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15 February 2015


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I understand why he feels like he does.



So do we all. Don't do anything rash. We all need to talk about this. pl

Green Zone Cafe

Check this out:


"The 1st NAEF will deliver educational and institutional capacity building to the Kurdistan Regional Government to support their defence against Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL). Our specialists will facilitate increased technical proficiency and overall cohesive function of Peshmerga Forces."

I know one of the principals, it's legitimate.


Purpose is a wonderful, and powerful thing.

May St. Michael guard him.

- Eliot

The Twisted Genius

Long, long ago I read "Saint Michael and the Dragon" by Pierre Lieulliette, a French paratrooper in the 8th Colonial Parachute Regiment during the Algerian Civil War. I remember when he contemplated whether he and his fellow paratroopers were more akin to the dragon than Saint Michael. I recommend the book.



I have a problem with this if it becomes part of military policy. What one guy believes on his own is one thing. Bringing back the Crusades is another.


"“It's very different," he said, asked how the experiences compared. "Here I’m fighting for a people and for a faith, and the enemy is much bigger and more brutal."" Yahoo News"

I'll probably get screamed at for this, why didn't he use his faith when we created this IS mess with our lies about why we had to go to war with Iraq? Where is the self-responsibility for that? What is wrong with our country that we can't come to terms with self-reflection, and admit the consequences of our actions?

The political class sent the military to Iraq and the political class involves every sentient American capable of voting or complaining to Congress. We hoorahed this war. Pogo was right.



Any comments from the committee?


alba etie

And yesterday a Daash inspired group beheaded twenty Coptic Christians in Egypt .

Patrick Bahzad

Can't say I blame him and I certainly respect his commitment. But when you do something like this, you have to be prepared to take a "single trip ticket" (to Mosul) ... Also, as PL has stated, the legal status of such US volunteers is not clear to me either.
I don't expect this to turn into a massive landslide move however, so most likely, authorities everywhere will just look the other way.
Reminds me of a guy I knew, who joined to Christian Karen insurgency in Birma. Never saw him again.

On a very personal note, I'll just add this, rather appropriate in the circumstances I suppose:

Je m'adresse à vous, mon Dieu,
car vous seul donnez
ce qu'on ne peut obtenir que de soi.

Donnez-moi, mon Dieu, ce qu'il vous reste
Donnez-moi ce qu'on ne vous demande jamais.

Je ne vous demande pas le repos
ni la tranquillité
ni celle de l'âme, ni celle du corps.

Je ne vous demande pas la richesse
ni le succès, ni peut-être même la santé.

Je veux l'insécurité et l'inquiétude
Je veux la tourmente et la bagarre
Et que vous me les donniez, mon Dieu, définitivement,
Que je sois sûr de les avoir toujours
Car je n'aurai pas toujours le courage
de vous les demander.

Donnez-moi, mon Dieu, ce qu'il vous reste
Donnez-moi ce dont les autres ne veulent pas
mais donnez-moi aussi le courage
et la force et la foi.

Car vous seul donnez
Ce qu'on ne peut obtenir que de soi".

André ZIRNHELD, Free French paratrooper and SAS,
KIA, July 27th 1942

Kyle Pearson

It is fitting we mourn his loss.

[You] have taught us that, and for that, i thank you. This is the old-style of journalism -

I learned much -

Thank you, all - for i know that behind the "Thank you each" there is a greater consensus that i dare not question, and De Borchgrave's example is something that may, perhaps, send a message farther down the generations -

I say again, as a person who need not fear repercussions:

Thank you.




This man is all by himself. He is not a member of the "political class." A few volunteers a policy do not make. pl


Agreed. I respect the courage of these guys but this whole religious thing makes me mighty uncomfortable. The ME is a mess precisely because of this religious thingy.

Babak Makkinejad


I hope you are now willing to acknowledge that we are in a religious war and are not fighting nouns.



It does not matter that it makes you uncomfortable. IS, Nusra and the other jihadi crazies are quite comfortable with it. the question is really whether or not you are going to let them destroy the present political order. pl


I will not scream.....but agree again.

no one

All, an historic Perspective; this has happened before: http://www.historyofjihad.org/armenia.html

Having no infantry experience and being in my 50s, I probably don't have too much to contribute and would probably get myself killed, but if there was an organized volunteer force from the states, I'd have to think seriously about joining up. Some fights are worth fighting regardless of the cost.

Good on Brett. Godspeed.

Patrick Bahzad

I'll read first and comment later, hopefully through next part of piece of ISIS.
Usually though, I find the Atlantic to be of much higher informational value than most US news outlets. Hope they won't prove me wrong on this one.

Patrick Bahzad

I've been in a couple of 'skirmishes', but as a rule of thumb, I'd say I never fought any nouns ... I'm pretty sure "Brett" is aware what he's up for and has made his peace with the Lord.
What the rest of us are acknowledging or not, is not relevant in this context, although, you're partly right with your statement of course.

Charles I

Persuasive and cogent analysis, clears a lot of fog of war from my general ignorance of what makes ISIS tick, aside from the oppressed Sunni angle. Realistic prescription for the least worst option. Wish my legislators could read it, way too long for them.

From under my tinfoil hat I must reflect on the analogies between Dabiq and Debaltseve. Which one's most likely to result in the biggest bang?


Didn't take long before the hand wringers showed up.

"Worried about the Crusades". FFS, learn some history and realize what the Crusades were in response TO versus using John Stewart as your history book.



Appreciate your concern. I tell myself that I am going to be needed here versus over there.

And if things keep going the way they do, I may be fighting ISIS here before long.


Chesterton's "Prayer to Saint Michael in times of peace" has comforted me as much as it has made me think.


Colonel, when you say "all by himself," you mean he is not part of a US military operation, but part of a separate privately-funded group identifying themselves as a Christian militia doing God's work? Because what I assumed from your post was that it was a religious clique *within* the US military similar to the Dispensationalist group run by one of the Air Force officers that Dempsey broke up. So I misunderstood?

The "political class" I referred to were the armchair warriors egging on the Iraq War starting in 2002. A lot still are.


I don't know if that was directed at me, but my Crusades info comes from the eminent historian Sir Steven Runciman, of which this is a précis: "Crusades and Crusaders." http://www.medievalwarfare.info/crusades.htm#fourth

"Here is a modern Orthodox bishop on the subject:

Eastern Christendom has never forgotten those three appalling days of pillage. "Even the Saracens are merciful and kind," protested Nicetas Choniates [a contemporary historian], "compared with these men who bear the Cross of Christ on their shoulders". What shocked the Greeks more than anything was the wanton and systematic sacrilege of the Crusaders. How could men who had specially dedicated themselves to God's service treat the things of God in such a way? As the Byzantines watched the Crusaders tear to pieces the altar and icon screen in the Church of the Holy Wisdom, and set prostitutes on the Patriarch's throne, they must have felt that those who did such things were not Christians in the same sense as themselves."

"As Sir Steven Runciman put it "There was never a greater crime against humanity than the Fourth Crusade"."

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