a society including governance. Or as it is done by ISIS in reverse to topple and repeat on those toppled.

From one of the manuals LLO are directed at:
  • 1.     Civil Security
  • 2.     Civil Control
  • 3.     Security Forces
  • 4.     Governance
  • 5.     Essential Services
  • 6.     Economy and Infrastructure
  • 7.     Advertising and Public Relations

As one who is retired from the City of Houston (Building Inspections) and member of many a society for the preservation of the good, and disruption of the bad, this is a fairly standard list of logical lines of reelection, election or selection to the higher and mighty.  At present, REMFCOM appears to have decided that local governance is not one of interest to the infantry including those on boots who must travel the routes through those local governances with unpronounceable names.

Just as it is in local elections, the efforts of one side to enhance their version of the LLO, must be destroyed, disrupted and/or discredited by actions against the other’s LLO, and to enhance the other’s own.   This is precisely what the Taliban and ISIS are doing, and have been doing for decades, in one version or another.

There are, therefore, four variants of LLO depending upon which side one is on:
  • 1.     Making your own,
  • 2.     Wrecking someone else’s,
  • 3.     Defending one’s own,
  • 4.     Wrecking the wreckers.

This bears some resemblance to the Tactical Imperatives of combat.

Stability Operations therefore have the same four modes. As such there is Stabilization and Destabilization already under Special Operations Command, as it was under the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation.  And therein, lie many a good example of what not to do and what to do.

The Hanging of French Protestants during wars of religion

The Cold War was a religious war in all but name.  The present religious wars are like the political wars of the religion, as the two differ only in name.

 Bloody Awful ISIS is!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Liars, Advertisers, and True Believers

The Truth about Liars, Advertisers and True Believers

I hated it when my father said that all facts are just someone’s opinion.  It was damning as he was a renowned Chemist and decorated artillery officer from WW2 in the Pacific.  His nickname in the 31st Infantry Division (Dixie) was “Fearless Fred”.

If facts are opinions, so is the truth.    In order to manage getting through the day, one must make decisions on other’s opinions based on opinions that one would like to treat is if they were true facts.  . What we do is to assign a level of confidence in the accuracy, relevance and reliability to the “opinions” we want to treat as “facts”.  After all, doesn’t one and one make two?  One apple and one banana make two fruits if one is from San Francisco. 

But, one can’t get of bed without knowing where the floor is. Or where the car keys are.


When dealing with other people, however, we treat their opinions based on the “truthiness” of that person and/or their opinions. It helps to know when they are diverging from the real truth (whatever one accepts as such).  Such divergence can be categorized as lies which the liar knows is false. There are True Believers who believe the false as true but also lie to themselves as well. Being wrong is not a measure of belief or lie, just being wrong as the facts don’t support the truth (or the other way around).   


Deep down, the liar and the true believer know that the truth they speak of are not true facts, at some level of awareness.  Deep down.  The instinctive cover up is to raise the volume, intensity, and assertion to cover the falsity subject to false attribution as true.  This is especially true when dealing with Virtues and Vices asserted or assigned.  When the volume goes up, they reverse.

I call it, the Law of the Inverse Attribution Reflex which just so happens to work out as an acronym. L.I.A.R.  The braggart brags of his own weakest virtue, and blames other with his own worst vices. 

The True Believer believes in the falsity, but subconsciously doubts.  The Liar knows he is lying.

Back in the Sixties, there was the Pam Am auto race from Canada to the Mexican border.  It was not about speed, but upon gas consumption which was touted in the ads for cars of the guzzling Sixties.  The virtue of those old cars was size, glamor and comfort, not safety. Today’s cars are hard to tell apart compared to the Sixties.


In the days before seat belts one could be belted through the windshield on collision.  And, steel cars were more easily reparable even if the driver wasn’t.



Then there were the cigarette ads that touted how low the tar in the lungs would be by smoking the Right Brand



   And clearly it was sexy. There was a style in how one smoked that would be a personal trade mark.



Now we know that gas guzzling and smoking are negative while the comfortable gas guzzler and the sexy smoker are positives.  Both are tweaked in the pitch.  Going out on a date to the drive in movies back then was as roomy as a motel room.  Then came air conditioned inside movie theaters and no foreplay room in the front nor rear. 

Now, as then, one can enhance one’s image and social impact with the display of socially significant toys, trinkets, clothes, big boobs, and hard abs.  In Los Angeles one is what one wears on the wrist and what one drives.  In San Francisco it is how, what and where one eats.  In New York it is what one wears, drinks, as well as how fast one seems to be.  In Texas and Chicago all serious business is done behind closed doors, where it belongs.  If you don’t know who or what, you don’t have the clearance to know.

And everywhere it is what comes out of one’s mouth that marks one’s turf. Sort of a dog walk and whiz.   



The dog knows what he is doing, and why.  That’s not always the case with us higher animals.



Who knows?



It helps to know what role the players are playing, plus the knowledge that the role will switch for a payoff.  Lucy gets a win which she wants, while Linus gets a dump which why he went for Lucy’s predictable switch with the football.

A knight and a murderer often use the same tactics, techniques and procedures so which color the other is doesn’t really alter the truth.  Which is why the Drama Triangle is really a circle.



The switch between victim, rescuer and prosecutor can be done in a single sentence, and in the current election especially so.  From the darker side of American demagoguery:



It boils down to what’s the tar and what’s so cool that it is hot.  The most impressive mix these days is the ad for the latest drug which pictures a picture of health while reading off a list of all the really sick stuff that could happen.  Music in the background.  The mind easily slides past cognitive dissonance without as much as a hiccup. 

 Cialis, and the four hours:

or “stifficade”

True Believers don’t lie just because they have up and down mixed up, it’s what they believe that separates them from Liars. Liars know which way is up, but they profit from calling it down. True Believers switch sides because the buzz or payoffs are greater, while the Liar lies when it is to his calculated advantage. It is hard to tell one from the other absent objective data of the subjects at hand.

Coca-Cola includes extracts from Coca leaves for cocaine, and Kola nuts for the caffeine. In 1903, the cocaine was removed from the Coca leaves for making Coca-Cola.  This goes to the everlasting snide commentary about “the Real Thing” that Coke has no coke in it anymore.  Coke was originally sold in drug stores then over drug store counters the last of which disappeared by the Sixties.



Taking the Coke out of Coke is about Power, not Truth.  The word “truth” when stressed with unnecessary trappings, wrappings, bells and whistles are fairly good lie indicators. 



Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. But it doesn’t cure getting out of the rut, grind, routine and dirty diapers. Or the in-laws.  

It takes no brains to see the link between the erection and vitality side to the core of biological survival. Feed and Breed, Paid and Laid, Dinner and a Date, Food and Family.  Decoding transactions (messages, propaganda, etc.) can be done with connecting the Tools, Rules, and Roles to Food and Family and back again: 

The Rules (Sociological) fall into two groups: Social Status and relations with the Physical World. The arm and hand signals work better than another damn acronym.

Sociological Rules

Smoking a sexy cigarette (body) in a sexy manner saves Face and hopefully Fame and maybe fortune which would be applied at the Biological level, which in turn delivers Fame as a successful breeder which enhances one’s Face and possibly fortune to buy a set of wheels to cover the Distance over the Ground in less Time.  Smoking while driving a sexy set of wheels was a definitive statement of savoir faire.


In drinking, driving and smoking were (are) at the core of the attractiveness of who gets bred.  The core of politics goes to the successful survival of the bred.  As in Family and the preservation of what was once called a “bloodline”.   The biological center of survival is the interaction of who controls the bloodline as coded in the DNA of the bred. 

The male and female sides of any given species, or part thereof, are addressed in two distinctive strategies.  The male seeks to control the bloodline by excluding any but him.  The female seeks to control the quality of the bloodline through selection of the right male.   A dominant theme in natural selection is competition between males for the female to select the winner.  An alternate (horses and lions) only one male gets to breed, the Stallion and the Simba while the lesser competitive lurk or wander. 

Biological survival of any given bloodline in humans is delicate compared to other animals by the dangers of in-breeding.  Consequently, and instinctively, the female seeks to enrich the bloodline of her part of the brood by adultery.  In response by the male bloodline is to kill the adulterous, as in stoning. If the male doesn’t suffice, another will.  Rape is the reverse of selective breeding by female selection, hence men comprise six sigma of all rapists.  And adultery is a necessary element in preventing in-breeding.  And arranged marriages relied more on issues the smitten could not. 



Even though arranged marriages are largely out of flavor today, save in certain sub-continents, the deep investment in who gets to swap whose genes for whom extends to issues other than gene swapping. It goes to deep sense of who “we” are from nuclear family to family of nations.  “They” are the enemy of the purity and essence of vital bodily fluids, so sayeth Sterling Hayden in the role of General Jack Ripper in the movie classic “Dr. Strangelove, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb”. 

Closing scene with Vera Lynn’s “We’ll meet again”, a truly beautiful song. Note the reference to breeding and a mine shaft gap:


In this movie, Sterling Hayden plays the role of a True Believer, albeit crazy.  He orders his B-52 Squadron to bomb Russia using a loop hole in the law.  Post this, and double-double checks were made in SAC.  His purpose was to leverage the Murderous side of protecting the Family in accordance with rules (Fate) to break the Body of the Soviets and make them lose Face and Fame. 



Elmer Gantry was a liar, Leon Trotsky was a True Believer.   Stalin had Trotsky murdered in Mexico City so much a threat he was to Stalin, a liar.

Gantry plays the (Battering Bastard) aka Murderous parent to cow those seeking a replacement for the Battering Daddy and Manipulative Mother (Bitch) as if disruptive (Brats).   This theme of replicating dysfunctional parenting is very much at the core of True Believer motives.  Themes such as these are found in ISIS, North Korea, and were fundamental in the Soviet Union, Red China under Mao, and Germany under Hitler.

War, however, is serious shit.


(to be continued)

Gordon S Fowkes