Thursday, April 29, 2010



"It matters not what gave the signal, whether it was the flashing of a lantern by a Boer scout, or the tripping of a soldier over wire, or the firing of a gun in the ranks. It may have been any, or it may have been none, of these things. As a matter of fact I have been assured by a Boer who was present that it was the sound of the tins attached to the alarm wires which disturbed them. However this may be, in an instant there crashed out of the darkness into their faces and ears a roar of point-blank fire, and the night was slashed across with the throbbing flame of the rifles. At the moment before this outflame some doubt as to their whereabouts seems to have flashed across the mind of their leaders. The order to extend had just been given, but the men had not had time to act upon it. The storm of lead burst upon the head and right flank of the column, which broke to pieces under the murderous volley. Wauchope was shot, struggled up, and fell once more for ever. Rumour has placed words of reproach upon his dying lips, but his nature, both gentle and soldierly, forbids the supposition. 'What a pity!' was the only utterance which a brother Highlander ascribes to him. Men went down in swathes, and a howl of rage and agony, heard afar over the veld, swelled up from the frantic and struggling crowd. By the hundred they dropped—some dead, some wounded, some knocked down by the rush and sway of the broken ranks. It was a horrible business. At such a range and in such a formation a single Mauser bullet may well pass through many men. A few dashed forwards, and were found dead at the very edges of the trench. The few survivors of companies A, B, and C of the Black Watch appear to have never actually retired, but to have clung on to the immediate front of the Boer trenches, while the remains of the other five companies tried to turn the Boer flank. Of the former body only six got away unhurt in the evening after lying all day within two hundred yards of the enemy. The rest of the brigade broke and, disentangling themselves with difficulty from the dead and the dying, fled back out of that accursed place. Some, the most unfortunate of all, became caught in the darkness in the wire defences, and were found in the morning hung up 'like crows,' as one spectator describes it, and riddled with bullets."

Although never noted for their discipline, on at least this occasion the Boers battling the British Regulars during the Anglo-Boer War at the turn of the last century were able to hold their fire until the last moment and then unleash close-range intense volleys to decimate their exposed opponents.

Lacking grenades or supporting arms, and with use of the bayonet neglected, small arms can and have settled the issue in many a night encounter. While the individual can indeed inflict enemy casualties, in night firing it is important that a coordinated volley by all present be delivered and delivered at the closest range possible for a truly effective smashing wall of firepower to stop an enemy formation dead in its tracks.

This has been so pretty much since the ascendancy of firearms in military action. As the British Army saw it in the age of the wildly inaccurate and slow-loading Brown Bess flintlock musket, it was even more important.

“The most effective manner of acting with this end in view is to reserve the fire until it is certain to be effective, and then to pour in volley after volley as quickly as possible. General Skobeleff’s order is the following: “By day a battle may be brought on by a gradual and intelligent application of the ground and men at disposal, but at night the circumstances may be such as to render it necessary to make a great impression at once. This is the reason why in a battle by night volleys are always to be fired.

There are two other reasons for the invariable rule that all firing shall be by volleys:

1st. Independent firing gives an indication of numbers and of the extent of the position, and volleys do not.

2nd. Men become less excited when firing volleys, are more easily held in hand, and in consequence the confusion is lessened.”

While this may sound quaint in its wording, the basic truths behind these ideas remain. Oriental enemies especially gained much valuable intelligence against Western defensive positions at night by tricking single nervous young recruits into firing wildly and inaccurately into the darkness, giving away their own position and another piece to the whole puzzle of the entire unit’s dispositions.

In the vicious day and night jungle fighting on Guadalcanal, Corporal J.S. Stankus of the 5th Marines made these observations:

"Unnecessary firing gives your position and when you give your position away here, you pay for it. The men in my squad fire low of the trees. There is too much high firing going on. I have observed the Japs often get short of ammunition. They cut bamboo and crack it together to simulate rifle fire to draw our fire. They ain't supermen; they're just tricky bastards.”

A Sergeant Dietrich noted another ruse used by the enemy on Guadalcanal:

“A Japanese trick to draw our fire was for the hidden Jap to work his bolt back and forth. Men who got sucked in on this and fired without seeing what they were firing at, generally drew automatic fire from another direction.”

A decade later, North Korean soldiers would also use wooden clappers to simulate gun shots and get UN forces to fire prematurely into the night. Even more interesting and unusual was this tactic noted by the U.S. 8th Army in Korea.

“Shortly after the Communist Chinese Forces entered the conflict, they conducted preliminary reconnaissance of UN position by a ruse. Four flutists deployed around a base of a hill about fifty yards apart in the open and under a full moon and played tunes. For five minutes they played while skirmishers kept shuttling up to them and withdrawing. They succeeded in drawing fire which disclosed the outline of the perimeter.”

Even though many of us will have nothing better than conventionally-sighted rifles with daylight sights, there are some good ways to increase your chances of a hit firing at night-time targets. Rather than paraphrase, allow me to quote from an article in the Infantry School Quarterly (Volume 46, No. 2).

“Assume the prone position, holding the rifle as usual, left elbow well under the weapon and the butt firm against the shoulder. Modify the rest of the position like this: keep your head high so your eyes are well above the rear sight. Hold your head centered above the comb of the stock. Keep both eyes open.

Align on the target by pointing your rifle at it. When you feel you are aligned on it, lower the muzzle more than you think is necessary to hit the target. You do this because, with the head and eyes held high, you have a natural tendency to hold the muzzle up to your line of sight. This makes you fire over the target.

Next, if you are a right-handed shooter aim slightly to the right of the target and fire. (A left-handed firer would aim slightly to the left.) You must use this holdoff because tests have shown that right-handed firers aim a little too far to the left when using this technique, while left-handed firers aim a little too far in the opposite direction.”

Easier said than done, I know. As with all things, this one needs practice, and plenty of it. In many parts of the country it is almost impossible to find a place to conduct night fires. If possible, use a very large piece of cardboard attached to the rear of a silhouette target. After firing, you can then evaluate your results. I cannot stress enough one should aim lower than you think you need to. AIM LOW, AIM LOW, AIM LOW! Everyone shoots high in this situation. If you’re gonna miss, miss low. Missing low still strikes fear into the enemy when he can observe and hear the misses tearing up things, ricocheting, kicking up debris on him and snapping past his ears.

The Japanese night fighting manual offers the simplest, yet still effective, advice on firing your rifle at night.

Cautions for Individuals when Firing.

1. At night, keep cool and obey the commands of your leader.

2. Night firing is usually too high; therefore, take care not to incline the upper part of the body to the rear, or raise the muzzle of the rifle above the horizontal.

3. In firing at night, it is a good thing to release the trigger by one pressure of the finger, instead of the usual method.

4. Never get excited after firing; keep cool.

5. When firing is stopped, turn the safety without fail.

The Germans were the only ones to heavily emphasize the use of and training with of small arms for night fighting in the WWII manuals. This training had its own separate category and schedule apart from other night-time skills such as reconnaissance, cover and concealment, scouting, and bayonet, E-tool, knife, and hand-to-hand fighting.

“A soldier's familiarity with his weapons may be a decisive factor in night combat. To achieve complete mastery in the manipulation of weapons and equipment, the trainee must practice all postures-first while in camp, then under simulated combat conditions, and finally in the dark and blindfolded. The last type of individual training can be given only in the field, and its objective is to perfect the trainee's skill until he qualifies for unit training. Each arm of the service will proceed according to established procedures.

Squad training should emphasize firing practice at dusk, in the dark, by moonlight, and in artificial light. Firing practice should frequently be combined with an extended exercise, such as a strenuous march or reconnaissance problem, during which the unit should switch to extended formation after dusk. Only thus will the trainee get accustomed to the idea that he must be able to fight even after great physical exertion. Special importance should be attached to firing practice as part of defense in twilight and moonlight in order to condition the trainee to enemy attacks and give him confidence in his unit's ability to defend itself during the various stages of darkness.”

With a conventional daylight rifle scope, especially if there is a moon or snow cover, you may be able to actually see your target quite well through the scope. Aim as you would during the day. Without an illuminated reticule, you may not be able to make out the crosshairs, but often you can, and if not you can compensate somewhat by placing the dark blob of the target right in the center of your field of view.

I really like the dimly illuminated red pointer reticule in my L2A2 British Trilux scope on the FAL. Too many low-end commercial scopes boasting an illuminated reticule have settings so bright they give you a tan around your eye at noon and light up your whole face…while blinding you to anything but the reticule…at night.

When on the defensive and dug in, aiming stakes are used to set the right and left limits for each rifleman so that he does not become confused in the dark and fire at his neighboring friendlies. Don’t laugh. It is much easier to get disoriented at night than most people think. By keeping the rifle flat or tilted downwards slightly, even in pitch blackness the rifleman can sweep his zone with semi-auto fire, moving the weapon slightly between each shot.

This tale was told to me by a Korean War Army infantry veteran. Seems it was his task to cover the mouth of a gully with his BAR, Browning Automatic Rifle. Since he would not be able to see well enough at night to aim at individual targets, he carefully prepared his foxhole firing position with a board taken from a supply crate in addition to aiming stakes. The board lay flat, and he laid the BAR on it during daylight, on its side, and carefully adjusted the plank so it held the BAR on target.

That night when he heard stealthy movements from the enemy at the mouth of the gully, he held the BAR down sideways flat on the board and pulled the trigger. The gun’s recoil “walked” the weapon across the board from one aiming stake to the other, the bullets describing a flat arc across the target area. When the BAR reached the far end’s aiming stakes and was empty, he reloaded, flipped her over, and let the recoil chatter her back across the arc.

Other methods include aiming your rifle exactly at where an enemy might reasonably be expected to be at night, for instance a doorway or a narrow gully, then propping the rifle on forked sticks. If movement is heard from that direction in the dark, squeezing off a couple of shots from the mounted weapon may hit the enemy or at least come close enough to make him go elsewhere.

Hammer in sector stakes (right and left) to define your sectors of fire. Sector stakes prevent accidental firing into friendly positions. Tree limbs about 46 cm (18 in) long make good stakes. The stakes must be sturdy and must stick out of the ground high enough to keep your rifle from being pointed out of your sector.
Hammer in aiming stakes to help you fire into dangerous approaches at night and at other times when visibility is poor. Forked tree limbs about 30 cm (12 in) long make good stakes. Put one stake near the edge of the hole to rest the stock of your rifle on. Then put another stake forward of the rear (first) stake toward each dangerous approach. The forward stakes are used to hold the rifle barrel. To change the direction of your fire from one approach to another, move the rifle barrel from one forward stake to another. Leave the stock of the rifle on the rear stake.

One thing to remember is the vital importance of flash suppressors on your firearms during this type of action. All flash suppressors are not equal. Muzzle brakes and “assault rifle ban legal” muzzle devices are often nothing more, as Mark says, than “Blast Enhancers”. Remember you want to outfit your weapon now with a flash suppressor or a flash hider not a Blast Enhancer.

Why we have flash suppressors.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


"If you load a mudfoot down with a lot of gadgets he has to watch somebody a lot more simply equipped - say with a stone axe - will sneak up and bash his head in while he is trying to read a Vernier." - Robert Heinlein

Resistance is futile!

The government and media have long since convinced us all of the omnipotence of technology. Why they can read your underwear label from space via satellite, and one single quick glance at a mountain range with a helicopter FLIR will located each and every warm body present, from field mice on up, and separate them by genus and species. Light infantry, freedom fighters, militia, guerrillas or whatever are all totally helpless before such technological wonders, and will be immediately and mercilessly crushed like bugs.

Electronic intelligence and the high-tech sub systems which gather that information are indeed impressive and something to be treated with the greatest degree of respect. But no man-made system is perfect. Even the most gee of the gee-whiz government toys have their weaknesses.

Don’t believe it? Let’s examine a few instances where the omnipotent Eye-in-the Sky failed miserably.

In 2002 in Afghanistan, U.S. forces were focused on the Shahi Kot Valley in the mountains of Paktia Province because human intelligence on the ground between Special Forces and local Afghanis indicated a gathering of Taliban and Al-Qaeda there.

“At night, when these groups [Taliban] heard a Predator or AC-130 coming, they pulled a blanket over themselves to disappear from the night-vision screen. They used low tech to defeat high tech.”

The full might of America’s high-tech electronic intelligence gathering assets swung into action and was directed for several weeks on a 10 kilometer by 10 kilometer square box of the objective area. Spy satellites directed their attention with Multi-Spectral Scanners, radar, GIS, and whatever the hell other secret acronym intensive systems they possess onto the area from space. Signals intelligence intercepted, triangulated, and monitored every word the Taliban and Al-Qaeda spoke on their radios or cell phones. Predator drones combed the area night and day with Multi-spectral Targeting Systems that included color nose cameras, a variable aperture day-TV camera, and a variable aperture infrared (FLIR) camera. AC-130 Spectre gunships prowled by night, using 360-degree All-Light Level TV, Infrared Detection systems, lasers, radar, and crewmen with image intensification NVD (Night Vision Devices).

One of many sensor banks inside an AC-130 being monitored by one of its 13-member crew.

Combining all these high-tech sources, the chairborne intelligence wonks confidently prophesied that the enemy consisted of only 150, no more than 200, fighters. They possessed no heavy weapons, only small arms and, at best, heavy machine guns. The handful of Taliban, the Whiz Kids said, were mostly located on the valley floor in the small villages; only a single anti-aircraft position with a 12.7mm DShK machine gun had been located in the mountains above the towns by the electronic toys.

Conditions turned out to be quite different when American troops air assaulted into the midst of the area and Afghan troops mounted a ground offensive. It turned out the enemy had at least a thousand fighters. The civilians had already pretty much left the villages, and the Taliban forces were located mostly in the mountains instead. “No heavy weapons” turned out to include numerous vehicles, mortars up to 120-mm, various recoilless rifles, and several 122 mm D-30 howitzers and a larger 152 mm piece. The air assaults received a blistering welcome from small arms, RPG’s and heavy mortar fire.

“No heavy weapons.” Unless you picky bastards consider a Soviet-built D-20 152mm howitzer capable of firing a 96-pound projectile to a range of 17,400 meters "heavy".

Approaching stealthily by night to be in position for a dawn overland attack, part of the friendly Afghan ground forces, accompanied by Special Forces operators, were accidentally attacked and blasted by an American AC-130 gunship despite radio calls and infrared recognition devices. The remnants of this Afghani force were met by intense fire of all kinds from the Taliban when they attacked in the morning, suffered numerous casualties, and eventually withdrew.

One Special Forces team infiltrating through the mountains on foot gathered more real-time intelligence on enemy numbers and positions with the Mark I Human Eyeball than all the eyes-in-the-sky technology combined had. They almost immediately found another DShK anti-aircraft position that electronic intelligence had missed. It was hardly hidden, with a tent heated by a woodstove right beside it and a bright blue vinyl tarp protecting the machine gun itself. The position directly overlooked one of the air assault landing zones and would have brutally chewed up the flaring, landing choppers. Air Force fighter-bombers could not hit the position; the SF Team had to stalk and take out the heavy machine gun and its crew and guards by themselves on foot (in between clearing jams on their M4’s, of course).

When a team of Navy SEALs in an MH-47 Chinook helicopter attempted to land on Takur Ghar ridge, on which the all-seeing, all-knowing electronic eyes-in-the-sky had just detected nothing, they instead found numerous Taliban fighters with another DShK .51-caliber heavy machine gun, RPG’s, small arms, and a prepared bunker and slit trenches, all of whom engaged them at point-blank range. They landed almost literally right on top of them. Later, an Army Ranger reaction force that came in as reinforcements was never informed of the situation, landed in the middle of the hot LZ, and was also taken under heavy fire. The majority of American casualties and helicopter shoot-downs came from this one isolated corner of the battle.

The battle officially lasted from March 1 to March 18, 2001. The PBI (Poor Bloody Infantry) pulled the brass’ chestnuts out of the fire…again…through improvisations and day-long firefights. Aggressive attack helicopter pilots helped save the day for the ground pounders, but most of the Apaches were soon shot to pieces and had to withdraw from the fight. The latest greatest jet bombers with precision-guided munitions could not make up for the fact that military leaders had ordered the “low-tech” tube artillery that was badly needed left behind in the states since it wasn’t gee-whiz and high-tech enough.

Despite all the high technology gear and CAS aircraft stacking up waiting to deliver ordnance, there was considerable difficulty in actually taking out the Afghan fighters during Operation Anaconda. This excerpt comes from an official Army report, which makes it particularly damning considering how much they whitewash things:

“Moreover, enemy targets often were so well protected by the surrounding mountains and ridges that hitting them with strikes was difficult. Exact hits were often necessary, and even precision JDAMs sometimes were not able to achieve this accuracy. Even when exact hits were achieved, only a single small target—perhaps two or three enemy fighters manning a heavy machine gun—was normally destroyed. Hundreds of enemy fighters were deployed in the mountains and ridges, thus creating a very large number of small targets, each of which had to be attacked individually. A further complication was that enemy fighters often would scramble for the protection of caves when they sensed an impending air attack, only to re-emerge after the ordnance had been delivered. The process of rooting them out by air strikes thus was slow, frustrating, and time-consuming. Several days of intense air bombardment were needed before enemy fires began abating noticeably [emphasis added].”

General Tommy Franks tried to direct the action via satellite link from Florida, and other brass all up and down the convoluted “me too” chain of command also second-guessed the men on the ground. When all was said and done, the generals declared a brilliant victory and patted themselves on the back. They claimed an enemy body count of 500-1000 (I thought there were only 150?), and that friendly troops had recovered weapon caches and invaluable intelligence materials. Others, lower on the totem pole, who had been directly involved, noted that the air assault forces had been engaged in heavy combat from the moment they hit the ground and had never made it to their assigned blocking positions. With these escape routes left wide open, it is certain many insurgents egressed safely across the border to Pakistan.

Before Afghanistan, there was the completely unintelligible goal-less NATO air campaign in Kosovo. The bombing campaign lasted for 78 days. Aircraft from a dozen countries flew 11,000 strike missions and delivered 20,000 bombs and missiles. As always, the brass hats made extravagant claims of the enemy targets destroyed and the efficiency of air power and patted themselves on the back. Perhaps air force technology had reached a point where antiseptic surgical strikes from the sky would negate the need for ground troops altogether? Once NATO “peacekeepers” were on the ground and on site bomb damage assessments (BDA’s) were done, a different picture emerged.

“According to a suppressed Air Force report obtained by Newsweek, the number of targets verifiably destroyed was a tiny fraction of those claimed: 14 tanks, not 120; 18 armored personnel carriers, not 220; 20 artillery pieces, not 450. Out of 744 “confirmed” strikes by NATO pilots during the war, the Air Force investigators, who spent weeks combing Kosovo by helicopter and by foot, found evidence of just 58.”

How could this be possible against the might of several air forces and all the electronic intelligence available? Here are but a few of the techniques the Yugoslavs used to counter high tech with low tech.

*Yugoslav air defenses tracked U.S. stealth aircraft by using old Russian radars operating on long wavelengths. This, combined with the loss of stealth characteristics when the jets got wet or opened their bomb bays, made them shine on radar screens.

*Radars confused precision-guided HARM and ALARM missiles by reflecting their electromagnetic beams off heavy farm machinery, such as plows or old tractors placed around the sites. This cluttered the U.S. missiles' guidance systems, which were unable to pinpoint the emitters.

*Scout helicopters would land on flatbed trucks and rev their engines before being towed to camouflaged sites several hundred meters away. Heat-seeking missiles from NATO jets would then locate and go after the residual heat on the trucks.

*Yugoslav troops used cheap heat-emitting decoys such as small gas furnaces to simulate nonexistent positions on Kosovo mountainsides. B-52 bombers, employing advanced infrared sensors, repeatedly blasted the empty hills. The army drew up plans for covert placement of heat and microwave emitters on territory that NATO troops were expected to occupy in a ground war. This was intended to trick the B-52s into carpet-bombing their own forces. Dozens of dummy objectives, including fake bridges and airfields were constructed. Many of the decoy planes were so good that NATO claimed that the Yugoslav air force had been decimated. After the war, it turned out most of its planes had survived unscathed. Fake tanks were built using plastic sheeting, old tires, and logs. Of particular use were European milk cartons, which are metal-lined. These were flattened and used to build 2/3 scale model military vehicles. To mimic heat emissions, cans were filled with sand and fuel and set alight. Hundreds of these makeshift decoys were bombed, leading to wildly inflated destruction claims.

I wonder how many times this wood-and-canvas MiG-29 was bombed and destroyed?

*Bridges and other strategic targets were defended from missiles with laser-guidance systems by bonfires made of old tires and wet hay, which emit dense smoke filled with laser-reflecting particles.

*U.S. bombs equipped with GPS guidance proved vulnerable to old electronic jammers that blocked their links with satellites.

* Serb forces were able to deceive NATO's heat-seeking radars and missiles by placing large drums of liquid in the sunlight. After dark, as the liquid gave off its stored heat, it would divert missiles and radar away from nearby Serb troops and equipment.

* One such method was to build crude silhouettes of military vehicles, bridges, and even roads, which look like the real thing in satellite photos and radar images. The Serbs protected one bridge by building, 300 yards upstream, a fake bridge consisting of a basic frame of ropes and cables with polyethylene sheeting stretched over it. NATO pilots repeatedly bombed these decoys, believing each time that they had destroyed a military target.

* Another tactic used by the Serbs was to place damaged vehicles or equipment out in the open. Bombing the same pieces of equipment over and over again accounts for part of NATO's inaccurate estimates of Serb losses.

* NATO's early estimate of Serb casualties was also grossly inflated. Rather than five or ten thousand, NATO peacekeepers now estimate that less than 1,000 Serbs were killed in combat. It is widely believed that the figure would have been even lower had NATO not coordinated its attacks in the final weeks of the campaign with the Kosovo Liberation Army or KLA.

*Weapons that performed well in Afghanistan — Predator drones, Apache attack choppers and C-130 Hercules gunships — proved ineffective in Kosovo. Drones were easy targets for 1940s-era Hispano-Suisa anti-aircraft cannons, and C-130s and Apaches were considered too vulnerable to be deployed.

Out of the mountains and in the wide open desert during the first Gulf War, high-tech worked quite a bit better. But they only showed the very best smart bomb’s “War’s Funniest Home Videos” on TV. They never showed the misses.

For instance, on the opening day of Operation Desert Storm, the 101st Airmobile was to air assault the dug-in Iraqi 1st Battalion, 841st Infantry Brigade to seize a location for forward area refueling of the Army’s relatively short-legged helicopter fleet. The eye-in-the-sky technologies had failed to even find the Iraqi unit and its bunkers. When they were found, for six straight hours Apache and Cobra attack helicopters pounded them with dozens of Hellfire and TOW missiles, hundreds of 2.75-inch unguided rockets, and thousands of 20 and 30-mm cannon shells. Air Force A-10 Warthog ground attack planes added more 30-mm fire and dropped dumb and guided bombs.

When the smoke cleared and the 101st infantrymen arrived, almost all the Iraqis surrendered but, to the amazement of the Americans, when the Iraqis crawled out of their bunkers and dugouts, not a single Iraqi soldier had been killed by the hours aerial firepower.

Before that, it had been the Soviets’ turn in Afghanistan, where they made all the same mistakes American commanders too arrogant to learn from “inferior armies” had to make all over again for themselves.

Russian expert Lester W. Grau noted this aspect to just one of the Soviet-Afghan battles for the Caves of Zhawar:

"(September 4, 1985) The Mujahideen from Lezhi retreated south while a 20-man Mujahideen force blocked the Manay Kandow pass. The pass is dominated by a high peak which is capped with a thick rock slab. Under the slab was a natural cave which the Mujahideen improved. The cave could accommodate the 20 Mujahideen during artillery and air strikes. The Mujahideen also dug communications trenches so that they could quickly reoccupy their fighting positions once the firing stopped. The firing positions dominated the Tani plain and were well positioned to stop any infantry attack.

The DRA repeatedly attacked the pass but could make no headway. The infantry would attack, meet withering Mujahideen fire and stop. Then massed air and artillery would pound the area. The infantry would again try to attack, but would again be stopped immediately. The procedure would then repeat itself, but the DRA made no headway during its ten-day attack. After ten days, the DRA called in heavy Soviet airstrikes which continuously hit the mountain top. The thick rock slab began to sway and rock. The Mujahideen were afraid that the rock slab might shift and crush their cave, so they finally withdrew. It was 14 September 1985."

Before that was Vietnam, but I think you have the picture by now.

To quote Grau one last time, from his article Bashing the Laser Rangefinder With a Rock:

Combat in rugged terrain. The advantages of technology are limited in combat in heavy forests, jungles, mountains and swamps. Conventional weapons, field gear, communications equipment and transporters will often work less effectively or fail completely in rugged terrain. US experience in Vietnam and Burma demonstrated technology's limitations and showed that dismounted infantry, whether conventional or guerrilla, are the most effective combatants in difficult terrain.

Man, I love living in the mountains. Scouts out.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


So, in my last column I lost a great opportunity for the title, from Between Two Rivers, “And they call us hatriots?” Lucky for me, in researching the first column, I stumbled across plenty of other instances of “liberal free speech”, which cannot be regarded in any, way, shape or form hateful.

We won’t even go into the whole anti-Semitic thing. Only conservatives can be anti-Semitic, and are instantly labeled Nazis. Lefties cannot be guilty of this. Even when they use phrases, as did Jesse Jackson, such as “Hymie” or “Hymie-town”, or when, like Hillary Clinton did to a campaign staffer, call them, “a f***ing Jew bastard.” We still hear more about Newt Gingrich telling his mother he thought Hillary was a bitch.

Now, recently, lib talking heads have been accusing Beck, Palin, and Limbaugh of sedition. Let’s compare their "outrageousness" to the less than subtle liberal pleas during the last administration?

"Are you angry? [Yeah!] Are you angry? [Yeah!] Are you angry? [Yeah!] Well, we've been watching intifada in Palestine, we've been watching an uprising in Iraq, and the question is that what are we doing? How come we don't have an intifada in this country? Because it seem[s] to me, that we are comfortable in where we are, watching CNN, ABC, NBC, Fox, and all these mainstream... giving us a window to the world while the world is being managed from Washington, from New York, from every other place in here in San Francisco: Chevron, Bechtel, Carlyle Group, Halliburton; every one of those lying, cheating, stealing, deceiving individuals are in our country and we're sitting here and watching the world pass by, people being bombed, and it's about time that we have an intifada in this country that change[s] fundamentally the political dynamics in here. And we know every-- They're gonna say some Palestinian being too radical -- well, you haven't seen radicalism yet." – A Berkley (go figure) prof with the appropriate first name of Hatem calls for an American intifada.

"General Pace - you have the power to fulfill your responsibility to protect the troops under your command. Indeed you have an obligation to do so. You can relieve the President of his command. Not of his Presidency. But of his military role as Commander-In-Chief...To be crystal clear - I am NOT advocating or inciting you to undertake any illegal act, insurrection, mutiny, putsch or military coup...In addition to relieving him of his command as Commander-In-Chief, you also have authority to place the President under MILITARY arrest." -- Martin Lewis at the Huffington Post demands a military putsch to oust Bush.

"I think if Kerry were to win this in a tight race, I think there would be an effort to mount a coup, quite frankly." -- Bill Moyers

Now examine the following quotes. Imagine if anyone said them today but substituted “Obama” for “Bush”. I guarantee you that would be a whole different ball game. Then it would finally become hate speech; the politicians and the talking heads would be demanding your arrest, re-education, and hanging.

"Voting for Bush is like running in the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you're still retarded." Democratic political flier in Tennessee

"(George Bush) is ten times the terrorist that Osama ever was." -- Cindy Sheehan

"It's quite reasonable to conclude that Bush will harm the nation more--if not more than Bin Laden would like to, than more than he actually can." -- Johnathan Chait

"I just want to say that George W. Bush is the syphilis president. The only difference between Bush and Hitler is that Hitler was elected." -- Kurt Vonnegut

"George W. Bush is evil. He is a terrorist. He is evil. He is arrogant. And he is out of control." -- Julianne Malveaux

"Despite all of this stupid bullsh*t that the Republican National Committee, or whatever the f*ck they call them, that they were saying that they're all angry about how two of these ads were comparing Bush to Hitler? I mean, out of thousands of submissions, they find two. They're like f*cking looking for Hitler in a haystack. ...George Bush is not Hitler. He would be, if he f*cking applied himself." -- Margaret Cho

Not so very long ago, endless fantasies, threats and allusions to killing Bush were never-ending. But somehow these were legitimate political discourse, and certainly not “hateful in any way.”

"John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. -- where are you now that we need you?" Charlie Brooker, British columnist, ending a column about George W Bush.

[Caption under footage of George W. Bush]: “Snipers Wanted”.--Craig Kilborn show

“Like Fredo, somebody ought to take him out fishing and phuw! (imitating the sound of a gunshot). Works for me.” Randi Rhodes, left wing talk radio, referring to the Godfather movies and Bush

"A spoiled child (Bush) is telling us our Social Security isn't safe anymore, so he is going to fix it for us. Well, here's your answer, you ungrateful whelp: [audio sound of 4 gunshots being fired.] Just try it, you little b*stard. [audio of gun being cocked]." –Randi, again, showing why liberal talk radio is such a dismal failure that it must be kept financially afloat by George Soros.

Hell, lefties, why not just kill anyone and everyone you don’t agree with? It’s not like they have a right to free speech or anything.

"If I had my way, I would see Katherine Harris and Ken Blackwell strapped down to electric chairs and lit up like Christmas trees. The better to light the way for American Democracy and American Freedom!" -- Democratic Talk Radio's Stephen Crockett

To Congressman Eric Cantor and his “cupcake evil wife..." "Remember Eric...our judgment time, the final Yom Kippur has been given. You are a liar, you're a Lucifer, you're a pig, a greedy f**king pig, you're an abomination, you receive my bullets in...your office, remember they will be placed in your heads. You and your children are Lucifer's abominations." – Long-time Democrat and Obama campaign contributor Norman Laboom.

But why stop at killing individuals, oh gurus of tolerance and non-hate? Why not kill all Republicans?

"Republicans don't believe in the imagination, partly because so few of them have one, but mostly because it gets in the way of their chosen work, which is to destroy the human race and the planet. Human beings, who have imaginations, can see a recipe for disaster in the making; Republicans, whose goal in life is to profit from disaster and who don't give a hoot about human beings, either can't or won't. Which is why I personally think they should be exterminated before they cause any more harm." -- Michael Feingold in The Village Voice, somehow managing to work this rant into a theater review.

Who else should we snuff, oh peaceful and benevolent lefties?

"There is a sound case to be made for dropping a tactical nuclear weapon on the Cuban section of Miami. The move would be applauded heartily by most Americans. Alas, Operation Good Riddance would require the sort of mature political courage sadly lacking in Washington, D.C., these days."--Syndicated columnist Alexander Cockburn

Charlton Heston? "Shoot him with a .44 caliber Bulldog." says Spike Lee.

Well, we don’t have to actually kill everyone. Some can just be maimed.

"He’s one more mistake away from not having any kneecaps."--James "Serpenthead" Carville on Ken Starr.

How about killing people just for their choice of cars?

"...but the kind of people who would buy a car that increases the risk to other motorists in an accident can't be reasoned with. They're selfish and stupid. It's unfortunate that drivers must worry that their SUVs are being targeted by insulting stickers and Molotov cocktails, but one thing's for sure: It couldn't be happening to a more deserving group of people." -- Ted Rall

Now that Christians, especially white male Christians, are the only group in America that it is officially OK and politically correct to bash, the bashing comes hot and heavy. Of course, if you talked about the Religion of Peace in this manner, you would probably be lined up against a wall and shot. But if you can villainize a Christian, lefties consider it your patriotic obligation and duty to do so.

"The group in this country that most resembles the Taliban, ironically, is the religious right." the ever-objective PMSNBC's Chris “Tingly Leg” Matthews said.

"Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America."-- Rosie O'Donnell

"A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. Suck it, Jesus, this award is my god now!" -- Kathy Griffin

But it is not enough to merely degrade Christians. No, let’s wish to have them all killed off as well. Hmmm. I’m sensing a pattern here. Replace the word “Christians” with “Jews” and change the calendar from 2010 to 1937 and see what you get.

Taxpayer-funded "non-partisan" National Public Radio commentator Andrei Codrescu on his "All Things Considered" says of Christians, "The evaporation of four million who believe in this crap would leave this world a better place."

Cerebral actress Megan Fox wants fictional critter Megatron to murder all the "white trash, hillbilly, anti-gay, super Bible-beating people in Middle America."

"So many right-wing Christians, so few lions." T-shirt in a Palm Springs gift shop

Speaking of wishing people dead, there’s a long line of death wishes from the left towards anybody in the wildly popular and avidly followed real talk radio world, the one which doesn’t have to be supported by donations from lefty wackos to stay on the air.

"I have good news to report. Glenn Beck appears closer to suicide. I'm hoping that he does it on camera....given his alcoholism and his tendencies towards self-destruction, I am only hoping that when Glenn Beck does put a gun to his head and pulls the trigger, that it’s on television, because somebody will capture it on YouTube and it will be the most popular little piece of video for months."-- Liberal talk radio host Mike Malloy

(Rush Limbaugh)" just wants the country to fail. To me that's treason. He's not saying anything different than what Osama Bin Laden is saying. You might want to look into this, sir, because I think Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker but he was just so strung out on Oxycontin he missed his flight. ... Rush Limbaugh, I hope the country fails, I hope his kidneys fail, how about that?" -- Wanda Sykes

The left, the NOW’s and the NAG’s, the pro-choicers, say they have always been the champion of womens’ rights. Unless, of course, those women are pro-life, Christian, or conservative. And if they get mutilated or killed because they’re under Shari law from the Religion of Peace, well hell, those women don’t count. Let’s see how these leftist saviors of downtrodden women’s rights treat those ladies who don’t properly obey their Leftist ideology.

“Now you got Uncle Women, like Sarah Palin, who jumps on the s--t and points her fingers at other women. Turncoat b---h! Don’t you f--kin’ reference Old Testament, bitch! You stay with your new Goyish crappy shiksa funky bulls--t! Don’t you touch my Old Testament, you b---h! Because we have left it open for interpre-ta-tion! It is no longer taken literally! You whore in your f--kin' cheap New Vision cheap-ass plastic glasses and your [sneering voice] hair up. A Tina Fey-Megan Mullally brokedown bulls--t moment.”-- That, of course, from the lovely and polite intellectual Sandra Berhard. You’d think it would be hard to top a rant like that, wouldn’t you? Wrong.

"O&A - 'Condoleezza Rice'"
Charlie - "I'd love to f**k that b*tch dude" (laughter)
Charlie - "She's the F**kin’ man"
O&A - "Yeah."
Charlie - "I'd F**k that b*tch...."
O&A - "I just imagine the horror in Condoleezza Rice's face...."
- "(laughter) ..... as she realizes what's going on"
- " you were just holding her down and F**kin’ her."
Charlie - "punch her all the f**kin’ face, shut the F**k up b*tch"
O&A - "that's exactly what I meant" (laughter in background)
Charlie - "you know F**k it .... and George Bush wife? I'd f**k that b*tch to death" -- Radio Shock Jocks Opie & Anthony and their guest "Homeless Charlie".

The left must have a thing about abusing women.

"If I got (Condi Rice) a— on camera, I would put my Mars Air Jordans so far up her butt that the Mayo Clinic would have to remove them." -- Spike Lee

"It's good (Michelle Malkin's) in D.C. and I'm in New York. I'd spit on her if I saw her." -- that pillar of journalistic integrity, Geraldo Rivera

Michelle Malkin is “a big mashed up bag of meat with lipstick” and a fascist according to the always calm and rational Keith Olbermann on PMSNBC.

"I used to have violence fantasies about Scott McClellan because of the inpenetrable wall of idiocy and supposed ignorance, some of which was probably not supposed, that behind which he used to hide at every press conference. All those feelings are being shifted now to Dana Perino, violence fantasies." -- Liberal radio host, Mike Malloy

Ann Coulter is a “she-devil” according to VP Joe Biden

"Well, I think you're right. I think you hit on something there. They're attractive especially to the Republican Party, which is not known as a party that really does well with the opposite sex. Usually they're doughy white men and I think they look on Michele Bachmann and, and Sarah Palin, as you know, M.I.L.Fs and I agree, they're Morons I'd Like to Forget."-- Bill Maher yucking it up with Chris Matthews.

The loony left is completely and totally oblivious to irony as well.

According to Michael Weisskopf of the Washington Post, the followers of people like the late Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson "are largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command." As opposed to the wealthy, intellectual free-thinkers chanting creative slogans like, “Yes we can! O-ba-ma! Hope and change! Gim-me money!”

"Again, (America is) a stupid country with stupid people who don't pay attention." -- Bill Maher. I have to agree with Bill, for once. Well, 51% of them anyway.

Nope, say the socialists and their free cheerleaders in the Propaganda Ministry. No hate speech on the left. Talking about killing individuals or large groups of people is not hateful at all, unless someone at a Tea Party insinuates anything remotely resembling it. And definitely nothing that they say could possibly instigate any violence.

Like setting fire to Sarah Palin’s church in Wasilla, with the congregation still inside. Or Republican Gov. Rick Perry’s Texas state mansion being fire-bombed and destroyed in June 2008. Californians who were for Proposition 8 were viciously targeted and assaulted by militant gay rights advocates. A pastor's car was shot up because he supported a ban on gay marriage. Rep. Eric Cantor (R.-Virginia) has his office struck by gunfire. The only actual physical violence at Tea Parties and townhall meetings came from purple-shirted SEIU thugs. In 2009, in a bit of a contrast to the Tea Parties, the Left marched through Pittsburgh, smashing windows, setting fire to public and private property, and injuring police officers over...I dunno, they were pissed about something. Ecoterrorists have set fire to universities, government offices, businesses, and homes since the 1990s.

Or how about the 2008 RNC rally in the Twin Cities, where bus windows were smashed with bricks and sandbags dropped off overpasses onto them, where two Texas men were arrested for building Molotov cocktails with the stated intent of fire-bombing the convention. An associate of theirs threatened to kill the undercover FBI informant who nixed the plot. If it got any press coverage outside of the Twin Cities, I didn't hear it. Then there is one Milton "Skip" Ohlsen III, a Democrat Party strategist and pal of two Missouri Democrat big-time legislators, who planned, executed, and then tried to cover up a bombing (in which he accidentally blew up the wrong man) in Clayton, MO. Hey, wait a minute! How come we never saw these stories on the evening news but we've been force-fed crap about the Hutaree for weeks now?

While we're on the subject of hate speech causing violence... in 1995, the “Reverend” Al “Tawana Brawley” Sharpton led protests against a Jewish-owned store called Freddy’s in Harlem, NY over what was essentially only a landlord-tennant dispute. After bringing in his large group of protesters. Sharpton personally incited them, calling the store owners “bloodsucking Jews!” “white interlopers!” and “Jew bastards!” and threatening to burn the store to the ground.

After many days of this, a man named Roland Smith apparently took the reverend Al’s words to heart. He burst into the store, shouting, “It’s on!” and opened fire. He wounded four people with gunfire, set the building on fire, resulting in the deaths of seven people in the story above, then blew his own brains out.

By the Ministry of Truth’s template, Reverend Al’s words had absolutely nothing to do with the incident. In fact, it’s not even worthy of covering on the “news”. But Rush Limbaugh personally caused the OKC bombing! And he’s trying to do it again, with some new friends.

"You rat bastards are going to cause another Murrah Federal Building explosion. [M]aybe at that point Beck will do the honorable thing and blow his brains out. Maybe at that point, Limbaugh will do the honorable thing and just gobble up enough - enough Viagra that he becomes absolutely rigid and keels over dead. Maybe then O'Reilly will just drink a vat of that poison he spews out on America every night and choke to death! Because that's what's gonna to happen, that's what they are pushing these right-wing, nut case, fringe, militia jerk-wads to doing!”--liberal talk radio host Mike Malloy

A bit like the pot calling the kettle black, isn’t it Mikie? Then they wonder why their ratings are plummeting, nobody believes them anymore, and they become more irrelevant every day.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


I know I hit the subject on a regular basis, but I get so sick and tried of the loony left and their media puppets going on and on and on with their hypocrisy, double-standards, censorship and, let’s face it, outright lies.

For instance, we all remember the weeks and weeks of 24/7 coverage about the horrible “hate crime” of the Duke University La Crosse team rape case. Until it turned out to be completely false. Then it instantly disappeared from the radar.

Something else at Duke University, however, never even got on the radar in the first place. The university’s associate director of the Center for Health Policy Frank Lombard was exposed as a pedophile child rapist who transmitted his molestation live on the Internet. He was arrested for offering his adopted 5-year-old son up for sex over the Internet. An FBI informant allegedly saw Lombard online performing sex acts on an African-American child believed to be one of his adopted sons; Frank and his same-sex partner had adopted more than one boy. He advised his fellow Internet perverts that adoption was easy enough, “especially for a black boy”, since there are more of them waiting for adoption. He also advised that abusing a child was “easier when he was too young to know what was happening and when he couldn’t talk…He had a little too much Benadryl. Was knocked out.”

So where the hell were the Justice Brothers, Al and Jesse? Where was the state-run press with 24/7 news coverage for weeks on end? Where were all the Hollywood celebrities speaking out? Where the cries for prosecution as a “hate crime” and the strictest sentencing possible?

This week, a 67-year-old white supremacist lawyer named Richard Barrett was killed in Pearl, MS. The killer was a young local black man who knew him. Barrett was stabbed multiple times in the neck, had his head bashed in, and then his body was burned.

Granted, Barrett’s views were no doubt offensive to just about everybody. I sure wouldn’t want him dating my sister or living next door. Even for a white supremacist, though, it seems Barrett was a bit of a joke. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a group of absolute kooks who cry wolf and see dangerous right-wing boogeymen under every bed and behind every tree, wasn’t even worried about him. "Richard Barrett was a guy who ran around the country essentially pulling off publicity stunts," said Mark Potok of the SPLC. "He really never amounted to any kind of leader in the white supremacist movement."

Regardless of what Barrett may have done or been, will his killing be charged and prosecuted as a “hate crime”. Is this “extremism”? Will there be charges of, and frowning discussion by talking heads about, racism, and violence associated with racism? Will there be endless news coverage and celebrities and politicians running about waving their arms and wailing? Are you kidding?

Racism, hate, violence, extremism, et al is always a one-way street. Only the right is capable of such things, never the left. That’s why we’re being constantly bombarded by the socialist politicians and their Propaganda Ministry trying to paint the Tea Party movement as some kind of mindless herd of racist homophobic violent extremists.

Now the Anti Defamation League is releasing reports calling for a “major law enforcement operation” against opponents of big government and health care reform.

“During the first few months of 2010, anti-government extremism has taken on a new level of intensity in the United States. The arrests of the Hutaree militia in Michigan illustrate this passion, which exists both within and outside the militia movement. Unfortunately, the Hutaree arrests may come to be seen not as the culmination, but rather as a first step in what may need to become a major national law enforcement operation.”

That's right, boys and girls. If you dare to mention that the emperor has no clothes, get ready for some jackboots and jail cells. Tea Partiers are not, apparently, protected by the First Amendment. Or any other Civil Rights legislation for that matter, at least if they’re white men.

“Civil rights laws were not passed to protect the rights of white men and do not apply to them.” -- Mary Frances Berry, Chairman, US Commission on Civil Rights

So what exactly is protected by the 1st Amendment? What is not dangerous or violent or in need of policing? Why, such non-racist, non anti-Semitic, non-hateful, non-violent, non-extremist quotes as these:

"I know how the 'tea party' people feel, the anger, venom and bile that many of them showed during the recent House vote on health-care reform. I know because I want to spit on them, take one of their 'Obama Plan White Slavery' signs and knock every racist and homophobic tooth out of their Cro-Magnon heads." -- Courtland Milloy, Washington Post

“The white man is not only practicing racism and Zionism and with the prostitution ring, the so-called Jew man with the Jew woman all over the world to make a few dollars. He is also practicing sexism. He's a racist, he's a Zionist, a sexist, and imperialist. He's a no good bastard. He's not a devil, the white man is the Devil.” -- Khalid Abdul Muhammad, Nation Of Islam & New Black Panther Party

[I]f we were in other countries, we would all right now, all of us together, all of us together would go down to Washington and we would stone Henry Hyde to death! We would stone him to death! [crowd cheers] Wait! Shut up! Shut up! No shut up! I’m not finished. We would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and we’d kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families. “actor” Alec Baldin

“I am going to be like a pit bull. That is the way I'm going to be against the Jews. I am going to bite the tail of the honkies.” -- Khalid Abdul Muhammad, Nation Of Islam & New Black Panther Party

"F*** God D*mned Joe the God D*mned Motherf*cking plumber! I want Motherf*cking Joe the plumber dead." -- Charles Karel Bouley, liberal talk show host on the air.

“I say to Jewish America: Get ready...knuckle up, put your boots on, because we're ready and the war is going down... The real deal is this: Black youth do not want a relationship with the Jewish community or the mainstream white community or the foot shuffling, head-bowing, knee bobbing black community... All you Jews can go straight to hell.” -- Quannell X, National Youth minister for the Nation Of Islam

"If there is retributive justice [Sen. Jesse Helms] will get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it." NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg

"I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease." USA Today columnist Julianne Malveaux on Clarence Thomas.

"For hypocrisy, for sheer gall, [Newt] Gingrich should be hanged." Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen.

“When white folks can’t defeat you, they’ll always find some Negro, some boot-licking, butt-licking, bamboozled, half-baked, half-fried, sissified, punkified, pasteurized, homogenized N*gger that they can trot out in front of you.” -- Khalid Abdul Muhammad of the Nation Of Islam

“The President wants to talk about a terrorist named bin Laden. I don't want to talk about bin Laden. I want to talk about a terrorist called Christopher Columbus. I want to talk about a terrorist called George Washington. I want to talk about a terrorist called Rudy Giuliani. The real terrorists have always been the United Snakes of America.”-- Malik Zulu Shabazz, Nation of Islam

“The white man is our mortal enemy, and we cannot accept him. I will fight to see that vicious beast go down into the lake of fire prepared for him from the beginning, that he never rise again to give any innocent black man, woman or child the hell that he has delighted in pouring on us for 400 years.” -- Louis Farrakhan

"..And then there's Rumsfeld who said of Iraq 'We have our good days and our bad days.' We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say 'This is one of our bad days' and pull the trigger." -- From a fund-raising ad put out by the St. Petersburg Democratic Club

"I believe in ecoterrorism." -- James Cameron

"You guys see Live and Let Die, the great Bond film with Yaphet Kotto as the bad guy, Mr. Big? In the end they jam a big CO2 pellet in his face and he blew up. I have to tell you, Rush Limbaugh is looking more and more like Mr. Big, and at some point somebody’s going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he’s going to explode like a giant blimp. That day may come. Not yet. But we’ll be there to watch. I think he’s Mr. Big, I think Yaphet Kotto. Are you watching, Rush?" -- PMSNBC Chris Matthews

"Drudge? Aw, Drudge, somebody ought to wrap a strong Republican entrail around his neck and hoist him up about six feet in the air and watch him bounce." -- Mike Malloy, liberal talk radio host

Yup, all that and more is considered fine and dandy, not even worthy of comment by the talking heads of the state-run media or the Pelosis, Reids, and Obamas of this country. What isn’t?

Me: “I believe in the Constitution of the United States.”

Media & Obama Flunkies: “Aiiieee! Terrorist! Hate-monger! Racist! Homophobe! Call the SWAT team! Kill him!”

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Election Year McCain a True Conservative

Arizona Senator John McCain has apparently seen the light on the issue of border security. He introduced a bill recently which would build new border fences, request 3,000 National Guardsmen be sent to the Arizona border, hire 3,000 new Border Protection agents and require that illegal border-crossers be charged with a crime and imprisoned before deportation. This may seem like a stark reversal from the Senator McCain who has sandbagged additional border protections and even worked with Senator Ted Kennedy on an “amnesty” for illegal aliens in 2005.

Only a complete cynic could think that McCain’s sudden change of heart is because he is facing a tough primary challenge from the right. His Republican challenger J.D. Hayworth said: "Had McCain supported my efforts in 2005 to secure the U.S. border, rather than stubbornly supporting amnesty, we would not be trying to apply quick fixes today."

However, it appears that McCain is moving right on a number of issues, such as gay rights and global warming, and has “disavowed his long-standing maverick label.”

For instance, McCain, who used to use the original draft of the Constitution to mop up spilled scotch on his desk, has new-found respect for the document. “I have always been a steadfast supporter of the uh... Constimahoozie,” McCain said, posing for photographers with his arm around a wax mannequin of Barry Goldwater, “especially the 2nd and 10th things.”

Not content with mere words, McCain has also introduced the “I’m a REAL Conservative, Not a Phony Douchebag Act of 2010” in the Senate. Among other things, the bill would change the name of Washington D.C. to Reaganton D.C. (with D.C. then standing for “Dominion of Christ). While McCain once called for severe restrictions on gun shows and mandatory “safe-storage” of firearms, his new bill would make gun show attendance compulsory and would require loaded firearms to be strewn about in the open.

Another reversal comes on the subject of torture. McCain previously opposed use of torture by the CIA against terrorism suspects. He now has changed his mind.

“Now I support torture… for every body!” McCain shouted over a John Philip Sousa tune at a recent campaign rally, riding on the back of an elephant and wearing a Ronald Reagan mask.

He proceeded: “My friends did you know that I know Sarah Palin? We totally got it on, Dude. I had to break it off though. She got too clingy. Don’t roll your eyes at me, punk! You ungrateful little sh*ts would be speaking North Vietnamese if it wasn’t for me! Were you a martyr for your country like me? Didn’t think so. Hey come back here!

"I’m cold. I need my shawl… and my back pills. Me and Ronald Reagan go way back too. He wanted to surrender to the Soviets, but I convinced him not to, my friends. Who you callin’ ‘full of sh*t?’ You kids keep your damned bikes off my lawn! Where are you going?

"Oh dear, I’ve soiled myself. I’ve had that problem since 1968 when Charlie stuck a pipe wrench up my ass. I think I finally told them Lady Bird Johnson’s hat size that time! I used to play tiddlywinks with Lincoln too….. Come back!"


“An army marches on its stomach.” Napoleon Bonaparte

Throughout the history of warfare, it was commonly expected that the soldier could do his own cooking, and supplement his rations by whatever means available. Until around WWII, America was still what Thomas Jefferson had intended and hoped for, primarily agricultural. Most people still lived on farms, even those in many towns kept chickens, rabbits, or even a milk cow, and the average rural man still knew how to take domestic and wild animals from the field to the plate. Only relatively recently, starting with American C-Rations and ending with MRE’s, was the soldier given food ready-to-eat and requiring no preparation at all.

Not so very long ago soldiers, even from Western and industrial nations, were all taught and practiced a variety of field skills, especially in the way of the culinary arts. Granted, very few, even the snake-eaters of the Green Berets, can truly live off the land. I mean, you don’t see Survivorman Les Stroud having to go on the Jenny Craig diet when he gets back from a week in the boondocks. But possessing the know-how and skills could always come in handy, no one can take the knowledge from you, and in times of emergency, it could even save your life.

Let’s take a quick look at what soldiers of the not-so-distant past learned and knew in the days before P38 can openers and brown plastic spoons.


Note to folks from NYC or LA; these Wehrmacht soldiers are milking a cow. This is where milk comes from, not from a plastic jug.

In the German Army in WWII, not just the elite light infantry units like the Gebirgsjaeger (mountain troops) and Fallschirmjaeger (paratroops) but all infantrymen were expected to be able to prepare their own meals and supplement them by foraging if necessary.

The following are excerpts from war-time German field manuals.

If it is anticipated that serving from field kitchens will not be possible, powdered coffee, tea, and other rations should be issued in advance to enable the soldiers to prepare their own hot drinks and hot food. To prevent overloading the men, however, only essential rations should be issued. Patrols and raiding parties should receive rations which are light and do not occupy much space. Every man must know how to cook and should be given opportunities to practice cooking.


When on reconnaissance or isolated sentry duty, a soldier is often forced to be economical with his food. The following suggestions on how to make provisions last are based on Russian recommendations for emergency foods for guerrillas, stragglers, etc.

Frozen Meats

The simplest way to keep meat in winter is to let it freeze. Before being boiled or fried, it should be thawed over the range. If quick cooking is necessary, cut the frozen meat into little pieces and place them on the lid of the mess kit, after adding fat and a little salt. Keep the meat over the fire until a sample is at least tolerably tasty. During the thaw period, thawed meat will easily spoil. To prevent this, cut the meat into thin slices, dry them on a piece of sheet iron over a stove, and sprinkle them with salt. Meat thus cured will keep reasonably long.

Raw Fish

Cut the frozen fish into thin flakes, or, preferably, scrape the fish with a knife instead of cutting it, so that thin shavings are formed. If need be, it can be consumed without cooking.

Food from the Woods

The red bilberry grows in pine woods beneath the snow. Cranberries are found in mossy bogs. Fir cones and pine cones, when held over a fire, will open and yield nourishing seeds. Yellow tree moss is poisonous. Other tree mosses, especially Iceland moss (steel gray), become edible after several hours of cooking. The rushes which grow on the banks of rivers and lakes have root ends which can be eaten when boiled or baked. Wild apples or bitter fruits, like those of the mountain ash, become sweet after freezing.

Sawdust Flour

Flour rations can be stretched by adding sawdust flour, made preferably from the pine tree, but birch bark may also be used. For this purpose, carefully cut the outer layer of the bark from a young tree. Make two ring-shaped incisions in the inner layer of bark, about a yard apart, and vertical cuts between them. Then carefully lift off segments of the inner bark with a sharp knife, cut them into small pieces, and boil them, changing the water several times to eliminate the taste of tar. Next, dry the pieces until they are not quite brittle. Finally, mash and pulverize the pieces in the hand.

Usually sawdust flour is mixed with rye flour in a proportion of 25 to 100 or even 50 to 100. It is stirred into the dough With water added. Sour milk may also be added.
The dough is rolled out very thin, and small flat cakes are baked.

Baking Bread in Mess Kit

Bread can be baked in the mess kit in hot ashes. This method is employed only when other bread cannot be obtained. The simplest and quickest way is to use baking powder. The ingredients are two mess-kit covers full of rye or wheat flour (about 540 grams, or 1 pound 3 ounces); one mess-kit cover about half full of cold water; one-half ounce of baking powder; and one-half teaspoon of salt, if it is available. Mix the ingredients slowly, add cold water, and knead the dough until it becomes medium stiff.

This dough is shaped into a roll the length of the mess kit. Roll the loaf in flour and place it in the mess kit. Close the mess kit with its cover, and put it under embers and hot ashes,
baking the dough for about 1-1/2 hours.


The Japanese soldier could not live purely off the land, either, despite his reputation. But even before their supply lines became stretched or cut, the islands of the Pacific provided welcome fresh additions to Army rations.

Each Japanese soldier usually carries on his person sufficient food to sustain him for 5 days in the field, and some who infiltrated have fought for a week without recourse to food or ammunition supply trains. All have shown marked ability to live off the country; in fact, captured Japanese orders point out the necessity for this in order to conserve regular supplies. In some instances individuals and small infiltration units killed and cooked dogs, goats, and other small animals to supplement their emergency rations.

The 5-day emergency ration includes:
a. One-half pound of hard candy;
b. One can of coffee;
c. One package of concentrated food;
d. Vitamin pills;
e. One package of hardtack;
f. One 5-inch-long sack of rice.

Each soldier is responsible for his own cooking, but generally the men of a squad cook on a cooperative basis. No special cooking stove or other cooking apparatus is carried. Often food is cooked in the morning to last for the day. Sometimes only rice and salt are available. Sugar, considered a luxury, is procured locally. Looting is condoned.


The British Commandos of WWII learned a great deal about traveling light, keeping themselves warm and dry in all kinds of weather, stretching their rations, and living off the land. Hands-on exercises were conducted in the Scottish Highlands, sometimes for days on end.

Here’s an American officers observations of Commandos in training.

Food should be eaten frequently, especially if the troops are young men and the operations are not too strenuous. Great care should be taken to share all food with the utmost equality, and hoarding of rations should be discouraged. The men must be taught what fruits, plants, mushrooms, etc., are edible so that they can supplement their rations or live off the country. They should know how to milk a cow, how to clean and prepare carcasses of animals, birds or fish, and how to catch game by all possible means-traps, snares, dead-falls, etc...

Rations were carried in their packs by the soldiers. Food was prepared in mess tins, individually. The soldiers were encouraged to use dandelion shoots, grass nettles, and other herbs in conjunction with pemmican and oatmeal for making a stew. These herbs in the stew contributed vitamin C. While the standard Army ration was used during the training, the concentrated ration was substituted during tactical operations because of its small bulk and light weight. It was impressed on the students that the ration was sufficient to maintain them in satisfactory physical condition during these short operations, and to enable them to perform their assigned tasks without undue hunger and fatigue.

Such skills are still taught and practiced. Here, British Royal Marines training in Norway put together a survival shelter from pine boughs. Looks like trout for dinner.


During the counter insurgency in Rhodesia, the Selous Scouts went to extremes when it came to teaching brutal bush survival skills, learning to eat things that truly would make a billy goat puke. But when all was said and done, those who passed the ungodly qualification course that washed out a huge percentage of applicants, really could live off the land anywhere, anytime.

Under selection each man is reduced to below a threshold which the average human being could not endure. He is virtually "dehumanised", forced to live off rats, snakes, baboon meat and eyes, to survive in hostile surroundings which prove that nature, too, can be as deadly as any human enemy. And they are taught to live off nature, to drink from the water in the carcass of a dead animal - a yellowish liquid - and to eat maggot-ridden green meat which can be cooked only once before becoming deadly poisonous.

Students are not given rations except for water. They are expected to survive off the land, making their own fires without matches, and making and using bark string - "gusi tambo" - to help catch food for themselves. They are soon hungry enough to capture any small creatures they can find - grasshoppers, lizards and squirrels - to stave off the hunger. "And you do get hungry." said one student who had recently been on the survival course. "We caught and killed a small leguaan, and before we even had time to skin it, one of the men was ready to take a bite out of it".

Well, okay, that last one is a bit much. I’d have to pass on that myself.

The point is that very few people in this day and age have any of these skills, and the military doesn’t teach much in the way of field skills anymore, and nothing in the way of feeding yourself other than how to open an MRE. Between ever-increasing urbanization, the emasculation of the American male, political correctness, the welfare state, and sheer laziness, those who are able to prepare their own food from the ground up are becoming rare indeed, even in the kitchen. Never mind cooking it over an open fire. In many cases, U.S. Army units overseas have even given up their field kitchens (and the soldiers, knowledge, and ability to use them) and chow is provided by private contractors!

Fobbits (they don't call 'em REMFs anymore) foraging for food in the desolate mountains of Afghanistan.
I don’t know who first made the statement, but I heartily agree. If you gave the average American a 10-pound bag of flour, he or she would starve to death using it as a pillow. Less than 5% of folks grow up involved in agriculture in any way now; plenty of people actually think that food is magically produced under cellophane at the supermarket. In most cases back East, not even the Boy Scouts teach cooking over an open fire and field skills anymore, just an increasing bunch of “love mother earth” crap. Even most hunters and outdoorsman don’t know how to do anything more than field dress an animal; from there it goes to the meat locker for the professional butcher to process. And due to environmental restrictions, the Army can’t even teach a soldier to dig a cat hole to crap in; field exercises have to be escorted by truckloads of Porta-Potties. The average urban dweller could probably not even start a fire without a five-gallon can of high octane.

This is all well and fine as long as everything in the system runs like a top, but few people realize how inter-dependent and actually delicate our modern infrastructure has become. It would only take the trucks to stop rolling for a few days, and the cities would begin to starve; there is only a 3-day food supply on hand between the stores and warehouses before it begins to run out. And when the cities start to starve, they will start to burn.

So, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to learn a few of these skills. After all, with the current leadership we’re enjoying, we could be a Third World country ourselves by 2012. If nothing else, Tea Partiers, Libertarians, Constitutionalists and smartass bloggers who have spoken out against the regime may have to take to the hills with Janet “Reno” Napolitano and a pack of federal attack dogs in hot pursuit.

I found this interesting, and a good place to start.
The Militia Cookbook

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a snake to eat.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Major Scott R. McMichael, an expert in the field, once provided a list of “light infantry proverbs” in Military Review Magazine. Just a few examples show what real light infantry is.

Light forces are undaunted by terrain. Terrain is viewed as an ally, a combat multiplier for the light infantryman. Light forces are terrain-oriented. Very little terrain is impassable to true light infantry.

Light infantry does best when it lives on, in and off the land. It must be comfortable “in the bush.”

Conventional tactics are no good for light forces.

Light infantry forces must be masters of improvisation, familiar with all kinds of weapons, vehicles, landing craft, and so forth.

Light infantry must remain flexible in mind and action, capable of reacting quickly.

Weapons used by light forces must not impose a logistical burden. If equipment cannot be man-packed or mule/donkey-packed, the light infantry generally has little use for it.

Light forces can operate separated from their lines of communications by depending on enemy and indigenous supplies.

Light infantrymen must be able to climb, crawl, swim, ski, snowshoe, rappel, stalk, run and hide.

That is what McMichael, H. John Poole, and William S. Lind mean when they talk about classic light infantry.

Not this.

Unfortunately, as near as I can tell, the modern United States Army defines light infantry as, “Ain’t got no trucks.” Light infantry means you can shove a whole bunch of heavy infantry into C-5s and C-130’s and dump them off somewhere around the globe without combined arms support or logistics and crow that you’ve deployed a division in so many hours. Lacking any real mechanized capability, this light infantry walks wherever they go, but they still have to wear and carry all the crap a mechanized grunt would while riding in a Bradley.

While the infantryman’s load has always been too heavy in the rifleman’s opinion, the modern American Army and Marines have taken gear to completely obscene new heights. Or rather, their “leaders” have forced them to take their gear weight to completely obscene new heights. For Pete’s sake, a mule, bred for centuries as a pack animal, is not supposed to pack over one third of its body weight or it will ruin the animal. You’d probably get arrested for animal cruelty for treating a mule the way the Army treats its infantrymen and the Marines treat their riflemen.

It’s not like the knowledge that over-burdening soldiers is a bad thing was kept secret and came as some big surprise that was suddenly sprung upon America’s military at the last second before the latest deployment. At the turn of the last century, about the time of our Spanish-American War, the Institute William Frederick in Germany was doing in-depth studies and experiments concerning the infantryman’s load. Their conclusion: 48 pounds per man. British studies in the 1920’s concluded that the load should be between 40-45 pounds, or one third of a person’s body weight. Further experiments in the 1930’s suggested dropping the load to 31 pounds! At the end of WWII, the Russians came up with a load of forty pounds after their own studies. Shortly thereafter, American General S.L.A. Marshall concluded that 51 pounds was the optimal soldier’s load in training; for combat, it should never be more than four-fifths of that amount. In 1954, the USMC concluded a grunt should have a load of no more than 55 pounds for a road march, and 40 lbs for combat. Another study in 1971 concluded the Marine should carry 40% of his body weight on the march, and no more than 30% in combat.

Yet today in Iraq and Afghanistan, the supposedly mythical 120-pound ruck is still alive and well in the American military, doing fine, and even reproducing.

As for the other side, a Pakistani Army officer aiding the Mujahedeen during the Soviet-Afghan War noted what little they needed to sustain themselves in combat.

In practical terms the Mujahid can live off the land, or rather from the villages, until the Soviet scorched earth policy became widespread. Even when he takes rations on the march all he needs is nan (flat bread) and tea to sustain him for days on end. The fatty bread is carried wrapped in a blanket, or cloth, and becomes rotten with age, making it the most revolting of meals. Nevertheless, it is eaten. The Mujahideen can walk for days, even weeks, on the minimum of food; then, when the opportunity comes, they will stuff themselves with huge quantities, stocking themselves up like camels for the next journey.

After their weapon, the next most valued possession is their blanket. It is usually a grayish-brown colour, and is used day and night for a wide number of purposes. The Mujahideen uses it as a coat, or cloak, for warmth in winter, or against the wind; they crouch under it to conceal themselves from enemy gunships, as it blends perfectly with the mud or rocks; they sleep on it; they use it as a sack; they spread it on the ground as a table cloth, or upon which to display their wares; often it becomes a makeshift stretcher and sometimes it is a rope; several times a day it becomes their prayer mat.

That sounds pretty silly and pathetic in this age of high-tech gear and precision-guided weaponry, right? Maybe, maybe not. Major General Franklin Hagenbeck said of the Taliban in an interview in 2003: “At night, when these groups heard a Predator or AC-130 coming, they pulled a blanket over themselves to disappear from the night-vision screen. They used low tech to defeat high tech.”

It’s not just guerrillas, either. Professional armies can create real light infantry as well, if they try. During the WWI “Sideshow” in German East Africa, Colonel von Lettow Vorbeck produced some of the greatest light infantry ever known in his Schutztruppe. These were mostly natives trained with Prussian precision, especially in rifle marksmanship.

They marched everywhere they went, which included just about the entire country, with supplies borne by human porters. The Germans had destroyed the railroads to keep the British & their allies from using them, the roads were too rough and muddy for British trucks and armored cars, and the tsetse flies decimated their horses and pack mules. The native Schutztruppe soldiers were largely immune to the diseases of the area, while the white European soldiers succumbed in droves to the myriad of tropical illnesses.

While the regularly-equipped Entendre forces attempting to pursue them ground to a halt, the Schutztruppe not only remained mobile but, with no supply line back to Germany, they became absolute masters of improvisation to remain in the fight. Cloth was spun from native cotton and dyed with the bark of mada trees to make new uniforms. Boots were fashioned from captured saddles and antelope hides. Alcohol “gasoline” was distilled from coconuts and precious salt supplies distilled from the ocean. Without quinine, the German troops would have succumbed to malaria. A substitute was made by boiling the bark of Peruvian trees, a vile-tasting foul brew that the troops christened “Von Lettow Schnapps”.

By the end of the war, with no German supplies whatsoever getting in, the Schutztruppe was equipped and armed almost entirely with captured enemy gear. The Schutztruppe, never numbering more than 10,000 themselves, had tied down some 300,000 Allied troops desperately needed on the Western Front in Europe, and inflicted some 60,000 casualties on the enemy.

The average soldier of the Imperial Japanese Army in WWII was a true light infantryman, as noted by Major C. Patrick Howard among others.

“The usual load an IJA infantryman carried during this period was a steel helmet, a belt with at least one ammunition pouch, a bayonet, a light pack, and an entrenching tool. Soldiers wore a wide variety of footwear, and socks were usually heelless, probably to slow deterioration. To assist in crossing water obstacles, many infantrymen carried the inflatable belt they had worn during the initial amphibious landings. Most soldiers had a 1-yard x 1 1/2-yard camouflage net that they could drape over their bodies and stuff with foliage to render themselves virtually invisible in the jungle. The only piece of equipment that seemed to be standard among all soldiers was the waterproof shelter half, which they wore instead of the army issue raincoat during inclement weather.3 Clearly, the Japanese infantryman’s individual equipment was well suited for a fast-moving, mobile campaign in the tropics.”

As for the Chinese infantryman in Korea, McMichael said he began an offensive with: “3-days' rations, his bedroll, 4 grenades, 100 rounds of ammunition, and a mortar bomb or 2. The Chinese procured some of their food locally, sometimes by force, sometimes by legitimate means. At times, they required villagers to cook for them. Captured UN supplies were also a ready source of ammunition, equipment, and rations; in many cases, the Chinese replenished their stocks after a successful attack. The Chinese also buried supplies when withdrawing from an area with the expectation that the caches would be dug up and used upon their return. In the worst conditions, the CCF soldier learned to do without. His self discipline led him to subsist on meager rations and to forego nonessentials.”

The German Gebirgsjaeger mountain troops of WWII were essentially elite light infantry as well. They had their skis for mobility in the snow; climbing gear for the high mountains. They used any means possible to bring supplies and increase mobility; in addition to their own horses and mules, they used reindeer and sleighs in Finland, camels in Asiatic Russia, suspended tramways in Caucuses mountains, and the little Kettenkrad half-track motorcycle just about everywhere.

But mostly they marched, marched endlessly pursuing the tanks and truck-mounted infantry across Poland and then day after day across the endless steppes of Russia. They could cover fifty kilometers a day, day after day, for weeks on end. How they could manage this was no mystery. Instead of PT consisting of push-ups, sit-ups, and short runs, they marched. James Lucas described the training. “And always the route marches. Some of these were long, lasting all day…Other marches lasted all night through villages lying quiet under the Alpine stars, or across frosty field, kilometre after kilometre…Manoeuvres, exercises, marching and still more marching dominated their lives.”

The Gebirgs also knew how critical weight…or the lack thereof…was, and their manuals continually stressed it. “In selecting equipment to be taken along, the aim must be to achieve the greatest possible economy in weight. The equipment which will permit the individual soldier to maintain his fighting strength must be based on the tactical requirements of the contemplated action… Maximum fire power and mobility are decisive factors in determining the type and number of weapons with which the individual ski trooper should be equipped. The number of heavy weapons to be taken along depends on the facilities for carrying sufficient ammunition. Fewer arms and plenty of ammunition should be the rule.”

The successful British counter-insurgency in Malaya, one of very, very few successes by Western armies in that category, showed that with common sense specialized training the regular line doggie could become a superb light infantryman. British and Commonwealth riflemen went out into the Communist Terrorists’ home turf, deep in the jungle, sometimes for weeks at a time, and, as David Hackworth would say, “Out-G’ed the G’s”.

“The British also devoted some attention to lightening soldiers' loads while on patrol. To further this end, light but appetizing rations were chosen. Because the soldiers looked forward to breakfast and supper on patrol, the command provided palatable food for these meals. In this manner, the light infantry held themselves in position to ambush for some incredibly long periods of time. One platoon of the Green Howards staked out the house of a terrorist food supplier for twenty consecutive nights. 32 In another case, a patrol maintained an ambush for ten days and nights. Given seven days' rations, they simply were told to make them last ten days.”

Fighting Communists in Rhodesia in a tactically successful counter-insurgency, nearly all of the Security Forces were light infantry, including such famous outfits as the Rhodesian Light Infantry and the King’s African Rifles. The most famous Rhodesia Special Forces, uber-light infantry, were the Selous Scouts. Gruelingly trained, they traveled light and did not have an official uniform. Water and ammunition were the two most important items they carried, and in the largest quantities. Favored footwear consisted of rubber-soled hockey boots known as “tackies”. Originally equipped with British Pattern 1958 standard web gear, the Selous Scouts soon developed their own Rhodesian vest that provided light weight, mesh ventilation, and multiple pockets.

An American military observer noted: “Once in the unit, the men are prepared literally to follow terrorist spoor for weeks on end in all types of Rhodesian terrain while living off the land.”

Historically, Americans have been able to create fine light infantry. During the American Revolution, sharp-shooting physically fit frontier riflemen made the best light infantry. A letter from a gentleman in Philadelphia may have over-stated the case a bit when he wrote: “What would a regular army of considerable strength in the forest of America do with one thousand of these men, who want nothing to preserve their health and courage but water from the spring, with a little parched corn, with what they can easily procure in hunting; and who, wrapped in their blankets, in the damp of night, would choose the shade of a tree for their covering, and the earth for their bed."

Poetic license aside, these frontier riflemen were indeed very mobile light infantry. Colonel Daniel Morgan raised a company of riflemen in Virginia and marched them 600 miles to Boston in three weeks. Captain Michael Cresap brought in his company from the Ohio territory, covering 550 miles in only 22 days.

During the War of Northern Aggression, the already poorly-equipped Confederate soldier sometimes stripped away the few comforts he had to march much more swiftly than his opponent.

"The coatee issued in the early days of the war had already given place to a short-waisted and single-breasted jacket. Overcoats were soon discarded. ... Nor did the knapsack long survive. ... But the men still clung to their blankets and waterproof sheets, worn in a roll over their their left shoulder."

These were the indomitable infantrymen of General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, whose uncanny mobility earned them the nickname “foot cavalry”. During the Shenandoah Campaign, in addition to numerous skirmishes and fights, these men also managed to cover some 670 miles in barely over a month and a half.

The way technology had changed between 1862 and 1952 it would hardly seem plausible that the same bedroll Stonewall Jackson’s men wore could still be viable. It could.

Veteran, historian, and author Ralph Zumbro, before he went over to the dark side and became a tanker, tells of the Korean War-vintage 45-pound basic infantry load, and the Horseshoe Roll he carried consisting of: Shelter half, tent pegs, tent pole sections, either a sleeping bag or two wool blankets, one extra set of fatigues. One hank of tent rope, ground cloth or air mattress…We could and did modify this into a Civil War style patrol roll on occasion and they were all different. Mine was usually a shelter half, blanket, patrol munchies (nuts & dried fruit), one or two wet rations (wetpack, canned C-rat, and ONE would run me for 24 hours, and still will) medkit, socks, skivvies, toothbrush & powder, foot-powder, weapon kit, toilet paper..??? That's about it. Need to take modern troops and send the buggers out with that load...Get them used to travelling light. There's nothing there that needs to be dropped…I'd better clarify that roll a bit. It wasn't a short fat sleeping bag in the small of the back. We rolled the shelter half LENGTHWISE...Blankets too, into a LONG sausage, and then slung it over the left shoulder with the ends tied together over the right hip. Stayed out of the way of everything, been around since forever....Drops easy.

With this load, it was understood that the infantry could march twenty miles per day and still be ready for an assault at the end of the march.

The Marine Corps Raiders of WWII were also superb light infantry. They were trained and commanded by Colonel Evans Carlson, who had spent years in China learning guerrilla warfare from Mao’s Communists when they got around to fighting the Japanese. The Raiders' many feats included the famed Long Patrol on Guadalcanal, a month-long 150-mile reconnaissance in force behind Japanese lines. As one enlisted Raider told it, the patrol was indeed no rose garden.

“A bit about our diet. The first several days I subsisted on D rations, an unappetizing chocolate bar fortified with God knows what. This was replaced with the diet of the Chinese 8th Route Army, rice raisins and salt pork. A wise choice under the humid, tropical conditions. It was dry, light in weight and of high caloric value and it withstood the heat and humidity. At the end of day one would build a small fire, I still have the small tightly sealable cylinder containing matches. The liner was removed from my helmet and in the metal portion the salt pork was rendered, then the rice was added, cooked in river water and kicked up with a hand full of raisins. We had the blackest helmets in the entire Corps…Although never verified, fellow Raiders dined on a mongoose and an unfortunate cat. Water was always available from the many rivers and streams. As learned from our Solomon Islanders, a very clean drink could be obtained, by hacking into a segment of a large bamboo plant. No one gained weight on the Long Patrol.”

Another enlisted Raider detailed the minimal gear he carried. “My pack was a gas mask case which held my food, matches, a good supply of dry socks and a bottle of tincture of merthiolate.”

Fast forward to 1982 and the invasion of Grenada. The Army Rangers combat jumped with an average load carried per man of 167 pounds! Here’s how one of the men participating described it: "We attacked to secure the air head. We were like slow moving turtles. My rucksack weighed 120 pounds. I would get up and rush for 10 yards, throw myself down and couldn't get up. I'd rest for 10 to 15 minutes, struggle to get up, go 10 yards, and collapse. After a few rushes, I was physically unable to move, and I am in great shape. Finally, after I got to the assembly area, I shucked my rucksack and was able to fight, but I was totally drained."

Afghanistan, 2003: We had extreme difficulty moving with all our weight. If our movement would have been to relieve a unit in contact or a time sensitive mission we would not have been able to move in a timely manner. It took us 8 hours to move 5 clicks. With just the [Interceptor hard body armor] vest and [Enhanced Tactical Load Bearing Vest or the MOLLE vest] lbv we were easily carrying 80 lbs. Throw on the ruck and you’re sucking.

Even Natick Soldier Center, always known for sugar-coating the hell out of anything that could be considered remotely unflattering to the Army, had to say something: “Most felt they went in too heavy. Soldier load was from 75-110 lbs. Many felt they had too much weight to move efficiently in that terrain at that altitude.”

Additionally, most of the major powers equipped their grunts with web gear designed for mechanized infantry. They weren’t supposed to operate very far, or for very long, from the armored personnel carriers or infantry fighting vehicles which transported them into the big battles that would take place upon the plains of Central Europe. Mech infantry gear came back to bite the British in the butt in the Falklands and especially the Russians in the mountains of Afghanistan.

So the Perfumed Princes of the Pentagon and their pet engineers, physicists, witch doctors, and lawyers, none of whom had ever slept a single night in the field, designed the latest greatest super-secret chocho-fudgie grunt gear. From the sounds of it, they probably would have done better by locking a squad of real grunts in a room with a couple of cases of beer and letting them come up with the new field gear. The Pentagon wonks spent millions and yet before deployment, the grunts have to go out and purchase their own boots, socks, gloves, weapon lights, GPS’s, pistol magazines, linked machine gun ammo carriers, etc. from civilian sporting goods stores.

The latest, greatest waste of defense money was the new MOLLE (MOdular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment), with a load bearing vest the men loathe and a pack with a plastic frame that breaks if you look at it wrong. I personally have not tried these vests, but the real evaluators, the grunts, would seem to be less than complimentary. I know my stepson in the 82nd, with two tours in Iraq, had very little good to say about them.
These guys don't seem impressed either.

The Army in Afghanistan; First Sergeant: "All personnel involved hated the lbv[MOLLE load bearing vest]; it’s so constricting when you wear it with the vest [ballistic body armor], then when you put a ruck on it cuts off even more circulation."

The Marines in Afghanistan; Major: "We're discovering that the MOLLE is not holding up under pressure. Most of Battalion 3/6 doesn't even wear the vest; they hate the vest. They attach the canteens and all of the magazine pouches and everything directly to the flak jacket, because the vest is just added weight…Now you can't shed the gear and just wear the flak, and that's important when you're crawling around…"

The Marines in Iraq, First Sergeant: "MOLLIE (pack) LBV (load bearing vest) is NOT GOOD [original author’s emphasis]. We put all of our gear on the flak jacket."

The Army in Iraq, Specialist: "The MOLLE ruck is awful. It’s a torture device that you can put stuff in. I bought my own ALICE ruck but was eventually forced to use the issued MOLLE ruck instead."

So now our grunts are not only grossly over-burdened weight wise, but the insane tonnage is also uncomfortable. As a result, our infantry soldiers can barely move. While the Taliban enemy runs circles around our “light” infantry such as the Rangers, 10th Mountain, and Marines at 4-7 miles per hour, our guys, at least in the mountains, are crawling along at one mile per hour or less. It’s awful hard to “close with and destroy” the enemy if you can’t catch him.

Welcome to the heaviest “light” infantry in the history of warfare.